OL Shakeup

Posted: November 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 28 Comments »

Danny Watkins is scheduled to play on Sunday.  I know he’s got his share of detractors (and certainly deserves a lot of that), but he was a functional RG.  He made some good blocks, especially in the run game.  His pass protection continues to be an adventure.  When he gets his hands cleanly on a rusher, he wins.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often enough.  Quick, athletic rushers give him fits.  Stunts give him issues.  In a fantasy world, the time off would help Danny to see things better and improve his ability to handle stunts and blitzes…but don’t hold your breath.

The new OL is going to be:  Dunlap – Mathis – Reynolds – Watkins – Kelly

Why go with this group?

First, it gets Demetress Bell off the field.  He has been a total disaster this year.  Part of it is learning Howard Mudd’s system.  That’s no excuse for all the missed blocks due to sheer confusion.  Bell is playing with no confidence.

Dunlap moves back to LT.  Some people are confused on why this is good since he was so awful last week on the right side.  Dunlap is at home at LT.  Played there for 4 years at Auburn.  Most of his NFL playing time is at LT.  I would bet that the majority of his practice time is at LT.  All of this experience means King is likely to be more comfortable on that side.  He’s more relaxed.  He’s more confident.  He had 2 hands to the face penalties vs DAL.  I don’t recall him having any of those penalties while playing LT this year.  Could be that at LT he is much better with his hands because of experience.

Dennis Kelly at RT is the mystery part of all this.  He played there in the summer and showed promise.  He struggled at RG the last 2 weeks.  The problems weren’t physical.  Kelly was lost at times.  He made a nice pull on the shovel pass a couple of weeks back, but then failed to block anyone.  Looked like he was just confused on who to block.  Playing OG does require more movement.  Also, you have the C to one side and an OT to the other.  You must communicate with both to know what to do.  At OT you only have to talk to the G beside you.  The TE will stay in to block at times, but that’s not quite the same thing.

Dennis is athletic enough to be a good pass blocker.  He must work on technique and learning how to do the little things, but the only way to do that is play, practice, and play some more.  Going up against Ryan Kerrigan will be a major challenge, but the two of them faced off at Purdue for a couple of years so that will give Dennis an idea of how good his primary foe is.

Dennis may help in the run game.  The stretch play requires the OT to get off the ball quickly and control the defender across from him.  Dunlap did a terrible job at this.  Dennis should be quicker off the ball.  He’ll play with better leverage, which is critical when trying to run block.

Reynolds has made progress, but is just a limited player.  Evan Mathis is our lone good OL right now.  Unfortunately, he’s not a dominant type.  He does his job well, but isn’t the kind of guy you run behind because he’ll collapse whatever defender is in front of him.

I can’t tell you that the OL is going to suddenly be good.  I’d settle for adequate.  I do like this group better.  We’ll see on Sunday if this is the right combination of backups and they can do a better job of controlling the LOS.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama had some funny thoughts on the Eagles and their chances the rest of the year:

There is almost no reason for optimism left for this team, other than the notion that the rest of the NFC East isn’t good (or in the Giants’ case, not good lately).  I had the Eagles’ obituary written (in my head, anyway), but I just can’t pull the plug yet.  Maybe I’m just curious to see Nick Foles start and finish a game.  I realize that’s that equivalent of saying “Mom’s meatloaf is terrible, but this time she’s making it with a different kind of ketchup.”  Still, I’m interested to see what the kid has in him.

Somebody tell Mother Bama that Jimmy doesn’t like her meatloaf. I bet she kicks his butt.

* * * * *

RG3and6 told the media that the Eagles showed a lot of interest in him.  They did like him quite a bit.  This is interesting, kind of.  Andy Reid likes QBs even more than he likes cheeseburgers.  The Eagles liked Andrew Luck.  And Ryan Tannehill.  And Russell Wilson.  Last year they liked Christian Ponder.  I’m sure they loved Cam Newton.  They were high on Sam Bradford back in 2010.  And so on.

Reid had a franchise QB in Donovan McNabb.  You can bet he wanted to get another young franchise QB to develop.  Kolb wasn’t on that level.  Vick had the talent, but was older and has some habits that will drive any coach crazy.

It would really only be news if Reid didn’t like RG3and6.


28 Comments on “OL Shakeup”

  1. 1 Steag209 said at 12:06 AM on November 16th, 2012:

    I really hope we win on Sunday more for the fact that then you can call him RG3and7

  2. 2 SteveH said at 12:51 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    Best would be if at the end of the year we can call him RG3and13. Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?

  3. 3 P_P_K said at 8:48 AM on November 16th, 2012:

    If the O-line is adequate, and Marty & Andy call a balanced game, Foles could get off to a great start. The Redskins don’t have a pass rush and their secondary stinks. This could be a great debut for NIck. If he doesn’t play well, we’ll have yet another qb controversy.

    Speaking of qbs, am I the only one who doesn’t get the idea that Reid is some kind of quarterback-whisperer? Why is there this notion that he’s so skilled at developing quarterbacks? Donovan was a stud coming out of college and lived up to his potential. I think he would have played well under and coach. For that matter, under a different coach he might have had quality receivers to throw to and he could be wearing a ring or two right now.

    Besides McNabb, Reid has had his paws on Kolb, Kafka, Vick and, now, Foles. He didn’t accomplish much with these first three. Let’s hope Nick is the real deal.

  4. 4 Ark87 said at 11:41 AM on November 16th, 2012:

    I think the controversy begins if he does well. If he is lousy he gets benched and vick steps in when he gets healthy, drama-free. If he is lousy we as fans go into crisis mode but it will make for an easy decision as far as Reid is concerned.

  5. 5 Anders said at 12:40 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    Lets say Foles is medicore (like 16-22, 220 yards for 1td and 1 int and 2 sacks) but the Eagles offense score over 30+ points? That gives the Eagles a big dilemma

  6. 6 Tom33 said at 1:09 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    If he is mediocre and they win he should keep starting. #7 has been <=mediocre and the team has been losing. Also, those #'s you show – I'd take them in a heartbeat – it would mean they ran the ball A LOT and 10 YPA would be tremendous.

  7. 7 Ark87 said at 2:52 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    Big time. Reid doesn’t like for people to lose their jobs to injury. But if the hand is hot enough….It would be ironic? appropriate? for Vick to lose his job to Injury since he got his job off an opportunity created by injury.

    I agree with Tom that if we win on a mediocre-ok Foles performance that we should then stick with Foles. But I think Andy will got back to Vick short of an excellent game by Foles.

  8. 8 Anders said at 3:58 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    I dont think so, if the offense scores around 30 points, it will be a season high. I dont care if Foles is a rookie, if he can lead the offense to more points, he should play.

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 4:19 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    I totally agree with you. I’m just not so sure Big Red shares our opinion. The man has made a living of confounding fans.

  10. 10 Anders said at 4:49 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    He did bench Kolb back in 2010. I think he will do it again. This time his job is on the line.

  11. 11 A_T_G said at 3:41 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    I think Andy’s rep comes from the fact that QBs have been better here than when they went elsewhere.

  12. 12 austinfan said at 9:39 AM on November 16th, 2012:

    The most important factor with the OL is building depth for next year. I doubt whoever comes in is going to move to a man blocking system and have to replace Mathis and Kelce as well as rebuild the defense, so if Watkins and Kelly can show something down the stretch, they could be in very good shape for 2013. I just want Kelly to show he can step in for Herremans if Todd is falling off the cliff. I’d also like to see Menkin get on the field before the end of the season, though not sure where. Wonder if Jake Scott can handle LT in a pinch? If Kelly and Menkin are backups with real upside, you’re 7 deep next year and drafting in the middle rounds for projects to park on the bench, one problem solved.

    A key for next season is to find out what they have with guys like Kelly, Curry and Marsh, so a new HC and Howie can rebuild quickly without having to replace 20 players in one season. I want a Raven bounce back, not a Ram mired in the muck rebuilding process.

  13. 13 Mac said at 10:24 AM on November 16th, 2012:

    I approve this message. I read an article that got me bummed the other day… dude was saying he thinks the upcoming draft class is weak at OT and CB which is where we need a blue chipper in my opinion. I don’t want to have to count on Todd and Jason being 100% but I have a gut feeling Peters will be able to play though not as dynamic. I would love to have a stud at RT to get us back to the bookend days. Between Herremans, Kelce, Mathis, Watkins the interior should be ok…

    But like you said hopefully we can see what we have in Menkin and Kelly.

  14. 14 A_T_G said at 3:38 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    If our current OT situation does not qualify for being in a pinch, heaven help us if we ever are.

  15. 15 Tom33 said at 9:57 AM on November 16th, 2012:

    I’m with Jimmy – for some reason I can’t get rid of the hope that this team can still turn it around and sneak in to the playoffs. There is no logical reason for this, other than I guess that’s the nature of being a fan. When you look at their last 7 games, there isn’t one that they can’t/shouldn’t win. That said, based on the first 9, I don’t know why I think they should win any of them. But I do.

    I think I need help.

  16. 16 Sb2bowl said at 3:06 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    You don’t need help; the Eagles usually have one good “run” in them per year. This year it has to be 7 games, but you never know- especially looking at our remaining schedule.
    I don’t think it’ll happen, but maybe?

  17. 17 ACViking said at 10:43 AM on November 16th, 2012:


    Two questions.

    1. Is there a o-line scheme, within a broader offensive design/philosophy, that would maximize Danny Watkins’ assets as a guard and minimize the weaknesses he’s shown since Kelce’s injury. (Sounds like putting Kelce back in will help. But I’m wondering if Watkins’ game can be upgraded just via the o-line scheme.)

    2. Is there a defensive position coach, and former D-coordinator, languishing on some NFL team who’s about 55 years old and has seen everything under the sun (and maybe played QB in college too). The kind of old-hand that Jim Johnson was when Reid picked him to be the Eagles’ D.C.

    Whether it’s Reid or not next season, it’d be great to have a savvy and experienced DC again. Maybe Bowles turns it around this year. Maybe not. Just wondering though.

  18. 18 Anders said at 12:53 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    Im not Tommy, but a more run heavy scheme seems to fit him more, because Watkins is really good in the run game, its his pass blocking there needs work

  19. 19 Brett Smith said at 12:26 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    I hope all the positive posts can turn around my negativity… As of now I am still done. I am tired of mediocre and drinking heavily to just suffer through the game.

    Maybe we get lucky with the next coach and are competitive right away.

    I have a feeling that if Roseman stays I will not get what I want.

    Dear Santa,

    For Christmas I would like a run first play action bomb throwing smash mouth offense with a bone crushing turnover machine 46 defense.

    If not can I just get something different as I am tired of the gold standard.
    Tired of Losing.

  20. 20 xeynon said at 1:44 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    Question: is there a single team that wins in today’s NFL playing either a run-first smash offense or a “46” defense? Last I checked it has become more and more a passing league and those kinds of offenses can’t put up enough points to compete with elite opposing offenses while those kinds of defenses get torched by elite quarterbacks.

    I’m tired of Reid too, but no thanks to a Rex Ryan-type as his replacement.

  21. 21 Brett Smith said at 3:22 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    You are right. I was kind of kidding and referring to the old Buddy Ryan teams. The idea was the D would win the game if the offense could score a touchdown. We would run and run then Randall would chuck one down the field… you get the jest.

    I am pretty sure that the Steelers, 49rs, and maybe the Seahawks are “Run First” and are doing ok with some version of chuck and duck.

    I am not a fan of Rex or his silly antics and Baltimore continues to prove that him and his silly brother are completely OVERRATED as DCs.

    However Fisher seems to have a good handle on the 46 D. I was thinking of something along the lines of what Jeff Fisher is
    running in STL but it is too early in that programs history to see any
    good results.

    I just want a tough team. I think I am tired of the finesse teams of recent years.

    If we get Chip Kelly things might be more like they are now than anyone wants to admit. He is not a D first guy.

  22. 22 A_T_G said at 3:34 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    It isn’t a perfect fit, but SF is close. Run heavy and strong and tough on D, if not a 46. But I get what you are saying too. I like old Corvettes, but I wouldn’t want to race against a modern one in an old Stingray.

  23. 23 Arby1 said at 1:19 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    Mama Bama meatloaf > Mama Deitz lunchmeat

  24. 24 Ark87 said at 2:47 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    We have Marvin McNutt playing the scout role of RG3….we’re so boned….can’t even….begin to……The slower Big-bodied receiver??? Now I know why our guys look so damn surprised when teams stomp us. We probably had Nick Cole come in to simulate Demarcus Ware coming off the edge on the scout team…gonna take a few moments for this wave of depression to blow by hahaha

  25. 25 A_T_G said at 3:09 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    To be fair, they are roughly the same age and have almost the exact same number of capital letters in their names.

  26. 26 Ark87 said at 3:15 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    hmmmm…I did overlook this…hope is restored!

  27. 27 A_T_G said at 3:45 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    And I know what you are thinking, if you count those Roman Numerals as three capital I’s… but you do what you can on the scout team; guys with 6 capitals just don’t come around that often.

  28. 28 Ark87 said at 3:46 PM on November 16th, 2012:

    I was actually wondering what a lowercase 3 looks like: decided on iii