Eagles Q&A

Posted: July 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 15 Comments »

There were some good questions in the comments section of the previous post so I figured I would address them here.

Love the talk about Cliff Harris, but what about Brandon Boykin?   There is an old joke in the news world that if a dog bites a man, that’s not news.  If a man bites a dog, that’s news.  Cliff Harris playing well wasn’t expected so he’s getting the attention.  Brandon Boykin was expected to play well.  He’s done that, but it just hasn’t been newsworthy.

Boykin is being used in a variety of ways.  He plays outside in some units.  He is the slot corner on the #2 Nickel D.  Brandon has looked fast and athletic.  He isn’t tall, but definitely has an NFL body.  If you watch the DB warm up drills where they practice some light hitting and tackling, you can see the difference in Boykin and Harris.  Cliff is light and needs time in the weight room.  Boykin pops when he hits.  He’s ready to rock ‘n roll.

Who would play outside if something happened to a starter?  Tough question.  Curtis Marsh is the top answer right now, but he’s got to show that he’s ready for that role.  Marsh hasn’t stood out as much as I’d hoped.  I don’t think he’s looked bad, but I was hoping that he would be noticeably better in Year 2.  The Eagles are still aggressively mixing him into different looks so that tells you that they are either confident in him or that they are hoping playing a key role will bring out the best in him.

Boykin and Brandon Hughes should be next up.  Boykin is more talented, but Hughes has some experience.  Joselio Hanson has played outside, but I’d be very nervous with him there these days.  He just lacks the speed for playing outside.  Cliff Harris is certainly making his case.  We’ll see if that continues.

Should Boykin have to play outside, the slot would fall to Hanson or possibly Hughes, depending on who was on the roster.  It is also possible Marsh could get a look in there.  He lacks the ideal build, but did play some slot in college.

Could Cliff help out n the Red Zone?  I don’t think so.  He’s like Asante in that he’s best playing off and breaking on the ball.  The difference is that Cliff isn’t set in his ways.  The Eagles can get him to work on pressing and playing tight man coverage.  Maybe in the future he’ll be a good RZ CB.  Generally the RZ is a place where you want big guys or physical players and not playmakers.  Players that come up with INTS normally are away from the receiver and take chances.  Lito did this in the Super Bowl and Tom Brady burned him for an easy TD.  Asante did this a lot.  You’re better off with someone that presses and just gets in the back pocket of the receiver.

Any chance Cliff makes it to the practice squad?   Tricky question.  If he plays well, no.  Teams would claim him.  If he doesn’t play all that well this summer, do you want him on the PS?  If he’s worth keeping, we’ll likely have to find a spot for him on the regular roster.

Can Brett Brackett longsnap?   He is an emergency snapper.  Longsnapping is such a precise skill that you rarely find position players who can do it anymore.  Mike Bartrum spoiled us.  #3 TE and LS.  That was nice.  Yeah, he wasn’t much of a TE, but he could help in some packages.

In case anyone out there gets bored… http://www.longsnapper.com/index2.shtml

Will the Eagles keep 3 TEs or 2 and a FB?   We won’t know the answer to this until after preseason games.  We must see how Brett Brackett and Chase Ford block in games.  We must also see how Stanley Havili blocks in games.  Right now I would give a better overall evaluation to Brackett than Havili, but keeping a 3rd TE vs a primary FB is a significant difference.

I think we’ll start to know the team is strongly considering going without a FB when we see Clay Harbor lining up as a lead blocker on some run plays.  You can’t go purely without a FB.  Someone must be able to handle that role.  Harbor makes the most sense.  Casey Matthews would be interesting.  Derek Landri played FB for a couple of snaps down in JAX if I’m not mistaken.

For those who think this would be crazy…understand that FB is getting phased out of the game of football.  Our running game with Howard Mudd’s blocking scheme is now a lot of one-back stretch plays.  The FB isn’t needed.

* * * * *

In case you missed it, check out the comments section from the previous post.  There was some good stuff in there.  As you might expect, a quality discussion mixed with interesting stories.

* * * * *

The Eagles made a roster move.  They added WR Andrew Brewer and waived injured WR Ron Johnson.  Johnson suffered a nasty ankle injury on Monday.  Hate when young guys like him get hurt.

Brewer is interesting.  He’s big at 6-3, 215.  Played with Mike Kafka at NW.  Played in the UFL and his GM was Rick Mueller, who is now a Pro Personnel exec with the Eagles.  Brewer is just a body with Cooper down and Johnson out.  I do like the fact he’s got good size.  Also interesting that he’s got the connections to Mueller/Kafka.


15 Comments on “Eagles Q&A”

  1. 1 Jack Bauer said at 2:04 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    No comments yet Tommy? I for one appreciate someone awake for the Asian markets. As always great job, but why not get into the gossip business?
    Conspiracy Theory:
    Reader sweetheart, Cliff Harris, is the motivation behind the Jackson/Hughes fight.
    Hughes, a nomadic PS, first real opportunity making a 53 man roster (with Samuels’ absence) is frustrated by the rookie’s (Harris) early training camp success and takes it out on the epitome of eagles media attention/adoration..one DeSean Jackson.

    In all seriousness thank you Tommy for the coverage and I hope the wedding was fun. Keep up the amazing work and may the PBRs and snack packs be fruitful

  2. 2 A_T_G said at 8:05 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    Fruitful? This isn’t Blue Moon. If you put fruit in PBR it immediately shrivels and turns brown.

  3. 3 Alex Karklins said at 8:12 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    Hey, PBR does have some good qualities . . . I sterilized a wound with some just the other day. Saved me from a nasty infection.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 11:42 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    If you drink a lot of PBR real fast, it will save you from lucid thoughts.

  5. 5 T_S_O_P said at 3:22 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    Re Mudd and the 1 back. Didn’t Indy employ a H-B at times? JR said as much on the EMB blog.

    Around the league, these positions are normally filled by small college TEs. What is the role of the Hybrid Back as opposed to the Fullback. Can Havili play H-B?

  6. 6 Mac said at 9:56 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    Personally, I think Andy an co. were spoiled by finding Leonard Weaver. It seems hard to find NFL caliber FBs which is why I was so enamored with the idea of dropping the position last year to save a roster spot for another player. I think it’s an interesting debate, but given the results of last year I am predicting they will keep a FB again this year.

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 11:43 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    I don’t see Havili as an H-back. Those guys are usually small TEs. Havili lacks ideal size for even FB. Igwenagu could be an H-back type.

    Indy did do some H-back stuff. They got creative when they wanted a lead blocker or extra blockers.

  8. 8 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 4:48 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    I know it’s way early, and maybe annoying for some people to talk 2013 draft, when we’re only hustling through training camp.

    However, I would like to know if you have any favorite NT prospects, that I can keep a look out for in the college season? I think we’re either going to draft a dev. LT, NT or CB with our 1st next year, so therefore I am gonna focus my attention to these spots.

    Please let me know, if you have some favorite players, that you think have the potential to be 1st or 2nd round picks in 2013 – thanks!

    My early favorites are:
    LT Chris Faulk, 6-6, 325, LSU
    RT Jake Matthews, 6-5, 305, Texas A&M (has the athletic ability to play LT)
    LT Luke Joeckel, 6-6, 310, Texas A&M
    OL Xavier Nixon, 6-6, 295, Florida (Sleeper)

    NT Johnathan Hankins, 6-4, 325, Ohio St.
    NT Akeem Spence, 6-1, 305, Illinois (Probably mid round guy)
    NT Mister Cobble, 6-0, 330, Kentucky (Probably mid round guy)

    CB David Amerson, 6-3, 195, NC State
    CB Xavier Rhodes, 6-2, 215, Florida St.
    CB DeMarcus Milliner, 6-1, 200, Alabama
    CB Desmond Trufant, 6-0, 185, Washinton

    Weapon Z Tyrann Mathieu, 5-9, 175, LSU

    That’s it for my (very) early look-out list…

  9. 9 A_T_G said at 8:16 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    Wait, that guy’s first name is really Mister? Like “Can I get your autograph p, Mister?”. Growing up, that was on the list of ways to screw up a kid’s life using the privilege of naming him or her that my brother and I developed, along with Ikantellu (“what’s your name?” “I-can’t-tell-you.”), and Kcvbhq, pronounced ‘bi

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 11:44 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    I’m behind on my college prep. Lots of distractions this summer. I’ll mix in draft talk as the college season approaches and certainly once it gets underway.

  11. 11 Alex Karklins said at 8:24 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    Thanks for addressing the Cliff/Practice Squad issue. I figured as much.

    I’m also loving the things I’m hearing about Boykin; I think that everyone figures he’s a lock to make the team. In a perfect world, Boykin, Marsh, and Hanson make the team, while Harris gets a year on the PS to get his body in NFL shape. Right now it looks like the Eagles would have to cut Hanson if they want to keep Harris. Or do they go with 6 CBs? I’d hate so see either of those guys in Giants blue.

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 11:48 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    The Eagles can keep 6 CBs…if one of them is able to slide over and play Safety in an emergency. Hughes? Marsh? Hanson? Nnamdi?

  13. 13 Kevin_aka_RC said at 12:12 PM on August 1st, 2012:

    I don’t see how the Eagles keep more than 10 DBs. In fact, they’ll likely keep 9.

    CB: DRC/Nnamdi/Marsh/Boykin/Hanson
    S: Allen/Coleman/Jarrett-Otogwe/Anderson.

    We only keep Harris as the #10 DB if he plays well on special teams. 10 DBs = only 10 DL meaning Tapp is likely traded.

  14. 14 Thunder_lips said at 9:52 AM on August 1st, 2012:

    I think I read on the injury report that Harris had a pretty nasty looking hang-nail. We should probably put him on IR before final cuts.

  15. 15 Ben Aven said at 4:04 PM on August 1st, 2012:

    Mike Gibson played fullback in certain situations in Seattle as well.