It’s been awhile since we’ve rolled this feature out, so without further ado, here are three Eagles-related numbers that matter.
640 – The number of pass-rushing opportunities (snaps) Connor Barwin had for the Texans in 2012, per Pro Football Focus. In 2011, that number was 598.
“We had to drop more, we had problems at inside linebacker, we had to cover up certain things on the outside,” Barwin told reporters on Friday. “The year before we rushed every time. Last year we had to bump the tight end before we could rush, and anyone that rushes the passer knows that’s going to slow down your rush.”
Barwin was addressing the question of why his sack totals fell from 11.5 in 2011 to 3 in 2011.
The theory that he had to drop in coverage more in 2012 doesn’t hold up. In 2011, he rushed the passer 87.1 percent of the time. In 2012, it was 86.4 percent. Nearly identical.
The idea that he had to “bump the tight end” on his way to the quarterback very well could be true. In fact, that was the explanation general manager Howie Roseman gave when he said Barwin played more on the open side in 2011. We’ll take a look at the All-22 this week to see if we can sort things out.
0 – The amount of guaranteed money safety Kenny Phillips got from the Eagles, according to Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that if Phillips isn’t healthy and the Eagles have to cut ties with him, they didn’t make much of a financial commitment.
The bad news is it probably says a lot about Phillips’ health that he was forced to settle for such a deal.
Even if Phillips is only 75 percent of the player he once was, he’d be the Eagles’ best safety since Brian Dawkins. But as the contract shows, that’s a big IF. Phillips had major surgery on his left knee in 2009 and dealt with an MCL injury in his right knee last season, missing nine games.
Because of Phillips’ injury history, I don’t think the Eagles are done at safety. Mike Mayock and Roseman have both talked about what a strong safety class this is in the draft. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles add another body as early as the second round.
With Patrick Chung now in the fold, Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman should expect to be competing for roster spots this summer.
2 – The number of cornerbacks that have been selected in the top five in the last 10 drafts. The Cardinals took Patrick Peterson fifth in 2011, and the Cowboys took Terence Newman fifth in 2003.
Yesterday, we rounded up a bunch of mock drafts, and a popular pick for the Eagles at No. 4 was Alabama’s Dee Milliner. It’s certainly a strange year in that the draft isn’t as top-heavy as usual, but I wonder if Roseman and Chip Kelly will really be willing to go with Milliner. Most agree that Milliner is the best CB available and should be a solid pro. But I haven’t heard anyone predict that he’ll be a true game-changer like Darrelle Revis.
And as friend of the blog @Noah_Becker pointed out, Peterson and Newman both could be used on special teams as returners. That’s not the case with Milliner.
The more I think about it, the more I tend to believe offensive tackles Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) and Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) are probably at the top of the Eagles’ board. Of the nine offensive tackles who made the Pro Bowl last year, seven were first-round picks.
It’s possible that both Joeckel and Fisher are gone by the time the Eagles pick, but if not, they could plug one of them in at right tackle and move Todd Herremans inside in 2013. It would also provide a nice option to back up Jason Peters at left tackle and get younger at a key spot.