Twitter Mailbag: Will Cox or Kendricks Win Rookie Of the Year?

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal KendricksEvery Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @D_Mac_City: you think Cox or Kendricks are early Rookie Defensive POY favorites??

No, can’t call them favorites.

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones just won Rookie Defensive Player of the Month after posting three sacks in September. Titans linebacker Zach Brown (22 tackles) and Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David (33 tackles) were the other two nominees.

First off, the Eagles have never had a rookie of the year on either side of the ball in their existence, so this would be new territory.

History suggests that Kendricks has the best shot at it. Of the last nine Defensive ROY, eight are linebackers. Anybody that has watched Kendricks closely knows that he has been a stud through four games. He has 18 tackles and two passes defensed so far.

As you can imagine, a lot of the voting is based off statistics. This is where Cox, and all defensive tackles, get the short end of the stick. Ndamukong Suh did win in 2010, but you have to go back to 1994 (Tim Bowens) to find the last defensive tackle to receive the award before that. Cox has 10 tackles and a sack on the young season. His impact does not fully show up in the stat sheet.

From @HEYYIMERIC: what kind of candy bar does Boykin think he is?

I got nothing. Maybe some our creative readers can tackle that one.

While we’re on the subject, though: Is it me, or has the trash-talking in the NFL gotten really weak lately? Take the Osi Umenyiora-LeSean McCoy feud. Umenyiora called McCoy a chihuahua and Lady Gaga, right? And  McCoy came back by calling him a ballerina?

Now Antonio Brown, of all the possible insults to fire, calls Brandon Boykin a candy bar?

I’m all for originality but if this is the result, maybe we should go back to the classics.

@_ChiLadelphia_: Is Danny Watkins a bust?

That’s a little strong for me. He is a starter in the NFL. I am not an offensive line expert by any stretch so I rely on feel and those who really know the position. My sense is that he is average right now.

If the question is, ‘Was it a mistake to draft Watkins that high?’ my answer would be yes. It has more to do with personal philosophy than anything else. As far as I’m concerned, there is no need to draft a guard in the first round unless you’re convinced he will be a Pro Bowl anchor for your offensive line for years to come. There were way too many question marks (age, lack of experience) around Watkins for the Eagles to have firm convictions along those lines.

That said, Watkins is still pretty early on in the process, so let’s allow things to play out a little more before making sweeping judgments.

From@dfSynnamon: There is a lot of criticism for Lebeau and the SteelersD. Did they miss 92 & 43 that much or is this D & Lebeau past its prime?

Obviously you’re going to miss James Harrison and Troy Polamalu when they’re out of the lineup, even at this stage of their careers. An interesting fact regarding the defense’s age that was whispered to me on Thursday, though: Seven of the 11 starters on Pittsburgh’s “D” have nine-plus years in the league, and six are in double-digits. That’s a lot of tread on the tires.

It is never wise to count them out, however. The Eagles struggled mightily against the Arizona defense. Its coordinator, Ray Horton, plucked that scheme directly from Pittsburgh. I would not expect an easy day Sunday for Michael Vick and company.