Training Camp Starts

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

Rather that write a lengthy preview that would echo the thoughts of others, I’m going to keep this simple.

For I wrote about the things I’ll be focusing on. One thing I didn’t mention was the OLB play. I’m not sure how much of that we’ll be able to truly evaluate in Training Camp. I think preseason games will be far more important for the OLBs. That’s when they can actually hit and tackle QBs. That isn’t to say I won’t watch the OLBs in camp. We certainly need to see how they play the run and how they look when they do drop back in coverage. Good OLB play is crucial in the 3-4. also has the full list of players reporting.

Tim McManus put together a lengthy Training Camp primer that has links to all of Birds 24/7’s coverage. Tim has the practice schedule in there so that will be important for some to check out.

Jimmy Bama has previewed some positions for TC. Here is the defensive line. And here are the outside linebackers.

Les Bowen has some thoughts on camp and Chip Kelly.

Phil Sheridan covers the angle that TC is much less brutal these days. Don’t misunderstand this. Many teams around the league have eased up on camp in the last decade. As Phil mentions, Korey Stringer’s death got everyone’s attention. Some coaches eased up on contact because they simply didn’t want to risk injuries. As for the conditioning side of things, players are now in the best shape they’ve ever been in the history of the game. Players train 24/7/365. Coaches don’t need to run them into shape.

We made the assumption that since Andy Reid ran tough camps and he was a winning coach that there was a direct connection. That’s not necessarily true. I don’t know that we can really know if the tough camps were good or not. We have some anecdotal evidence, but that is open to many different interpretations.

Jeff McLane shared his thoughts on some roster battles. For some odd reason, he didn’t address QB. When is one of the beat writers going to cover the QB competition? We have yet to hear much about that this spring/summer. Typical media. Ignoring the QBs so they can focus on other positions, like RT and Safety.

Ruben Frank talked to a couple of rookies about TC. It is funny to see Bennie Logan refer to Cedric Thornton as a veteran. All about perspective.


* * * * *

Players are reporting today. Practice will start tomorrow.

There are going to be 30 guys in camp. This is a chance for the young guys to get their feet wet and get back into the groove of practicing. I’m sure Jordan Poyer and Zach Ertz are more fired up than anybody. They haven’t practiced since the rookie camp right after the draft.

The next few days aren’t crucial, but they do allow the coaches to work closely with the young players. Back in 2006 rookie LB Omar Gaither grabbed the attention of Jim J0hnson. Gaither knew the playbook really well and was a vocal leader during the opening days of camp. Later on that season Gaither became the starting WLB. Without the opening days of camp, that might not have happened.

I also wonder if the coaches like the fact they can shake off some of their own rust and get ready for the real deal.

* * * * *

One of the French readers asked me to explain the difference in speed and quickness. The language barrier can leave some things a bit confusing.

Think of speed as how fast a player is when running 20, 30 or 40 yards. Think of quickness as how fast a person is for 2, 3 or 4 steps.

In football, speed is how fast you run. Quickness is more about initial movement. I hope that clears things up a bit.

* * * * *

A note about the podcasts. Jimmy and I decided to not renew the site for the Helmet2Helmet Show. We can host the show here or at Bleeding Green Nation. There was simply no need to pay for an extra site. We have considered changing the name of the show. Originally we intended to cover all 32 teams and talk about college football some. The Eagles had such a tumultuous season that we never strayed from them. They were awful, but not boring.

Should we now give in and add the word Eagles or Birds or Green to the title? Should we just leave well enough alone and stick with the H2H Show?

We’re open to your thoughts and suggestions.

Here is a show we did talking about the rookies and Training Camp.

We also recorded one about the QBs and TC. Wait til you hear why Mike Vick shouldn’t trust Dennis Dixon. Really funny stuff.


36 Comments on “Training Camp Starts”

  1. 1 James Boyce said at 11:53 AM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I’ve always assumed that the Helmet to Helmet Show was so named partly due to self deprecating reasons if the word “helmet” can be used in US english slang as it is in English English slang. It kind of sums up the tone of the show ( in a nice way). I actually think that it is a really good name for it and I wouldn’t change it. Of course I might be wrong and have just offended both Tommy and Jimmy.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:59 AM on July 22nd, 2013:

    You are encouraged to insult Jimmy. I, however, am a delicate flower and should be handled with the utmost care.

    I think we just liked H2H because it was both catchy and generic. We didn’t want an Eagles-centric name at the time. As it turns out, we could have gone that route.

    We’re both fine with sticking with H2H. Just wanted to explain the situation.

  3. 3 Corry said at 12:08 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I think you guys should just leave it Helmet 2 Helmet at this point. I think the title of it sums up the show fairly well if only because I imagine you and Jimmy wearing helmets while discussing the various topics.

    I also hope #MikeVickHersheySquirts becomes a trending thing on Twitter.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 12:24 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    That would be glorious.

  5. 5 Ark87 said at 5:22 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    If he ends up on the PUp list….ok that’s terrible, gonna go ahead and go to bed now

  6. 6 Mitchell said at 12:26 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I think the name should remain the same. It’s familiar to us and it won’t cause the confusion if the name were to be changed. As far as content goes, I believe you should continue to add in tid-bits about the NFCe. Since Blogging the Beast is going down who knows how much time Jimmy will have to blog about the rest of the NFC. As the saying goes “keep you friends close but your enemies closer.” Also I believe it would be awesome to talk about some of the college football draft prospects that fit the Eagles schemes for 2014. If we could have info on what college games to watch, say for the next good safety, it would help me filter the games I do and don’t want to watch on Saturday. I remember on Scouts Notebook I read a blog about Eric Fisher, watched the game he was playing in, and was amazed how good he was. It would be nice to hear you two talk briefly about those types of players and of course players that may go in later rounds. If you guys already do these things I apologize. I have only been listening to the show for about 6 months.

  7. 7 JulzPE said at 12:27 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Do we know what the coverage on is going to be like? Similar to previous years or will we see a bit less with Chip at the helm?

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 12:54 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Sadly, I think Chip is going to restrict them from showing as much. Don’t know that for sure, though. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

  9. 9 OregonDucker said at 4:00 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Your view is consistent with his Oregon approach.

  10. 10 bdbd20 said at 1:42 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I do believe Spadaro is now on a gluten-free diet.

  11. 11 austinfan said at 1:16 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Speed and quickness in football are a little more complex.
    Speed is not just how fast you run, but it can be position specific:
    – WR, part of speed is the ability to maintain your speed through your cuts, so a fast straight line guy may not be that fast if he has to make a cut on a route
    – CB, part of speed is your hips, if you lose a step or two in transition, you may have great catchup speed but have to use it all the time because you’re two steps behind
    – “second gear” – some players have only average speed but can take it up a gear when needed, Westbrook ran a 4.57 40, but could actually gear down, get a defender to slow down with him, then hit the afterburners and leave a faster guy in the dust, others like DeSean can go into overdrive
    – LBs and safeties, speed without a feel for angles can be negated, see Demps, it’s not just getting there fast, it’s getting to the right spot with your body set to make a tackle.
    A lot of great players aren’t straight line fast, but have great body control and spatial intelligence, so they seem to play faster because they don’t have a lot of wasted steps and remained balanced when they arrive at the play.

    Quickness is a combination of recognition, reaction time and leg explosion. Some players just see what’s happening and the game slows down for them, they may have average tested quickness but on the field they react a tenth or two tenths of second faster than everyone else – that’s a key for a top pass rusher, that first step before the OL can react gives you a huge edge. Reaction time is pure athleticism, some players are quick twitch athletes where as soon as they decide what they’re going to do, their bodies react and they go into motion, others seem to react like a V8 with a sluggish transmission, they seem to sputter for a half second before they get into gear.

    Leg explosion is a matter of how much you bring when you do react, you can have great recognition, good acceleration but average power, so you get going quickly but lack a great burst and don’t bring a lot of force (acceleration x mass). Some players are just plain explosive, they may not react as quickly but when they get going everyone else looks like they’re playing in slow motion, and when they arrive they bring the pain. Combine quick reaction time with great explosion and you have a deadly combination.

  12. 12 eagleyankfan said at 1:56 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    to sum it up, quickness and speed is the opposite of the above reply.

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 2:20 PM on July 22nd, 2013:


    I was trying to keep things simple for the non-English speaking fans. You may have just caused their heads to explode.

  14. 14 D3FB said at 4:43 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    austinfan is clearly a xenophobe.

  15. 15 Ark87 said at 5:56 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Good points on the recognition/reaction time portion of quickness. For me quickness has always been about vector acceleration/deceleration. For me Shady is a great example for discerning quickness from speed. He near instantly decelerates to a stop in one direction direction, picks a new direction and accelerates back to full speed in a heart beat.

    It always bothers me when people refer to shady as a “home run threat”. He’s not, if he was, he’d be heading to the hall of fame (he might get there anyway if he can replicate or surpass his 2010/2011 production for 6 or so more years). Shady’s range is about 50 yards, that’s about the limit of how far he can get before someone runs him down (unless he has an escort). That’s the result of not having a load of speed.

    Djax is almost the polar opposite. When he used to return punts, he almost looked wobbly or mushy while he was trying to pick a direction, But once he got going, players struggled to judge angles because of Jackson’s pure speed.

  16. 16 SteveH said at 1:44 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I think Jimmy is going to slip up and say welcome to the helmet 2 helmet show a few times even if you name it something else so you may as well leave it as is.

  17. 17 Kevin Powell said at 1:46 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I like many others have become emotional,y attached to the Helmet 2 Helmet show, so a name change would be devastating. You wouldn’t change the name of your baby after having it for a year, would you?

  18. 18 eagleyankfan said at 1:57 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I like H2H with Boomer or H2H with Dukes.

    Reid scripted the beginning of games. Did(does) Chip script his offensive plays at Oregon?

  19. 19 Ark87 said at 5:34 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I misread the second part of that and it gave me an idea. They should start every podcast like an Andy Reid press conference.

    Bama: *clears throat* alright injuries. Tommy’s recovering from a wicked case of funyun related heartburn. He should be ready to go for the Podcast. *clears throat* The last podcast was not good, that’s on me, I need to set up jokes better, put Tommy in a better place to succeed. Alright, Tommy, time’s yours”

  20. 20 Steag209 said at 10:14 PM on July 23rd, 2013:

    Just… Yes

  21. 21 D-von said at 2:02 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Helmet 2 Helmet is fine. If I were to rename it though I would all it “Let’s Talk Eagles”

  22. 22 TheRogerPodacter said at 3:00 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    regarding the site: is it possible for you to add a subdomain on igglesblitz? something like wherever you put it, just make sure links still get posted to commonly viewed places (here and BGN for example). it would be nice if there was a convenient way to view ALL of the H2H shows too. maybe have a link on the side of your page or another button in the row with “about” and “contact info”.
    of course, if you move it all into igglesblitz, you might have to give some access to the site to that whack job jimmy. maybe thats not such a good idea. he might replace your images with poorly (beautifully?) drawn MS-Paint…things. hahaha

    regarding the name: i kinda like Helmet 2 Helmet. It makes me think of two football nuts arguing about the game (butting heads if you will, thus going helmet to helmet with each other).
    disclaimer: i’m not a podcast kinda guy so i have yet to actually listen to any of them. Luddite! burn him at the stake! (wait, those are kind of opposites in a way)

  23. 23 ACViking said at 3:50 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Re: A Coach with a Different Approach — More Change is More of the Same

    When interviewed early in training camp, the players described how they felt comfortable being themselves with the new HC and speaking openly about their concerns with him.

    The new head coach told the media that he wanted to make greater use of computers in analyzing what the team can do against the pposition.

    As for the new offense being installed, the veteran QB told the media that learning the new scheme and new verbiage were main concerns, but that’s usually true with a new regime.

    Finally, the new HC told the media that he wasn’t sure who would start, but he liked the group of 4 QBs he brought to TC.


    These were the points made in a story written in mid-July 1969, not long after new Eagles head coach Jerry Williams opened his first TC as the Birds’ leader.

    All of those items sound remarkably familiar. No?

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 5:43 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    What version of Windows were those computers running?

  25. 25 A_T_G said at 10:43 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Stained Glass 4

  26. 26 Stacks209 said at 3:54 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Hey Tommy,

    In regards to the H2H show and content. I myself would enjoy a weekly 32 team recap show once the season starts. Discuss teams, performances and players of note for the week. Or perhaps an NFC East recap periodically. A game preview in the days leading up to Eagles games would be great too. I know for myself once the season starts the days between games are too long. Being able to listen to an H2H game preview on Thurday-Friday prior to a Sunday game would be a welcomed treat! Just my $0.02!
    Great job as always Tommy. Keep it going!

  27. 27 Eagles1991 said at 4:41 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Name the new site for the podcast whatever you want Tommy, but PLEASE PLEASE include a link to your sunglasses website. I’ll need some rose colored ones in time for the first preseason game.

  28. 28 TommyLawlor said at 5:44 PM on July 22nd, 2013:


  29. 29 D3FB said at 4:46 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I’m going to have to vote for the name to be changed to Bama and the Law

    Also Tommy don’t know if you have done much study on the upcoming draft but any thoughts on Andrew Jackson LB from Western Kentucky?

  30. 30 TommyLawlor said at 5:44 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Watched a little of him. Big, thick ILB. Not sure he has the range for MLB, but could be good run stuffer in 3-4. Might be Eagles type of target.

  31. 31 Ark87 said at 6:03 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Can we not change to podcast to Bleeding PBR and Pudding?

  32. 32 Britton VanHorn said at 6:44 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    “2 Broke Hacks”

  33. 33 A_T_G said at 10:27 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Or Broke Hacks Mountin’

  34. 34 Mark Sitko said at 8:13 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Thanks Tommy – if H2H is hosted on BGN my one request would be that somewhere on the site a full page is dedicated to it – so all the podcasts are there in descending chronological order, like they were on the old H2H site.

    In the new format I can find the newest episode fairly easily on twitter, or here, or on BGN – but going back and cruising old episodes seems difficult (F itunes, not a fan). I know that may sound crazy…but I do go back and listen to past episodes (I have listened to the podcasts immediately following the Chip’s hiring many times). I am sure there must be a few others who re-listen as well. I know we are a small portion of your audience that require this, but it would mean a lot – those recordings are tremendous resources…and each a little time capsule – thanks for making them.

  35. 35 Gary said at 9:49 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    Bleeding Green Conversation?

    Birds Banter?

    The Hack 2 Hack Show? (personal favorite)

    Just spitballin’. As far as where the show is put, I’m happy as long as it’s on iTunes. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t access it that way.

  36. 36 Champs said at 10:54 PM on July 22nd, 2013:

    I liked Helmet to Helmet as a name. As you said, it’s catchy and gives you leeway to talk about all things football if you so choose!