Wake-Up Call: A New Emphasis On Linebacker

Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans on field hyping crowdThe 2012 offseason marked a shift in thinking within the Eagles organization when it came to linebackers.

There was a formula in place during the Joe Banner/Andy Reid reign that helped decide where resources were allocated, and that formula served them well in many respects. The team invested heavily in linemen (both offensive and defensive), cornerbacks and of course the quarterback position. Occasionally they would pony up for a receiver. They prioritized a few positions, went light in other areas and put themselves in a situation where they had the most critical spots (in their view) covered but still enjoyed financial flexibility overall because of their selectivity.

Linebacker, judging by the team’s actions, ranked low on that priority list. Fifteen linebackers were drafted by the Eagles between 1999-2011. Zero were selected in the first round, three were taken in the second round and the remaining 12 were picked in the third round or later. From 2008-11, the Eagles waited until at least the fourth round to pluck a linebacker off the board. Similarly, significant free-agent dollars seldom flowed in the direction of linebackers. Even Jeremiah Trotter — selected in the third round the year before Reid took over — had to go to Washington to get his pay day before eventually re-signing with the Eagles in 2004 for the veteran minimum.


Trotter went to the Pro Bowl in '04, and the Eagles made it all the way to the Super Bowl that season. Those events weren't mutually exclusive, necessarily. In fact, the Eagles recently concluded that there is a link between having a go-to man in the middle and Lombardi trophies, as Howie Roseman explained to Birds 24/7.

"Having a quarterback of our defense, having leadership from our defense, having it from the middle linebacker position...When we went back and studied championship teams, we saw that they all had a quarterback for their defense, and we felt like we really needed one," said Roseman. "And who better than a character guy like DeMeco Ryans?"

In March of '12, the Eagles dealt a fourth-round pick and exchanged third-round picks with Houston for Ryans, who is scheduled to make $6.6 million this season. To put that in perspective, the salaries for all seven of the linebackers on the 2010 roster totaled just under $6.3 million.

Ryans had 115 solo tackles and 16 tackles for loss last season, both highs during the Andy Reid era. Through 11 games this year, the 29-year-old has 133 tackles (94 solo) according to the team with two sacks and two interceptions while serving as the QB on defense that the Eagles were searching for. He has a chance to become the first Eagle to finish the season in the top five in tackles since the team began tracking the stat. (He's currently sixth, per NFL.com).

"We felt like he had a lot of football left in his tank," said Roseman, "and he's showing it now."

One month after trading for Ryans, the Eagles selected Mychal Kendricks with the 46th overall pick in the draft. The only linebacker to be taken higher during Reid's 14 years was Barry Gardner back in '99 (35th overall).

The Eagles have since switched to a 3-4, making linebacker that much more of a priority. Connor Barwin signed a six-year, $36 million deal this offseason to man one of the outside posts. There are now nine active roster spots and some $17.5 million committed to the position. Safe to say, the formula is much different these days on the defensive side of the ball.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Nick Foles and the Eagles are about to be placed in some hot water.

Ryans is contributing in pass defense even though it's not his strength. Sheil explains how with help from the All-22.

How did Sunday's games affect the Eagles? Kapadia takes a look.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

LeSean McCoy talks to Chris McPherson about a moment that helped shape his perspective.

With the Crusaders marching down the field for the go-ahead score late in the game, McCoy suffered a compound fracture of his right ankle. McCoy’s high school career ended right then and there. Bishop McDevitt would not win the state title that year. McCoy’s high school coach, Jeff Weatcher, still has the cleat worn on that day. McCoy still says to him that the cleat should be a championship ring.

“You feel like your dreams are all crashing down,” McCoy said. “Each day, I went out on that field and played, and all that I could think about was going to the NFL and playing ball in college and being on TV playing ball. When that injury happens, you don’t know where your life will go, or where your career will go.”

Peter King has the Eagles ranked 10th in his "Fine Fifteen".

Kudos to Mike Vick for saying the other day he couldn’t justify pulling Nick Foles to return himself to the starting lineup. Everybody can see that, and often the incumbent quarterback can’t.

COMING UP

Eagles are back at it. Chip Kelly will address the media at 11:40 right before practice.

Sheil Kapadia contributed to this story.

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  • theycallmerob

    Demeco for a 4th- and falling back 12 spots in the 3rd- has probably been my favorite FA pickup by Howie. Additionally, it seems like some of the recent picks many hated on just needed some time and proper coaching (who woulda thought?)

    Glad that some of the exclusive HowieHaters have moved on with the Vick fanboys. All it takes is a big home win from No Pick Nick to scare away the trolls and tools.

    • Richard Colton

      you might be eating those words after Cedrick Thornton makes his first pro bowl in a few years. but in all seriousness, linebacker has looked like a strength. Think we can all agree they need an upgrade at OLB, and some depth at ILB.

      • evanphilly

        What, Casey Mathews doesn’t do it for you?

        • Richard Colton

          i hate him so much. apparently he’s this Special Ed, errr…Special Teams stud. Haven’t seen it. and Davis feels comfortable subbing him in for OLB and ILB – so he’s our most versitile linebacker too. Can’t wait till he’s cut. Already have my eye on a few ILBs we can grab in the middle rounds.

          • UncleCarm

            I’m not ready to give up on Mathews yet. If Kelly and the boys can make Nate Allen a player (which I though was an impossible task), maybe they can do it with Mathews.

    • aub32

      Is it a FA pickup if we traded for the guy?

      • theycallmerob

        thanks for the proofreading.

      • cliff henny

        pickup is a pickup, probably better to classify the group as off-season aquisitions, but think we all know where rob is coming from.

    • cliff henny

      sure you mean the real extremes, but howie did deserve some doubt. as with most things eagles, generally better to let it play out. guess if we were a rational group, wouldnt be eagles fans.
      .
      as with vick, i’m with you, really glad fanboys are gone. while he is entertaining, it doesnt translate to winning football. with eagles, winning is more fun for me. why i watch more college, it is more entertaining till the last month of nfl season, especially when have eagles in playoff hunt and get rooting interests.

      • theycallmerob

        Still tough for me to get onboard with college, only because I can’t keep up with all the names, coaching changes, and conference switcheroos. Plus, I accept the NFL as money-grabbers, but find it more disturbing in college so long as the NCAA perpetuates the “student-athlete” myth. I lost a year of eligibility myself for some b.s. I did overseas, so as far as I’m concerned Mark Emmert can go blow a goat.

        And yes, I did mean the extremes, definitely not a slight at folks (including myself) who were wary or doubtful. Just been a long time since folks like GiveMeABreak and HowieDon’tKnow have posted (thankfully, in my opinion). Haters gon’ hate

    • GiveMeABreak

      I’ll not dispute your label of HR-hater but likewise accord you the title of Howie-pologist in chief, with your principal roles being (as you perform them) to defend him from bad picks “because either Andy made those picks or know one knows who made that pick” and then fawn over him for drafts/FAs that do work out. Bottom line: our 6 wins are against teams that have losing records and there remain a plethora of picks from HR’s time as GM that are not defensible including 1s and 2s. BTW, I think posters who choose signature pics to highlight their mancrushes are the ones who deserve to be mocked.

      • theycallmerob

        welcome back! and I’ll always take on arbitrary titles based on weak circumstance and personal grievance, thanks! glad to see you add a lot to the eagles discussion aside from your vendetta postings against ThisIsHowieDoIt

        I’m also thinking, just for you, I may just rotate my avatar through all the mancrushes good acquisitions Howie’s made. (homophobic much?)
        Sticking just with ’12 and ’13, I could go with Cox, Kendricks, Curry, Foles, Boykin, Mathis, Damaris, Polk, Bryce, LJ, Ertz, Logan, Wolff, Barwin, D. Jones, Sconces, Fletch…..is that enough NFL-caliber starters?

        • GiveMeABreak

          See, you did miss me! Then you thoughtfully continue on in your reply and validate my assessment of your postings. Are you sure you want to include Damaris in your list of “starters” (I could question many others but that one seems particularly oblivious)?

          • theycallmerob

            Validate? Damaris was a UDFA; expectations were not exactly through the roof. He’s lasted longer with us than AJ Jenkins (1st rounder for you!) did in SF.

            See, in business, and other industries where management looks at personnel moves, they generally include a principle of “risk and reward”. If you read the reply, you would see I said “NFL-caliber”, not HOF-worthy. Fletch and Sconces- risk < reward. Bryce and Polk in 7th/UDFA? risk < reward. Hiring the best coach available, and not having the ego to undermine him? Guess that counts, unless you're a cowboy fan.
            Go ahead, find another franchise GM that is consistently turning late-round picks and UDFAs into pro-bowl talent. I'll wait. If you take that as validation, so be it; but that's a long list from just 2 years of players contributing to the team right now. And I’m not even bringing up the cap room.

            And I see you’ve ignored my first statement, re: your presence on topics non-Howie related. It’s clear you have a vendetta, whatever. Just a shame someone had to give you a keyboard to share that nonsense with the world. I’m sure Ozzie and Thompson would love for you to hop on their nuts instead, since some of their fans are just as doubtful as you.

            http://www.mercurynews.com/tim-kawakami/ci_24538245/kawakami-san-francisco-49ers-paying-2012-draft

            http://sports.yahoo.com/news/green-bay-packers-ted-thompsons-stock-takes-hit-165900200–nfl.html

            http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000152544/article/baltimore-ravens-set-to-lose-eight-starting-players

        • Andy124

          whoa whoa whoa. Are you trying to steal my ‘Howie do it’ schtick? I copyrighted that man. You owe me some free sunglasses or something.

          • theycallmerob

            I mean, haven’t you seen The Wire? Stealing and killing is just Howie do things down here.

          • Andy124

            Nah, I’m missing out on a lot of references by not watching The Wire, Bad Men, Game of Thrones of Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mostly watching My Little Ponies and Pixar movies at my house. That’s just Howie do it with a 5 year old running the show.

      • Adam

        Aw yeah!

      • Richard Colton

        Tell me jefe. Do you even know what a plethora is?

        • GiveMeABreak

          If you need a definition, you should google it, Senor Macho.

          • Richard Colton

            Well, you just told me that I had a plethora, and I would just like to know if you know what it means to have a plethora.

          • theycallmerob

            Howie was hired as GM in Jan ’10. That would mean the ’10 and ’11 drafts, 1st and 2nd round, I guess is what he/she is referring to. Those 4 epic failures, Howie’s fault of course:

            Plethora: Graham, Nate, Danny, and Jarrett.

            this site shows the last decade for every team. Clicking on just a few other teams, the success rate is far lower than what I imagine GiveMeABreak has in his head. Remember Sergio Kindle (1st, BAL)? Mark Ingram (2nd, NO)? Gabe Carimi (1st, CHI)? But don’t take my word for it:

            http://www.fftoday.com/nfl/drafttracker.php?o=by_team&TeamID=9016

          • Richard Colton

            I don’t blindly accept whatever the team and/or Dave Spadero tell me, but isn’t reasonable to assume that Andy Reid – coach for life, architect of 2004 season, had at least SOME say in the ’10 and ’11 drafts? Since we’ll probably never know the true story, I’m ok with saying everything ’12 and forward belong to Howie. And to your point, of course everything we do is magnified here. Not sure why GMAB doesn’t get that. Like I’ve said before, I’m impressed that he hasn’t wiffed on a high draft pick yet – still need to see the diamond in the rough (not counting a URFA).

          • theycallmerob

            still need to see the diamond in the rough

            see, this is where I place the burden on the coaching staff.
            Beyond 3rd round, the players have developmental aspects but very unlikely to come in and play at a high level. that’s why they’re day 2 and 3 picks. It’s up to the coaches to get them to that level.
            Is Schneider a demi-god in SEA? or has Carroll helped build that team over 4 years? How much credit goes to Baalke and Newsome vs the Harbaughs? Does McCarthy deserve credit for having backups ready when everyone up there is injured?

            ’11 and ’12 had too many egos for even the Great Andy Reid to handle. No chemistry, and the team fell apart. Backups were dysfunctional at best, hence the ST disasters.
            Yet this year, guys like Nate and Ced are playing great. DJax and McCoy are setting career bests. Foles is in the HOF with Manning!
            The likelihood of Howie grabbing a late “diamond” is much greater with Kelly and Co. in place than with the Reid staff. Heck, Wolff may be that guy this year; maybe Kelly does a number on Barkley with a full offseason, or Azz develops the best Kruger brother yet.

          • Richard Colton

            maybe. we’ll see. IMO, it takes more than making solid picks at the top. You have to be smart enough to be lucky at the bottom too. For example, look at all the UFA that were major/solid contributors to the Ravens Superbowl squad. Or 3rd and 4th round stars – Marshall Yanda, Dennis Pitta, etc.

            Here’s what I’d like to see from Howie – this generation’s Brian Westbrook. It isn’t fair to expect a pro bowl player out of a mid round pick, but you need a few to be a championship team.

          • theycallmerob

            I think the BAL roster in 2012 was a little more balanced/top heavy; the best talents were all high picks- Flacco, Rice, Pierce, Oher, Ngata, Suggs, Lewis, L. Webb, J. Smith, Ed Reed, etc. In fact, Pitta and Arthur Jones (DE) are the only 2 guys from Day 3 of the draft (4th round and on) actually playing/contributing, going back at least 5 years.
            It took Yanda years to be the G he is today, they took him and Grubbs in the 1st/3rd in 2007. Imagine 2 G’s in the first 3 rounds…Howie would be run out of town. I like the performance of our 3rd rd picks already, just from the past 2 drafts- Foles and Logan.

            I get the Westbrook thing, but even he was a 3rd (and the best player in the nation in FCS/Div. I-AA, didn’t come out of nowhere). The fact our later-round guys are even on the team, let alone contributing, is huge.

          • Richard Colton

            Just for the record – I’d be OK with another guard or two in the first three rounds this year. 29 and 30 are bad numbers for our interior lads.

          • theycallmerob

            or T, if (as some suppose) Peters eventually gets moved inside. But definitely some young OL for Stout to get his hands on (sticking with the homo erotic theme for the day)

          • Adam

            Peters could also go to RT at a reduced price. He started his career over there. Although he could probably still get LT from another team so he might just walk.

          • theycallmerob

            True. I think it was someone at BGN who first mentioned Peters as a G, but their argument was based on the assumption that one of the young tackles- D. Kelly, Bamiro, or Tobin- eventually earn a role bookending with LJ.
            Wouldn’t mind even 2 OL picks, if one is later or an UDFA. Far and away the oldest position group, and I think it may be slightly tougher to bring in a FA on the line due to the skills required in Kelly’s scheme.

          • Richard Colton

            Believe we’ve settled on Moses from VA in round 3 or 4.

            Geagle and I will be posting the first of our series of 300 Eagles mock drafts later in the day.

          • theycallmerob

            the dancing bear prophet.

            disclaimer- neither Chip Kelly nor Shaun Huls approve of this image

          • Richard Colton

            thats amazing. how did the internet not shut down when you googled “Charlton Heston Moses carrying Twinkie Commandments?”

          • theycallmerob

            took 2 tries; the 1st time, it did. had to reboot:

          • Richard Colton

            So you’re the guy. Figured it was someone in the B’more/DC Metro area.

          • GiveMeABreak

            Well, maybe if any of these failed picks had fallen down the stairs like Kindle did and fractured their skulls and sustained permanent hearing loss after being drafted, then we could say that HR has some similarities to Ozzie beyond their job titles. BTW, the GM who picked Carimi was later fired, not lauded for his drafting acumen. As for Ingram, he is still with the team and if HR were to deliver the slew of other folks that Loomis has and a Lombardi, the rest of Eagle fandom might like him as much as you do.

          • theycallmerob

            See, I don’t love him. I just don’t unreasonably hate him. Key word being reason. If you could reasonably defend your arguments, you may have a point.
            You’re plethora is 4 picks. Not graham’s fault we switched to 34; Nate is actually playing well with good coaches and recovered knee; Jarrett, at least, Reid took all credit for (and pry Danny too).

            But you just can’t disagree with my points. You nitpick Kindle; go look at the rest of Ozzie’s picks like Adam did. Think they miss Boldin this year, too? Think Loomis would have a job if SD hadn’t given away Brees?
            Go ahead, use the link. Do some research. Validate your opinion. We try to leave the uninformed and personal vendettas to philly. com, thanks.
            I mean, are you even an Eagles fan? or just Joe Banner’s nephew?

          • GiveMeABreak

            There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. If you don’t have enough evidence by now that HR does not know what he is doing, then you never will. That makes it especially funny that you think I am related to Banner when you sound so much like HR’s family. For the record, other than being an effective manager of the salary cap, I had no use for that guy. And, I am a long-time Birds fan who can see that the current FO direction is not going to get us there and am just tired of it.

          • theycallmerob

            There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
            Wow. So rather than contradict anything I said, that’s where you take this.

            I’ll let the pot handle this from here:

          • Andy124

            I disagree. This implies that you are also black/blind. It’s more like the pot calling the snow black.

          • theycallmerob

            I initially pasted a copy of snow, but was too difficult to contrast against the site’s background

          • Richard Colton

            you have to admit you see progress with the team, and that the ’12 & ’13 drafts look pretty good so far, right?

          • JofreyRice

            Dude, there is just no way to seriously compare Howie to Ozzie. You could maybe compare the last two drafts side by side–although I’d say that’s a bit premature. But you really can’t ignore the two Superbowls, slew of first ballot HOF players, DPOYs, OPOYs, All Pros, Pro Bowlers, etc.

          • theycallmerob

            Was not trying to make the comparison, only brought up other GMs to see what GMAB’s expectations were. I believe at this point, his main issue is simply “Howie’s not a football guy”, rather than the tangible duties assigned and his performance with regard to said duties.
            Ozzie has quite the track record. It would be akin to how some compare Foles to Brady, because of their respective first 10 starts. Howie has done well in 2 years, but the real test is the Kelly era. Howie will sink or swim with Chip.

          • JofreyRice

            Agreed with all of that. Like I’ve mentioned before, when you look at the background of most of the Successful GMs in the league–the guys that populate their teams with talented players, and translate that talent into wins on the field–Howie is really, really fighting the odds in trying to make it as a guy who doesn’t have that background. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just improbable. And certainly, the flipside of that is that guys with that background aren’t guaranteed success by any stretch.

            Take for instance the emergence of the Panthers as a legit contender. The guy who replaced Marty Hurney, Dave Gettleman, has done a fantastic job of putting talented players in place. I really believe that the talent of the players far outweigh the skill of the coach, in terms of successful teams. Gettleman’s an old school personnel guy that put in the hours on the road. And to one of your earlier posts, yes, I do think some really adept talent evaluators are on the street–not getting a shot, for whatever reason. Certainly Gettleman was waiting in the wings while a guy like Marty Hurney–with a background in writing–was handing out multi-million dollar contracts to the RB and Backup RB, and Backup Backup Running Back.

          • theycallmerob

            I still don’t like the “background of other GMs” as a valid criteria to hold against Howie. As you said, plenty of guys with that background clearly fail at it. But just because the NFL is populated with former pros at all levels of staffing does not necessarily preclude an inherent skill as a GM or personnel guy. I’m sure, like in other sports, there are well-qualified people able to evaluate, draft, and sign talent. Is the NFL that different from, say, the NBA (i.e., Hinkie and the sixers?)
            And if Howie is truly lacking in personnel, at least he’s acknowledged the point and is humble enough to have Tom Gamble working with him. How many other GMs would tolerate that?
            And on a whole other sidenote, responsibilities vary. At least in Philly, currently, it seems Howie is tasked with the cap, FA, and draft. Even with some draft issues, he’s done well (above average by NFL standards at least) in the other two. Maybe you’re right, former players evaluate talent at a higher level; but few are out there skilled in all aspects of running a team.

          • JofreyRice

            I mean, by the numbers, the trend is definitely “real”. He’s fighting the odds. You are misreading me if you think I’m arguing for a former player to be the GM. I don’t advocate that at all. You just have to look at the NFL Network’s top 100 to see that players sometimes have an odd sense of talent (Jacoby Jones, one of the top 100 players in the entire league??). I think the way to go is with a scout.

            Look at the teams that have been successful in the past 10-15 years. Always in the hunt, no matter coaching turnovers, etc. You have to expand the scope beyond just the current year, to see the trends, so there are a couple teams having bad years here but these teams have fielded DROYs, DPOYs, OPOYs, MVPs, along with showing up in the playoffs, contending for–and sometimes winning–titles

            GB – Thompson, Former Scout

            NO- Loomis, Former Scout

            NYG – Reese, Former Scout

            SEA – Schneider, Former Scout

            ATL – Dimitroff, Former Scout

            SF – Baalke, Former Scout

            PIT – Kevin Colbert, Former Scout

            HOU – Rick Smith, Former Scout

            STL (Greatest Show on Turf Years) – Charley Armey, Former Scout

            The outliers are the Patriots, with Belichick as team Czar, Floyd Reese in Houston/Tennessee, Parcells, another Czar, Ron Wolf in GB, and Reid/Banner in Philadelphia. We’re essentially hoping that Howie can be like Wolf because all those other guys had some football background, as coaches. Not impossible, but it’s a fact that it’s improbable, based on history.

            I think that being a former scout actually does give you a leg up in talent evaluation. It’s a point that is self-evident, for me.

            I don’t really have any idea what Gamble does, or what power he has. He’s not co-GM, to my knowledge. Howie’s the GM, as far as I know. PE.com reported it as a “lateral move” for Gamble.

          • theycallmerob

            thanks for the breakdown. I knew many of those guys were not former players, but had been in the NFL in other roles. Didn’t piece together the scouting aspect.
            I’m not trying to take away from what Reid and Banner did all those years. But I think most folks acknowledge a slight correlation between Andy getting more personnel powers and the decline of the team.
            Seems like Lurie chose to Frankenstein together a personnel department (Chip’s desired metrics + Gamble’s supposed eye for talent + Howie’s cap strengths and can-do attitude). If it provides a quality outcome moving forward, I’ll be content. Was never a big fan of the Czar-type organizations.

          • JofreyRice

            No prob. I have a fairly strong opinion on this, so I have looked into it a bit. As a side note on the Eagles, I’m dying for someone from that time to put together a tell-all of exactly what the power structure was during the impressive run in the early and middle aughts.

            Lurie’s really never been the typical owner. I’m convinced Banner had some major sway in some of the decisions. And his background was in men’s clothing. The Reid hire was “out of the box” for the time. The Kelly hire was “out of the box”, and so on. It’s not surprising that Lurie would dare to buck a trend–that’s his style. I’m just hoping he’s not going too far away from a proven formula.

          • Adam

            I sat down the other day and compared the 2012 and 2013 draft classes of Howie Roseman and Ozzie Newsome. If you put resumes aside and look solely at the talent of these two classes, there wasn’t a big difference.

          • theycallmerob

            See? factual evidence really does play a role in these things. I don’t get why some folks look past that.

            It’s the same with Foles, for some. They just can’t look past personal feelings to see what’s in front. Is he the franchise guy? No, but could be. Shouldn’t that be enough? Why is a draft pick (or GM _______) better than Foles/Howie? Where are these amazing GMs that are on the street looking for work? And why would 85% of the teams in the NFL switch places with us (in terms of personnel and cap space) in a heartbeat if Howie is the worst ever?

            This “grass is greener” BS irks the heck out of me. If everything was a science, the game would be no fun.

          • Adam

            I agree. I understand why people will have problems with Howie. He wasn’t a traditional hire and doesn’t have a traditional background. He shares some of the blame for past draft classes but I don’t think he deserves the lion’s share of it, when most of the bad draft movess had Andy’s fingerprints on them (high motor, undersized guys). Joe Banner as well. I have no doubts that pre-rookie salary cap, some of our moves (trading back often) had a lot to do with Joe wanting to get more guys for less money at the cost of quality talent.

            The draft classes have improved since certain parties first had their powers revoked and/or were removed from the team. I don’t think that can be ignore, and I think it’s a good reason why the line that Howie didn’t have as much say back in the day has validity.

            From the Dream Team signings Howie learned that you can’t buy a championship. Since then we’ve been building through the draft and for the most part we’ve avoided huge signings on big names with bad contracts. Gamble was brought in to help improve in that aspect and so far it seems to be working.

            I think he’s a good match to work with Chip Kelly. Chip has a clear picture for what he wants in a football team/player, and that will allow Howie to focus on bringing him that. Let Chip build the team using the pieces Howie brings to him. He’s making steady improvements and it doesn’t seem like he’s banging his head against the wall making the same mistakes over and over again, which is more than you can say about some team builders.

            Just like Foles, he’ll never the monkey off his back until we wins big. Just win, baby.

          • EaglePete

            Howie is lame

          • cliff henny

            exactly. what people dont realize is every team misses in first 3 rounds, every draft. just cant miss all 3 couple yrs in a row. 4th and 5th rounders, probably backups, maybe once every 3 yrs a guy pops out. they think if not impact starter, howie is an idiot. 6th and 7th generally are cut. i used to rip on coleman, but that’s about as much as one can expect from 7th rdr. these people need to read iggleblitz, says how reid certainly controlled top half of draft, and would hand over bottom half to howie.

        • theycallmerob

          always avoids the hard questions.

        • Andy124

          Infinite up-votes.

      • borntosuffer

        Lurie stated that he reviewed the evaluations of all the decision makers and Howie’s evaluations were the best. So, beyond assuming that Howie was responsible for the picks when Reid was here, you are also implying that Lurie is lying. He could have easily fired Roseman at the same time or blamed Roseman for the lousy personnel and kept Reid. That’s just a lot of assumed knowledge to already come to the conclusion that HR is a poor GM.

    • borntosuffer

      Seriously. We lost a large group of posters. Guess that’s the difference between being an Eagle’s fan and a fan who only posts when they feel their opinion is being validated – a fan of one’s own opinion, I suppose.

      • theycallmerob

        haha, go on and keep reading below….

        • Richard Colton

          you’re only saying that because you feel the need to validate your mancrush

          • theycallmerob

            I’d have no chance at Berwin, Geagle laid claim to his dreamy ‘locks the day he got here.

            But I’ll gladly settle for Kelce. Would do nothing other than shop for beard products together and wear rasta-themed sleeveless T’s.

          • GEAGLE

            The BRAMA Bull Baby!!

    • JofreyRice

      Yeah, still skeptical of Howie, although would never self-identify as a Howie Hater. Just want to see the team succeed, and not sure he’s the right captain of the boat. Things are looking up at the moment, but I can’t throw caution to the wind and proclaim him to be a great GM based on a three game winning streak against some pretty underwhelming competition.

      Case in point, Ryans. I think right now, it’s very easy to right these kind of semi-fluff articles regarding defensive players. Ryans, on the field, has not been “great”, IMO. He’s been solid–good in some games, bad in others, but about solid, on balance. Kendricks hasn’t been solid, he’s been poor. For me, evaluating them is more than just looking at raw tackle numbers. I don’t think Ryans is as bad as PFF has him ranked (50th out of 53 ILBs playing at least 75% of their teams snaps), but he doesn’t have the same kind of effect top ILBs do. There is something to be said for the leadership he provides. I have no idea how to quantify that, and maybe that aspect makes him more than “solid”.

      I think the credit should actually go to another guy I’ve criticized, Billy Davis. It’s a coaching success more than a personnel one. Guys like Cary Williams, Sopoaga, James Casey, Patrick Chung have all kind of been busts as FA pickups. What’s been good about the defense lately, is their ability to play as a unit. The actual talent on the defense is still moribund, outside of really 3 players–Cox, Thornton, and Boykin (who for whatever reason, isn’t displacing someone like C. Williams).

      Moreover, I think Howie’s philosophy of player valuation is far from proven. Probably not a popular thing to say, but he’s got a long way to go to match the accomplishments of the Banner/Reid era Eagles–whatever problems we had with it. Objectively, those teams posted a ton of meaningful wins.

      • Andy124

        outside of really 3 players–Cox, Thornton, and Boykin
        I think we’ll be adding Logan to that list next year. I understand it being too soon to add him yet. And I think Barwin belongs on that list right now. He’s a very good all-around player.

        I come back to the same conclusion every time. Final grades yet to be determined, overall talent seems upgraded over last year, valid reasons to be skeptical but also plenty of reason for optimism.

        • JofreyRice

          Disagree on Barwin. He’s an OK second OLB. Def could not characterize him as “very good”, at this stage. For an OLB in a 3-4, you’ve got to do more in passrushing situations than just put your hands up. You have to be able to get to the QB. That being said, he has exceeded my expectations, and I think that has to do with the way he’s being used–which again, goes back to good coaching; the bigger surprise for me. Put it this way: they don’t NEED to spend draft capital to improve on him this year, though he could definitely be improved upon.

          Agree with you, it’s not all grey clouds in my world. The talent is improved in some places from last year.

          • RIP illa

            It’s wondering if you can share what your expectations were for Berwin? I was a huge fan of this signing, didn’t think it was a the greatest signing ever but I liked what I thought he would bring to the table. I know you weren’t all “Dutch” about the signing either!!!

          • JofreyRice

            I was worried they thought he was the 11 sack guy he was in Houston that one year, and that they’d try to employ him that way again. He had shown he was a terribly inefficient passrusher that was easily just pushed around the pocket, and lacked any kind of inside power moves or handfighting moves to beat tackles. He’s still that same guy, but they have used him out in coverage in run fits a lot more than Houston did.

          • anon

            I think we’re getting more than we’re paying for. I never expected him to be an 11 sack guy. I think the way our defense works it that there’s not a dedicated “sack guy” but we’re getting sacks up and down the line b/c everyone is doing their job, which frees someone up.

            As far as coverage, setting the edge, pass deflections, etc. i think he’s doing great — you hear his name every game — he’s making plays. He’s not a franchise guy but i’d rather have a guy that does his job.

          • RIP illa

            Makes perfect sense. I remember getting upset that some fans thought he was gonna come in here and be this unstoppable pass rush machine. So I’m glad the organization didn’t view him that way also. Think I was excepting him to be used as he is now and somewhere in the range of 6-8 sacks, mainly through luck and hustle.

          • JofreyRice

            yeah, folks like G-Kegels cheerlead anyone and everyone, so you just have to kind of take that kind of stuff in the way it’s presented. A child’s idea that all the players on his team are the best.

      • theedevilsadvocate

        id take c williams over nonD any day big upgrade over nonD that bend but dont break D includes williams im just happy nonD is no longer on the team all these so called bad teams we have been holding to under 17.5 points or whatever would have be scoring on us unmercifully just like last year if nonD was still back there.

  • Rick H

    Linebacker play has improved a lot this year. Personally I am still not sold on Kendricks but I am a big fan of Kendricks. He seems to over run plays and doesn’t have an above average or decent sense of how to be a cover linebacker. He is still very young though! I actually like Goode a lot. In his limited time playing he has made an impact and seems to time blitzes very well. Connor Barwin is playing great football and is another great leader like Ryans. I have always been a huge fan of Trent Cole who has proven to be one of the best defensive ends in football over the last five years when you take into consideration sacks and more importantly rush defense particularly sound tackling. I believe Trent (now a linebacker) is a key wild card coming down the stretch. If he plays as he did against Washington then the Eagles are going to be in a good position. Graham is a very good player that makes an impact but they can’t get him on the field enough. In next year’s draft the Eagles must draft a big fast impact outside linebacker or two.

    • Richard Colton

      I feel the same way about Kendricks. I want to see him make the same strides some of the other defensive players have made before I’m sold.

    • BlindChow

      Now that we know Goode can fill in well as an ILB, I wouldn’t mind seeing Kendricks play OLB a few times per game.

    • GEAGLE

      dudes…Kendricks will be fine. Just because he hasn’t settled into a probowl level yet, doesn’t mean we should be concerned..not everyone will get it 10 games into a new scheme…I don’t know when it will click for him, but before next season end, he will ARIVE as a stud LB that we want in this city for the next 5 years…there is NOTHING that you would want from him, that he isn’t capable of growing into doing at a high level…haven’t People gotten tired of letting their desire for instant gratification make them wrong?
      ..
      To the Kendrick doubters….what do you question him being able to do? What don’t you like about him, and why aren’t you confident that he can improve on what you don’t like?

  • Brian

    Is it Sunday yet?

    • Adam

      Amen.. I’m just glad they’re at least practicing again

      • Brian

        Looking forward to Chip’s press conference today. First question: “Are you ready to name Nick Foles as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season?” Chip’s reply: “Yes…”

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    How is RGIII looking nowadays? man that offense last night of the redskins looked very much college like. after this year lets look back at all the qbs taken from the ’12 draft and I think things are going to get a little closer than we had thought. another name who might prove to be something would be Cousins, given the opportunity. wonder is skins trade him in offseason. RG wont be right having a talented guy like that behind him. hes def regressing.

    • cliff henny

      he looks like a 2nd yr qb that the league got some film on. shanny’s and knee certainly arent helping.

    • anon

      Obviously it looked like trash. It’s Eagles 2012. Their line got thoroughly dominated and RGIII isn’t fast enough to out-run people with the knee, and i think isn’t accurate enough at this point to be a pocket passer.

      But remember he spent all of-season rehabbing his knee instead of working out w/ receivers / sitting in film room. I dont think he’s regressing but he hasn’t done the work to progress to where he should be. With all of his “me” antics last season, during the off-season, etc. he’s made his bed and now that he’s not performing he’s gotta lie in it.

      Shanny should have had the balls to start cousins at the beginning of the season but RGIII bullied him into starting him at the beginning. He can’t start cousins now b/c the organization has mortgaged their future on RGIII + there’s no way they make the playoffs, so starting cousins just says that RGIII isn’t the future — which is hard to do after he had the best rookie season ever (by the numbers) and led his team to the playoffs (almost beating seattle).

      I think that organization is cursed (probably has to do with their name). I literally don’t think the season could have gone any worse — unless RGIII’s name was Derrick Rose.

      • BlindChow

        FedEx field was built on an INDIAN BURIAL GROUND!!!!

      • EaglePete

        what they need to do is dump those washed up Shanahans. I cant think of another coach benefiting more from a squad of talent than those Bronco teams that won back to back. They were absolutely stocked. Hes just not that good of a coach imo but I agree with everything else you said. I still think RG3 can get it together, they also need a better team around him. I find it interesting though when you hear now how he has to work on being a better pocket QB, just like the early years of McNabb. Remember when he stopped running as often, it helped him but its just something you hear with every mobile QB. Even a decade later with Vick, same story. Only use the legs when you have to blah blah blah. Cousins should have started first 4 games, but whatever, thats second guessing at this point.

    • GEAGLE

      Like I always said….OVER RATED!!!

  • Adam

    Who is the next home grown talent who’s due a big contract? Ceddy Thornton?

    • theycallmerob

      Yup. Other than Big Thorn, Kelce is up in ’14, and Boykin in ’15.
      Of course, Howie and Co. need to set aside some cap room for the massive contracts soon-to-be-offered to Allen and Foles

      • Septhinox

        Allen won’t get a massive contract. He still isn’t “great” and his injury history and shady body of work will limit his value. I’d guess he gets $3-4m a year at most.

        • theycallmerob

          sorry, I left out my sarcastic ” :) “….was just messing with a few people by including Nate and Folesy.
          And I agree with you, if some other team wants to drastically overpay let them. I’m guessing Howie already has his eye on two former Ducks, Byrd and TJ Ward

          • nicksaenz1

            10mil/yr coming to Foles Gold after ’15

          • anon

            hahaha only $10/mil? If he keeps playing anywhere close to where he is now he’s going to be in the 18-20 range. Schaub, Rivers, Eli are at $15/yr.

          • nicksaenz1

            He seems like the kind of guy who would make that sacrifice to keep more talent. Bold assumption, I know.

          • aub32

            HAHAHAHAHA

          • BlindChow

            Byrd is going to be very expensive. Every fanbase whose teams have suspect secondaries are proceeding with the assumption that Byrd is going to be on their team next year. Redskins fans are especially excited because of all the new cap room they’ll have without the penalty next year.

          • theycallmerob

            because of all the new cap room they’ll have without the penalty next year. by not having to sign a first round pick for the next two years
            fixed it for you :)

          • Richard Colton

            watching the game last night I kept thinking: well at least Redskins fans can console themselves knowing that its a great draft for OTs and with the 5th or 6th pick in the draft they should be able to grab…ohhh…so sad.

    • cliff henny

      ced wont be too bad, is rfa and 3-4 d-end. really is the beauty of extending own picks, get little discount since they dont have to play out final yr or 2 on rookie wages(kelce is good example, doubt he wants to play another yr at 600k). why really curious on cooper, have a ton of guys who need extended or reworked, generally these guys get less money but more guarentee than if playing out full contracts. see if eagles are willing to get in bidding war over coop, when have a bunch of guys like ryans, peters jax ced kelce kendricks boykin foles, maybe maclin all coming up needing extension/reworked. eagles just rarely sign guys that play out contracts. dont care how great of a locker room you have, nothing f’s it up quicker than money.

      • anon

        Yeah benefit of you team is that it’s a cheap team. But agree as young guys become studs better not to let them test FA, i’m sure a couple of them could get paid if they hit the market.

        • cliff henny

          every player wants to be extended before rookie contract plays out. has nothing to do with cheap. kelce will be beginning to get extended this winter, he’ll give discount so he doesnt have risk of playing under 600k deal.

          • anon

            If they like the number they are getting from their team… Kelce is in a different position b/c OL outside of tackles don’t make much money. There’s plenty of examples of people that don’t like the numbers they get from their team and decide to test FA.

          • cliff henny

            think kelce wants to play center another yr for less than henery? they wont give 50% discount, but some to get out from under that. if teams want players, most of the time they come to an agreement.

  • anon

    Just realized that Henery makes more money than Boykin!

    • Andy124

      Down-vote because I can’t downvote the guy who down-voted you. lol

  • GEAGLE

    First time Howie ever had to chose a two gap NT and a 3-4 OLB, he plucked Logan out of round 3 and Barwin for 6mil per….Standing roaring round of applause!!