Eagles Wake-Up Call: Quarterly Grades On ‘D’

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It’s time to run to the mailbox and steal the report card before Mom and Pops get their hands on it.

OK, fine. Apparently, that’s not how things work nowadays. But you get the idea. We’re a quarter of the way into the season, so it’s time to give out some grades. We’ll do the defense today (position-by-position) and deal with the offense in a future post.


Important note: These grades are based in large part on expectations, given the talent on the roster. It's not simply overall level of performance.

DEFENSIVE LINE: D

This one might seem harsh, but I really thought the Eagles' defensive line had a chance to be a strength. Fletcher Cox leads the team with five hurries (per coaches' stats) and has two sacks. So it's not like he's been invisible. But as a rookie, he was showing Pro Bowl potential, and we just haven't seen that in 2013, partly because of the scheme.

Cedric Thornton has played pretty well. But the Eagles are getting nothing from the rest of their rotation. Isaac Sopoaga, Bennie Logan and Clifton Geathers have combined for no sacks and two hurries. Yes, there's a lot of two-gapping going on, but the Eagles have also shown some four-man fronts in nickel. The run defense has been middle-of-the-pack, and the pass-rush has been non-existent.

The coaches seem to view Vinny Curry as a one-dimensional player, and they apparently don't value his pass-rushing ability enough to get him on the field.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: B-

Going into the season, there was a chance that this group would be a complete disaster. And that hasn't been the case. As Trent Cole explained to T-Mac yesterday, he has had to essentially learn two positions. I wouldn't say he's been stellar at either, but his pass-rush has been better than the numbers (no sacks, two hurries) indicate. Cole has been up and down against the run, but has forced two fumbles. He also gives full effort on every snap and hasn't complained about his new role(s).

Connor Barwin sets the edge well against the run, has some versatility and is tied for the team lead with two sacks. He also has a couple hurries and has batted two balls down at the line of scrimmage. Barwin doesn't look like a Pro Bowler, but he appears to be a nice building block at outside linebacker for the next several  years.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS: D+

Is "D+" even a grade? I'm not sure, but let's go with it.

DeMeco Ryans has been OK. He's been in on a team-high 54 tackles (35 solo), according to the coaches' stats. No other player has more than 35. Ryans will have occasional issues against the run, but is generally solid there. He's not great in coverage, but I wouldn't go as far as to say he's a liability either. Last year's scheme seemed to allow him to make more plays at or behind the line of scrimmage, even though the Eagles used the Wide-9 up front.

Mychal Kendricks has been a disappointment. Coaches have basically admitted as much. He needs to improve his tackling, get better in coverage (specifically in zone) and show more consistency. The athletic tools are there, but Kendricks has not lived up to expectations through the first four games.

CORNERBACKS: C

This is where the whole expectations thing comes in. I was expecting this unit to be below average-to-average, and that's pretty much what we've gotten.

Cary Williams has had two good games (Washington, Kansas City) and two not-so-good ones (San Diego, Denver). Bradley Fletcher has been OK. And Brandon Boykin, when he's not being asked to match up with offensive tackles as a pass-rusher, has been fine as well.

The issue here has been more about talent than guys not playing up to their expectations. So even though the Eagles are giving up 325 passing yards per game (second-most), I can't be too harsh on the corners.

SAFETIES: D

I would be a push-over as a teacher. Just can't get myself to hand out an F. And the expectations thing is a factor here as well. Was anyone projecting these guys to be adequate before the season started?

The safety play has been terrible. Nate Allen looked a little better against Denver, but was a disaster in the loss to the Chargers. Earl Wolff seems to have a great attitude and impressive physical skills, but he's making a lot of mistakes and has yet to put it all together. Patrick Chung is solid in run support, but is below-average as a cover guy.

Once again, this is an area that will need to be addressed in the offseason.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Speaking of the defense, good piece here by T-Mac on Billy Davis and the commitment to the 3-4.

Game review: Position-by-position look at the Eagles' D vs. the Broncos.

McManus examines the Eagles' red-zone woes on offense.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Howie Roseman talked to Les Bowen of the Daily News about Cox's transition:

"When you've been doing something your whole life, and you're playing in a certain scheme your whole life, and now you have to transition, it takes time to do that effectively," Roseman said. "He's got tremendous passion for the game of football, he's got tremendous ability, he's an incredibly explosive player in terms of power and athletic ability . . . It doesn't come automatically for players in the National Football League. You see that all around the league; guys aren't just coming off from college and just dominating over [their first] 20 games, but you see enough flashes to know what kind of a player he can be."

Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com reviews the play of Lane Johnson vs. Denver:

Sloppy game. Opened the 3rd series by sliding over the the left side as an extra OL. Failed to cleanly block a DT and that player helped to blow up a run play. Sloppy technique. Lane was off balance and didn’t make good contact with the defender. Called for holding on RZ run. Had a tough reach block to make on DT. Lane didn’t have his feet under him and got off balance. Very strange play in the early 3rd. DE took hard inside slant. Lane blocked him, then seemed to look outside, but there was no one to take the DE. Guy pressured Vick into scrambling. Cleanly beaten by Phillips speed rush in the 3rd Qtr. Pressured Vick, led to incomplete pass. Got beaten by Phillips for sack on 3rd/9 late in the 3rd Qtr. Just a good speed rush. Lane failed to get his hands on Phillips in time.

COMING UP

We'll have some All-22 pieces and start looking ahead to this weekend's game vs. the Giants.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

  • nicksaenz1

    No grade for Davis? Allow me…. F-. No, no grading system has ever used a +/- with regard to the “F” grade, but Davis has earned it. It wouldn’t be fair of me to deny him of that.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    did anyone realize the only wr screen we ran seemed to be the one with foles in, and in the redzone. to Maehl and good blocking went for a TD. why is that kinda play not there for Vick. is it a timing thing and Vick cant get the ball out quick enough. or is it like some suggested that Kelly is catering to Vicks strengths and using his BIG arm. changing his offense to Vick. in preseason (yeah I said preseason) we saw crazy plays, innovative plays from chip. not so much now. and if I recall all the crazy plays were with nick in. the one where nick runs right then stops and throws a pass behind him to a receiver who has a screen set up behind him. haven’t seen any of those. no ” in space” plays for damaris. and nothing but ST work for Maehl. I think most would agree right now that Maehl probably can get open and find space better than coop at this point. lets use all these guys. only 5 wrs on roster. and use all 3 tes. why not. you used polk and went 3 rbs deep and that worked out well. polk looked great (I personally would like to see polk as the kick returner) not sure damaris is made for the KR position. Polk would be nice to see there to get more PT. heard some people watching tape and saying wrs got open and vick waited to long to throw and cbs closed on the route. 2 plays in particular are desean over middle broken by drc and avant broken by drc..others I heard where a wide open ertz downt he field and riley cooper wide open. vick just couldn’t see him. just like Bryce brown running down the sideline last week and vick decided to make the harder throw..incomplete. much like the celek throw near goal line this week. avant wideopen middle of field (best hands on the team) and vick throws a nice ball accurately to celek instead he drops it..duh..but avant your best sure handed wr and hes in space he neglects to hit.
    would putting a 6’6″ qb in allow them to hit some of these plays. im not sure. but I know Nick does see more of the field than vick. tired of Kelly enamored with yards and plays…I could care less.. we NEED POINTS…yards aren’t winning us games..

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      Why are folk so enamored with a garbage time TD against second stringers who were mailing it in ’cause the real guys had already put the game away?

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        listen…if you execute the play. it doesn’t matter who is out there. frankly if you do it with your best talent you should score anyway. eagles did it with their 2′s

      • Richard Colton

        I’m not ready to anoint Foles based on garbage time. And I’m not ready to give up on us winning the NFC East – MV7 gives us the best chance to do that right now. If we lose to the Giants though, I don’t hate the idea of playing Barkley…just to see what we have. Vick won’t be here next year, so what would be the point playing him past that point?

  • Token

    Ryans tackles are basically a worthless number. Most are down field after the play has been made already. ILBs have been terrible. Barwin is just a guy. If you are as ineffective as him as a rusher im not sure what good you are as a starting OLB in a 3-4. They will need 2 OLBs and 2 ILBs going forward.

    This switch to 3-4 know just seems like pure insanity.

  • Myke Lowery

    I wonder if Kendricks short arms attribute to his missed tackles.

  • Token

    Saw over on the official site someone had posted All-22 pics.

    There were open WRs Sunday. Vick didnt see it. Or on some plays just released it too late. Hes gotta anticipate throws better.

    According to PFF he also leads the league in average time to throw at 3.4 seconds. And as ive been screaming, this 5 step drop from shotgun is

    Now didnt chip say he wants it out in under 2 seconds or something crazy? Well, given that he looks at the film and surely sees missed opportunities and then he sees how long the ball is held, im thinking something has to give here at some point.

    The offense they showed in the preseason is completely different than what it looks like now. How far out of whack is Chip gonna let this thing get?

    http://www.makeagif.com/unQ5aK

    • poetx99

      they posted 2 plays and one of them was the one where vick hit celek (who was further up the field and also open) RIGHT IN THE CHEST / HANDS and he dropped it.

      so what’s the point if avant was open underneath?

      nothing was said about the other play shown, but those guys were open on their route STEMS. neither receiver had broken yet (except maybe cooper at the bottom of the screen and you couldn’t see where the safety was over the top).

      the receivers were generally so blanketed that even buck and aikman went out of their way to pull up alternate angles showing no receivers open.

      go ahead and push your agenda, though.

      • Token

        Celek shoulda caught that, no doubt about it. But remember he had two guys on him. Avant had a easy 1st down and more. You take Avant there.

        • Brandon Boykin, OLB

          How do you say Celek should have had it that but still criticize? That makes no sense. He hit the op-. You know what? It’s hump day. I won’t bother.

          • #7

            Exactly

          • nicksaenz1

            Great name, sir.

        • #7

          “He had two guys on him”

          Lmao OMG

          Dude you’re reaching big time. The two people you speak of was not on him. Celek was open by NFL standards. I can’t understand what you’re seeing…. except that you’re seeing what you WANT to see.

          Token, I’m quite sure you do not remember nor notice when I criticize Vick and that’s fine and I don’t have any problem doing that. Despite your opinion (you seem to think that yours is the only one that counts) I’ve been critical of Vick.

          You come with two pictures and one of them, celek was wide open. It’s completely unfair that you expect a QB to be a robot. Are you telling me that Foles wouldn’t miss a throw? Barkley wouldn’t either? Every qb in the league, including Manning, had left throws on the field and they come to the podium and say so themselves.

          What is your point and what are you proving?

          Your posts are personal IMO. You’ve proven that time and time again. We know you hate Vick. We know you wanted Foles to stay.

          We got it man.

          • Token

            O I hate Vick. Never said I didnt. I am as over him as can be. I watch the games on Sundays in disbelief that they kept this guy another year.

            Im tired of everything having to do with him. Its ALWAYS everyone elses fault. Its been that way forever with him. You need 5 pro bowl lineman and 3 pro bowl WRs apparently for Vick to be able to operate.

            Its clear this isnt a SB team. So why on earth are we continuing to waste time with this guy? I dont understand it. Hes gone next year, when we have to hope Chip picks the right rookie.

            I could see if he was running the offense well. But its clear he isnt. This isnt the offense Chip wants to run. He kind of put himself in a corner. He doesnt want his offense to look awful but he also doesnt want to look like a fool for keeping Vick in the first place when everyone knew it was a bad idea.

            Very curious to see where this goes over the next 5 games. Id say Vick has 2 more games. If the offense doesnt start operating like it should I think Kelly is forced to make the move.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            ” Its ALWAYS everyone elses fault. Its been that way forever with him.
            You need 5 pro bowl lineman and 3 pro bowl WRs apparently for Vick to
            be able to operate.”

            - The only person saying that is you.
            - If he hits a wide open player…and the player drops it…how exactly is that on the QB?

          • Token

            You two act like that happens often. The much more common occurrence seems to be completely missing plays that are there to be made. I almost have to hang this on Chip more than Vick. Vick just is what he is. It was up to Chip to know that.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            ” The much more common occurrence seems to be completely missing plays that are there to be made.”

            Point them out. Cause we’re only discussing the Denver game. So show me where in the Denver game where he was “completely missing plays that are there to be made.”

            Yeah some of you guys will find any reason to criticize Vick – if there isn’t one, then you’ll make one up and contort yourself into all manner of illogical criticisms to get there.

            I know it’s hard for you to beleive…but sometimes…it’s not Vick’s fault. I know. I know. Shocking.

          • Token

            You dont ever go out of your way to contort things in Vicks favor? Come on now….

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            I don’t have to contort anything in Vick’s favor regarding the Denver game. You just pointed out a play were an open receiver dropped a ball and your logic is that he should have thrown it to the other open receiver who could have also dropped the ball.

            Yeah. I’m not the one contorting myself.

          • Token

            Yea, Vick throwing for 43% and 51% in the last two weeks has nothing to do with losing. Offense is doing just great…..

            We already are hearing what “great confidence” Chip has in Vick. Just like Andy used to say. If Chip doesnt watch himself, Vick will have killed yet another NFL coach.

          • #7

            You surely contort things in the way you want to see them

          • nicksaenz1

            Vick’s got more than two games left, barring injury.

          • #7

            For one, it’s always about the QB on all teams or you wouldn’t even post about it.

            So I guess Aikman, who’s a HOF QB who is broadcasting the game and pretty much had an “all-22″ view…. live…. doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Only Token and his two pictures know what’s going on. Correct?

            Normally, you have more than 2throws cricritique. Where are they Token?

            How can you say that he’s not running the offense right when none of us knows what we’re looking at? We’re all confused.

            If chip had to take Vick out, so be it. I’m sure you will have a party

          • Token

            I cant imagine this is what the offense is supposed to look like. Looks nothing like it did at first. Looks basically like last years Andy Reid offense to be honest.

          • #7

            So you’re pretty much saying that Vick caused this.

            Defense is dictating the way we play offense and it was supposed to be the other way around. Can we agree on that token?

          • Token

            Man on man across the board is not dictating anything to an offense. The majority of QBs in the NFL LIVE for man on man coverage. You gotta move the offense against that. I blame Vick and Chip.

          • #7

            And the WRs excluding Jackson need to get open and they need to catch it.

            That’s how it works Token. As soon as Vick forces throws, you’ll have your “turnover machine” critique back in your arsenal.

            As soon as he holds the ball and takes the sack, which used to be one of your main complaints that he didn’t do enough of, now he doesn’t get the ball out quick enough SMH.

            I just wish you would be consistent with your complaints. flip flop like a fish, daily

          • Token

            He needs to anticipate throws. He waits too long on too many occasions. A half step is open in this league. Gotta get it out.

            And why exclude Jackson? Hes back to being shut down weekly like last year. A guy making that money needs to get himself open. Hes not going against Deion Sanders in his prime the last two weeks.

          • #7

            Anticipate throws? Sure, but trust has to be there and that trust is absent. He threw with “anticipation” to Celek and he dropped it. Over the past 3 games, drops by Cooper, Ertz, and Celek were anticipatory throws.

            Brady was throwing with anticipation to his WRs and they were dropping them. The reason he can do that is because he is entrenched as the starter and has no worries about being replaced.

            2nd, he doesn’t have a fanbase that is grading every throw. We’re supposed to support the QB, not bash him every throw. If Foles were good enough to win the job, he would have my support, but you can’t do that for Vick.

            You always get on me about my handle and my comments, but you, sir, appear to be the biased one.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            Unless Vick is the primary reason for them losing…he’s not getting pulled. Kelly takes time to make a decision b/c once it’s made he’s sticking to it.

        • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

          So wait on one hand you criticize ’cause he doesn’t make tight window throws…but when he does (and hit the receiver on the money) it’s still a problem ’cause another receiver was open as well (though further up the field)?

          lol.

          Okay.

          • Token

            He made the wrong choice on the play. You take the easy first down. Thats part of the problem, hes always looking for the big play. That play has a much lower % chance of connecting than the pass to Avant would. Isnt Chip supposed to be about taking what given?

          • #7

            ????

            Celek was open man. You just admitted that he should have made the catch lol.

            You’re a trip man lol.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            If a receiver is wide open…that’s not a wrong choice. The play didn’t work NOT b/c of a bad throw or it being defended well…it didn’t work b/c the receiver DROPPED IT.

            SO…under that logic..the Avant throw would have been no more “correct” ’cause if he threw to Avant and Avant dropped it, then you’d be saying he should have thrown it to Celek.

            As far as taking what the defense gives him…he did…and the receiver DROPPED IT. He made an NFL throw to a receiver who was NFL open and the NFL receiver DROPPED IT.

            Lord Have Mercy…your hate blinds you to common (football) sense.

          • #7

            Unbelievable

          • Token

            http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000252782/Week-4-Eagles-vs-Broncos-highlights

            40 seconds in. In Celek wide open? Theres 2 guys right there. Avant was wide open.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            The guys were behind him. Not on him. It was a perfect throw in a tight window. Those are those NFL throws u claim he doesn’t make. Celek is supposed to have that ball.

          • Basscase

            Question: can anyone show me a play in any football game where a guy wasn’t wide open at one point or another?

    • #7

      This thread isn’t even about offense man. You just couldn’t wait for the post on offense.

      Classic Token

      • Token

        Eh, We knew the D would be all time terrible. I think the bigger thing is how bad Chips offense looks.

        • #7

          I guess it’s a coincidence that you’re always first with the negative Vick comment… even on a post about defense.

          And you talk about me being biased.

          • Richard Colton

            and you’re always first on the scene to defend the one thing you like about the Eagles. You guys must be having a ball down in Hot-lanta with the playoffs coming up. Got your Larry Jones jersey ready, fraud?

          • #7

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          • Richard Colton

            still more literate than most Cowboys fans I know

          • #7

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  • #7

    I’ll do it for you on the safeties and d-lineman.

    F!!!!!!!

    F…F…and mfin F!!!!!!!

  • #7

    And F for Davis

    • nicksaenz1

      F-. Leaving out the “-” gives him too much credit.

  • Richard Colton

    Sheil’s passing grades were early Festivus gifts – and I’ve got grievances.

    Of the 14 or 15 players a defense needs, how many of these guys can we rely on moving forward? Our nickel CB (when he’s not Blitzin’), one 3-4 DE, and maybe one OLB? 3 guys, and the rest need to be upgraded. All those high draft picks spent all over the D, and where is the production? Curry and Graham can’t get on the field. The picks at Safety were legendarily bad. Kendricks and Cox have regressed. Our entire starting secondary needs to be overhauled.

    Consider this – say you’re a good parent, and you teach your son to love three things: his mom, the Eagles, and Defense. Your kid dutifully wants an Eagles jersey to wear to the game – what jersey from a current Birds defender do you buy him?

    • cliff henny

      cant ever go wrong with Dawkin’s jersey. the house cleaning is just a yr away. thornton is rfa, soap fletch and chung 1 yr rentals, ryans is 6.5m no dead-he’s gone. Allen, coleman FA’s-gone. for better or worse, eagles are a slave to sal cap, ’13 is a tred water yr

      • nicksaenz1

        We both know that not all of these guys are gone. I wouldn’t be shocked if Thornton, Chung, Ryans are all here next year.

        • cliff henny

          doesnt matter who’s back, it’s the options. ryans is 6.5m no dead-and would anyone lose sleep over any guy i mentioned leaving? they’re all just guys. celek, 4m no dead, not worth it. if sign #1 corner, fletch is 3m no dead, that money can be transferred – though i like fletcher. the cap for ’14 is incredible. just saying, roster turnover is a year away…or at least god i hope so

          • nicksaenz1

            i’m with ya. thought you were saying they’d all definitely be out, not could be. my misinterpretation. salary cap space looks great, but in Howie I don’t trust.

          • anon

            meco is the leading tackler on the team by far. if you cut a guy after an up year, what good fa will come here and take a K without guaranteed money?

          • cliff henny

            he’s the leading tackler 5 yrds downfield! good guy, but com’on, he’s not ray lewis manning the middle. for 7m no dead?! pro bowlers dont get that!!!

          • Token

            worthless stat in this case. His tackles are mostly down field after they already get gashed. Ryans is done, especially if they insist on this scheme.

          • anon

            Would you rather he make the tackle or go all Kendricks/Allen?

          • Token

            If you could swear on here im sure I could make a good analogy with this.

            But ill just say Id rather have neither. You dont keep a 7 mil LB thats slowing down and cant play ILB in a 3-4 just because you think hes slightly better than other turds on the roster.

            Cant believe what Kendricks became in the NFL. Thought hed be a player. Becoming pretty obvious now that he doesnt have what it takes mentally to succeed in the NFL.

    • B-West

      I say flip Curry and Graham for whatever you can get. I’m pretty confident it won’t be for much compensation, but get something. I’m also pretty confident they will thrive in another system, but they are worthless to the Eagles. Not to mention wasting away for no good reason.

      • Richard Colton

        So another team is going to come in, fleece the Eagles, and get two really good pass rushers for basically nothing because a former 1st and 2nd round pick doesn’t fit our bad scheme? You’re probably right. and my head’s spinning.

        • B-West

          Haha, yup, you summed it up pretty well. And yes, I still think my argument holds water that its better than the status quo.

        • Token

          May as well trade Cox too. I stand by my thoughts that he can be a monster in a 4-3. But hes wasted now. 3/4ths of a starting 4-3 line down the tubes because the coach, who could care less about defense, demands a 3-4.

  • Soybot

    I wonder what kind of defensive player we could have gotten instead of Matt Barkley.

    • #7

      Ouch

    • cliff henny

      ertz at 34 isnt looking great, either. easily could have traded down. TEs in 5th and 6th are showing as much as him. plus, wasted 6th on Benn’s ACL. hope they stop bringing in cheap broken down guys asap. best case, seems like wasted 4th and 6th, and undervalued 34th.

      • Token

        Geez I had forgotten they gave up a pick for Benn.

        So instead of make that pick, and have a chance of not getting a bum…. They instead traded it for a already established bum who is also injury prone.

        Do they ever fire GMs midseason? This would be a situation where it is called for.

        • cliff henny

          i’ve posted the cap figures for ’14 enough last 2 days, looking forward thinking about howie. eagles are going to be sailor’s on leave rich with cap space. all is set up for major roster turnover, and to question howie is valid.

          • Token

            Yea they have space now though. You cant turn around the team on FA signings. We know that by now.

            Heck, they cant move forward at all with Howie at the helm. They need someone who at least makes the right decisions 50% of the time.

            But I do see, theres gonna be a bunch of guys gone next year. Well, should be anyway. Doesnt look to be much out there next offseason anyway.

          • cliff henny

            sure you can, if draft well. it’s a combination. eagles easily can get into 40ms in cap space next yr-you can get a stud or 2 (and that w/ renegotiating jax and peter’s contracts). nnamdi was the kicking boy for ’12, i was there w/ everyone, but it was drafting ’08-’11 that was real issue. cant draft like crap for 4 yrs and not be hampered. it’ll take 2 more quality off seasons to get thru it. at least the sal cap is managed well. right moves, no reason to think ’15 eagles arent back on top. rigt now, seems like long way away. valid to question howie

          • nicksaenz1

            Peters’s deal needs restructured sooner than later. He’s not worth 10mil next year with the way he’s playing. Restructuring D-Jax is tricky because of the salary owed. 35mil for the next 3yrs. 12 of that needs guaranteed, but it extends the time frame for dead money and adds on to the 2mil each of the next 3 seasons, making it virtually impossible to trade/cut him in the next 3 years. Not saying we’d want to, but it’s always nice to have the out.

            Edit: D-Jax would obv be extended as part of the restructure, probably 2 years, taking that 35 mil owed, making it a 5 year deal and guaranteeing 12-15 of it. Also forgot, pretty sure dead money owed accelerates if restructured, as well. So it would’t be as difficult to get rid of him in future years if needed.

          • cliff henny

            d-jax is 100% renegotiating, it’s been a given since day he signed it. peters is 10m no dead, reneg him, sign rt move lj to left,or kelly RT lane LT…i dont freaking know, not a GM, but i know numbers and Eagles have unlimited options next yr. howie better not F it up.

          • nicksaenz1

            D-Jax is definitely renegotiating, I’m just saying it’s a little trickier that it looks because of the numbers left on the table. I believe the years of dead money that are accelerated up affect the cap. Peters I’d like to keep if possible. Even when down by his standards he’s still a good LT.

          • cliff henny

            right now, in ’14 he’s 12.5 against. see my post above. they’ll extend him or take the hit. eithe way gets them more cap space. it’ll free 4m if resigned for, say, 8m, or 6m if he walks. eagles will take some dead, it’s never zero.

          • nicksaenz1

            Like the analysis above. Would love if we could try to acquire some draft picks. Don’t know how we’d do it since we have next to zero tradeable assets worth a mid round pick, but I’d love some effort on Howie’s part in that department.

          • cliff henny

            thanks, start at 22m, easily found 25m more, and that didnt include 4m for jax or 2.5m for sopola. ’14 better be a banner off season

          • nicksaenz1

            Helps that the cap is expected to go up in ’15, too. Just don’t know how much yet. I’d consider saving 5-10 to roll over again and we can make moves again in ’15 with the increase.

          • cliff henny

            in ’15, cole’s 6m, herrmann’s 4m and graham 3m all come off. pretty much, by ’16, there’ll be a whole new set of players, except Mccoy. if Howie and kelly know what they are doing, this mess could and should be in the rear view mirror

          • Token

            Peters is gone.

            This is effect a contract year for Jackson. Curious to see what happens there. He is still too easily shut down for a guy that wants 10+ mil.

          • nicksaenz1

            Peters is only gone if he thinks he’s still worth top dollar…. Did D-Jax say he wanted 10+? Don’t recall it. He just wanted a deal. He’s going to get his deal restructured and his cap hit will be closer to 7-8 when done, I think.

        • LeClaw

          …you would rather take a 6th rounder over Benn who if he had not tore his ACL would probably be better than Cooper…

          also give Ertz a chance..he looks good on his limited opportunities…he just is not an in-line TE and we are rarely in 2TE sets due to opponents defensive personal

    • Token

      Every other team knew he didnt have a NFL arm. Howie was in love with him LAST year from what I recall. Purely a Howie pick.

    • theycallmerob

      and who exactly would you take? I’ll give you a hint- there are no better defensive players. At that spot, Barkley was the very best lottery ticket. Highest possible ceiling (franchise QB), low floor (4th rd backup QB, possible starter).

      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2013/tracker#dt-tabs:dt-by-round/dt-by-round-input:4

  • Engwrite

    So let me see…we had a bad defense last year. We hired a D coordinator with previous experience but all bad, ie., no good Ds under him. Got rid of our CBs and hired two so-so DBs. Kept an under-performing safety, picked up one cast off by the patriots, and drafted 1 on the 4th round. Converted two reasonably good DEs to OLB as we shifted from a 43 to a 34 Defense, asked the DL to go to a 2-gap and. . . why is anyone surprised? Why would anyone think the D would be any good?
    Ok. Stop. Lets take a breath.

    We just got trounced by the NFLs best team and their record breaking offense and their first ballot HOF qb.
    We have no other elite team in the schedule, with the possible exception of Green Bay. This team could conceivably win the rest of their games and make the playoffs with a great record but, alas, it would still be trounced by an elite team.

    Instead of worrying about the defense, which may or may not improve, we should worry about the offense which ought to be the strength of this team, has gained miles of yards but hasn’t scored accordingly.
    For some reason the kicker is missing. The Oline which we expected to be a strength has been shaky. Receivers aren’t getting open or have dropped balls and the scheme looks a lot like last year’s. Except we run the ball a lot more.
    My feeling is that the key to this year is fixing the offense, (Which is Kelly’s specialty) and getting TDs instead of FG tries.
    We may win the NFC East yet and later regret it when we get to draft for D in the middle of the pack.

    • anon

      puts too much pressure on your offense when you have to score 7 every time and are constantly starting from your own 20 bc the d is giving up scores. playing from behind limits what you can do on both sides of the ball.

      • Engwrite

        That’s the key. Something I forgot to mention. If they do score and force the other team to play from behind, they can make the other uni-dimensional. That would help the defense although, to be fair, it didn’t help much the 2nd half in Washington

  • cliff henny

    Eagles ’14 sal cap
    rolling 18.5m over and if every bloated contract is on next yrs teams, about 3.5m under…have 22m to spend. ’13 has 11m in dead, it’s not zero, eagles are willing to take some dead. at 3m dead right now due to fireman.
    gone off roster…vick, allen coleman thornton (rfa), maclon cooper, anderson (have no money on ’14-not saying they wont be back, just not on books)
    will start off with major contract…
    avant due 4m dead money 700k…gone
    benn due 1m no dead…blown acl gone
    celek due 4m…no dead…seriously, you want brick hands back..blocking TEs are free
    casey due 4m 1m dead (’15 4m no dead) when gone, for 3 plays a game? gone
    peters 10m no dead…worth 5m, i’d do 2 or 3 yr, get his number inline
    ryans 6.8m no dead…com’on, 30+…good guy, not worth it
    fletcher 3m no dead…like him, sign true #1 and transfer money
    chung 3.2m due 1m dead…’15 due 4m no dead…probably gets another yr (backup-i’m ok with that)
    right there is somewhere in 25-30m range…with less than 3m dead, so 22-27 new $, and that’s with Peters and chung. d-jax? his value is tough for me, in RZ is a problem
    have the fillers making 600k -800k..d johnson, maehl, barbre tobin, matthews, vandevelde, etc..another 4 or5m.
    seriously, anyone miss these guys or think they cant be replaced?

    • Token

      The only one I think stays on that list is Avant maybe. But who knows if Maehl or someone else can fill right in there. Thornton probably stays.

      Man, I just cant get past this 3-4 switch. Makes this rebuild soooo much longer.

      • anon

        interested to see if Maehl can do something.

      • cliff henny

        renegotiate is always an option, too. plus, if d-jax stays, frees up about 4m, he leaves, frees up 6m. oh, forgot soap, 3.7m 1m dead. didnt like signing in spring, not liking him anymore now.
        .
        thornton is rfa, what if we sign top teir 5-tech or move logan? lot depends on who’s brought in..can live w/ CT, prefer upgrade

        • Token

          I see no way in the world Jackson takes any pay cut if thats what you are thinking. Hes not that guy.

          You basically need every position overhauled on the D if they stick with 3-4. Thats not a exaggeration.

          • nicksaenz1

            He’s got no deal if he doesn’t renegotiate and the open market isn’t paying him 10+mil. His deal was set up to be restructured after a couple years.

          • cliff henny

            if he doesnt take a paycut, he’s gone. no way any rec’r not name calvin johnson makes 12.5m. he knows this. either he renego’s with us for around 8m – sounds about right – or he walks and eagles take 6m dead. eagles are taking 11m dead this yr. if everyone including jax walk, it’s still only 10m dead ontop of watkins 2.5, but frees up like 60m+. my main point was, the roster turnover we want is in ’14.

    • nicksaenz1

      Gotta keep Maehl and Matthews to meet the Oregon Connection quota. Heck, we gotta keep Matthews for Richard Colton’s sake. He won’t want to know what life is like without Matthews.

      • Richard Colton

        i appreciate you looking out for me Nick. But as long as we’re being wistful about Oregon defensive players, how good would a healthy Dion Jordon and Kiko Alonzo look in Midnight Green?

        • nicksaenz1

          I don’t want to think about it because it won’t happen… And no problem. People helpin’ people. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • Will

    The Eagles Defense is Ranked 30th in the NFL that’s a Big Fat “F-” all Day Long!

    • anon

      haha yeah not sure you need to do grades, ranking speaks for itself.

  • anon

    I will say that we haven’t given up any big plays all season — even against Peyton. That’s a big improvement hat Davis should get some credit for.

    • Token

      Is there a difference between a quick death and a slow death?

    • BlindChow

      I don’t know, we’re still on pace for a record number of yards given up. It seems like taking some chances by shrinking the field might end up giving up more big plays, but might also get us a turnover or two.

  • Loke1988

    How about a grade for Kelly and how his decisions effect the defense?

    1. Go with a 3-4 regardless of your personal shoving square pegs into round holes ala Andy Reid. What happened to adaptation?
    2. Dismiss time of possession as a useless stat leaving the over matched under funded D out there 40 minutes a game. Meanwhile your opponents use that same so called useless stat to beat you 2 out of the last 3 weeks.
    3. Going offense with 3 out of the first 4 picks in the draft when the D was decimated ANd your changing schemes sans the personnel.
    4. The defensive free agents that were brought in that have pretty mush flopped for the most part.
    5. Bringing in a D coordinator with a losing pedigree when you should be changing the entire defensive culture which would start with hiring a guy with a proven track record players would believe in.

    Grade F from me to Chippah on the D. Or is the D Roseman’s responsibility? Really not sure on that.

    Just telling it like it is. Putting on flame suit now.

    • jabostick

      May be splitting hairs a bit but Kelly’s point has typically been that it’s not about time of possession, but number of plays ran. In those losses, they’re losing the ‘# of plays’ battle. So it’s not as if he’s saying TOP doesn’t matter, and the “Old World NFL” is showing him up. Everyone/Nobody is right, in a sense.

      Not really disagreeing with anything you say otherwise. For me the grade is ‘Incomplete’, though.

      • #7

        We’re last in the league in time of pessession

        • jabostick

          I hear you, and not commenting either way on the approach. One side says losing TOP = loss, Chip says losing # of plays = loss. Both statements have been accurate in all 4 games so neither is disproving the other

        • anon

          we were close in top in the broncos game — doesnt mean game was close.

  • Lenny A Duncan

    Hey I’m petitioning the Birds to let me spread my Fathers Ashes at the Linc. I know they have turned this down before but if your right and it will never work, whats the harm of taking 2 seconds to sign. 1

    http://www.change.org/petitions/philadelphia-eagles-let-me-spread-my-dad-s-ashes-at-the-linc

  • Weapon Y

    Sheil, excellent article as always. Also, I really like the new format of Birds 24/7. It looks really good.