Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Hungry’ Curry Gets a Shot At DE

When Vinny Curry began his college career at Marshall, he played defensive end in a 3-4.

His position coach at the time? Jerry Azzinaro. Yes, that’s the same Jerry Azzinaro who is now coaching the Eagles’ defensive line. He spent one year at Marshall before joining Chip Kelly at Oregon and eventually in Philadelphia.

While many (yours truly included) expected Curry to make the switch to outside linebacker this offseason, he’ll instead be under Azzinaro’s direction – for now, at least.

“Last year, I was disappointed with the playing time,” Curry said. “This year, I’m just hungry. I just want to get on the field and help this team win football games.”

Curry says he is up to 278 pounds after having played at around 260 in 2012 (he weighed in at 266 at last year’s Combine). As a rookie, he didn’t dress until Week 11 and played a total of 89 snaps (per PFF), failing to notch either a hurry or a sack.

The purpose of this mini-camp is for Kelly and the coaching staff to continue the process of evaluating the team’s current personnel. In other words, nothing is set in stone in terms of where Curry will play or what his responsibilities will be. But playing the 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 is obviously completely different than playing in the wide-9 in a 4-3.

“Everything is more from a technique and striking standpoint,” Curry explained. “Last year was just how fast can you go. Here, it’s going to take more patience, striking your guy, relaxing, seeing the second key.”

The Eagles were in the market for versatile defensive linemen during free agency, but ended up only signing veteran nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.

They will likely add more bodies in next week’s draft, which could affect Curry’s role. But for now, the 24-year-old is putting his trust in the coaching staff and hoping to make an impression this offseason.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The new experience at the NovaCare Complex includes custom-made smoothies, music during practices and players wearing heart monitors.

Trent Cole says he played through a snapped bone and tendon in his right hand last year.

Brent Celek says the Eagles’ new way of calling offensive plays will “change the league.”

Michael Vick said the team’s been running a lot of read-option. What about Nick Foles? “Everybody got two legs,” Vick said.

EJ Manuel likes his chances of landing in Philly.

Geno Smith and Star Lotulelei are popular choices for the Birds in the latest mock draft roundup.

Kelly talks 3-4, 4-3 and Brandon Graham’s role.

Kelly offers thoughts on the 2013 draft class.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Clark Judge of CBSSports.com says the Eagles have to draft a quarterback with one of their first two picks:

I don’t deny that Michael Vick has rare ability. I don’t deny that he can still operate an offense or run for first downs or launch a bomb over the deepest defender. What I don’t believe is that he can win. He was 10-13 the past two years and hasn’t won a playoff game since January 2005.

That tells me something. It tells me Philadelphia had better look at the next available quarterback.

Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports put out an ultimate mock draft. He uses the real draft order, but projects picks using all available players, not just college prospects. At No. 4, he awards the Eagles with Robert Griffin III:

Given that RG3 is coming off a severe knee injury, which ended his transcendent rookie season, this may not seem like a prudent choice. Chip Kelly, the Eagles’ new coach, doesn’t care. The man is a risk-taker, and the thought of having the unreasonably athletic and preternaturally accurate Griffin direct a pro-style version of the spread-oriented offense Kelly ran at Oregon is too enticing to disregard. ‘Skins fans, don’t adjust your HDTV screens: Mike Shanahan’s face did, in fact, turn purple.

COMING UP

The Eagles wrap up their first mini-camp. We’ll be at NovaCare, talking to more players.

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  • Geagle

    tell Michela Silver to hop back into reality…This ain’t never-ever-land….talking about the most hypothetical dream scenarios…why stop at RG3? can’t we just trade back from 4 and draft Russel Wilson, and JJ Watt?

    • Tracer Bullet

      Why stop there? I want John Elway and Brian Dawkins.

      • Geagle

        How dare you leave off Reggie White? Lol

  • JofreyRice

    Good to hear that Curry has filled out to almost 280. Hopefully he can put on a little more weight. It would be a shame to have essentially wasted a 2nd rounder last year if he can’t transition to 5 technique, although maybe he’d have some value as a backup 3 technique.

    I would absolutely sign Steve McClendon of the Steelers. NT/3-4DE that’s a RFA with a low round tender, so it wouldn’t cost anything to sign him. Giant guy that can move.

    • Geagle

      If two of Curry’s college coaches weren’t on our staff, I would be shitting my pants over Curry….I don’t worry about him. They have known him long enough to project what he can and can’t do….HOW VIOLENT CAN YOU BE? azzinaro will take care of Curry

  • Geagle

    After digesting all this juicy new intel these past two days, I think I have narrowed the Eagles first round pick to 4 players(ATleast in my head)….
    Dion
    lane
    Star
    Sheldon

    I have crossed Off Ziggy and Sharrif

    • Richard Colton

      We’re dealing in percentages here, not certainty. I’d say there is a small chance that Milliner or Geno Smith is the pick. There’s a better chance it’s O-line or D-line. Here’s my handicap if the Birds stay at 4:

      Specialist: nil
      LB: nil
      Skill position (RB/WR/TE): 1% allowing for unlikely love for Patterson or Austin
      QB: 5%
      CB: 5%
      Guard: 4% only because of Warmack’s transcendent talent
      OT: 45%
      DLINE/OLB: 40%

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        So you basically believe that an Offensive Minded College Coach coming into the NFL and his first draft pick will be on the defensive side of the ball?

        • Richard Colton

          Defense is one of two possibilities, yes. I was originally evenly split on D-line and O-line based on the talent pool, need, and who’s expected to be available. What tipped it for me (just a hair) in favor of O-line was 24/7 reporting that Chip Kelly has spent less time scouting college players than previously thought. That made me less confident in Jordan as the pick.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Don’t let Kelly lack of involvement with scouting alarm you, the typical college or NFL coach doesn’t scout, they depend on their assistants to pursue, recognize and contact talent. In the NFL that’s usually confined to the personnel department.

      • Geagle

        ZERO CHANCE MILLNER IS THE PICK!!! Lol…Y? BECAUSE HE ISN’T VRY GOOD! Lol

      • Geagle

        I think we would draft Cooper over Warmack

        • Richard Colton

          It’s amazing how many recent Mocks are predicting that Cooper goes ahead of Warmack. It’s as unlikely as Edgerrin James going ahead of Ricky Williams in ’99.

          • Geagle

            Scheme fit!! If the first team on the board that wants a guard, plays a power blocking scheme, than chance will be the pick…I can’t think of what scheme the Bills run, and since they lost Levitre(which was a big part of that team), I think they are the first team that could possibly draft a guard…I know the Jets run power blocking, so if the Bills don’t take a guard, then Chance would be the first gard taken…have you watched Cooper run man, and get to the second level? If you haven’t, put a highlight on, he is a lot more fun to watch then your average lineman…Because the Jets and Titans, have Power blocking schemes, there is a very good chance that Chance is the first guard off the board….but if the the bills run a zone blocking scheme, that needs its guard to get to that second level, than I wouldn’t be shocked to see Cooper jump Chance…..It’s not like I think Cooper is a better Guard, that will definitely be drafted ahead of chance….I just think its possibly because of schemes.

  • 3 Finger Lenny

    trade Trent Cole to KC for a 4th Rd pick

    • Geagle

      Trade Brandon Graham to the Bengals for the 2nd round pick

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        Since we’re throwing out ideas that will never happen, we should give up our first and trade for King Dunlap, then bring him in for training camp, and cut him as soon as he gets here.

        • Geagle

          How clever….

  • Geagle

    I wish we could get a pic of Curry. he needs to ATleast get up to 290lb. if he can, he can play on our 4-3Under front at 5Tec. I don’t ever see him being able to 2Gap, so I don’t see how we can use him in our 3-4 Fronts(Yes I’m assuming we will mix Under fronts, and 3-4Fronts)…

    because Fletcher Cox talents are wasted as a 2gapper, Ideally we would play the Patriots complicated Hybrid, were the 3tec 1 gaps, and the NT and 5tec two gap….but that’s a very complicated scheme. No way I see us being able to transition to that in year 1…Maybe it could become a possibility in years two or three.. I guess right now, I’m hoping our front 7 ends up looking like:
    Barwin/Cole(predator)
    Cox/Thorton(3tec)
    Sopo/Brandon Williams(NT)
    Curry/Dixon(5tec)
    Dion(Sam)
    yes, I would trade Bgrizzle. Can’t pay both Cole and Graham 5mil each. graham brings back more compensation than Cole, and we don’t have to take the 5mil cap hit from trading him…

    • Richard Colton

      I’d like to give him a year to see what he can do. Graham really seemed to come into his own last year. Part of me wants him to succeed to stick it to those braying Giants fans who lord it over us with the Graham/JPP thing.

      • HowieDon’tKnow

        Forget the G-men. The Ravens stung us in 2012 taking a tackle one pick after Curry. That pick played the entire year including the SB. Curry physically resembles Teo-Nesheim and may have a similar career. Our drafting is horrible but our salary cap space is great. Keep up the good work, FO.

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        JPP had one outstanding year, his rookie year. Last year, if we are solely using sacks as the barometer of success JPP was no more productive than Brandon Graham. Some of this admiration for JPP is troubling, he’s was considered a disappointment by many in the league and the Giant’s Staff last year.

        Why is he such a fascination among Eagles fans is the Question. Graham played on one wheel up until last year. He suffered a micro facture in his knee. Last year playing a quarter of the time, Graham was as productive as JPP.

        Personally I don’t think there’s anyone on the Eagles roster capable of sitting Graham down. The year after his surgery Graham got fat and lazy, depressed by his injury, but he bounced back last year.

        Some of the talk about getting rid of Cole is far fetched, Cole has been the Eagles more consistent prolific pass rusher over the last sever years. The demise of Trent Coles is greatly exaggerated.

        Cole has to still be accounted for by an offensive coordinator playing the Eagles.

      • Geagle

        You are preaching to the choir COLT….Me and Graham go back like 4flats on a Cadillac. I been one of his biggest supporters since he has been here….My oppinion isnt based on him the player…It’s based on going into a contract year during a scheme change….let’s be honest, if our free agents hit the market, they are GONE!!!! Which means, if we don’t extend Graham, he is gone. problem with that is there is a deadline during the season to extend your players….So Graham will have to prove that he is worth to us, in our new sheme, what he is worth to 4-3 teams,,,and he only has a few games to prove it. it will take BIG MONEY to sign Graham, and I just don’t think he has enough time to prove he is worth it….If he had two more years on his deal, I wouldn’t even mention trading him

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Cole and Graham aren’t going anywhere. Graham will get a season to prove his worth in the 3-4. We’d have to eat 9 mil in dead money if we cut Cole, and risk have him being picked up by the Giants. No one is going to trade for him and take on that contract. Trading Graham is possibility but I don’t think the F.O is ready to give up on him. Plus I doubt any team is going to be rushing to give them a fair price a guy who hasn’t been able to stay healthy or have a full season as a starter. They’re not going to trade him for peanuts, which is probably all they’ll get for an offer.

      You keep making a point of saying how much cap space these guys are taking up.. the Eagles have enough space under the cap where dollars and cents are not going to influence their decisions. They essentially have the financial freedom to do as they please, to take a season to look at what they’ve got and make a good decision without making any rash decisions based on financials.

      • Dominik

        I have a question: does all this cap room actually has some use for us in the next offseason? Or is Lurie become miserly?

        I’m not suggesting to throw out big commitments if we don’t trust a guy in FA, and of course, we need some cap space to sign the draft picks, but we have a ton of cap space left and not just one or two needs. I think some 1 year contracts (or 2 year contracts with not much guaranteed money for the 2nd season) would’t have been that bad for some solid Free Agents. If the cap space is actually worthless for the next season, I think we have to do it, but a friend of mine said there is a use for it in the next season, but he doesn’t remember what exactly it is.

        The obvious signing would have been a Offensive Tackle. The Eagles showed some interest in Long, Vollmer and some of other guys. If we would have signed one of those players we would have been absolutely free to pick who we feel is the best player at #4 (Jordan, maybe). Sure, we can still do that, but we NEED a starter at RT. I don’t trust Watkins, at least not to an extend in which I would commit to him this way. And I think Herremans is better at Guard.

        • cliff henny

          as long as you are 89% of cap over 4 years, you can roll over to next year. eagles seem to consistantly operate in low 90′s. have to remember, a normal draft, picks cost 5-7m against. if howie gets couple extra in top 3 rounds, might be closer to 10m. why theres cuts right after draft, making room for new guys.
          at this point, no one is signing anyone. wait till after draft, than you’ll see a 2nd run on free agents.

          • Dominik

            So you guess we will invest much of the cap space we have after the draft, for the draft picks and some FA? That’d be fine with me. I’m just wondering because we signed a lot of players in FA, but none of those players counts much against the cap.

            Would have been great to draft, more or less, for depth, but you can also sign FA for depth, of course, so I just wait and see what Roseman, Kelly and Gamble are doing. We are very flexible, at least. :)

          • cliff henny

            think they can roll 13% over to next year, which is about 14m. depending on source, they are 20-23m under, say 8m goes to draft. now, we’ll cut another 5-7m with getting rid of vets like allen or coleman, etc, dont know who, just tossing out examples. so, no reason not to think we’ll add a player or two. there’s always a surprise camp cut. Eagles can still pretty much do anything they want…howie can manage a cap

          • Dominik

            I thought I understood your explanation with the 89 %, but now I have the feeling I didn’t understand it. :D How can the Eagles roll 13 % over to next year if they weren’t under 89 % in the last few years (you wrote, they were in the low 90′s)?

            One thing’s for sure, though: Howie can manage a cap. :) If nothing else (I’m no critic of him, but there are some out there), that’s definitely a strenght.

            I can still remember how basically the whole league was shocked how the Eagles could aquire Nnamdi, Babin, Jenkins and all those guys from the ‘Dream Team’. Of course, it didn’t turned out this well :D, but from a cap standpoint, that was a masterpiece.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            I’d like to think the plan is to keep being smart with the cap so that a few years down the road once we start drafting better we have ample cap space to resign our own guys. I know a lot of people wish we would have spent more of our money, but if you give a bunch FA big contracts at some point you’re going to have trouble keeping your own guys. And even with the cap where its at now, if you hit on 2-3 guys per draft eventually you’re going to have to take care of them with their 2nd contract. Which is why I’m fine with Howie being fickle with his money.

          • Dominik

            You’re right, essentially, but one or two big contracts won’t hurt the signing of this draft class if (and only if, of course) you’re not signing those FA to 4 or 5 year deals.

            Like I said, I still don’t understand the cap rollover thing, but if that’s effective you can do that, for sure. But if the cap space is more or less ‘gone’ if you don’t use it, it makes no sense to save it (only for Luries wallet :D). The 13 %, mentioned by cliffhenry, is not wasted, in my opinion, to make that clear.

          • cliff henny

            think of it as 4 yrs of 100% totalling 400%, so at end you need to be atleast at 89% or, 356. if eagle rolled 90% for last 3 years, means we’re at 270%, means they can spend 86% and carry extra14% of cap. but if you go to low, than you have to make up for it over time, each 4 yrs needs to be at min 356%. eagles seem to just steadily stay around 90-92%, roll some over, never going too high or too low.

          • Dominik

            Thanks man. Now I’m starting to really understand this roll over thing (I hope, at least ;)).

          • travis

            Eagles rolled 23mil from last yr. Its however much u have left over there’s no %age to it. Its about the exact same amount we are under the cap. They will do it again year after year. We are spending 100% of the salary cap & are under only because of the rollover

          • cliff henny

            there’s a 4 yr rolling average percentage. each individual year can be whatever it wants. theoritically you could spend 60% of cap, but the remaining 3 yrs have to spend 100%, which isnt good business. eagles seem to linger in the low 90′s yr in yr out, why we always seem to have extra money.

          • knighn

            Good stuff. I like that you quoted the 89% over 4 years. Not all fans know that and many default to “The Eagles are so cheap” rants.

            Just my guess / opinion: the Eagles want to start establishing their “team” this year. If they are successful this season and have money left next season they may try to bring in better free agents.

            I also agree with your other point: there will be a 2nd run on free agents after the draft. There are a lot of free agent OLs still on the market. If the Eagles don’t get an O-lineman or O-linemen that they are interested in, I can see them making a move in FA.

      • Geagle

        You do realize that Graham is going into a contract year, and that we are probably going to ask him to play positions and do things that he doesnt have much possibility doing? I’m not advocating for trying Graham AT ALL, I’m just keeping my eyes open for the possibility. graham makes 5 mil right now, so does Cole..so you think IT’S A LOCK, that the Eagles extend Graham for Big money, while continuing to pay Cole big money for the next 3 years, so that they can at best split time at one spot? BARWIN is a LOCK for one OLB spot…and I would think that the Eagles would love to move him to the open side eventually….

        So, my theory of the Eagles not giving Graham a 20-30mil dollar extension, while paying Cole good money for the next 3 years…while we don’t know how they will perform at OLB, you know the positin they have been losing weight to play….sounds that Far Fetched to you, that we shouldn’t even discuss it? Really? how Cheap do you THInk graham is going to sign for? Lol.l.

        • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

          Not long term. I’m talking about this season. Cole will be a lot more tradeable next season with a lower cap number, or at least cuttable with less dead money. Graham is a different story, it’s not as far fetched to think he could have success in this scheme. He does perform, we can afford to give him a new contract. If he doesn’t, Chip will part ways with him and he’ll be labelled as another in a line of first round busts here in Philly.

          Unless it’s a colossal success, there’s no way both of these guys are on the roster next year.

          And according to eaglescap, Graham’s cap number is a little under 3 mil.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    Does Clark Judge actually think any of these rookie QB’s has a better chance to step in and win than Vick? I understand the reasoning behind drafting a QB this year.. we need to have someone to develop and potentially step in next year, but I would not expect them to fare any better than Vick will.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      If you don’t believe a QB can be effective and impactful in your offense his first year, why use a high draft pick on the kid?
      Developmental projects come in the 4th through 7th round, and in the 4th is iffy…. Rounds 1 through 4 are supposed to produce solutions, immediate dividends. I agree if the Eagles ever intend to be a team that moves the ball by air they’re going to need a QB and possession receivers.

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        It’s actually pretty common for rookie quarterbacks to come in and struggle, or they’re lukewarm. Impact rookie QB’s are an extremely rare commodity. More often than not it takes a QB 1 or 2 years to come out of their shell and start becoming impactful. If you’ve got a good team built around them, a rookie QB might not be exposed as much but we don’t have that luxury. Obviously there are exceptions both ways, but the general rule of thumb in the NFL is 3 years before you can make a final judgement call on a QB. Same goes with evaluating draft classes.

  • ICDogg

    I’m getting the notion that the Eagles are looking for a few guys who can play both even and odd fronts. If you’ve got 3 guys like that who are effective both at one and two-gap styles, you have an incredibly flexible defense to work with.

    Cox has that capability, and it sounds like they want Curry to do that also.

    For now, Sopoaga is the other guy, but maybe they want to draft Star if this is the way they plan to go. He already has been doing both one and two gaps.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Cox, a First Round Pick, is ruthless and talented. It matters little where you line Cox he’s going to stand out. He’s a complete football player. Cox is what’s considered a difference maker.

  • knighn

    In my Ultimate Mock Draft I’ve got Superman as my QB and The Flash as my RB. No Aquaman, though – he sucks. Wow – I can play make-believe too! I am so going to take Michael Silver’s job.

    • ICDogg

      The Incredible Hulk is my nose tackle

    • cliff henny

      the safeties can be the wonder twins. on running plays,can form a wall of ice and a gorilla, and on passing plays can become an eagle and bucket of water to pick balls off

      • knighn

        Sorry: one of the Wonder Twins is a girl so she can’t play football. I know this is make-believe and all but let’s not get ridiculous. She’ll have to join Wonder Woman and the rest of the cheerleaders.

        • cliff henny

          that’s your issue…not the bucket? was always a bucket just laying around…they’d be in the desert, somehow that monkey would show up with one.

          • knighn

            You’re right: they’re both lame. Animal girl can try out for the cheerleaders. Water boy will be the Water Boy.

          • Geagle

            Hahahahah made me LOL….Back to the kitchen wonder woman goes!!!

          • knighn

            No one puts baby in the corner… and no one sends Wonder Woman to the kitchen!

          • Geagle

            stop dude…you making my co workers think I’m nuts….apparently they don’t know I get paid to blog lol

  • jabostick

    Well, if Michael Silver is any indication, we’re officially out of worthwhile ideas. That is about as pointless as it gets (and I’m resisting the urge to accept his dumb premise and find out why the Seahawks would look at a pool of ‘any human in their current physical condition’ and still pick Darnell Dockett’).

    Bring on the goddam draft and training camps already!

  • Septhinox

    Does anyone else hate Clark Judge?

    • peteike

      actually, I was just thinking finally someone speaks the truth. Had to watch 3 pundits on NFL network all think Vick was the best QB to lead this team. Not sure what anyone has watched the last 2 yrs but this says it all in my book and is spot on: “He was 10-13 the past two years and hasn’t won a playoff game since January 2005. That tells me something. It tells me Philadelphia had better look at the next available quarterback.”

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        I would agree if the Eagles intend to become a team with a sustained passing attack they have to think QB. Vick has never been a pass first Quarterback, in the NFL, College or High School him having a accurate cannon for an arm serves him little purpose. Atl receivers hated playing with Vick

        The Football pundits make those assessments based on what they know about the Kelly Offense, and having defended Vick understand what he’s best suited to do on a field.

        • peteike

          ya true, I do understand where they are coming from. Watching football for as long as I have, I also get that public opinion is always a bit harsh and Vick isnt as bad as everyone makes him out to be. I guess its just hard for me to understand why fans want to try yet again with him. Meanwhile most other QBs with a similar history would have been moved to another team or fans and pundits would have more of a consensus agreement on his potential.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Frankly, because it’s miserable sitting in the Linc with a developmental Quarterback under center and no chance to win. Had you ever gone down to a game at the Linc or on the road if you can travel with the team and, unfortunately Vick was knocked out of a competitive game?

            The entire atmosphere supporting the Eagles turns gloomy. Philly has a knowledgeable fan base. They’re aware the Eagles aren’t contenders, but we are not used to loosing and a succession of mediocre seasons. First and foremost the NFL is entertainment and Fans who fork over upwards of $100 a game look for entertaining effort.

        • Geagle

          Whats the point? NO QB that you can draft this year will be ready to play ahead of Vick or Foles by September..and Vick is only signed for one year, so I’m not sure your point….Yeah, when I turn Madden on, I get rid of Vick and get Peyton…,Not sure how you planned to accomplish that in real life,…Vick is here for ONE REASON:

          When you factor in the resources it takes to get Vick, compared to what it took for Alex Smith, and Flynn, who aren’t head and shoulders better than Vick…Vick am the most sense. That’s the reason Vick is here. he isn’t here to lead us to the promised land in 2015…..and you could not find anyone who would be that much bett than Vick or Foles in 2013 for cheaper…