Special Players

Posted: March 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 113 Comments »

The Eagles made a pair of moves today, signing an impact LB and S. Unfortunately that impact won’t come in the form of sacks or INTs…it will come on Special Teams.

This morning the Eagles signed S Chris Maragos and this afternoon they added LB Bryan Braman. While those moves don’t sound sexy, they can be impact moves. Check out this blurb from Bo Wulf.

Last season, the Eagles’ coverage units improved under Kelly, going from 31st in punt coverage to 11th and bumping up from 21st in kickoff coverage to 19th. Clearly, Kelly has aims on making both those units top-10 quality, and Braman is the next in line to help that process.

This is where you need to understand the cyclic nature of field position in the game of football. I had a college assistant coach talk to me about this years ago and it changed the way I looked at the game. Fans now are smarter than ever, but sometimes they still overlook the importance of field position and the kicking game.

The Eagles offense was much less effective when starting from the 20 than when starting at the 30 or the 35. So how do you avoid starting possessions at the 20? The return game needs to be more of a weapon. While a lot of that is on the returners, the blocking was far from ideal last year. Guys like Braman and Maragos can help that. A good block here or there could spring someone for an additional 5 to 10 yards. We’re not talking about significant blocks or 90-yard TDs. That stuff would be great, but isn’t needed for the STs to improve.

The reason the other team had to KO is because they scored. If you can keep them from scoring, you’ll help your chances of getting the ball in better field position. One reason the other team was able to score (sometimes) was that they started with good field position. Back them up with good punt or KO coverage and you’re more likely to keep them from scoring and get the ball back to your offense. 

Jim Johnson was brilliant at coming up with complex blitzes and creative looks. Sometimes his genius was just simplicity, though. He used his 11 defenders plus the sideline plus the length of the field to stop offenses. JJ believed that forcing offenses to methodically move the ball down the field increased the chances they would make a drive-ending mistake. That might come in the form or a penalty or dropped pass or turnover. He counted on the offense to make some mistakes.

While his reputation was that of a super-aggressive blitzer, that really wasn’t the case. He focused on his zone blitzes until the offense got inside the Eagles 40-yard line. That’s when he turned the dogs loose and the 7 and 8 man blitzes came flying at QBs. Once a team had gotten that far, there was no need to worry about getting beat deep. They were already in scoring position.

When JJ’s defenses were at their best, they were aided by strong STs play. The Eagles opponents had to drive the long field and that played into his strategy.

We all agree the current Eagles defense is no juggernaut so anything the STs can do to help put the opposing offense in worse position could be a real help. This is where every yard can turn out to be important. Stop a team at the 45 and they are probably going to punt. Stop a team at the 40 and they are more likely try a long FG. That 5 yards could have come from a play by the defense,  but also could have been the starting field position due to excellent coverage by the STs.

Even though the Eagles didn’t add an offensive or defensive player, they might have just helped both units in a big way.

I don’t know if Braman and Maragos will be counted on as defensive backups. They’ll obviously be on the depth chart, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be looked at as anything other than emergency options. I don’t know enough about them as defenders to know if they can help or not.

PE.com on Maragos

PE.com on Braman

* * * * *

No word on any other moves.

Local reporters are killing the idea of Darrelle Revis as a target.

Mike Neal re-signed with Green Bay.

DeMarcus Ware went to Denver.

Seattle cut Chris Clemons and I wondered if he might be of interest, but he’s already visiting another team.

Seems quiet for now, but we’ll see what happens.


113 Comments on “Special Players”

  1. 1 A_T_G said at 7:09 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Okay, I have a request.

    Can we all please try to clean up the comments section a bit?

    I know it can be fun to poke the trolls, and I do it myself sometimes. I know particularly ignorant comments can provoke a hostile response. But this place is special, and we are in danger of it becoming closer to those…other places.

    Let’s all try to allow those comments that don’t belong here to wither on the vine. Ignore them. If you must, reply that their tone or language is unwelcome and move on. I don’t think Tommy has ever banned a commenter, let’s keep it that way.

  2. 2 planetx1971 said at 8:19 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Amen to THAT brother. *cough-GEAGLE-cough* I commented after one of the previous posts that got WAY out of hand with “C-Bombs” & so forth, that my young sons read this site too & I never really had to worry about the comments section of Igglesblitz before then. Thanks for pointing it out too man. Appreciate that.

  3. 3 Insomniac said at 9:12 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Better tell your kids to stay away from birds 24/7 too.

  4. 4 planetx1971 said at 10:14 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    LOL ya, it definitely gets pretty rowdy over there. This site really is the best though. So many REALLY thoughtful & intelligent fans in the comments section.

  5. 5 laeagle said at 8:25 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I’ll back down. It’s so hard to leave those posts alone sometimes, when people think bro-rage somehow outweighs common sense. But I hear you.

  6. 6 Mitchell said at 9:22 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    It seems lately everyone is more edgy than normal.

  7. 7 Sconces said at 10:44 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    tf you just say to me?

  8. 8 Mitchell said at 11:09 PM on March 12th, 2014:


  9. 9 Sconces said at 10:43 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    what is this referring to

  10. 10 Mitchell said at 10:47 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Read the comments section in the last post.

  11. 11 Iskar36 said at 12:51 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Great post A_T_G. The comments section are a huge reason I come to this site and seeing things get hostile and destroying intelligent conversation (whether people agree or not) really becomes frustrating.

    Having said that, I have to say that I am not a fan at all of the new Discus system that does not count down votes. When I see a comment that is hostile or rude, etc., it is hard not to respond back, but the down vote system allows you to express your disagreement without responding with further hostility. Seeing posts where there are significant number of down votes, I know it is a post I can choose to ignore. You no longer can do that with the new system. I can understand in other forums the down vote system getting abused, but here, for the most part, it seems to be used appropriately.

  12. 12 A Roy said at 6:01 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    So I called should ignore trolls calling Tommy an A________ kissing B_______ licker? (Or similar) A la PhilliesFan? Seems easier to flame them out.

  13. 13 planetx1971 said at 7:18 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I’m glad we got a couple of ST’s studs. That surely will help no question about it. However, I still am feelin pretty deflated. I was fully prepared for the Eagles to be cautious, a tad passive even in FA this year. But I feel like we’ve been more like comatose. I’ve been watching mid level guy after guy get signed I thought could really help us out. Is there ANYONE even left? I’m sorry for being a downer fellas, but I’m feeling REALLY disappointed thus far and also feeling that with our complete lack of aggression in FA, that we REALLY need to have an amazing draft & not miss on hardly any of our (too few) picks. Roseman & company are a whole lot smarter than me. So I’m praying they make all my fears seem silly. Go Birds.

  14. 14 A_T_G said at 7:27 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Look on the bright side- we got the top free agent in the whole crop, Donnie Jones, locked up for a few more years. We can start working on a play at OTAs where he lines up in the backfield and bicycle kicks a pitch from Foles 90 yards downfield to DJax, in stride.

  15. 15 planetx1971 said at 8:11 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Thanks A_T_G that sure gave me a much needed chuckle lol

  16. 16 Mitchell said at 8:55 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I would also add that a lot of our FA splash happened weeks ago when we signed all our own players. Chin up!

  17. 17 planetx1971 said at 9:17 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I’m REALLY tryin Mitchell. I AM very happy where we’re at with our offense no question. It’s just with ALL the defensive needs we have, it feels to me that if this FA period was one of my fishing trips, we came back with a decent Perch, a few pumpkin seeds & a sunburn. GOD, I feel like the we HAVE to have a draft for the ages now for sure.

  18. 18 Mitchell said at 9:21 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Don’t worry we are going to. I really think we will be blown away this year in the draft. Speaking of I would like Dontae Johnson later on. Seems like a versatile Davis guy with a big body and good upside.

  19. 19 austinfan said at 7:28 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Who did we lose?

    Vick, Avant (replaced with Maclin), Geathers, Allen (replaced by Jenkins), Coleman (replaced with Maragos), Anderson, Chung.
    So we go into the draft having upgraded two positions and weaker nowhere on the roster. We get Phillips (ILB, ST) and Kruger back from IR.

    A lot of teams on FA sprees are playing musical chairs, see Chicago for example.

  20. 20 planetx1971 said at 8:13 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I wasn’t lamenting ANYONE we lost Austin, just some of the mid level guys we passed on. But like I said, the F.O. is a while lot smarter than me. I’m counting on it!

  21. 21 Jernst said at 9:28 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I think the most important thing to take away from your own comment is that these were “mid level guys” just like you said. Mid level guys you thought “might” help us out. There were no slam dunks in FA this yr, and next yr will not be won or lost on the acquisition of a mid level guy. You over spend on a few too many mid level guys like, say, Ken Hamlin and Gerald Sensabough and Roy Williams and you end up needing to cut a hall of famer to satisfy the dead money from those mistakes. I was feeling pretty let down myself earlier, but you said it yourself … These are mid level guys, only they’re getting A+ money. Good rotational back up types live Everson Griffenand Michael Johnson getting star money.

  22. 22 eagleyankfan said at 7:23 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Sign a kicker and I’ll be impressed. Sign a KO return guy and impress me even more. That’s how you improve your field position on offense.
    Signing two lackey’s to be on you ST means squat. I thought Colt was an “ACE”? We lose him and sign another “ACE”? Isn’t that a wash? Yawnsville at best.

  23. 23 Jernst said at 9:30 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    A dynamic returner is a must for me. So underrated. I think improving special teams is one of the cheapest most cost effective ways to improve you’re ability to win games. Putting more resources into that is the type of ahead of the curve analytic thinking that I think would appeal to chip and howie

  24. 24 austinfan said at 7:26 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Both players not only will contribute on STs, but they’re 27 years old, have 4 years of NFL coaching and are top flight athletes. So there’s a real possibility that they could emerge as players as well.

    Maragos was 3rd on the Seattle depth chart at S, didn’t get a lot of PT, but that happens when the two starters are durable All pros. He was a WR who converted to safety after he transferred to Wisconsin, started midway through his junior season. Raw player who needed to be coached up, and went to the right team to get that coaching. I remember a safety for the Eagles who spent a few years on STs before he got his chance to start.

    Braman is a crazy story, his college career was a mess, but a big fast athlete, 6’5 241 coming out of college, wonder what he weighs now. Played on a 3-4 team, so it shouldn’t be a big adjustment coming here.

    I think this is what Chip wants on STs, top flight athletes with upside who can push for PT, not limited athletes who are just STs or professional ST veterans like Colt who can’t cut it on the field.

  25. 25 eagleyankfan said at 7:29 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    If these guys are playing outside of ST on the field, we’re in serious trouble.

  26. 26 austinfan said at 7:53 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    You could have said that about Mikell, who started 1 game his first 4 seasons.

  27. 27 shah8 said at 7:28 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Buffalo isn’t making any noise either.

  28. 28 eagleyankfan said at 7:28 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Or Rams

  29. 29 A_T_G said at 7:30 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    And the Chiefs are, for all the wrong reasons.

  30. 30 nopain23 said at 7:35 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Any chance we kick the tires on Lamar Woolley on a 1 year prove it deal..1 year 3.5 to 4 mil.?.maybe he could have a resurgence in chip’s sports science system

  31. 31 Jernst said at 9:33 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    No thanks…he’s way on the downside at this point. Just don’t see the upside over cole at this point

  32. 32 anon said at 11:08 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    cole / barwin don’t have to play every snap on D and woodley knows the scheme and can teach up the kid we draft

  33. 33 Sb2bowl said at 11:26 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    100% agreed on the Cole comment; no point in bringing a vet behind him, he’s here for 1 more year so it’s a good time to invest in his future replacement. Should be an interesting draft

  34. 34 Media Mike said at 7:40 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I like the signings we’ve made, but we have more work to do before we get to mini-camps. We still have a kicker who has a limp-legged style reminiscent of Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds. We still need a ROLB who can terrorize the QB on every snap. We need a war pig of a NT who can command a double team on the run and collapse the pocket on the pass rush……..Safety.

    I don’t know if any of those guys were every truly “get-able” on the free agent market, so I’m looking forward to the draft now. The draft is really the better way to build the team, but I was hoping for a tad more from free agency.

    I’m really looking forward to the draft.

  35. 35 eagleyankfan said at 7:45 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I agree — the draft is where you build your team. My only issue is the drafted players take 2-3 years to hit potential. Not that it’s a bad thing.

  36. 36 Media Mike said at 7:48 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Yeah, the delay in impact can be a bit frustrating to wait for. If we get an immediate impact guy at any position, I really hope the guy is at ROLB. I want to have our guy leave Eli Manning in a twisted pile of broken body parts on the turf of Met Life Stadium sooner rather than later.

  37. 37 laeagle said at 8:27 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I always wondered what that weird whistling sound was every time Henery kicked the ball.

  38. 38 Media Mike said at 7:41 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    On a slightly different note, have y’all looked at the blow bag players added by the Skins, Cowboys, and Giants?

    I don’t think calling 6-0 in division next year is out of line at this point.

  39. 39 Iskar36 said at 7:50 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I like that we are not ignoring special teams, but I am a little concerned about signing two players who seemingly have little chance of adding to the rotations at their respective positions. Colt Anderson was a quality STs player, but I think being a liability as a safety hurt the depth at the position, especially since we did not have studs as starters. With Maragos and Braman, we now are taking two roster spots at positions that again do not have studs as starters.

    My other concern is, last year, we seemingly went after a ton of these STs-types of players and still struggled on STs. I’d be curious to get a bit more analysis about the STs production of Maragos and Braman and how they will fit in to our STs units. How will they be upgrading our STs? Seems clear based on last year that it isn’t as simple as “he was a good STs player on his previous team therefore he will help our STs.”

  40. 40 Media Mike said at 7:53 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    We lacked a quality return guy on kicks and our kicker’s complete and total lack of the ability to kickoff hurt us as well.

  41. 41 eagleyankfan said at 7:53 PM on March 12th, 2014:


  42. 42 Iskar36 said at 8:04 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    No question returner and kicker affected things, but our coverage units themselves also had issues. Putting all the blame on Henery for our kickoff coverage seems harsh, and on punt coverage, it seemed that every good play was largely due to Donnie Jones and Boykin but not as much coverage units as a whole.

  43. 43 troy412 said at 7:55 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I’m sorry to look at Denver look at cle and mia doing what needs to be done to get their team in position to win u got top flight offense give ur defense something to work with where is the commitment to win they brainwash the fans every year with the bargain shopping u want good players u got to pay scared money don’t make money take ur chances Billy Davis I feel for you look at offense money well spent go to the defense same stuff over again so many good defensive players all that money back in the pocket gives us just enough to fill the stands but not a championship wish we had john eleway as our GM

  44. 44 Media Mike said at 8:03 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    You realize the #1 reason Denver lost the Superbowl is because Seattle crushed Denver’s o-line. None of Elway’s signings did anything to help that. If Seattle and Denver meet again for the title, Denver loses in another crushing defeat. I’d love to have the guys Denver just signed as well, but none of them are going to bring the Broncos a title unless Russel Wilson is injured.

  45. 45 shah8 said at 8:08 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Seattle’s DL isn’t that fast. If Manning was 2004 Manning, he wouldn’t nearly have had as much trouble with pressure. Same issues with the coverage, but then, this is usually the downside of P. Manning. System’s good enough for regular season, a liability in the postseason when all the opponents do is work on reading what you’re doing and all the variations.

  46. 46 anon said at 9:13 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Yeah but they just made sure they were going back to the sb. Ol / wr in the draft.

  47. 47 Average__Joseph said at 8:43 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Ah yes, Cleveland and Miami…that’s who I want to imitate.

    Just An Average Joseph

  48. 48 anon said at 9:11 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I guess if no one in the division gets better why should we.

  49. 49 Average__Joseph said at 9:15 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    ’cause that’s what I said. I must have missed that part of the translation class.

    Just An Average Joseph

  50. 50 Mitchell said at 8:48 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    So, wait, you want us to be more like Miami!?! No thank you.

  51. 51 Cafone said at 8:53 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Don’t both Cleveland and Miami have new people in charge? It’s not really fair to judge them based on the performance of their predecessors.

  52. 52 Mitchell said at 8:58 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    You could have said that when the last people in charge took over and the people before them. Just reputation I suppose but we will have to see.

  53. 53 korman said at 9:28 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    1.) “Look at Cle and mia”

    – Don’t need to, they’re consistent in mediocrity.

    2.) “Every year with the bargain shopping”

    – By every year do you mean two years? Because the Eagles were bringing in high-end FA’s as recently as 2012 and it didn’t pay off.

    3.) “Wish we had John Elway as out GM”

    – Not taking away what Elway has done, but the reason he’s pulling to trigger so eagerly is because he has an elite QB in the twilight years of his career. Without him, they aren’t as good.

    But whatever, commas and periods are nice too.

  54. 54 ezgreene said at 9:44 PM on March 12th, 2014:


  55. 55 A_T_G said at 8:11 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Five years ago I bought an old, tiny farmhouse. A year and a half ago we added an addition. I am on a budget, but I want the house to be special. I am pretty handy, but I also have a timeline. So, we paid people to lay the foundation a build the frame. But the stuff that makes it special, the standing-seam metal roof, lots of windows, details formed from reclaimed hand-hewn timbers, those things cost a fortune to have someone do for you. So I am doing those things myself.

    I have a feeling Howie would approve of my plan.

  56. 56 Charlie Kelly said at 8:13 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    just go get me sproles and ill be good untill the draft.. although that is far away still… wtf.. lol

  57. 57 GermanEagle said at 8:26 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I am glad we signed some special players today, but I am even happier that none of these two players are signed for longer than 3 years, since we won’t see any kickoffs in the NFL maybe sooner than later…

  58. 58 ICDogg said at 8:31 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    So Revis to the Pats…

  59. 59 GermanEagle said at 8:32 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    We can always sign him next year for $11,999,999…

  60. 60 Sb2bowl said at 11:38 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    That’s a discount!

  61. 61 GermanEagle said at 6:17 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Yes, one dollar for every year growing older.

  62. 62 GermanEagle said at 8:31 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Revis to Pats. 1 year. 12 Mio.

  63. 63 RobNE said at 8:33 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Oh no another parade coming. That is the best he could get??

  64. 64 anon said at 9:09 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Gets to dominate jets twice a year. $12mm is still highest paid player.

  65. 65 Anders said at 5:19 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    I think he could get more, but dam that is little for the best CB in football.

  66. 66 GermanEagle said at 6:17 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Richard Sherman says you’re wrong.

  67. 67 GermanEagle said at 8:38 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    So two teams with future hall of famers but aging QBs see their windows closing and going all in. Thankfully these two teams are in the AFC and I don’t see many teams in the NFC the Eagles should be scared of.

    Cannot wait for the Draft…!

  68. 68 shah8 said at 8:39 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    A lot of the real moves have been on defense. QB, RB, etc, etc, on the higher end haven’t really moved yet. OL has, though.

  69. 69 Cafone said at 8:40 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    How do the Saints not fit into that description?

  70. 70 GermanEagle said at 9:08 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Because I ain’t scared of them. 😉

  71. 71 Media Mike said at 9:08 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    I fear Seattle only. They have a good foundation and know what they’re doing.

  72. 72 GermanEagle said at 9:10 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Sea might be the team to beat but there’s always the curse of the following season for the Super Bowl winner..

  73. 73 Media Mike said at 9:14 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    The curse actually follows the team that loses the Super Bowl. Nobody has been back to the game the next year after losing it since 1972 Dolphins.

  74. 74 Insomniac said at 9:15 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    The Buffalo Bills says you’re wrong.

  75. 75 Media Mike said at 9:16 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Sorry, meant to say going back to win after losing it the year before.

  76. 76 GermanEagle said at 9:19 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    And how many Super Bowl winners make it back to the Super Bowl the following year???

  77. 77 Media Mike said at 9:23 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    More than the losers, but far from a lock. I get your point. I’m just not betting against Seattle any time soon.

  78. 78 Insomniac said at 9:26 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    One. I think the late 90s Broncos?

  79. 79 D3FB said at 9:30 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    There was this one team in 04 :'(

  80. 80 Mitchell said at 9:36 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    We only lost cause the Pats cheated.

  81. 81 A_T_G said at 9:59 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    None of the Bills four loses were consecutive?

    Edit: Never mind, I scrolled down.

  82. 82 Anders said at 5:18 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    I think Denver will crash next season. That offense will go from historic great to just great and even with Ware, Ward and Talib, I do not think the defense can make of the huge difference.
    NE really only signed Revis, I wouldnt call that loading up.
    The Saints on the other hand is closely reminding me of Dallas. 3-4 star players and no depth and cap problems

  83. 83 ACViking said at 9:52 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Re: Signing Braman — A Plug for West TX A&M DEs . . . and Colt Lyerla?

    New OLB Bryan Braman barely made it to the NFL. Despite just 3 years’ experience (and no time in the CFL), Braman’ll turn 27 this May. A typical 3-year guy in the NFL is maybe 24, probably 25, and sometimes 26. But 27? Unusual.

    With character such a big issue for Kelly, Braman has an interesting back story.

    He was booted from the WTx team as a senior after being arrested and convicted for manufacturing (and distributing) hallucinogens. Also, before reaching WTxA&M, Braman had played at U-Idaho and Long Beach State. Amarillo was his last stop — and he nearly didn’t get out of there. But Braman straightened up . . . and FAST.

    How’d a guy with a criminal record kicked off a D-III team get to the Texans?
    His D-line coach at WTx had joined the Texans as an assistant coach under then-DCoordinator Wade Phillips after Braman’s criminal problems started. Once Braman straightened himself out, his former coach recommended him to Phillips, arranged for him to be a rookie free-agent signing. Braman put on a show during his rookie camp. The rest is history.


    This year, another DE from WTx A&M passed through T-Law’s radar.
    Ethan Westbrooks, who measures out about an inch taller and 10lbs heavier than Braman was the Defensive MVP at the this year’s East-West Shrine Game. According to reports from the EWSgame, EW came in a 6’4″ 263lbs. He was NOT a combine invitee, though.

    But he has the size Kelly’s looking for. Don’t know if he has the “first step,” though. Would like to see EW get a shot here.

    Back to the “Kelly’s big on character” issue. No doubt Braman’s been clean — squeaky clean — since his conviction. I’d guess he came into the NFL subject to drug testing. Maybe he’s still on it.

    But what’s interesting is, after doing their due-diligence, Kelly and Roseman decided Braman’s a guy they like — for STs and the locker room. He cleaned up his life and he’s all about football now.

    Why’s that matter? Colt Lyerla’s career at Oregon ended much like Braman’s did at WTxA&M. But, if you believe Lyerla, he’s cleaned things up.
    If that’s true, then I think Kelly’d be open to bringing Lyerla here.

    Braman’s proved you never know.


    I’m not generally a rah-rah for these types of things. But, as an aside, it speaks volumes about the Eagles organization and Kelly most of all — because he’s the guy who’s setting the ground rules for what kind of players come here — that he’d sign-off on Braman.

    Think about it. Compare Braman’s college background to the Maragos — the kid signed away from the Seahawks. Clean as a whistle, long active in evangelical Christian activities.

    And Jenkins is also a guy with a long reputation of being great in the clubhouse and — like Avant was during his tenure — a religious kid who works very, very hard adn connects with guys in Bible-reading guys in the clubhouse.
    Anyway, I found the contrast between Braman and Mangaros/Jenkins to be really instructive about what kind of guy Kelly is. Seems to me, at least.

  84. 84 A_T_G said at 10:08 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Great stuff. It really illustrates just how nuanced these evaluations are, and how silly the “We need a ________, there was one available. We are led by morons because we didn’t sign him.” mentality really is.

  85. 85 anon said at 10:08 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    You might need to get your own blog, your views are always so insightful

  86. 86 OregonDucker said at 1:05 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    You nailed my perceptions of Chip at Oregon. Well said, and insightful.

  87. 87 Vick or Nick said at 10:01 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    This has been a great start to FA for the Eagles.

    Let’s repeat this and make sure everyone understands:


    In fact they may not even be 2-3 players away.

    The team still needs talent and depth, particularly on Defense.

    I predicted the Malcolm Jenkins signing in an earlier post. I didn’t think he would be as cheap as we got him. That is a huge win. At max we will pay him half of what Byrd got in GUARANTEED money (16 vs 28 mill).

    As well as the cutting of Patrick Chung (THANK GOD!!!)

    Many people are dismissing Jenkins as a slight upgrade to Pat Chung….COMPLETELY WRONG.

    CHUNG was about as bad as it gets.

    I also think its important to sign FAs that have something to prove/chip on their shoulder. I’m sure Jenkins saw other safeties get huge money, and it’ll motivate him potentially. He hasn’t seen success yet, no pro bowls to his name, I’m sure he’s motivated to prove himself.

  88. 88 anon said at 10:05 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Funny thing is the same thing you say about Jenkins now is what people were saying about Chung last year

  89. 89 Vick or Nick said at 10:07 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Fair argument but heres the deal:

    Pats openly let Chung leave. That should have raised red flags.

    Saints clearly have cap restraints and have let some pretty good players leave, not just Jenkins.

  90. 90 Jernst said at 10:11 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Hard to claim Jenkins was merely a casualty of the cap I New Orleans when they promptly replaced him with the highest paid safety of all time

  91. 91 Mitchell said at 10:36 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    Well I think we all agree Jenkins isn’t as good as Byrd is. The Saints feel like they are a player away and they went and got that player.

  92. 92 Vick or Nick said at 11:13 PM on March 12th, 2014:

    They had to let go of a handful of pretty good players in order to have the space to sign Byrd to that contract.

    Listen I’m not saying this the greatest move of all time. I’m saying its the one that makes sense at this time for the Eagles.

    This allows them to draft a top safety if available, but also doesn’t bind them to over drafting one.

  93. 93 ICDogg said at 8:33 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    The Walter Football guy made the analogy that the Eagles getting Jenkins was an upgrade in the same sense as getting a homeless person a bigger cardboard box to sleep in.

    I think that Jenkins is a decent upgrade, a versatile jack-of-all-trades type that should be a good fit. Still, it’s not a move that really makes me feel like the team has taken a huge step forward.

  94. 94 Vick or Nick said at 5:31 PM on March 13th, 2014:

    When you think of all their own players that the Eagles have to resign next year…it just makes too much sense to not give 28 mill guaranteed to Byrd.

    The huge step forward has to come in the draft, not FA.

  95. 95 Anders said at 5:15 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    When we signed Jon Runyan to the highest OL contract, we wasnt 1 player away from a SB.

  96. 96 ICDogg said at 8:26 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Keeping your franchise quarterback from getting killed in the pocket is a good reason to spend in free agency.

  97. 97 Anders said at 5:02 AM on March 14th, 2014:

    Keeping the other team from scoring is also a good reason to spend in FA

  98. 98 Vick or Nick said at 5:29 PM on March 13th, 2014:

    And you point is…..?

    That Byrd or Ward would be Runyan type fixtures for years.

    Good one.

    Signing players to large contracts hurts more than it helps.

    A single player never makes the team.

  99. 99 Anders said at 5:02 AM on March 14th, 2014:

    My point is signing FAs can help you if you target the right ones.
    A single player never makes the team is true, but if you have enough very good single players, you have a greater chance to win.

  100. 100 Vick or Nick said at 11:31 PM on March 14th, 2014:

    I agree with that as well. But there is a time and place for that. You can’t just make someone the highest paid player at his position without substantial reasoning.

    Were you trying to imply Eagles should have signed Byrd?

  101. 101 D3FB said at 2:40 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Holy hand grenade batman, Jimmy’s latest article is priceless. That hack Bama finally wrote something useful.

  102. 102 Frencheaglesfan said at 5:38 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    I like jimmy and I agree with him on the fact that eagles probably made the right decision, but I’m really chocked by this article, he basically call eagles fan who disagree with the move stupid people. That’s insane they have the right to disagree and argue, it’s not a black and white thing. I wish there were more “stupid” people against the Dream team. That is some serious pretentious journalism, I’m not sure you can call that journalism because it’s no news and biased, it’s just a piece of paper that says if you disagree with the front office then you are one dumb personn that can’t think right. Again I think our Front office made the perfect move (but it is my opinion and I could be wrong) so I agree with jimmy but his method, that’s shameful.

  103. 103 GermanEagle said at 6:14 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    I agree with you. This article was not funny at all. Plus it was full of stereotypes as he was implying that every (stupid) Eagles who doesn’t agree with the Eagles FO has spelling issues..
    I am surprised this lame article made it on the Inquirer…

  104. 104 nathalie a said at 6:31 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    lol you hold the inquirer to higher standards than it really has. and the spelling mistakes are, if anything, understated.

    i adore jimmy.
    i found the article very funny, but i have mixed feelings about it, not because it ruffles a few feathers, or even several, but because i read a sub-text of his not being as happy with the FA moves as he touts to be. and i wonder, IF such is the case, why doesn’t he state it, simply. but it’s highly possible i read too much into this.

    he is a writer about the philadelphia eagles. he is an eagles fan. he is a regular person, just like us, and he is entitled to get annoyed at some fans’ utter stupidity. when all these aspects clash, he has to deal with it. i’m not sure a public rant is the way to go, but it’s what he chose, and he’s way too smart not to have weighed the pros and cons.

    i wish i could post this underneath his article, but i’ll be damned if i can log on there. same as here, utmost difficulties. i think i have too many anti-thingies on my browsers.

    i guess the best thing in all of this is that all of us can express ourselves, which, judging by the news worldwide, is something to count our blessings about.

    /end of sanctimonious mode. 😀

  105. 105 GermanEagle said at 7:05 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Then our senses of humor differ.

  106. 106 livingonapear said at 12:23 PM on March 13th, 2014:

    There’s a big difference between disagreeing with the Front Office and expecting the front office to read your mind and do your bidding.

    I don’t know exactly how Jimmy composes, but I have a feeling a lot of this is based on tweets that he has seen from Eagle’s fans.

  107. 107 D3FB said at 1:37 PM on March 13th, 2014:

    I don’t think Jimmy was trying to imply that if you disagree with the front office moves thus far that you are stupid. Just think back to the last few days on here. Suddenly there are a handful of new commenters, who have no use for punctuation, or anything close to spelling or a logical argument. I’ve taken a peek at the 24/7 boards which are seeing this to a much larger degree, and so is BGN so I can only imagine the shit Jimmy is having to deal with. Jimmy isn’t going after your average fan but I’m sure he’s a little fed up with the “URLAKERZZ/BOLDINZZ” subsection of the fan base.

    All the beat guys on twitter get really annoyed with those people. By and large the fan base is fine. It is the people who call WIP and think we should sign all the big names because they have heard of them and we should trade our 4th rounder for Andrew Luck. You may not see alot of this being in China at the moment but it’s incredibly obnoxious, and the problem is that it’s these people who tend to talk the loudest.

  108. 108 ICDogg said at 8:04 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    I thought it was funny. I think we should clear a couple of things up though.

    1. Jimmy blogs for philly.com, but his work does not appear in the Inquirer or Daily News.

    2. Jimmy’s mocking is not of Eagles fans in general, just of a certain few. I’ve seen the “Laurie” misspelling many times. I think though that to make it obvious what he was doing, he had to go over the top with the impersonation.

    3. I think you misread it if you think that he is saying in any way that disagreeing with the front office is dumb. It was just a parody of the typical stuff we see in the comment section of philly.com and elsewhere. In that sense it was not unlike what FakeWIPCaller does on Twitter.

  109. 109 Alastair Lucas said at 6:27 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    So Tommy, you mentioned that you would post your first mock draft after the Combine. I’m sure I’m not the only person who is looking forward to seeing it. Just saying…

  110. 110 Google said at 7:02 AM on March 13th, 2014:


    The information talked about within the write-up are several of the ideal available.

  111. 111 jeff said at 7:14 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Do you think the reason the Eagles were not spending in free agency is that they were banking on getting ware or Revis, or that they need the money to sign the 2012 class to extensions?

  112. 112 ICDogg said at 7:53 AM on March 13th, 2014:


  113. 113 ICDogg said at 8:37 AM on March 13th, 2014:

    Finally! A local columnist who GETS IT http://t.co/O5lOelzyir @JimmyKempski— FakeWIPCaller (@FakeWIPCaller) March 13, 2014