Three Eagles Leftovers

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From Connor Barwin’s role to Chip Kelly’s love for DeMeco Ryans to Cary Williams’ future, here are three Eagles leftovers.

1. The Eagles’ two outside linebacker positions were not created equal in 2013. Trent Cole made the transition from defensive end, usually lining up on the right side. Barwin’s spot was labeled the “jack” by Billy Davis, as in jack of all trades. That meant Barwin usually lined up on the left side and dropped back into coverage far more often than Cole.




According to Pro Football Focus, Barwin dropped 42.3 percent of the time on passing downs and rushed the QB 57.7 percent of the time.

"I can do it so it fits my skill set and I’m fine with it," Barwin said last week. "Whatever way Billy [Davis] wants to use me. And I’m sure, who knows how it’ll evolve next year? I could see myself being in a similar role or I could see it being different. It just matters how this defensive evolves, what happens. But I don’t mind at all. I think it makes our defense better. I think Billy did a great job of utilizing the talent that we had.”

Cole, meanwhile, dropped 21.7 percent of the time and rushed 78.3 percent of the time.

It'll be interesting to see what the Eagles want from the outside linebacker spot opposite Barwin. On one hand, they could use a prolific pass-rusher who drops at about the same rate Cole did last year, but wreaks havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

On the other hand, we know Davis and Chip Kelly value versatility. Perhaps they would want someone with a skill set similar to Barwin's. That would allow Davis some more flexibility in disguising where he's sending the pressure from.

One way or another, we'll get an answer in the coming months. It would be an upset if the Eagles didn't tweak with their personnel at outside linebacker this offseason.

2. We've mentioned before in this space that Kelly has favorites. If you want one guy's take on the short list of players he loves, it would go like this: Brent Celek, Demeco Ryans, Cedric Thornton, Jason Kelce.

I got a chance to ask two of those four why they think Kelly is so fond of them.

Said Ryans: "I love playing the game of football, and he loves coaching football. And I guess that’s just where we meet. You cut out all the distractions and you focus on what’s gonna get us better, how can we get better, how can we win today. And that’s kind of my approach. And that’s his approach also."

And Celek: "Everything that coaches ask of you, I feel like you should do. They pay you a lot of money around here and whatever they want me to do I’ll do. And I think they just appreciate that."

There's been some chatter about one or both of Ryans/Celek not returning next season. I don't see it. They're both productive players, and Kelly loves what they bring in terms of building a new culture at the NovaCare Complex.

3. I'm curious to see what the Eagles do at the cornerback position in the coming months. Free agency needs generally fit into one of three categories. The first is absolute need. For example, that's safety for the Birds. They simply cannot afford to go into 2014 with the same guys.

The second is not even thinking about it. For the Eagles, that's starting running back. They have LeSean McCoy. No need to even look at the top guys on the market at that spot.

And the third is where most positions fall: if there's an upgrade available.

Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher played better than expected in 2013. Neither is a shutdown guy, but both corners compete and are physical. You can go into 2014 with them as the starters and be OK.

But you can also upgrade the talent. According to The Inquirer, the Eagles have to decide on Williams by March 16. That's when his $4.75M salary for 2014 becomes guaranteed.

Asked if he thinks he'll be back, Williams said: "That’s not my decision to make. I’m just Employee 26. That may be the case. That may not be the case. It just depends on what the team wants to do and what it’s gonna take for us to be successful next year. The great thing about the NFL is there’s always gonna be personnel changes every year. The team’s not gonna be exactly the same. And we understand that. ...It is a business at the end of the day, and we’re in the business of winning games. That’s the most important thing for an organization, for a franchise. And we want to go deep in the playoffs.

"I played pretty well this season. I don’t see a reason why I wouldn’t be back. But at the end of the day, I don’t know what the team wants and what direction they want to go into. So if I’m not back, then it’s not the end of the world for me. I’m gonna continue to do what I’ve done, and that’s work hard, come to work, play with intensity, play with aggression and play 60 minutes wherever I’m at."

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  • Will

    ROLB, and Safety should be the high priority to add to the current squad. You forgot an upgrade at Kicker as well….agree we can get by with the CB’s we got but need a 3rd for back up besides Boykin…

    • RIP illa

      Guys please stop w/ having Trent Murphy as the rush OLB we need. Not a bad player at all…it’s just that he’s either a 4-3 DE or an oversized version of Barwin and less athletic. Kid has a really great “jab step” (fakes outside and use a quick move to the inside) and looks smooth when dropping back to cover the flat, which is very important.
      Yet, does not posses an explosive 1st step. 4.8+ game tape speed (don’t get gassed up if he prepares hard and gets into the 4.7s at the combine), not a whole lot of agility or bend, which makes his outside rush not match up to all the talk and hype he gets!!! Good football player that I wouldn’t mind and would pretty much like to have on the team…if we weren’t in desperate need of a RUSH OLB.
      Only way he goes 1st rd is if some team falls in love w/ him as a 4-3 DE or he fools teams at the combine with a Mamula type performance.

      • Will

        4.8 speed won’t get it done for sure…thanks…Trent Cole-40 time 4.86 just saying….Connor Barwin-40 time 4.5

        • RIP illa

          Cole didn’t workout at the combine cud of a hammy injury. Ran like a 4.7 at his pro day. Barwin ran a 4.59-4.65. But then was timed at a ridiculous 4.47 at his pro day.

          Both, pro day and combine are sorta not as reliable they should be. At pro days, usually scouts take an average, by throwing out the highest and the lowest times. Unless everybody comes up w/ pretty much the same time. And the combine came into question last year when NFL network started to digitally run guys “side by side” (more like overlapping). Several times it showed guys w/ lower times, either not to far off (as timed) from their top peer, or even sometimes, straight up beating the guy times higher. That’s why you gotta watch the tape also. Sometimes a guy can come in and run low 4.4s, but then you watch tape and he’s getting out ran by guys and looking more like mid 4.5s.

          • GEAGLE

            You know the ESPN sports science show that does all those crazy new tests that show how great of athletes prospects are?…WTF is the combine waiting for to ditch the silly stop watches and antiquated measuring drills and start testing these athletes with all the latest Sports science technology?

          • RIP illa

            IKR. I love the combine but they gotta step their game up!!!

          • GEAGLE

            Same, I take off work every year for the combine,,,but there are so many really advanced tests that simulate football performance better then using a stop watch and running the 40 or a 3cone drill

          • RIP illa

            Lol. I just DVR it and tell my girl to not go near the tv!!!

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            and bring a sammich

          • GEAGLE

            “MOM!!!! Get me some Meatloaf!! MOM!!!!!”-will Ferrell, wedding crashes lol

          • Tag

            Incorrect Cole had a severe viral fever which caused him to loose weight and not participate the combine

          • RIP illa

            Source?

            I have no problem being wrong, especially when it doesn’t hinder my point, in this case his non participation. But if you’re going to fact check, pick apart, and contradict what I say then at least provide a source on the matter as it is very difficult and hard to find info on the situation.

          • Tag

            Theres a documentary on Trent Cole where he admits being sick affecting his draft stock. In that documentary Andy Reid states Cole wouldve been a late 1st or an early 2nd rounder if he didnt lost weight and participated in combine. Remember Andy didnt pick Trent to start he had top ranked defense with Hugh Douglas and Javon Kearse back in early 2000

  • Media Mike

    There is ZERO reason to move on from Williams in 2014. We’re way under the cap.
    Also, an upgrade from Cole at ROLB is an absolute necessity. I’m just not sure if we can do it for 2014.

    • GEAGLE

      Cary isn’t going anywhere…think Chip is really fond of him

    • ftotheyu

      We can draft a rush LB, but it’s kind of a crapshoot. For every stud like Von Miller, you get ten busts like Aaron Maybin’s. I like the approach mentioned earlier on this blog — sign some “solid” FAs to fill your needs so you’re at least OK at each position. Then go into the draft, sit back, and get the best available guy.

      • GEAGLE

        I don’t believe that crap shoot stuff..No what your doing, do your job and get a player!! If you start over looking red flags, like commitment, psychological tests, then it becomes a crap shoot..

        Keep putting a premium on Charecter, and commitment to football, and if your coaches know how to grow players, you should end up with a player that helps you at some capacity(star,solid starter,depth)

        • anon

          Sometimes you gotta overlook that stuff, see burfict see honey badger, etc.

          • GEAGLE

            I was really high on Vontaze..hOney badger was just high lol

        • DLRJ

          I understand that you want us to get a great player, but how can you not believe the “crap shoot stuff?” Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you are saying. I forget the exact percentages, but the reality is that a significant fraction of first round picks don’t work out, and not just the picks of the incompetent organizations. While I’m sure teams would be much more successful if they had you on their scouting staff, the reality is that the NFL is a multi-billion dollar per year business. If someone had a better way of successfully screening talent, teams would be doing it.

          • GEAGLE

            Sorry, but that crap isn’t really worth dignifying with a real response…if it’s a crap shoot, why bother having scouts?
            Good one lol

    • Justin

      I’ve heard suggestions that we should trade our first rounder to Miami for Dion Jordan. It’s just spitballing, but I wish it were true.

      • Maggie

        Miami cant afford it, remember?

    • Rome

      So let me get this straight… it’s perfectly acceptable to have Williams (who is the definition of mediocre) as a starter, but it’s a necessity to get rid of the best player on defense, who through no fault of his own, is playing out of position? Eagles fans… oy vey.

      • EagleFans99

        The rumor about Dion Jordan actually came from a Miami Dolphin beat writer. It’s just a writer looking at possibilities, but with the Dolphins getting a new GM they are not tied to a guy who may be in the wrong system.

        • GEAGLE

          Don’t care who the new GM will be, no one is eatin 16millim of dead money to get rid of a Kid who just finished his rookie season…..

        • Corey Dawson

          They run a 4-3 with a 3-4 guy. We run a 3-4 with an aging 4-3 guy. Jordan for Cole and a 4th? Cole would probably have to redo his deal, but it would fit for both teams.

      • RIP illa

        If you’re talking about Cole, then I think you left context out of your post!!! So your post is really accurate when you don’t account for the fact that Cole is at the most important position on this D and when you leave out the whole production v compensation thing!!!

  • Will

    Kyle Van Noy 6’3″ 245 lbs.

  • Will
    • eagle fan dwn south

      Vic Beasley is staying in school

      • Will

        thanks…

  • Will

    Anthony Barr- 6’4″ 245lbs…

    • Will

      Khalil Mack- 6’3″ 248 lbs.

    • G_WallyHunter

      thanks for that

  • Will

    Does Joe Kruger at 6’6″ 270lbs make the jump from the PS to OLB?

    • GEAGLE

      Kruger is a Dlinemen for us, not OLB

      • Will

        gotcha…has good size for it…

  • Javi Echie

    I don’t hear anyone mention Jason Worilds as a potential free agent target. The kid can play, is a natural 3-4 outside linebacker, and plays in the defensive scheme that billy wants to emulate. I would take him over any player in the draft

    • Will

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1895895-has-jason-worilds-earned-a-new-contract-with-breakthrough-2013-season

      Jason Worilds nice read…according to the report not suited for ROLB at all does much better as a LOLB….based on that I would say no not a good fit for what we are looking for…

      • GEAGLE

        I get that Howie probably isn’t going to pay big money for someone, but with 35mil in cap space, can he really not sign a single top 25 FA?

        • Will

          That’s what makes this off season so interesting this year with FA first then the draft…curious what they end up doing for K,OLB,Safety….

        • Wiztopher

          Good point. Somewhere in between the FO’s mission statement of building the team the right way and an insane amount of cap space, The Eagles could afford and almost need to take some kind of risk n throw money at a top FA. One thing is certain, every move they make one can bet it’s very scrutinized and carefully calculated; they have accumulated this cap spacebfor a reason. Mb Roseman and Co. are thinking about being able to resign or extend all the great young players on the roster I.e. Foles, Kendricks, Thornton, Boykins etc? I’d throw some stacks at a S while also drafting one. Safety has become so important due to the passing trend/TEs in the NFL

    • Token

      JR mentioned him on here before. Hes interesting. But really wasnt very good until this last year. Granted, he didnt have much of a chance. I wouldnt throw money at him. But id take him at the right deal.

      Orakpo id be willing to pay if he got loose.

      • Wiztopher

        Ehh Orakpo is a good talent, but a huge red flag for me: he’s young but is adept at getting injured. Eagles, I feel along with Roseman stating many many times, won’t make the big splash in FA. I say Worilds is more realistic outta FA.

        • GEAGLE

          What did Orakpo injure other then his shoulder last year? He actually started to look pretty good as this season went on, while playing with slop..Orakpo and Worlids are the only names you can sign and really count on starting, and that’s a crucial position and the market at that position is so thin that you would have to outbid like 5 other teams to sign on of those guy..

          However, you never know if our coaches see any of the 4-3 DEs on the market and think they are suited to play OLB in our defense..I have no clue if we would look at Greg hardy, Micheal Johnson or Micheal Bennett
          ,,
          Gotta stay away from signing players in FA that have no competition at their position, because you get stuck grossly overpaying..Fortunately for us, the safety free agent market looks to be about as deep as you will ever find It..

          WR and OLB market suck in this years FA, but fortunately those are two of this years draft class strengths

    • RIP illa

      Cause a lot of us on here are wanting to get an elite or potential elite pass rusher. JW’s a good player, that I would not over pay for when you can draft someone who can put up similar production, while fitting the mold better…6’3-4+ and long!!! Plus I don’t think/he doesn’t seem to be a 15+ sack guy. Even if he puts up 10 sacks, that still not good enough. Hell, Cole almost got that.

      • DLRJ

        I agree with most of what you said here, and definitely prefer the idea of finding and developing someone from the draft, but the 15+ comment seems a little over the top to me. Three guys did that this year. Are you suggesting that we should poo-poo signing anyone who isn’t in the top 3 at their position?

        Sacks alone are not the greatest measure anyway. The #7 guy on the sack list–and obviously top 7 at a position would make someone at least near-elite–had 11.5 sacks. #24 had 10. #24 is definitely not elite. I don’t have any idea what Worilds overall numbers look like (pressure %, etc), but sacks are not a very reliable measure of value. (Also see Babin, Jason)

        • RIP illa

          Fair questions and points. And yes…that’s exactly what I’m saying!!! There’s no point in spending money and signing a guy that’s equal to Cole’s production when we have so much money tied up in Cole. Waste of resources. The draft can yield that player for us in rounds 2-4 for considers ill less money than signing a guy. Even if we sign a guy in round one or 2, the money spent on that contract would be for a guy that the eagles think could develop/already give better production, in terms of sacks/pressure than Cole. Resources well spent (IMO).

          I have no doubt that Worilds is a good player and would be a good player for us if signed, but he’s not what we need or should want, when we already have Cole in place. Hell, maybe he or a player like him can come in and put up 12 sacks, but would that be more of a fluke than anything else??? I’d rather have a guy, for rush OLB, have 8-12 sacks be an off year, or rookie year…see Aldon Smith…than a guy who puts up up a good year but is really not that type of player…see Barwin.

          The 15+ comment is a little over the top. So I’ll amend it to…14+!!! That’s what it is to be elite. There should be few players in that category. If there were more then elite kinda loses it’s meaning. 3-4’s most important position is the rush OLB. For me that means that we should be looking and acquiring players that are or can develop to be beyond just good enough. It’s kinda like settling for a QB who’s just good enough instead of going after someone who could have potential to be the next great QB…see the Browns and Whedon.

          Cole sack number easily left a lot of sacks and pressures to be desired. In theory, a guy who’s putting up a considerable amount more, is getting a lot more pressures also, unless he just “gets home” a lot w/ his pressures. And still that would be a good thing. Yes sack numbers are not the end all be all. But it’s still a pretty good indicator of how effective, how much pressure, and the effect player has on opposing teams O-line. Unfortunately, it does not account for the situation, like down and distance, of the sack.

          I don’t like the “Babin Defense”. Babin was brought in here to do two things and two things only…rush the passer and take pressure off Cole on the opposite side, by rushing the passer, so Cole can rush the passer!!! He excelled at that for the 1st year, and even was more effective than Cole, which was not really expected by most. Fans are fooling themselves if they think he was here to do anything other than that!!! They knew he couldn’t play the run and as a matter of fact, the whole D scheme was created specifically for the pass rush…that’s what the wide 9 is. The year after, the whole team went to crap.

  • Will

    Another player that may be available…

    • Dominik

      Not the right age. Would be a helluva player for this Defense, though. If we’d need just one more piece to make a deep run, he’d be my top choice.

      Don’t know if Baltimore lets him walk.

  • Will

    Whom ever they bring in will still have to beat Trent Cole who may be the best option for now going forward all things considered…6’3″ 270 lbs.

    • GEAGLE

      By the end of the season I expect Cole to be playing run downs, and the rookie getting the majority of the pass rush opportunities

  • rjwill

    I think they should move Kendricks outside and get another inside backer through the draft or free agency (Brandon Spikes?). Not only would this maximize Kendrick’s pass rushing ability but it would give us two outside backers that can cover or rush.

    • Will

      Inside and OLB are 2 very different positions Kendricks 6′ 240lbs. as played inside most of the time his height makes it hard to cover tall TE’s dunno not a bad suggestion because of his speed….I like him on the inside myself…

      • RIP illa

        Speed is good but not will only go so far when rushing on the outside. We might as well have just kept blitzing Boykin if we would even think about moving Kendricks out there.

        You are correct about the ILB and OLB being very different. Always heard Kendricks being praised for being a good blitzer. Can’t remember ever hearing anyone praise his pass rushing skills. Rjwill, need a to keep in mind that although both involve trying to get at the QB, they’re still very different.

        • GEAGLE

          Kendricks will continue growing into a stud ILB..this OLB talk is silly…would never happen

    • Dominik

      Spikes came late to a meeting, but found the time to twitter some stuff before he drove to the facility.

      Belichick is a military approach coach (and that’s why he almost cut him and put him on IR) and Chip is not, but I guess Chip wouldn’t be happy about stuff like that.

      But the main point is broad up by Will. Don’t see Kendricks as our ROLB. I really hopes he makes a third year leap as MLB. Has the athletic ability to play the position like the two monsters the Panthers have (Kuechly, Davis). He “just” has to eliminate the meltdowns.

    • RIP illa

      So you want a 5’11 245 lb OLB w/ 31 inch arms when the coaches are looking for a 6’3+ 260+ player w/ significantly longer arms??? I’m pretty sure other team’s tackles want that too.

  • Will

    More film of Trent Murphy..

    • Tom w

      Gotta watch the entire game … Not just a guys highlight reel .. Everyone looks good on a highlight reel lol hence the name … Gotta watch the bad plays, stiff competition and how they perform every play

      • Will

        Good point…just wonder what the OLB’s looked like in up coming draft…curious if any were NFL ready to step in and play right away..Just kicking the tires on em…even in Highlight reels didn’t see anyone that I thought could come in and start day 1…..

        • GEAGLE

          This draft will provide some OLBs who will be ready from day one like Khalil Mack. You can plug him into the starting lineup on opening day and not have to worry about getting him off the field because it’s a passing I down, or a running down…then there will be some guys who are ready at either playing the run, or rushing the passer who will have to time share the position with a veteran until he grows to play both the pass and run…then there are the prospects who are super athletes at the position, but just recently started playing that position like an Anthony Barr who was a running back two years ago….It’s typical for OLB prospects to be raw in terms of moves and counter moves, Many come into the league needing to spend their first year adding weight…
          ..
          as fans, we want to draft the kid that’s ready to start from day one but GMs dont look at it that way. drafts are judged by who the player develops into 3-4 years from now, And then for how long he can continue to play at that level..

          The Eagles NEEDED to add a starting caliber Olinemen in the draft last year. We chose not to go out and sign the veterans like Vollmer,jake Long, Winston…so while we are going to stick to BPA, it’s foolish to think that immediate needs don’t play some roll in who you draft…Herremans could have played either guard or tackle and Barbre hadn’t yet shown that he was such a solid game ready back up yet..so we went into the draft knowing that we had to get a G or a T who we were going to start this year…even when drafting a position that we would have to count on having to start as a rookie, it was still all about who would be the best player 4 years from now…at no point did, who would provide better rookie production matter,,Howie proved it with the Lane pick. He was one of the rawest OTs drafted in the top 3’rounds, we knew he would have to take rookie lumps…

          If rookie production mattered to Howie we would have never drafted Lane. Instead DJ Fluker would probably be playing next to Herremans! OR, Todd would have played tackle, and Chance Warmack would have lined up at guard…both playes were way more game ready then Lane was, but not drafting Lane would have been foolishly short sited…

          We KNOW we need OLB, and we know cOle and Graham aren’t the answer, but in reality we are lucky to have them in case the OLB who will be the best player 3 years from now at the top of our board needs to put on weight his first year, or needs to start off as a situational pass rusher and then ease his way into the lineup more and more as the season goes on…So I think we are really fortunate to have Cole/Graham for one more year so the OLB we draft won’t have to be counted on more then he can handle..I could see a small chance of us getting rid of Graham this offseason, but Cole will be back for what I hope will be his last year, and when you get rid of Cole next year, you draft another young OLB and that’s how you remain a contender while gradually transitioning into the Chip Kelly Eagles

          • RIP illa

            Oh yeah, found the mythical dancing bear!!! Turns out he’s not just a myth. The guys at BGN put me on to him, his one draft breakdown tape is ridiculous, and he was pretty freaking good at the east-west shrine game!!! JUSTIN ELLIS!!!

            Kid is a F’n BEAST. He’s on the short side (for us) at 6’2. He’s heavy as hell at 350+…I would def have him drop 15-20 lbs. but the kid has extremely quick feet and can move his ass. His Bull rush, one on one…forget it, no way a guard/center can win against him. Gotta nice swim move, and spin!!! Sometimes he gets his pad level to high and gets stood up, but even then, it’s still tough for double teams to move him. When he maintains pad level, doubles have to use everything to stop him. Would like to see him stay “square” a little more, cuz when he gets turned (which is not him showing bad technique, just depends on how he’s getting doubled) that’s the only way a RB can hope to get through the line. And even then still he flows to the ball nicely to make the gain minimal. Also flows down the line well. 3 down linemen. So unbelievable, since he weighs that much.
            Yet can seriously rush the passer, can push single or doubles back into the face of the passer, and at worst…maybe moved a foot or two off his spot!!! I want us to get this kid BAD!!! He’s now my fav after ‘Shede, but will come at less of a price!!!

            If not him, and Howie sticks to a Logan-sized player, then the kid from Purdue is nasty too, in his own right. Bruce Gaston.

            My DL ranking/wish list…
            ‘Shede
            Ellis
            Carrethers/Gaston
            Nix
            Kerr/McCullers

          • GEAGLE

            I know the name but I’m drawing a damn Blank,,what team?
            ,….
            I won’t do my rankings til I’m ready cuz people are too happy to throw my preliminary rankings in my face,,like they don’t get the concept that a top prospect today, could quickly turn into the 25th pick in the draft once the process unfolds…tough to know how to really rank them anyway til we see the combine. But I will say Shede is my favorite and I doubt that changes…I have to get up to speed with Kerr, and gaston I know nothing about
            ,,.

          • RIP illa

            Yeah. I don’t really do rankings, in the strictest terms. Just see where the team needs to improve or depth and find the guy who I like the most/shows the most for what I think we need/want. I leave a lot of guys and big name guys off my list each and every year.

            Ellis plays for Lousiana Tech. Theycallmerob can tell you more about Kerr, but between you and me, I think it’s more regional bias than anything from him. Although scouts have a lot of good things to say about him. He fell extremely flat in the game today. Gotta study more on Gaston but like what I’m hearing and saw this far.

            Another thing about Ellis is, that he’s such a monster in the middle that he a serious weapon for blitzes (A-Gap). And Davis does love himself some A-Gap blitzes. If he lands w/ a good team/coaches then I think his ceiling can be very high.

          • GEAGLE

            Thanks man

          • theycallmerob

            but between you and me, I think it’s more regional bias
            Haha, of course it is! And there are no personal/private conversations on here :)

            I like Ellis too, and the DE from Richmond (Wynn) looked good to. I’m high on kerr mostly because he’ll be a 7th at best or UDFA. Depth pick

          • RIP illa

            Lol!!! Yeah can’t argue against his value. I’m not high on him but I can see him as still being a good player for us if drafted. I know my past post sound like I’m really down on Logan, but I really believe a lot of mid to late round DTs/NTs can come here and do just as well as he did this year and some even better. Am I crazy for that?

          • Will

            LA Tech…Ellis…

          • mksp

            I brought up Ellis last week here, but after watching the Shrine Game, not as sure he’s the right fit for us. A little too squat, arms seems short, and not sure he can *really* anchor. Great feet though, great athleticism, good motor. Its not a talent question, just a fit one.

            I like the Gaston kid though. Violent hands, movements.

          • RIP illa

            Wish I would have saw that post. I guess he is kinda squat, but that doesn’t bother me w/ the motor, quickness, and strength he has. He measured in at the same height as Logan but he doesn’t have the arm length Logan has. Logan has 34″ arms while Ellis measured in this week at 32″.
            I’d be really surprised if he couldn’t anchor, really surprised. LA tech ran a 4-3 and so did the teams at the shrine game. So I think he’d definitely have to be taught to 2-gap, but I see nothing that would indicate that he wouldn’t be able to anchor. From what I’ve seen, the kid is either moving forward, or staying on his spot, but rarely moving backwards. Pretty much the lack of experience and pad level things are the knocks I see on him so far and both are very coachable. Plus since he’s only 6’2, when he doesn’t maintain his pad level, it’s not like he loses all leverage and gets put on skates…like Geathers does from time to time, cuz of his height. Oh yeah, and getting him to drop lbs. but (IMO) it’s better to have someone, at a position that relies heavily on strength, to drop weight than try to put on weight.

            You’re right about what you saw in Gaston’s hands. It was really nice to watch. Wish Ellis displayed that. If he did tho, he’d probably a way higher draft pick. I liked what I saw from both during the game. And both can be had in the draft later…big plus!!! But Ellis is officially my man-crush, along w/ several other prospects. What can I say, when it comes to draft prospects…I’m a man-whore!!!

          • mksp

            Agreed, I wouldn’t be upset if we pick Ellis, I just think the 32″ arm thing is a deal-breaker for Chip though. Especially when he’ll be asked to 2-gap.

          • RIP illa

            I hear ya…at 6’2 w/ short arms is kinda a bummer. But hey can’t be worse than a TE, who needs to catch and block, but has T-Rex arms!!! Cough…Ertz…cough!!! I think the size, strength, and athleticism make up for it more than enough. But not up to me.

      • GEAGLE

        You don’t have to watch the entire game, but you do have to watch what’s it called? It’s like say you want to watch Trent Murphy, you can find cut up videos of each game, where it only show you every play that the prospect you are looking for is in the game(obviously commercials are also edited out)…that way you get to see the good plays you would see in a highlight! but within the context of the entire game…..
        ..
        basically, for example Khalil Mack..you have to look for videos like “Khalil Mack vs, Ohio State”….and you will get a fast condensed version of the buffalo vs! Ohio state only showing the plays Mack was on the field for…sometimes these videos even circle the prospect you are watching at the beginning of each play so you can easily find him…
        ….
        So,when you want to learn about say a Trent Murphy, you would have to look for the videos:
        Murphy vs. Oregon
        Murphy vs. UCLA
        Murphy vs. Arizona

        And you want to make sure you especially watch the games where the prospect is going head to head against other NFL prospects..
        For example if you want to watch DE Kony Ealy, you would make sure you watch:
        Kony Ealy vs. Auburn
        Ealy vs. Texas A and M (see how he did against jake Mathews)

        Basically you get to watch a prospect play an entire game, in 6-10 minutes of your time. take a few notes and you can get a really good idea about a prospect in only an hour(I make sure to do ATleast 1 every Sunday after the suberbowl weekend)….I would suggest watching the videos in order so you can see how a kid progresses over time..is he making minima
        Improvements from one month to the next? Is he Improving every week? Has he plateaued? His he up and down inconsistent from week to week..

        If two teams are playing who have a combined 10 defensive prospects, then I’ll download the torrent and just watch the entire game..but I really have to like a lot of the prospects playing, usually defenders, to get me to watch a full game..

        • RIP illa

          Beat me to it!!!

          • GEAGLE

            ..
            Edit: oh gotcha…yeah Cut ups..I guess that’s what they are called right?

          • RIP illa

            The cut up v highlights thing.

        • Tom w

          Thanks I know about cut ups. That’s what I meant. The point was highlights are pointless. Need to see good w bad

      • RIP illa

        Cut ups!!! Highlights are nice and all but mainly people watch cut ups!!!

      • Will

        The cut ups are nicer thanks…Cole looks safe for another year no one in the Draft is a phenom at OLB…unless Howie goes FA and not much out there for OLB…

        • Tom w

          There is a lot of olbs. Lot more than last years draft

          • Will

            Tom w who do you like in the draft at #22….1-2 players that may be there?

  • Fly High

    I am so tired of hearing, “football is just a business”. I don’t know that it has to be that way. The players and the coaches and owners all want the same thing, they want to build a winning team, they want to play football. It is not that the ownership is trying to save money for themselves. I am sure they would spend the full salary cap every year, as long as it did not get in the way of fielding a great team in the future. The real economic competition is not between the team and players, it is between high priced players and medium priced players. When some players get 10 mil or even more, it makes hard to afford all the 3-4 mil guys.
    I have a radical idea. Why don’t Lurie and Roseman have a sit down with the players, and say, “Look, we all want the same thing, we want to build a winning team, we only have so much money. How do you suggest we handle contracts, trades, etc? We have needs too, but let’s look at ways it doesn’t feel like we are competing, that you don’t count. (I know they count to Chip, he cares about his players). Not everyone can get what we want, but maybe we can feel like we are on the same side.”

    • Token

      You think that players care about winning?

      I can tell you, 95% or more of them could care less about that.

      Football is a business on both sides.

      • Fly High

        I absolutely think most of them care about winning. I think some of them just don’t want to be “used” by management. I think in the past, and with some bad teams that happens, with good management, not much. Sometimes management and players both feel trapped by the financial rules.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Great stuff, Sheil – as always.

    I think the fable that Lurie still believes in is winning a Super Bowl but also being $20 million under the cap. Howie is there to make sure that happens. I don’t think that’s a devastating criticism per se – it’s just the financial model that Lurie demands. So the days of Nnamdi-style huge FA contracts are over, IMO – even for filling Sheil’s number 1 category: absolute need.

    So I hope Chip is the coach who can do it, and Howie and Gamble can draft well – because Jeff Lurie wants that extra $20 million very year. And that will remain a constant, because Lurie believes that he’s the genius who can do what Robert Kraft has done, but with a higher gross margin.

    Still, I think that despite this, Chip will win a Super Bowl, so go Eags!

    • cliff henny

      think this year was a special circumstance, being 20m under. i often suggested it was because eagles figured they’d use most of ’14 draft to get qb and need to spend on more mid level free agents (thank you Foles!). say the sweet spot is about 8-10m under, which is where eagles usually are. that way you can rollover, resign, sign new FA, never need to do crazy structured contracts or get back shoved to wall (like romo). the biggest thing the eagles are able to do is structure contracts so they can get out of them easily. we call them eagle friendly, well, alot of that has to do with cap. can pay more straight forward instead of hidden bonuses that hike the yearly dead money up. also, dont have to restructure stacking up crap contracts-again dallas. can call Lurie alot of things, but cheap isnt one of them. think he is a great owner, shuts up and cuts checks, not suure what else we’d want

      • GEAGLE

        One quiet offseason, and people are claiming the days of signing expensive FA are over? Lol not exactly sure how anyone has enough intel to even think that, but whatever. Is it because Howie hasn’t announced ” we will sign Byrd?”??? We can stick to strategies but you always have to judge things on a case by case basis…spending big money isn’t a problem if you are confident that the guy you will sign will give us our money’s worth…
        ..
        Like people,can act like will never go after a star FA again, but that’s just silly..If march 11 rolls around and no one has been franchised, Howie will offer Jimmy Graham 50million faster then fans can say Lurie is cheap..

        I find it disgusting thatni had to drive 5 minutes to Wawa, and I couldn’t listen to sports radio longer then 10 seconds. As soon as I turned on the fanatic that blowhard Phil from Mount airy was talking about how there is no way Cooper can be brought back because he is racist..immediately I shut the radio off….this is going to be a long and annoying offseason..it’s ok! I’m going to start taking notes and write the dates down when absurd media members say something stupid, so it will be easier to say “I don’t you so next year”

        • anon

          hasnt howie said we wont go after big fas and instead just try and get a bunch of mid level talent and see how it pans out? what makes you think he’d throw graham money i think that’s exactly the thing he’s saying he wont do (unless CK makes him).

          • GEAGLE

            Why would Howie announce his exact intentions? Lol
            ..
            I don’t believe in generalizations…I like Howies “batting average” approach, but you can’t just say we will never look at elite FRee agents…I don’t know if we break the bank open for a safety, but if Graham hits the market! I would think Howie goes after him hard

          • anon

            No one said never, in fact given the difference between the top two safeties and the rest of the pack i’d be a little dissapointed if we didn’t get a big name guy. However, last we had the chance to get a guy that we could build a defense around at least one impact guy that OC’s have to scheme around and we didn’t. Interested to see if we do this time.

          • GEAGLE

            Last year we had 72 starting spots to fill. This year we only have a few

        • cliff henny

          no, didnt watch, sunday is tv day. embiid has me sold, but have noel and nba is not a bigs league anymore, so embiid is 3rd on wish list. w/ pelicans pick, jesus, i’m having kittens. still a wiggins guy. i could watch that guy jump all day. that is sports-sexy!
          .
          my guess is howie learned an age lesson. all the bashing the ’10 free agency slurge gets, the age of the players is what’s not addressed.

          • GEAGLE

            I’m not one of the idiots who is down on Wiggins, I’d take him in a heartbeat, I just think if we were to get the number 1 pick that Hinkie would go with embiid

          • cliff henny

            more games like last night, might have that problem. when thad gets traded, it’s going to be ugly. last 1/3 of season might see a 1-15 stretch.

      • Max Lightfoot

        Hi Cliff – you are correct – being under the cap has its advantages and flexibility.

        I never said Lurie was cheap.

        He just has a business model (which he has demonstrated over the years) of being $20 million or so below the cap, which makes his team even more profitable in the long run. I’m not an accountant, mind you – that’s just my take.

        My guess is that he wants to win a Super Bowl without overspending, like Jerry Jones. His model is to spend reasonably and still have a very profitable franchise, like Robert Kraft has with the Patriots.

        But then again Lurie might blow my mind and sign some FA like Byrd for gazillions and jillions of dollahs.

        • ICDogg

          The business model does not call for staying $20M below the cap. It does call for not signing bad long term contracts. To sign Byrd it probably takes $10M off your cap space and a few years of dead money hits at the end of his deal. That would be one thing if we felt the Eagles were one or two players away from a Super Bowl team, but I think it would be stupid in their current situation.

          • Brian

            If we have a third consecutive B+ or better draft, I think we are one or two free agent home runs from a Superbowl. That’s part of the reason that this off-season is going to take forever.

          • anon

            I felt that way too, but then i watched Seattle’s defense, or I watch Denver, or the Pats or even SF.

          • Brian

            Add a Safety, Pass Rusher, and big WR, and we can compete with any of the four teams that played yesterday.

        • cliff henny

          didnt mean to imply you did say he was cheap, but this often a criticism, so was more a blanket defense of lurie. guy pays coaches the most and eagles have 1st rate facilities, dont think when byrd gets red carpet treatment in philly it’s equal to oakland/cleveland, etc, there’s a reason eagles pretty much sign every and any free agent they target. lurie is tough, i dont like him, but like him as an owner, if that makes any sense. howie is in same boat. so defender the 2 is an all over map discussion. i agree the eagles pay too much attention to cap for non-cap lovers-can see how it annoys, but i love the money side of football. salary cap/53 players is what makes the nfl great. the money side of football, eagles have nailed. if kelly can become belicheck, philly might need to get alternate parade routes, we’ll get sick of same ones, they’ll win so many.
          .
          just really want want a stud safety…does dawkins have any boys? man, i miss that guy.

          • anon

            The money side is interesting, but non guaranteed money in the toughest US sport is completely unfair to the players. I do like what the cap does in terms of parity.

    • Maggie

      Like cliff h. says, Lurie has never demonstrated being cheap. And there is not one thing wrong with keeping plenty of cap space. that way you don’t run into trouble, like half the teams in the league – Dallas, Washington, Texans, Miami, Ravens, maybe Chicago, Cleveland, for starters.

  • dislikedisqus

    Re: CB: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • GEAGLE

    Darren Sharper has been arrested on suspision of Rape…he is being investigated for 3 different incident stemming from rape to sexual assualt…WTF is wrong with him? Two are in LA(October, and December) and one is from New Orleans,..5 time probowler, and current analyst on NFL network is running around raping and sexually assaulting multiple woman? Wtf is wrong with disgusting people?

    • RIP illa

      I knew there was something wrong w/ tat guy when I found out his nickname was Rufie!!!

      Seriously tho, I would say innocent till proven guilty, but 3 times in LA and once in NO…smh!!! Just sick man…sick!!!

      • GEAGLE

        Disgusting

  • anon

    any thoughts on kendrick lewis safety from KC? he’s a FA. also heard that kc may be interested in Maclin. Could just be stuff from his agent to get howie to come to the table.

    • Will

      The skinny on Lewis is hurt right shoulder missed 7 games never the same player so I would say no….

  • GEAGLE

    Who does everyone like in today’s game? I’m thinking Pats vs, Seattle
    ..
    My gut actually tells me the Niners, but they had a very tough recent road to get here and I suspect it will catch up to them this week. They had to go on the road in negative Temperature and grind out a win in GB, then they went to Carolina and had to gut out a very physical battle….I expect Seattle’s minds and bodies to be fresher today.
    ..
    I just don’t trust Peyton in Big games!! Peyton has ALWAYS had E!ITE weapons to work with, always puts up the gaudy regular season numbers and then chokes it away in the playoffs..while Brady typically will find a way to win, whether he has to make key throws, or check into a run play 20 times in a row. Brady has had some great weapons to work with over the years like Randy,Gronk, Hernandez, Wes..but Tom also won a lot of big games with average at best weapons around him, which is something I have never seen Peyton do.. heck Tom has a SB throwing to Branch and Troy Brown… Today is a high pressure situation for both, but Peyton has a TON of pressure on him, especially since he doesn’t know if his body will hold up for one more year Or not…

    Like usual, I expect Peyton to come up small when it matters, but I owl lol definitely be rooting to prove me wrong…there is nothing that would make me happy like the Pats not winning any SB since getting caugh video taping TO run routes the day before the SB

    • Token

      Both have a chance to be classic games. Should be a fun day of football.

      Ill take Denver over NE. Cant believe what NE has done this year with that roster. But at some point the lack of overall talent has to get to you.

      NFC game, The QBs will actually have to step up and play well today. Dont see either team running all that well. In a game where some throws will have to be made, ill give the nod to Wilson over Kaep. I think Kaeps luck runs out today and he gets picked a couple times. Dont think Seattle will drop the INTs other teams have let go through their fingers.

      Denver and Seattle would be a more interesting SB IMO.

      • GEAGLE

        Good stuff…yeah it’s just crazy what the pats have been able to accomplish inspite all of the injuries…and I can definitely see the NFC title game decided by who Can pass the ball better, advantage Wilson. But not by much….both young QBs are average at best in the passing game…
        ..
        Seattle vs. Denver is probably the Super Bowl I would prefer seeing

        • anon

          Think that game will be more about who has the better coached team, so i go with the pats even though i like Peyton. Should be best two games of the year i think.

  • Will

    Seattle/Denver… Peyton squeaks one out…Seattle wins Super Bowl…

  • Token

    Greg Cosell nails it on Wilson…..

    “They’re a run-first team with a quarterback who, for the most part, has played smart football, efficient football, safe football — but whose running ability has sort of captured people’s attention and made him appear as though he’s a better player than he is.”

    “Spectacular runs are seen over and over on highlight shows, and with this newfound sense that that’s what NFL quarterbacking has become — running around — it has raised a guy like Russell Wilson to a level higher than his actual performance.”

    That last paragraph couldnt be more right.

    • NickS1

      ^ This.

    • theycallmerob

      Preach, Cosell

    • GEAGLE

      Friggin TAnahill might he a more developed passer then these two mobile QBs are at this point in their young careers

    • Media Mike

      And this can also be applied to the ding dong on the Niners who just lost.

    • Rob

      Russel Wilson is in a SB Nick Foles is at home . Talk all you want about Wilson he’ll have a SB ring before the Eagles ever get there!

  • NickS1

    Catching up on some of the Dion Jordan rumors. The more I think about it the less I hate it. I’d try to get a pick back, though. Something like a 1st and Curry for a 2nd or 3rd and Jordan. Even a fourth. Just want the extra asset to trade back up if possible.

    • Token

      That would be brutal IMO. We need a pass rusher. Jordan isnt that.

      • NickS1

        I agree he didn’t have a good rookie year, but he was miscast as a 4-3DE. I hated this very much at first, but I’m not entirely opposed the more I think about it. I just wouldn’t trade straight up the #22 pick for him, but if I could move Graham or Curry and get a pick back, I hate it a lot less.

    • Tom w

      Nothing to catch up on. It was an uneducated hypo by a Miami reporter … Never ever take place bc they take a 16 million dead money cap hit if they trade him.

      • NickS1

        The dead money is 10mil, not 16mil. He’s out of place as a 4-3DE. Not impossible to deal with. Unlikely, I agree, but not out of the realm of possibility.

  • anon

    what if we traded a first and b. graham for j. gordon??

    • pjcostello

      Love Josh Gordon, but… Gordon’s suspension history has to be a concern, and Graham’s a free agent after the season. Couple that with the fact that Cleveland already has two first rounders this year, and I’m not sure you get a sale. I’d love to see him in midnight green, but I don’t think it’s doable.

  • Tag

    Our secondary has no attitude accept for Cary Williams. Rather have a replacement for Bradley Fletcher than Cary Fletcher through free agency or draft. Nate Allen is the softest safety in the league. Everyone bickers about Richard Sherman being such a diva but I would love to have him or a player of his caliber. Name an impact player in our D….theres none.