Wake-Up Call: Herremans Regaining Form

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Moments after setting a franchise record for rushing yards in a single game, LeSean McCoy turned the attention directly towards his offensive line.

“I mean the guys up front just gave me opportunities one-on-one, blowing those guys off the ball,” he said. “I think everybody is so intimidated and scared of their guys up front on Detroit, but I think the big guys on my team took a challenge and stepped up.”




Tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are the strength of the Lions' defense. The onus fell on interior linemen Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans to try and keep them under control. They not only did that, but dominated down the stretch to blast open some holes for McCoy to prance through.

Herremans in particular stood out for his handling of Suh.

On his 40-yard touchdown run early in the fourth, McCoy chose to run between Lane Johnson and Herremans, who is escorting Suh out of the picture.

Herremans final 1

The seas part, and McCoy takes off.

Herremans final 2

Johnson started out on Suh but, with Herremans demonstrating control, was able to peel off and eliminate linebacker Stephen Tulloch (55) from the picture. It was a similar deal on McCoy's 57-yard TD run later in the quarter.

herremans final 4

"He's really done a great job as far as our backside blocks," said Johnson. "I know he made a bunch of holes for Shady, coming off on Suh, that allows me to get to the next level. Todd does a great job. I think people underestimate him, but he's a really good player."

McCoy finds some daylight between Herremans and Jason Kelce.

The result?

Herremans5

The Shady Dance and a little snow angel action.

Herremans had his share of struggles early in the season, particularly against the Chiefs when he was charged with five quarterback hurries. Some of that was related to his ongoing recovery from a major foot injury last season.

"I never really had any problems with how it felt earlier in the year -- I think maybe the strength in my leg wasn't quite there," said Herremans. "Each week it's progressing and getting better. I think a lot of that has to do with the in-season lifting we're doing where we're not trying to just maintain but we're also getting stronger as we go...

"Change of direction; anchoring was one of the bigger things earlier in the year. It's coming along. It's good to have it back."

The Eagles have the top rushing offense in the league (159 yards per game) and are second in rushing plays of 20-plus yards (16) through 13 games. McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, is finding success running to the right, averaging 5.2 yards per carry behind Johnson and Herremans.

"I think Todd, ever since maybe the third or fourth game, has really played great," said Kelce.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Nick Foles, who has a  146.9 quarterback rating in road games this season, preps for his visit to the dome.

Eagles are getting stronger, Jon Dorenbos tricked UTEP into giving him a scholarship and more in the latest Inside Voices. 

Sheil uses the All-22 to explain how Chip Kelly has adjusted the offense to better suit Foles.

Jason Peters is coming on strong.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

ESPN.com Vikings blogger Ben Goessling discusses whether running back Toby Gerhart can keep the offense going in Adrian Peterson sits out.

It depends on his health. He's dealing with a hamstring issue of his own, so if Peterson does indeed miss the game because of his sprained foot, Gerhart might not be able to handle the same kind of workload as Peterson. He's only got two games of 20-plus carries in the NFL, but then again, as Kelly said, he's certainly built to take a pounding. He's a stout, physical back who runs well between the tackles and does a solid job picking up blitzes. Plus, he's not exactly afraid to embrace the idea that he's auditioning for other teams before he hits free agency in March. He certainly isn't going to be a featured back in Minnesota behind Peterson, and while I'm sure the Vikings would like to keep him, he might find better opportunities elsewhere.

Minnesota is showing respect for McCoy. Zach Berman with more.

Each week, opposing coaches speak to Philadelphia-area reporters about the Eagles and almost all of them identify McCoy as the key to the team's offense.

"His change of direction is probably second to none," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said Wednesday. "His ability to turn a nothing play into something, it's really special. The kind of year he's having is one of those years he probably wishes will never end."

COMING UP

We'll roll out our predictions for Sunday's game in Minnesota.

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  • TNA

    I find it funny that the “we’re not just maintaining but getting stronger” line is a talking point for the players this week.
    But really, this team may not be perfect, but they have the building blocks for a great team.
    OL- check
    DL – check
    QB -check
    Defensive QB (ILB/safety) -check
    Offensive playmakers – check check

    And Chip and staff definitely seem to help max out players efficientl and puts them in situations to make plays.

    • BlindChow

      Even Swoop seems much more focused this year.

      • Johnny Domino

        Be afraid Rowdy, be very afraid.

      • DirtyWaters

        Swoop is Hull.

      • nicksaenz1

        Like in Ace Ventura when he whooped the Dolphin mascot’s arse.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Great points, can’t agree more. This FO has always been so great with their budgeting and contracts, and now they’re really improving in talent evaluation. That right there is what you want.

      At this point I’m just crossing my fingers hoping that when the offseason comes I don’t see on the TV :
      “[insert eagles positional or coordinator coach here] has accepted and interview for [head coach or coordinator] position on [team]”….
      Please lord. Keep all 24 of these staffers together.

      I wonder if Chip made them all commit for more than a year or they otherwise wouldn’t be offered the job, from everything we’ve seen from him, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he had something like that in place.

      • Will

        The sky’s the limit with the talent at coaching, let’s see that carry over to scouting and another year of tweaking player’s…the team as it is has a real shot at 11-5 what a difference from 4-12…Minn, Chi and then Dallas…

        • G_WallyHunter

          I really hope Eags get into playoffs and then somehow get into Seattle’s home for a game, really want to test this theory that Eagles would have a much easier time in there due to non-verbal communication. They would only have to deal with that home-field vibe, no communication problems or LOS problems, which is the majority of problems for visiting teams, THE NOISE.

          Really hoping this happens this year, and Eagles just go in and make them look SILLY because the great and powerful Defense of Seattle can’t keep up..

          • Will

            The Eagles have to get there. 3 more games a lot could happen btw now and then…yeah just hoping…looks like San Fran if we get there 1st game in play offs…The fact we are even in contention is nothing short of a miracle…I’m very impressed with the turn around so far. What a pleasant surprise Nick Foles, Riley Cooper and the Defense have been so far…to go along with McCoy & DJax…Of course and the New Coaching Staff…

          • G_WallyHunter

            Oh ya, I’m not getting ahead of myself by any means, just saying IF THEY DO GET THERE I hope they make a trip to Seattle. I want this theory tested and I want to see Cooper catch some deep balls over that craphead Sherman lol.

            Ya it really is a dream come true for us long-suffering Eags fans, I guess Soap was right when he said they would “shock the world” in his introductory presser…
            HEY AT LEAST HE GOT ONE THING RIGHT, RIGHT?

          • Will

            LOL…

          • G_WallyHunter

            Blown away by the coaching staff, all 24 of them, largest staff in the league, they’ve really put to sleep all that pre-season talk about many of them having 0 NFL experience and how it might be hard for them, little did those reporters know their lack of NFL XP didn’t mean ANYTHING lol. That hasn’t been mentioned in months, probably since before week 1. Maybe a reporter was dumb enough to mention it when we were 1-3

          • baxter322

            Cooper struggles against bigger, more physical corners, but Jackson could burn Sherman. Would Browner still be out at that point?

            I like your theory about our communication methods making noise less of an issue in Seattle. They never lose at home and play in the loudest NFL stadium. Does Seattle still pump in crowd noise through the speakers? I remember them doing that a while back, not that it Matters where the noise Is coming from.

            If we lose to Seattle, maybe we’ll concentrate on drafting players who could help us beat them next year. We could be playing them in NFC championship games for a while.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Browner suspended for a year so unless his appeal goes through, ya he’ll still be out. Dono if they pump it through speakers, but my take is either way won’t matter, their communication won’t be affected, like I said they would only really have to deal with that “home-field vibe” and the noise associated with that, LOS should still be smooth as ever.

            Agreed, just like the AFC with pats, it would be good to plan against Seattle for the coming years lol

          • Dr Rick

            Eagles and Seahawks play next year in Philly. I’m just waiting for the schedule release to jump on it and get tickets.

          • OregonDucker

            There is no IF. You are witnessing a juggernaut in the making!

            Just look at New England in 2001. We could be seeing something really, really special.

          • OregonDucker

            Harbaugh has been humiliated by Chip. Visit Fishduck to see how. Harbaugh fears Chip.

          • EaglePete

            I get we practice with the noise but to me the biggest issue isnt getting the play in, its the rest of team hearing any changes at the line and the actual snap count more than anything right? I always assumed the D had the better jump on the ball because its easier to know the snap when the O is struggling. Id prefer SF or Car over Sea I think. Saints scare me the most esp in their dome. Slowing down Brees at home is harder than scoring in Sea to me.

          • G_WallyHunter

            But don’t all the changes come non-verbally via sideline?
            And as for snap count, I’ve noticed their silent count has been flawless, but that’s the biggest concern yes the snapcount.

            I think LOS changes are all still done non-verbally, except maybe for Kelce and the Oline, and in that case they are all within a few feet so they can probably hear it well.

          • EaglePete

            ya the sideline changes are non verbal but I wonder about Foles audibles I imagine it has to be verbal? I wondered about the silent snap count also, no clue how they even do that. Ill take your word for it though, all the better. I guess with blaring music in practice they have to have a way to make it work. I love how they simplify the communications, one of my favorite parts of the CK regime along with building players up.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya LOS audibles from Foles would be an issue, but how many of those have you seen?
            It seems like there are never audibles because every play has 3 or 4 options? so why need audibles?
            See this is why I want this theory tested lol, would love to see it this year

          • OregonDucker

            Chip verses Carroll = 47-20. Pete fears Chip, make no mistake.

          • GEAGLE

            I also wonder if their HUGE CBs who I drool over, might be a little too BIG to stay with Desean???if sherm can shut down DIALED IN Desean, then he will eclipse what Revis was in his prime in my eyes

      • GEAGLE

        I would bet money that we don’t lose any coaches this offseason if I could find odds on it lol

        • G_WallyHunter

          Like I said, I hope Chip made them all commit to a 2 or 3 yr contract lol (or forever)

  • Will

    [URL=http://www.makeagif.com/P_wyAC][IMG]http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/12-13-2013/P_wyAC.gif[/IMG][/URL] The run game with McCoy is Awesome due to the excellent blocking up front…just look at that hole McCoy has to work with plus Shady’s moves…The Eagles are 5-0 in the last 5 starts holding opponents to 21 points or less… how good is this team?

  • Will

    ***

  • Will

    [URL=http://www.makeagif.com/G7BJvd][IMG]http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/12-13-2013/G7BJvd.gif[/IMG][/URL] This is a gif I just had to make…Nice play Cary…Hats off to the Philly Defense and Billy Davis…

    • mtn_green

      Awesome megaton the snowman.

    • Dr Rick

      Sconces CAN tackle!

  • Will

    [URL=http://www.makeagif.com/_sr1kR][IMG]http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/12-13-2013/_sr1kR.gif[/IMG][/URL] The Philly O-Line blocking for McCoy’s 2nd TD of the Day…Todd Herremans makes a nice block on Suh…

    • Sean

      Love how Mathis gets a piece of Suh, even though he fell to the ground on the snap!!!!

  • Steag209

    Just a question about the site, I know you guys do the podcasts on Thursday nights, but where can we listen to them? They’re not on the site here anymore. I enjoy listening to you guys every week, but I can’t find any of them past week 13’s.

  • Soybot

    The official title of the dance is the Shady Bounce. And I’d like to see it 5 or 6 more times this year.

  • Tom W

    How bout a shout out for Todd H taking down playboy model after playboy model for yrs …

  • docboy

    Not being a Vick Basher here.. but notice how the last bad game that most of the linemen had were against the Chiefs..It is so much harder to block for a quarterback that wants to be a play-maker…that will hold the ball for 4-5 Mississippi’s…not knowing if has taken off or which direction he will be going… Since Foles had taken over.. the Line has solidified.. not a mere coincidence….

  • PaoliBulldog

    OL play this year compared to last is unbelievable, but three starters are 31+ years old. I hope their smoothies have lots of antioxidants and so forth. At the risk of jinxing them, it’d be great to see them keep performing at this high level for another four or five years.

    • Richard Colton

      5 years? sure. let’s make it 10. I’d love it if we got 2 more years out of Peters, but 2 is where I’d set the over/under. Herremans & Mathis? Same. I’d love an update on Kelly/Bamiro. Because if those guys can’t play we’re one big hit from King Dunlap.

  • theycallmerob

    Definitely love the play of our interior DL, but depth scares me. Need some better young G and C prospects (or guys who can do both).

    • GEAGLE

      How old is Barbre? He swings between OT n OG…

      With THESE coaches and recent personel moves and Tre Thomas tutoring, I’m not ready to say what Bamiro or Dennis can or can’t be. Dennis is just a tackle right? He doesn’t swing to guard does he?..
      ..
      The resurrection of Nate, the TODDfather, Celek and Cole have been HUGE for us! many of us were really concerned about Todd and his future, but him rebounding like this has really been a big key. All my years playing Oline, I literally NEVER lined up anywhere besides LT and some time at TE(on offense). I really don’t know what it’s like to have to go from right to left side, or from T to G.. I know the difference in how you play the positions but I never had to try, so I feel like I obviously underestimated A) him needing more time from injury, and B) getting adjusted to the positional transition he had to make and I’m kind of disappointed in myself because I pride myself on factoring in the real life human elements instead of looking at players like a video game robot. Lesson LEARNED!

      If Todd continues to play better, get more comfortable and finish this year strong and heathy, it let’s us be more flexible in the draft. You know you are in good shape when you aren’t completely desperate to add a certain position…
      ..
      Oline is crucial to any offense, but Chip can’t live without one lol so we will ALWAYS see the eagles take mid to late round linemen every year! no matter how good we are, but without having any idea about Bamiro or Kelly it’s hard to say just how soon we need to adress the line in the draft. Assuming we improve in free agency, we will be in a really healthy roster position to draft BPA….if Cyril falls all the way to us in round two, I wouldn’t be opposed to drafting him even if eagles fans are scared of Baylor lineman