Wake-Up Call: The Elephant In the Room

Eagles Kicker Alex Henery kicking field goal
Deep down, in places Eagles fans don’t talk about at parties, there’s a realization that special teams could play a big part in determining this team’s fate.

It’s not the most comforting of thoughts, particularly after a game in Minnesota that turned the term “squib” into a curse word in Philadelphia. It’s far more desirable to tie one’s fortunes to the likes of LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson or DeMeco Ryans, but that’s not always the way it works out. Sometimes it comes down to the Alex Henery‘s of the world.

The city doesn’t seem to have a ton of faith in the former fourth-round pick at the moment.  The most accurate kicker in NCAA history ranks 23rd in the NFL in field goal percentage this year, converting 80.8 percent of his tries. Jimmy Kempski points out that Henery has the fewest field goal attempts from 50-plus yards (5) since he joined the league in 2011. He has missed four of 10 attempts of 40-plus yards this year. This all ties into the general concern about his leg strength.


There is the issue of getting the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs. The Eagles rank 23rd in touchback percentage (43 percent). Chip Kelly said after testing Henery's leg pregame against the Vikings, the team decided to avoid kicking to Cordarrelle Patterson. According to Henery, the game plan remained the same all week. It would have taken him routinely booming the ball out of the back of the end zone to change an approach they had been planning for days.

Henery estimated that he gets 4-5 kickoffs per game. How many would he have been able to get out of the end zone against the Vikings?

"I don't know. You can only wonder, I guess you could say," said Henery. "If you got three out [of bounds] but the one you didn't get out he takes to the house..."

The Nebraska product has already established a career-high in touchbacks (33) this season, and is on pace to set a new best in touchback percentage as well. So really, he's getting stronger in that area. Still, the Eagles remain in the bottom of the league in that category.

"It's not one of the easier places to kick here, so if I'm middle of the pack sometimes that's good because some teams are playing in warm weather at end of the year, and that affects those numbers," said Henery. "You kind of have to look at it that way. You're not going to be able to hit a touchback here like you'd be able to in Arizona or something like that."

Bottom line, he can't kick it out of end zone consistently. That's why Kelly and special teams coach Dave Fipp opted not to risk kicking to Patterson. Now, they face a similar dilemma with Bears standout return man Devin Hester. And Dallas' Dwayne Harris after that.

Special teams overall has been up and down. Punter Donnie Jones has been exceptional. He has 30 punts on the year that have pinned opponents inside their own 20, good for third in the league. Meanwhile, the Eagles are 20th in kick return yards and 30th in punt return yards.

Kelly is a special-teams friendly head coach. He requires that back-ups are able to contribute on specials, and routinely sits in on Fipps' meetings. For all the attention paid to this phase of the game, they need to start seeing better results.

"I know along the way there's been some good, some bad," said Fipp. "There's been some things we've done a great job of at times, there's some things we've done a bad job at times. We knew when we started this thing we had a long way to go, and still do."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Jason Avant's value, Nick Foles' yoga skills and more in the latest Inside Voices.

Good news for the secondary, as Brandon Boykin returns to practice. 

A look at exactly what this Eagles defense is up against.

Sheil gives us three numbers that matter.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

ESPN Bears blogger Michael C. Wright talks about the challenge of stopping Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

In the past, teams focused most of their game plan on shutting down Marshall. That involved double-teams and shading coverage over to his side. Teams are now finding they can’t do that anymore because if you double Marshall, you put Jeffery in one-on-one matchups that he’s going to win the majority of the time. The Bears say teams are now starting to mix it up against those receivers, which makes it important for Cutler to be able to quickly recognize the coverage and distribute the ball accordingly. I wouldn’t say Jeffery is the better receiver overall at this point, but I will say that he tracks the ball in the air better than anybody else on Chicago’s roster, which has allowed him to make some unbelievable grabs in contested situations. I’d say one player to watch is No. 3 receiver Earl Bennett. With all the focus on Marshall and Jeffery, the Bears have made it a point in recent weeks to involve Bennett more in the offense. Remember, Bennett played college football with Cutler at Vanderbilt, so there’s chemistry. Bennett has hauled in a touchdown in each of the past two games.

Bob Brookover did some research to see if time of possession is irrelevant, as the head coach claims.

Based on what I found, the Eagles should not just be dead in the NFC playoff race, they also should be buried beneath just about every other team in the conference. Since 2000, no team that has finished last in the NFL in time of possession has had a winning record. Only one team - the 2006 Tennessee Titans - finished at .500. The combined record of the 13 teams to finish last in time of possession is 57-151.

Some of the NFL's historically bad teams have been among the teams that just didn't possess the football enough. Detroit's 0-16 team in 2008 was next to last in time of possession and Carolina's 1-15 team in 2001 was last.

Kelly's Eagles are the anomaly.

COMING UP

We'll roll out our predictions for Eagles-Bears.

  • Robert Perri

    When talking about time of possession, you also have to compare it to number of plays run. If the 0-16 Detroit team ran only 50 plays per game, while the Eagles are running 70, then that makes a huge difference as well. You need to do a combination of both to make an assumption

    • Kevin

      Agreed. Like Chip says, it isn’t a measure you can control and can be skewed by a couple of factors. In “traditional” NFL football you would expect that the winning team would have a greater time of possession. You tend to run more when you are ahead, pass more when you are behind. Points per play is a better stat to track efficiency. I agree with Chip that T.O.P. is not a relevant stat in the way he approaches the game.

  • nicksaenz1

    The Nebraska product has already established a career-high in touchbacks this season (33). His previous high was 31 back in 2o11. So really, he’s getting stronger. Still, they’re towards the bottom in the league.”

    The total touchbacks increasing is a result of opportunity and doesn’t indicate improvement. What’s last year’s touchback rate?

    • G_WallyHunter

      Plus, weren’t the kickoffs moved up last year? That would have a direct impact on the numbers obviously

      • nicksaenz1

        It would, that means that he likely set a record for himself last year courtesy of the 5 yard bump, but this season’s improvement would seem to be more on him.

    • Tim McManus

      Last year’s touchback rate was about 37 percent, so a six percent increase. On pace for career high in that category. Post now reflects this. Thanks.

      • nicksaenz1

        Thanks Tim…. hopefully we didn’t jinx it for him.

        • Richard Colton

          where’s his MOD sticker?

          • theycallmerob

            faker! He’s like FakeWIPCaller….FakeTim hates Foles

          • nicksaenz1

            I don’t know, but he definitely changed it.

        • GEAGLE

          Tie him down and shoot his leg with Roids…my friends actually tried that on me in cancun. Some friends..

  • Andy124

    In the past, most teams ran plays at about the same rate. So the team with greater TOP was very likely to have run more plays. This is no longer the case in today’s NFL, as many of the teams are speeding up and slowing down throughout games to keep the opposing defense off balance.

    There’s also a chicken and egg factor going on, where the winning team is going to milk the clock at the end of the game, inflating their TOP.

    I wouldn’t say that TOP is totally worthless. Slowing the game down and reducing the total number of possessions in the game can be a useful strategy. But overall, it’s not a very valuable metric for predicting success.

  • Soaring Eagle

    So this guy I know, yeah, he got really baked and came up with a conspiracy theory: the NFL keeps planting stories about Kelly returning to the college ranks because they want it to be true. They are afraid that Kelly and his brilliance will disrupt their plans for parody and they are scared.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Parity*
      Sorry I had to
      Great points, maybe the NFL and their fixing ways come to light.
      It will be funny if we see a few more come out by the end of bowl season

    • Adam

      Not a chance in hell. The NFL does everything in can to stay relevant and on the tips of peoples tongues around the world. You only have to look at the last two few Super Bowl half time acts to see how much the NFL cares about being traditional and in touch with their main demographic. Chip right now is a buzz word in the NFL, and he brings in viewers because people want to see what he’s doing. Could they be spinning the stories? I highly highly doubt it, but even if they did they’re much more likely doing so to create buzz around him, the Eagles and the league in general than to scare him back into college.

      The NFL is a business and Chip Kelly sells.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya, he probably more-so brings in the viewers. Plain and simple.
        Think about all the college-only viewers in the states tuning into NFL this year just to see..

    • Maggie

      Unless you are being sarcastic, it’s “parity”.

  • Adam

    Still mind boggling that Henery went unopposed during training camp this year. Won’t happen again, and it’ll be a Donnie Jones-type vet to challenge him and hopefully steal his job.

    Such a bad pick. I’m gonna go Earl Thomas on everyone and point out the fact that Julius Thomas was selected 9 picks after Henery. Bummer.

    • nicksaenz1

      Garrett Hartley, maybe?

      • anon

        I was thinking that too – it’d be nice if they at least brought him in, but i think CKs philosophy is that kicking is all mental so he doesn’t want to do anything that would shake Henery.

        • nicksaenz1

          Yeah, definitely an after season move if he’s still available.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Julius Thomas and Celek with Ertz?
      great. now you’ve put another fantasy in my mind to put alongside the Earl Thomas/Earl Wolff one, thanks

      kinda like soaking up all the milk with a cloth, wringing it out into a glass, then going ahead and spilling it again.

      On a side note, imagine that, two Earls at safety, damn, Earl squared

      mind you, a lot more would have to fall into place for these fantasy TE and S combos to happen. But fun thinking about, none the less.

      • Adam

        The only way I make myself feel any better about it is that if the Eagles had drafted Earl Thomas, we would have found some way to make him terrible.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ya, this may be a great coping exercise actually, I’m stealing it.

          All the defensive coaching troubles would have made him a Nate Allen-type, great point.

        • Richard Colton

          Somebody put up the Earl Thomas sign please. I think we went another 2 whole days.

          • Adam

            Gotcha covered

      • anon

        if we had thomas i dont think we’d have wolff

        • UKEagle99

          and the downside to that is?

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ya like I said, A lot more would have to fall into place.
          WHO REALLY KNOWS. Fun thinking about, that’s about it

    • Explorer51

      Take out 6th Rd Kelce and that entire draft was an absolute bust; it makes it that much more remarkable that we are contending for the playoffs this year. I wonder if we’ll ever find out who was responsible for that ridiculous draft board? It is the essence of that old quote: Success has many parents but failure is an orphan.

      • GEAGLE

        Doesn’t matter…even if it as all Howie, he seems to have learned a lot from it. So the failed draft turned out to be a nice investment…now if he has sucky draft I will eat these words

    • cliff henny

      think i’m just more annoyed that 4th was used on him. can bring in 3 or 4 UDFA and just have them battle it out, get at least same results.

  • Engwrite

    Is time of possession important? Lets take the extreme case when a team scores, in a single play, every time it touches the ball. TOP would be low but who wouldn’t want that? Lets take the other extreme: a team fumbles every time it gets the ball. The time of possession would be equally low but the results completely different. So, since TOP can’t tell the difference, it tells you nothing.
    On the other hand, if your TOP is low because you score quickly, your defense will be on the field longer. (Sound familiar?) In that case it doesn’t make sense to have a bend but don’t break defense. Instead it would make more sense to have a gambling defense selling out to shut down the other team and get three and outs, even at the risk of giving up a quick score, because it would force the other team to play your game.

    • Adam

      I think the whole bend but not break thing is a title us as fans put on these defense, but I think it’s just really another way of saying our D just isn’t extremely talented overall but will make a few plays once in awhile. I’m not sure it’s something you have by choice. If we had the talent in the secondary or pass rush I’m sure we would gamble more, but we just really don’t. With a few key pieces added over the off-season I think you’ll see more gambles from Billy, especially in the form of blitzes.

      • Engwrite

        I agree with the personnel issue but, on thirds and long, we aren’t getting off the field. I suggest that’s the time to gamble. Maybe with blitzes but also with tight coverage.

    • UKEagle99

      “On the other hand, if your TOP is low because you score quickly, your defense will be on the field longer.” This is the misconception…. If you score quickly your defence has less time on the sideline, it doesn’t mean it will be on the field longer, the only unit that affects how long the defence is on the field for any given drive is the defence. 3 and outs and turnovers will lower the time the D is on the field more than anything the offence does.

      • anon

        Yeah but we can’t get off the field. I think having great field position has been the saving grace of this team (thanks DJ and the offense). That’s what was exposed last week.

        • UKEagle99

          No, we can’t get off the field. Minnesota ran 70 plays, got 29 first downs, converted 62% of third down attempts and had 1 turnover, that there tells you why the defence was on the field longer, nothing to do with the offence snapping the ball with 25 on the play clock.

  • JofreyRice

    Bennett hurt the Eagles the last time they played; converted a few huge first downs on Nnamdi.

    Jeffrey has turned into an awesome pro. Gonna be a huge task to limit the passing game, and not let Forte go wild. The Chicago D being a flaming barrel of excrement helps.

    • Adam

      I’m really glad we have a do over next week if we don’t take this one, because I really don’t feel good about this game at all.. especially if Dallas wins in the afternoon and the Eagles come out flat.

    • Richard Colton

      Has to be the best WR tandem in the league right now, no?

      • theycallmerob

        I’d agree with that,though DEN and GB are up there (and actually 3 deep)

    • Token

      Like I said, the best thing about Dallas losing was it means we can lose this game and not be hurt by it. I have a hard time seeing them come out on top.

      Isnt there a scenario where this game is meaningless to the Bears?

      • Andy124

        If the Lions lose and GB wins, this game will not impact their division race. Could still affect seeding.

        • Token

          Does a spot up or down matter? Its all gonna be tough matchups.

          Call me crazy, but I really want to be able to get to Seattle in the 2nd round. This season is already a success to me so screw it. I want them.

          I think the music at practice is to help you learn and focus with loud audible stimulant.

          Its like when you are driving somewhere you dont know. You get close to where it is, trying to find it, and you turn the music down cuz it helps you concentrate….. well maybe not everyone.

          But I think that is in part to help deal with a situation like you would have in Seattle.

          • Richard Colton

            wow Token. gutsy. My best playoff scenario is “anyone but Seattle.” Don’t think we match up well at all.

          • GEAGLE

            Kinda wanna see Folesy out play Wilson

          • Token

            I think we are a good road team. I think we have a much better shot in the noise than most other teams.

            Tempo is the equalizer to a defense. As long as we can have a efficient day we have a chance.

            It is tough going cross country.

            But if we would happen to get that far, I want Seattle.

          • anon

            I think we match up well against seattle, and we play better on the road.

  • Andy124

    A couple off topic notes:
    1) House Money.
    2) If we miss the playoffs, I’ll be more upset about losing to Dallas than missing the playoffs. My primary interest in the playoffs this year is the same as Geagle’s; Letting the young guys get that taste. Get that first failure out of the way. And hey, extra week of practice isn’t so bad either.

    • GEAGLE

      Yup yup……get playoff failure out of the way this year, so nothing to hold us back next year…I’m ok with not making the playoffs, but losing to that fraud of a Dallas team would kill me…

    • cloisterwater

      I don’t see it as house money anymore. While they have exceeded everybody’s preseason predictions, expectations have changed. I think it would be a colossal disappointment to not make the playoffs. Losing the division in week 17 to the Cowboys would just make it devastating.

      • Andy124

        Obviously we have a difference of opinion. This is unacceptable on the internet. I will now proceed to badger and insult you until you change your mind and conceed that my point of view is the only acceptable one, and to believe otherwise represents and complete lack of mental faculties.

        • cloisterwater

          Haha, now that’s the kind conversation I’m used to having on message boards. I’m pretty new to this one and have noticed that everyone seems pretty civil and posts are well thought out. Have to say I’m pleasantly surprised.
          And no big deal on the difference of opinion. I would just personally be crushed if they don’t make the playoffs even though they exceeded my expectations. I’d still be excited for the future of this team however.

          • GEAGLE

            Wait til Vicks name is brought up

          • cloisterwater

            I’m glad I wasn’t around in the beginning of the year. I heard enough of that conversation on philly radio. Glad it’s in the past.

          • Andy124

            lol. It still rears it’s ugly head often enough.

          • Richard Colton

            your to stupid to argue with

          • GEAGLE

            I know u are but what am I…:)

          • Andy124

            Oh sunova… I didn’t see this before I posted.

          • Andy124

            I no you r but wut am i?

          • Bdawkbdawk

            “Foles’ performance on Sunday was the 7th best in Eagles History”

          • Richard Colton

            Ohh, they giving out busts in Canton for checkdowns now? Take your so-called stats and GTFO. If they named an animal at the Philly Zoo for Foles, it would be a YAC.

          • Andy124

            YAC. Nice.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol the past? You missed a Vick vs. FOles royal rumble around here yesterday….I know it’s hard to believe, but there are still fools who say Folesy sucks and Vick is GOD….drugs are a terrible thing

          • G_WallyHunter

            Some are, yes

          • cloisterwater

            Well that’s just ludicrous. I like Vick and will root for him wherever he plays next year, but I think it’s safe to say Dynamite has won the gig.

          • Explorer51

            Actually, it’s much more subtle now. The new line doesn’t specifically mention Mike Vick, it just downplays Foles’ successes (he’s lucky, he gets his yards through YAC, etc) and micro focuses on every mistake. The whole Vick vs Foles thing was unfortunate for both of those guys…who to their credit were total professionals and good teammates who refused to get pulled into it.

    • anon

      We go one and done next year will you say “glad they got that first taste of the playoffs, no one makes it the first time they reach the playoffs”. I’d love to go to the playoffs, even if we lose the first game.

      • Andy124

        Good question. Easy answer: I don’t know.

  • Jmkrav

    Why not have Donnie Jones handle kickoffs?

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    The media is really stretching this week with the Alex Henery / weak leg stories and that his touchback percentage is abysmal. Yeah, he can’t “consistently” kick it out of the endzone, with 33 touchbacks; 43 returns. News flash: other than Matt Prater kicking at high altitude and Graham Gano kicking in warm weather, nobody else can either. Even if he kicked over half of his kicks out of the endzone, Chip Kelly still would have had him mortart/squib it against the Vikings because of his fear of Patterson.

    Something else to consider: Are more kickoff return men opting to take out kicks against us even when they’re 8 yards deep because they know are coverage units are sub-par?

    • Andy124

      Are more kickoff return men opting to take out kicks against us even when they’re 8 yards deep
      Going off memory here, but I believe word around the league was the guys were going to return kicks from deeper in the endzone after they moved the kickoff up 5 yards. I believe that has proven to be true.

    • Explorer51

      Gostkowski in NE with 53 touchbacks and 29 returns? Also wouldn’t mind having former FA Ravens K Tucker, hitting on 93 % of his FGs for his career including that 61 yd gamer last week, with 40 touchbacks and 33 returns…

      • GEAGLE

        Our ST would be RiDONKulous with Tucker and Donnie Longball

        • Explorer51

          Yeah, I’ve lived in Ravens/Redskins territory long enough to have suffered through Super Bowl wins for both teams so I’ve followed the fortunes and misfortunes of these two annoying franchises. Harbaugh took a big gamble cutting a few established Ks and going with Tucker the FA; of course, he paid off big time last year during their Super Bowl run. Never understood why we would use a draft pick (unless it was a second 6 or 7) on a K, particularly when we had a still serviceable Akers that we could have let compete in training camp with FAs both undrafted and the NFL variety.

    • Richard Colton

      Have to wonder is some of the anti-Henery sentiment is misplaced resentment over A) David Akers getting dumped and B) spending a 4th round pick on a Kicker.

      • Chris

        Don’t reach too far

        • Richard Colton

          don’t blame me, my Kicker’s Norwegian

      • anon

        and seeing Justin Tucker show us how important a kicker can be. Frankly i do think his performance in the SD game is what got me. We likely have another win if he hits a makeable 40yarder at halftime.

      • BlindChow

        I think it has more to do with missing FG’s in close games.

        • cloisterwater

          I concur

        • Token

          Some have amnesia when it comes to Henery. Hes a bum.

          You need a guy capable of hitting a important 55 yarder in a tight game. The Eagles are punting in that situation.

          • theycallmerob

            I’d rather they go for it altogether, but yea a big leg would be nice too

  • GEAGLE

    Chad greenway was Mic’ed up against us last week for inside the NFL…cool hearing him blown away by how fast we were moving, saying we were playing the fastest he had ever seen a team play…..

    • Token

      http://www.vikings.com/media-vault/videos/Vikings-Wired-Chad-Greenway-vs-Eagles/10872c7a-4a67-42de-9f63-0c0837e450d6

      Tempo can be the great equalizer against a tough D. But you have to be efficient. Thats why I think id like to see a bit less deep shots, get back to a little more short and intermediate chain moving plays. Just relentlessly move the chains and then pick your shots.

      • GEAGLE

        We had no respect for Vikings, literally swung for the fences all game…it’s like Chip wanted to show off his offense and we paid for it…lesson learned! let’s go bear hunting

        • Maggie

          Please please chip, DO NOT turn into AR and MM!!

      • EaglePete

        yup, its kind of frustrating to watch as a fan when its not working. Nothing harder to handle than going for the bomb and missing on 3rd and 3. Just get the first. When its clicking though, get your popcorn, nothing better as a fan. Guess you take the good with the bad.

      • Adam

        It’s frustrating because all of us saw that epic 9:30 minute drive at the end of the Tampa game. It’s in Kelly’s playbook, he knows how to do it. I’m not saying every drive has to be like that, but there are definitely times and places where it would be nice. Like say, somehow, we get up by a couple of scores against Chicago. Then you come away from the deep shots.

        One thing that may happen though, and this could be good or bad depending on how you look at it, is Shady’s just gets huge chunks of yardage on his runs, even though we’re trying to to slow our roll. I can deal with that problem as long as our drives end in touchdowns, though.

      • mtn_green

        1:50 mark greenway says to Mathis “this uptempo is brutal”

  • Richard Colton

    Unlikely that the Eagles would have used the same squib strategy against the Bears and Hester, even if it hadn’t been such a disaster against the Vikings. If I’m scouting Minnesota before last Sunday, I’m wondering who can beat us. 3rd string nobody at RB? Retread QB? Greg Jennings who hadn’t done anything all year? Had the D played like it had played for the previous five games, but Cordarelle beat us with 2 return TDs…well the Monday conversation would have been different.

    Bears have too many ways to score and sustain drives on offense – so I’m hoping its a non-issue Sunday night.

    • GEAGLE

      No shot in hell that Chip voluntarily gives Cutler the ball at the 40…

      The strategy was a blatant disrespect to Castle, and he made us pay….Chip won’t do that with this offense

    • Token

      youd hope he learned his lesson now. You kick it deep and hope your ST is good enough. KO returns are rare. Ill take my chances of a return TD rather than give them the ball on the 40 yard line each drive. To me percentages say thats a worse way to go.

      • anon

        We wanted out of the box thinking, not everything works all the time. Those 15yds didn’t cost us the game, we couldn’t stop the pass. They were getting TDs not field goals.

    • Bdawkbdawk

      A few days ago I wrote this:

      “The decision to squib on kickoffs does not seem too crazy to me. Going into the game against a backup QB, a third string running back, and a generally underperforming WR corps, Chip and the staff thought we had a favorable matchup. Against Patterson and the Vikings’ return unit, we thought we had an unfavorable matchup. As a result, [he] shift[ed] burden from the unfavorable matchup to the favorable matchup.”
      It seems like we agree. Nice job.

      • Richard Colton

        Agree 100%. I wasn’t plagiarizing. I was too busy yesterday defending myself for having the temerity to suggest Foles might not be 2nd coming of Bobby Hoying.

        • Bdawkbdawk

          I’m no gonna accuse you of plagiarizing, it think you are a good dude. I do object to how you’re characterizing our spat on Foles though.

          I also apologize if my frustration came off as immature.

          • Richard Colton

            bdawk! your name was showing up as someone else for a minute. something Russian. took me a minute. yesterday was fun. no worries.

          • EaglePete

            That happens all the time on this site, just have to refresh or re-sort the comments and it usually clears it back up. I think it happens when you stay on the same thread for long enough and comments keep getting added. Like it cant keep up so it repeats screen names.

          • Andy124

            Mostly with non-registered users.

          • EaglePete

            aha is that why. I was registered early on, then it started using my full name and I never figured out how to get rid of that. Since then Ive always just done it as a guest, its a pain though. I should try again.

          • Andy124

            Also, you can change your screen name pretty easily here with your diqus account.

  • GEAGLE

    Did anyone see FOles last night talking for about 15 minutes, on one of those late night haf an hour Eagles shows? Inside the eagles! eagles playbook or something like that. I think it was on Channel 6 at 11:30….FOles talked game by game about his season….he GETS IT, music to my ears

    • cloisterwater

      Alright, I have to ask now that I’ve seen it in many of your posts. What’s with the capital FO in FOles?

      • GEAGLE

        He puts the O in Offense…I dunno man..”relax, enjoy the win man”-Ried

        • cloisterwater

          Just curious. Figured there had to be a reason.

          • GEAGLE

            Just teasin, because people ask me all the time…wish I had a cool story for you, just annoying autocorrect…but it became synonymous with me, so I just keep it

          • EaglePete

            funny how often this gets asked, its fast becoming folklore on this site. Maybe its like those bad Bud commercials, its only weird if it doesnt work.

        • Andy124

          You’re not going to tell him the truth? About how Nick used to intern at Football Outsiders and learning their metrics has helped him as a QB? Or that the O is supposed to be a zero, because that’s what you really think of FOles? :)

          • GEAGLE

            Shhhhhh!!!! He is new, he can’t handle the truth!!!

          • Chris

            It’s almost better that this is becoming a mystery, sort of like old lore. Scholars maintain that the proper translation was lost years ago, on the old birds 24/7 posts.

      • Richard Colton

        can’t spell Front Office without FOles.

        seriously though, I think it’s in Geagle’s F.A.Q. fact sheet

  • GEAGLE

    finally see some decent mocks…
    ..
    #23 Hasean Clinton Dix

    #23 TRENT Murphy OLB
    ..
    GEAGLE approves those pics….yes I’m cool enough to speak in the third person :) jk

    • Richard Colton

      Thought Murphy looked great against USC, but he disappeared vs. the Irish. If I’m looking Stanford D in round one, I might trade down and go Skov before Murphy. You like him better than Van Noy?

  • anthony barnes

    Lesson the eagles have to have faith in there special teams u can’t give the good filled position ur putin ur defense in a tuff situation that can cost u the game

    • cloisterwater

      I agree. Even if it’s misplaced faith, just have Henery kick the ball as far as he can and cross your fingers.

    • EaglePete

      totally agree, dont play scared, have some faith chippa. Then again, smart football can win a lot of times esp conservative football but when you lose doing that it seems all that much worse. Funny though that hes a gambling man everywhere else, 4th downs, taking shots deep etc but not with ST.

  • Cyrus Robinson

    It seems so many teams have a real threat on kickoff returns to take it to the house, but we haven’t had anyone close to scary for a while.We NEED that. I haven’t check the math or the numbers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if having a good return man is equivalent an extra 28-35 points a year. Our team has focused a lot on defensive special teams (punting, punt coverage, KO coverage), but not much on the offensive side (blocking properly on returns, getting a competent kickoff return man). I feel like everytime DJax does anything on a punt return, it comes back. Plus special teams TDs are extremely deflating to the opposite team. I really want a good kickoff return man!!

    • Explorer51

      Interesting when you think that two of the most exciting plays in recent Eagles history were punt return TDs for DJax and Brian Westbrook…

      • Cyrus Robinson

        Oh we’re fine on punt return, I just want a kickoff return man also!

    • Token

      Only half the team is made up of so called Special Teams Aces. Next year we should shoot for a third of the team.

  • southy

    There are two ways to do poorly in time-of-possession: 1) Run up-tempo all the time, and 2) Be a bad football team. One thing does not inform the other. Brookover will never have those 2 hours of his life back, unfortunately.

  • EaglePete

    Not trying to be negative here but I really have a lot riding on Foles these next 2 games. If he comes out flat under pressure I wont be nearly as hopeful as some are for the future. Of course if its mostly on the defense faltering then my opinion could change. I just put a ton of stock in a QBs ability to play under pressure, you have to be a gamer. All the nice stats are fine but if you cant lead when games are on the line it says a lot in this league. Young or not, sometimes the ice in the veins is built in. We may find out a lot here. As a fan my whole life and really watching since I was old enough in about 1980 I dont think the Eagles have had a clutch QB. Sure, donny had a handful of games, so did Vick to an extent but not really, Randall def no, those offense stalled more often than not. Cmon Foles, show me more, Im greedy.

    Im really wanting the skins to crush that deflated Cowboy team. Cant you just see Cousins putting up a quick 14 on em and that sideline just completely going to shambles. Any adversity and I think it will be too much for em. I want Eagles to lock it up Sunday night.

    • cloisterwater

      I think that’s a fair view. I think Foles has the right temperment to handle the big moments, but I can’t say that with any certainty quite yet.

  • Corey Dawson

    Brookover should read page more if he’s going to tlak about the defensive snaps. After stating the Eagles have played the most defensive snaps this season and referencing the 48 points the Vikings put up, he asks “Is that a byproduct of playing more snaps than other defensive teams or is it the result of a team still building on that side of the football?”. These guys here answered that earlier this week, it’s due to being dead last in plays allowed per drive and third to last in three and out rates.
    If he’s going to compare the Eagles other historical teams last in time of possession, he needs to do a better job cross referenceing that data with some stat other than just stating that three of those historical teams were also last is plays run. The fact that out of all the teams analyzed, the Eagles are the only one with a positive point differential and the team with the highest offensive points, shows this. Great Brookover, you have showed that for some reason ToP doesn’t much matter for the Eagles, and that they are the anomally. Now show us why. Find that stat that does that makes them different from all of these teams and compare it to other succesful/unsuccesful teams to see if it is the real variable that matters.

  • Loke1988

    KOR and Kicker added to my off season wish list. Man I miss Brian Mitchell.