Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

Here is another installment of three Eagles numbers that matter.

18 – The number Eagles third-round pick Bennie Logan wore at LSU. The significance?

“The number 18 is a great thing that is given to a player who displays great leadership on and off the field,” Logan said. “[Guys who have] great character, handle their business and go to class, don’t cause any problems or anything like that. It’s voted on by the coaching staff, the equipment staff and the training room staff. So if you have friends on the football team, they can’t vote for you because they like you. It’s strictly given to you by [the coaching staff].”

Little traditions like this are what make college football great.

I’m not the kind of guy who claims to really know athletes based on a series of 10-minute interviews, but by all accounts, Logan is the epitome of a high-character guy. Chip Kelly identified two of the Eagles’ picks as prospects who blew him away during Combine interviews: Logan and Matt Barkley.

“When you’ve got a guy in your room that’s going to provide that kind of leadership, it’s important,” LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis said, via ESPN.com. “It’s important to help your young guys learn how to practice, and leadership is not just in the games. It’s every day. It’s every minute you’re on the field, and when you’ve got a guy like Bennie Logan in your room, he’s going to set the tempo.”

I’ve got to do some more homework on Logan to figure out where he fits in, but the Eagles have spots up for grabs on the defensive line. If he’s as impressive as those around him say he is, the rookie should get a chance to contribute in his first season.

And in case you were wondering, Logan will wear No. 96 with the Eagles

52.38 – Barkley’s completion percentage on deep balls (20 or more yards downfield) last season, as calculated by Second Round Stats. There’s a lot more to arm strength than just getting the ball downfield, but it’s still noteworthy that Barkley actually improved on these throws after completing just 40.63 percent of his attempts as a junior.

Overall, Barkley’s completion percentage dropped from 69.1 percent as a junior to 63.6 percent as a senior. Per Second Round Stats, the main reason was that he didn’t complete screens at the same rate. In 2011, Barkley completed 94.34 of his attempts at or behind the line of scrimmage. In 2012, that number was just 85 percent.

He also didn’t throw as many screens last year as some of the other top QB prospects. Geno Smith, for example, threw behind the line of scrimmage on 33.1 percent of his attempts. For Barkley, that number was just 17.5 percent.

44 – The number of times LeSean McCoy broke a tackle last year, according to Football Outsiders. That was tops in the league. McCoy led the NFL in this category in 2011 as well. The site defines broken tackles as the following: “Either the ballcarrier escapes from the grasp of the defender, or the defender is in good position for a tackle but the ballcarrier jukes him out of his shoes.”

In terms of percentages, McCoy broke a tackle on 17.3 percent of his touches, third-best in the league, behind Pittsburgh’s Isaac Redman (18.6 percent) and Atlanta’s Jacquizz Rodgers (17.7 percent).

Also worth noting is the player who finished ninth: Bryce Brown (13.3 percent).

Football Outsiders took a look at quarterbacks too. Michael Vick finished fourth with eight broken tackles, behind Cam Newton (21!), Russell Wilson (13) and Robert Griffin III (12). In terms of Houdinis, defined as plays where a quarterback escapes a sack, Vick had seven, behind only Newton (10) and Wilson (10).

And finally, as a team, the Eagles broke a tackle on 8 percent of their offensive plays, the highest mark in the league. That speaks to the elusiveness of their skill-position players, but also, the struggles of the offensive line.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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