The 3-4 Draft Theory

Posted: February 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 86 Comments »

I think about the draft a lot.  If you knew how much, I’d probably be banished to a padded white room where the general public would not have to fear me.  I love to think about scenarios and theories.  Some are sound, some nuts.  Part of the fun is in thinking about things in a variety of ways.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the move to the 4-3 Under defense.  We need a SAM.  We need depth for the DL spots.  We might need depth at ILB.  And we still need DBs and OL help.  An odd thought occurred to me.  Chip Kelly and Bill Davis talk about using the current roster the best way they can.  What if we don’t shift to the 4-3 Under this year, but instead just run a 3-4?

This isn’t an ideal solution, but you could almost make the transition with just the current guys.

OLB – Trent Cole … Vinny Curry

DE – Fletcher Cox … Ronnie Cameron

ILB – Mychal Kendricks … Casey Matthews

NT – Antonio Dixon … Mike Patterson

ILB  – DeMeco Ryans … Jamar Chaney

DE – Cedric Thornton

OLB – Brandon Graham … Phillip Hunt

The reason you would do this?  It would allow you to spend the 2013 draft fixing the OL and secondary.  There are a lot of good O-linemen in this draft.  There are a lot of good CBs and Safeties.  What were the 2 worst units on the 2012 Eagles?  The OL and secondary.

You could go:

1 – CB

2 – OT/OG

3 – S

4 – OT / OG

5 – CB

The key, obviously, is still to pick the right players.  Just loading up at positions isn’t good enough.  You must draft well.

By doing this you would add talent to the secondary and youth/depth to the O-line.  You would also buy some time in making evaluations on what to do with the defense.  Does Trent Cole need to be replaced?  Is Brandon Graham a player you want to keep and build around?  Is Vinny Curry a possiblity at SAM or is he a Predator?  Can Cedric Thornton be a good starter?

There are good OLB/DE types in almost every draft class.  OL/DBs are positions where you can run hot and cold.  This is the best Safety class in a while.  There are lots of good CBs.  This is the most athletic OT class I can remember (or maybe ever).   Play to the strengths of the draft, especially since they match up with the areas on the team that need the most help.

The picks/positions listed above are not written in stone.  That’s just one possibility.  The team has an idea if there should be players in those draft spots that they like and play those positions.  The larger point is to build a strategy of who/what to draft.  If a highly rated player (say LB or DL) falls, grab him.  Don’t pass up talent.

But do have a specific idea of what you want to do.

* * * * *

Geoff Mosher has a report up that the Eagles could target CB Sean Smith.  The key note is that they only want him if the price is right.  The Eagles don’t want to break the bank for anyone this year.  The Eagles handed out mega-deals to Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel in the last 5 years.  They got mixed results.  Smith is younger than them and is the kind of big DB that Bill Davis and DBs coach John Lovett say they want, but I think the Eagles will be hesitant to overpay free agents after the 2011 situation.

Landing Smith would give the Eagles even more freedom in the draft.

* * * * *

I wasn’t as focused on the Eagles in regard to today’s Combine workouts.  I don’t see the team taking a RB early.  I don’t see a WR early.  A few of you surprised me with Cordarelle Patterson questions.  No chance the Eagles go for a WR at #4 or move back to add a WR.  Bad value.

We’re frustrated with Jeremy Maclin, but let’s see what Chip Kelly and the new staff can do with him.  Mac has talent.  He needs someone to push him.  Kelly might be just the guy.  DeSean Jackson is still a major weapon.  I hope Chip uses him better.

We don’t yet know what Chip wants at WR, but I think he’ll like big guys.  That could help Riley Cooper, Marvin McNutt, and BJ Cunningham. And we still have Damaris Johnson here as a smaller guy who can make plays.

I’m open to the Eagles taking a big WR late.  I’m just not sure who I want.  I did think Ryan Spadola from Lehigh was interesting.  He’s 6-1, 204 and ran pretty well.  I’ve not watched a lick of tape on him.  Rodney Smith from Florida State has great measurables.  He flashed at the Shrine Game.  There are several other guys that were interesting.  The key is to find someone you think can be had late.

One RB that caught my eye was Jawan Jamison from Rutgers.  He’s only 5-7, 203, but Chip seemed to like having smaller RBs when at Oregon.  Not sure if that will be the case.

What about QBs?  Geno Smith showed good athletic ability, but that shouldn’t have been a huge surprise.  He isn’t a runner, but that’s by design…not lack of ability.  I did think he threw well and had an impressive day.  I’m still not interested in him for the Eagles.

Nothing I saw today made me change my mind on any of these QBs.  Ryan Nassib has grown on me, but I just can’t say I’d like to commit to him long term as the future of the franchise.  I’m not just looking for a starting QB.  I’m looking for a starter that can play at a high level and lead this team to big time success.

I am fascinated by Matt Scott as a late round project.

* * * * *

I wrote up notes on the OL and TEs here.

David Syvertsen posted some notes on risk/reward players, including the Honey Badger.

Quick Combine note…Star Lotulelei will not work out.  The medical tests revealed some issue with his heart.  The NFL wants Star to meet with his doctor before working him out.  This could be a big deal or something simple to fix.  We’ll just have to wait and see.


86 Comments on “The 3-4 Draft Theory”

  1. 1 micksick said at 6:30 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    we need another TE. Someone who can high point the ball. Eifert would would be super dope.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 8:42 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Eifert is great at that. I am curious to see if Evan Moore can find a role on this team.

  3. 3 austinfan said at 12:07 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    You are kidding, right? Moore’s a scrub. After you’ve been in the league for a number of years, and had shots at substantial PT and couldn’t do anything with it, well . . .

    Now Carrier, there’s a kid with some upside if he can figure out how to translate his great athleticism to the football field.

  4. 4 D3Keith said at 1:18 AM on February 26th, 2013:

    I’m rooting for both my D3 boys on the Birds, Carrier and Menkin. I like that D3 = low expectations so they get time to develop.

  5. 5 micksick said at 12:26 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    you think chase coffman has any upside left?

  6. 6 D3Keith said at 6:31 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    I’d be pretty interested in Sean Smith — although a report that someone could be targeted is pretty unconvincing, weak language.

    Smith we liked coming out, and he’s big, and I really haven’t seen Howie agree to too many deals that were perceived as bad at the time they were signed. Obviously NA’s deal is a problem now, but with Smith in, and definitive decisions made on NA and DRC, they can go into the draft with that much more flexibility. I love the idea of letting the draft come to them instead of having to force it because of team needs.

    Hopefully the 2011 free agency spree does not deter them from spending this year. At the time, almost all of those deals were signed they were value pickups. Not all of those guys panned out or delivered, but only one of the deals is a weight around our current necks. Everyone from Brown to Young to Babin to Ryan Harris isn’t costing us anything now, and in the process, they did hit a winner on Evan Mathis, and perhaps Cullen Jenkins.

    You’re going to strike out some, or hit some dribblers through the infield, but you never hit that homer unless you swing. I like the idea of the team bringing in proven talents on low-risk deals. I’m not saying there’s nothing they can learn from 2011 — you still want to have a team identity that comes from within the building, and the draft, that free agent additions can’t ruin — but the fact that 2011 seemed great at the time and ended up being mostly a letdown doesn’t mean they can’t make smart pickups in 2013.

  7. 7 GvilleEagleFan said at 7:11 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    This story from a Miami beat writer sounds a little too much like it could be talking about DRC for me to be comfortable with Smith. If we sign someone like that, why not DRC?

  8. 8 austinfan said at 7:36 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Yep. You never overpay for second tier talent.
    Smith might actually be better suited to safety, but because safeties are underpaid, you can’t get a guy to move there.

  9. 9 Michael Jorden said at 8:43 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    I’d be more interested in Keenan Lewis, but it depends on what happens in the next few weeks.

  10. 10 holeplug said at 8:18 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    “According to, Smith yielded more combined first downs and touchdowns than any other NFL cornerback. That number is a whopping 46.”

    Yeesh. DoNotWant

  11. 11 SleepingDuck said at 10:46 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    You should keep in mind that they graded King Dunlap as a good offensive tackle this past year. I also feel that they act stuck up just because they have “statistics”.

  12. 12 austinfan said at 12:06 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    Actually, Dunlap was a good pass blocking LT toward the end of the year. Totally lost at RT, which isn’t surprising. But he’s actually been a solid reserve OL for a couple years. He’s got to be better than at least a half dozen starters at LT around the league.

  13. 13 SleepingDuck said at 3:12 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    He had the 2nd most penalties on the team with 10 for 70 yards. The guy was liability all season. I remember this one particular drive where he had back to back penalties and still shocked to see when he got his number called. In one of the Dallas games, he was suppose to go and block a CB on a run play with no one between him and CB, but for whatever reason he just stops in his tracks. I don’t want a player who is liability and is also a player who isn’t willing to do his job.

    Credit to Jimmy for the Dunlap non-block

  14. 14 RC5000 said at 11:08 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Rather take my chances overpaying DRC another year than go for Smith. They should look at other lesser names.

  15. 15 D3Keith said at 8:30 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    If he didn’t have warts, he wouldn’t be available in free agency. And neither would DRC for that matter.

    You gotta be realistic here, the chances of adding an awesome polished corner at a bargain basement price is next to none. Last time somebody did that, it was us, and look how that turned out. (ignores Texans/Joseph deal to make argument sound better)

  16. 16 GvilleEagleFan said at 8:54 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    My issue is that we know DRC is a special athlete if not a consistent football player. As long as our two options are both somewhat inconsistent players, why not take the better athlete? The obvious answer would be price, but it doesn’t sound like Smith is willing to come cheap and we don’t have the allure of a playoff-ready team or a famous DC that might entice him to take a lesser salary.

  17. 17 RC5000 said at 11:06 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Smith scares me a lot more than DRC. I’ve heard too many people that watch the Fins all the time say DRC is better.

  18. 18 D3Keith said at 1:17 AM on February 26th, 2013:

    I sit next to a fins fan at work and he said he likes Smith but thinks he hasn’t tapped all his talent and that they’re gonna lose him in FA … and it just reminded me of DRC.

    On second thought, perhaps we need neither of these guys, especially at overpay status. I was just thinking “big corner” and liking him when he came out.

  19. 19 GvilleEagleFan said at 6:52 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Do you see Dion Jordan as a player that could be “special” as a 4-3 under SAM? I like the logic you laid out on the podcast as drafting him as a ‘counter’ to RGIII, Gronk and Graham as they’re all players that have a good shot of standing in the way of an Eagles Super Bowl win. I ask because I don’t see much non-SEC football and don’t know how representative his highlight vids are.

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 8:41 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    I like Dion a lot. The question is how much the Eagles like him and if they think he’s special. I’m fine with him at #4, assuming there are no medical red flags.

  21. 21 grover said at 10:33 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    You mean other than the torn labrum?

  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 11:55 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Right. That should get fixed pretty normally. Look for any long term problems

  23. 23 T_S_O_P said at 11:34 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    Would he have to set the edge as a SAM if he played in the Under?

  24. 24 Anders said at 6:55 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Tommy, remember the OL FA class is also pretty deep and the CB FA class also got some depth

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 8:36 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Your’re right, but I don’t think the Eagles will be very active in FA. I could see us bringing in 1 or 2 starting DBs. Still need more help.

  26. 26 ian_no_2 said at 7:02 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    I agree with the first part as it seems appropriate to take the risk at fitting in the in house talent to new positions, not taking an OLB unless it’s a great value, except that the NTs at 35 are a strength of the draft and it’s unlikely Dixon and Patterson will be a solution going forward there. Also, Lotulelei (if healthy) is a big upgrade over Thornton, and both can rotate in. I liked the way Curtis Marsh played down the stretch.

  27. 27 D3Keith said at 7:42 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Yeah I don’t think we’re giving the in-house corners any credit. Dominant would be nice, but capable works, especially if the offense carries the team as expected.

    Maybe they don’t *have* to expend great resources on a corner this year because there are a number of guys in house that we’ve yet to see what they can do with a full opportunity, and we could recycle either of those warm bodies that started last year if we had to.

    Of course if someone ideal is available in FA and the draft, then get them, but defenses aren’t often rebuilt in one fell swoop.

  28. 28 ian_no_2 said at 8:21 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    If you can get good value for a corner or safety in the draft, go for it, but there’s no reason to reach in any area.

  29. 29 Anders said at 7:08 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Also watching Kyle Long reminds me of Jon Runyan. He really got that nasty streak

  30. 30 TommyLawlor said at 8:39 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    That part of his game is one reason I like him so much.

  31. 31 Dan said at 3:16 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Super nerdy thing I do with a bunch of buddies. A “recruit” draft. 25 guys, we draft 25 rounds of HS seniors. A full 11 on O/D and 6 additional guys at any spot that we’re just interested in tracking.

    Anyhow, I took Kyle Long last year based on the very limited tape I saw for this very reason. He’s a mean, mean football player.

  32. 32 Dan said at 3:51 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    I do this super nerdy “recruit draft” with 25 other guys every year. We draft 25 rounds, 11 O/11 D, plus 6 other supplemental picks of guys we’re just interested in following.

    I took Kyle Long last year for this very reason, though the tape was very limited. He’s just a mean football player.

  33. 33 grover said at 7:10 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    The problem with jumping straight to a 3-4 is that you force either Cole or Graham into playing coverage. The 4-3 Under necessitates finding a SAM… but the reality is the Eagles need to find an OLB that can cover and control the edge regardless of scheme.

  34. 34 TommyLawlor said at 7:16 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Both OLBs would need to cover some, but not with any great regularity. Would not be ideal, but can be done.

  35. 35 austinfan said at 7:40 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Cole can’t cover at all, especially geriatric Cole.
    Graham might have been able to play SLB before his knee injury, but he lacks the lateral agility now. Both are only suited to the predator role.

    Curry is the only credible candidate for SLB.

    See how free agency plays out, if you add Desmond Bryant, no need for a DE, if you add a SLB, ditto. But you have to be honest about what your current players can and cannot do. Dixon is not a starting NT, and Patterson is a bad fit as a 3-4 NT. Chaney is not the guy you want replacing Ryans in a scheme where the MLB is not protected.

    Nor would it make sense to add two OL early, you already have Kelly, Kelce and Menkin, add one OL early and then load up late in the draft on prospects. Some nice guards will fall to our late round picks.

  36. 36 D3Keith said at 8:34 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    I actually kind of agree here.

    Although it’s risky to bank on Peters, Herremans and Kelce being healthy, and Watkins or Kelly being good enough to start in the new scheme, it’s not absurd to think 3 out of 5, plus Mathis leaves you with a need for only one OL …

    If it’s an OL-strong draft, take OL. If OL is the best value when it’s time to pick, take OL. But if they can move around and fix up the defense in one offseason, or at least get young and give it some hope, we can’t be mad at that.

    We really need free agency to arrive to fill in more puzzle pieces.

  37. 37 deg0ey said at 12:27 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    I wonder whether Desmond Bryant getting arrested yesterday makes a difference to anything?

    I was kinda hoping for him and Dion Jordan to basically fix the front 7 for now and then load up on OL and DBs in the rest of the draft.

  38. 38 grover said at 7:55 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Unless they’re in a blitz at least 1 OLB will have pass coverage responsibilities every snap. So if the Eagles blitz half the time while in a base 3-4 formation that still leaves a former DE dropping back into coverage the other 50% of the time.

  39. 39 TommyLawlor said at 8:39 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    The 3-4 rushes both OLBs on a regular basis.

  40. 40 grover said at 11:17 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    A 4 man rush that includes both OLBs means one of Cox/Dixon/Thornton have to drop back into coverage. I consider that an even worse idea than asking one of Cole/Graham to play coverage.

  41. 41 Justin Sengstock said at 12:51 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    It doesn’t have to. You could go for just a single high safety in coverage, with the other safety having a man assignment. If we could actually get a centerfielder worth a damn, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

  42. 42 A_T_G said at 7:18 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    “This is the most athletic OT class I can remember (or maybe ever).”

    AC Viking? Paging AC Viking. You have a prompt on line 1.

  43. 43 phillychuck said at 8:48 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    I’ve seen pretty much every game Ryan Spadola has played for Lehigh the last two years. I would have said after the 2011 season that he would have been a great sleeper pick, but he really had a pretty awful senior year. Part of that was sickness and minor injuries, but I also think part of it was not adjusting to the opposition changing the way they played him. He seemed not to be as aggressive physically as he was as a junior. If he’s fully recovered I’d consider him as a UDFA signing, but I wouldn’t spend a draft pick on him.

  44. 44 TommyLawlor said at 10:03 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    I think they said he had mono this year.

  45. 45 Pitmanite said at 8:56 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    God help us if we’re running out that group listed above. I highly doubt it happens, but if it does at least we’ll be getting another top 10 pick in 2014. 🙂

  46. 46 TommyLawlor said at 11:59 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Disagree. If the offense scores some points, that group above can be competitive. And obviously we’d try to upgrade NT somehow while also looking for an OLB somewhere.

  47. 47 D3Keith said at 10:06 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Whoa word in the office is that Alex Smith just got dealt from the 49ers to the Chiefs.

    So this knocks out the main suitor for Foles.

    (Scoop by everyone’s boy, LaCanfora)

  48. 48 xlGmanlx said at 10:09 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Do you see EJ Manuel making it out of the 2nd round?

  49. 49 TommyLawlor said at 11:58 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    He’s got a lot of buzz right now. But so did Kirk Cousins last year. I tend to think someone will reach for EJ in the 2nd round.

  50. 50 shah8 said at 2:01 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    Every QB with NFL starter grade physical tools and not completely an idiot on the field will be picked by pick 50. EJ Manuel was never a third round or later prospect. He just wasn’t. I think there is a strong chance he’s picked in the first round, my guess is either the Bengals or the Texans, and in round two, the lowest he’s gonna go is at 41 to the Bills.

  51. 51 BreakinAnklez said at 7:36 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Bengals?!?! Ever hear of that Andy Dalton guy????

  52. 52 RC5000 said at 10:51 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Why are Graham, Curry and Cole more suited for the 3-4 than the 4-3 under? And you know we are moving to the 4-3 under and not the 3-4?

  53. 53 TommyLawlor said at 11:57 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    One LB in the 4-3 Under is the SAM and he drops into coverage about 30 percent of the time. Neither Cole nor Graham is meant for that. In the 3-4, the OLBs drop much less. That can work with them.

    The Eagles haven’t told us anything, but in the past Davis wanted to run the 4-3 Under so we’re assuming that’s the D. And it is basically an odd version of the 3-4.

  54. 54 Iskar36 said at 9:17 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    Do you know where to find the numbers for percentage of snaps rushing the passer in a standard 3-4? I know in Dallas, Ware rushed >90% of the time, but how often did Spencer?

  55. 55 deg0ey said at 12:24 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    I saw an article a little while back that said when Wade Phillips was their DC, Ware dropped back to cover on about 8% of passing plays, while Spencer was more like 35%.

    Those numbers aren’t gonna be exact because I don’t have the article in front of me, but when they played the D that Davis has been touted for, there was a big difference between the pass-rushing OLB and the other OLB.

  56. 56 Iskar36 said at 12:52 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Those numbers are very similar to the ones Kapadia mentioned with Davis’ defenses. The predator rushed about 94% of the time while the SAM rushed about 70%. If those numbers hold true for the normal 3-4, I think we still have a glaring hole at one of the OLB spots while we may have an over abundance of rush OLBers. I just don’t know if those numbers are true for all 3-4 teams.

  57. 57 RC5000 said at 8:44 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Good info to keep in mind thanks.

  58. 58 RC5000 said at 2:44 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Great thanks, 5 on, near the LOS…it is almost always an under or is it mixed in with the over? I remember Davis defense a little on Arizona with it stacked to one side but I’m old.

  59. 59 SteveH said at 11:00 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Had a dream last night, possibly a premonition? We’ll see.
    According to my dream the Chiefs somehow ended up taking Cyprien with the 13th overall pick, the Eagles drafted 0 DB’s, and we traded our 4th round pick to Denver.
    You heard it here first.

  60. 60 TommyLawlor said at 11:55 PM on February 24th, 2013:

    Were any of us in the dream?

  61. 61 SteveH said at 12:15 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    I vaguely recall someone spreading pudding all over my belly while drinking a PBR. It was a weird dream.

  62. 62 ICDogg said at 1:02 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    Is there really a CB you would use the 4 pick on? I’d rather shore up the SAM, or go O-line there.

    I’m liking Ziggy more and more, but I probably will change my mind about 5 more times before the draft.

    I am agnostic towards what type of defense we run but we need a guy who can serve the rush-the-passer-but-also-be-able-to-cover-linebacker role, whatever we are calling him at the moment. If we don’t have that, we may as well run a 5-2 since we’re not fooling anyone.

  63. 63 T_S_O_P said at 11:40 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    I like Ziggy too; also, I will probably be changing my mind a few more times yet. This is the highest we’ve picked since the draft truly moved into the Internet era and thus easier for a Brit to follow. If the Eagles had of had the number 4 pick in any of those I’d of found it a damn sight easier to find my guy than I am finding one this year.

  64. 64 Sean said at 9:06 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    So you’re confident Jenkins is gone?

  65. 65 Mac said at 10:21 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    Probably just a brain-fart.

  66. 66 Iskar36 said at 1:07 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Apparently not…

    Adam Schefter

    And here come the changes in Philadelphia: Eagles have told DT Cullen Jenkins they plan to release him.

  67. 67 Mac said at 3:18 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. I was really hopeful that CuJo would be part of the veteran leadership of this team’s defense.

  68. 68 Brandon Gleklen said at 11:42 AM on February 25th, 2013:

    Holy crap. Margus Hunt is officially a freak.

  69. 69 T_S_O_P said at 12:39 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    The bench press figure is really quite amazing for such a long framed individual. Also shows great stamina to go with his great length. He’d be an immediate impact guy on STs.

  70. 70 GermanEagle said at 12:14 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    After today’s 40 yard results I think the following three players will have to be stronlgy considered at #4 should the Eagles not be able to trade down or get Luke Joeckel:
    1. Dion Jordan (4.60)
    2. Ziggy Ansah (4.63)
    3. Sharrif Floyd (4.92)

  71. 71 Mac said at 3:16 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Impressive that they’ve won a spot in your heart with Werner as an option 😉

  72. 72 47_Ronin said at 4:18 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    The 40 times were impressive, but so were the 10 yd splits. Ziggy ran the 2nd fastest split at 271 lbs! I’m concerned about Jordan’s upcoming shoulder surgery and he needs to put on 10-20 lbs to his lanky frame.

  73. 73 Phils Goodman said at 10:50 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    If any of those defenders have to chase someone 40 yards it’s not a good play for us anyway.

  74. 74 ACViking said at 12:56 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Re: Most Athletic OTs Ever (?)


    I can’t argue w/ T-Law on this one . . . BUT ONLY if we’re counting forward from about 1978 or so.

    That’s when the Steelers 230 lb TE Larry Brown became a 280 lb OT Larry Brown. Who knows how Brown was able to get so big so fast and keep his speed. [I’m a lawyer by trade, so no sense in making unproven allegations.] By the late ’70s, the Steelers O-line began to grow very big and very strong.

    Then came the Hogs in Washington in the ’80s. And the Cowboys’ O-line of the ’90s. (ROT Erik Williams was the only OT whom I ever saw make Reggie White look ordinary.)

    But before the late ’70s, O-linemen were much leaner and faster than those in the ’80s and ’90s.


    Think back to the Packers’ trademark power sweep. Same with the undefeated ’72 Dolphins. And the Cowboys, too. Even the mid-70s Steelers wanted quick O-lineman for all the traps they ran.

    Highlights from the ’60s and early ’70s of teams running sweep show lineman running alongside the RB deep into the defensive secondary. And you could the O-linemen’s belt-buckles, too.

    The pre-1980s [pre-steroid?] O-linemen were usually around 235-250 lbs. Being lighter, I’d say that era’s O-linemen were pretty athletic.

    In fact, in the 1973 draft, the Bills used the 7th pick in Rd 1 to select Michigan All American O-tackle Paul Seymour, whom they moved to TE. In the ’74 draft, the Raiders chose Notre Dame’s Dave Casper — who started in college as an OT and finished as a TE. Big (for the times), athletic guys.

    Now, colleges go in the opposite direction: Moving TEs or even oversized QBs to OT . . . like Lane Johnson.

    So anyway, if T-Law says this year’s OT group is the most athletic in the last 30 years (since steroids, I guess), he’ll get no argument from me.

    But the best group ever? I’m not sure because of how the game seemed to change — pretty suddenly — in the late ’70s.

    Watching linemen from the ’60 and early ’70s, you see some very athletic O-linemen working in space.

    Obviously, that was long before all the weight lifting and nutrition techniques used now. And that’s when O-lineman worked a *real* job in the off-season.

    With the money that can be made, the training techniques, and the crackdown on steroids, T-Law’s point is hard to argue against.

  75. 75 A_T_G said at 4:06 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    I knew we could count on you for a little historical perspective. Great stuff.

  76. 76 Anders said at 8:02 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    When you take the size into perspective, they are.

    When it comes to defense I dont think even guys like JPP and Ziggy Ansah is anywhere near the athleticism of guys like Deacon Jones, LT, Reggie White or Bruce Smith.

  77. 77 ACViking said at 1:15 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Re: Margus Hunt

    Is he the Eastern Bloc’s version of Mike Mamula?

    Or is he the Eastern Bloc’s football version of hockey great Pavel Bure?

  78. 78 T_S_O_P said at 2:54 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    Moreover, could he be the next John Matuszak?

  79. 79 ACViking said at 5:55 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    I’m not so sure.

    ‘Tuz was about 60 pounds heavier than Hunt . . . plus he was well qualified to be a member of Hell’s Angels (other than not riding a bike).

    I’ve not read anything about Hunt being quite like Matuszak in that regard.

  80. 80 Dan said at 2:54 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    After Dion Jordan’s day today and his history with Chip, I think he’s a pretty high target at 4 overall.

  81. 81 Alistair Middlemiss said at 3:09 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    To be honest – i want Dion Jordan, i think he is one of the very few difference makers that are available in this draft and i think he will add the most to this roster.

  82. 82 Eric Weaver said at 4:24 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    I get not overpaying for Sean Smith, but no one should say they should invest the money elsewhere. They’ll probably have over 40 million in cap space after they release the deadweight like Nnamdi, Cullen and Patterson, plus all the cap space they carried over.

  83. 83 Iskar36 said at 4:45 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    I thought the 30+ mil in cap space already included the cap space they carried over.

  84. 84 D3Keith said at 1:18 AM on February 26th, 2013:

    Good call on Cullen and Patt.

  85. 85 Mac said at 4:32 PM on February 25th, 2013:

    zero pattersons on the roster at the moment.

  86. 86 D3Keith said at 12:28 AM on February 26th, 2013:

    Tommy, idea for a post, for when it gets slow … assuming you can still watch and re-watch last year’s games.

    1) Nnamdi, was he that bad last season, or is it just us as Eagles fans are so disappointed in his play that we have no use for him? Clearly he hasn’t earned his contract, but is he so bad he’s not serviceable?
    2) Sounds like if he’s not on board with the whole Kelly mind-set, you can’t have him in the building. But say he is and they bring him back. Davis likes tall corner. Would he try to use him the way they did in Oakland, even if he’s not the same player, or like he used DRC in Arizona in 2009?

    Maybe this post only makes sense if he agrees to come back for less, but just some questions I had about the guy.