Postgame Thoughts – PHI 24, PIT 23

Posted: August 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 58 Comments »

The starting offense was bad.  The blocking was sloppy.  There was no Jeremy Maclin (hamstring).  Worst of all, Mike Vick had a terrible pocket presence.  The play where he was sacked and the play where he hit his thumb on Kelce were both indications of that.  He had room to work with, but stayed too close to the line.  Should have simply moved a step back.  Just one step.  There is a difference in running out wide and not moving your feet just a bit to create space.  I don’t want to make too much of this, but it was discouraging to see.  More on it in the coming days.

The starting defense was all over the place.  They got excellent pressure on Big Ben.  There were some good individual moments.  There was also Jaiquawn Jarrett.  Oh boy.  He was awful on the first couple of drives.  I need to check the tape after that.  Jarrett missed tackles.  He took bad angles to the football.  It looked like the TD pass was his fault.  Not good.

All that said…let’s remember this was the preseason opener.  He’s got 3 weeks left to make amends.  If he plays well, he might keep a roster spot.  If he plays like that, they might have him deported to Siberia or even Kansas.  You don’t want to make too much of one game.  Had he looked great, would anyone be in favor of making him the starter?  No.  We’d want more evidence.  Works the same way here.  Still, extremely discouraging.  He wasn’t “not good”.  He was awful.  Next week will be Grand Canyon big for his future.

Quick Thoughts

* The DL was great.  We got pressure off the edge.  We got pressure up the middle.  The DL played on the other side of the LOS all night.  I said on Twitter that Derek Landri should pay the Steelers rent since he lived in their backfield.  Landri had a terrific game.  He created at least one sack (for Graham).  Derek had 2 TFLs and was disruptive all night long.

Phillip Hunt looked explosive off the edge.  He had 2 sacks and a FF.

Cedric Thornton was outstanding.  He played both UT and NT.  He had a sack and TFL.  He is making this team.

Vinny Curry led the team with 5 solo stops.  3 of them were TFLs.  He was disruptive on other plays.  Great start to his young career.

* Nick Foles had a good night.  He threw a pair of impressive TDs.  Before we go and have him challenging for Mike Kafka’s job, let’s see another game or two.  Kafka was up and down.  He threw a terrible INT.  A 3rd year QB cannot make that throw.  I still believe in Kafka as the backup, but he can’t repeat a mistake like that.

* Damaris Johnson looks like the real deal.  He is quick and elusive.  His speed continues to surprise me.  Dropped a pass, but was good at WR and very good as the PR.  I loved the move he used to lose the CB on the TD.  That was impressive.

* Dion Lewis got off to a real good start, 3 carries for 22 yards, but then hurt his hamstring.

* Bryce Brown is noticeably better than Chris Polk.  There were a couple of plays where Polk got the ball in space and defenders got to him very quickly and he gained minimal yards.  Brown had a 33-yard run.  He showed NFL speed.  Polk is good in many ways, but just lacks the speed to get away from defenders.

* I was disappointed in Brett Brackett.  He looked so quick/fast at Lehigh, but I didn’t see that same speed in the game.  Need to study his blocking.

* Mychal Kendricks looked like a rookie early on, but settled into the flow of things and then had a pair of impressive tackles.  I’m good with him.

* My son Brian Rolle was way too erratic early on.  He tried to dive on the RB, who cut the play outside.  Dumb mistake.  Brian was too amped up and trying to win the Super Bowl on every snap.  Gotta settle down.

* I was very happy with Alex Henery booming a 51-yard FG to win the game.  That was clutch.  That was long.  The kick was right down the middle.  Good sign.

* I loved the esprit de corps.  The whole night one wave of DL would celebrate with the next group as they came off.  Everyone was happy for everyone else.  DeSean was fired up about the win, hugging Big Red tightly.  Several guys ran back to Alex on the wining kick to mob him.  The outcome was meaningless, but guys wanted to see a win and the attitude/vibe was good.  That tells me this is a very healthy locker room.

* The biggest key to the night was no major injuries.  Vick scared us by hitting Kelce’s helmet.  His thumb is swollen, but not broken and the swelling isn’t all that bad.

58 Comments on “Postgame Thoughts – PHI 24, PIT 23”

  1. 1 Brandon Gleklen said at 12:35 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    When you take a look at the tape, pay attention to Polk’s blocking. He looked great from what I could see live. He separated himself from Brown in that aspect, I think.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 1:07 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Will do.

  3. 3 ICDogg said at 1:20 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    What do you make of DRC’s “defenseless receiver” penalty? Do you think the commish is going to come down hard on him?

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 1:44 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    The QB hit, you mean? If that one, I don’t think it will be huge. Did launch, but wasn’t going for the head. Stupid, but not malicious.

  5. 5 phillychuck said at 12:30 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    25K at least. Looked vicious and intentional to me. He launched high, maybe not at the head, but high. Liked the competitive spirit it showed, but we just can’t keep up being stupid. I think the stupid plays are a result of Reid not being enough of a disciplinarian, but that’s just a guess.

  6. 6 Michael Wolfe said at 1:22 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    I had to laugh at Baldinger saying that at least the Eagles LCB is hitting somebody and that Samuel never would have made that play. The fact is, Samuel has made that exact same kind of play multiple times over the years: a huge hit with bad form on a defenseless player that earns a 15-yard penalty.

  7. 7 Anders Jensen said at 4:06 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    you are 100% right. That tackle was so vintage Samuel

  8. 8 Brandon Gleklen said at 1:54 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Are you going to get All-22 for this game? If so, would love to know if you saw anything noticeable out of Phillip Thomas. He had that one great stop in the run game, but I have no idea how he did over the top.

  9. 9 Sam Lynch said at 9:53 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    I don’t think the NFL is going to do all 22 for preseason games.

  10. 10 SteveH said at 2:36 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Tommy, I hate to pile on your son but, there was also a running play early on where Rolle got completely wiped out by an OL, he just got engulfed. Worse yet, he got driven back into Ryans (who probably wasnt going to make the tackle anyhow, but was at least flowing towards the ball). Not good signs, not good signs.
    When I saw it live I had no idea who it was that flew up and smacked Vinny Curry, figures it would be Jarret. What the heck is going on with that kid? He didn’t even come close to hitting the runner, he put a great hit on our guy though.
    I think the most discouraging thing about tonight was the confusion in the secondary. It’s like last year all over again. I don’t understand why we still have guys standing around wondering who messed up after every 3rd pass play. We don’t even have the no TC excuse this year. Just very confusing.
    I was happy to see Brandon Graham get a sack. He should have had 2, but Derek Landri is blocked his way right into Grahams path. Would have put a real good lick on Big Ben I think if that hadn’t happened.

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 10:19 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Rolle was too hyped. Let’s hope he’s settled down for next week.

    I’m not sure how much confusion there was in the secondary outside of Jarrett. He was a huge problem.

  12. 12 Kevin_aka_RC said at 10:37 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    There was one play with Nnamdi was covering two guys on the left sideline. Obviously someone else messed up. Most of us assumed it was Jarrett.

  13. 13 Tyler Phillips said at 10:46 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Probably correctly, he was the one over there.

  14. 14 Mike Kaye said at 3:05 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    What’s the word on Demeco? What did you think?

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 10:20 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Sloppy at times, good on some plays. I’m not too worried.

  16. 16 Matthew Verhoog said at 7:50 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Umm, I missed the game, Is Kelce’s head ok?

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 10:21 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    I’m sure some of his OL mates would tell you Jason’s head has been messed up for years.

  18. 18 deg0ey said at 8:03 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    “It looked like the TD pass was his fault. Not good.”

    Maybe I don’t understand enough about what the scheme was supposed to do, but it looked to me like the TD pass was Juan’s fault. There was nobody anywhere near the slot receiver at the line; a quick hitch and he’d have had a chance to make a play because nobody would get to him in time.

    As for the guy that actually caught the pass, I don’t understand why they didn’t have Nnamdi jam him hard at the line – disrupt the timing and there’s a good chance that pass goes incomplete – I thought that’s why we got rid of Asante; so we didn’t have to play this scheme in the RZ.

  19. 19 Tyler Phillips said at 9:30 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    I also was concerned as to why we weren’t jamming there.

  20. 20 deg0ey said at 9:33 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Exactly – Bob Marley would be spinning in his grave.

  21. 21 ian_no_2 said at 12:39 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    You may have stumbled on a way to get Cliff Harris interested in learning press coverage.

  22. 22 PhillyFollower said at 2:39 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    But how could we be jamming them if we don’t know… if they’re coming?

  23. 23 TommyLawlor said at 10:22 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Some teams jam in the RZ. Others play zone, anticipating pick plays by the offense. The key is to not have a starting Safety totally confused.

  24. 24 Thorin McGee said at 11:15 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    The idea that every team always plays jam coverage at the goal line is one of the worse ones going around Philly right now. One, there’s a hundred way to beat the jam and get a receiver open if you know he’ll see jam coverage. Two, it makes your corners really easy to block in the run game.

    There’s always more than one way to skin an offense.

  25. 25 Tyler Phillips said at 12:20 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    Yes, but these RZ issues are years and 2 coordinators old now. Find something that works. The fact that the quick slant is used so effectively against us means that teams KNOW we aren’t pressing more often than we are. That slant they scored on was so wide open Big Ben could have underhanded it for a TD.

  26. 26 Anders Jensen said at 4:08 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    So you are overreacting based on a 2nd year safety there had a terrible night was out of position (Rolle was also beat badly and Jarrett got dragged alittle by Rolles uncovered man)

  27. 27 Tyler Phillips said at 9:07 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    Overreacting based on what exactly? I’m frustrated because this problem is years old, not because we gave up that 1 TD. Miscommunication, execution and bad playcalling in the RZ has hurt our D for years now. Its not an aberration when you are ranked with the dregs of the NFL in RZ TDs for 3 years running. That’s a trend not an accident. Other teams aren’t constantly exploiting us in the RZ because we are guessing wrong.

    Come on man.

  28. 28 Anders Jensen said at 10:03 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    My point was that 2 players there in my opinion shouldnt start at all in the NFL made a mistake, does not make the defensive play call wrong. Remember JJ often used zone in the RZ, differense was that when we had JJ, we also had a secondary lead by Dawkins together with very good to great players in Mikell, Samuel, Lito(when he wasnt injured), Lewis(Before he forgot to cover), Taylor, Vincent and Brown

  29. 29 fordy88 said at 8:15 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    I definitely would have liked to see less sloppy play by the both starting units, but if you look around the league last night, it’s not like we’re way behind other teams in the league. The little I saw of the Packers game they didn’t look real sharp, the Saints and Patriots game was a defensive one early on, and the Ravens D allowed two quick TDs. That’s the nice thing about preseason games. You have to show progress from week to week. We have an extended break to work on things before we go to NE. If we still look this sloppy next week I will start to worry more, but I think given the circumstances of this week I’m not real surprised how sloppy we looked.

    Also, it seems we came out of the game relatively healthy with no major injuries so that in itself is a win.

  30. 30 DamonL86 said at 9:50 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Barring Jarret working out exclusively with coach Klein for the next few weeks and finding his tackling fuel i don’t see him making this team.

  31. 31 mkivland said at 10:04 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    – Graham looked healthy, and good.
    – D. Johnson looks like a find
    – Loved the pressure from DL
    – First team secondary looked timid. If Jarrett’s missing his reads it’s up to both him and the other leaders in the secondary (Nnamdi/Coleman) to make 100% sure they all know the call when they break huddle. Basic stuff. Even for a first preseason game. Didn’t like seeing it. Also, would’ve liked to see Nnamdi do a bit of on-field coaching after that play instead of shaking head in disgust. Then again, perhaps they did do all the above and the Jarrett simply screwed u. Either way, discouraging.
    – I like Nick Foles.
    – Kafka’s arm is still as strong as mine.

  32. 32 Tyler Phillips said at 10:07 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Obviously its still early, but does anyone else think that if Rolle loses the starting job he could be cut? Hypothetically, Chaney would be the starter and Clayton has ST/sub-package value and Rolle doesn’t.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 10:23 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Doubtful. Eagles know Rolle can be an adequate starter. Clayton has yet to show that he can be a functional run defender. Interested to see his tape from last night. Haven’t gotten that far into the game.

  34. 34 Tyler Phillips said at 10:36 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    I’m just speculating based on the possibility that how bad Rolle looked last night carries over into the rest of the preseason. And of course the other guys would have to show something as well. But man he was disappointing last night.

  35. 35 Matthew Donaldson said at 10:46 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Do you think Akeem Jordan could fill in at either SAM or WILL? Wouldn’t that make it easier for them to hold onto Clayton if Rolle continues to struggle?

  36. 36 ian_no_2 said at 10:17 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    The Eagles should be looking around for help at LB, preferably someone who can play both WILL and SAM and potentially start in the playoffs. For me, getting two guys wasn’t enough, and they need to at least prepare for the possibility that DeMeco Ryans will disappoint. S and TE are other areas, but this is important and they have the cap space. It would be nice if ‘Casey stepped up’ but not when you’re favored by the computer to win the Super Bowl.

  37. 37 Michael Wolfe said at 10:36 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Any sense of how Antonio Dixon played? NT is notoriously tough to evaluate, especially live, but I was generally disappointed the few plays I made it a point to watch him. I’m starting to think the only way he makes this team is if Patterson starts out on the PUP list. Thoughts?

  38. 38 Kevin_aka_RC said at 10:41 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    I think Dixon gets traded. He’s the worst fit on the DL and other teams need big 2 gap pluggers.

    DE (6): Babin, Cole, Graham, Hunt, Curry, Tapp
    DT (5): Landri, Jenkins, Cox, Patterson, Thornton

    We may start the year with 10 under this scenario if Patterson comes back mid-season. 10DL is more than enough. Either way, trade Dixon after game #3.

  39. 39 Michael Wolfe said at 1:17 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    Trade sounds good to me. I can’t imagine we get more than a 6 or 7 for him, though, as other teams will know we don’t want him and he’s more than a year removed from acceptably good play. Maybe we can trade him straight up for some interior OL depth.

  40. 40 TommyLawlor said at 11:03 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Dixon did not impress me.

    Agree with Kevin that he could be trade material to a 2-gap team or someone that wants a run stuffer. If Ron Edwards doesn’t pan out for the Panthers, Dixon could be of interest.

  41. 41 Arby1 said at 10:45 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Agreed that pocket awareness continues to elude Vick. But I am concerned that Kafka, who is smart and acceptably capable, doesn’t exude leadership or cockiness, in a way that our other QB’s do. MM compared him to Garcia the other day. I would take that in a heartbeat, but I haven’t seen it yet. IMHO.

  42. 42 Jeffrey Stover said at 10:46 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    I also thought Hansen played like someone planning on keeping their starting nickel back job! His coverage and tackling were on point! I really love the hit (and wrap up tackle) he put on that receiver in the first steelers drive. That was probably the biggest hit of the night!

  43. 43 TommyLawlor said at 11:04 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Hanson was good. I expect nothing less from a man nicknamed MmmBop.

  44. 44 Chris said at 11:08 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy,

    I know some people are making a big deal about Damaris Johnson starting over McNutt but couldn’t that have simply been because he has been running as a backup on Maclin’s side or do you think this shows he is ahead of McNutt and Hall?

  45. 45 Brandon Schlosser said at 11:10 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    Really like what I saw out of Foles as far as manipulating the space within the pocket. Didnt look like a rookie going through reads, keeping his head up, and putting excellent touch on the ball. I know it was against scrubs but if he keeps this up we may have a nice third round steal.

  46. 46 TheRogerPodacter said at 11:35 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    tommy, what the heck happened on third down?
    apparently we went 1 for 11 on third down for the game… thats just… pathetic!

  47. 47 Brandon Schlosser said at 12:06 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    From what i could see it was a lot of linebackers not getting off of blocks

  48. 48 FrenchEagles said at 11:52 AM on August 10th, 2012:

    esprit de corps”. I love your french inclusions!

  49. 49 Arby1 said at 2:03 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    He’s also been known to comment on players attire as ‘tres chic’.

  50. 50 ToastJenkins said at 1:27 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    Tommy would love to get your take on D Bell’s performance at LT. I must admit i’m really concerned…every time i focused on him i saw poor play

  51. 51 Ben Hert said at 1:30 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    Bad news Tommy.

    Your #1 DB target next season was kicked off the team today. Janoris Jenkins 2.0?

  52. 52 D3FB said at 2:15 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    This is actually great news. Honey Badger is a good not great corner as evidenced by the national championship game. He is however a hell of a playmaker and Tommy has mentioned in the past that he believes that the best use for him is as an undersized Bob Sanders type playmaking safety.

  53. 53 Anders Jensen said at 5:41 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    I would love a back field of Allen+Honey Badger.

  54. 54 Scott J said at 1:38 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    This was a preseason opener for the Steelers too, but their starters looked pretty good. Enough excuses already.

  55. 55 Anders Jensen said at 3:48 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    The only thing working for the Steelers starting offense was Big Ben playing healthy and was able to use his size to his advantage. On defense the Steelers showed alot of fire zone blitz looks and I really doubt that the Eagles offense had prepared them self for that (It does not help that Vick have never been really good at beating the blitz outside of scrambling)

  56. 56 Scott J said at 6:04 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    If Vick wasn’t taken out, he probably would have thrown a pick and would have had his usual trifecta. Sack, pick, and injury.

  57. 57 austinfan said at 6:52 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    Got to review the game today and rewind, some observations:

    Kafka was less to blame on that interception than I first thought. He rolled right, but Kelly was slow to get out and cut off the OLB, when Kafka turned and looked back, what I think he saw was Brown pretending to block and Vandervelde trying to block Woods, who had looped around on a stunt. When Kafka started releasing the throw, Brown was turning to position himself to catch the ball and Vandervelde was being run over by Woods. As the ball was in the air, Woods went from the LOS to about 3 yards into the backfield, right in the path of the pass. So to me, Kafka would have had to had amazing reaction time to see that Vandervelde was being rag dolled and the DT was going to penetrate the backfield like a Panzer division through the French lines. The play actually would have worked if Vandervelde put up more resistance than Belgium.

    Foles started out pretty much the way Kafka ended his first two series, a lot of quick drops and short passes – I think that was the game plan for each QB to start, problem was Vick and Kafka just didn’t stay on the field to get to the rest of the offense.

    Damarius Johnson is ultra quick, but hears footsteps.

    It’s going to be really hard to cut/trade any of the DL, Dixon is a beast against the run, Thornton is a beast period, Graham looks like a more physically mature version of his rookie self, Hunt is bottled lightning, Curry is a find, and Tapp merely gets the job done. Your boy Landri needs to open his eyes when he’s pass rushing, however, missed Big Ben from two feet away.

    Brackett looked ok on the one run block I saw, moved his guy but struggled to sustain to 5 mississippi. But dropped a “my hands, my hands” pass and looked slower than TC highlights, maybe he has the dreaded “dead legs.”

    Ford got a holding call on a run block, a no-no for a blocking TE.

    Hamler is a NFL WR, not a starter but the subpackage guy like Avant, problem is we already have an Avant. Hopefully we can stash him on the PS.

    Dunlap is actually a pretty good OT, and Kelly played much better than I expected. Vandervelde needs to hit the weight room, struggled with a number of blocks, though looked better in the 3Q as a center than a OG.

    Clayton is still a wimp, and Matthews is still not a NFL caliber MLB. Jordan has the 5th spot locked.

    Jarrett is horrible, not just the bad angles and mistakes, but he looks hesitant and scared, a young aggressive SS should be flying to the ball, you can live with mistakes of aggression, but if you’re indecisive in run support, find another profession.

    Did Otagwe play? Did it matter?

  58. 58 phillychuck said at 7:36 PM on August 10th, 2012:

    Ford’s hold is really not his fault–the run play was set to go inside and Brown turned it out. Ford was already engaged with the outside player, had no idea the run was going outside, so he didn’t disengage. Officials look closely at that edge block on an outside cut…he really barely impeded the LB.