Looking at the D-Line

Posted: August 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 74 Comments »

The Eagles defensive line had a bizarre start to the season. Some of the players struggled and others starred. What makes it so confusing is that the guys didn’t do what we expected.

Fletcher Cox is in his second year and arguably the Eagles best defensive player. Expectations are sky high. Last Friday he probably played the worst game of his short NFL career. Granted he only played a handful of snaps, but Cox was not as good as a UDFA like Damion Square who made his NFL debut. Having a quiet game is okay. A bad game for such a good player? That does bug me.

Vinny Curry is a player we still have high hopes for, but he’s playing 20 pounds heavier and in a new scheme so expectations had to be muted because of that. He was terrific on Friday night, making plays in the backfield and hustle plays down the field. Patriots offensive players would tell you #75 is the stud, not #91.


Rookies Damion Square and Bennie Logan played well and drew the praise of the coaching staff. Veteran Isaac Sopoaga was up and down. Cedric Thornton was up and down. Like I said, it was an odd game.

You can never make too much out of the preseason opener. Some veterans sleep-walk through it because they’re pacing themselves. Other veterans go all out and can give you a false positive. Last year Derek Landri was a stud in the preseason and then did very little in the regular season. He was going all out on every play in the summer and not all NFL players do that. When it came time to dial things up in September, he had nowhere to go. To borrow a phrase from Nigel Tufnel, he was already at 11.

We can’t make any conclusions from the opener, but I just re-watched some of the D-line today so let’s take another look at them.

Fletcher Cox was just bad. I don’t know if he was confused or just had an off night, but he only had a play or two where you’d give him a positive grade. Fletch needs to kick butt and take names this year. His job is to be a difference-maker. I hope he’s a man on a mission this week.

Sopoaga wasn’t bad, but he’s got to either eat up blockers or make plays. A powerful 320-pound NT can’t just beat his man 1-on-1 and not affect the play. He had a couple of good moments.

Thornton started slow, but got better. He has good power. Last summer he struggled with double-teams. By the end of the year he could hold his ground. What you worry about with Ced is that he’s a former UDFA who was expected to start this year. Has he stayed focused? He’s not so gifted that he can walk out there and kick butt. He needs to be technically sound and to play focused. I think he’ll be fine.

Why did Damion Square go undrafted? My guess is that he’s a scouts vs coaches guy. The scouts see a guy with poor measurables. He is 6-2, 293. Average to small size for a DT, depending on the system. He isn’t athletic. He doesn’t jump out on tape. The coaches see a player with some football skills. They meet him and find out he’s smart and has a terrific personality. They see a very coachable player. He’ll be in the right spot at the right time. You can trust him.

This is what we saw on tape from Friday. There were at least 2 plays in a 4-man line when he was the last player off the ball. On one, Vinny Curry was a yard upfield as Square was getting started. Still, Square showed up in a good way. He held his ground for the most part. He was able to get off blocks. He was very good on stunts and loops. Square did stand out on tape, but more for results than style.

While I’m encouraged by him, let’s not get too carried away. He’s got physical limitations. If he starts making plays against starting offensive linemen, I’ll fully jump on the bandwagon. For now, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Bennie Logan showed a combination of skill and talent. He used his hands well. He was able to disengage from blockers. Logan showed good strength. He hustled in pursuit. He also showed good short area quickness. He impressed me more tonight as I took another look at the game. He will be a starter, whether at NT or DE. I don’t know that Logan will ever be a playmaker, but he can be a good 3-4 DL that eats up blocks and plays the run well.

Curry is a guy we all saw and were very impressed by. My word of caution with him is that he was at his best playing DT in the Nickel. Curry was good at DE, but didn’t flash nearly as much. He could be a terrific role player this year and could be a starting DE in the future.

The more I watched my favorite gigantic Eagle, Clifton Geathers, the less impressed I was. He could put Square in his back pocket, but Damion outplayed him. Guys that are 6-8, 340 need to jump out when you watch the tape. Be immovable. Or dominate OL when you’re single-blocked. Or eat up blockers. Do something to show that your size is making a difference. Geathers didn’t really do that.

Cox – Sopoaga – Thornton – Geathers – Logan – Curry – Square

Do the Eagles keep 6 or 7 DL?  Can Antonio Dixon push for a roster spot? What about Joe Kruger? Who becomes expendable?

Geathers could be the odd man out, but the Eagles love his size and are very fascinated by him.

The players have 2 or 3 more games to show that they belong and what they can do. These final preseason games are critical. The rust is gone. They’ve played in the new system. They’ve now been able to study tape. It is time to put up or shut up for the fringe guys. The guys who did well last week just need to stay focused. Don’t let up.

* * * * *

Geoff Mosher wrote a good piece on the DL and how the Eagles think it could be the foundation for a good defense. This group is young and has big time potential.

Growing pains aside, Kelly believes his stable of young linemen, several of whom are entering their first or second seasons, will shape the identity of his defense going forward.

“That is one of our strengths on the defensive side of the ball is our defensive line,” he said. “When you throw [Isaac Sopoaga] and [Clifton] Geathers in the mix and Thornton, I think we feel like the D‑line is starting to round into shape as a strength for us over there.”

Kelly’s preference on winning in the trenches with stout, brawny, hard-nosed athletes has been evident since his “big people beat up little people” remark made the rounds in headlines this offseason.

The DL will really thrive if Cox is able to play up to his potential. Every special DL needs that one guy that offenses must either double team or account for. Cox should be that guy for the Eagles.

* * * * *

Jeff McLane wrote a good piece on Fletcher Cox and the tough transition for him.

Cox conceded Tuesday that he was frustrated. He said that phone conversations he has had with former teammate and mentor Cullen Jenkins, who signed with the New York Giants in the offseason, have helped his state of mind.

“He keeps telling me that I just need to be more patient,” Cox said. “I need to do more read and react rather than trying to get off the ball as fast as I can.”

Cox said that he isn’t just playing two-gap football. There were times against the Patriots when the Eagles had four down linemen and the defensive ends had only one-gap responsibility. But Cox will need to do both if he’s going to play all three downs.

“I know as an offensive coach, I would love to know when that guy’s in the game, it’s two-gap defense; when that guy’s in the game, it’s one-gap defense,” Kelly said. “They’ve got to be able to play at both.”

Fletch has the size and skills to be a good 3-4 DL. He just needs time and reps to adjust. I’ll give him until the second series on Thursday. That seems reasonable, right?

* * * * *

Go watch this PE.com interview with Damion Square.

I was really impressed. This is not a typical rookie. He is smart. He understands football and where he fits into the big scheme of things. This is definitely the type of player you’d want to coach. I look forward to more interviews with him in the future.


74 Comments on “Looking at the D-Line”

  1. 1 Stanimal said at 11:52 PM on August 14th, 2013:

    It was rather discouraging to see Fletch flat on his back on the first play and it didn’t get much better after that. At least some of the other young guys showed up even if it was against lesser competition. Hopefully Logan will show up this week against Carolina’s first team.

  2. 2 Always Hopeful said at 12:22 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Fletch has to step it up. His potential to be special helps this defense be better. I wonder how much a challenge this new system is for him. Not sure what he ran in college, but this is definitely different all of the different things that were run last season.

  3. 3 Conor Mc Namara said at 12:05 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Has Kruger gotten any looks at OLB? Or is he looking at being a practice squad guy if we’re only going to keep 6 DL?

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 12:07 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    He played some OLB in the spring, but has purely been at DE this summer as far as I know.

  5. 5 Media Mike said at 7:54 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Kruger’s body type indicates a guy, with some added muscle, can be a prototype 3-4 DE.

  6. 6 Flyin said at 12:16 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Tommy, I wasn’t expecting this kind of harsh evaluation of the d-line. As true as it may be… The vets need to wash the burns off.

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 12:54 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    It isn’t all harsh. Lots of potential. Just need key guys to play to their potential. That could easily happen starting vs CAR.

  8. 8 Flyin said at 1:00 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Did you like my Washburn inference? I think some guys have to break old habits when the lights go on. I think reading Cox has talked with Cullen I believe, which got me on that train of thought.

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 1:42 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Went right over my head. Well done.

  10. 10 GEagle said at 8:52 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I don’t think you will ever see a Vet like Soap do more in a preseason game then he did on Friday…just like you aren’t ever going to be happy with Meco’s preseason play….Idnbe surprised if Kenny Phillips actually gives an effort during preseason….vets just look at it differently than us…

    Watch any Demeco interview and he literally can’t help himself from laughing at the media’s preseason questions…
    As for Cox, dude hasn’t had a bad word said about him since he got to Philly. Let him get chin checked the opening preseason game. Show him how far he still has to go. If I’m Azz, I make Cox watch a tale of Soldier owning him, every game for the rest of the season right before they take the field…

    Now Game 2, Inwill judge a guy like Cox differently. he has to show who he is, after a game like that. he can’t afford to “sleep walk ” like Soap.
    I like that nothing is coming easy for the defense, then again Im much more comfortable with the personel than most…I have zero concerns about last week, but I do expect them to start to round out into shape in game two and 3, even though I’m not sure what that means, because it’s not just going to Gel overnight….I think we won’t know the true measure of this defense til after the bye week

  11. 11 Always Hopeful said at 12:18 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Square might be a “throw back” or what my older relatives called “an old soul”. This is why I love pre-season! A chance to see the young guys develop and contribute to the team. Reid was good at finding UDFAs and it seems like Kelly got a high character/ serviceable player in Square. Hope he can make the team and contribute.

  12. 12 Flyin said at 12:21 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    JimmyKamera noted the Eagles could be in big trouble if Barwin goes down or doesn’t perform to expectations. It’s my understanding he will primarily be on the strong side as OLB. Can you name some players that are real difference makers at that position on talented 3-4 teams?

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 1:04 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    LaMarr Woodley. Anthony Spencer. Ryan Kerrigan.

    The best OLBs are normally the pass rushers on the weakside. Ware, Suggs. I think Aldon Smith normally plays on the right side, but I couldn’t swear to that.

    Jimmy’s point with Barwin is that he’s a true LB. Can play the run, cover, and rush the passer. We don’t have another player who can do all that. Barwin isn’t a great LB. He’s just the only true 3-4 OLB we’ve got.

  14. 14 Flyin said at 1:17 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Thanks, just wanted a feel for the position. You get sacks and you’re a hero. Do all the little things right… your a solid player.

  15. 15 SteveH said at 12:48 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Tommy, tell Jimmy to stop being such a prima donna now that he’s on television and record some more podcasts.

  16. 16 Flyin said at 12:55 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Is there a link to the podcast site/page?

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 1:07 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Problem is that he doesn’t live in Philly. Camp means a crazy travel schedule or that he’s crashing with friends. Once camp winds down, we’ll get back to our normal schedule.

  18. 18 JB in P-Town said at 12:50 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I really want this line to set the tone for games. This defense is screaming for an identity and needs a bright spot to build around. I really think it’s going to be Cox and think that Curry can be quite a handful in passing situations. I think that Logan can be effective and will be a solid contributor but am not expecting many “wow” plays out of him. I think with the 3-4 you really don’t need more than one special player for the line to work well. You need two solid defenders who can really eat up blocks and demand double teams (Geathers, Logan, Thorton, Sop) and let the other(s) be disruptive (Cox, Curry) and let the linebackers be stars (insert draft pick or FA acquisition here….). I need there to be a bright spot on this defense and I think that our line is the strongest with some star potential.

    By the way…do you see this team extending Graham next offseason (think his contract is up) or keeping Cole? I just don’t see either being ideal fits going forward (tall, young, athletic) for what Chip wants. Cole and Graham not being on the roster would certainly free up some serious cap space to being in some new linebacker talent. Thoughts?

  19. 19 TommyLawlor said at 1:08 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Cole is gone in 2014, unless he shocks us all and plays great.

    Graham’s future is up to him. If he plays well, the Eagles would love to keep him.

  20. 20 JB in P-Town said at 1:25 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I just don’t see Graham as being able to effectively drop well enough (now or in the near future) to be a priority re-sign if we continue to transition to this new defense. I also think his height/speed is really going to limit his ability in coverage as well, thus also decreasing value in this system. If I were Graham I am not sure I would even want to re-sign as an OLB when I could sign somewhere else as a more traditional DE. Sad to see Cole go but not as sad as watching him last year. Father time comes for us all I guess.

  21. 21 austinfan said at 8:00 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Don’t forget Davis is a Steeler guy, they’ve done well with short athletic OLBs who were converted college DEs over the years.

  22. 22 Media Mike said at 8:03 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    When Graham was drafted, Woodley stated Graham was a better player. I’m looking forward to seeing that pay off this year.

  23. 23 GEagle said at 8:54 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Tom, does the cap hit for losing Cole drop drastically next year?

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 8:57 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Drastically? No. But they would save money by cutting him. So that’s what they’ll do, if he doesn’t shine this year.


  25. 25 GEagle said at 9:03 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Oh ok…wells considering they would lose money by cutting him, the ability to save money certainly becomes attractive and puts Cole on Notice that heis fighting for his Eagles life….I have a hard time seeing him brought back if we aren’t taking the type of hit we would have taken this year…who knows, maybe he thrives and is rejuvenated by this season. It’s just nice to ATleast be able to get out o his contract instead of being pigeon toed like this year

  26. 26 Anders said at 9:40 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Looking at that, I think they wait too 2015. Next year Cole cap value is still “only” 6.6 mill. Its in 2015 it becomes a problem

  27. 27 GEagle said at 11:49 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    howie certainly has gotten a pass from this city for that horrible contract

  28. 28 Anders said at 11:53 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Its not really terrible. 6.6 mill in 2014 is not really a lot if he still was producing.

  29. 29 GEagle said at 11:56 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I guess. Hndsight is always 20-20

  30. 30 A_T_G said at 1:41 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    So you are saying you see our D-line as a row of sconces for the defense?

  31. 31 JB in P-Town said at 2:02 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Tommy, I used to get emails when a new podcast was up on H2H Show with a link. I know the new ones are on Bleedinggreennation but is there anyway to add your email to notify with a link for the new shows (I’m lazy kinda…)? Also, are you and Jimmy “officially official now with my fancy new job” Kempski going to do podcasts following the preseason games? I live in Oregon and am going through withdraws not having the post game analysis. Just nobody here wanting to discuss Eagles preseason games and run through roster projections…weird huh? Guess I didn’t know how good I had it till it was gone. I’m just sorry I have taken you and Jimmy for granted.

  32. 32 xlGmanlx said at 3:06 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Tommy – thanks for the links. One can’t but help get excited about the front office we have in place if the past two drafts turn out to be a good core for the next 5-10 years. Reading some of those quotes you linked too, certainly feels like it. That could mean the igg’s compete, and possibly for a long time, in short order. Maybe, maybe not, but I felt like with the old regime it wasn’t going to happen. Wish em all the best of luck, but if the front office is able to start nailing talent, this could be a heck of a ride.

  33. 33 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 6:38 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I’m an optimist, and choose to believe Cox is a player who has to understand his role well before he can really play well, and this is part of that process. I also choose to believe the coaches deliberately asked him to do things against the Pats which he wasn’t good at, to motivate him to improve his weaknesses. Under this logic, this week they will allow him to play to his strengths to give him confidence.

  34. 34 Media Mike said at 7:32 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I think this group will be ok as the season gets rolling. I’m also expecting a significantly better effort vs. the Panthers this week and a dominating one vs. Jacksonville after that.

  35. 35 eagleyankfan said at 7:45 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    If the Eagles can’t do something defensively vs. the Jag’s, we’re looking at a top 3 pick next year. All kidding a side. No expectations this year(including the D line) other than seeing the ship pointed in the right direction.

  36. 36 Media Mike said at 8:00 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I wouldn’t do anything more profound that really complain and nit pick individual failures vs. the Jags if we look bad vs. the Jags. It’ll be a long season that could very well end in a top 3 pick (Bridgewater), but we’ll see.

  37. 37 GEagle said at 11:51 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Take some serious injuries for us to be that bad. Controlling the Line of scrimmage is just soo important. It’s the Catlyist for all success….and I don’t see too many Olines I would rather have then ours..

    Question, If we could re-draft today, would anyone actually chose Fisher or Joekel over big daddy Lane?

  38. 38 Media Mike said at 12:34 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    Easy on Big Daddy Lane over Joekel or Fisher just yet. That needs to play out.

  39. 39 GEagle said at 1:25 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    I would have taken him ahead of both before the draft…
    My target was #1 Dion, #2 Lane, #3 Cooper….If I felt that way before the draft, you ant expect me to not be hype at how it unfolded. I thought Fisher and Joekel would be better their first two seasons, but Lane would have the best career, yet Lane will probably prove to be on par with both, This year…so he is way ahead of My personal expectation for him..
    When coaches say he was flawless mentally, and our veterans talk about how surprised they are at his ability to already anchore, and his Lowe body power…..It’s time to get excited!!! Lol JK

  40. 40 eagleyankfan said at 7:39 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    “That is one of our strengths on the defensive side of the ball is our defensive line,” — Well, um, he couldn’t have said safety, or LB’s…”Honey, you’re the hottest girl in the bar” — of course, it’s 3am and you’re the only female here.
    Good read again. I don’t get to see the game tonight, unless it’s on a delayed telecast on nfl network. PHEWY!
    Cox is calling people outside the organization doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy. I get that he’s Cox’s mentor/friend, but how in the world can Jenkins know what Cox is being asked to do if he’s in a completely different system. Cox needs more than friendly advice if he’s struggling.

  41. 41 Media Mike said at 7:53 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    You realize Cox played 3-4 in Green Bay?

  42. 42 eagleyankfan said at 7:57 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    yes sir. I also realize that Cox never played for Davis or know what Davis is thinking for this defense.

  43. 43 Media Mike said at 7:58 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    True enough there, but tips and techniques on how to engage a double team aren’t endemic to Bill Davis, Rob/Rex Ryan, and, or Dick Lebeau.

  44. 44 eagleyankfan said at 7:55 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Speaking of tonights game — what are people looking for? I’m wondering if there will get more of a peak on the offensive. The break down of some of the Eagles plays were pretty amazing. I hope there’s more of that to come. It seems there’s purpose behind every play. I never got that sense with AR/MM here.
    I wonder if the D WILL have a fire lit under them. You’d think that since the defense is playing for their job, they would be going all out “animal style” panthers. Organized crime scene kind of fire. Get mad. Get angry for crying out loud.

  45. 45 Media Mike said at 7:56 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I’m looking to boo and jeer Cam Newton.

  46. 46 eagleyankfan said at 7:59 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    :). He might be fantasy gold.

  47. 47 Media Mike said at 8:01 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Fantasy aside, he has 40 TD passes vs. 43 Ints / fumbles. He’s not a good QB and has a limited understanding of what he’s looking at on the field. Scam Newtown isn’t a guy with whom you can win in the NFL.

  48. 48 eagleyankfan said at 8:10 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I’m guessing, and it’s just a hunch, that you don’t like him. :). I’ve never really watched him closely.

  49. 49 Media Mike said at 8:18 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Ha ha ha ha. Correct. Totally not a fan of his style of play or his evasion of NCAA sanctions for auctioning off his services.
    I’m like Larry Brown when looking at quarterbacking; I like players who play the game the right way. The whole read-option gang (Newton, Kaepernick. RG3, Johnny Football, etc.) get on my nerves because I think that type of football is garbage. I’d much rather watch a McNabb or Rodgers only use their legs when needed, not by design.

  50. 50 Ben Hert said at 10:33 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    You’re going to have a blast watching this offense for the next couple of years then, I imagine.

  51. 51 Media Mike said at 12:34 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    No, we’re going to be Patriots South. A lot of run plays, a lot of interesting formations, a lot of decision making by our QB, but NOT a lot of running from our QB.

  52. 52 BlindChow said at 8:29 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Also: 22 rushing TD’s.

  53. 53 Media Mike said at 8:31 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I’m assessing quarterback play, not running back play. Running by QBs is a gimmick / jv / flavor of the month type deal that always ends in shortened careers, etc.

  54. 54 BlindChow said at 10:40 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    And hey, what better way to buttress an argument about not winning in the NFL than to ignore a third of his scoring production!

  55. 55 Media Mike said at 12:33 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    Running QB TDs are like a winning $50k on a lottery ticket. It puts money in your pocket now, but you can’t count on it in the long run as your income. That isn’t real production for a QB because QBs running end up being hurt QBs who miss time.

  56. 56 austinfan said at 7:58 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Cox – probably mental, he also bulked up this off season (supposedly up to 310 lbs) and may need some time to get used to playing at a bigger size (you’re stronger but lose a half step), as well as shifting from a one gap attack to a hybrid changing role. At age 23, he’s still growing into his body and is probably a couple years from reaching his peak.

    Sopoaga – he’s a solid DL at the end of his career, he’s probably good for 400 snaps or so but don’t expect him to play with intensity in the preseason, his job is secure and he knows he needs to pace himself at his age.

    Thornton – switching from one gap to hybrid like Cox, still growing into his body and learning technique, inconsistency is to be expected, but will only be tolerated for so long.

    Logan/Square – both come out of semi-pro 3-4 defenses, they are actually more prepared for this defense than the young DL who played for the Eagles last year, both did the dirty work in college and are prepared for that role in the NFL. The difference is Logan has NFL size (6’2 309) and athleticism, Square played college at 285 and when he bulked up to 296 lbs tested as a mediocre athlete. At age 24, what you see is pretty much what you’re gonna get physically, which is why I’m skeptical of Square, I think he’ll prove to be a better preseason than regular season player, because when the intensity goes up, he doesn’t have more to give. Landri was a much better athlete and could use it to compensate for lack of size – unless you think Square can pull a “Kelly Gregg” and add 20 lbs without slowing down – he doesn’t have a bright future.

    Curry – he has potential as a pass rusher, I think he’ll max out at 285 lbs or so, which can work in a one gap 3-4 (see Smith and a few others) but he’ll struggle on run downs as a two gap DE. A pass rush specialist who rotates in is probably in his future unless he’s traded to a team looking for a physical LDE (playing 3-4 DE will prepare him for that role).

    Geathers – tease, the measurables will keep him floating around the league but he lacks quick twitch movements and doesn’t have the “great wall” mentality to be a dominating run stopper (if you can’t beat people off the snap with quickness, overwhelm them with size and strength).

    Dixon – like to see him on the field, this system suits him if he’s in shape, athletic enough to play DE on run downs, big and strong enough to anchor at NT, but that was the 2010 Dixon before Washburn messed with his head.

    Kruger – at 21, he’s simply not physically developed, but a team that’s not a serious contender has to consider stashing him for a year or two and adding 20 lbs or so to his frame. Given his athleticism, worthy project.

    King – at age 24, can you really bulk him up enough for DE?

  57. 57 GEagle said at 9:00 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    This is the Internet….how dare you be rational? Lol
    Great post. it’s a shame so many fans can watch a preseason game, see a bad game and think that it’s a real indication of the player we are getting…We have so many young guys that will be a major part of the rotation, no matter how good or how bad it is, they won’t be finished products, we won’t really know who they are yet..It’s just important that we continue to see improvement from one month to the next with these guys..
    What really makes it tough is the new players are coming to a defense with no established core yet..We really have to give these guys time to not only learn their roles, but to learn where their teammates will be, and what they can count on from each man.

  58. 58 ACViking said at 11:31 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    deleted and reposted

  59. 59 A_T_G said at 1:58 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    Nice assessments. Is there something specific that leads you to say 23-year old Cox still has a few years to grow into his body, but that 24-year olds King and Square are about done?

  60. 60 GEagle said at 3:02 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    People seem to act as if this is as good as it can get for Squares. As if he is some flawless football player who has mastered this game and has made the most he can ever make out of his talent…I’m sure there is plenty of technique he can improve on, I’m sure he can learn to diagnose and react quicker, I’m sure that two years in an NFL strength and conditioning program can help him, like it helps all the other young players….Sure their is a limit and ceiling to his ability, but I don’t see how he could have possibly reached his nfl circling already. but because he is an overachiever instead of a raw guy who isn’t ready but oozes with potential like Kruger, it’s crucial for a guy like Square to show up Now, so that it’s worth us continuing to invest in his development….

    when we say a guy has reached his ceiling, To me, it means this is as good as it will ever get for this guy…I don’t see how that could be the case. if he shows enough to make this roster, and he gets snaps in the rotation beginning with the 1st game in Washington, and stays healthy and plays 16 games a year for the next 3 seasons, come year 4, I’m sure he would have a chance at being a much better player than he is today….so I really don’t understand all the ceiling talk with him…..Obviously thre will always be a limit on what he can do, but I doubt his ceiling has already been reached

  61. 61 austinfan said at 5:17 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    A 24 year old player from a program like LSU or Alabama is usually a redshirt who has spent years at a college with a weight and training program close to NFL quality. Square tried to bulk up for his pro day but did not test well at 296 lbs, that’s usually a sign that his body is closed to maxed out as far as natural size.

    Cox turned 22 as a rookie and will turn 23 this season (in December), he’s a year to year and a half younger, and has already supposedly added 10 lbs in a NFL training regime. I think 310 lbs is around his ideal, but at that size he’s a far superior athlete than Square at 296 lbs or Logan, who also bulked up to 309 lbs for the combine.

    Square started 32 games at Alabama, you don’t get much more “finished” than that. That’s why he’s unlikely to improve as much as Cox, who was a true freshman, or Logan, who came out as a junior.

  62. 62 eagleyankfan said at 8:17 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    those of us not local to philly channels — Friday 4:00 p.m. — Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles — on the nfl network :).

  63. 63 Media Mike said at 8:19 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    What a shame you can’t stream the game live for free.

  64. 64 eagleyankfan said at 8:24 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I can’t do games streaming even if for free…it’s just not right watching sports on a computer…its not natural..lol…I really never checked — do they do that for free?
    I pay for the nfl package on directv — you’d think that they would air the pre-season games. If I buy season passes to the stadium, I’d get the pre-season games. Should be the same for directv. Just my weird way of thinking things.

  65. 65 TheRogerPodacter said at 11:16 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    my solution is putting a slingbox at my parents house in south jersey. lets me stream the game almost-live over the internet. quality varies, of course.
    then, on my end, i can watch through a web browser (even on my phone if i pay a crap load for their app). Lots of media streamer boxes let you watch it on your tv. i used to use the Boxee Box, but didn’t get enough use out of it so i shelved it. other boxes like Roku might support slingbox too, but i’m not sure.

  66. 66 GEagle said at 11:54 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Oh man…I always have the game on my TV, while I stream another game or stream NFL Redzone on my computer, with my iPad for all fantasy football business.
    On Game day, my bed turns into a multimedia football center lol

  67. 67 BlindChow said at 8:26 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Yeah, once the game starts I’ll be going on football media blackout until tomorrow afternoon… At least we don’t have to wait until Saturday!

  68. 68 A_T_G said at 2:00 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    Your avatar makes this statement very funny.

  69. 69 GEagle said at 8:35 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    I can’t help but to wonder how much practicing against the fly Swatter this summer helped Foless make that side arm throw to Bryce around the rushing defender

  70. 70 Media Mike said at 8:45 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Well I know Vick has learned nothing from the fly swatters. I see tweets daily about him hitting them.

  71. 71 Anders said at 9:58 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    He have hit em like trice this TC.

  72. 72 GermanEagle said at 11:01 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    As long as he doesn’t hit any fly swatters in real games I could care less…

  73. 73 ACViking said at 11:32 AM on August 15th, 2013:

    Re: Your Breakdown of the DL


    “Who are you really and what were you before?”

  74. 74 babapsu said at 5:36 PM on August 15th, 2013:

    i am officially blaming the ACL’s on “The Curse of Lehigh”.