Eagles Wake-Up Call: Progress On Defense?

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Following the Eagles’ 17-3 loss to the Cowboys, the team’s defensive players did their best to stick to the script.

Win as a team, lose as a team.




But the truth was the defense kept the Eagles in the game. That's something no one saw coming beforehand.

"If you had told me going in that we could hold Dallas to 17, I would have thought that would be a really good chance of us winning that football game," Chip Kelly said.

The Eagles gave up 34.5 points per game through the first four weeks of the season. In the last three, that number has been chopped down to 19.3. Quality of opponent has to be taken into consideration. The first quarter of the schedule included matchups against the Broncos and Chargers. The last three have included games against the Giants and Bucs.

But Sunday featured a quality opponent, and Billy Davis' crew held up well for the most part against a Cowboys team that had been second in scoring. They pressured Tony Romo (two sacks, two INTs, 59.6 completion percentage), kept Jason Witten in check (four catches, 48 yards) and stopped the run (Dallas averaged 2.8 YPC).

One key was Davis' blitz packages. Per Pro Football Focus, the Eagles sent extra pressure on 18 of Romo's 50 dropbacks. On those plays, he completed 55.6 percent of his passes and averaged just 5.6 YPA.

"We were changing it up," Davis said. "We brought some all-out blitzes at him and we brought some overload and some different type things. But we just knew with that kind of a passing attack, and they were gonna come and give us no backs, that we just had to give him different looks. One of the looks was pressure."

As with everything else, there is the matter of expectations. Kelly expects the offense to be prolific and among the league's best. He hopes that the defense can improve and just be good enough.

"I've seen our defense every single week continue to grow and get better," Kelly said. "I think they've got a better understanding of what Billy and that staff over there are trying to do. ...I've always felt the effort has been there defensively. But now all of a sudden, some of the techniques are starting to shine through. The whole group is putting it together, and everybody's on the same page. ...If we continue to play with that effort and do a better job from a technique standpoint, I think we're going to be OK over there."

WHAT YOU MISSED

A position-by-position game review of the Eagles' offense.

Eagles seventh-round pick Jordan Poyer is headed to Cleveland.

The Eagles have signed LB Emmanuel Acho and released CB Shaun Prater, writes T-Mac.

The weekly snap count analysis shows a bump for Vinny Curry and a dip for Bryce Brown.

Kelly updates the status of Michael Vick and Nick Foles.

Our new feature, the Zone Read, will post the morning after every game. It includes locker room leftovers, play breakdowns, five thoughts on the state of the team and more.

Tony Romo had words of encouragement for Matt Barkley following the game.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News takes a look back at Sunday's game:

In six quarters against the Giants and Bucs, Foles completed 11 of 13 third-down passes for 92 yards. Against the Cowboys, he was 2-for-10 for 16 yards with one first down. Throw in Matt Barkley’s 2-for-4, 2 interception third-down performance and Eagles quarterbacks were a collective 4-for-14 for 52 yards with two interceptions, one sacks and just three first downs on third down.

Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com looks at the Eagles' QB decisions this offseason:

Smith is a more interesting case of what-if. He was taken by the New York Jets four picks after the Eagles took tight end Zach Ertz in the second round. Smith is 4-3 as a starter, including wins against Atlanta and New England. The Eagles are 3-4 with Vick and Foles. Right now, it is hard to imagine either of them being the Eagles’ long-term answer at quarterback.

So even if Smith turned out not to be the ideal franchise quarterback for Kelly, wouldn’t the Eagles be better off with a 23-year-old Smith? His presence wouldn’t stop them from seeking one of the promising quarterbacks in the 2014 draft. And it would allow them to trade either Foles or Smith, whichever brought greater relative value, after this season.

COMING UP

We'll hear from the coordinators and talk to players at the NovaCare Complex.

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  • 1972

    Hey Sheridan, SHUT THE HELL UP!!!
    Now about the defense. I hope Sunday wasn’t an aberration, but the fact still remains that we have an aging trent cole who cant get pressure anymore, nate allen who never makes plays, we’re relieved when we don’t hear his name called all game. Average corners and d lineman that cant play the position because they’re naturally 4-3 guys.
    I’m hoping the scheme can continue to fool QB’s because when vick comes back we score 30 a game. And despite the lousiness of this week we’re still in this thing. Im staying positive

    • anon

      I disagree on the lineman — i think we are playing a lot more 4-down looks especially when we are in nickel which helps those guys get good pass rushes on passing downs.

      • 1972

        I like curry and cox. but cox only had one good game this year (tampa) and curry wants out because of his playing time. Thornton is a very good run stopper but he’s not a great player. And im getting a little tired of hearing all the praise he’s getting.
        Curry COX and Graham should get the majority of the snaps when it comes to passing downs.
        I don’t wanna here about coles relentlessness or thorton disrupting plays. Get the 3 top draft picks in there and let them produce!!!!

        • anon

          Cole may not get to the QB but he gets to the RB. Curry has been getting more playing time every week. Looking at the film i understand why he wasn’t playing before — only pass rushing no gap responsibility. Cox is getting better he’s basically a rookie again in this new system — i’m happy with the progress.

          You saw the stats from the Dallas game — it’s only b/c of our bad luck that we didn’t come away with a win.

          • 1972

            All I keep hearing is how Curry and Cox are best suited for the 4-3. Do you think they’ll reach their star potential in there current positions??? And really like both of those guys a lot, but we get zero pass rush when we don’t blitz

          • anon

            We need a nose tackle. Maybe that’s Benny maybe we get someone else. But i think B Davis has recognized that and we play 4 down lineman more than before.

            Can’t believe the season is half over.

          • aub32

            I hear you but it’s hard to argue with what our D has done the past 3 weeks. I was really down on this D, but they have done very well against the run in recent weeks, and that includes a game against Doug Martin. Curry is getting more and more PT. We are playing more and more nickel. I have no problem with having Cole, Barwin and Thorton on the field on possible run/passing downs.

          • Dutch

            Barwin can’t get off blocks nor can he beat tackles in the Conference. But he looks good in Philly because of the missed tackles of Kendricks and Ryan. It’s not hard to look better then either Ryan or Kendricks.

          • aub32

            Barwin has looked good against the run. He’s not a premier pass rusher, but he would be a starter on most teams. We still need our stud OLB, but Barwin is a good player on the other side.

          • Dutch

            No he has not in my opinion, Barwin is Pancake of the Year award winner, he can get no movement against the offensive linemen in this conference. For all the talk of his pass defense abilities before the year he’s the least likely to defend against a crossing tight end or running back.

            He’s a major disappointment for the money and fanfare that came with his signing. He’s proven to be no better than Ernie Sims.

            He’s of no consequence in the NFC as i predicted when he was signed from Houston, he can’t get to the QB consistently and isn’t much in run defense, but again it’s not hard to be better than what the Eagles have in either case.

        • Dutch

          Cox primary responsibility in this scheme is not to get into the backfield but rather to take up blockers. He’s doing his job in this defense and, in doing so his stats aren’t going to look all that great. For Cox to stand out like he did last year he needs to be in another scheme.

          • JofreyRice

            Combined Sacks hits and Hurries for 3-4 DEs, per PFF:

            1. Cameron Jordan – 34
            2. JJ Watt – 32
            3. Kyle Williams – 31
            4. Fletcher Cox – 30

            He’s ahead of guys like Justin Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Ray McDonald, and from reading what Sheil and Tim have reported, the coaches actually credit him with more pressure than PFF does.

            He was a little quiet–never bad–as he got adjusted, but he’s come along just fine. I was worried about squandering his skills in the 2 gap 3-4, but talent rises. Cox is really one of the few picks that wasn’t screwed up.

          • Richard Colton

            That’s enough for me – Howie “at least I don’t screw up the first round pick” Roseman for GM of the year!

    • Richard Colton

      Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with Sheridan. Would the Eagles be better positioned for a future Superbowl run with Geno Smith? I haven’t seen anything from him that suggests that. If we’re playing the “what if” game…What if we drafted Kiko Alonzo in the 2nd round like a lot of us wanted? If I got a redo between Ertz/Smith/Alonzo – I’m taking the duck.

      • anon

        Smith if judged by his stats looks terrible, both of our QBs are playing better. Geno is winning b/c of that D and the run game. He makes more plays with his legs than his arms.

        • BlindChow

          Geno had some awful games before Rex Ryan shackled Marty Mornhinweg to the run. It’s pretty amazing how balanced they’ve been the last few games.

          • aub32

            He was awful just last week. He has one terrible game then a good game. This isn’t a case of him having bad games early then fixing them.

          • Dutch

            Against the Falcons he set the jets rookie completion record, 80% so he can’t be looking that bad on a consistent basis and this sunday he played Brady to a draw in defeating the Patriots in a come from behind win one of 3 come from behind wins this season.

            It’s pretty ridiculous to assess he’s not prepared or a quality addition to the Jets at this point.

          • aub32

            That’s not what I said. I said he was awful last week against the Steelers. He has a good game then follows it with a terrible game.

          • Dutch

            I’m ok with what you said, I think you were correct. Basically I’m agreeing with you.

          • Maggie

            Sounds like a rookie to me. A rookie with MM for an OC.

          • aub32

            This MM things needs to quit. Have you watched Geno play. Have you seen some of his TOs? They aren’t Marty’s fault. You can blame being a rookie. I’m ok with that. The kid should get better, ut this notion that he is doig this inspite of MM is ridiculous. Let some stuff go people.

          • LeClaw

            He is halfway through his rookie year…I think a 50% good/bad games is stellar

            I still don’t like him for the Eagles but he fits the Jets well and you would do well to wait for him to get real WR who can get separation and a TE who doesn’t drop every other pass

          • Dutch

            It’s probably not a good idea to have a rookie getting adjusted to the speed of the game throwing the ball 40 plus times a game, it’s difficult enough he doesn’t have a quality running back to take some of the heat off his drops, but he’s winning with nothing to depend on in their backfield or out on the flanks of that offense. His best receiver in the route was just suspended he’s going to look worse before he looks any better losing weapons already this season.

            Even if Sanchez returns, Geno Smith is going to be the Jets QB moving forward.

        • Dutch

          Geno is playing with what amounts to be replacement players on the Jets offense, there’s a piecemeal running back committee and absolutely nothing outside or at tight end. The Eagles should have taken Smith with what would be less of a gamble in the second round.

          To justify the selection of Ertz at that spot, Zach Ertz is going to have a more productive career than Smith, and at this point with no support on Offense Geno is hands down the better choice.

          If he didn’t work out it’s not like the Eagles don’t have a history of blown second round selections and Geno commands that kind of respect being he had a productive career at West Virginia.

          • Maggie

            I watched NUMEROUS scouts, GM’s, commentators ,coaches, etc., before the draft. NOBODY was very hot on either Geno Smith or EJ Manuel. Yet both have played quite well, for rookies, before EJ’s injury. They have won or lost with their team, coaches’ play calling and some weak officiating. They both look like future winners. Scouting and drafting still is largely a crap-shoot, and sitting in a little dark room presuming to know more than all the “experts” is foolish.

          • Dutch

            Probably the same inept talent evaluators who rated Dion Jordan over the Georgia Linebackers. How mind boggling it was to hear Eagles fans throw their support behind drafting Jordan with pick 4 of this draft. Jordan just was not convincing to me or looked like a top 10 pick and he’s not playing like one.

      • 1972

        Geno has a top 4 defense in the league. If we had that. we’d be undefeated right now. What really should have happened in the draft was secondary help early, instead of ertz and logan… we should have gotten a pass rushing lb and a safety in those rounds

        • Andy124

          BPA. They may have misevaluated who the BP was, but it was the right strategy. Obvsiously, too early to tell who the BP’s were.

          I agree with Mr. Colton’s assessment of the early results.

          • 1972

            I hate that strategy, that’s why we have barkley.
            And I definitely don’t think ertz was the best player available. Geno smith or Kiko Alonzo would have been the better picks.
            If u have a good enough evaluator you can draft for need.
            Apparently we don’t have that lol

          • Andy124

            Did you just upvote my BPA strategy then say you hate that strategy? lol. That’s awesome.

            If you hate BPA as a strategy, we’ll just have to agree
            to disagree. I think there’re certain allowances in that strategy that are assumed, and maybe you think I’m not making those allowances, or maybe we just have an irreconcilable philosophical divergence. It’s all good.

          • 1972

            I up voted the misevaluated portion of your post lol.

          • Andy124

            Ok. Just to be clear, add emphasis to the “may” part of “may have misevaluated”.

            I am disinclined in general to rush to conclusions on players.

          • Richard Colton

            sometimes I up vote positions I disagree with, just because they’re thought provoking or interesting. I save my down votes for douche-bags.

          • 1972

            yeah, that too lol

          • B-West

            My two cents… I think it depends on the current state of your team and roster as well. Given the state of the Eagles at draft time this past year, they just needed talent any and everywhere they could get it. I think you go with almost a pure BPA at that point. If you’re in that contending neighborhood entering a season, I think it makes more sense to try to align need with your draft pick.

          • Andy124

            Personally, I wouldn’t weight need any heavier when I was close than when I wasn’t. It should already factor in as a tie-breaker. Go beyond that and you risk drafting Jarrett in the second round.

            Granted, that was probably more of a talent evaluation and coaching failure than it was a strategy failure.

          • Richard Colton

            Not Howie’s fault, I have voluminous notes to prove it.

          • Andy124

            He still making plays in New York?

          • cliff henny

            my guess is every strategy works as long as team stay consistant and the guy pulling the trigger knows what he’s doing. cough cough…howie

          • JofreyRice

            See, I actually agree with your caveat, but not the overall strategy.

            I believe you have to use the early rounds to go after needs, but the evaluation has to be correct. In the case of Jarrett and Allen, they needed a S. The thinking was sound. The execution, and the evaluation was off. In the case of Allen, somehow they must have come to the conclusion that either Brandon Graham >> than anyone they could have gotten in the 2nd, or that Allen was close enough to Earl Thomas that the falloff wasn’t that great.

          • anon

            Take BPA, worst case you can trade or go through FA. Stinks taking people too high out of need that you just cut years later. All the guys we moved off the books we got NO (high) picks for. I think that says all you need to know about our draft.

          • JofreyRice

            So I always come back to the case where you have 3 or 4 really good MLB’s in the draft, like in 2012. Should Carolina have selected Bobby Wagner in the second, after taking Luke Kuechly in the first? How about Demario Davis, in the third? If they really had those guys rated out as the best players available, and were going by that strategy, then that would be perfectly reasonable, even though they already had Jon Beason, Thomas Davis and James Anderson in the fold in CAR.

            You need to line up 11 starter on each side of the ball. The early rounds of the draft is where you get guys to do that.

          • Richard Colton

            It’s a good point JR, but you’re pointing to a position with one starter. Team needs 2 OTs, 2 OGs, 2 ILBs, 2 OLBs (in a 3-4), 2 DTs, 2 DEs (in a 4-3), 3 CBs – and I’m not even including rotational players.

            Pure sake of the argument here, lets assume that the A) the Eagles hired an outstanding talent evaluator and B) The QB question is not in play. Say when the Eagles pick, there’s an OT graded at 95 and a CB graded at 89 (good chance this happens btw considering what the class is shaping up to look like). Who do you take? Me? Im going with the OT – even if Peters is still on the team.

          • JofreyRice

            So many other factors, but I’d go with the CB.

          • Token

            All this talk on draft strategy.

            Regardless of if Howie is going for need or BPA, he cant pick good players. Isnt it all kind of worthless?

            Most likely this franchise will be stuck in mediocrity until a solid GM is in place.

            I do not trust Chip Kelly making personnel calls based on his first offseason of input.

            But this first round should be easy. They have months to figure out what QB they like best. Then they just have to figure out how to trade up and get him.

            The Chip Kelly era hinges on this QB pick.

          • Richard Colton

            “The Chip Kelly era hinges on this QB pick.” – truth

          • Andy124

            Random recollection: I think Lawlor was extremely high on Nate Allen.

            I think we’re probably talking about shades of grey here, rather than mutually exclusive strategies.

            We’ve already said that need should be weighted in the evaluation process. How much weight is the point of difference.

            If the best two players on your board are a TE that your scouts say can make multiple pro-bowls and a safety that your scouts say should be a pretty good starter, you take the TE even if you really need a safety.

            In the end, being correct in your evaluations more often than the competition is really all that matters. I think we all agree on that.

          • JofreyRice

            I dunno. In fairness, S is a very hard position to evaluate. Lawlor’s wheelhouse is LB’s, he really seems to know his stuff there. Random note, from reading various guys takes before the draft and comparing the results, it seems like dratniks have a certain position that they really excel at evaluating.

            If you’re talking about a player you’d rate out at 95 versus one you’d rate out at 85, yeah, I’d agree, so maybe it is just a shades of grey thing. Couched as a guy that will make multiple probowls versus just a starter, obviously, I’m not going to argue against that.

            Also, the larger point, which we agree on, is regardless of strategy, the point of utmost importance is the evaluation itself.

          • Richard Colton

            generally speaking, when you look at how the best teams have been built, BPA is the way to go. Caveat – throw BPA out the window when it comes to QB. And of course, some positions are more important than others, so that needs to be factored into BPA as well.

            otherwise you wind up with a marginal center in the first round the year before your team enters salary cap hell. G-d I hate the Cowboys.

          • 1972

            I hate em too lol.. But you cant make your point and then throw out the top position in the league. It all has to be accounted for.
            That cowboy pick was just idiocy. Even if a center was a need or the bpa you cant take him there.
            So really like you said it has to be on a case by case basis.
            Its an effective strategy for some, I just prefer drafting for need. Especially when you have a ton of holes. There had to be someone there besides barkley last year.
            You guys like that pick???

          • Richard Colton

            QB is just unique. IMO – its the only position that justifies reaching for in the draft. When you need one, its automatically your number one need. When do you have one, its almost impossible to take one early, because he isn’t going to play.

            So yeah, I guess that’s my strategy – modified BPA.

          • cliff henny

            think it’s combo of BPA along with weighted value for position. for example Reid seemed to think linebackers were worthless, so he weighted less important than d-end. so equal talent would mean d-end gets much higher grade. giants, they dont seem to value o-line heavily. guess is every team seems to value all positions differently, almost have to with salary cap. have a feeling kelly weighs dbs lowest, think that good safeties/corners can play above talent level with better front 7’s(rarely hear him discuss secondary, and when he does switches conversation to pressure on qb). agree, qb is whole different animal, until you have a guy you think can win week in week out, the search is on.

          • Richard Colton

            You can always tell when we get blown out, because we immediately start talking draft out of despair. It’s Pavlovian.

          • cliff henny

            jan-draft day(is it april or may, think they added a month to our suffering) are going to be ugly in here! token and i are already starting on hundley vs manziel if mariota isnt available.

          • Richard Colton

            going to (hopefully) disagree with you there. QB is so notoriously difficult to evaluate, nobody will be able to say with certainty that a guy will 100% be a star or not – Peyton and Luck are once-in-a-generation exceptions. And by that point, Vick will be out of the conversation, so I think it will be a lot more rational.

          • cliff henny

            rational-eagles fans…yeah, it’s going to be ugly. just have to hope whoever they pick is the right guy.

          • Richard Colton

            never mind…I just re-read my post. I take it back.

          • Maggie

            You realize that “Pavlovian” means a lot of drooling dogs? And, in reference to your reply of a few days ago, I DO get the endless human need for a scapegoat. I just don’t like it. Also, in reference to an even earlier reply of yours, trying to belittle me, Maggie is a screen name, just like Richard Colton. NOW do you understand?

          • Richard Colton

            conditioned stimulus (we lose)…conditioned response (we spend an entire day talking 2014 draft). A bunch of drooling dogs is the Cleveland Browns. God you’re thick. I have no idea what I said to you last week darling, but assuming the internet works in Canada, you’re going to have to be quicker than that.

          • Andy124

            Well, you hit “Post” seconds before me.

          • Richard Colton

            No it’s better that way, maybe the message will hit home, I just hope she wasn’t obsessing over it all day. I’ll show him…I vaguely remember something I saw on a poster once…

          • Andy124

            You realize that “Pavlovian” means a lot of drooling dogs?
            I assume this is some kind of joke and that you realize Pavlovian doesn’t mean a lot of drooling dogs, right? Pavlov’s experiment involved drooling dogs, but the term Pavlovian is intentionally generalized to refer to any learned response (talking draft out of despair) to a given simuli (getting blown out). Poetic license granted, just making sure it was being used

          • aub32

            Break it down for her 124

          • theycallmerob

            Fail on the pavlov

          • Andy124

            These are the allowances I was referring to.

          • JofreyRice

            The Ravens draft for need. They have a pretty good evaluator. The Steelers draft for need. Even though they’re having a down year, I think they’ve got a pretty good track record.

            And BPA according to whom? Howie? This roster sucks. Guys like Kurt Coleman and Casey Matthews wouldn’t make other NFL squads. The poor ST’s play, year after year, regardless of Coach, is indicative of a lack of talent at the back end of the roster. That means you may think you’re getting the BPA, but there are better players you’re missing.

          • Richard Colton

            I was having a pretty good morning until you said caseymatthews

          • B-West

            Those are the two biggest possible outliers. The Steelers are probably the best drafting organization in the history of the league, and its very possible that The Great Oz actually does have a crystal ball.

            It would be awesome if the Eagles got on that level, but that is definitely the gold standard.

          • JofreyRice

            So what should they be aspiring to?

            Ted Thompson drafts for need in Green Bay, too. So does Jerry Reese in NY. So does Trent Baalke in SF. It’s not magic, no crystal balls necessary. Ozzie Newsome spent time on the road and put work in to be able to identify talent. Does that mean he’s personally pouring through tape of every obscure prospect? Nope, but when it comes down to making the decision when they’re on the clock, he’s got a great advantage of looking at the guys the personnel department has whittled down and picking the right one, based on his real-world experience.

            If we’re talking outliers, then we’re talking about our GM. As a guy who cut his teeth massaging the salary cap, he’s really the one fighting the long odds to be successful. There aren’t too many Ron Wolf’s in the history of the NFL.

          • Andy124

            My understanding is that GB is notorious for drafting BPA regardless of need.

            I’ve also never heard that Balt. and Pit. were consistently drafting for need before.

          • JofreyRice

            Look at this year’s draft for Balt, Pit, and GB and tell me they weren’t drafting for need.

            Pitt: James Harrison => Jarvis Jones, No Running Game => Leveon Bell, Mike Wallace => Markus Wheaton.

            Balt: Ed Reed => Matt Elam, Ray Lewis => Arthur Brown

            GB: No DL that can rush the passer => Datone Jones, No running game => Eddie Lacey, Poor protection for A. Rodgers => D. Bakthiari

            This is not the benefit of hindsight, it was clear what needs these teams had going into the draft.

            I’ll allow that as the draft progresses, you start to look at BPA, because at some point, the talent level drops from guys you project as starters to guys that fill out the roster and hopefully develop into starters. But the key point is, the first few rounds of the draft is where you have to address your critical needs. If not then, where? The really good GM’s (Ozzie) make a plan B, in case the guy they pick isn’t quite where they thought he was.

          • Andy124

            Without seeing those teams’ boards, we can’t really know if the guys they drafted were at the top or not. I would argue that OL was the biggest need for both GB and Pitt, but that’s not where they went first. I would argue that WR was the biggest need for Balt, and again, not their first target.

            One thing that jumps out is that Jarvis Jones didn’t have ideal measurables. Matt Elam had good combine numbers, but was a little short. They drafted football players, not numbers on paper.

          • JofreyRice

            Of course that’s true, but the same can be said of “BPA”. I think quite often this “BPA” thing is based on the media’s representation of who the BPA is–for instance, in the case of Mark Berkley.

            I maintain they drafted for need. You can quibble about their “greatest need”, but to your point, that’s really something only the GM’s of those team’s can assess. Those orgs lost players that contributed to their teams at a very high level, or had positions where they were sorely lacking, and replaced them in the early rounds of the draft. You can really make the same case with SF, trading up for Reid after losing Goldson, etc.

          • Andy124

            I think my reply to your other post applies here equally. Shades of grey.

          • Dutch

            Neither of the Georgia Linebackers had desirable measurables, or where idea citizens but if you watched their development at Georgia it was clear they are solid football players. Selecting either of them was virtually a no brain decision. Similar was the kid from Oregon playing beside Dion Jordan. It’s quite obvious now that the wrong linebacker at Oregon was selected first.

          • B-West

            Because out of the box management and player evaluation isn’t the trend? Look at all the number-heads dominating the front offices of good teams around the sports world. You want another former player like we got with the Flyers or the Phils?

            Look, Howie might be trash. Its very possible. But hindsight evaluation of the draft is such a waste of time. People who evaluate drafts for a living have graded the 12 and 13 drafts very high post draft.

          • JofreyRice

            No, I can’t remember ever stating we needed a former player. I think if you look at the NFL’s top 100, you can tell that players may have weird views on each other.

            I think if you look around the NFL, you’re going to find that pretty much all the GM’s of teams with the most talented rosters have a background in scouting. Do they use every tool at their disposal, in regards to advanced metrics and statistical modeling? I’m sure they do. I’m not arguing against that. I’m not a luddite that wants to go back to guys with stop watches and projector reel film study.

            What I would argue when it comes down to crunch time, and making that critical decision, I feel like those guys just have a little extra advantage that guys without the background do not. Such as our Toilet GM.

            And, if you can’t use “hindsight” to evaluate the decisions of a GM, then what can you use? Foresight based on what the media thought, at the time of the pick? That doesn’t seem very logical. How else could you possibly evaluate the job a GM is doing other than looking at the results of the decisions he’s made versus other GMs?

          • Richard Colton

            up vote for Luddite. I’m still holding out hope for Howie.

          • B-West

            Hindsight in the sense of cherry picking the few standout players that were drafted after a particular Eagles pick, and complaining about how we should have got that guy, that is a waste of time. And these guys work on TV, but its their entire gig to evaluate college players and thus the draft.

            I don’t even like Howie this much, I just end up defending him by default. I don’t feel like people appreciate the insane amount of variability involved with the draft. Just in this conversation, you have cited the Steelers and Giants as being well run organizations. I mean, seems like a couple bad drafts have caught up with them, right? The 9ers are solid, but they are currently buffered by a ton of top picks from years of incompetence. And their 12 draft is looking terrible right now. Ozzie is Ozzie, I don’t have an argument there, other than to say hes probably one of a kind.

            This feels an awful lot like the definition of insanity tho. Feel free to respond, but I’m going to try to tolerate work for a while.

          • JofreyRice

            I don’t know what else to say. Seems like you’re satisfied with the way things are run, and think Howie’s doing a decent job considering how hard being a GM is. Hey, you might end up being right. We’ll have to see.

          • Maggie

            Love to see another person on this board who remembers that a team has a whole slew of people who evaluate talent. Also, most of the personnel department was replaced this year, after Gamble came over. The reality is that the most important individual on any team just might be the no-name scout endlessly travelling the country watching high school and university games, then reporting to the FO.

          • Dutch

            That cancels out the Eagles personnel dept because every year they miss out on local talent including missing the grade on two University of Delaware Super Bowl Quarterbacks, and a load of receivers from the southern New Jersey communities.

            How in the hell does the Eagles miss out on selecting Penn State Linebackers year after year? Sean Lee should be filling the middle for the Eagles.

            The Eagles have long been more interested in numbers crunchers as their General Manager than an appropriate Talent Scout.

          • Maggie

            Pittsburgh LOST for 40 years, until Chuck Noll was hired as Head Coach AND started telling the GM and scouts what kind of player he wanted.

          • Richard Colton

            and anyway none of this matters. Eagles have had an uninterrupted string of luck on draft day. It just so happens that the player they drafted filled a need AND was the highest player on their board.

        • Maggie

          Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Hindsight. It’s wonderful.

      • JofreyRice

        I think Geno was overanalyzed b/c the rest of the QB class was so weak. He’s up and down week to week, and flashes really great plays along with plays that would make you scream if he was your QB. That’s kind of what rookies do, IMO. Even the good ones.

        We’ve gone over the stats of first year QB’s that ended up being really good. The thing you look for is the flash of natural talent within the context of the NFL, to see how they fit. I think Geno’s shown that already. Some of the throws he was making against Buffalo and Atlanta were just awesome;The poise at the end of the games. The ability to handle the spotlight in NY.

        The chance they develop it from there comes down to character evaluation (the player’s work ethic) and the ability of the coach to maximize the things the player does well and hide the things he does poorly. Personally, I think Geno’s got a great work ethic, and is going to end up being a solid/good QB, which is what I said at the time.

        • cliff henny

          geno scared the bejesus out of me. something about his demeanor was total turn off. god bless him and the jets if he succeeds, but he seemed like way too big of a risk, especially in kelly’s first draft for eagles to take. feel like they’ll be similar talent, at least, available in next draft, question is, can howie realize it and make it happen. lead up to ’14 draft is going to a brutal…some serious arguements are going to be had of this MB

          • JofreyRice

            eh, he kind of reminds me of Kobe. Can be a prick to the media, but has a strong desire to get better every season.

          • cliff henny

            he was a sulking prick draft day. can tell you i was so mentally focus sending negative brain waves to howie not to draft him…i forgot all about sending negative ju-ju on barkley. i took a ten take when saw that pick coming across the bottom update banner

          • Richard Colton

            Did they happen to cross paths with Geagle’s “do anything to draft Dion Jordan” brain waves?

          • cliff henny

            no way…be like crossing streams in ghostbusters

          • Max Lightfoot

            Have to agree. I was glad when we didn’t draft Geno and I’m glad now. He could turn out well for the Jets, but there’s too much drama – do we really need another thin-skinned QB in this town after years of McNabb?

        • Richard Colton

          OK – so, money on the line, if you had the same round two d0-over, would you take Geno Smith over Ertz?

          • anon

            Ertz. Is geno better than what you have? Geno’s completion rate is 50%. He’s got way more TOs than TDs.

          • JofreyRice

            Yes. But I would have preferred a S there.

            Before we saw the CK offense, none of us really knew anything about what he was looking for in a QB. I knew we needed a S, and have needed one for years. So a bit of a copout, but my honest position. I wouldn’t have been comfortable going after Smith without knowing what Kelly was planning. Now, I think he’d be a good fit.

          • Richard Colton

            They would have burned the city down if we took ANOTHER 2nd round safety. Guys would have been leaping off the Walt Whitman screaming “Earl Thomas” the whole way down.

  • ohitsdom

    Phil Sheridan, just wow. Advocating a second round pick on Geno, only to spend a first round pick on another QB the next year? What an idiot.

    • damrvrhunter

      I get your point: seems like a waste of picks. But given the relevance of the QB position maybe it is not so crazy taking one high every draft until you get a Franchise quality one. It would be outside the box thinking.

      • anon

        chicken and egg, is the qb bad bc you dont have any weapons around him or are the players bad bc of the qb.

        • Kevin

          I agree. I am of the ‘egg’ school, I think you need a solid organization and talent level in place before you put rookie QB’s in the fire. Most rookie success stories are teams that are functional and well built before they take over (Capernick and Wilson as examples). I am OK if the Eagles don’t take a QB in the upcoming draft and continue to build the team… S, LB, Big WR, RG… and get one in the upcoming years.

          • LeClaw

            Then we will build our way into a 8-8 team and out of a top pick for a quality signal caller…

            Those teams you named wallowed for years prior to getting GOOD COACHES

            A franchise QB has a shelf life of 10 years, I’d rather nab him and put him on the bench or on the fire and then build up around him filling the holes with players who catering to the QB’s strengths. Do not mess around like the Lions, Jags, Browns, Chiefs have done for so many years

          • Kevin

            Top Ten picks are still, at best, a 50/50 proposition to find a franchise level QB based on the drafts from 1999. (You can take a look at the list over at Tommy Lawlor’s Igglesblitz)

            Other than QB’s with the last name of Manning, no Top Ten pick has one a Superbowl since 2000.

            What you need is a good coach and solid organization. Those teams I names picked QB’s in Round #2 and Round #3.

            It becomes about the coach getting a QB that meshes with his vision, whether it is a 1st round pick or 4th round pick. Those teams you named didn’t have good coaches. The success of the Eagles will depend more on Chip Kelly, then on whether they get a franchise QB next year, or the year after that, IMO.

          • LeClaw

            I said it was about getting a coach first…then a QB second

            If a team doesn’t take a QB with their first pick, then they do not view them as a franchise player but instead as a developmental prospect that has the chance to be big. I find it hard to believe you risk not taking a guy that can fit your franchise like a glove with your first draft pick. Your chances are greater at finding your QB with a higher pick and a quality cover corner/safety with a later pick

            They were lucky with Russell Wilson (whom I thought went to late regardless) & I do not view Kaepernick as a quality signal caller as the 49ners team comes and go with Frank Gore’s rushing ability each game

      • ohitsdom

        I’m not sure that strategy has ever worked out. I’m fine with the Barkley pick and a high one next year, but you can’t build a team by using 2 top 2 round picks in 2 years. We have too many holes- safety, cornerback, outside linebacker, WR…

    • southy

      Rather have a second-year Ertz and a shiny new QB next year than 2 guys at the same position that I’m not in love with.

      TEs tend to take a while to grow into the position. Much better to have Ertz coming into his own as a safety blanket for whomever we go with next year.

  • B-West

    Romo alluded to the wind being a factor… Given how much both defenses exceeded expectations, I think it makes sense if their was something (like the wind) aiding the defensive side of the ball. It would also help to explain just what the heck happened with Foles.

    • Chuck Dougherty

      That’s what I been saying…it looked like a windy day… both Romo and Foles were over throwing the ball, or were off target…
      Not that it’s an excuse…these guys are pro’s and should be able to adjust…which Romo apparently did, and Foles didn’t. ..
      :-/

      • anon

        hahaha. Even if the wind is messing with the ball — adjust.

    • 1972

      Romo threw for 300 hundred yards in that wind. The explanation is simple, Foles choked when the lights were brightest. I’ve seen enough of that with mcnabb .Draft A QB

      • B-West

        Ah man… See, now, why you gotta go throw around the word choke and then throw Donnie under the bus like you’re somebody?

        Foles was awful, I know that. I’m not on the “Foles is HOFer!” team, but I also know hes not quite as bad as he was Sunday.

        And I didn’t put the words in Romo’s mouth, he said the wind played a factor. He got 317 on 47 attempts, so the efficiency was definitely lacking for whatever reason. Maybe it was a little windy.

        Props to the defense for having a good game and keeping the points off the board, but given their track record this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got a little bit of help from the conditions.

        • 1972

          That Arizona championship game still pisses me off.
          And nick foles is alex snith with less arm strength Imo…
          So we can keep nick and build a top 3 defense or we can draft a qb in a year of top tier qbs coming to the nfl.
          I choose the latter

          • bentheimmigrant

            And that makes you mad at McNabb? Last I checked he led a comeback, only to have the D give up a drive that took up most of the 4th quarter. and put AZ up by a TD.

          • 1972

            Where in my post did I say I was mad at mcnabb lol. Relax ben, im not going to rehash that game today.
            Ive been attacked by Mcnabb fans Tent Cole fans
            and of all people Clay harbor FANS on this site lol
            You people hear what you wanna hear
            Mcnabb: very good qb, wasn’t good enough to win the big one
            Trent cole : warrior whos run out of gas
            Clay Harbor? CLAY HARBOR STINKS GTFOH!!!!

          • cliff henny

            besides dutch…who is a clay harbor fan?

          • Richard Colton

            who is Clay Harbor?

          • 1972

            You’d be surprised. all preseason I heard. Don’t cut clay harbor he’ll be a beast in this offense.
            Is he still in the league? last I heard Tampa bay

          • cliff henny

            had to make room for those casey touches

          • Dutch

            Not a Harbor fan but there’s no way you can lay claim that Casey is an upgrade over Harbor, which has always been my point.

          • bentheimmigrant

            “pisses me off”… I thought that meant mad… it was in the context of you being asked why you threw McNabb under the bus. Unless it was just a non sequitur.

  • Aziz

    How do you guys feel about us trading for Tayrod Taylor from Baltimore? He can run Chip Kelly’s system, has an arm and is very mobile. The only knock is his height (6’1). He was a six round pick but always looks good in Preseason.

    He can be our QB of the future?

  • aub32

    Geno received two of the biggest gifts I’ve ever seen in half of his wins. Lavonte David and the Pats rookie gift wrapped two of his wins with 15 yard penalties that literally saved the games from being losses. Also, the Jets still have a killer defense. Imagine what people would be saying about the Eagles with our offense and the Jets defense.

    • Richard Colton

      they will next year when Rex Ryan is our DC and we draft Clowney and sign Talib.

      • cliff henny

        you extending vick? bit of an issue with him, the decision needs to be made before draft, and if he’s not resigned will be pretty obvious going qb in first. depending on draft position, who falls etc, moving up will be more expensive since showing desperate hand.

        • Richard Colton

          No way. You misunderstood my fantasy. Eagles finish with the 4th pick again and draft Mariota. Clowney falls because of a terrible set of interviews at the combine, we move up from early 2nd to late first and grab him. And before you dismiss it as pure fancy – if I told you a team could have Joeckal, Barkley and Mantai Te’o this time last year, you would have said I was nuts.

          • cliff henny

            see clowney this past weekend? he’d have to punch every GM in the mouth during each interview…even then, bet one owner with top 10 pick would say ‘well, you probably deserved it..we’re taking clowney’.
            .
            idk, if vick would agree to a 2 yr 10m deal-bones the f out of it, club option 2nd yr, gives illusion we’re not qb shopping, gives young drafted qb 6-8 weeks, plus otas and presseason to learn and relax, when vick gets hurt can step in and takeover.

          • Richard Colton

            Would we have to deal with all of this again? The horde of pretend Eagles fans from Atlanta making excuse after excuse? Seriously Cliff, we need a QB. The paradigm seems to have shifted towards playing rookie QBs sooner rather than later. You want a placeholder? I’m down. Not Vick.

          • cliff henny

            i’m strictly talking draft. we need players. if vick for 5m saved them 2nd and a 3rd, yeah, i’ll deal with 1 more yr of vick (you mean specifically#7, lol, i know). vick will get hurt after 5 or games and turn it over to rookie. pretty much given

          • Richard Colton

            no way – he’s a caricature of them, and besides, no one confuses his opinion with objectivity. I’m talking about atlvickfan and his crew. Like JR said – if a franchise QB is there, sell the farm, get it done.

          • cliff henny

            fair enough. been at this a long time, pretty good at predicting eagles moves. fair warning, is all

          • aub32

            I’m with you. I wouldn’t mind bringing back Vick and trading out of the first so that we have the ammo to get the FSU QB next draft.

          • cliff henny

            famous jameis beat the tar out of my clemson tigers. think he cant come out till ’16, or is he redshirt freshman? thought he was true freshman

          • aub32

            I was in FL this weekend and everyone that I heard mention him said redshirt, but I don’t know for sure.

          • cliff henny

            ok, yeah…no mariota or hundley, not feeling manziel or boyd…i’ll jump on famous jameis bandwagon

          • Andy124

            redshirt

          • aub32

            So you would make team decisions just so you didn’t have to hear from certain fans? Doesn’t sound like a sound GM practice.

          • Richard Colton

            that’s not it, just an added benefit. It’s laborious at this point. Vick isn’t going to be here next year. CK can’t afford to not have his guy by year two. There’s an arc to these things.

          • aub32

            Again that still depends on how the season turns out. The D seems to be getting better. Injuries have crippled the Packers and Bears significantly. We have the Giants and Raiders next. RG3 is looking better, but his defense made McCown look like a HOFer. And did you se the Vikings last night? We could still win this division. Then who knows what happens in the playoffs. It would be very hard for Kelly to explain getting rid of a division winning QB in favor of a rookie that isn’t even on the team. One thing you and other seem to overlook is that FA is before the draft. What happens if Kelly can’t get his guy. Does he just take whatever is available? That doesn’t make sense when you just had a QB take you into the playoffs. You aren’t being very objective, even though you are calling others out for the same.

          • Richard Colton

            sure I am. and your point is well made all the same. everything you said is true, and are good reasons for sticking with Vick this year. But if not this offseason, when is CK going to get his guy? year three? How has that worked out in the past for coaches? Greg Shiano? Brad Childress? You’re pretty reasonable AUB, if you were an NFL head coach, would you be willing to bet your coaching future on Vick?

          • aub32

            Resigning Vick has nothing to do with whether or not Chip gets his QB this offseason. If we had Vick and Boyd, Manziel or another guy Chip liked were available, I hope we do get our guy. Vick is a reassurance. He won’t last long in FA, certainly not past the draft. I don’t want Kelly to “have” to take a QB. Vick allows Kelly the chance to either get his guy or go after someone else who can help this team, like a stud OLB, S, or WR. I look at it like as a better Hasselbeck-Locker situation. We would have a more than capable starter while the rookie gets to ease into the system. Also, given Vick’s track record, he’s all but guaranteed to see some in game action. Again this scenario only work if Vick wins.

          • Richard Colton

            Do you see Vick willingly resigning to be a backup? Yeah he’s been 100% professional this year, but at 34 and in the twilight of his career, I think he’s going to want to start somewhere. As far as QB, yes, in my opinion, Kelly has to have his guy by next year. Dangerous career move not to do it.

          • aub32

            Nope and i am not signing him to be the backup. I would sign his as the starter and make it clear to him that he remains the starter as long as he wins. I mean would you really mind Vick for another year or two if we are winning. To me, that’s all I care about. If Vick is winning, keep on winning. If Vick starts struggling, here’s your chance rookie. Hell I would of had no problem with Foles had he not put on such a crapfest. I have my opinions, but I want wins regardless of what they are. Vick gives the team the best “chance” to win now. If he makes good on those chances, then it only makes sense to give him more chances. None of these rookies are Andrew Luck. They have a lot more potential than the 2013 draft class, but they could all benefit from sitting and learning behind a guy like Vick.

          • Richard Colton

            I hear you, but it’s dangerous for Kelly, which is why I don’t see that scenario playing out. “Keep winning” isn’t exactly right either, is it? More like, stop losing after ’11,’12,’13. But say he does and the team stagnates again. That’s his NFL run, isn’t it?

          • aub32

            That’s pretty much any coach. You win or the owner will find someone who will. Kelly doesn’t seem to play favorites. He also seems to admit mistakes and make changes. He’s even shown that he can make his offense go even without the ideal pieces. He has at least 2 more years here. He has some good starting pieces (O line, DJax, Shady, Boykin, Cox, Curry, Fletcher, Ertz,Thorton, etc.) He also has some young guys that still have a chance to become key players if not good role players.

          • Dutch

            That’s another ridiculous conclusion, what has resigning Vick to do with the Eagles pursuit of their future QB? Kelly has stated he needs two QBs and who is a more fitting compliment to a competent starting Option QB than Mike Vick?

            If there is a choice between who goes and stays in Philly Vick certain has the upper hand over Foles simply because Vick would be the better relief QB in the event of some contingency to Kelly’s preferred option QB.

            If the Eagles were to somehow position themselves to draft Manziel, and he has to sit out a game, the perfect replacement would be Vick. To hell with what the few fans that don’t understand schemes and football think.

          • cliff henny

            Dutch, these guys are all scared of Johnny Philadelphia…i’m seriously sensing it

          • Dutch

            BS, it’s very much your point that because you don’t like the player’s personality you see no value in his return. That’s X Box and Playstation General Management.

            That’s not forward thinking, who’s a better back up on an option team than Vick? I happen to think just because of the offense Kelly runs, if Vick is willing he’s going to be here as a backup if needed. Its apparent that the offense comes to a virtual stand still if there’s a QB under center who poses no threat of running when facing a capable defense.

            I’ve made that assumption on Kelly finding a suitable QB to run his offense.

          • Richard Colton

            I like his personality fine. I think the franchise needs to move on. You could have made an identical argument for keeping McNabb, after all no one had more experience or knowledge running Reid’s modified West Coast Offense than Donnie, but sometimes a team needs to move on.

            I guess the question is this – does the possible benefit gained by keeping Vick just to be a back-up outweigh the risk?

          • aub32

            Yea but Reid got so lucky there. Kolb was not ready and Vick made Reid look like a genius at first. The commotion Vick caused was big enough to make the media forget Reid got rid of Donnie with nothing waiting in the wings. I’m not one to think lightning will strike twice.

          • Andy124

            he’d have to punch every GM in the mouth during each interview
            SEC kinda guy, he might just do it.

          • aub32

            LMAO “you probably deserved it”

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

      I like Geno. He is what rookies QBs look like when they aren’t Luck, RG3, Cam. You can’t just rookies by those performances. He’s shown that he can be a good QB one day. He has poise in the pocket and has made some big throws/plays at time. It’s all there, and I think it’s great he’s on a fairly solid team. Young QBs need that. Much better for their overall success.

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

      “Imagine what people would be saying about the Eagles with our offense and the Jets defense.”

      Then I’d say something like “Superbowl here we come!!!!!” lol