Good Stuff From Schwartz

Posted: August 23rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 179 Comments »

Jim Schwartz is a very good defensive coordinator. We’re finding out he can also be very entertaining and informative with his press conferences. has today’s session with the media.

Some of the highlights:

He praised DE Marcus Smith. And this was legit praise, not just a coach trying to pump up a player for the heck of it. Schwartz talked about Smith being a good athlete and pass rusher, but said what really stuck out was his run defense. Setting the edge is something that gets overlooked a lot of the time. There isn’t a way to see that in the box score. Smith had a good showing last week. It will be interesting to see if he can build on that against the Colts.

Schwartz was asked about Jaylen Watkins. He was honest in pointing out that Watkins had issues as a tackler and run defender last year. Schwartz then praised Watkins for the way he has worked on those issues to become an overall good DB. He always had the cover skills, but this is the first summer that Watkins has shown he can be counted on as a hitter and tackler.


What about the addition of Tulloch?

Schwartz also went on a tangent about veteran players in regard to Tulloch. This was really great to hear. Schwartz talked about how he had great respect and admiration for players who lasted in the league for 10 years. That doesn’t happen by accident. You don’t play for a decade just based on talent or even effort. You don’t last that long due to scheme fit. You have to have a combination of things that keeps your career going that long.

That seems like a fairly obvious, simple point. But I think too often we underestimate just how impressive longevity is in the NFL (and all professional sports). Stephen Tulloch isn’t going to the Hall of Fame. Nor is Brent Celek. Or Jon Dorenbos. That shouldn’t diminish the accomplishment of staying in the league for a decade (or more) and playing at a high level for most, if not all, of that time.

I remember Dr. J at his retirement talking about his desire for someone like Steve Mix to also be recognized by the Sixers. Dr. J is one of the great athletes of all time. Mix played 668 games for the Sixers and helped the team to go from awful to being a winner. How many fans remember who Steve Mix is? You shouldn’t have to be a HOF’er to have an impressive, memorable career.


Schwartz covered a lot more ground than just this. Do yourself a favor and watch the PC.

Frank Reich also had a PC. The most interesting thing from him was when he was asked about Darren Sproles. Jimmy Bama wrote a good piece on that.

“Sproles is the original. He’s the prototype,” said Reich. “Right from the start, I remember first coming in when (Doug Pederson) hired me, some of the immediate talk was how we get to use a guy like Darren Sproles.”

In San Diego, it didn’t end with Woodhead. The trio of Melvin Gordon, Brandon Oliver, and Donald Brown chipped in an additional 54 catches in 2015.

“All the backs have shown a good aptitude to pick things up in the pass game, and be good route runners,” Reich added, “so we think we can mix it up, but certainly Darren, he’s the starting point.”

In Kansas City under Pederson, a healthy Jamaal Charles caught 70 passes (fifth in the NFL) in 2013, and 40 passes (14th in the NFL) in 2014. In 2015, rookie RB Duke Johnson was fourth in the NFL with 61 catches under then Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who is now the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach.

“There’s a lot of ways to utilize that,” said Reich. “In Kansas City, in Doug’s offense they’ve done that in the past, and we’ll continue to mix in some other things that we’ve all done, that our staff has done to kind of isolate backs and get good matchups. But when you have a guy like 43 out there, every week in game planning, it’s like, ‘How can we get this guy the football?’ He’s that kind of a player.”

In case you haven’t noticed, aside from Jordan Matthews, the Eagles’ receivers aren’t very good. Expect to see a healthy dose of Darren Sproles and the Eagles’ tight ends in the passing game this season under coaches who will know how to use them.

Sproles has been huge on STs for the past 2 seasons, but has been erratic on offense. That’s not on him, but the way Chip Kelly used him. When you focus on basic plays and pushing tempo, specialists are not going to be used for maximum effect. That will change this year. It will be interesting to see how Sproles responds.


179 Comments on “Good Stuff From Schwartz”

  1. 1 Good Stuff From Schwartz - said at 10:29 PM on August 23rd, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor Jim Schwartz is a very good defensive coordinator. We’re finding out he can also be very […]

  2. 2 wee2424 said at 11:04 PM on August 23rd, 2016:

    It still amazes me how for the most part Chip was so amazingly inept at utilizing players strength on O. Especially when it was his own hand picked guys.

    If he doesn’t change I don’t see how he can make it in this league.

  3. 3 daveH said at 11:10 PM on August 23rd, 2016:

    30M dollars later. ..

  4. 4 Dan in Philly said at 4:41 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    When Chip got here I was so excited about all he could bring to the table. Now I can see the limitations of his system, but it seems he can’t. His unwillingness to adapt to the pro game continues to astonish me.

  5. 5 Jernst said at 10:44 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea…I’m not only amazed at his unwillingness to adapt, but also the fact that he seemed to become even more limited as time went on. Go back and look at some of the All-22 breakdowns of his scheme from 2013 (phillymag has a lot of good stuff archived) and then think back to what we saw in 2015. He went from having a very varied scheme with different playcalls and constraint plays, with tons of packaged plays, odd formations, orbit motion, constantly changing and keeping defenses off guard to a scheme that trotted out the same 3WR shotgun formation every single play, ran the same 5-6 plays every game all year long, disposed of the packaged plays and post snap reads, got rid of the read-option, got rid of the motions and different formations and just relied entirely on tempo to create plays which defenses just started to eat up once they adjusted to the speed. Really puzzling!

  6. 6 meteorologist said at 3:18 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Didn’t Chip respond to something like that by saying he had more talent in the earlier years to work with? Lol

  7. 7 Jernst said at 4:38 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    If he said that, I missed it. Maybe I forgot because I had slapped my forehead so hard when I heard him say that. Because if he went ahead and got rid of our 3 best players, hand picked their replacements and then complained that he didn’t have enough talent to work with, that would be mind numbingly infuriating on a whole new level. And, that’s from a guy who loved to play mind numbingly infuriating semantics games to avoid taking blame.

  8. 8 anon said at 7:10 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    it’s not his fault, he wasn’t the GM.

  9. 9 Jernst said at 10:37 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    One of my biggest disappointments during his tenure was how much he regressed in this area. His first year here he seemed to be really creative with his use of DeSean and McCoy, two players who apparently did not fit his ideal skill set for his scheme. It seemed that once he got to hand pick players who he thought could execute his scheme he stopped being creative in how he utilized them and treated everyone as an interchangeable part. He seemed to be way more concerned with maximizing his ability to use and production through tempo rather than developing any type of specific mismatches or schemes to create those mismatches with certain players.

    Obviously his tempo approach, which is best utilized with a cadre of interchangeable players works very well at a collegiate level where the talent differences can be immense and you have 90 players at your disposal. But, in the NFL, where the talent difference between teams and players is so slight, you really put yourself at an unnecessary disadvantage by limiting your playbook to the same 5 or 6 plays all year, never adjusting your playcalling based on opponents and forgoing any use of specific players strengths to generate match-up problems for the defense.

    If Kelly ever gets back to scheming like he did in 2013, his system has the ability to succeed in the NFL. But, he needs a QB that’s at least a minimal threat to run to gain a numbers advantage in the run game, he needs to utilize more post-snap reads and package plays to cover for the lack of pre-snap reads and audibles that his tempo imposes and finally he needs to expand his playbook and alter his scheme week to week while also altering the tempo mid game to keep defenses off balance. Otherwise, his tenure in SF will be even shorter than it was here in Philly.

  10. 10 Gian GEAGLE said at 11:22 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    We never imagined that lack of offensive creativity would have been an issue under Chip. it was baffling how poorly he used his weapons. What’s funny is we thought be was waiting with counters whenever defenses would catch up and adjust to him, we thought he would implement new counters every year and stay ahead of the defenses…..that Couldnt have been farther from the truth of our reality..
    We were so excited about how the offensive genius would use SPROLES when we traded for him…..boy were we wrong,
    It blows my mind how he got another head coaching job so fast, I don’t know if he even deserved an offensive coordinator job after his performance here.
    Hopefully because he took the HC job of such an atrocious Niners roster, he won’t get fired after This season, I’d like to see chip get like 3 years in San Fran, or at least until he we get to play the chip kelly niners at the Linc….. We still had a lot of respect for andy Reid when he he came back to the Linc as KC coach…. When chip comes here, he won’t get any of the respect we gave Andy.. Fans might treat the chip kelly niners worse than we treat the Cowboys when they come to the take a lot to make Eagles fans hate you more than we hate Dallas, and chip may have actually accomplished that

  11. 11 Jernst said at 1:49 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea. I truly believe it wasn’t just a lack of ability to adjust, although that certainly was a problem, but also an absolute regression. His scheme didn’t just get shut down because teams figured out how to defend against it, it got shut down by him simply taking almost everything but a handful of concepts out of the playbook.

    I still see the future of offenses going more towards post snap reads and packaged plays. There’s really no good way to defend against those plays as the QB can simply watch a clearly defined player who is designed to be put into a bind so that whatever he chooses ends up being wrong.

    I remember the first time I saw Chips offense use those types of plays and thinking how beautiful it was in its simplicity and how it was amazing that these types of plays hadn’t been used more in the pros. But, Chip basically scrapped them all from the offense in 2015. And, you can’t have an offense that doesn’t huddle, doesn’t audible, leaves no time for pre-snap reads AND doesn’t utilize the post-snap read packaged plays. It simply won’t work unless the defense sees a play forming in front of them, reacts accordingly and then pays the price by being hit with the second option right to the spot the defenders just vacated. If the play looks a certain way to the defense, the react accordingly and it always ends up being the play that it always looked to be, pro defenses are going to eat that up. The lack of constraints and package plays last year was astounding. And, the whole tempo thing just compounded the whole mess. I’m actually shocked we scored as many points as we did under those conditions.

  12. 12 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:44 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Very well said

  13. 13 ChoTime said at 12:56 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    “His first year here he seemed to be really creative with his use of DeSean and McCoy”

    Occam’s razor: he shipped out the best players on the team and the replacements were not as talented.

  14. 14 Jernst said at 1:40 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    That’s very true. The depletion in talent on offense over his tenure was significant. But, I still recommend going back and looking at some of those all-22 breakdowns from 2013. The difference in scheme between 2013 and 2015 is stunning. I still feel like the league didn’t fully catch up to Kelly (of course they did somewhat), but rather that Kelly changed his offense significantly over his next two years here and whittled it down to almost nothing by the time 2015 rolled around. There was no creativity whatsoever last year.

  15. 15 anon said at 1:51 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    yeah i don’t get it. Never really played to the strengths of his players.

    That said he got 1400yd years with Maclin and Djax I think he just got a little cocky and thought he needed 11 players named [x] and he could win games. Part of me did like the cap clearing that he did to me doesn’t make a ton of sense to have 3 skill players making $11m+, when you’re also paying a QB and a LT.

    Dropping Mathis was terrible decision — also cockiness, but ruined the season imho.

  16. 16 Jernst said at 2:06 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea, the cap clearing was kind of a double edged sword since he turned all that cap space into DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell and Sam Bradford. But, you can at least make somewhat of an argument for each move he made individually.

    Getting rid of McCoy I think was the easiest one to defend. McCoy seemed to slow down significantly in 2014 and while still technically in his prime was starting to reach that career carry limit that RBs do when they eventually hit the proverbial wall and fall off a cliff. And, with a $12M cap hit I could see the logic in moving him. Trading him for Kiko before we knew whether he was even recovered from his ACL injury seemed like a rush job and a more seasoned GM could have gotten much better value. Further, despite having a high cap number, all the guaranteed money in McCoys contract was gone so it was essentially a series of one year deals. That afforded us a lot of flexibility to cut him at any point with no cap ramifications if he truly fell off a cliff physically and stopped producing. Also, McCoy mentioned in interviews that he was willing to restructure his deal to lower his cap hit. That, of course would have taken away some of the flexibility by turning his salary into a guaranteed bonus and spreading it out. But, the point is that there were a lot more options with how to handle his cap situation than just trading him for the first player, any player, that was offered.

    Maclin is another one that you could make a decent case for on an individual basis. It’s clear that he’s not a stand alone difference maker that would warrant such a big contract. $11M a year was definitely a reasonable walk away point during those negotiations. The biggest problem I have here is that, one: they let him walk away a year after discarding Jackson for nothing, they had no one to take his spot on offense, and forced us to spend more premium resources on a position we were already fairly strong at which made losing him very hard for us to weather, and, two: it seems by all accounts from Maclin that he really wanted to stay in Philly and would have accepted our initial offer had Chip just reached out to him and returned his calls and made him feel wanted. I’d love to have Maclin still on this team at $9-10M per year.

    Jackson, I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand. His contract wasn’t so unreasonable. He was set to make $9M that year and then each of the following years his cap hit decreased by a million dollars each year. And, all his guaranteed money was gone too which gave us the same benefit I discussed above with McCoy. I think Jackson is easily worth $7-9M per year. And, again, Chip turned that cap savings into Riley Cooper and Miles Austin plus the dead cap hit from releasing Jackson. Given the choice between Jackson at $9M or Riley Cooper, Miles Austin and a dead cap hit for the same money I’d choose Jackson every time. Finally, cutting a probowl WR for no return was just foolish and short sighted.

  17. 17 anon said at 2:11 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Agree with all of that

  18. 18 ChoTime said at 11:20 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    For WRs, he turned a borderline elite unit into one of the worst in the NFL. Perhaps it would have been impossible to keep both, but damn did he screw up the transition!

  19. 19 ChoTime said at 2:25 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    It sure seems counterintuitive that he would scale back on creativity the less overwhelming talent he had to work with. I can’t understand his thinking.

  20. 20 anon said at 2:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    There’s a lot to re-hash there. But i think Kelly’s scheme REQUIRES that you run the ball. But he had a shitty offensive line, made shittier by letting Mathis (ironically best run blocker) go. So if you have no talent, maybe if you run the same 5 plays 1 million times you’d be perfect at it – then you can out execute your opponent even if they are more talented. That was wrong, obviously.

  21. 21 Jernst said at 3:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Agreed. His scheme seems to require that his bread and butter IZ/OZ runs work. Once he shows the defense that he can gain 5 yards a pop on those plays, they start to over pursue when they see an IZ/OZ run developing in front of them. That’s when you’d see him bust out the pop pass to the TE who would run his route directly where the LBers (now keying on the run) vacated. Now the LBers are hesitating trying to figure out if what appears to be an IZ/OZ run is actually a run or a pop pass. That opens the run up a bit and eventually when they see the QB pull the ball back and immediately turn to run full speed towards the TE pop pass, he’d hit them with a crossing route behind them to the other side. Now the LBers head is spinning because he simply can’t be in three places at once. Hesitation plus being tired from the tempo leads to big plays all over the field.
    Same thing with other types of plays. Hit them with a zone run a few times, then the overpursuing DE gets caught and the QB keeps it for a big gain. Then the next time the QB pulls the ball and heads for the edge the CB comes barreling down and that’s when he pulls up and dumps the ball over the CBs head to the WR who slipped off his block and is now wide open. Same thing happens as the defenders start to hesitate opening up big plays.
    But, everything stems from the initial success of the bread and butter run plays. Seemed like last year he could never get the bread and butter runs to succeed. And, instead of trying to run the constraints off of them despite their not being successful he just continued to run those bread and butter plays into the ground trying to get the execution right. But the lack of a change up meant they became exponentially harder to execute with every time he ran the same play over and over again. The defenders were constantly in the backfield with the handoff because they were no longer hesitant at all. They could guess correctly pre snap and go full bore to stop those same plays every single time.

  22. 22 anon said at 4:13 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    I was getting excited just reading that paragraph – that offense was amazing when it was hitting

  23. 23 Jernst said at 4:30 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    After seeing it in action in 2013, I really bought in hard, thinking that he’d revolutionize the game. It was so beautiful in its simplicity. Design plays that put defenders in a bind so that whatever way they choose to go they’d be wrong because the QB could just watch their movements and send the ball to wherever they just vacated. All the reads were post-snap so you didn’t have to worry about a QB making the right reads and guessing correctly what the defense was showing. He could just watch a single player and have an easy clearly defined read that where he could wait till the defender declared himself before deciding what to do. As long as the QB could make those split second decisions consistently on the fly it seemed unstoppable.

  24. 24 anon said at 4:37 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Packaged plays have changed the NFL, and tempo has been used by both Patriots (though patriots seem to reinvent themselves every year) and Broncos

  25. 25 Jernst said at 4:40 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Very true. It’s why I don’t buy the narrative that NFL defenses just caught up to Chip. It seems to me that Chip got away from the things that actually made his scheme work properly and hamstrung his offense with truly confusingly mundane and unimaginative playcalling.

  26. 26 ChoTime said at 11:18 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Good times, Jernst. Contrast the excitement when Chip took the reigns to this… thing we have now. I am not saying Pederson won’t eventually be successful, but it will take time and there’s no guarantees.

  27. 27 Jernst said at 3:31 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea it’s the one thing from his tenure that I’ve never quite been able to wrap my head around. The best guess I can come up with is that, philosophically, he never actually wanted to rely on his creativity to generate offense. That he preferred to have the type of all around good players who’s skill sets lent themselves to making plays within the basics of his system, that he felt he didn’t HAVE to scheme for specifically. He wanted interchangible parts so he could rotate fresh legs in and continue to run an obscene tempo without having to stop and think about who was out there and what their specific skill set needed to be utilized. In addition, having a bunch of players who can all accomplish the same things physically makes it less likely that losing a uniquely skilled player will affect your offense if he were to get injured.

    However, the double edge to that is that if you want a bunch of similar players with similar skill sets, you give up any benefits of having certain players with rare traits (if they’re rare it’s unlikely you can find three other guys that can do the same thing). Therefore instead of having a guy with unique absurd speed like DeSean but little other great attributes you end up with a bunch of lesser talented players that can do a bunch of things ok and nothing great.

    I think once he ridded himself of those unique talents (DeSean, McCoy…players who were either insanely fast or insanely agile, who’s skill set and ability to produce could not be easily replicated by other players) he felt freed to just go out there and out execute the other team and rely solely on his beautifully thought out (in his eyes) scheme. It’s as if their unique skill sets FORCED him to scheme around them, something he didn’t want to do. And, when he tried to move away from them it was because he really didn’t want to have to rely on scheming and mismatches.

    Unfortunately, he underestimated the effect elite skill sets have at the pro level, and I think he misjudged the similarity of his RBs. He ended up with three very different RBs that he insisted on using like they were a single guy with the same skills. And, he ended up with WRs that couldn’t catch, run, create separation or make plays outside of the scheme like DeSean and Maclin could.

    Then in a misguided attempt to prove his theory could work he threw good money after bad and seemed to insist on getting these guys to execute at an extremely high level. The more they failed, the more he went back to the basics trying to get them to finally execute his basic bread and butter plays, which I assume if they ever did, he would eventually add in the constraints at least off of those plays. But, the offense got so predictable while simultaneously being out matched talent-wise that it became harder and harder to execute the bread and butter since the D knew what was coming. And, he just kept hammering away trying to work out the kinks assuming if they just executed correctly the bread and butter plays would start working and the scheme would start to unfold, but it never did because the more he ran the same plays the more predictable it got.

    That’s at least my best take on trying to psychoanalyze his actions last year. But, for all I know, I’m completely off base since I honestly have no idea what he was thinking. I also think the hit by Suggs in the preseason on a defenseless Bradford and more importantly the leagues tacit approval of such a play really changed his approach to using packaged plays. That was the last we saw of the read option or even really the appearance of running the read option. Perhaps having to completely alter his approach and scrap a significant portion of his playbook that close to the season just threw the whole thing off. Who knows though.

  28. 28 wee2424 said at 8:20 AM on August 25th, 2016:

    His scheme didn’t change all that much from 2013. Defenses gained more tape on him, and simply adapted to his up tempo scheme. To make matters worse he jettisoned the talent needed to run such a vanilla scheme. If the D knows what is coming then you better have the talent to just beat them man versus man.

  29. 29 Jernst said at 3:52 PM on August 25th, 2016:

    I respectfully disagree. Check out the All-22 piece that phillymag put together after his first season.

    By 2015, the zone read was entirely absent and replaced solely by IZ and sweep plays run out of the shotgun with no reading or post snap options. While they looked somewhat similar that is extremely different schematically when you take away all the post-snap options that made it so hard to defend initially.

    The zone read/bubble was no longer in the playbook. Nor was the zone read/bubble/triple option, or the run/bubble/pop pass. Stacking two wide receivers way out wide on either side and running WR/TE screens, faking the screen and releasing the blocking WR deep, and running out of that formation were all gone. The split zone sift block was absent for over a year before making a short comeback in late 2015. We no longer saw the IZ/TE release. RB screens became nonfunctional and then nonexistent starting in 2014. The deep passing game disappeared (although) that was probably more personnel driven with Bradford and our shitty group of WRs, but nonetheless he removed much of his deep passing attack from his playbook and he was the one who got rid of our deep threats and hand picked Bradford).

    Exotic formations like the Emory and Henry formation were all scrapped. In his first year we ran tons of different formations, 3 TE, even 4 TE, 4WR, stacking two or even three WRs out wide, we overloaded the Oline at times moving either Peters or Johnson to the other side so we had two tackles next to each other. All of this was missing from last years playbook.

    In the run game we went from using the QB to block a free defender by at least being a threat to pull the back back and run, or pass out to a WR on a bubble pass. Recall the big play to Cooper against the Raiders in 2013. We ran what looked like a simple inside zone read with two WRs stacked out to the left. One WR ran a bubble screen route and Cooper went to block the CB. Foles pulled the ball on the zone read and ran for the edge, but when the CB disengaged from Cooper to come up and make the tackle Cooper released downfield and Foles just lofted the ball over his head. The loss of a rushing threat from the QB is a HUGE difference in scheme. And, the play outlined above shows how it could still work with a slower QB like Bradford. But, it was entirely missing in the 2015 offense. Just look at what a difference it made when we actually had a QB who could run.

    When such a large component of the offenses scheme is suddenly not there that is unequivocally a huge change in scheme. But, that wasn’t the only thing missing. In 2013, the Eagles not only utilized the zone read as basically the main driving force behind not only their run game but their entire offense, they also had many more different run plays. They ran inside zone, outside zone, power, sweep, split zone sift block, a trap play, jet sweep. By 2015, we ran almost exclusively inside zone and sweep. Late in the year he seemed to almost reluctantly bring back the sift block after weeks of watching is ground game go nowhere, but the other plays remained conspicuously absent.

    Ninersnation actually did a wonderful breakdown of our scheme:

    You’ll notice all of their examples come from 2013 and 2014 tape. Because almost all of this stuff was missing in 2015.

    In 2013 and somewhat in 2014 Chip used a lot of motion to confuse defense. By 2015 we were trying to go so fast that we abandoned all motion. Gone was the orbit motion that we used with Jackson so much in 2013 to great effect.

    You can see how much an effect the addition of those post snap reads and motion have on a defense. It’s small changes but those small changes had a massive effect when they were removed and defenses no longer had to defend multiple potential plays on each snap. You can see how much they effected defenses here:

    And here:

    You can see the type of bind that these variations put defenders in here:

    And here:

    By 2015, Kelly’s scheme while still appearing to be similar to his schemes in 2013 and 2014, was vastly different. The very basic tenants of the offense, zone reads, packaged plays, and post snap reads were all gone. That’s not a small difference, that’s the very heart of his scheme in 2013 and its completely absent in 2015. On top of that he deployed much less variability in his formations and trotted out 3WR, 1TE and 1RB on 90% of plays, he dropped the unbalance line, dropped the stacked WRs formation which was extremely prevalent in 2013, rarely went 2 TEs and almost never 3 or 4, only occasionally went 4 WR, never went two backs and completely dropped all motion from the wideouts presnap. Then he whittled the run game down to two plays, the inside zone which we couldn’t block due to our poor guard play and the sweep which completely neutralized DeMarco Murrays best attribute by making him run east/west (oh and we also couldn’t block due to our poor guard play and their inability to pull and block down). And, as for the passing game we dropped all the spread concepts with our wide receivers set way out wide, often stacked, running bubble screens and multiple variations off of that, and whittled that playbook down to a handful of plays; the mesh concept with the RB wheel route, the snag concept where the outside WR runs a curl 6-7 yards deep towards the hash, the slot WR runs a post and the RB runs to the flat, 4 verticals and the Y-over play. Off that we ran two unimaginative variations. On the mesh play we’d occasionally have the two WRs meet at the mesh in the center of the field and instead of continuing across the field they’d pivot and run back outside (we beat Dallas on this play last year) and on the 4 verticals we’d occasionally have the outside and slot WRs cross their patterns at the start of their routes. That was it.

    You can see how unimpressed a professional defense was to that whittled down playbook here:

    Now, all those plays were also in the 2013 version:

    They’re basic concepts that are part of pretty much every offense in the NFL. But, without all the window dressings, variations, packaged plays, zone reads, multiple formations and motions that he used so effectively to give defenses so much to think about on every play it becomes pretty easy to defend when those are the only plays we run.

    Further, we were tipping opponents off on our plays based on our formations since they were so consistent. If the WRs lined up closer to the formation it was almost invariably a mesh concept being run. If they lined up evenly spaced with the slot to the side of the RB or two WRs to the same side as the TE it was almost invariably the snag play. 4 WR sets or 2TE sets with a balanced alignment was almost always 4 verticals. And we ran some variation of Y cross or a corner route to either Matthews or Ertz out of our base 3×1 alignment. In the run game, if the RB took a step towards the QB and the lineman all blocked it was IZ, if he crossed the QBs face and the guards pulled it was sweep. And, finally, if he turned his back to the QB it was that stupid variation of sweep were we switched it up and ran it in the opposite direction (to the side he lined up on).

    Based on just alignment any defender with about 30 min of tape study could limit the potential plays he had to defend to 2, maybe 3. Within a quarter second after the snap he’d know exactly what play was being run. That is infinitely different than what we saw in 2013 when every play started out looking like an inside zone or outside zone, but could be 5 or 6 different things all at once. That’s very different than the multiple formations and motions that presented defenses problems as they’d suddenly and unexpectedly have their reasponsibilities changed and would all of a sudden be outflanked and unable to adjust due to our tempo.

    And, what you saw was defenses that seemed to be teeing off on plays like they had gotten the offenses call in the huddle.

    Watch those first 3 plays (all identical all with exactly the same result) and tell me if the LB that makes that play is concerned at all that he might have to defend a pop pass, or the QB pulling the ball or anything other than what the play looked like from the get go. And, Kelly’s attempt at “switching it up” with the sweep run to the opposite side was so easily diagnosed after seeing it once because it’s a slow developing handoff where the running back turns his back to the QB and has to stand still and wait for the ball before running sideways. How much time can you possibly give an NFL LB to diagnose a play?

    And, what you get is an offense that is not only simple but also predictable. And, that is death to an NFL offense. While Kelly’s 2013 and to a lesser extent 2014 offenses were simple, they were anything but predictable. It’s impossible for a play to be predictable when every play starts developing the same way and looks the same but can end up being 5 different types of plays. But, when a play looks one way and always ends up being exactly what it looked to be, then defenses will eat it up and spit it out.

    And, that’s the main difference in the versions of his offense that we saw in 2013 vs 2015. A lot of the same basic plays remained, but all the stuff that made it difficult, if not impossible to defend, all the stuff that made each offensive play so multiple and disguised, the package plays, post snap reads, zone reads, ect, all of that was removed. So while it looked like the same offense in a lot of ways, it wasn’t at all, because the very thing that made it work was missing. That and the offensive line and WRs were atrocious.

  30. 30 Dragon_Eagle said at 7:52 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Great discussion here. One thing I’d like to point out is that if running a simple, predictable offensive scheme was Chip’s major problem, he’d still be here . Add in all the bad personnel decisions that were clearly on his shoulders, and he’d still be here and would have been given the time to work things through. Biggest issue? He lost the locker room and the staffroom. The team quit on him. Peters took himself out of a game. Thanksgiving was one of the most embarrassing losses this franchise has ever seen. One could brush aside DJax complaining out him and defend the #culture argument. Maybe even with McCoy. But Jason Avant had issues with him. That should tell you something right there. You can be a total dick (see Belichick & Saban) and get away with it only if you can back up the methods with wins.

    That said, I share the disappointment with his inability to utilize the talents on the team and unwillingness to evolve the offense. For all the frustration I used to feel with Reid’s stubbornness, (Run the DAMN BALL, ANDY!), Chip was far worse.

  31. 31 A_T_G said at 11:38 PM on August 23rd, 2016:

    With the talk of using Sproles more on offense, and his high mileage, do we know his role on special teams? Has this staff definitively said how he will be used?

    With more KRs anticipated, and lots of punts curtesy of our defense it seems possible they could put him on the Westbrook plan and save him for key spots. Or, they could send him out for every return. Has Fipp or Pederson given any details?

  32. 32 Rambler said at 11:41 PM on August 23rd, 2016:

    Good question, and I have not seen or heard any indication either way. My personal opinion is that they should go the key spot route on punt returns with Sproles.

  33. 33 Mr. Magee said at 12:00 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Certainly not comfortable using Huff in that role… I wonder if he even makes the team

  34. 34 A_T_G said at 12:40 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Barner seems the more likely candidate.

  35. 35 Anders said at 4:27 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Too valuable to not use on every PR, unless we are leading big.

    Also he will get maybe 100-150 touches on offense?

  36. 36 Jernst said at 10:47 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    I think he’ll still be used for all punt returns. Even with 5-6 punts per game that’s not a lot of extra mileage considering at least half of those will be fair caught. Plus he’ll be used more as a WR this year on offense rather than a RB running into stunting 300 pound DTs which should limit his wear and tear. Add in Pederson giving him added rest throughout the practice schedule and the slowed down tempo and Sproles should be fine. Even though he’s a 32 year old RB, he’s never had a lot of carries and despite his use as a WR and receiving threat actually has pretty low mileage considering his age.

  37. 37 eagleyankfan said at 11:02 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Sounds like he’ll be used more, but he won’t be a work horse. He’s not the starting RB. Now if HE goes down….yikes.

  38. 38 Cafone said at 12:01 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Not that I want to excuse Chip Kelly at all, but a little of it was on Sproles. He had some really bad drops at some really bad times.

  39. 39 Rellihcs said at 12:10 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Uh, no. I mean so did Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Larry Fitz, ODB, Tony G… Etc…but Sproles has not had drops problems.

  40. 40 Jernst said at 10:51 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Sproles has had quite a bit more drops than you’d expect from a back like him over the past two years. Definitely not a problem throughout his career but he had his fair share of bad drops the past two years.

  41. 41 ChoTime said at 12:53 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    “Next, we head to the opposite end of the spectrum. These are players who fell short of their expected catch rates by the largest margins.”

    Sproles was 2nd on this list. In other words, he sucks at catching. I believe this was for 2014.

  42. 42 Jernst said at 1:37 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    I don’t know if I’d go that far. I never really followed him that closely when he played for NO and SD so I don’t know if this was a consistent problem or not, but you’d have to think it wasn’t given how good he’s been throughout his career. But, yea…I was definitely surprised to see him drop as many passes as he did over the past two years and it was super frustrating because it seemed like more than a few were of the egregious variety and also ended drives on 3rd downs that otherwise would have been converted.

  43. 43 Jernst said at 10:50 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Sproles definitely had a lot more drops than I’d expect from a guy like him who has built an outstanding career being a receiving threat out of the backfield. A lot of his drops seemed to come on balls thrown above his head, even if only by a few inches, which happens a lot considering he’s only 5’5″-5’6″. I remember from my playing days that sometimes if my shoulder pads were too big it would be hard to put my hands over my head and bring them together as the pads would restrict my motion and pinch down on my neck. Maybe with the lack of being used as a running back on inside zones all year and being used more as a WR on offense he’ll be able to wear slightly smaller shoulder pads and decrease some of his drops.

  44. 44 meteorologist said at 3:29 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Agree, and an interesting point

  45. 45 Gian GEAGLE said at 10:54 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    The year SPROLES should have This year as a Reciever is going to make chip look really bad.
    When SPROLES first arrived, rightfully so the media viewed him as more of a weapon in the passing game than a poor runningback, and fthe entire time it felt like chips was intent on showing how much smarter he Is using SPROLES more like a Rb than a pass catching weapon… It was shocking how chip lacked immagination in his use of SPROLES in the passing game. Didn’t take long for defenses to realize that the wheel route was coming, we had success with it early, then defenses figured it out, and instead of adjusting it felt like Chip stayed with it and it became much less effective for us. SPROLES had his drops but i imagine he had to be very frustrated with how poorly Chip used him,
    Under schwartz and Reicht, I think SPROLES will easily surpass his Recieving numbers of the past two years combined this year. I havent seen signs of him losing any of his speed yet and I have a feeling that chip made us forget what a powerful weapon Darren is in the passing game. For The first time as an Eagle I expect him to look more like fbe Saints Version of SPROLES… He is probably licking his chops at being able to run the screens and the WR routes that We see KC run with cHarles and even some of the ways The Eagles used westbrook back in The day.
    Instead of slowing down with age, I think chip used him so poorly that he will have his biggest year on offsense since becoming an eagle…. At least I hope

  46. 46 Jernst said at 10:59 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    It’ll be so nice to see the return of our screen game. After the first 14 games or so of 2013 where our screen game was awesome it seemed that defenses finally keyed in when they were coming and sniffed them out every single time. We haven’t seen a successful screen in over 2 years. Really disappointed in Chip’s inability to adjust in that area as well as others.

  47. 47 Gian GEAGLE said at 11:12 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Thinking our offense will be better then people think, especially while Ryan Mathews is healthy, thinking we are going to POUND defenses with a Physical run game, heavy jumbo packages taking advantage of our TEs who can block. It’s gong to be very different going from last year where defenses knew all our run plays to this year where Pederson will run out of so many different formations, Brandon Brooks is a monster in The run game. And tackling Ryan Mathews can’t possibly be fun..
    Also expect the passing game to surprise people. Defenses are going to have to respect Jordan, ERTZ and SPROLES, so our weak outside WRs should get plenty of 1 on 1’s, where they should win their shares of the battle… DGB gives us that Deep threat we lack, and he should be BIGTIME in the Redzone… We may not have that superstar DEZ Bryant type pass catching weapon, but I think we will be a much better pass catcher by committe offense than people seem to think….. And i feel like people aren’t respecting the improvement we should see from Bradford.
    Across the friggin board this team should be better than last years dysfunctional mess, and we weren’t too far away from winning the division last year, so it Baffles me why anyone would expect us to finish last in this winnable division, but I Love it! It’s great to fly under the radar like this and have all the media disrespect our players. I really appreciate everyone being so down on us… Kelce made a good point “seems like when the media thinks we will be bad is when we have had our best seasons (for example 2013)”.. Hopefully that will continue this year
    I don’t understand fans conceding this division to highly flawed Rivals. I’ll be furious if we don’t take advantage of a wide open division This season. We don’t have the glaring holes that dallas and the Giants have. And we are way deeper than those rosters… Washington is the legit threat standing between us and the division title

  48. 48 Jernst said at 12:06 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! This team has improved across the board and we were just off of being a .500 team despite Chip Kelly’s dysfunctional system. It does boggle the mind how the same people can rail on about how dysfunctional Chip’s system was on both offense and defense and then simultaneously expect us to take a step back this year with better players now that he’s gone. If he was as bad as I think he was last year, he should be addition by subtraction even if Doug isn’t the next coming of Andy Reid. You can’t call his scheme last year dysfunctional and then also claim he manufactured offense that otherwise wasn’t there. It’s gotta be one or the other. And I agree, I think people severely underestimate the talent we have at TE since they haven’t seen it deployed properly yet. Also, I still have high hopes for Agholar. The kid has the skill. He seems to just be in his head too much at the moment. A little success to boost his confidence is exactly what he needs. He might not set the world on fire this year, but I’ll be very surprised if at some point we don’t see him start to flash all that talent on a more consistent basis.

  49. 49 meteorologist said at 3:33 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Agree, except where did you get that Brandon Brooks is a beast in the run game? His strength is pass protection from all I’ve seen

  50. 50 Jernst said at 4:35 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Not sure where you saw that. He’s known for being a beast in the run game, just a massive bull in there at guard, who if anything his weakness would be pass protection, although he’s plenty solid and quick on his feet in pass sets as well.

  51. 51 meteorologist said at 8:03 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Not sure where you are getting that from.
    “Brooks’ play regressed from 2014 to 2015, but he was still clearly the Texans best interior offensive linemen, particularly in pass protection. Without him, the Texans passing game would have been even more anemic, because Brooks looks like one of the safest pass blockers at the guard position right now.”

    “Brooks is another zone-blocker with above-average marks in pass protection for all four years of his career—in fact, his grade has steadily improved there. His run-blocking was a bit below standard in 2015, but he ranked in the top five at the position there in both 2013 and 2014, so teams considering Brooks will likely hope he can return to that form in the run game. Brooks also has age (27) and durability—he was on the field for at least 93 percent of Houston’s offensive snaps over the last three seasons—on his side.”

  52. 52 Jernst said at 10:04 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea he’s a good all around player and good at pass blocking as well. But, like the PFF review says he was top 5 at the position as a run blocker in both 2013 and 2014. He had a down year run blocking in 2015 by his standards, but was still good. While his pass blocking, which was always above average, but not top 5, steadily improved.

  53. 53 BobSmith77 said at 1:12 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    The most hilarious answer today was Tulloch’s response about playing on special teams. Even though he hasn’t played on special teams since 2006-07, he said he would be willing and was ready.

    Yeah if the Eagles need a post on kickoff coverage maybe Tulloch can fill that role.

    As for Schwartz, I think he is fibbing about Tulloch and that Tulloch is going to be the starting MLB Week 1 vs Cleveland. Might not stick because of his lack of mobility but I see him starting there for at least the first month of the season.

  54. 54 A_T_G said at 5:41 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Defending against field goals and extra points seems like a spot he could contribute.

  55. 55 bill said at 8:03 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Probably can fill a role in the “wedge” in KO returns, too.

  56. 56 the DONALD said at 10:05 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    bobby downer… im sure you have seen a lot of ups and downs.. but cheer it up and get some excitement.. its good for ya..

  57. 57 Gary Barnes said at 2:16 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    A poster with the name The Donald calling out someone for being a downer is super rich irony.

  58. 58 the DONALD said at 3:03 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    is the presidential candidate a downer?.. im not much for politics.. so WHY ARE YOU SUCH A DOWNER??

  59. 59 Gary Barnes said at 3:15 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    So your picture and name were just picked randomly? Oh ok, lol

  60. 60 the DONALD said at 10:45 AM on August 25th, 2016:

    yea for funnies my man.. for laughs just like you gave me.. so thank you… you dance around being a bobby downer like you’ve been called one before.

  61. 61 Birds4Life said at 12:37 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Tulloch played on 40 special teams snaps for Det. in 2015, 6 snaps in 2014 & 83 snaps in 2013. Its not like he hasn’t done it since he first came into the league.

  62. 62 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 1:15 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    “How many fans remember who Steve Mix is?”

    Just old enough to. Unfortunately, Mix just missed out on the ’83 championship team (which is still considered by many to be the best NBA team of all time) – he was actually on the Lakers team that the 76ers swept that year to go “fo’ fi’ fo’ “.

  63. 63 Gary Barnes said at 2:19 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    1967 76ers team was arguably better.

  64. 64 John Galt said at 4:19 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    It was a great team but I don’t think anybody outside of Philly really thinks it was the best team ever.

  65. 65 P_P_K said at 8:34 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    I’m buying a round for anyone who can include Dr. J, Darren Sproles, and Jim Schwartz in the same piece of writing.

  66. 66 Gian GEAGLE said at 10:32 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    schwartz who is usually very stingy with his praise talks jaylen Watkins:
    “Jaylen watkins challenge has always been tacking and run game. Last year if you watched him THATS where he broke down and early in camp this year a bit also.. But I think he has worked very hard and the coaches have worked very hard with him to address that and you are seeing the results of that, he is playing aggressive in the run game, and there are times when safeties can play aggressively, and there’s times when they can’t. When you are the last line of defense you gotta get that guy on the ground however you can but there are some times where there’s leverage and holes to fill and you need to be a missile, you need to go fill it and he has done a good job of it and he is on the right track. Im Very Proud of Him he has done a really good job, it’s easy to work on your strengths, but he has shown that he is willing to work on his weaknesses and it’s showing on the field”

  67. 67 Jernst said at 10:53 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Really nice to see him take advantage of us keeping him around all these years. Always seemed to have just enough talent but could never put it all together.

  68. 68 Gian GEAGLE said at 10:55 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Sure glad we were patient with him, instead of trashing him when he didn’t pay dividends in his first two seasons… Hopefully schwartz can salvage MS2

  69. 69 Birds4Life said at 12:27 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    We didn’t really keep him around all these years. We cut him before the 2015 season and then resigned him off of Buffalo’s practice squad later that year. But I am glad he is putting everything together now that he is back on the Eagles!

  70. 70 Jernst said at 1:35 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    True…sorta pseudo kept him around. But, still nice to see him finally perhaps find a spot on the roster and contribute.

  71. 71 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:41 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yeah looks like we got lucky being able to scoop him back up. If his tackling continues to improve enough to warrant keeping him around, he can probably learn a lot from a smaller converted corner like Mcleod…. It be great if our #3 Safety is talented enough to compete with our #3 CB to we who the best option is for the #5 DB that comes in Nickel package. With Mcleod and Jenkins capable of playing the slot corner in Nickel, we could bring an extra safety off the bench if Watkins becomes better than our CB options… Safeties who can man up a slot WR and TE while also being sound tacklers are so valuable. Hopefully watkins continues to develope

  72. 72 Jernst said at 4:44 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Excellent point. The lack of a trustworthy 3rd safety would really limit our ability to play Jenkins in the slot where he excels. If Watkins can come on as a safety our nickel package just got a whole lot stronger. If you have to use Maragos at safety to utilize Jenkins’ strength as a slot CB, you’re just weakening yourself at one position to gain at another. But if Watkins can play centerfield that really lets us use Jenkins in a way that maximizes his talent.

  73. 73 Gian GEAGLE said at 10:42 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Schwartz talks marcus smith:
    ” marcus was doing really well but had the setback with the concussion missing time, but he picked up right where he left off. The thing im most proud about with Marcus is that he has done a good job in the run game. It’s like jaylen Watkins, marcus is a very skilled athlete, he is fast, he is smooth. I think he was a QB when he got to Louisville and that stuff shows where he has really made improvement is setting The edge of our defense, attacking offensive tackles and he did that against a physical steelers line and its a great sigń”
    He also had some praise for Means, MIKE Martin, Nolan Carroll

  74. 74 Jernst said at 10:56 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    I still think MS2 might be trade fodder if the team decides to keep Means. We might keep 5 DEs or even put Means on the practice squad (not sure if he’s eligible), but I’m assuming we only keep 4. And, at this point I don’t know how you keep MS2 over means given what I’ve seen in the games (no idea about practice since I haven’t been there). But, MS2 seems to be a complete non-factor rushing the QB once the tackle (usually 2nd, 3rd or even 4th string) gets his hands on him. He just has no counter moves and uses his hands very poorly for a guy going into his third year. Means meanwhile shows the exact opposite and uses his hand very well and has a bunch of counter moves to create pressure. I have no idea how well he’s set the edge in the run game, but I like his upside as a pass rusher in this scheme a lot more than MS2’s.

  75. 75 Gian GEAGLE said at 10:58 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Think both means and ms2 make the roster. Can never have too much Pass rush. And capable pass rushers are too valuable to cut, so If one of them ISNT going to be an eagle this year, it probably means we traded one
    9 OL, 9 DL( five DE and 4 DT)… 18 roster spots allocated to the trenches. Since THATS what will make us a contender in our division, beating our rivals up in the trenches

  76. 76 Jernst said at 12:17 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Good point! Plus it’ll be interesting to see how Barwin does this year and what they end up doing with his contract next year as the numbers on it get significantly higher. I could easily see them extending him so he finishes his career here and lowers his cap number next year. Since we have so many players available to get off the books it shouldn’t be too much of an issue salary cap wise but I could also see them moving on from Barwin if he doesn’t look that great in the new system which would definitely make having some extra pass rushers on the roster a real plus moving forward.

  77. 77 eagleyankfan said at 11:00 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    For those “out of region” … NFL network will air the pre-season game on Sunday. Looking forward to an extended look at the team. Fingers crossed, no injuries….

  78. 78 Gian GEAGLE said at 11:13 AM on August 24th, 2016:

    Think we play Saturday vs The colts
    Hoping to see some JP vs Trent Cole battles

  79. 79 Birds4Life said at 12:22 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    The game is on Saturday. NFL Network is going to replay it at 10am on Sunday. Think he means if you can’t watch it live in your area.

  80. 80 eagleyankfan said at 1:32 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    correct, thank you.

  81. 81 Blackfoot said at 2:18 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    you can watch it live. im out of region and have never missed a game

  82. 82 The original AG said at 4:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    How do you watch the games, or do you go to nflstreams on reddit?

  83. 83 eagleyankfan said at 7:45 AM on August 25th, 2016:

    you pay to watch it?

  84. 84 The original AG said at 4:46 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Gonna find a stream to watch. I’m on the fence about getting the package from the nfl that lets you watch the preseason games live. I don’t have DirectTV, so I can watch the games afterwards during the season.

  85. 85 Seth S. Scott said at 12:25 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Its crazy how essential Sproles is to the Eagles Offense. Ill be sadly dissapointed when he’s gone, he’s such a swiss army knife.

  86. 86 anon said at 12:28 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    crazy or an indictment on the team’s drafting/development of younger players.

  87. 87 Tumtum said at 2:00 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Don’t buy into the hype. He is a rare bird for sure, but if he averages 4 catches for 40 yards, I will blown away.

    How many Darren Sproles have there been in the league ever? Westbrook, Forte to an extent. Now you are seeing guys like Lance Dunbar, but is he going to do that for an extended period?

    Nah no indictment. Sproles is a pretty special little guy.

  88. 88 anon said at 2:12 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    yeah sproles’ success has gotten a lot of guys drafted but none of those other players have really stuck.

  89. 89 John Galt said at 4:15 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Theo Riddick in Detroit is probably the closest, but he has a long way to go to be in the same conversation

  90. 90 Dude said at 6:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Danny Woodhead
    Charles Simms

  91. 91 ChoTime said at 12:49 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    RE: “In case you haven’t noticed, aside from Jordan Matthews, the Eagles’ receivers aren’t very good.”

    FO has Jordan Matthews ranked 38th in the NFL among wide receivers in production
    _52nd_ in efficiency.
    65th in yards/catch.
    YAC/reception too far down the list to count.
    He got targets because he was the best among a terrible group. Singling him out as good is simply optimism at this point. Looks to be a lower-end starter.

  92. 92 Tumtum said at 1:58 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    How did he fare in 14′?

  93. 93 ChoTime said at 2:26 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Pretty good actually.

  94. 94 Tumtum said at 8:30 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Lets not count him out just yet then! Though I am starting to feel pretty down on that group.

  95. 95 DJH said at 4:45 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    And that’s with all the extra reps that came along with Chips offense.

  96. 96 DJH said at 4:46 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    And we really don’t know how bad his current injury is.

  97. 97 Jernst said at 4:49 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Bone bruises can be kind of painful but if that’s what it truly is he shouldn’t be limited at all

  98. 98 Mac said at 1:49 PM on August 25th, 2016:

    Has he had an NFL QB to throw balls to him in a game yet?

  99. 99 Gian GEAGLE said at 1:59 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Patriots cut Nate Washington… Wonder if he lost a step or if he is a casualty of their depth? I don’t how Nate compares to Randle, but I’d rather have old man Nate than Givens who has done nothing this offseason
    pats also cut their starting Center Bryan Stork… Their OL was a question mark to begin with, surprised they cut their starting center especially with the OL injuries they are dealing with but Bellichek does this type of stuff all the time, and it usually works out

  100. 100 anon said at 2:13 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Nate is a vet that can catch the ball.

  101. 101 Greg Richards said at 6:06 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    He still had some juice last season but seems like he might have hit a wall.

  102. 102 RobNE said at 3:56 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    I don’t trust anyone Belicheat cuts.

  103. 103 anon said at 4:03 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Read online that he’s got a history of concussions. Missed 8 games last year and most of pre-season this year with concussions. Type of player that should be put out to pasture.

  104. 104 RC5000 said at 4:01 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Update: Redskins traded for Stork.

    2:15pm: The Redskins traded a conditional seventh-round pick to Patriots for Stork, Adam Schefter of tweets.

    1:49pm: Turns out, the Patriots didn’t cut Bryan Stork after all. The center has been traded to the Redskins, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Bryan Stork (vertical)On Wednesday morning, it was reported that the Patriots were set to release Stork. Instead, the Redskins swooped in and offered up a conditional draft pick for the veteran center.

  105. 105 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:21 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Chris Cooley saying Stork would rather reture than play for washington

  106. 106 RobNE said at 5:22 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    HA! I hope that means the trade is canceled.

  107. 107 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:33 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Ian rapport says he is currently “weighing retirment” lol

  108. 108 RogerPodacter said at 5:41 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    what? wouldn’t it be better for washington to give up a (conditional) pick for a guy who never plays a down for them?
    i’m guessing its a 7th pick IF he does something during the season, and nothing otherwise, so its probably a moot point.

  109. 109 RobNE said at 10:38 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Sorry I thought first of my NE hate.

  110. 110 RC5000 said at 3:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

  111. 111 RogerPodacter said at 5:15 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    stationed pec?
    is that just a typo for ‘strained’?

  112. 112 RC5000 said at 4:06 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    OT – We have an update on the Chargers and Joey Bosa, and it is not a positive one. The Chargers proposed to Bosa what they made clear is their best offer, a source tells Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter). That offer was declined and subsequently pulled by San Diego. Two sides remain very far apart as the season opener creeps ever closer. The Chargers offer to Bosa included the second most Year 1 cash behind only Carson Wentz, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Joey Bosa

    The contract stalemate between San Diego and Bosa is centered around offset language and payout structure, as Bosa and his camp want the entirety of his ~$17MM signing bonus to be paid in 2016. San Diego, meanwhile, prefers to pay a “significant portion” of the bonus next March.

    We have an update on the Chargers and Joey Bosa, and it is not a positive one. The Chargers proposed to Bosa what they made clear is their best offer, a source tells Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter). That offer was declined and subsequently pulled by San Diego. Two sides remain very far apart as the season opener creeps ever closer. The Chargers offer to Bosa included the second most Year 1 cash behind only Carson Wentz, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Joey Bosa

    The contract stalemate between San Diego and Bosa is centered around offset language and payout structure, as Bosa and his camp want the entirety of his ~$17MM signing bonus to be paid in 2016. San Diego, meanwhile, prefers to pay a “significant portion” of the bonus next March.

  113. 113 DJH said at 4:42 PM on August 24th, 2016:



  114. 114 Jernst said at 4:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Seems kind of short sighted by Bosa to hold out this long over splitting up his signing bonus. I mean, how bad would he have to be to not actually see that money. Even if the guy blows out his knee, you have to imagine that there’s no way a top pick like that isn’t brought back the following year.

  115. 115 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:59 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yeah but who the hell is San Diego to demand he accepts crap that the other top picks don’t have To deal with? This is probably the owners doing, that team is notorious for this type of crap, history of not getting their picks signed in time for start of camp, this crap proceeds their current GM
    We would burn Novacare to the ground if the Eagles did this petty crap with our top pick
    Although i think Bosa comes with some Bust potential, but still WTF are the Chargers doing spending top 5 picks on kids they have to worry about possibly cutting in 3 years?
    What an embarresing mess. Who is going to want to get drafted by the chargers if they keep this up

  116. 116 RogerPodacter said at 5:15 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    that was exactly my thought – there’s no way you are not on the team next march. split the bonus between now & march, you’re still getting it all.

  117. 117 Jernst said at 5:18 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea. I mean I do agree with Geagle below that the Chargers are being ridiculous too. But, I feel like Bosa is hurting himself more by jeopardizing his development which can be parlayed into the real money seen in a second contract over having to wait 7 months for the rest of his money. That’s nothing.

  118. 118 RogerPodacter said at 5:20 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    yea, its not all on Bosa, for sure. we’ll never really know whats going on in the details between them.
    the team is stupid to let something trivial get between them and (what they should hope to be) their future star player, and Bosa is stupid to spite himself for more… something.

  119. 119 Jernst said at 5:23 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Well put. The only thing I can think of on the Chargers defense is that they need to split this up for cap puporses to be able to fit certain pending FAs that they want to retain under their cap. And, if that’s the case then Bosa is not only spiting himself but potentially hurting his team and those FA teammates by being a hard on over having to wait a whole 7 months for the second half of his bonus.

  120. 120 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:30 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yeah both sides are Losers in this mess,.., if im in Bosa’s shoes I would have so much belief in myself that Id never be able to play this game of chicken and let the possibility of me being a bust in yeàr 3 Get in the way of my rookie season. I know myself and I would be too confident in myself to let this keep me off the field,… With that said, if Bosa does becone a bust, he will probably be happy he fought this battle
    But I assume i would have caved a long time ago if im Bosa, but Id probably hold a grudge and leave the Chargers as soon as I can. They would never be able to get me to sign an extension, but I would have caved, but never get over how they treated me

  121. 121 RobNE said at 5:17 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    is that even true, it could still be guaranteed (just paid next year). It could just be a timing issue, not a guarantee payment issue.

  122. 122 Jernst said at 5:21 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    True you can still structure it as a guarantee even if it’s paid out in march 2017. If that’s the case I’m guessing the Chargers are doing that for cap purposes. A roster bonus would count all in 2017 instead of being spread out over this year and the rest of the length of the contract. If they have legitimate cap issues where that would substantially help them keep their free agents or sign much needed help and it’s still guaranteed only Bosa has to wait 7 months then I think Bosa is just being a twat.

  123. 123 RobNE said at 5:22 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    If that’s the case I can’t feel bad for the player. X millions one year, another Y millions the following year. the difference is….I don’t know, compared to missing training and not being ready, I just don’t get it. That’s if it is guaranteed.

  124. 124 Bert's Bells said at 5:18 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yeah and if he doesn’t sign, he’s not going in the first round next year and the guaranteed money is way less.

    Plus the world is going to explode after the US election according to everybody if their candidate doesn’t win.

  125. 125 mksp said at 8:12 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    It’s weird that people are siding with the rich owners playing hardball for no reason, and out of precedent for a top-3 pick.

  126. 126 Sean Stott said at 9:04 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Don’t use your pick on a top3 talent, possibly the best player in the draft, if you don’t want to pony up the money. It’s absurd.

  127. 127 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:48 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Jason LaConDweeb claims that Howie is burning up the phone lines trying to make more trades, and he expects us to make two more trades before the season…..”eagles will be very active during the cut down period, trust me”-LOL

  128. 128 anon said at 4:49 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    roster has a lot of holes, so he better do his job if he wants to keep his job. Lurie can’t be happy with what he’s seeing in pre-season right now.

  129. 129 Jernst said at 4:54 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Offense could use another WR and G this year and needs a RT and maybe a RB next year. Defense is pretty solid outside of CB, which isn’t really all that bad. I’d say we’re fine there with McKelvin, Carroll, Brooks and Rowe for this year and will probably have CB high on the list for needs next year. But, I really don’t see a roster full of holes.
    We’ll see what we have in DGB and Agholar this year. Anything can happen there. We could end up needing to replace both, one or none of them if they both realize their potential. And, finding a RT and maybe a RB and maybe a G isn’t really prohibitive moving forward looking at next years needs.

  130. 130 Mitchell said at 5:14 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    I think RB gets solidified next year in the draft with a plug and play second maybe first rounder. I think the Eagles will be good this year with any emphasis being placed on OL.

  131. 131 Bert's Bells said at 5:15 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    With the talk of RB being “stacked” in next year’s draft plus the general low value of the position (draftwise) it’s hard to see taking a player in the first.

  132. 132 Mitchell said at 7:14 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    If the players there you take him, see Gurley, but I see what you mean.

  133. 133 Jernst said at 5:16 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Did we give up next years first for Wentz?

  134. 134 RobNE said at 5:18 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    we’ll give up the rest of the draft to move up.

  135. 135 Jernst said at 5:24 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    He better be the second coming of Walter Payton

  136. 136 Mitchell said at 7:14 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Im not ruled by facts!

  137. 137 anon said at 7:08 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Offense needs skill positions – could be that at the end of the year we need a whole new WR corps (outside of matthews), G and RT, hopefully QB is set which i guess is the biggest issue, need a RB we can call the man, but if the line can play that’s sort of a plug and play position.

    Think 3 years ago we might have had the most talented offense in the division, this year we could have the least talented (aside from the Giants’s oline).

  138. 138 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:07 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    It’s preseason. We aren’t even running real plays. We don’t even have jordan, Ertz and Sproles on the field together
    Preseason tells us NOTHING about what to accept in September. Our starters havent even played 4 quarters yet lol… This is also a new team, so this is probabky nothîng more Than a starting point and we will still have a few weeks of growing early in the season before we even see the best of what This team will grow into.
    I highly doubt Lurie is unhappy with what he sees right now. And Lurie was involved in the decision to trade for Wentz so im sure he understands that we were Sacraficing draft picks
    Im sure Howie will always make a trade if it helps us become a better team whethet we are a 7 win team or a 12 win team

  139. 139 Jernst said at 5:16 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Exactly! If last year taught me anything it is that preseason is absolutely and completely meaningless. I was buying super bowl tickets this time last year because I had never seen a team so dominant in the preseason before. I even knew at the time not to take preseason results seriously, but I honestly thought I was seeing a level of total team domination that was unprecedented even by preseason standards and thus it HAD to mean something. Welp…boy was I mistaken. Never again. Preseason is utterly meaningless.

  140. 140 anon said at 5:20 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    we must have been in a mind meld last year.

    If we could have put this defense with a decent o-line and CK’s 2013 scheme. Would have really liked to keep Schurmer really liked how week 17 was coached.

  141. 141 Jernst said at 5:26 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea I was surprised that Schurmer didn’t get a more serious look to stay on as an offensive assistant. Seemed with the Andy connection and his ability to help incorporate the good parts of Chip’s scheme with the reasonable approach of Pederson he’d be a valuable asset. Did he end up getting picked up anywhere or is he just sitting at home with Billy D looking for four leaf clovers in his backyard?

  142. 142 anon said at 5:27 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Like assistant TEs coach somewhere – being in the chip coaching tree was not doing anyone any good last year

  143. 143 Jernst said at 5:30 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Yea I figured he’d be back doing something like offensive quality control or TEs coach. But, still thought he had some value on Pederson’s staff as a guy who would know how to use the best parts of Chips scheme with a standard west coast offense.

  144. 144 Greg Richards said at 5:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    He’s the Vikings TEs coach.

  145. 145 Jernst said at 5:27 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    And, I would have loved to have seen Chips 2013 offense with DeSean and Maclin both healthy and McCoy in his prime. That would have been fun to watch. Add in 2010 Vick if we’re really playing the no rules of the physical universe apply game.

  146. 146 meteorologist said at 7:28 PM on August 25th, 2016:


  147. 147 Bert's Bells said at 5:14 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    “LaConDweeb” [shaking head at the stupidity emoticon]

  148. 148 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:17 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    LOL the Bucs fans booed their second round kicker in practice
    Chris Cooley says Stork will retire knstead of playing for washington.. No idea if it’s true or not
    “Chargers Vow to reduce their offer to Bosa”.. Bwahahahahahahah!! What a TRAINWRECK… It’s like they are trying their hardest not to sign him
    Trouble in Seattle…. Doug Baldwin broke the cardinal sin of talking about another playërs money saying “hard to take Micheal Bennett serious about taking food out of his kids mouth when he shows up to practice driving 10 different cars”…l it’s well known Bennett has been outspoken about wanting more money
    football season is here 🙂

  149. 149 Tumtum said at 8:35 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Doug Baldwin seems like he can be an annoying ass, but he sure does keep it real. I like him quite a bit.

  150. 150 HawaiianEagle said at 12:25 AM on August 25th, 2016:

    Everybody thought the stork was brain damaged…

  151. 151 RobNE said at 5:20 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    I feel like we’ve been disappointed the past few years, but I’ve learned (as pointed out below): preseason means nothing and don’t take a kicker in an early round.

  152. 152 GermanEagle said at 6:19 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    And don’t trade for Mark Sanchez. Ever.

  153. 153 daveH said at 6:50 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Use the team jersey market as an indicator. . Using sanchez jersrys to clean those new street tech. Connection hubs!

  154. 154 P_P_K said at 8:14 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Tom Brady could have used one of those jerseys to clean his cleats.

  155. 155 Tumtum said at 8:33 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    *any round*

  156. 156 Greg Richards said at 5:46 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Jason La Canfora

    54s55 seconds ago

    Eagles have been shopping DE Taylor Hart, a 5th rnd pick in 2014 (and former Oregon Duck), in trade conversations with other teams

  157. 157 RC5000 said at 5:51 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Seems logical with Vaeao and Shittu playing solidly.

  158. 158 GermanEagle said at 6:18 PM on August 24th, 2016:


    Hart for Josh Gordon straight up

    *dum di dum

  159. 159 daveH said at 6:48 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Hart And Huff ??

  160. 160 Insomniac said at 6:03 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Howie should shop Huff as well, any return for him would be great.

  161. 161 RC5000 said at 5:53 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Green-Beckham will be in the lineup again for this week’s game against the Colts and he’ll be getting a chance to see how he fits with the team’s projected starters. Coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday that the Eagles will “put a little package together” for the wideout while the first team is in the game.

    “We put a couple plays in for him this week, expanded his role from a week ago,” Pederson said in comments distributed by the team. “Full week of practice. He’s comfortable with what we’re doing with him. Can’t tell you how many [or] the number of snaps he’ll get, but he’ll definitely play and play with the first group.”

  162. 162 daveH said at 6:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Get him involved. I love it thank you for posting. Huge upside and that kid get him fired UP. Life is his oyster .. make sure he knows it and his knees and youth nver ever ever ever come back! !#

  163. 163 Anders said at 4:07 AM on August 25th, 2016:

    I hope we get near the goalline a few times and try to just throw some fades

  164. 164 RC5000 said at 6:37 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    The Philadelphia Eagles waived wide receiver Hunter Sharp with an injury settlement on Wednesday afternoon.

  165. 165 anon said at 7:13 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    The Eagles are shopping DE Taylor Hart, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

  166. 166 GermanEagle said at 8:16 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Good morning.

  167. 167 anon said at 7:14 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    The Jets’ coaching staff has acknowledged that second-round QB Christian Hackenberg has flaws in his mechanics. — not sure who is doing talent evaluation there but this was evident to most people pre-draft.

  168. 168 myartz04 said at 8:12 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    It’s amazing that they are just simply not letting him playing knowing it would more than likely be a disaster.

  169. 169 anon said at 7:32 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    DGB getting first team reps saturday – who is the odd man out? Ags? Huff? Dude from the giants?

  170. 170 Insomniac said at 7:58 PM on August 24th, 2016:


  171. 171 A_T_G said at 7:58 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Dude from the Giants. Excellent. He isn’t even worth knowing his name.

  172. 172 GermanEagle said at 8:15 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Here’s your 5 Eagles WRs making the team:
    1. JMatt
    2. Gordon
    3. DGB
    4. Ags
    5. Turner.

  173. 173 A_T_G said at 9:28 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Lombardo thinks Givins is in.

  174. 174 A_T_G said at 9:35 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    And, really, with identical stat lines of zero catches for zero yards and zero touchdowns in each preseason game, how could he not be…

  175. 175 GermanEagle said at 5:51 AM on August 25th, 2016:

    Who’s Givins?

  176. 176 Nick C said at 10:47 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Who is the Gordon fellow you speak of? Can he catch?

  177. 177 GermanEagle said at 5:50 AM on August 25th, 2016:

    Think so. He’s also good at catching smokes.

  178. 178 The original AG said at 8:36 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Huff is supposed to get more work this weekend. This might be his last shot.

  179. 179 Bert's Bells said at 9:15 PM on August 24th, 2016:

    Upvote for last shot.