Twitter Mailbag: On Star, Foles And A Cole Comeback

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent ColeEvery 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 @McChief1961: I hope Chipper gives Foles a fair shot. If he wants the ball out quickly, I CANNOT see Vick succeeding.

I think you are circling around an important point.

Many are falling into the trap of looking at this quarterback competition (that’s what I believe it truly is) and awarding the job to Michael Vick simply because of the mobility factor. To me, that’s more the tiebreaker. If Vick and Nick Foles are running the offense with similar fluidity, then you give the nod to Vick because of the added dimension that he can bring to the table.

There is so much more to it, though. Who will best adapt to the new scheme and the new tempo? Who will make the quickest reads? Who will make the proper checks at the line? Who will be more accurate? Who will turn the ball over less? Who will be the superior leader? There are a ton of boxes for Kelly to check off; mobility is just one of them.

From @JoshMcNutt24: player currently on Eagles roster you see making the biggest jump from last year?

I’ll roll with Trent Cole. Take a quick look at his sack totals since 2006 (He had five his rookie year in ’05):

2006
8.0
200712.5
20089.0
200912.5
201010.0
201111.0
20123.0

As you can see, there was a sharp drop last season. People are pointing to his age as the culprit, but he’s 30. That’s not ancient. At the same time, it’s underplayed that the veteran was dealing with a hand injury for over a year and had surgery this offseason to repair the ailment. Even in a new scheme, I’ll bet on Cole returning to form.

If we’re talking about new players making a natural leap, I would go with Fletcher Cox. He was good last season, but is capable of being very good.

From @skulman7: starbursts or laffy taffy.

These are the choices you bring to me? Why is Laffy Taffy even in your head? Starbursts, obviously.

From @Giles1228: do you think star L is a player that fits the Eagles? Do you think they prefer Lane Johnson or Eric Fisher?

I have made the case for Eric Fisher already, but defensive line is a position of need as well. And Utah’s Star Lotulelei has the kind of versatile skill-set that  Chip Kelly gravitates towards. As Sheil points out, he could play nose tackle in a 3-4, tackle in a 4-3 and possibly a 5-technique in a 4-3 under.

There are a couple question marks. He recently received medical clearance after reports that he had a heart condition. But you wonder if that still sticks in a team’s head when they are finalizing their draft grades.  He is also 24. And this paragraph gives me pause.

He will have to answer some questions about his journey to the NFL. Lotulelei originally signed on to play at BYU out of high school, but he did not qualify academically and instead delivered furniture for a short while before deciding to attend Snow Junior College. After one season there, his weight ballooned and he temporarily decided to end his playing career.

Maybe the Eagles have gotten all the right answers and are firm in their belief that Lotulelei will be an issue-free stud. If there are still lingering questions, that might be enough for a team with a top-5 pick to decide to move in a safer direction.

 

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