Talking to Tulloch

Posted: August 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 83 Comments »

We’ve speculated about this for a while, but it now seems to be happening.

Could be a good move.

The Eagles appear to have a good set of starting LBs, but depth is a major question. Adding Tulloch to the mix could help in a big way. Right now Jordan Hicks is the MLB and it doesn’t sound like anyone is challenging him for that role. Tulloch could come in and right away battle for the job. Tulloch knows the system well. He played for Jim Schwartz in both Tennessee and Detroit.

It is possible that Schwartz could give Tulloch a look at WLB or SAM. He’s smart enough to play any LB spot. The problem for Tulloch is that age has started to catch up with him. He is now 31 and has played in 147 NFL games. Tulloch missed most of the 2014 season with an ACL injury. He wasn’t 100 percent last year and was basically a 2-down LB. The Lions had to wait for Tulloch to get healthy this spring before they could officially release him.

I wrote about Tulloch as a target back in June.

The Eagles were smart to take a look at the young guys. They’ve had a chance to see Joe Walker, Myke Tavarres, and Quentin Gause in action. Those guys have had good moments, but none of them has looked so good you would want them on the field in 2016. Tulloch has his issues, but he is a proven veteran who could be an effective starter.

I’m surprised that teams in need of starting LB help haven’t gone after Tulloch more aggressively, but that may be a hint about his health and his future.

One thing you can say about Jim Schwartz…his former players sure like him. Just ask Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks, Nigel Bradham and now possibly Tulloch.

Stay tuned.


83 Comments on “Talking to Tulloch”

  1. 1 Talking to Tulloch - said at 8:09 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor We’ve speculated about this for a while, but it now seems to be happening. Eagles and former […]

  2. 2 D3FB said at 8:11 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Bad move.

    The team is either delusional about how good they are, or somehow think expensive vets are a market inefficiency (which goes against every aspect of smart team building)

    When Tulloch is doing his best Demeco impression in week 12, and we have no young guys establishing themselves as capable backups for next year, we can be glad we wasted money that could have been used to retaining Logan next year.

  3. 3 Insomniac said at 8:19 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Wouldn’t like the signing even if he was cheap. Veteran presence and knowing the system only gets you so far when you can barely even play anymore. This team needs to develop young guys.

  4. 4 Charlie Kelly said at 8:19 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    bad comment.

    inexpensive vet who knows system in and out, behind young injury prone stud, goes hand in hand with the aspect of smart team building.

    we have young for next year and we can still retain bennie if he proves himself

    you comment is absurd and backwards

  5. 5 Dave said at 8:35 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    DeMeco played in a much more horizontal defense, Schwartz has the MLB play much more downhill.

  6. 6 Fufina said at 8:22 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Well lets see what the price is first before damning any move.

    And i think the team absolutely believes they can genuinely compete for the NFC East in 2016, all their moves and comments reflect that fact. To much of our expectations is being clouded by Chip and the 2015 season. Chips offense was neutered by poor OL play and lack of explosive WR options, while still punishing our defense with their pace of play without the rewards of the 2 years previously.

    If you look at how KC worked they have struggled to get any quality starting receivers and often had a mess at OL but have managed to win games.

    I am pretty positive about the team, I think the Defense should be pretty fun with having one of the best safety pairs in the NFL and DL with plenty of talent and a scheme to make them shine. Offense will depend on Bradford, WR’s catching and OL staying healthy but i think we could have a significantly improvement to all 3, and as long as we stay healthy at our couple of thin spots we can be solid.

  7. 7 D3FB said at 8:47 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    This move is the equivalent of bringing back demeco or signing Fred Jackson at RB.

    It’s going to be at least 2.5-3 mil he’s not coming for vet min.

  8. 8 Cafone said at 9:02 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    I would have been cool with bringing back DeMeco. We’ve got no depth and I’d rather have the option of going with an old vet than some UDFA.

  9. 9 ICDogg said at 3:41 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    The assault charge to Bradham may just be more trouble than anticipated.

  10. 10 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:47 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Man, you guys are harsh. Let’s see what the deal looks like and how Tulloch is utilized before condemning it. Its not like they’re talking to Tim Tebow.

  11. 11 D3FB said at 8:52 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Is he a backup? Yes.

    Can he cover? No

    Is he coming for vet minimum? No

    Does playing him on a best case fringe playoff team and preventing younger guys from seeing time help roster building? No

  12. 12 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:01 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Do the Eagles have any depth? No
    Any depth at all at LB? Nope, nada.
    Does playing/practicing next to really crappy backups stunt the development of young players? Yes
    Could he possibly contribute to the development of the young players since he knows the Schwartz system? Yes

    I think we disagree on his possible impact and roster building for the future. You could be right. This signing could be a waste. But let’s see what they do with him.

  13. 13 D3FB said at 9:09 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    If all the young crappy backups are playing next to other young crappy backups are playing next to each other whose development are they stunting?

    The mentorship stuff is way overrated. Is Jason Peters going to make Issac Seumalo wayyyy better?

    Is Tulloch going “hey watch me be too slow to cover a seam route” going to Hicks better?

    When we waste money win 7 games, Goode leaves as FA and Tulloch is gone, Im sure we’ll be glad we didn’t play the kids.

  14. 14 D3FB said at 9:11 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    You develop depth by letting young guys play.

  15. 15 GermanEagle said at 9:37 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    The young guys can still play in the preseason. However before I am tanking the season by playing unproven late round or even undrafted rookies I would like to still have a shot at winning this crappy NFCE.

  16. 16 Insomniac said at 9:43 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Tulloch doesn’t do anything for this team on the field.

  17. 17 GermanEagle said at 9:56 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    How do you know? Go forbid anything happens to Hicks who will be able to step in? Goode? Maybe. I don’t mind adding Tulloch as insurance. And I don’t think it will be for an expensive premium.

  18. 18 Insomniac said at 9:59 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Goode is better than Tulloch at this point. Goode at least plays ST and can play 2 LB positions while Tulloch is barely able to play 2 downs on this team.

  19. 19 Cafone said at 1:41 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    But after Goode, who? We have a middle linebacker that is starting out his career as the linebacker version of Ryan Mathews and a strong side linebacker that might be facing suspension for beating up an old man. Goode can’t play two positions.

  20. 20 Insomniac said at 2:12 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Barwin can play SAM . Goode can play either MIKE or WILL. LB depth is the least of our worries.

  21. 21 D3FB said at 7:38 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    A backup 2 down Mike makes the difference?

  22. 22 Cafone said at 10:19 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    It could if Hicks gets hurt again.

  23. 23 D3FB said at 10:31 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    So Tulloch over Walker/Jared Norris/Shaq Petteway/ LJ Fort/ Tyler Matakeveitch/John Timu is worth how many wins?

  24. 24 Dave said at 9:42 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Marcus Smith would agree.

  25. 25 Insomniac said at 9:50 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Josh Huff knew Chip’s system. How is that working out?

  26. 26 Dave said at 10:12 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Sadly, neither one seems to have the mental makeup to be successful.

  27. 27 PacificPurl said at 3:55 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Huff said during his rookie year that he thought, like many others, that because he knew Chip’s offence playing pro would be a breeze, but discovered that it was not the same. The system I mean.

  28. 28 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:48 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    So, by your logic we should cut Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, and Brent Celek. Let the kids play.

  29. 29 Insomniac said at 9:51 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Apples to oranges. Tulloch can’t contribute on the same level as those guys.

  30. 30 D3FB said at 7:45 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Peters should have been cut or moved in some fashion. He’s not going to be 9.7 million. I did not want him back.

    Sproles plays special teams and doesn’t really clog up the position. The extension was dumb though.

    Celek has a clear role and can play. We could also get rid of Celek and still be fine with Ertz and Burton. Not having a backup LB of any kind who has experience next year is very different situation.

  31. 31 Cafone said at 10:17 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    That didn’t work with Casey Matthews. Why are you sure it will work with Joe Walker?

  32. 32 D3FB said at 10:28 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Because then at least you know. And this season is house money. You rather we be playing unknown backups this year or next year?

  33. 33 phillychuck said at 8:48 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    Just say no to Tulloch. Can’t play anymore. No help on special teams, which you need from back-up linebackers.

    Seriously, just say no.

  34. 34 Cafone said at 9:02 PM on August 6th, 2016:

    I would like the signing. I think the Eagles can win this year and they need more depth at LB.

  35. 35 Gary Barnes said at 9:43 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    The 2012 team was absolutely riddled with injuries to key players and the talent Chip inherited was far better than many realized which is why 10 wins was possible since their health in 2013 was very good. As we saw in the next two years, Chip did not have that health luck again and he also jettisoned or let walk much of the offensive talent he got from Reid. He also did not replace that talent very well which all together led to his firing.

  36. 36 Cafone said at 10:16 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    We don’t have the same level of offensive skill players that Chip inherited, but we also won’t have a defense where most of the front seven is playing out of position in a 3-4.

  37. 37 Gary Barnes said at 10:22 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    That is true, but IMO it was clearly the offense that led the way to 10 wins for Chip in 2013. With a nod to the ST as well which Chip & Fipp definitely improved.

  38. 38 Cafone said at 1:35 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Well they have the same special teams, hopefully an improved defense, and unless you were a big fan of the Foles/Sanchez combo, I think you can argue that they have better personnel on offense than the 10-win 2014 team.

  39. 39 Greg Tulino said at 12:03 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Could this signing also mean the Eagles are concerned that Bradham’s legal problems could be a major problem? Perhaps they know he could be suspended or even worse he could be released due to that situation. Signing Tulloch could be an insurance policy to protect against this.

  40. 40 A_T_G said at 12:06 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Wow, strong feelings in the comments here. I didn’t expect that.

    If Tulloch is the reason Myke Tavarres doesn’t make the team, I will be disappointed, but to me this seems to be the defensive equivalent of Chase Daniels.

  41. 41 BlindChow said at 11:34 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Plus the coaches have had time to evaluate the young guys; if they thought one could fill in for a starter right away these talks probably wouldn’t be happening.

  42. 42 KillaKadafi said at 1:16 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Some of the criticisms are overly pessimistic.

    IMO, worst case scenario; Tulloch is a vet, he knows the system, has a decade of experience and has much to offer the young LB group in terms of mentoring.

    Learning from a Vet is very important, there are two aspects to the game; the physical and the mental. Tulloch can help greatly with the mental aspect of the game.

    Even if you disagree, let’s see what he will make, if he can contribute on the field, etc, before freaking out like typical negadelphians.

  43. 43 eagleyankfan said at 9:23 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Who’s freaking out? D3 expressed his opinion. He’s one of the most furthest from a negadelphians, as you put it, that’s on the board. Not to mention – from a player evaluation stand point, I trust his opinion(and knowledge on players) better than any arm chair QB fan here….you don’t have to like his opinion — but he’s no negadelphian….

  44. 44 (__!__) said at 6:46 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Tulloch reminds me of Trotter when he went to Washington. He’s not the same player he used to be.

  45. 45 Tumtum said at 8:15 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    What happened with Trot after DC?

  46. 46 (__!__) said at 8:21 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    He signed a 7 year contract and was released after 2 years.

  47. 47 phillychuck said at 7:16 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    You really can’t sign linebackers who don’t play special teams. And he’s coming off an injury. And he’s not a 3-down linebacker. I don’t see the upside to this…I’d rather have an underrated FA who is hungry and still fast.

  48. 48 Dave said at 8:56 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    …and misses tackles, and can’t cover, and doesn’t know the playbook, and is undersized, and has no experience. Thankfully, that FA can cover touch backs on kicks though.

  49. 49 phillychuck said at 10:31 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    We KNOW Tulloch can’t cover. We KNOW Tulloch can’t play teams. Learning a playbook isn’t that tough, really. Hicks knew it as soon as he was put into the lineup last season. And it’s brand new this year, so rookies aren’t at a significant disadvantage. You are speculating that whatever UDFA we put in the lineup won’t have any skills. I’d prefer to take a chance that the UDFA has skills, rahter than go with a vet we know haas lost them.

  50. 50 Dave said at 1:13 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Good point. That then leaves me confused as to why teams even waste draft picks when there are all these UDFAs with skills. Oh, now I remember, because they are slow, or undersized, or injury prone, or believe it or not, don’t have the skills to play at the NFL level in the first place. There is a reason they are undrafted.

  51. 51 phillychuck said at 9:10 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    It’s risky to use sarcasm as an argument–you take the chance that the points you’re making aren’t obvious, or are poorly targeted. In this case we’re not comparing UDFAs to draftees, we’re comparing UDFAs to a 31-year-old linebacker who was released by an organization that needs linebackers, and who is also is trying to recover from a torn ACL. It’s more than possible that one (or more) of our late draft picks or UDFAs is more skilled, faster, and an overall better athlete than Tulloch is right now. Like James Harrison, London Fletcher, Sam Mills, and Jessie Tuggle, all UDFA linebackers.

  52. 52 Dave said at 9:38 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    All your points make complete sense if the team has no doctors, medical reports, scouts, coaches and other personnel on staff to evaluate Tullmch.

    Marcus Smith is an exceptional athlete, yet he may very well be cut for not having the mental makeup to play LB. Rowe is an exceptional athlete that very well may ride the bench this year for the same reason. There is more to playing the game than height, weight, speed.

  53. 53 hrtak said at 7:37 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    DeMeco is only year older and would be cheaper… Just sayin

  54. 54 eagleyankfan said at 9:03 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Tulloch > Demeco … and knows the system etc etc etc…

  55. 55 Rob Jarratt said at 8:42 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    I think that some posters are guilty of “overthink.” Need for veteran depth and familiarity with Schwartz = Tulloch. Plain and simple.

  56. 56 Insomniac said at 9:53 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Backups have to be able to play when they are called upon though. Tulloch is way too slow to cover and play STs now so why even bother signing him?

  57. 57 Gary Barnes said at 9:53 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    But it is not so plain and simple. We are trying to build an elite team that can sustain another long run like under Reid. Making moves in a short term vacuum that do not help that process just to “compete” this year I think is a mistake. The Eagles have tried to have their cake and eat it too this whole off-season. Either we are building something great or we are simply trying to win this year and think of the future later.

  58. 58 The original AG said at 10:11 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Why can’t it be both?

  59. 59 Gary Barnes said at 10:18 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Because the strategies work against each other; it is very hard to build something sustainable, but harder still if you’re regularly looking for the quick fix that has no future. We all know long term success is going to give us the best chance to finally win a SB and the foundation is excellent drafting, development, coaching and cap management. FA can supplement, but only when absolutely necessary IMO. Tulloch is a quick fix to buy time – like D3FB I’d rather we focus on developing the young guys and figure out how we can get much better talent at LB for the long term.

  60. 60 The original AG said at 10:27 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    I disagree. I think you’re asking the wrong question. Every team is trying to win now and think of the future. You want your team to take that approach. I think the question is in the execution of that plan. Other teams are able to do it (NE & Baltimore come to mind). So our question is whether the Eagles can do it (or are they doing it).

  61. 61 D3FB said at 10:35 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    The Patriots are:
    1. Starting Shea McLellan at LB.
    2. Their backups are as follows: Rufus Johnson, Jonathan Freeney, Kevin Snyder, Kamier Grugier Hill, Ramon Humber, Elandon Roberts.
    3. That’s a team with legitimate SB hopes.

  62. 62 BobSmith77 said at 12:05 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Belicheck though probably has been better at any coach than I can remember of not only managing his entire roster effectively but getting surprising contributions from unexpected contributors.

    They still have good/very good starters too in Collins and Hightower. They do have some durability concerns though especially Hightower.

  63. 63 Cafone said at 12:55 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    “I’d rather we focus on developing the young guys”

    Which young guys?

  64. 64 BobSmith77 said at 11:38 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    This was driven directly by Lurie who multiple reports stated that he was the one who demanded Bradford be brought back.

    Yeah they don’t have a 1st round pick this year so ‘tanking’ makes less sense. I just wish they would be willing absorb a 4-12/5-11 season if they aren’t going to play Wentz until very late in the season, play some of the younger guys, and go from there.

  65. 65 D3FB said at 9:09 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    One of the benefits of Schwartz is that it’s a simplified scheme and he’s a great teacher with a good staff.


  66. 66 Anders said at 9:13 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    As a player you should know coaches love certain players no matter what and will turn to them if needed.

  67. 67 eagleyankfan said at 9:18 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    cough (Chase McDaniels) cough cough… 🙂 …

  68. 68 Cafone said at 10:22 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    he turned Irish?

  69. 69 eagleyankfan said at 7:24 AM on August 8th, 2016:

    LOL! He use to work at Mcdonalds…

  70. 70 D3FB said at 10:26 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    That’s why GM’s exist.

  71. 71 eagleyankfan said at 9:15 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    D3FB – it’s funny to see you being “questioned” about your opinion. Normally it’s me being attacked for giving an opinion. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan that falls in love with every single move the Eagles make. Like you(and a very few others), I agree with everything you’ve posted(including the Sproles/Peters posts). I want Hicks on the field as much as possible. Tulloch to compete? Please. Tulloch as back up/depth? OK, say Hicks gets hurt, Tulloch plays. He’s not a 3 down back. Who is covering for Tulloch on those 3rd downs? Ouch is the answer. Ouch is the answer if Hicks goes down, no matter who the back up is….
    Wait – this team can compete for an NFC East crown! Big whoop. LOL. If this team was closer to SB contending, I’d probably like this signing(if it happens) better. Still a team in progress….

  72. 72 Cafone said at 10:11 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    I don’t think that’s an honest appraisal of the situation. Do we have several mid-round picks at the linebacker position from the last four years ready to step in and take a shot at playing time? No, we have a 7th round rookie and a couple of UDFAs.

    A simplified system does not mean you can just take any undrafted linebacker off the street and expect him to perform at an NFL level. I realize we are seeing a return to the Andy Reid era, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to go with unknown scrubs at LB.

    Are you worried about the contract? Howie would structure something that isn’t going to affect the future of the team. Are you worried that Jim Schwartz is going to play an old favorite over a player with more talent? I’d be more concerned about that if we had backups on the roster that are better than Tulloch. Maybe you are just a huge Joe Walker fan?

  73. 73 BlindChow said at 12:44 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Oh come on, what advice could a veteran of 10 years possibly have to offer a 2nd year guy with only 5 starts? Ridiculous!!!!

  74. 74 BobSmith77 said at 11:26 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    Schwartz – Maybe it is me but I am never impressed by any leader who feels they need to swear profusely on a regular basis. It just says to me that this particular individual is not confident enough in his ability to speak to people & command their attention. Instead he has to resort to theatrics and profanities.

    There might be some rare occasions where it can be effective but to me it has a lot more downside especially over the long-term especially it is used regularly especially to criticize players and demean them.

    Just can’t see Schwartz ever being a head coach here given how he communicates, Lurie’s experience with Rhodes, and what a dump fire Schwartz was a head coach in Detroit rubbing a lot of players & people in the front office the wrong way with his attitude. Somebody like Schwartz will be tolerated and maybe even embraced by some but he better win because his kind of schtick tends to wear thin if things don’t go well for an extended stretch.

  75. 75 myartz04 said at 11:44 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    I think tactics like that are good for a defensive coordinator. So much of playing defense is playing on emotion and and having that edge. I agree with your point in regards to being a head coach. Maybe part of it having to do with going 0-16 with the Lions?

  76. 76 BobSmith77 said at 11:59 AM on August 7th, 2016:

    To a degree but going to the ’emotional well’ only works so often and using the tactic on a regular basis doesn’t work if a team isn’t doing well. People just tend to tune out at best if not develop more of an antagonistic relationship to that person.

    I’m curious too to see if the defense will play ‘smart’ or play foolish and be too aggressive taking too many ill-advised penalties as a result including personal fouls/unnecessary roughness.

  77. 77 Rellihcs said at 12:16 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Looks like you (and the timing of a Schwartz press conference this a.m.) might have inspired a new Tommy post.

    I gotta ask, is it specifically the cursing you are referring to? F… is the most versatile word in the English language – this is a direct quote from a Harvard law prof. And it’s true. I personally like Schwartz’s raw emotion, most often immediately counter-balanced by thoughtful, careful, wisdom.

    Remember, this is a town that embraced Buddy Ryan.

    I just don’t see the problem with how Schwartz talks or leads. And he’s not a head coach here.

  78. 78 Cafone said at 1:28 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Perhaps what you interpret as a need to use profanity is actually the lack of a need to alter their natural language.

  79. 79 BobSmith77 said at 12:09 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Against signing a retread like Tulloch especially if he going to possibly start at MLB on 1st and 2nd down.

    Big difference if this team was trying to compete for a deep playoff run & adding Tulloch for depth and experience made some sense.

  80. 80 Cafone said at 1:16 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Would you be against signing him to play Sam on 1st and 2nd downs if Bradham gets suspended for 4+ games? If so, who on the current roster would you rather have playing Sam?

  81. 81 Insomniac said at 1:36 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Why the hell would you want a slow and downhill player playing SAM? Barwin can play SAM just fine if Bradham is suspended and you sure as hell are not putting 3 DEs in on any plays.

  82. 82 Cafone said at 1:22 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Just a slightly off-topic thought: In all the comparisons to the Andy Reid era, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone remembering Andy Reid’s notoriously slow starts. If Pederson follows suit in this area too, we will probably be facing Washington in week 6 at 1-3 or even 0-4.

    But hey, we’ll win in December!

    In a way, it kind of works in our favor because you expect a new regime to start slowly anyway.

  83. 83 BobSmith77 said at 3:25 PM on August 7th, 2016:

    Geoff Mosher brought up an interesting point today about how the Eagles this week (particularly this week on Thurs) made a point of handing off the ball to Huff on reverses/sweeps/etc.

    With the continued almost daily drops that are being reported for Huff in camp so far, Mosher wondered if made sense to shift Huff back to RB given Mathews’ durability/health concerns and how little Barner/Smallwood have shown so far in camp.

    Seems to be an interesting move especially for one of the few guys on offense with game-breaking speed & the continued issues Huff has had as a WR since he was drafted.