Is the O-line Okay?

Posted: May 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 246 Comments »

The Eagles didn’t draft an offensive linemen this year. Or last year. Normally that might not be a huge deal, but the Eagles have the oldest OL in the league. And they released starting RG Todd Herremans in the offseason. Clearly this is not an ideal situation.

Some critics say the Eagles neglected the OL. How is Sam Bradford supposed to stay upright, let alone play well, if he doesn’t have good blocking?

I don’t think everyone gets the overall situation.

The OL should be fine for 2015. The Eagles return 4 of 5 starters. The team is very comfortable with Allen Barbre taking over at RG. Jason Peters remains one of the better LTs in the league. Jason Kelce is becoming one of the best Centers. Lane Johnson has played very well in his 2 years. Evan Mathis is showing a bit of his age, but remains a very good starting LG. This is a talented group.

Let’s talk about Allen Barbre for a minute. He has 8 NFL starts, all at RT. He played some LT in 2013 when Peters got hurt during a game. Barbre played well, which surprised me since he was at LT. Barbre is an inconsistent pass blocker. He doesn’t have great feet but moves them well enough to be an effective pass protector. The big issue that I’ve noticed is that he isn’t aggressive enough with his hands. Instead of quickly extending his arms to get control of the rusher, Barbre keeps his arms close to his body and that gives the rusher too much space/freedom. Still, the guy has talent. Check out this shot of him as a LT in 2013.

Barbre is a better run blocker than pass protector. He comes off the ball well and has some pop. He is strong enough to get movement at the LOS. Barbre is athletic enough to block in space or up on the second level. If the Eagles run the ball as much as I anticipate, Barbre has a chance to be a solid starting RG. The Eagles are certainly confident in him.

There is no denying that it would have been nice to add players in the draft. An early pick might have challenged Barbre for the starting RG role. At the least, it would have helped the depth of the OL. As we saw last year, you can never have enough good blockers.

I do think there is some confusion in regard to last year. First, the OL didn’t play terribly. They were actually pretty good for most of the year. The first month was terrible, with things hitting rock bottom in the loss to SF. Think about the lineup for that game.

LT Jason Peters
LG Matt Tobin
OC David Molk
RG Dennis Kelly
RT Todd Herremans

That was the first start of Molk’s career. That was the first start of Tobin’s career. Kelly was seeing his first action at RG in a regular season game since 2012. Herremans was playing in an old spot at RT. Combine that information with the fact the Eagles were playing against SF’s defense and you can see why things didn’t go well.

Lane Johnson returned from suspension after that game and the line got much better.

I think people saw the Eagles as having no depth. No team can afford to have that many guys out. A lot of teams don’t have 5 good starting O-linemen, let alone multiple good backups. The Eagles had 5 good starters. They had a top backup in Barbre. They had backups with some potential (Tobin, Andrew Gardner). That’s not a bad situation at all. You just can’t handle that many injuries at a spot where continuity and chemistry are so critical.

That first month skewed some perceptions. Shady ran for 192 yards…in September. Yikes. He had no holes to work with and it showed. In the final 12 games, he averaged 93 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. Pro rate that for a full season and Shady would have been up over 1,500 yards. He still finished with 1,319. The OL started doing something right once they got Johnson back and there was a bit of stability.

If the OL can stay reasonably healthy this year and Barbre plays to the level the coaches expect, the line could be one of the better units in the league. The real problem isn’t the present.

The problem is the future.

The Eagles don’t have any high-level backups ready to take over as long term replacements. Tobin is a player the team likes more than some fans realize, but that doesn’t mean he’ll pan out the way the Eagles think he can. Molk played well once he settled in last year, but he’s not a guy you want as a full-time starter. These aren’t mid-round picks just waiting their turn. These are developmental types that have more of an uphill battle to succeed.

Let’s talk about the backups the Eagles have in place.

MATT TOBIN – 6-6, 290 – IOWA – UDFA — Last summer Tobin was the team’s #6 OL. With Barbre at RT (due to Johnson’s suspension), Tobin was projected to be the top backup OT/OG. He had a terrific showing in Training Camp and the preseason. It looked like Tobin was going to develop into a quality blocker. Then he hurt his ankle in the preseason finale. That sidelined Tobin for the first 3 games. He started at LG for 7 games before suffering a concussion and losing his spot.

Tobin was up and down in his starts. He looked really good as a run blocker at times. Pass protection was another story. He struggled. Sometimes he let go of rushers too quickly. Sometimes he didn’t get his hands cleanly on them. He looked like a young player that was learning on the fly. Tobin showed enough promise that I think he could he could eventually be a starter. But he must show serious improvement as a pass blocker. This will be his third summer with the Eagles.

ANDREW GARDNER – 6-6, 308 – GA TECH – 6TH RD — Has been in the league since 2009, but saw his first real playing time last year. Started at RG and RT. Would be a very interesting developmental guy, except that he just turned 29. Time isn’t on his side. Gardner can be a very good run blocker. There were times in 2014 when he really impressed me. Played collegiately at GT, where the team runs the ball 70 times a game, so he knows a thing or two about run blocking. Pass pro is erratic. Doesn’t have ideal quickness so he’s going to guess a lot. That leaves him vulnerable to counter moves. If Gardner focuses on a DL attacking his outside shoulder, he could get beaten with a hard inside move. That said, he gets the job done most of the time. Get away from throwing 40 passes a game and Gardner can be an effective starter.

DAVID MOLK – 6-1, 295 – MICHIGAN – 7TH RD — Molk is very strong and is a good athlete. He just doesn’t have the kind of frame you want in a blocker. He is just under 6-1 and his hands are smaller than 9 inches. Molk is a good fit for the Eagles due to his athletic ability. He can pull and blocks well on the move. Fun to watch because he loves to mash on LBs and DBs when he’s blocking downfield. Isn’t just out there to run around and look pretty. Wants to hit someone. Smart player who uses angles and leverage to his advantage.

Molk is a guy you want to replace because he is a pure C. You don’t want a guy his size playing OG. If the roster was big enough to have someone whose job was just to be the backup C, Molk would be fine for the Eagles. Struggled when first on the field in 2014, but improved each game and proved to be a solid blocker. Just needed experience. Doesn’t turn 27 until December so age isn’t an issue with him.

DENNIS KELLY – 6-8, 320 – PURDUE – 5TH RD — This is the do or die year for Kelly. He showed potential as a rookie. Then got hurt in 2013 and missed the season. Played some last year, but was still new to playing in Chip Kelly’s system. Kelly started two games at LG, then one at RG. Showed some potential, but not enough to keep his job over Tobin or Gardner. Kelly needs to play more to his size. He is a big, powerful blocker who doesn’t consistently get his hands on defenders and move them around. Needs the light to come on this summer. Played well enough last summer to win a roster spot, but needs to be better this year. Kelly is only 25 years old so it would be ideal if he could have a breakout summer and show that he could be someone worth keeping around, whether as a future starter or just as a quality backup.

JULIAN VANDERVELDE – 6-2, 301 – IOWA – 5TH RD — The ultimate yo-yo guy. The Eagles let him go. The Eagles bring him back. Has never started an NFL game. I’m not sure how much he’s ever played. Doesn’t stand out in terms of size. Solid athlete, but nothing special. Game tape from preseason games isn’t compelling. Must be off the charts with intangibles for the coaches to keep him around. I’ll be shocked if he survives the summer (as an Eagle, not as a human).

KEVIN GRAF – 6-6, 309 – USC – UDFA — I had to go back and re-read my notes on him. Did you remember that when Barbre went on IR after Week 1, Graf was moved from the practice squad to the roster? I had completely forgotten that. For better or worse, the coaches like Graf. Here is something I wrote on him from last summer.

Played LT and LG. Love his effort. Plays every down as if his life depends on it. Very limited athlete. Isn’t pretty when he pulls, but he will block someone. Had a couple of nice blocks on outside plays. I don’t know if he will ever be good enough to play in the league, but it won’t be from lack of effort. Does have NFL size and strength. Footwork and agility are the big issues.

Graf was a RT in college, but the Eagles have been playing him on the left side. It will be very interesting to see if he takes a big step forward this summer or if his limited athleticism is going to be an issue he can’t overcome. Not many guys do, but there are some exceptions. Experience is a big help so knowing what he’s doing this time around should lead to better results.

BRETT BOYKO – 6-7, 301 – UNLV – UDFA — Nothing special athletically. Boyko played LG and LT for the Rebels. He does not have the footwork to play OT in the NFL. He struggled with speed rushers in college. Gets off-balance at times and will lunge at defenders. Boyko is a good run blocker. He comes off the ball quickly and is aggressive. He will win if he gets his hands on the defender cleanly. Boyko is more about effort than talent. Feels like this year’s version of Kevin Graf. Tough, experienced player. Was a QB in high school.

MIKE COCCIA – 6-3, 302 – NEW HAMPSHIRE – UDFA — Quick from snap to block. Has good feet. Likes to get shots in on DTs when he’s uncovered and can help his OG’s out. Good with his hands. Plays too high at times, but generally anchors well in pass pro. Shows good awareness. Handles stunts and blitzes well. Not a great athlete, but had a good Pro Day workout, which the Eagles attended. The Eagles stayed in touch with Coccia before the draft, showing serious interest. He has the size and skill set to play well in the Eagles offense.

JOSH ANDREWS – 6-2, 311 – OREGON STATE – UDFA — Signed with the Eagles in 2014 and earned a spot on the practice squad. Some notes from last summer.

Played LG and C. Has good feet. Does a good job of extending his arms and engaging the defender. Moves well laterally and is an active blocker. If no one is across from him, finds someone to block. Must get stronger. Doesn’t anchor as well as you’d like. Limited push at the LOS. Does a solid job when blocking on the second level.

It will be interesting to see if Andrews got stronger in the past year. He is a good athlete and has the versatility the Eagles like. Could be a bit of a sleeper candidate.

MALCOM BUNCHE – 6-6, 320 – UCLA/MIAMI – UDFA — Interesting player. Spent 4 years at Miami and then spent 2014 at UCLA as a grad student. Started at LT in 2012, was mostly a backup at RT and OG in 2013 and then started at both LT and LG in 2014. Doesn’t have the feet to play OT. Is a smart blocker who understands angles and positioning. I need to study more tape to see him as a run blocker. The Bruins didn’t always run the ball a lot. Does have heavy hands. When he gets a shot on a rusher, the guy feels it. Lost his LT and then his LG jobs in 2014. That’s not encouraging. Looked better at LG. Able to pull and block on the move. Showed some potential. Played under Jeff Stoutland at Miami. Said the team is using him at RT for now.

COLE MANHART – 6-4, 298 – NEBRASKA-KEARNEY – UDFA — I like this kid. Honors student who has already graduated. Started at LT for 3 years in college. Not a natural pass-blocker, but is technically sound with his kick-slide. Has pretty good feet. Able to engage a defender and keep his feet moving. Generates good power when he plays with good pad level. Uses his hands well. Knows his limitations as a pass blocker so tries to quickly get his hands on the rusher to keep him wide of the QB. Smart player. Excellent effort. Blocks to the echo of the whistle. Needs to get stronger. Has the build and blocking style of an Eagles OL. Played LT in the NFLPA all star game and generated some buzz out there. Looked good. Solid showing at his Pro Day. Eagles assistant OL coach Greg Austin was there since Manhart worked at out Nebraska’s Pro Day. The Eagles list him at OG for now.

My guess at the depth chart for now:

LT – Jason Peters ….. Matt Tobin ……………. Kevin Graf
LG – Evan Mathis …. Julian Vandervelde … Brett Boyko ….. Cole Manhart
OC – Jason Kelce ….. David Molk ……………. Mike Coccia
RG – Allen Barbre …. Dennis Kelly …………. Josh Andrews
RT – Lane Johnson … Andrew Gardner ….. Malcom Bunche

If the young players fail to take a step forward this summer, the team will have to aggressively address the OL next offseason. They could go after a veteran free agent to play LG. They could draft a LT to develop behind Peters. RG is a mystery because we don’t know how Barbre and possibly others will play there.

I would bet the Eagles will scour the waiver wire very closely this summer. Again, they aren’t looking for 2015 starters so much as someone to develop for the future. The team could consider trading a player for a blocker. Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin could be trade bait. There aren’t a lot of good options that I can see around the league. Alex Boone is an OG for the Niners that isn’t happy with his contract situation, but they don’t have the depth up front to deal him.

The O-line should be fine for 2015, but the future is a concern. The Eagles haven’t been able to add blockers in the last 2 drafts so unless the UDFAs and returning backups take a major step forward, the OL will become the top priority of the 2016 offseason.

* * * * *

It is getting to be that time of the year.

I’ll be writing more in-depth about the draft prospects and UDFAs.

Jimmy Bama is working on a 50,000 word piece explaining that Sam Bradford is the greatest player in modern sports history.* I’m personally torn between Babe Laufenberg and Paul Mokeski.

(* truthiness of that statement is somewhere between 98 and 0 percent)


246 Comments on “Is the O-line Okay?”

  1. 1 SteveH said at 12:17 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Tommy, are you worried at all about age starting to catch up to Mathis and Peters? They gotta start declining at some point…

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:31 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I mentioned that age is already starting to catch Mathis. Peters will have to deal with it as well.

  3. 3 James said at 9:46 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    but but but, SMOOTHIES!

  4. 4 Jernst said at 9:26 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I guess this is my issue with (not the starters as pencilled in for now) but the lack of depth. Ask yourself: “what’s more likely to happen…everyone stays healthy, Barbre becomes an adequate starter at age 31 AND two players over 33 years old remain top performers or at least 2 of those things don’t happen?” I’ll take the bet that at least 2 of those things don’t happen all day any day. In that event things don’t look so hot.

  5. 5 Mitchell said at 1:16 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Tommy wrote in regards to Boyko: “Was a QB in high school.” Duh Tommy, everyone on the Eagles roster was a qb at one time! It’s about versatility.

  6. 6 Joe Minx said at 1:25 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I’ll be shocked if he survives the summer (as an Eagle, not as a human).

    Thank you, I needed that laugh today.

  7. 7 Joe Minx said at 1:34 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Was just looking through some pics on of the players doing their photo shoot for the upcoming season. Jeff Maehl is there. When did we re-sign him? I don’t recall that ever being mentioned.

  8. 8 D3FB said at 2:29 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I think even Bo and Spuds think so little of him they just refused to put out a press release.

  9. 9 Baloophi said at 2:33 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stops the maehl…

  10. 10 P_P_K said at 3:59 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    …especially when it comes from Oregon.

  11. 11 James said at 9:45 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Didn’t know they re-signed him. He has got to be so happy that Chip is in the NFL.

  12. 12 James Skip Carl said at 5:20 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I sat next to his wife at a game last year, she was very impressive

  13. 13 midnitemud said at 2:02 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Great write-up Tommy! For me, this is going to be a major story to watch as training camp gets underway. You mentioned the Eagles “could draft a LT to develop behind Peters.” Do you think Lane Johnson stays at RT for the foreseeable future even after JP leaves via FA, retires, or gets traded?

  14. 14 TommyLawlor said at 7:59 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Lane could easily slide to LT in the future.

    But don’t you want the best blocker on the QB’s blind side? With a lefty like Tebow as our future starter, makes sense to leave Lane at RT. Right?


  15. 15 ACViking said at 9:03 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    It is comments like these, made with the best of good intentions, that later turn out to be true.

  16. 16 midnitemud said at 5:34 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Tebow has no blind side, He sees all…

  17. 17 Baloophi said at 2:49 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I’m pretty sure Julian Vandervelde has been on the team forever. It’s like the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel got lost and wound up at NovaCare…

  18. 18 Ernie McCracken said at 5:52 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    All work and no play makes Julian a dull boy

  19. 19 TommyLawlor said at 8:00 AM on May 20th, 2015:


    Zoom in on 1929 team pic and there is Vandervelde right in the middle.

  20. 20 Baloophi said at 12:48 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Wednesday Photoshop challenge? Yes please!

  21. 21 76mustang said at 9:07 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…

  22. 22 suthrneagle said at 3:58 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    One of the best lines in the history of Rock ‘n Roll

  23. 23 Anders said at 3:28 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I also think the whole didnt draft a OL is overrated. The Eagles clearly believe in Tobin, Babre and Gardner.

    I much rather the Eagles take a player like Hicks, they believe in, than reach for some random OL they do not believe in.

  24. 24 Media Mike said at 5:28 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    They can clearly believe in those guys all they like; those guys need to actually block when given the chance. Potential is a perfectly fine discussion point, but the quality of play has yet to emerge from those guys.

  25. 25 Anders said at 6:12 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    How is that different from drafting a guy in the 3rd round or even 1st?

  26. 26 Media Mike said at 4:05 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Depends on how much you wanted Clemmings. I think he’s better than Tobin / Barbre / Gardener.

  27. 27 D3FB said at 9:17 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I loved Clemmings but he fell to the fourth because teams, who have detailed medical information that we lack decided his foot is going to freakin fall off. So it’s hard to fault them for not taking Clemmings.

  28. 28 GEAGLE said at 8:37 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I wanted to draft OL, then again,I ALWAYS want to draft OL… But even if we drafted one in the first 3 rounds, im not certain that he would have beat out BARBRE this year… So even if we drafted one, our OL could still look the same as It does now .. Waiting a year to draft one ISNT the end of the world

  29. 29 Media Mike said at 5:31 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    “The first month was terrible, with things hitting rock bottom in the loss to SF.”

    Yeah, that sucked. Especially because we were in the shadow of the preseason where we kept hearing from coaches and reporters how great the 2nd unit looked.

    Losing to a team with a piece of human excrement like Kaepernick at “QB” was a needlessly tough pill to swallow.

  30. 30 GEAGLE said at 8:34 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    In fairness the second unit played well working together as a cohesive line,. Thats very diffrent then a backup getting thrown into a game to play with the starters they have no chemistry playing next to…

    We’should also see growth from young lineman who got some game experience last year.. Young players improve…
    But yes we need to draft OL next year

  31. 31 Nelson ALGore said at 6:44 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I have 2 thoughts on Eagles OL this year:

    1. I was reminded we once started Winston Justice at LT o0
    2. Yes we are at the top on that list!!!

  32. 32 Ray888 said at 7:38 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Some of the UDFA at TE seem more like road-graders than pass catchers. Any chance one of these moves, a la Peters, to OL? They must have reasonably good feet if playing TE and probably can be safely carried on PS w/o major fear of losing them. Plus versatility in future as extra blocking TE as needed.

  33. 33 D3Center said at 1:33 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Peters was a 320+ pound TE in college so the transition was a fairly easy one. Not sure if any of the guys we signed could put on the weight necessary to play OL

  34. 34 Jernst said at 9:18 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Yea the guy we signed is like 280 and looks maxed out at that weight. He looks like he could easily lose 15 pounds, but putting on 40 pounds seems pretty unrealistic.

  35. 35 eagleyankfan said at 7:45 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Bradford gets rid of the ball in .00000001 seconds (which is slightly faster than Superman and The Flash) so no worries about the pass blocking…

  36. 36 370HSSV 0773H said at 8:44 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Well, somebody has to have the oldest OL in the league.

  37. 37 BlindChow said at 9:04 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    It’s right there in the article:

    The real problem isn’t the present.

    The problem is the future.

  38. 38 Avery Greene said at 1:35 PM on May 20th, 2015:

  39. 39 Baloophi said at 1:43 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Road-graders? Where we’re going we don’t need road-graders.

  40. 40 370HSSV 0773H said at 8:47 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Chicken Little Kempski is obsessed with our OL and swears we are doomed to fail.

  41. 41 James said at 9:42 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    He did the same thing for the Cowboys over the years, maybe jerruh listened and drafted some young OL. Now they have the “best” OL in football. Totally Jimmy’s fault.

  42. 42 CrackSammich said at 10:19 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Except he was right those years. Romo was continuously injured behind those lines.

  43. 43 Joe Minx said at 12:33 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Still butthurt the Mariota fantasy went poof.

  44. 44 MattE said at 8:54 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Late bloomer Evan Mathis severely alters that avg. age for us….. going by amount of snaps might be more interesting.

  45. 45 xmbk said at 9:11 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Great article. In a media market as big as Philly, why is it so hard to get more writers to actually write about football, in a way that shows they researched the article more than 5 minutes? Seems like just a matter of time before we see “Space Aliens Abducted Our Offensive Line”.

  46. 46 D3FB said at 9:15 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Because no one knows what the hell they are talking about when it comes to OL.

    Other than Shiel or Tommy or Jimmmy if he’s not busy coloring.

    You’re not going to get any of the CSN guys to go through player by player game by game. They’re writers, and most of them don’t have a deeper understanding of the fundamentals and theories of the game than the casual fan.

  47. 47 Dominik said at 9:18 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    That first month skewed some perceptions. Shady ran for 192 yards…in September. Yikes. He had no holes to work with and it showed. In the final 12 games, he averaged 93 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry.
    Pro rate that for a full season and Shady would have been up over 1,500
    yards. He still finished with 1,319. The OL started doing something
    right once they got Johnson back and there was a bit of stability.

    Don’t forget our 3 game losing streak to end our Playoff run where Shady had 50 Yards (2.9 YPC), 64 Yards (4 YPC) and 88 Yards (4 YPC). The line also allowed 3, 4 and 3 Sacks. Yes, one of these Defenses was Seattle, but it was also *allas and Washington…

    At least for me, that changed perception. I don’t expect a good OL with 4 back-ups out there, but I kind of expect it with 4 starters out there. Especially against weak Defenses.

    If the OL can stay reasonably healthy this year and Barbre plays to the level the coaches expect, the line could be one of the better units in the league. The real problem isn’t the present.

    Two big ifs, but I can agree on that. With Barbre, I was as excited as the next guy when they extended him. But: he was the 6th man back then. As a 6th man, it’s ok to have one good game if you can’t show what you got otherwise because everyone is healthy. As a starter, there should be more. We didn’t get to see him last year, but the coaches better be right on him.

    And you’re totally right on the future. The silver lining is: we have our (future) LT and our Center for the next 5-8 years. One could argue those are the two most important positions on the line (we could debate about Center vs. RT, but LT is the most important position, NFL salaries show you that)

    The bad thing is: we have to fill two Guard spots and the RT position. We need two Guards next year, one HAS to be a starting caliber player (we are lucky if Tobin or Barbre turn out to be effective starters, to expect both of them to be good enough would be foolhardy imo). And there has to be an early round Tackle who, depending on Peters decline, must be able to play RT in 2016 or 2017 the latest.

  48. 48 bill said at 9:49 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Re: C vs RT – I’ve been having that internal debate lately, and I think I’d rather lose the RT than the C. Seems like when a team loses their starting C, things really go to pot quickly. Or maybe that’s just my Eagles’ bias from the last 10 or so years. Still have nightmares about those back-to-back losses to Dallas…

  49. 49 stephenstempo said at 9:56 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Follow the money. By that I mean the betting money. When centers go down sports betters take that sh!? Seriously.

  50. 50 Dominik said at 10:08 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I think it depends on the QB. F.e. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady make all the protection calls for the line. In that case, having the QB secured from the outside rush should be more important than the C, because in the end, the best rushers are usually outside rushers. Guys like Watt or Suh who can deliver inside pressure most of the time are rare.

    For a team like us, where the Center makes the line calls, Center could be more important, because having the line on the same page and recognizing blitzes is very important.

    I had a discussion with a friend of mine and he said: well, you will lose more of your battles than you win if you have 3 stars and 2 scrubs on your line compared to 5 solid players. He said in the end, your line shouldn’t have a weakness, then they should be fine. To be honest, I couldn’t really disagree with him.

  51. 51 bill said at 10:24 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Can’t really disagree with him, either. Could possibly quibble about whether a “solid” LT is in fact a star, but I think the point is valid regardless.

  52. 52 Jernst said at 11:46 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I agree! Great analysis. The one thing I’d add though is that while guys that can get consistent pressure up the middle against adequate starters are rare, there’s nothing more disruptive to an offense than consistent pressure up the middle.

    Watching Hank Fraley and David Molk get driven back into the backfield like they were on roller skates, was devastating. You can’t do anything if you can’t at least control the middle.

    So, I think it depends a bit on the level of drop off to the back up center. If he’s terrible, the whole offense tanks. If he’s at least serviceable, but can’t make the correct calls, in an offense like the Eagles, where he’s expected to set the protections, your gonna see a lot of blown assignments and free rushes, regardless of his skill, in other offenses, you’ll probably be just fine as long as your center can hold his ground and do nothing special, whereas the RT actually needs some skill to deal with edge rushers.

  53. 53 Dominik said at 12:10 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Agree! Good point about Molk. That’s the reason I would prefer someone else as C BU.

  54. 54 Rambo said at 1:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:


  55. 55 Ben said at 1:31 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    It didn’t help that Shady refused to run at the holes Chip and the O line helped create either.
    Having a RB like Murray will allow for this O line to shine and get some well deserved praise IMO.

  56. 56 Dominik said at 8:02 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Shady was still a great runner who made some big runs without much O-Line help. It’s not like we’re talking about McFadden here…

  57. 57 TXEaglesFan said at 9:22 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    One thing not talked about much is Kelce. The guy played with a worsening sports hernia for the first few games until it popped, then came back to finish the season 5 weeks after surgery. I can’t imagine he was ever at 100% last year. Hopefully health will be in his favor this year for a beastly season.

  58. 58 GEAGLE said at 9:47 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Yeah he definitely wasn’t at full health last year, but while I admire his warrior spirit, I’m starting to get fed up with how fragile he is, he missed almost half of his career so far to injuries… Love the guy, but I hope his luck changes and he can stay healthy for a few years.. He paid his injury karma dues, hopefully he gets to enjoy some good health now…
    I despise Molk and Tom is right, he has to eventually go because we need a backup center who unlike Molk, can also play guard…
    Some really good lineman are projecting to be in next years draft.. Be fun to get stud cowboy, Zack Martins brother if we didn’t have such a bad history of “the wrong brother”…

  59. 59 ACViking said at 10:48 AM on May 20th, 2015:


  60. 60 GEAGLE said at 3:43 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Best player in the draft

  61. 61 bill said at 9:54 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    It’s good to see that Tommy generally agrees with my review of the backups from last year, which went against so many reviews at the time. They were generally much better at run blocking than pass blocking. I think the in-season reviews that claimed that they excelled at pass-blocking and struggled in the run game had more to do with pre-existing biases regarding the QB an RB than anything else.

  62. 62 Ark87 said at 10:34 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Great article Tommy. 2015 We should be Ok this year.

    But this year and next year are critical years for us. If the line doesn’t hold up, Sam Bradford likely won’t work out. If Bradford doesn’t work out, chances are we find ourselves in the unenviable position of trying to fix an O-line while looking for a QB and coach (Washington-esque).

    That’s the worst case scenario (and hopefully not the most likely), up to Chip to develop that line and prevent all of that. I’m generally optimistic that I will be able to enjoy the 2015 season. A bit anxious for 2016 though.

  63. 63 ACViking said at 10:51 AM on May 20th, 2015:


    What happened on the long pass by Foles in the gif?

  64. 64 Baloophi said at 11:26 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    I believe that was the long TD pass where Cooper had to track it like a centerfielder and awkwardly caught it and rolled into the end zone. There was a debate later over whether Foles intentionally underthrew the ball (this was the week after the 7 TD game in Oakland). I believe Foles had another long TD to Jackson where the safety and the CB collided and popped the ball back to DeSean, and maybe another nice TD to Cooper?

  65. 65 RobNE said at 12:39 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    that’s right, wow we (Foles) got every bounce that year.

  66. 66 ACViking said at 2:50 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Baloophi = magic man in Thai.

  67. 67 Jernst said at 11:36 AM on May 20th, 2015:

    Tommy, I agree with literally every single thing you said, except for your final conclusion (the oline SHOULD be fine this year). While I wholehearedly agree that the line CAN be, not only good, but could even be great IF everything goes right. I still see too many question marks and “IF” statements to be comfortable saying that things SHOULD, or are “more likely than not” to be fine this year, to borrow a recently overused phrase.

    We have a LT that has been borderline HOF worthy over his career. He looked a little less than his normal dominant self last year. However, he was only a little over a year removed from a twice ruptured Achilles Tendon. It’s possible that he comes back even stronger this year, as those injuries generally take two years to fully recover from. But, it’s also (in my opinion at least), just as likely that at 33 years of age we are starting to see his eminent physical decline and it’s foolish to think he will be subtantially better this year, as the oldest starting LT in the league. Further, the risk for injury increases with age at any position. So there is at the very least a decent amount of risk, that he either is not the same dominant player we remember and/or sustains some sort of injury throughout the year.

    At LG, we yet again have the oldest projected starter in the league, in Evan Mathis. Mathis had an injury plagued year last year, and while he came back relatively strong albeit never his usual dominant self, it’s clear that at 34 he is staring at the precipice of his imminent physical decline. While I don’t expect him to just fall off of a cliff this year, no one escapes father time and there is a reason there are no other starting guards in the NFL that are as old as him. In addition to that, he’s currently in a war with the front office over his contract and holding out, while telling his head coach to essentially, [suck] “DEEEZ” [nuts], on twitter. There’s no guarantee that he even plays this year for us, let alone plays at a high level. The positive correlation between injury rate and age applies to him as well.

    RG is a total mystery. Can Barbre be an effective starter after never proving to be that in any of his prior years? Are we lucky enough to luck into another Mathis, where the light suddenly goes on at age 31? That’s a big mystery and nothing to write off as a minor concern. Ask Nick Cole and MJG if it’s possible to tank an offense by having no answer at RG.

    Our Center is one of the best young centers in the league…when healthy. He has missed substantial time with injuries in multiple years. But, he’s young and a great player. He SHOULD actually be fine and counted on as such. And, Lane SHOULD be a great RT and eventually LT for years to come. No worries there. Those are reasonable assumptions of what should happen. A 31 year old journeyman battling a bunch of UDFA’s “should” provide a decent answer at RG, the two oldest players in the league at their respective positions “should” be expected to stay healthy and show little to no physical deline, a guy that’s holding out and getting in verbal spats with his head coach “should” be expected to return to action and not miss a beat, are not.

    So in conclusion, for things to work out well, every single one of the following needs to occur: Our 33 year old LT shows little decline in his ability and staves off the effects of age for another year and absolutely does not get injured, our LG stops being a dbag, makes up with Chip, returns to the team and defies father time while remaining a good to great starter for another year AND absolutely in no way gets injured, our undersized, yet very good center, does not yet again, go down with an injury. We somehow stumble upon an answer at RG with a combination of JAGs, in a 31 year old journeyman who has never been a full time starter, and a bunch of UDFA, many of whom did not look too hot in action last year, and our RT in no way gets injured.

    That’s a lot of “IF’s”. Especially when you consider that any one of those things not going our way could be disastrous. And, before everyone says, “no team can withstand multiple injuries up front!” I’m not talking about losing everyone like we did last year and in 2012. I’m just talking about one or two of those 6 or 7 legitimate worries going the wrong way.

    The big problem I see is not with the starting line as it’s currently constructed. Sure, if those guys play all year and play at a high level were golden for this year and can address this next off season. But, most teams don’t have this many legitimate concerns with their starters (whether that be age, injury history, decline in production, holding out, never started before, no depth, ect) and they also have the ability to withstand one bad thing happening, at least the good teams do.

    But, it’s not inconceivable to imagine, say, that Mathis doesn’t end up playing here this year and Barbre looks like garbage at RG. Now your starting guards are Tobin and Andrew Gardner/a struggling Barbre. Peters pulls a hamstring and misses 3 games. That’s not an unreasonable assumption for the level of turmoil a typical offensive line would expect to see in one year. A 33 year old tackle pulls a muscle and misses a few games, a player holding out telling his no nonsense coach to suck his nuts on twitter, doesn’t end up playing here next year, and a 31 year old journeyman struggles. Very quickly the line goes from a strength to a weakness. Just doesn’t seem reasonable to me to assume that none of those things happen, that the line SHOULD be just fine, and that not having any realistically solid contingency plan on the roster is a reasonable position to be in, and it should all work out great. It’s a big risk. I hope it works out, but I’m not willing to say right now that I expect it SHOULD.

  68. 68 TXEaglesFan said at 12:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I read the whole thing, well done!

  69. 69 Ben Hert said at 12:42 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Are you congratulating yourself, or the writer?

  70. 70 RobNE said at 12:38 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Peters is a borderline HOF candidate? ouch.

    Also in your last paragraph you just assume we lose 3 starters. That would kill almost any NFL OL.

  71. 71 Jernst said at 6:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    In regards to Peters and the hall of fame: I certainly think he’s worthy. No one has been more dominant at LT in the league over the past 5-6 years, but the hall can be tricky especially for OLineman. Peters was traded to the Eagles in 2009. At the time he was considered very talented, with basically limitless potential, but a highly inconsistent player that was a decent risk since he never had put it all together despite making the Probowl as a Bill. 2009 was not a good year with the Eagles for Peters as he struggled with injuries and played poorly. His an article from after that season assessing the trade following his first year with the Eagles.

    It seems down right absurd at this point, but I remember a lot of questions about how good Peters really was at that time. 2010 he really took off and was a dominant force and looked every bit as good as his potential. Same goes for 2011 and 2012. He missed the entire 2013 season and then played very well in 2014, but was hardly dominant.

    Given the halls preference for players from winning teams especially linemam that can’t rack up gaudy stats, and the fact that Peters has only started at LT for 3 teams that had a winning record, has no playoff wins on his resume and only 4-5 years of truly dominant play as a starter, I think it’s reasonable to think that 5 years after he retires, his legacy might not be big enough to make him a sure fire first ballet entry.

    Not saying it’s fair, but I’d say it’s almost likely that he at least waits a few years until he’s eventually inducted.

  72. 72 Jernst said at 6:23 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Regarding the loss of three starters: absolutely no team can withstand 3 starters going down with injury. And, if you were coming up with the odds that 3/5 of your starters would end up going down with season ending injuries those odds would be exceedingly low. And, thus it would be unreasonable for any fan base to expect their team to have an adequate back up plan to mitigate such a risk with exceedingly low odds of happening.

    However, I think if you were coming up with the odds of the things I listed happening, those odds would be a lot lot higher. What’s the chances that a 31 year old, career journeyman, who’s never been a starter plays really well all of a sudden? Is it reasonable that we would go into the season with that assumption being crucial to our success since no solid back up plan exists behind him? Would it be unreasonable to say there’s at least 50/50 odds that he’s a liability versus being an adequate starter? What’s the odds that a 34 year old guard, coming off an injury plagued down year, who’s currently holding out and telling his no nonsense coach to suck his nuts on social media, continues to play for this team and also plays well? Is 50/50 odds reasonable here too? And, again, no adequate back up plan in place should things not work out. After that you’re talking about one starter missing a few games mid season at some point, which again, it’d be almost comical to assume that one starter missing 3 games all year is unlikely.

    So, I’m not talking about 3 otherwise reliable starters suddenly all going down with season ending random injuries all at once. I’m talking about the likelihood that a guy that’s never in his 8 year career been good enough to start remaining not good enough to start, a 34 year old football player who’s already begun showing signs of decline continuing what should be an expected physical decline at this age, who by the way just happens to be holding out and publicly telling his coach to suck his nuts. For our guard situation to prove as good as some would lead us to believe it is this year, Barbre has to prove he can do something he’s never been able to do even when he was in his prime and something no one has ever seen him do. And, Mathis must first actually be here and be a key veteran presence on this team after telling Chip Kelly to suck his nuts on Twitter. Once that inconsequential hurdle is cleared he needs to defy Father Time for another year and not start declining physically which if it doesn’t happen this year is almost a sure thing to happen next. Are those not reasonable reasons to be worried that our line might not turn out how it’s optimistically drawn in pencil at the moment. After that were talking about one starter missing a few games.

  73. 73 mtn_green said at 2:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Peters was extended, Kelce too, one of three first round draft picks, OL wasn’t ‘ignored’

  74. 74 Jernst said at 6:38 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Never once said it was “ignored”. Peters extension was a nice financial reward given out by Howie Roseman to one of the franchises best players. It doesn’t make him any younger though. Nor does it make it any more likely that he actually plays out the entirety of that contract let alone continues to play at a high level deep into his 30’s. Kelce was locked up long term which was a great move. Lane was a great draft pick. One OLineman in 3 drafts is substantially below average though. And none of those moves did anything to address the big questions we face at both guard spots and the utter lack of depth we have everywhere along the line to mitigate any of the many questions we have with the ability of our starters to continue to play well if they play at all.

  75. 75 Ben said at 1:25 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    So glad you decided to write about our O line.
    They sure deserve to be wrote about, as they played very well when they were all healthy.
    I have seen many posters and critics of the Eagles, all but chastise Chip for not addressing the O line this draft.
    I felt we were not in urgent need, but it would have been nice if a good one was available at pick 20.
    We had more pressing needs at WR created by the loss of Maclin and I can understand why.
    I read somewhere, can’t remember where though, that Shady spoke glowingly about Lane Johnson’s return from that four game suspension and he thrived once Johnson returned.
    I think we have one of the best O lines in the NFL, when it comes to our starters.
    I seriously doubt that Chip won’t find suitable back ups to play behind the starters.
    I believe we already have them on our roster, but even if all of them fail, we still have plenty of time to find them.
    When rosters are reduced down to 53 men, many adequate replacements may become available, especially for our unique offense.
    I think certain players might not be a good fit in certain schemes and would be a perfect fit in what Chip is looking to do.
    O line is not at the top of our list of things that need fixing.
    We have bigger fish to fry as they say.

  76. 76 MagLikesDraft said at 3:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    “I have seen many posters and critics of the Eagles, all but chastise Chip for not addressing the O line this draft”.

    Not to worry. A year ago the same folks chastised Chip for not addressing the defense. Now that he has, they have to complain about something. Should the Eagles win the Super Bowl some day, these same people will complain that they didn’t win by more points. Or where the parade should run. Or the colour of the uniforms. Or some 20-comment posting about basketball. ;~)

  77. 77 Jernst said at 9:14 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Well in fairness the complaints about lack of defensive talent were valid. The defense was historically bad against the pass and that pretty much tanked our season down the stretch.

  78. 78 mtn_green said at 1:58 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    The new 2 point rule, makes a fake kick impossible. The defense returning the ball for 2 points will only happen once a year.

    No real incentive to do more 2 point attempts unless bad weather, like snow bowl.

    But at least there is only a 95% chance of a kick instead of 99%

  79. 79 Avery Greene said at 2:00 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I feel like coaches like Kelly, Belichik, and Carroll will go for more 2pt attempts.

  80. 80 Bert's Bells said at 2:57 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Carroll will call a pass on all 2 pt conversions.

  81. 81 RobNE said at 4:42 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    you can’t score from the 2 anywhere close to 90 or 95% of the time, so the change seems really stupid to me.

  82. 82 A_T_G said at 6:16 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Well, in theory you would only need to convert about 50% to have the same expected value. So if a coach thinks they can convert 75%, they might decide it is worth the risk of adding another random variable, the cost of putting your best conversion plays on tape, and the perception of incompetence if bucking tradition costs his team a game.

    I don’t think coaches expect they can convert 75% though. I would guess more like 25%.

  83. 83 Jernst said at 9:11 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Since you get two points for a successful 2 point conversion you only need to convert or score 48% of the time to make it statistically a better decision than going for the 95% chance at 1 point.

  84. 84 mtn_green said at 2:02 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Why? Doesn’t make a 2 pointer better than last year. Just the chance that 1/20 kicks will go wide?

  85. 85 Jernst said at 9:09 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Statistically I think the chance of going for 2 and getting it is like 46% or something like that. So if you have close to 100% chance at 1 point (extra point from the two yard line) or a 48% chance at 2 points, you’d expect that on average you’ll get 1 point if you kick and 0.96 points if you go for 2. If the extra point odds go down to 95%, suddenly the odds are ever so slightly in favor of you going. Theoretically, that could lead more coaches to choose to go for 2. If you have an awesome goal line offense, and as the coach you think your chance of getting 2 yards is closer to 50% or even better you might definitely go for two more often.

    My prediction is that in reality, except for a few coaches, teams will just go for the extra point like they always did, and most the coaches that try to play the odds and go for 2 will get conservative really quickly once they lose a game by one point going for two.

    Move the 2 point try to the one yard line and someone like Chip would go for two every time.

  86. 86 GEAGLE said at 2:21 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    The OL doom n gloom is absurd. Kelce and Lane are two of the best young lineman In the league at their positions…By the end of next season Lane will be universally recognized as he best RT in the NFL..
    Say what you will about Mathis and Hall of fame peters, but healthy I still think they easily have one year left of forming a bad ass tandem on the left side.. The Only question is the RG.. But I look at it as we Chose to get rid of Herremans, we didn’t have to. We wouldn’t have gotten rid of him if we weren’t really comfortable with what we had behind him… Ar full strength I expect one of the best lines in the NFL this year. if our injury luck is closer to 2013 then 2014 we are fine..
    Last year was a mess, I get it, but you can’t be doom n gloom about a line that was a year removed from playing 16 games as the top ranked OL in football. How quickly kempaki forgets and jumps off the bandwagon…

  87. 87 anon said at 2:37 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    ptsd for all of the injuries we had last year

  88. 88 Insomniac said at 2:51 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    ptsd of having no proven good replacements for those guys.

  89. 89 Mitchell said at 2:58 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    You can’t have proven guys until they prove themselves.

  90. 90 Insomniac said at 3:06 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    You can’t prove yourself if you’re not real!!

  91. 91 MagLikesDraft said at 3:16 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Injuries aside, a couple of the backups were rookies. Rookie linemen do not always shine right away. With the line having constant changes and rookies trying the learn, no wonder that they were mediocre. Many times it has been said that O-linemen need to know and trust one another, be a cohesive unit. This could be a whole better unit this year, just because of more time together. Think back to the Washington ‘Hogs’, the (gag) Dallas previous O lines, even Noll saying how highly he prized his offensive linemen, when the D was so predominant.

  92. 92 ICDogg said at 4:35 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    That’s the hope. If they stay healthy I think we’re fine.

  93. 93 GEAGLE said at 3:42 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Don’t you “chicken and the egg” me mofo.. Lol actually I Agree with you, just wanted to talk shit 😉

  94. 94 GEAGLE said at 3:21 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I bet we can afford two injuries to the starting OL and be fine(with the exception of losing Kelce, Molk blows),.. The first game with the backups will be tough, but with each game that passes they get more comfortable and gel with the starter playing on either side of them and by the 4th game we should be fine…

    What can’t happen is after the backups get 3 games to gel with the starter next to him, he gets hurt and a new guy comes in who needs to get comfortable and who you then need to gel with…..No Offensive line has the depth to handle those type of musical chairs in such a dysfunctional situation…
    OL is worthless if they arent playing as a cohesive unit, that doesn’t happen instantly by snapping your fingers … No team had OL that could have handled our injuries last year… Not only would our backups have to come in, but 3 weeks later too many more injuries would pile up to where we had to move a back up who is just starting to get comfortable to the other side or another position..No team had an OL that can handle that mess…. Cowboys media darling OL would have been horrible if they had to endure our injuries..

  95. 95 Jernst said at 8:56 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Man I don’t know. I don’t think we can lose two starters and remain a top offense. Let’s say our two oldest lineman go down, does a line of Andrew Gardner – Matt Tobin – Kelce – Barbre – Johnson inspire a lot of confidence in you? If it’s really just having a few games to gel that makes a good oline why even pay good money to lineman? Just get a bunch of UDFA let them fight it out during training camp, let them gel and viola you have a decent starting oline.

  96. 96 Jernst said at 8:58 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    The one thing I’ll give you though…remember the preseason last year. After seeing our second and third string lines destroy the competition we all thought we were set at oline depth for years to come. There might be a lot more talent and diamonds in the rough there than I’m giving credit for.

  97. 97 GEAGLE said at 3:11 PM on May 20th, 2015:


  98. 98 Jernst said at 8:51 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    If they’re all healthy and play were a top line. If anything happens it gets ugly quick. In a game full of injuries, having a few key aging players, a complete question mark at one position and a guy holding out with no good contingencies will leave a few fans more than tentatively concerned. Neither side is right or wrong, you’rejust focusing on the possibility that everything goes as planned and the other is acknowledging the real possibility that it doesn’t and what that means. Given the lack of depth and the ages of some of the key starters mixed with mathis’ hold out, I think it’s reasonable to assume things might just not work out all as planned.

  99. 99 Nailed it! said at 3:29 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Will Beaty Giants LT just tore his pec and is having surgery. Huge blow to the Giants line, and now tons of pressure on Flowers to be good right away.

  100. 100 GEAGLE said at 3:34 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Geez they Suck.. Can’t wait to see PUGH move to guard and try to block Cox..

  101. 101 Javi Echie said at 3:37 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Living in central jersey all they talk about is Giants/Jets. The Giants are considering moving Pugh to LT, lets hope they go through with that, and keeping Flowers as RT.

    Also seen your post above about the Jets and Geno. Gailey has been praising Smith all offseason for some reason. There gonna be in games the same style as when Rex was coach close defensive games.

  102. 102 GEAGLE said at 3:41 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Left tackle? Geez they Are THAT desperate? Brandon Graham might have a career year in sacks off of two Giants games lol…I have no clue WTF happened to that franchise, it’s been like 4 years and they still haven’t fixed the OL problem, how is that even possible?

  103. 103 Javi Echie said at 3:44 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Dude when I heard that I almost crashed my car in excitement to think of Pugh at LT. BG will have a field day with him and we can just run delayed stunts to that side and fool him everytime. Well going into this year the oline was less of a problem for them since Beatty held up well last year and moving Pugh to LG would of somewhat solidified there line but I’m with you I don’t get how they ignore not just the oline but both side of the trenches.

  104. 104 GEAGLE said at 3:57 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Not sure what is worse, starting PUGH at LT or the Rookie at LT smh brandon Graham and cox stunting outside Are going to kill eli… Idiots only signed backüp from the bengals, what’s his name, marshal Newhouse or something…. Beatty is like the one guy they couldn’t lose LOL

  105. 105 Javi Echie said at 4:02 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    The one guy they couldn’t lose and boom lost him, sucks for them but I’m not feeling bad at all lol

  106. 106 GEAGLE said at 3:33 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    lol jets annoint Geno the starting QB… I would rather Bradford have to come back from an injury in both knees then to piss away a season starting GENO Smith.. Smh..the only QBs GENO is better then are Manziel, TEBOW, and maybe RG3 ;)… I’d rather start jason Cambell or bust Quincy Carter out of some rehab in Dallas then to go into a season Knowing GENO is “my guy”…
    Heck get Kordell Stewart out of retirement if you have to… Sigń RAndall Cunningham for one last hoorah
    Part of me wants to see GENO traded for EJ Manuel.., the GMs would be the equivalent of two monkeys throwing their shit at each other,,,

  107. 107 mksp said at 3:39 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Tommy, when are you going to cover the NBA draft?



  108. 108 ICDogg said at 3:44 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    What makes you prefer Mudiay to Russell?

  109. 109 Javi Echie said at 3:45 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Must just be going off potential because apparently Mudiay’s potential is through the roof. Russell is a proven commodity in the NCAA and I tend to lean towards him over Mudiay but that’s just my opinion.

  110. 110 ICDogg said at 4:32 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    He’s certainly a talented kid but his post-high-school resume consists of about a dozen games in China. How can we really have any idea?

  111. 111 Javi Echie said at 4:33 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    My thoughts exactly, which is the reason that I am not as high on him as most people are.

  112. 112 GEAGLE said at 3:50 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Best player in the draft… Hands down,. HINKIE was the only GM to fly to China to see him, HInkie is fully aware of how good he is…Mudiay is the pick, I’d bet HInkie loves everyone running around talking that Russell nonsense..
    Can’t find anything I don’t love about him besides Larry brown loving him

  113. 113 Avery Greene said at 3:52 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Problem is that Minnesota is picking 1st AGAIN (but the Sixers are the bad team?), and they have a history of messing stuff up.

    They’d take Russell, Lakers take Mudiay, and we’re screwed. Mudiay has that showtime potential they want in LA, and with Kobe could wreck shop out there.

    I don’t put it past Minnesota to do something crazy, like take a guard when they need a center.

  114. 114 GEAGLE said at 3:55 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    No worries…they have Rubio, Lavine, wiggins, they will have zero interest in a guard…

  115. 115 Avery Greene said at 3:56 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    From the team that gave Boston a championship, then took back the player they gave away for a song and dance – I can never trust them again.

  116. 116 GEAGLE said at 3:59 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    They would take Hezonja, reunite him with Rubio if they were going to do something crazy,.. Hopefully lakers aren’t smart enough to pass on OKafor to steal MUDIAY, I would be heartbroken

  117. 117 Avery Greene said at 4:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I hope they take Towns. I think he’s good, but not franchise-changing good. That way when they pick #7 next year we get the pick.

    It’s a good thing we play in the East, because with Mudiay (or Russell) I think we are making the playoffs regardless next year. So having the Lakers top ten pick next year, and the Heat’s top 10 pick in 2017, we are getting lottery picks over the next 2 years.

  118. 118 GEAGLE said at 4:14 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I like that Towns And OKafor will be in western Confrence, Embiid and Nerlens won’t have to deal with the, in the playoffs, not that it matters, it won’t take long for Embiid to grow into one of the dominant forces in the league…what’s acary is his floor is like andrew Bynum, yet he can easily be so much more, we could make Mudiy and Russell have a UFC fight to decide who gets to play with Nerlens And Embiid for the next decade..
    MUDIAY is going To be nasty Attacking the rim constantly while drawing the help defense ns feeding the bigs for open dunks… Picture the love child of superman and Ish smith on super steroids while elite talent… That’s Mudiay 😉

  119. 119 ACViking said at 4:37 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    After last year’s bad luck . . . that’s just what I’d expect

  120. 120 Javi Echie said at 3:56 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Okafor/Towns go 1 to Minny and the Lakers will take the big man they don’t of the 2. Towns has openly said he wants to go to LA.

  121. 121 ICDogg said at 4:28 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Well, Kobe forced himself to LA, and so there’s precedent if Towns is trying to force himself there.

  122. 122 Baloophi said at 4:34 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Kobe does have a history of forcing himself on others…

  123. 123 Javi Echie said at 4:39 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Yea apparently he wants to be paired with Randle.

  124. 124 ACViking said at 4:36 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Is there a worse place than Minnesota to which the T-Wolves could trade Towns?

    Milwaukee, maybe?

    Kareem Jabbar hated playing for a mid-west team (the Bucks). He felt culturally isolated — after having grown up in NYC and played college ball in L.A.

    So he forced a trade to LA.

    Karl Towns grew up in Piscataway, NJ. Nothing going on there except watching the cars drive to Giants/Jets Stadium on Sundays in the fall.

    And he put a year in Lexington KY — besides cheerleaders, the entertainment is horses.


  125. 125 RobNE said at 4:38 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    so in this case Sixers get Towns, and that is being screwed?

  126. 126 ICDogg said at 4:40 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Lakers would take Towns if he’s there, but if somehow I’m wrong and he fell to the Sixers, of course they would be thrilled to get him.

  127. 127 RobNE said at 4:43 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    exactly, so I’m not what the problem is. I wanted # 1 but # 3 is a good spot. Hinkie gets his choice of all the non-bigs. And both bigs go to the West too.

  128. 128 ICDogg said at 4:51 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    But what if Towns-Russell go 1-2? Would Okafor make sense?

  129. 129 ACViking said at 4:55 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    The kid wears cement shoes.

  130. 130 RobNE said at 5:04 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    not sure, but the Knicks behind us maybe would pay to switch spots? Maybe Hinkie takes Mudiay. Russell worries me, the NCAA games I saw, I wasn’t like good god Russell can’t be stopped.

    but really, I don’t sweat this b/c Hinkie. It’s not like, oh no what will Amaro do then he will screw it up somehow. I just don’t feel the need to think about this too much.

    I do agree though, Okafor worries me more than Towns. I just take Towns.

  131. 131 Avery Greene said at 8:12 AM on May 21st, 2015:

    No, but I’d like to get a stellar guard out of the top 4.

  132. 132 mksp said at 4:17 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    If Hinkie takes Russell, I’ll trust his evaluation skills and root for the kid.

    With that being said, I think Russell’s lack of athleticism will hurt him in the NBA. I don’t think he can get to the rim, so I think his value is strictly as a shooter, albeit one with great court vision. He feasted on bad teams, and rarely played well against good teams. I know OSU was bad this year, but his FG% and 3P% cratered against real teams, and this is a major warning flag.

    Mudiay is bigger, stronger, and more athletic. He has a great handle for a guys his size, can run the PnR, gets out in transition and has more defensive upside than Russell. I don’t think his shot is broken, just needs some work. I want a guy that can get to the rim and set up Joel and Noel via penetration.

    I think the Steph Curry comparisons are bogus with regard to Russell – he’s just not as quick.

  133. 133 mksp said at 4:18 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Ugh, I see GEAGLE has managed to infect this post within an hour. Even when he agrees with me it’s annoying.

  134. 134 Bert's Bells said at 4:35 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    It’s more annoying when you agree with him. But then, it’s usually just a recap from BGN or an early Tommy article.

  135. 135 RobNE said at 5:25 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    maybe this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

  136. 136 Bert's Bells said at 5:28 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Like this

  137. 137 Brian Pillion said at 4:39 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    When I saw that he was mass-posting over on LibertyBallers under a different name, but with the same stylistic, I’ll say “quirks”, I’d hoped that might mean he’d be gone from here for a bit. No such luck.

  138. 138 RobNE said at 4:45 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I have to say I don’t typically read LB but with the draft lottery I was (good stuff), and I was thinking the same thing in the comments. Boy, this seems familiar. But I thought it was an Italian name.

  139. 139 Isaac said at 4:46 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    GEagle is Italian. Gets paid by some Italian company for whatever he does. It all fits.

  140. 140 ACViking said at 4:43 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Is there a deal Minn could make with LA to swap picks while getting premium value in return?

    LA gets KAT.

    MINN gets JO plus a quality player / future pick

    This way, the Sixers get their choice guards. And LA skips taking Mudiay in favor of Kat-man

  141. 141 Baloophi said at 4:51 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    MINN also gets the name “Lakers” back…

  142. 142 ACViking said at 4:55 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Not since the days of . . . .

    George Mikan

    Vern Mikkelsen

    Clyde Lovellette . . .

    and SLATER MARTIN!!!

  143. 143 ACViking said at 4:55 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    That’s actually huge value

  144. 144 FairOaks said at 6:39 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Since the Sixers have the conditional Lakers 1st rounder, I don’t think the Lakers can trade any of their first rounders until their 2020 pick. It is not until 2018 that the pick is unconditional, and if it waits until that year, I don’t think they are allowed to trade 2019 since I don’t think the NBA allows a team to trade away back-to-back 1st round picks (unless they also acquire a 1st round pick and use it, which you also won’t know until the draft happens).

    That was part of the reason getting the Sixers own conditional pick back from Miami in last year’s draft was so huge — the Sixers were similarly constrained with trading their own first rounders.

    I guess the Lakers do have another 1st rounder this year (Houston’s) which they could use to trade up. No idea if NBA types think that is enough compensation.

  145. 145 ICDogg said at 6:45 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    They would do it the way the Sixers drafted and then traded Elfrid Payton last year. It would still technically be the Lakers’ pick in that case and could be traded.

  146. 146 FairOaks said at 6:47 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    That’s true, good point. But I don’t think they can add a future pick to the deal. It’s not this year’s draft that is the issue… they can’t prove they have a #1 pick in 2018 so I don’t think they can trade 2019 even.

  147. 147 ACViking said at 4:47 PM on May 20th, 2015:


    Is KAT better at this stage than a healthy Embiid coming out of KU?

  148. 148 ICDogg said at 4:54 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Not in my opinion. Embiid is a basketball savant. I think he is something special but of course that is only if he can stay healthy. I do think Towns will be an excellent player though.

  149. 149 ACViking said at 4:57 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Does Embiid have the heart?

    That is . . . would he be on Kelly’s draft board (assuming he satisfied all the other requirements for DE, for example)?


    I’m serious . . . This is my job.

  150. 150 Baloophi said at 5:00 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    You’re like a cardiologist with all these heart questions…

  151. 151 ACViking said at 5:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Why do you hurt me?

    I mean, why do you hurt me?

    I’ve always been loyal to you.

  152. 152 ICDogg said at 5:03 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I don’t really have enough to go on to know that.

  153. 153 GEAGLE said at 5:33 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Brett brown says he used to ask that same question, but the moment he fell in love was eRly in his freshman season, marcus smart cheap shotted him in the back of the head… Two plays later smart had the ball and drove to the rim, EMBIID ran across the court to bury smart with a hard foul,let him know that won’t be tolerated, and that’s when he says he saw the competitive drive and fell in love with him, he went on to dominate Ine second half of the game..

  154. 154 ACViking said at 5:39 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    G –

    Great intel.

  155. 155 cliff-Wolff of Broad Street said at 4:58 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    that’s the worst part of all this ‘Hinkie is ruining the NBA’. i cant wait till Embiid gets on court and everyone is like ‘oh, that’s what Hinkie was doing’

  156. 156 ACViking said at 5:00 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Embiid’s 3-point shots are smoooth.

    The guy can shoot from 40 feet out and make it look like a medium range jumper.

    That said . . . hoping he doesn’t have “Ralph Sampson Syndrome.”

  157. 157 ICDogg said at 5:01 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    It’s almost like he can watch someone do something great on film, and then go out on the court and do the same thing.

  158. 158 ACViking said at 5:04 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Embiid’s the kind of player — so are most of these kids — who’d have benefited enormously from 3-4 years in college learning how to play.

    Look at Olajuwon. 4 years at UHouston . . . POLISHED when he came out.

    Compare: Daryl Dawkins. No time in college.

    Biggest waste of raw talent I’ve ever seen that didn’t involve drug use.

  159. 159 ICDogg said at 5:16 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    You never know what you have with 19 and 20 year old kids… it’s hard enough when they’re 22-23.

    You worry about things like heart, love for the game, etc. but there’s no way to assess it when they aren’t even allowed to play.

  160. 160 ACViking said at 5:18 PM on May 20th, 2015:


    totally agree. the whole crap-shoot thing — in every sport — is probably about desire to succeed more than anything else.

    maybe that’s obvious. but i’d never given it much thought before (despite all the other sports minutia I kick around)

  161. 161 Baloophi said at 5:21 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Ralph Sampson Syndrome is an affliction where your face permanently freezes in an arrogant, patronizing smirk. Also known as “Smug Mug.” Very sad. Sean Hannity is perhaps the most famous person with Ralph Sampson Syndrome.

  162. 162 ACViking said at 5:24 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    My face is going to freeze because I’m laughing so hard

  163. 163 Baloophi said at 5:28 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Oof. Ed McMahon Syndrome.

  164. 164 ACViking said at 5:38 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    The best #2 guy ever.

    Is there a joke Johnny told that Ed didn’t laugh at?

  165. 165 ICDogg said at 5:27 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Smug Mug Shot

  166. 166 ACViking said at 5:42 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    That’s a scary photo.

    3x college player of the year. How?

  167. 167 ICDogg said at 5:46 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    He says that he tried to come back too soon from his serious knee injuries and caused permanent damage.

  168. 168 ACViking said at 5:49 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I remember that. Never the same in the NBA as he was in the ’86 season after that injury.

  169. 169 SteveH said at 11:45 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Interestingly enough, most advanced civilizations have made it legal to punch Ralph Sampson syndrome sufferers right in the face. The policy seems retrograde and primitive, yet no one feels compelled to stop it.

  170. 170 GEAGLE said at 5:30 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Me and about 200 fans counted 22 three pointers in a row he hit before one of the games…Mand these were NBÁ 3’s…

  171. 171 Baloophi said at 5:34 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Nice that he has an outside stroke but the real question is whether his post game is as prolific as yours.

    (Take the hit, my friend!)

  172. 172 ACViking said at 5:36 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Holly crap!!!

    That said . . . is it a good thing he has that kind of touch?

    Also, did you see him working on post moves? Dream stuff?

  173. 173 GEAGLE said at 5:43 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Oh yea…there are some video of his post moves, spin moves, dunks… But he was dream shaking fools in NCAA games by December of his freshman season..l mind you he was supposed to redshirt as a freshman he was so raw he wasn’t supposed to even play… His growth rate is one of the freakiest things ever seen.., it’s like savant level, like a 5yr old who sits at the piano and plays Mozart… He couldn’t hit a college 3 a yer ago, now he shoots them from NBA line like its a foul shot
    If he is lazy, does the bare minimum, he can roll out of bed and be as good as Bynum in his prime,…and that’s just his floor… True freak savant

  174. 174 ACViking said at 5:46 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    This kid could totally change the Sixers franchise.

    Add Mudiay to him and Noel.

    Need to find a wing man, yes?

  175. 175 GEAGLE said at 5:53 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Yup… Next year is a decent draft for wings, especially since the first 3 picks will probably be Bigmen, so even if we pick 4,5.6 we would still be chosing fromthe top wings like Jaylen Brown… But we don’t even need a caliber wing that good… We just need shooters to be ready to catch and shoot when MUDIAY gets to the rim, collapses the defense and kicks it out, and shooters for EMBIID to kick it out to in order to make them pY for double teaming the big beast., just need good shooters on the wing who will play defense and add to the elite:defensive identity we are building…covington is a solid start…

  176. 176 Joe Minx said at 5:55 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Too many people I’ve heard today acting like it’s a foregone conclusion they’re taking Russell. I don’t agree.

  177. 177 GEAGLE said at 6:11 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I don’t believe the Russell crap

  178. 178 Avery Greene said at 9:09 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Speaking of which, I can’t wait to see some of these guys come back this year and see how they’ve improved like Covington, Grant, Sampson, and even Ish and Wroten.

  179. 179 ICDogg said at 5:43 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    It’s crazy some of the shots he makes. I watched him make about 4 shots from different spots out of bounds on his way into the tunnel before the game.

  180. 180 GEAGLE said at 5:44 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    He really is a savant,,.. His growth rate is astounding

  181. 181 mksp said at 4:56 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    No. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a big man move quite like Embiid.

    KAT can be a great player, but Joel is on another level.

  182. 182 ACViking said at 4:59 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Daryl Dawkins — who had no heart but a huge appetite for the good life — reminds me of Embiid.

    If you didn’t know they were 6’11 or so . . . you’d think they were 6’2″ and perfectly proportioned.

  183. 183 Flyin said at 8:29 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    He had a heart for glass… smashing glass that is.

  184. 184 Javi Echie said at 5:06 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Never? I recall 2 players named Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan having better footwork and more overall skill then Embiid. Him being on “another level” is totally overblown.

  185. 185 RobNE said at 5:07 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Duncan played 4 years of college ball didn’t he?

  186. 186 Javi Echie said at 5:08 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Yes he did and Garnett played none. What are you getting at friend? I just feel like Embiid is slightly overrated.

  187. 187 RobNE said at 5:18 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    are you comparing Duncan to Embiid after one year of college for Duncan (how can you remember) or after 4 years?

    Obv he is no Duncan. I’m not trying to step into any argument. I’m just bulish on Embiid. Not “he’s the greatest ever” bullish.

  188. 188 Javi Echie said at 5:20 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I wasn’t really trying to compare him to Duncan per se. The point I was making is that the fella above said that he’s never seen a big man move like Embiid when there have been multiple big men that move better then him. Hell Shaq moved better then Embiid and he had 100 lbs on him lol

  189. 189 RobNE said at 5:22 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    yep everyone’s just excited making crazy comparisons. That fella ACV needs to calm down.

  190. 190 ACViking said at 5:25 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Where’d I misstep?

    I though Dawkins was a good comparator.

  191. 191 RobNE said at 5:26 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Can you read your transcript, are these your words?

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a big man move quite like Embiid.

  192. 192 Javi Echie said at 5:27 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    It was “mksp” that said that.

  193. 193 RobNE said at 5:29 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    ha!! I apologize to everyone involved.

  194. 194 ACViking said at 5:41 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    No apologies . . .

    Daryl Dawkins? He needs to apologize.

  195. 195 mksp said at 5:32 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    And I stand by it!

  196. 196 Javi Echie said at 5:40 PM on May 20th, 2015:


  197. 197 ACViking said at 5:35 PM on May 20th, 2015:


    “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a big man move quite like Embiid.”

    I did not say that.

    In fact, I can say with certainty that the only time I’ve seen Embiid move was on (i) draft night, and (ii) in a couple highlights as a 76er, shooting a 3-pointer from the bench and another one from half-court.

  198. 198 Baloophi said at 5:38 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Laugh at that shot selection all you want but Harlem has turned that very same offense into a 14,000 – 6 record against Washington…

  199. 199 GEAGLE said at 8:57 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I think you are in for a peasant surprise… Enjoy..

  200. 200 ACViking said at 5:09 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Embiid’s bigger than Garnett, no?

    Broader, thicker, heavier?

    More like Olajuwon than Garnett, maybe.

  201. 201 Javi Echie said at 5:13 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Well when Garnett came out of high school he was 230 and has played most of his career at 255. So I wouldn’t really say Embiid was too much thicker but definitely broader then the lanky Garnett.

    Olajuwan is a good comparison but in no way is Embiid’s footwork and post play even close to being as polished as the Dream’s was coming into the league.

    I noticed your post below of how you think Embiid would of blossomed had he stayed in college for 2-3 years and I completely agree with you. But these kids these days don’t care about getting better then chase the dollar signs, which I cant blame them, but it would do him wonders to have stayed.

  202. 202 ICDogg said at 5:14 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Embiid looks like he’s about 275. Just going from sight.

  203. 203 Javi Echie said at 5:15 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    That may very well be true but didn’t he weigh in at 250 his senior year?

  204. 204 ICDogg said at 5:18 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    He was a freshman at KU and weighed about that, but he’s still growing… still filling out

  205. 205 Javi Echie said at 5:19 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Sorry I didn’t mean to say senior. But gotcha.

  206. 206 ACViking said at 5:20 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    We don’t want him to turn into Wes Unseld, though, right?

    The external Unseld.

  207. 207 GEAGLE said at 5:28 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    We will want him to stay In between 265-275lbs.. They believe it’s very important to stay at that weight to have a healthy career after suffering a stress fracture In his navicular bone… They will be like nazi’s watching his weight,,, 265-275lbs is where they want to keep him at..

  208. 208 ICDogg said at 6:48 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    It’s definitely not in his best interest to bulk up too much more.

  209. 209 ACViking said at 5:16 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    “But these kids these days don’t care about getting better then chase the dollar signs, which I cant blame them, but it would do him wonders to have stayed.”


    I wonder why the NBAPA doesn’t negotiate a 2 or 3 year requirement with the league on post-HS on kids entering the NBA?

    Some would go overseas. But most would go to college, have some fun, and learn the game.

    And the best ones would still go the KY and get paid.

  210. 210 Insomniac said at 5:23 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    KG is one of my favorite players of all time when I watched the NBA. KG and Yao Ming were one of those guys that couldn’t look bulky even if it killed them. Speaking of Yao, is that the comparison everyone is looking for?

  211. 211 RobNE said at 5:24 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I hope not.

  212. 212 Insomniac said at 6:14 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I hope so. Yao was the last great center in the NBA. If Embild can polish up his shooting and not just be a post warrior like 99% of the centers right now then that’s a real real good pick.

  213. 213 GEAGLE said at 5:25 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Whoa hold up.. The dream didn’t enter the league as a 19yr old either.. Check out highlights of Oljuwon Sophmore season, EMBIID probably looks ahead of where Olujuwon did as a sophmore, as crazy as that sounds..

  214. 214 mksp said at 5:30 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    He’s on another level compared to KAT, yes.

  215. 215 Javi Echie said at 5:40 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Oh as compared to Towns, then yes I agree with you on that sentiment.

  216. 216 RobNE said at 5:05 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I doubt it.

  217. 217 Joe Minx said at 5:10 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Mike Missanelli spewing nonsense all over the radio today. Says Hinkie’s plan failed & the Lakers are somehow not going to be terrible next year. Hahaha.

  218. 218 ACViking said at 5:13 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    If the LAL take Okafor, they’ll combine the have the glass man at PF and the kid in cement shoes at center . . . plus the rest of the bad Lakers from this season.

    If the Lakers had anything to give Minnesota — besides their name back (Baloophi!!!) — I think they’d overpay bigtime to get KAT instead of the kid in cement shoes.

    Otherwise . . . will the Lakers consider, at #2, MUDIAY, aka Dr Congo?

  219. 219 GEAGLE said at 5:23 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    What’s funny is Duke only won the national championship because OKafor got into foul trouble…if coach K would have played him, they probably lose… OKafor would play like 15 minutes just like Bogut in a warriors vs Houston game,,. So over rated. as great as his feet are on offense they are complete liability on defense.. So frustrating… Might be the worst rebounder I ever seen for a top Bigman prospect. Can’t hit foul shots, can’t move his feet And defend pick n roll, poor rebounding instinct, poor defensive instincts..
    Nice post moves, great post passer.. He is like a poor rebounder version of Al Jefferson with great post passing..,, good player, far from great.. I wish he would have ended up in new York so I can watch EMBIID dominate him, but I’ll settle for New York Draftimg russell so I can watch MUDIAY dominate him for a decade… When will people stop over valuing polished jump shooting? It’s a teachable skill… Your coach rebuilt NERLENS entire shot and taught him to shoot, doubt we need to go crazy over rating shooters…Mudiays shot DOESNT even need to be rebuilt…

  220. 220 ACViking said at 5:44 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Would LA take Mudiay?

    For the reasons you wrote or any others.

  221. 221 GEAGLE said at 6:06 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Sure hope not… Hopefully kobe demands a big or drinks the russell polished shooter Kool aid… A polished shooter is nice and all, but not if he can’t drive to the rim and make a layup in traffic in college, let alone against NBA bigs… Rather have the PG that will blow by your defender Attack the rim and put constant pressure on your defense who needs to learn how to shoot..
    Worry about making a contested shot from 5 feet away before I will rave about his shooting, plus he is a drama queen, he leans, and fades when he doesn’t even need to.. Makes alL the flashy passes, MUDIAY makes a,l the RIGHT passes, throws them crisp to where the look beautiful, no flash required…
    My nightmare is if team like the lakers work out MUDIAY and Russell at the same time against ech other… That’s a potential nightmare, see MUDIAY eat him up and who knows…
    I hope the lakers take the BIG.. If you don’t have top Bigmen, I don’t know if you should be passing on kids like Towns and OKafor,,, if you need Bigs, you take one because it’s easier to find the guard Later.. Magic Johnson and all the lakers fans will be vocal about wanting the bigmen.. Hopefully kobe wNta the Big too,… I don’t think too highly of Julius Randle, I don’t know that I would be turning down top Bigmen because of randle.. They had a long tradition of Bigmen,,. Hopefully they go big

  222. 222 SuPaFrO said at 8:35 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I’m in socal. And personally would not want okafor. Never wanted him. I know earlier in the year more people were high in him. Now it seems is hi’s stock is lower. I prefer KAT or Mudiay. Or Russell. There’s also people wanting to just trade for D.Cousins or someone like that.

  223. 223 RobNE said at 5:23 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    if you think the difference between KAT and Okafor is so high, why would Minn even contemplate a trade?

  224. 224 ACViking said at 5:28 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Because Okafor won’t leave plus they get premium compensation.

    Other than than, I’m on board with your question.

  225. 225 D3FB said at 9:09 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Having grown up in the twin cities, the name thing is still a little bit of a salty subject.

    Asshole lakers.

  226. 226 GEAGLE said at 6:19 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Surprised to see Murray have 57 receptions with the Cowboys.. He was 3rd in the team in receptions? Holy crap we have like 82% of their offense lol…
    Better pass catching weapon then maybe I thought…

  227. 227 Baloophi said at 6:32 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Also had 45 catches for 455 yards over two years with Bradford at Oklahoma (I didn’t count his junior year because Bradford only played 3 games).

    Curious if Oklahoma scholars (football team, not the musical) know what percentage of those were screens versus routes versus check-downs, etc. I seem to recall Dallas upping their screen game last year.

  228. 228 Jason said at 6:46 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    How much of Chip’s offense seeks throws to the RB. It seems stylistically to me that the constant play action often means RB handoff or throw to WR/TE. Shady’s catches dipped significantly in year 2 of Chip from year 1. Did Oregon backs catch a lot of balls under Chip?

  229. 229 Baloophi said at 7:15 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Unsure about the Oregon use of RB’s as receivers though I would imagine Chip at least used short passes to get people like DAT, LaMichael James, Barner, etc. the ball in space… if only as a change-up. In terms of McCoy I recall him having success on both wheel routes and screens in the first year of Kelly (FYOK). His catches dipped for sure last year but was that a philosophical change or an execution fail? I remember a ton of bad screens last year in which everyone shared the blame: O-line, QB, RB, Kelly…

  230. 230 Jernst said at 8:44 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I remember a ton of telegraphed screen plays that got blown up and went nowhere at the end of 2013. The saints playoff game was brutal. Every time we set up a screen the entire defense knew what was coming and was there to meet the RB at the point of the catch. In addition to the oline problems this seemed to continue last year too. Not sure what the tell was but other teams definitely picked up on it by the end of 2013.

  231. 231 Fufina said at 7:50 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Last year i think our RB’s caught 70-80 balls (cannot remember the exact number but was in that range.

  232. 232 Bert's Bells said at 6:51 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry

  233. 233 Baloophi said at 7:00 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.

  234. 234 Jernst said at 8:41 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    What happened to our screen game the last year and half (I know we had some drop off in oline play but these problems went back to the end of 2013). Seemed like every screen we ran got sniffed out and blown up immediately, Chip was never able to figure it out and adjust and that entire section of our playbook just got phased out. And this was after about 10 games in 2013 when we were killing it in the screen game. I thought for sure Chip would iron out the issues in the off season and with the addition of Sproles we’d be deadly. But, it was just more totally telegraphed, sniffed out and blown up plays in 2014. I hope the nasty screen game comes back this year. Such a great constraint play to gain big yardage when a defense tries to blitz and attack.

  235. 235 76mustang said at 8:16 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Since 2007 (the year Brent Celek was drafted), here’s a list and pick # of the DBs the Eagles have drafted:

    2007 CJ Gaddis (159), Rashad Barksdale (201)
    2008 Quintin Demps (117), Jack Ikegwuonu (131)
    2009 Victor Harris (157)
    2010 Nate Allen (37), Trevard Lindley (105), Kurt Coleman (244)
    2011 Jaiquawn Jarrett (54), Curtis Marsh (90)
    2012 Brandon Boykin (123)
    2013 Earl Wolff (136), Jordan Poyer (218)
    2014 Jalen Watkins (101), Ed Reynolds (162)
    2015 Eric Rowe (47), JaCorey Shepherd (191), Randall Evans (196)

    Here’s the OL Eagles have drafted in the same period:

    2007 None drafted
    2008 Mike McGlynn (109), Mike Gibson (184), King Dunlap (230)
    2009 Fenuki Tupou (159), Paul Fanaika (213)
    2010 None drafted
    2011 Danny Watkins (23), Julian Vandervelde (161), Jason Kelce (191)
    2012 Dennis Kelly (153), Brandon Washington (200)
    2013 Lane Johnson (4)
    2014 None drafted
    2015 None drafted

    Both position groups have suffered from a lack of talent and development. Chip, his personnel staff, and his coaching staff apparently felt there was better value and talent in addressing the DB position group this past draft than the OL group.

    With that said, the Eagles return 10 OL that have been in Chip’s program 2 years, and 2 OL that have been in for 1 year. We do not know the current state of their health and development – as Joe Banner tweeted “Funny when media people grade drafts based on how well a team filled needs. They don’t know players well enough to base it on anything else”.

  236. 236 Jernst said at 8:36 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    The worst part about looking over old drafts is looking at who the next few players that were drafted at the same position we took. I did that recently and I wanted to cry. Blah blah blah about hind sight being 20/20…the amount of probowlers taken at these same positions almost immediately after we drafted this collection of dreck made me want to punch a baby.

  237. 237 A_T_G said at 10:04 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I know it is using hindsight and blah, blah, blah, but looking back, there isn’t one instance about which I can say, “boy am I glad I ounched that baby.”

  238. 238 Fufina said at 8:54 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Well the Eagles have managed to find 2 very good OL in the last 5 drafts (Kelce/Johnson), and found probowl talent in free agency cheap (Mathis), and had a hall of famer already on the roster.

    Secondary not so much…. both draft and free agency have not led to any top quality players in the last 5 years. Think trying to find quality DB’s both to start and build depth was a massive need this draft. People forget the only CB we had under contract for 2016 was Watkins before FA and Draft.

    OL is a massive need for next year, but you can at least project OL to start and play decently year 1. DB’s not so much.

  239. 239 76mustang said at 9:28 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    I’m on board with the decision(s) to address the DBs this draft and address OL through other means and next year’s draft. I’m especially encouraged by Jenkins touting the new DB coach’s focus on fundamentals.

    I agree with Tommy’s assessment regarding the OL, it’s Jimmy K that has become an Old Testament Prophet of doom and gloom regarding OL.

  240. 240 SteveH said at 11:33 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Banner is shockingly good on twitter. Never would have guessed he’d be a skewer the establishment kind of guy.

  241. 241 BreakinAnklez said at 12:05 PM on May 21st, 2015:

    they’ve also hd established starters at that position. Most of these guys are late round picks who were here as backups. The entire 08 class has gone on to have success if I’m not mistaken.

  242. 242 Flyin said at 11:39 PM on May 20th, 2015:

    Off topic. This is not my spot.. My hate is evident . How long can I can turn a blind eye to these asshats. Boiling is going on. Go Dave.

  243. 243 Bacon, Eggs and Eagles - Extra Point Changes Are Here! said at 8:04 AM on May 21st, 2015:

    […] Is the O-line Okay? – Tommy Lawlor of […]

  244. 244 Brendan Patterson said at 10:32 AM on May 21st, 2015:

    It’s neither here nor there, but Gardner primarily played under Chan Gailey at GT. He only had a half season with Paul Johnson in 2008 before having surgery.

  245. 245 Brendan Patterson said at 10:48 AM on May 21st, 2015:

    Say Tobin performs about the same in this preseason as last year’s. Do you consider him for the starting RG position?

    He’s showed the potential, has the size, got a decent amount of experience last year, and is still only 24. Plus, it’s easier to have him gain experience and continuity with the other +talent around him.

    Looking at our depth chart, can you really imagine Tobin filling in for Peters in the case of an injury? What’s happened in the past is that someone will slide outside from G, like Herremans last year and potentially Barbre this year, and the next player up steps into the guard role. That leaves two players in new roles and potentially hurts the continuity of the line overall. Wouldn’t you rather keep Barbre at the swing tackle reserve while Tobin develops into a potential full time starter?

  246. 246 Raul Estrada said at 11:14 AM on May 21st, 2015:

    I still remember when we didn’t have the oldest OLmen in the NFL and we were still battling for the division with a team that had an older OL than us.

    I think we’ll stock up next year’s draft for that as well as finding some possible gems after training camp cuts this year.