Scheme Talk, Player Fits

Posted: April 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 77 Comments »

Chip Kelly and Bill Davis have everyone guessing.  They won’t come out and say what the defensive scheme will be.  They won’t let the players say anything.  We’re all pretty sure this is going to be a 3-4 or 4-3 Under, but the coaches want to keep things a mystery as long as they can.

I’m assuming this is being done to help with the draft.  If other teams don’t know exactly what the Eagles will run, they’ll have a harder time pegging exactly what the Eagles are looking for.  I’m sure Kelly would love the mystery to help keep opposing teams from knowing how to prepare for the Eagles, but teams will know what’s going on by July, when Training Camp starts.

Practice highlights and player interviews may give away schematic info before then.  Right now the players say publicly that they don’t know what is going to happen, but I find that hard to believe.  I don’t think they’ve been given a playbook, but these guys need to adjust their bodies to fit the position they’ll play.

Vinny Curry is up to 274 pounds, per Jeff McLane.  This shows you he’s gaining weight and preparing to play DE.

Check out this quote from Brandon Graham on what he and Trent Cole are up to…or should I say down to:

“I still don’t know what we’re going to run. The other D-linemen, me and Trent talked like, ‘you ready to make this change if we have to?’ I was like, ‘shoot I’ll be ready,'” Graham said. “[Cole] told me he got down too. He got his weight down so he’ll be able to cover and play in space. That is the biggest thing because we know we can rush the passer, but we just have to make sure when we start dropping we know what to do.”

Graham’s goal is to be at 260.  You can bet Cole will be in that same range.

Fan and media speculation has been creative, to say the least.  I’ve had people suggest that Vinny Curry could play the 3-tech in the 4-3 Under.  I’ve had people suggest Graham play the 3-tech.  Lots of people have suggested Trent Cole play the 5-tech role.  Everyone’s goal is to find a way to get the best players on the field at the same time.  I applaud the creative thinking, but it doesn’t sound like the coaches are going to be that elaborate.

Sounds like Cole and Graham will be OLBs in the base looks and DEs in the Nickel/Dime looks.  That allows them to rush the passer and play in space.  Yes, they will have to learn to drop in coverage, but that won’t be a primary duty.  I think they can be functionally effective at that role.  You won’t be able to start both of them and Connor Barwin.  My guess right now is that Graham and Barwin will start.  That’s strictly a guess, though.  And really, the key here is that as Chip Kelly likes to say…the players will make the depth chart.  Who plays best will dictate who starts and who plays most.

As for Curry, his role is still less defined.  In the base defense he’ll be a 5-tech DE.  If Curry is 274 now, he’ll be in the 280-285 range by July.  He’ll lose some weight in Camp so he’ll probably be around 280 when the season begins.  Is that big enough?  Clearly the Eagles think so.  They wouldn’t put him at the 5-tech sp0t unless they saw something worth developing.  If Cole were 5 years younger, maybe they’d put him at the 5-tech spot.  Curry is young enough that he can develop his body and adjust his skill set over time to be a good fit there.  2013 won’t determine if this is the right move.  They have time to work with him and let him learn the spot.

Curry could be used creatively in sub-packages.  At the Senior Bowl he played DT in some sets and showed the ability to be a good inside rusher.  Maybe the Eagles would line him up at the 3-tech in some sets.  Maybe they’ll put him on the edge and let him rush as a standard DE.  We won’t know what kind of plans they’ll have for him.  Curry offers versatility and the coaches may wait to see him in action before deciding on the best ways to use him in the sub-packages.

I’m looking forward to finding out what’s going to happen with the scheme and players, but for now we’ve only got some hints.

* * * * *

LB Rolando McClain is finalizing a deal with the Ravens.  Smart move by him and interesting move by the Ravens.  The veteran leadership on that team is way down without Ray and Ed Reed so you can’t automatically expect players to fall into place anymore.  Still, McClain has big time upside.  Worth the risk since he was just a cheap free agent.

* * * * *

I forgot to post a link to the new MAQB column by Gimpy.  He wrote about the QB prospects in the draft.

David Syvertsen has written some draft previews for the AFC North and East, if you’re interested.


77 Comments on “Scheme Talk, Player Fits”

  1. 1 austinfan said at 10:32 AM on April 10th, 2013:

    Weights tell a lot, I’m interested in what weight Barwin is at for camp, the 256 lbs at the combine (SAM) or the 268 lbs he’s listed at in Houston (Predator).

    On the other hand, someone like Cox will probably be over 300 lbs just because he’s a growing boy with a big frame, as long as he doesn’t lose quickness, they’ll let his body fill out (I see him maxing out around 310 lbs).

    The OL will be interesting, Peters says he’s shooting for 320 lbs, that’s the lowest he’s been since he wasn’t drafted, on the other hand, Kelly is another growing boy who may gain weight just by working in a NFL weight program.

  2. 2 nicolajNN said at 10:42 AM on April 10th, 2013:

    For a second there I was confused as I thought you were talking about Chip (Kelly)

    Anyone else a little curious about Peters going for 320? If I remember correctly he didn’t handle the lockout well in that regard. Any word on how he’s looking after a year rehabbing?

  3. 3 brza said at 10:59 AM on April 10th, 2013:

    No I think Chip needs to gain some weight too. From Reid’s tenure I think we learned that there is a stark correlation between HC weight and team success. Chip should target Andy’s coaching weight from 2004 to be his most effective. He’ll need to watch out that he doesn’t go over that mark though because we all know the sharp decline that came in 2005.

  4. 4 laeagle said at 12:59 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I think Andy left some spare manziers around in the weight room that Chip could borrow.

  5. 5 A_T_G said at 6:55 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Wait, I thought Andy wore the Bro?

  6. 6 Anders said at 1:47 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    In 2011 he came to camp in around 360+ and in terrible shape. This off season it seems he is already at his old playing weight of 340 and it sounded by his interview that he was already in his usually playing shape, but because of Kelly’s uptempo style he needs to be in even better shape and the most positive is he seems to embrace it.

  7. 7 Ark87 said at 7:29 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I had that same double take a few days ago. When it happens it’s like, “Wait….how many times have I missed that in the past, DAMMIT!” Turns out Tommy has been talking about the Tackle all along….

  8. 8 Ark87 said at 4:01 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    It’s kinda strange, these guys leg press retarded amounts of weight. And then they make it sound like, yeah once i lose these 5 pounds, look out. It seems like some players like Jason Peters can put on 40 or more pounds since transitioning from a tight end to a tackle and the dude doesn’t appear to have compromised anything. Is there really that big a benefit to losing 5 or 10 pounds? We’re talking a 2% drop in body-mass. Is there an over-emphasis on dimensions in this league?

    If you can move a certain way and have the right skill set, the bigger the better right?

  9. 9 Dan Mats said at 4:33 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Less weight on a repaired Achilles for one

  10. 10 RC5000 said at 4:40 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Lol I think it’s pretty obvious. He has this guy called a surgeon and doctors and trainers also.

  11. 11 RC5000 said at 4:33 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    He’s coming off an Achilles tendon injury and he wants to prolong his career. Very smart move.

  12. 12 Ark87 said at 5:07 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Peters? wasn’t specifically commenting on him losing weight. He is doing it to keep up with the up-tempo practices and game plans. I was using him as an example of a guy who could put on a ton of weight and give up very little in doing so. Peters is also losing a significant amount of weight (20 pounds). In contrast, do these 4-3 DE’s really gain much from losing 10 pounds?

    My point is athletes all have a certain amount of athleticism that they can maintain up to a certain weight. And it’s different for everyone. Reggie White was an absolute freak doing what he did at 300 pounds. The point is Reggie wouldn’t have really benefited from getting down to 285. He wouldn’t suddenly be more athletic. The way I see it, be as big as your body will allow you to be without sacrificing your athleticism.

    If the BG or Cole we saw last year couldn’t get the job done at OLB, I’m skeptical that 10 pounds will make a difference.

  13. 13 RC5000 said at 5:36 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Oh okay… Austinfan was talking about Peters losing weight and you responded to it and talked about Peters and questioned why players lose weight. Someone else read it the same way. I’m out I thought you were discussing Jason Peters.

  14. 14 Ark87 said at 5:56 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    You were right. Peters losing weight is a smart move. For his health, stamina and age. It deserved the up-vote. It was a misleading comment on my part, I went ahead and edited it for clarity.

    For Austin’s part, he’s right, weight does tell a lot as far as a player’s intentions. I agree with that 100%. I’m just skeptical that it actually does a lot in the case of former linemen dropping weight.

    I totally support Curry putting pounds on, especially if it is functional weight, not just a gut, in order to hold up better from the 5.

  15. 15 Geagle said at 10:15 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    I don’t know how much we can be concerned with JP’s Achilles. I doubt he would be running hurdles at 330lbs if he was anything less than 100% and ready to roll!

  16. 16 Sb2bowl said at 11:25 AM on April 10th, 2013:

    Just a quick “thank you” for supplying us with our daily Eagles fix. I enjoy reading your blog and thoughts more than any other Eagles writer out there. Sheil and Tim, Jimmy Bama, they are all similar to you in details, but the community that is here really puts Iggles Blitz over the top.
    Anyways, thanks for what you do. And to the community here, keep it up guys. Thanks for your info and input, it really makes being an Eagles fan awesome.

  17. 17 Mike Flick said at 1:32 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I second that.

  18. 18 Ark87 said at 12:06 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Hey Tommy, what are your thoughts on Chip’s Interview with NFL Network. Naturally a ton of questions about Mike Vick came up. He said a lot of positive things and even excused him from taking sacks. Blaming the blocking. This is fair, but seems like a subtle shift standards (formerly: sacks, turnovers, negative plays in general fall on the QB). Is this just reading the company line, does it mean anything. Are we leaning towards Mike Vick starting like basically 100% of all people in the national media assume?

  19. 19 ohitsdom said at 12:40 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    In Kelly’s system, sacks are on the QB. That doesn’t mean he judges other systems the same way. That’s why he said he studied tape but still has so many unknowns because he didn’t know what they were being coached to do. Judging Vick’s play in 2012 to Kelly’s coaching style and offensive system is comparing apples to oranges.

  20. 20 bridgecoach said at 1:29 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Completely agree. Well said.

  21. 21 Cliff said at 12:40 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I can’t believe people can be so “certain” that Vick will be the starter. I really don’t understand why people are still so fascinated with Vick. I got it headed in to last season. That intrigue made sense. I hoped and believed Vick was set to have a huge season. But after what actually happened last season, why would anyone still have faith?

  22. 22 Ark87 said at 2:54 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    It does feel like this blog is one of the few intellectual islands that believe there will be a real competition at QB. Well many accept that, but only here is it not a forgone conclusion.

    Which is why it surprised me that Chip seemed to sort of go along with the Vick-centric universe the national media lives in.

  23. 23 Neil said at 3:56 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I’m not surprised. Why would one resist the tsunami? You can tell it it’s wrong, but it will still wipe you away.

  24. 24 Ark87 said at 5:14 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    true enough

  25. 25 shah8 said at 8:28 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    eh…I’m pretty much as intellectual as it gets…read sophisticated works, well educated, drinks fancy tea, cultivates rare plants…and I don’t think there is much of a chance for Foles at all.

    If Ark87’s comment conveys the actual gist of the conversation wrt Vick, I simply can’t see it as being controversial and I don’t think most professionals in the rest of the league sees otherwise. Overall, the poor play of the OL was a major reason why the offense didn’t do well, last year–and no QB is going to fix an OL that routinely struggled to get to the correct assignment. It doesn’t have very much to do with different systems being better for Vick. That has always been true, pretty much, maybe until now. Vick is a QB for Coryel-style offenses, and he has never been in one since Dan Reeves.

  26. 26 Ark87 said at 8:56 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Like a moth to fire, albeit a fancy intellectual moth. Discussion of Vick never fails.

    I’m referring to the same people that think the 49ers improved their secondary upon signing Nnamdi Asomugha. Those are the ones who also figured we paid Vick and therefore we must start him. And that Chip must have the read option and therefore MOBILITY, can’t live without it!

    While you too think it’s not even a question, like them, I’ll give you credit of at least analyzing it and coming to the conclusion that Vick is a far superior QB in pretty much any system than Foles (dudes, Foles isn’t even a first rounder!). Even if you do think that opinion is fact and that all the smart people agree with you and everyone else is….well

    TC will be fun, but I do think there will be a closer competition than you anticipate. And the results… well frankly won’t settle anything, fact is fact and Chip will either be right in choosing Vick or wrong in going with Foles.

    If you’re right and Chip can somehow tap Vick’s potential while keeping him healthy, and the offense scores 30 points a game, I’ll be happy.

  27. 27 shah8 said at 11:42 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Again, with Foles, mobility was only ever part of the question. Kelly’s offense, adjusted for a slow guy, is going to require a QB that makes faster reads and gets the ball out faster than I’ve ever seen Foles accomplish. Notwithstanding the deep passing issues as well.

    It just doesn’t have to do with names, you know. You can look at the tape and see it with your own eyes and use your imagination to fit QB to schemes. Of course, Foles could still just start, but like with Colt McCoy, or Tim Tebow, it would just be a farce–wins that the team got, gets credited to the bad QB, and they get excuses for all the terrible things they do until everyone is totally sick and tired of the children that promote undertalented pretty boys. Foles honestly has a very long way to go before he’s even really a QB. He’s just got to be a faster decision-maker, get the ball out faster, and at least make first-read deep throws a callable play, if not anything ad-hoc.

    Actually, it’s really rather easy to tell a starting QB…a *real* starting QB. I was sold on Russel Wilson from the first preseason game. It’s easy because there are extremely few QBs that can credibly do it right in the NFL, and all of them are obviously good at it–physically and mentally. There is a reason I hype Joe Webb, despite that awful playoff game…Foles, Dixon, Josh Johnson, all of those other backup QBs have never had displays of dominance–that you knew what was coming, and you still couldn’t stop it. If Foles *had* done that, Vick would not be here, man.

  28. 28 Ark87 said at 8:35 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    It’s a bit of a stretch to call Foles a pretty boy isn’t it? *Referenced for posterity*

    I already said I give you credit for you opinion not being based on a name. I don’t think your opinion is baseless. I’m just not 100% on board. Vick SHOULD be a better QB, he has so much going for him, I just don’t know that he will be.

    I don’t think Foles will be anything special either. Both QB’s need to learn to play the position the way their new coach wants them to play it. I don’t expect either player to have developed from last season. They may have an easier role by way of the system having a bigger threat in a running game and a healthier line, but I don’t hold out much hope for QB progress.

    I just figure this. Vick isn’t a long term fix. Vick had serious serious struggle last season. You know why. You can’t let the reasons Vick struggled become excuses for why Foles struggles. I’m eager to see both QB’s on a functional O-line.


  29. 29 Baloophi said at 12:32 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Great article by Gimpy… Especially the discussion about pocket presence (and Third Eye Blind). It (pocket presence, not Third Eye Blind) reminded me of a strength of Nick Foles – the ability to side-step with eyes downfield. Will that matter as much with Chip Kelly’s quick drop and throw approach? Not sure.

    On the weight loss / weight gain issue on the DL, imagine if you got a new boss and were told to lose 15 pounds… I, for one, would welcome it.

  30. 30 laeagle said at 12:55 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    If a new boss told me I had to gain 15 pounds, and then handed me a bag of Nutter Butters, I would welcome that, too.

  31. 31 Baloophi said at 3:47 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Yes. That’s better. I sit corrected.

  32. 32 D3FB said at 5:00 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Clearly Curry is on an all PBR and Pudding diet.

  33. 33 Ark87 said at 8:25 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Don’t forget Funyuns

  34. 34 ACViking said at 1:42 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Re: Chip’s Public Comments about Vick . . . and Anyone Else

    I’m guessing that one of the first things Chip Kelly told his new players is,

    “Don’t believe anything you read or hear in the media or that I say to the
    media. Only believe what you hear inside NovaCare and on the practice

    Or not.

  35. 35 ICDogg said at 1:51 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Very likely.

  36. 36 TommyLawlor said at 7:21 PM on April 10th, 2013:


  37. 37 Kevin said at 1:56 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Tommy (or anyone!),

    Speaking of player fits… flipping over to offense, any reason the Eagles shouldn’t have interest in Julian Edelman? He’s somewhat of a poor man’s Welker, considering whenever Welker was injured or benched, Edelman slid right into his spot to fill his role… similar skill set.

    But very much a jack-of-all-trades type, highly versatile, which seems to be the type of player Kelly likes. He can block well for his size and the Patriots used him to run the ball on occasion, as a receiver, on slip screens, and to return punts. He’s smaller but with decent size at 5’10”, 198 lbs. His 40 time was 4.52″ and his 3-cone drill time was 6.62″. Will be 27 years old next season.

  38. 38 Kevin said at 1:58 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Never mind. Just resigned with Patriots.

  39. 39 Matthew McCarthy said at 2:03 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Damn. He would have given Riley Cooper a run for ‘best hair.’

  40. 40 ICDogg said at 1:58 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I’m not even sure they know what they plan to run yet. For all I know it might be they really want to run something more like New England but haven’t found their Vince Wilfork yet. It doesn’t really look like that based on who they have obtained so far but who knows.

  41. 41 SleepingDuck said at 2:05 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Off topic, but interesting

    Daniel Jerimiah has the Eagles taking Geno Smith at 4 in his newest mock. He replied to a tweet asking about the selection with the following ” He’s not one of my top 20 players…I know people and I hear things.”

    He would explain his rationale a little more with this tweet “I don’t have Geno graded as a top 20 player but the fit in Philly is interesting. His experience in a fast-paced offense is a huge plus.”

  42. 42 Joe Jones said at 2:34 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Hey Tommy, dont know how much stuff you get to read but here is a detailed write up comparing Dion Jordan and Kiki Mingo by one of my favorite draft writers, Matt Waldman(he did a great write up on Bryce Brown predraft last yr).

    Its a long read but I found it well worth it,

  43. 43 CalSFro said at 5:23 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    It was a good article, but it felt like that guy came into it with a pre-conceived notion and was just trying to convince himself, and the reader, that Mingo is better essentially because Mingo “looks” like he’s trying way harder than Jordan. Basically, he liked Mingo more because Jordan looked smooth and under control (ie; polished), while Mingo looked like a freakin’ wild man.

    Which is absolutely true when you watch the tape. But as the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. And looking like you’re working hard, versus not looking like you’re working hard (but still playing well), could just be an indication that you’re doing something wrong.

    I get that Mingo has huge potential as a pass rusher. But he lacks the cover skills that make Jordan so intriguing. And as we’ve seen over the years, you can’t teach that kind of spatial awareness (cough, cough, Jamar Chaney, cough). But, you can teach a guy to improve his pass rush skills and help him get stronger via an NFL nutrition and weight lifting plan.

    I think they’ll both be good players eventually. But to say that Mingo will be better in the long run because he look’s like he’s trying harder is just silly.

    Plus, and this might just be the English major in me, but the way he was (futilely) attempting to use lines from a Robert Frost poem just pissed me off.

  44. 44 Joe Jones said at 5:33 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I hear you CalSFro. As an English major, you probably recognize a pre-conceived notion more easily than us regular folk. I read it with interest as I would be happy with either. To be honest, my ideal scenario is a trade down to 7 or 8, receive an extra 2nd and take Mingo.

    Not professing to be a draftnik but there are a number of players in the 2nd round I’d love to see as an Eagle. But if we stay at 4 and take Dion, I’d trust Chip and Howie. One major advantage our coaching staff should have is a first hand knowledge of so many of the top prospects. Our O-line coach, Jeff Stoutland coached against Mingo at least 3 times in the last 2 yrs. He should be able to provide great insight to our decision makers as to how disruptive Mingo is and how much game planning does it take to account for him.

  45. 45 CalSFro said at 6:21 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I agree, actually. The article was entertaining, but his final consensus just seemed kind of. . .forced. And the connection between what he saw and his projected final outcome (that Mingo will be better in the long run) was a little tenuous. If he’d just stuck with the idea that Mingo was, in an overall sense, more athletic than Jordan and thus more likely to succeed, I could have gone with it. But the whole, “he look’s like he’s working really hard” doesn’t carry much weight, at least to me.

    I think Dion is a guy you’re going to have to take at 4 if you want him, whereas Mingo might be had down at 7 or 8. And I’d love for them to trade back. I’d in no way shape or form be upset with getting Mingo. I just think his reasoning was spotty.

  46. 46 Joe Jones said at 6:36 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I hear you and concur. Thanks for the feedback.

  47. 47 SuPaFrO said at 5:34 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    He also forgot to mention that Dion Jordan was playing with a torn labrum. which is extremely painful as well as cause loss of strength.

  48. 48 CalSFro said at 6:21 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Agreed, my fellow Fro. Agreed.

  49. 49 Neil said at 6:02 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    He isn’t saying Mingo tries harder. His point is that Mingo plays with much more “urgency”, and I guess another way of putting that is that Mingo’s play is much more fanatical, energetic, intense. Mingo plays like the quarterback has a bucket of water and his hair’s on fire. He makes the point that when Jordan’s initial move doesn’t work, Jordan seems to go into a reactive mode and just starts reading the play, maybe doing something positive on sheer athleticism. Jordan has a tendency to just chill out and hop around “waiting” in that situation and then clean up if bodies move the right way. It looks like he’s mushrushing, which might have actually been his assignment for all I know. If the offensive linemen is fast enough on a play to get in front of Mingo, the result is a vicious, physical confrontation.

  50. 50 CalSFro said at 6:21 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    I think Jordan plays with plenty of “urgency”. And so does Mingo. I just don’t look at Mingo playing out of control like that and think “Oh man, this guy want’s it really bad”.

    I look at that and think, “Man, this guy needs to learn to play within himself”. You watch the tape, and yeah, there’s a noticeable difference between the way the two of them play. But I think it’s outlandish to praise Mingo for playing out of control like that. Or to see that and think it equates to a higher ceiling.

    Jordan, “hopping around” or “waiting”, could very well be him maintaining a gap, or playing within the scheme like you said. He’s even said himself that he wasn’t allowed to just rush the passer with abandon very often.

    Basically, it doesn’t matter what term you give it. You could call it urgency. You could call it polish. You could call it trying harder. I just think Jordan shouldn’t be knocked for being smooth, and Mingo shouldn’t be praised for playing out of control.

  51. 51 Neil said at 7:02 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    It’s impossible to say without knowing both players’ personalities and what they were coached to do. Some of what Mingo does seems out of control, but the rest seems like tenacity. And even when he’s out of control he’s a missile, a truly disruptive force in a way that Jordan I haven’t seen do. Like that play in the article where Mingo from a wide 9 alignment downs the running back for a loss running a dive to the other side of the formation. He might be out of control, or it might be controlled chaos that makes him special.

    Jordan is a very special player in his own right and seems clearly superior in coverage. But comparing them as pass rushers, Mingo has a better first step. Many people have complained about Jordan showing no signs of a functional bullrush, but Mingo was able to successfully move back an elite college mauling tackle in Fluker.

    Then you wonder, and this is what we can’t know about, was the passivity–the unwillingness to engage and fight–Jordan routinely displayed when a tackle beat his speed rush something he was coached to do or a characteristic of him as a player? If you’re Chip Kelly and you spent all last season trying to teach him to be active and physical, can you feel comfortable taking him?

  52. 52 CalSFro said at 10:38 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Like you said, it’s impossible to know anything without knowing the scheme’s these guys were playing, how they were coached and what they’re personalities are like as players. The draft will provide us some answers hopefully, as to what Chip thinks/wants. . .or they’ll take a tackle or Geno and we’ll be back to waiting a couple seasons to see how these guys pan out.

    I think if you really look at these two side by side in the right here and now, you can clearly see that Mingo is a more adept pass rusher and Jordan has a leg up in coverage. Personally, I just don’t think you can teach Mingo to play in coverage to the extent that you can teach Jordan to improve his pass rush.

    And my original point was really just echoed by what you said at the beginning of your most recent post and which I parroted in this post…without knowing the players, the schemes or their personalities we don’t know what they were trying to accomplish on a given play. So trying to infer so much about their projected long term success, like what the author of the article did, seems ineffective.

    In fact, the only thing that seems clear, and that you can therefore say with any modicum of certainty, is that Mingo was allowed to go balls to the wall after the QB way more often than Jordan was. Maybe Jordan looks a little more “urgent” if he’s got his ears pinned back more often.

    I know this, and the article, are all about projection, but again, I only take issue with the author drawing tenuous conclusions based on basically impossible to quantity criteria, ie; that one player “looks” like he’s playing harder than the other.

  53. 53 Neil said at 11:17 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Yep to pretty much all of that. The Oregon coaches might have tolerated the lack of physicality in Jordan’s play because of his shoulder injury.

    The one thing I disagree with is that Waltman thinks Mingo plays harder, unless you don’t mean that as Waltman thinks Mingo plays with more effort. Rather than effort, what he’s talking about is each player’s tendency to get physical. Jordan will speedrush and bend around the corner, and he’s really good at it, better than Mingo. But on the plays when that move is unsuccessful he falls back and begins passively reading the play and then runs around blockers to clean up. When Mingo’s speedrush is beat, he switches to the bullrush with great success for such a light player or mixes in a variety of other moves. In general, Mingo has displayed the ability to be disruptive on plays where his speed rush is taken away, while Jordan has not. That’s what Waltman is referring to.

    However, I just watched Jordan against Fresno State (before his injury), and I think Waltman isn’t considering the injury enough. In that game Jordan is more physical than I’ve written here. He’s not nearly as good as Mingo at bullrushing, but he’s willing to try.

  54. 54 Geagle said at 9:52 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    If you take a look at Barwins 11 sacks in 2011, you see how difficult it is for top NFL tackles to deal with speed on the outside..and Dion moves light years faster than Barwin. Mingo is almost as fast, but I hate MINGO’s frame…Dion is literally like 3.4% body fat, which is the lowest number I ever heard out of an athlete..fOr Dion to have put on 15lbs since College, doing so with a torn Labrum…well that’s just crazy impressive. don’t see how people can even question is weight gain ability…He is working out like a madman with Jay Glazier, with one shoulder…when that kid gets healthy, and hits an nfl strength regimen, and then two years from now when his grown man strength kicks in, WATCH OUT!! watching him on sports science is just crazy..His spin ove was like 6times faster than Freeney’s or something insane like that..They also said his 10yard acceleration was faster than every RECIEVER tested this year..MINGO’s was also pretty impressive. It shows some real freak ability to bat balls down at the line of scrimmage….

    Tom, do you ever thing the combine will upgrade and start using all the new sport science technology?

  55. 55 A_T_G said at 6:42 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    So you are saying either Mingo is trying to help opposing QBs or that he is targeting their head? I don’t know college players well, but he sounds risky.

  56. 56 Neil said at 7:05 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Mingo’s head’s on fire. In case this isn’t a joke.

  57. 57 A_T_G said at 8:02 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Well, if you have to ask, I guess it wasn’t a good one. And, good point, I didn’t read critically enough. I’ll down vote myself.

  58. 58 TommyLawlor said at 7:24 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Matt is an excellent draft analyst. His opinion is always worth reading.

  59. 59 Michael Winter Cho said at 3:15 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    This conversation makes me uneasy. I get the impression there might be a lot of trying to fit players into places they might not… fit. It’s especially disconcerting when we are talking about recent 1st and 2nd round draft picks and former all-stars. But I guess rebuilding is rarely easy.

  60. 60 Geagle said at 9:43 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    Or, the predraft mini camp will show what players simply are a square peg in a round hole, and we could see those players traded away on draft day…
    You see what Spadaro said about Maclin? Being aware of him going into a contract year? I’m sure the same thing is going on with Bgrizzle.

  61. 61 RC5000 said at 4:12 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    There’s no reason they need to be talking about anything in regard to scheme or any real specifics prior to the draft.
    They signed Sopoaga and Barwin. Part of the point is it isn’t necessarily pigeon-holed and that is probably a reason Kelly hired Davis because he has worked under a lot of DCs. We have an idea of it and you’ve explained it as well as it’s going to be.

  62. 62 ACViking said at 6:17 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    Re: Missed Opportunities on Draft Day

    In the 44 drafts since 1969 , the Eagles either had, traded, or traded for 16 picks in the Top 10 of the year’s draft.

    This year is No. 17.

    They’ve hit on a few.

    But I’ve listed below some painful (coincidental?) misses — where the team choosing immediately after the Eagles not only selected the right guy . . . they selected a HOFer or All Pro. It’s actually painful to read.

    Eagles (No. 3) – RB Leroy Keyes, Purdue
    Steelers (No. 4) – DT Joe Greene, N. Texas State – HOFer

    Eagles (No. 6) – LB/TE Steve Zabel, Oklahoma
    Bengals (No. 7.) – DT Mike Reid, Penn State – All Pro before retiring early.

    Eagles (No. 5) – DE Richard Harris, Grambling
    Jets (No. 6) – RB John Riggins, Kansas -HOFer

    Eagles (No. 3) – OT Jerry Sisemore, UTexas (good player)
    Patriots (No. 4) – OG John Hannah, Alabama – HOFer

    1974 – 1978:
    Two 1st Round Picks traded to the Rams for QB Roman Gabriel. Two 1st Rd picks traded to Cinn for MLB Bill Bergey. One 1st Rd Pick traded to Cinn for *4th Rd pick* QB Mike Boryla right after the draft (IDIOTIC)

    [The Eagles picks were used by the Rams for Penn State RB John Cappelletti (No. 11) and Notre Dame DT Mike Fanning (No. 9); the Bengals for Okla WR Billy Brooks (No. 11), U-Houston DT Wilson Whitley (No. 8), Notre Dame DE Ross Browner (No. 8).]

    Eagles (No. 8) – FB Michael Haddix, Miss State
    Houston (No. 9) – OG Bruce Matthews, USC – HOFer

    Eagles (No. 4) – WR Kenny Jackson, Penn State
    Chiefs (No. 5) – D/NT Bill Maas, Pitt – Def ROY / 2x All Pro

    Eagles (No. 9) – OT Kevin Allen, Indiana [just finish prison sentence]
    Jets (No. 10) – WR Al Toon, Wisconsin – 3x All Pro (concussions cost him HOF)

    1986 – 90 . . . Buddy Ball:
    Buddy Ryan ran the draft, choosing:
    RB Keith Byars, No. 10 in ’86, DT Jerome Brown, No. 9 in ’87, TE Keith Jackson, No. 13 in ’88, traded ’89 choice to the Colts for hold-out OT Ron Solt (the Colts used the Birds’ pick (No. 22) for the erratic but 3x All Pro / 5x Pro Bowl WR Andre Rison), and CB Ben Smith, No. 22 in ’90. In terms of 1st Rounders actually drafted, Buddy had the best run — it seems to me, at least.

    1991 & 1992 [The Kotite Era begins]:
    Eagles (No. 8 plus ’92 1st Rd pick) – OT Antone Davis, TN
    Lions (No. 10) – WR Herman Moore, UVa – 3x All Pro

    Eagles (No. 7 – trade up) – DE Mike Mamula, BC
    Seahawks (No. 8) – WR Joey Galloway, Ohio State

    Eagles (No. 2) – QB Donovan McNabb . . . enough said.


    Eagles (No. 6) – DT Corey Simon . . . solid for awhile.

    First time in a long time the Eagles are in the Top 10. It’s been a long time since the GM/coach missed as badly as, say, GM Pete Retzlaff and HC Jerry Williams in 1969 and 1971 (passing on HOFers Joe Greene and Big Riggo). But you never know.

  63. 63 A_T_G said at 6:29 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    So, according to this, we should trade back one spot so we are almost gaurenteed a HOFer.

    Great stuff, as always.

  64. 64 DamonL86 said at 6:47 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    So all we have to do is ask the team behind us who they are gonna pick and take that player.

  65. 65 Ark87 said at 8:31 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    And they’ll tell us they’re taking Manti Teo, jerks. Swindled and pimped, again!

  66. 66 Flyin said at 10:13 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    AC, as I started to read this insightful post, it was depressing… but this cracked me up…

    “Eagles (No. 9) – OT Kevin Allen, Indiana [just finish prison sentence]”

  67. 67 xeynon said at 9:51 PM on April 10th, 2013:

    If Cole can handle the ego blow of not being a starter, I think he might be more useful as strictly a nickel pass rusher. He’ll still get to play 50%+ of the snaps, and he may be more productive getting after the quarterback when he’s not getting beaten up playing run defense 20-30 times a game.

  68. 68 Geagle said at 9:45 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    Are we really going to pay Cole and Graham $5mil each so that they can share snaps at predator?

  69. 69 xeynon said at 9:56 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    No, Graham starts and is basically an very down player. Cole is a regular in the nickel and dime packages and is on the field with Graham in passing situations. Barwin, since since he is better in coverage than either, is used as a LB in a 4-2-5 nickel or 4-1-6 dime. Everybody gets a good number of snaps mostly doing what they do best.

    The salaries are pretty irrelevant in my view. Cole is going to get paid $5 million no matter what, so I see no reason why we should use him as a sub-optimal starter when he can be more effective as a heavily used specialist.

  70. 70 Geagle said at 10:07 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    actually I think we will see Kendricks and Dion Jordan as the 2 nicklebackers when we go 4-2-5…..I do really like Cole and Graham as the ends on a 4man nicke front…But 5mil for a Nickle rusher is a lot if you ask me….Im not sure that Graham or Cole see 2014 as eagles…I so could see Kelly moving Barwin back to the open side and having Jordan become the best SAM that a 4-3under scheme has ever seen. Lol

  71. 71 xeynon said at 2:55 PM on April 11th, 2013:

    If Jordan is the pick, that may very well be what happens, but I’d guess it’s no better than a 50-50 chance that Jordan even drops to 4 and no sure thing that we take him even if he does.

    You’re right that quite likely Cole and possibly Graham will not be around in 2014, but the cap hits for cutting them (Cole in particular) are so prohibitive that it makes no sense to do so. And I doubt either would fetch enough in a trade to make the cap hit worthwhile either.

  72. 72 Geagle said at 6:26 PM on April 11th, 2013:

    I think there is a good chance that dion is off the board when we pick..but if he is on the board, I don’t see anyway we pass him up.nChip knows how special he is, chip will look at the lack of production, and appreciate that he fought thru the shoulder injury…I really can’t see Dion on the board, and hearing another name called…2 weeks and we find out!!!

  73. 73 Geagle said at 7:21 PM on April 11th, 2013:

    The cap hit is almost the same at what you are paying him…so if he is buried on the bench(I don’t know that he would be), it might be better to spend 5mil to basically purchase a 5th round pick, then pay Cole that kind of money to sit on the bench…He was a warrior for us. if he doesn’t fit, treat him with class and send him to a 4-3 contender like the broncos that can use him

  74. 74 Geagle said at 10:08 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    I also wonder if we are saving all this money to take Cap hits, trading players away on draft day

  75. 75 Flyin said at 10:11 PM on April 10th, 2013:


  76. 76 Geagle said at 9:41 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    I actually think the defense has gotten some of the playroom…
    They asked Barwin how much of the play book he has down at this point, and he said he has no idea because he doesn’t know how much will be added to it.

    Demeco said right now they are laying the foundation(base packages I assume)

  77. 77 Geagle said at 9:52 AM on April 11th, 2013:

    Play book