Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Barwin’s Role

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Connor Barwin was not among the first wave of new players the Eagles signed last offseason.

On the first day of free agency, the team added five new players, three of whom ended up starting games on defense (Isaac Sopoaga, Bradley Fletcher and Patrick Chung).




But with Barwin, the Eagles waited to see how the market played out. They had him on their list, but Howie Roseman wasn't sure what the demand would be for the outside linebacker. Barwin followed up an 11.5-sack season in 2011 with just three sacks in 2012. Clearly, teams were not convinced he was an elite pass-rusher, and so the Eagles saw a chance to pounce, signing the 26-year-old to a deal that included $8 million in guaranteed money.

Barwin ended up being one of the Eagles' best free-agent acquisitions. He provided leadership, energy and was by all accounts a great teammate. In terms of production, he was arguably the Eagles' most consistent defender.

The key word with Barwin is versatility. Using Pro Football Focus' numbers, we looked at the 31 3-4 outside linebackers who played at least 500 snaps last year to see how often each was used in coverage. Among that group, only Buffalo's Manny Lawson and the Jets' Calvin Pace dropped with more frequency than Barwin.

 
Pct. Rush
Pct. Drop
Manny Lawson32.2%67.8%
Calvin Pace55.4%44.6%
Connor Barwin58.0%42.0%
Avg. among 31 OLBs79.0%21.0%

On average (among the 31 players), 3-4 outside linebackers rushed the QB 79 percent of the time on passing downs and dropped just 21 percent.

"Connor makes the scheme go," said defensive coordinator Billy Davis back in December. "I move him around multiple spots. He's inside on the outside on the right, outside on the left, he's inside, he's over at guard. We move him around ‑ the position is called the Jack, the Jack of all trades, is what it was originally named. We move him around and we have different techniques we use with him and he's great with picking them up. If I need an edge set on one side or a certain reroute or chip, Connor is the guy we go to.

"He wears a lot of hats and doesn't get as many rushes as he would like but does a lot of things for the defense that it's unselfish on his part. He would love to be rushing every down and getting more sacks, but he's dropping and doing more other things and never says a word about it."

Part of Barwin's role was directly related to the guy playing the other OLB spot. Trent Cole was new to the position, and while he dropped a fair amount (21.7 percent), he wasn't asked to do nearly as many things as Barwin.

Going forward, the guess here is that Barwin will play a similar role, regardless of who's on the other side. His strength is not as a pure pass-rusher (although it should be noted that Barwin led all OLBs with seven batted passes to go along with his five sacks). His strength really is in his versatility.

If the Eagles feel the same way, it will affect their offseason plans. For starters, whoever is playing right outside linebacker needs to be a big-time pass-rusher, and versatility isn't as important. Number two, the Eagles are in desperate need of depth. They have to find someone in the coming months who can back Barwin up if he gets injured.

Those are offseason priorities in the months ahead, but Barwin's role seems pretty defined going forward.

WHAT YOU  MISSED

One former GM ranks Nick Foles as the league's No. 12 QB, plus some love for the 1991 Eagles defense.

Joe Banner is out in Cleveland.

The Eagles could have options in the draft at WR, writes T-Mac.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com thinks Redskins OLB Rob Jackson could be an option for the Eagles:

The Eagles' biggest need this offseason (not to be confused with their most glaring hole) is a stud edge rusher. Rob Jackson is not that guy. However, he is a player with good size who is very good in coverage, plays decent run defense, has a knack for making big plays, and while certainly not a stud rusher, he does have some rush skills.

Les Bowen of the Daily News caught up with Jason Kelce about Michael Sam:

Asked how he thought the Eagles' locker room would react if the Birds drafted Sam, Kelce said: "That's honestly a question I don't know the answer to. I think reactions would be mixed, and that at first certain people would be uncomfortable. However, I do firmly believe that how he was accepted in the long run, and how any player is accepted, really, would come down to his personality and his ability to play the game. I do feel that as long as he was a genuine, good, cool human being, and also played football really well, people would eventually get over the fact that he was homosexual.

"Some guys may never agree with it, but his sexual orientation is only part of who he is as a person, and eventually, who he is as a person and a player will have a greater impact on his acceptance.

COMING UP

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  • TNA

    Barwin was a great pickup no doubt. The need for a stud OLB who can consistently get pressure at least once or twice every three downs and force the ball out of the QBs hands quickly would avert the need to spend big on a stud safety. If the eagles can’t pick up big time talent at both positions, I would focus on whichever upgrade can happen at a lower price point and then draft the most talented players.
    I still can’t believe TCole couldn’t get pressure on Brees with a rookie, albeit big rookie, tackle guarding Brees’ blind side. Bull rush after bull rush was unsuccessful.

    • GEAGLE

      Trent Cole really complicates the OLB additions for me this offseason.

      If we want to add a FA pass rusher like MIcheal Johnson, then I don’t know how you can add him, without jettisoning Cole or Graham. can’t pay 4 OLBs a minimum of 5mil each…that can’t happen, and if we were paying that for 4OLBs, we should be fielding the best pass rush the world has ever seen. Cole also will see snaps, what capacity depends on who is added…
      .,.
      Drafting an OLB makes much more sense to me. Most OLBs have to spend their rookie year adding weights playing as situational Nickle pass rushers. Cole can play the run at a high level, and our base defense was much better then many fans realize..so if you were to add a rookie, he would provide the 3rd down pass Rush that Cole is lacking, and Cole will provide the run support, the rookie won’t be able to provide as a rookie…so Cole and a rookie, actually fit nicely as a one year time share..
      ..
      But a FA like MJ won’t sign on to just be a Nickle pass rusher. He would want the majority of the snaps, so we would probably have to make Cole a 3rd down pass rusher, and that’s does not play to Coles current strength…i don’t see how you sign a guy like MJ and tell him he will just be a Nickle pass rusher all year…technically you could play MJ in base and let Cole be the Nickle pass rusher, but we wouldn’t be playing to our personels strength…

      I don’t know what’s going to happen with BG. I could see a scenario where we keep him for a year and leaves as a FA next year. I don’t see us getting out of Coles contract this year, but I also don’t see how you can still have Cole and BG on the 2015 roster…so basically, today, we only have 1 OLB that will be here in 2015. We can get away with only adding 1 OLB this year, but then we will be stuck adding two next year…..This OLB make over is complicated, but much needed. We won’t take that Next step as a defense until we improve the ROLB pass rush

  • GEAGLE

    Barwin had to sign a contract with out clauses because he was coming off a 3 sack season, yet I’m supposed to believe that MJ will sign for 10mil per year GUARENTEED money? Lol yeah OK…if you can get MJ to sign a contract that can pay him 40million, if he plays the duration of the contract, but has out clauses after 2015 similar to Barwins, then I’m confident we would go after MJ aggressively….

    He will be an eagles Target, but like all Eagles targets! we won’t outbid anyone for their services, Howie offers comperable money, but not the most lucrative offer. If guys like Byrd or MJ want to be Eagles, I suspect they would have to leave a couple Mil on the table, tack less, to come to a big market team on the upswing…taking less money isn’t for everyone…but it has worked with players in the past like Nnamdi

  • GEAGLE

    Barwin signing with us was BIGTIME.. While he can’t be the number 1 pass rusher, his value to our defense is tremendous. While we need to place an impact pass rusher across for him, Last year wasn’t the best it will get for Barwin as a pass rusher. We haven’t even seen his best year….Barwin won’t have 16 sacks, but he will notch like 10 sacks and 8PBUs….he will be better in this scheme next year, but he will also provide more pass rush then he did this year, simply by getting more pass rush opportunities. We couldn’t really let him get after it last year because we had no one else who can do what he does in coverage…Our LBs are in place,but we will add ATleast 2 back up LBs, who most likely are good cover guys..so they will be able to relieve Barwin of some coverage duty and allow him more opportunities to get after QBs,..like I said, he can’t be your number 1 pass rusher, but he is a better pass rusher, then we have seen so far.
    ….
    IMO, Barwin was probably one of the top 3 signings in all of FA last year. Was so pumped up the day we signed the BRAMA Bull..

    Another thing, people like to use Barwins contract as part of their we won’t spend money debate! quickly pointing out the clauses that could make Barwins contract cheaper then it looks. I call BS!!! Barwin will see every dollar of that big contract!!!

    • Ale (Brazil)

      Absolutely loved this addition past offseason and it really paid off. Barwin is Mr. Consistency on our Defense. You just don’t see him making too many mistakes. While i would love a stud pass rusher like the Orakpos or Halis around the league, i would take a guy like him anytime. He’s really good.

      • GEAGLE

        Yes sir…Barwin also performed pretty well considering we had No element of Disguise…It was easy for QBs to look at our defense and know who was rushing and who was dropping into coverage…when we add players like Barwin who are credible in both areas, it’s going to be harder for opposing QBS and Olines to know who is rushing the QB and who is dropping. Just adding that element will improve Barwins pass rush

        I’m ok adding a straight up disruptive abrasive nasty pass rushing ROLB, but I would prefer if that OLB is somewhat credible dropping into coverage. he won’t be asked to do it much, but his ability to be credible in coverage will help disguise or true intentions, which makes us a more dangerous defense

    • Tom W

      It’s not clauses. It’s the guaranteed money. Barwin barely got any vs Krueger who got a shitton. His deal is cheap bc barely any is guaranteed. Same as deseans. He blows a knee or goes nutz he is gone. Total number means nothing. It’s the flexibility built in which makes it team friendly vs Byrd type deal that will cost 20 mil-25 mil guaranteed. Big difference. Thanks again

      • GEAGLE

        Thanks again? For what?..is not guarenteeing money enabling us to easily get out of the contract, not basically an out clause?…STRUCTURE a DEAL in a way that you can easily get out of it, like Barwin. Is that wording better? Good enough to have you not act like a prick and argue over semantics? lol must be one of those mornings smh

        • anon

          What player actually sees every dollar of a deal where that money isn’t guaranteed? I’ll wait, b/c it’s very few unless you’re a straight stud.

          • GEAGLE

            Ones that are young enough to last the duration lol…Barwin will have 36million in his bank account from the Eagles..the only thing that may change is restructuring the back end. Barwin getting most of that money is a good thing, because it means he consistently played at a high level for us…it’s in our best interest for Barwin to see that money….anyone care to debate more then just semantics and wording this morning?

          • Tom W

            you are missing the point … who said barwin is a schmuck?? the deal is team friendly nitwit. if he plays poorly, we out in 2 yrs w no harm. if he is a stud, we still have little guaranteed in it and renegotiate another team friendly deal after year 3 to lower his cap number. he never sees last year (or 2) of that deal. Your entire point that it show eagles aren’t cheap (and could go get Byrd or Ward) that you keep bringing up and not comprehending is that the contract is team friendly w little guaranteed money. Byrd will take atleast 20 mil guaranteed if not 25 mil and ward atleast 16 mil if not 18. nothing like barwin’s deal. so just stop.

          • GEAGLE

            So the team basically gave him a contract with OUT CLAUSES right? Right! So for no reason you needed to feel like a blowhard under one of my posts and argue over wording lol….because the above posts describes OUT CLAUSES for a team protection…which is what I wrote to begin with lol…you and Maggie should meet up for drinks..yous personalities seem like matches made in heaven…but you wasted enough of my time arguing over wording. Enjoy your day

          • Tom W

            You keep using Barwin’s deal as support for your argument that we spent alot last year so signing Byrd wouldn’t be much different than last year. That is what I disagree with and your characterization of Barwin’s deal as a bigtime deal akin to what Byrd would take. They are two different animals and the deal we gave Barwin does NOT support the argument that we spent alot last year (bc the guaranteed money was grossly low) or that we will do a deal w byrd.
            If we do a deal a deal w byrd it will be for 3 times as much guaranteed money as barwin … that’s big money that marries us to him for probably at least 4 years (whereas Barwin’s deal w could get out in 2).
            Not arguing semantics whatsoever and could care less about out provisions .. taking issue w your failure to understand the difference between a contract w little guaranteed money and one with the most guaranteed money at a given position.

          • anon

            Your second point completely contradicts your first. You think we’re paying a 32yrd olb barwin $8mm you know even less than most people think or that’s getting restructured into another deal you’re crazy. Sometimes you just talk too much.

  • Andy

    I don’t know. I think if they bring a new more versatile outside linebacker onto the roster it will allow them to be less predictable than they are with Cole out there rushing the passer every time opposite Barwin. If they have two guys would could rush or cover on any given down the offense won’t be able to game plan their protections quite as easily as they can when they know Cole is rushing 90% of the time and Barwin is dropping 40% of the time.

    • GEAGLE

      That’s why I’m hoping we add a Disruptive pass rusher, AND also add a hybrid OLB/ILB like C Jones or KVN…so you can have sub packages that line one of them up across from Barwin! and opposing teams will have a harder time guessing who is rushing and who is dropping

      • Andy124

        Devil’s advocate:
        Up-tempo offense is spreading though the league pretty rapidly which could viutually end the age of sub-packages. I could see Chip instructing Howie to avoid sub-package type players, specialists, all together.

        Note: You’ve mentioned this before, but a guy could be useful as a sub-package guy as a rookie as long as he projects to an every-down type down the line.

        • Richard Colton

          Might not happen in year one, but I see Dee Ford and C Jones as three down players – would you be OK with those OLB and ILB picks in round 1 & 2?

          • Andy124

            As always, depends on who else was on the board when those picks came up. I coud certainly envision a scenario where I’d be happy with those picks, but it’s definitely not my first choice.

            Make no mistake, I know less about these college guys (and I love college football) than most of yous. About the only guys I’m going to have strong opinions on are Penn State guys and Logan Thomas.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            so, what jersey # do you think Logan will take on the Eagles? I’m leaning towards “1”

          • Andy124

            Is 56 available?

          • Richard Colton

            More importantly, when the Eagles franchise him in 5 years, is he a QB or OW?

          • Andy124

            I say he triples up on the smoothies and bulks up to 330 to become that run-stuffing NT some crave. That way, no matter who’s in, we can still call them Logan.

          • guest

            Tight Ends aren’t allowed to wear single digit numbers.

          • GEAGLE

            Chip values versatility..every draft pick was spent on a guy that can play multiple roles and be effective in different schemes..if you value versatility, then those players will always be good for different sub packages…in theory I get what you are saying about phasing out sub packages! and to a degree we are already starting to see signs of it? Take those big fat space eating NTs, foolish fans have placed at the top of our “Needs” Columns. Example:
            ..
            Your offense just got shut down on 1st and 2nd down, so now it’s an important 3rd and 9 situation. Teams can speed up the Tempo, not let you sub that NT out of the game, not allow you to bring in your Nickle CB..and now that offense will basically get to play 11-10, facing 1 less pass rusher…this is why we are already seeing some pretty damn good NT around the league getting less snaps this past season….

            Of course, for a team to rev up the tempo and not allow you to sub, the offense has to be comfortble with the personel that they have on the field…that won’t always be the cases. There will be plenty of crucial 3rd down plays, where teams don’t have the personel on the field to rev up the tempo and not allow substitutions…so there will always be opportunities for a defense to get their sub packages on the field…but yes, the league is trending towards more high tempo, so in some cases, what your saying will apply

          • JofreyRice

            I like both those players, but based on the phony draft projections, I feel like 1st and 2nd might be kinda high. I thought maybe they’d be shifted down a round. Particularly for Jones. We end up with Ford/Jordan Matthews/Jones out of the first three rounds, I’d be cool. But what if instead of Christian Jones, they get Morgan Moses in the third, and take FSU’s Telvin Smith in the 4th?

          • GEAGLE

            I’d love that…problem is I have a feeling Moses gets drafted in the top 20. Dude shut down 3 of the top pass rush prospects this year and I expect him to have a very nice combine…I like that kid. I believe in his NFL future, so I’m def down to add him, but persnally I would be shocked if we could get him in round 3..I’m also a big fan of Telvin, 4th seems right

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            Morgan all day plz.

          • Richard Colton

            On board all day. Moses may be a late 1st – he puts on a show at the combine, he might be the 4th or 5th OT picked.

          • JofreyRice

            Wow, didn’t realize he was projected that high.

          • GEAGLE

            He shut down attaboy and two of the other top pass rush prospects(can’t think of who)…really expecting him to go 15-23 getting picked ahead of some sexier names…but who knows..sure wouldn’t complain about adding him to our stable of hogs

          • Richard Colton

            Once Rob started yeasting him up here, his stock really took off. I see him being taken ahead of all the pure guards (even Cyril) and everyone but Robinson, Matthews, Cyrus K., Martin. He could go ahead of Lewan – depending on scheme.

            I like him a lot too – in the 2nd or later. As far as OT, I’m really high on Martin (because of the game tape) and Cyrus (college connection to Stoutland and raw athleticism). Should either fall to #22, I’m thinking they’re in the conversation.

          • JofreyRice

            yep, I like Kouandjio a lot, for the same reasons. I think getting Kouandjio at #22 would be solid value for that kind of athlete playing T.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            Although slightly unhappy about going OL in the 1st, I absolutely would for one of those two. Chip isn’t about the sexy pick, he knows 1 of those + Lane + Kelce = bedrock of OL for the next decade

          • Richard Colton

            Yeah – I want an OLB or a WR like everyone else. Im just open to the possibility.

          • RIP illa

            No reason whatsoever to take Telvin unless he converts to safety. Kid’s not a MLB. He weighs 218 and would have to seriously bulk up just to play WILL in a 4-3 which is/should be his true position. No Moses…give me Schofield in the 5th or maybe even the 4th if he moves up after the combine.

            I do see Jones going in the 2nd at MLB rather than staying at his current 3rd rd projection. Unless a lot of teams view him as an OLB. And I’m not sure, but I can definitely see Ford sneaking into the 1st.

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, I’d like Telvin as a S, eventually. He could immediately play as a roving S/LB in the 3-3-5 look they were running. He may not be able to take on pulling guards, but he can definitely bring down a back in the open field, and is fairly fluid in coverage.

            Agreed on the fact that he’s not your standard 3-4 O/ILB.

          • GEAGLE

            Dee Ford/Marcus Smith AND KVN/CJ Jones would be BAD ASS additions..,.and if Lamin Barrow falls to round 5, I’d draft him too.
            ..
            FA safety is the key to EVERYTHING! If we add another Chung/Philips FA tandem we are SCREWED! If we don’t spend some damn money on a safety we can count on starting at a high level for the next 3 years, then IMO we are screwed, because we won’t be able to make significant upgrades on BOTH offense and Defense in the draft..
            ..
            If the draft was today, forget what Howie says, we can kiss the BPA goodbye. We would be FORCED to draft a safety high no matter what…

            Signing an OLB is possible but way more complicated then paying for a safety because we would then have to get out of BG or Coles deal which will cost a nice chunk of change. IMO it’s easier for us to pay for a long term safety solution this offseason, fhen it is to pay for a long term OLB..I think signing our safety and drafting our OLB high makes so much more sense this offseason.
            ..
            Even tho I’m a defensive guy, it be foolish to not give Chip young athletes to work with on offense. So i don’t want a defensive draft and I don’t want an offensive draft..I want us to improve BOTH sides of the ball this offseason…and when I consider the market, the draft class, how much we are currently investing in each position…I don’t see better options than spending money on a safety, and drafting your OLB

          • Andy124

            Totally agree with signing a 3-year safety and drafting an OLB. Still want to draft a 10-year safety too. Maybe that gets put on the backburner one more year while Adrian Amos has a huge bounce back year and we draft him in 2015.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah signing an expensive safety IMO doesn’t free us up from drafting a safety. It just means we aren’t forced to draft that safety in rounds 1 and 2. We would Gain the flex to wait til rounds 3-5, maybe take an Underclassmen who requires more seasoning

  • Richard Colton

    Barwin was a versatile OLB before it was cool

    • Andy124

      I hope this never gets old. Love it.

    • BleedGreenJames

      You have been killing it lately

  • Guest

    wfasfa

    • JofreyRice

      good point.

  • GEAGLE

    For those who don’t follow Tom Lawlors work(shame on you lol), he made a very important point yesterday. We are seeing a really HIGH VOLUME of Underclassmen in this draft which is why it’s talked about being so deep. The down side of this stacked draft is that next years draft class could be watered down. Many of the kids who were projected to be next years draft prizes are coming out as Underclassmen, so Tom argued that this may be a year where you want to accumulate as many 2nd to 5th round picks as possible.
    ..
    We are at a stage of the roster building process which IMO would coincide with the stategy of stocking up on 2nd to 5th round picks because IMO, the majority of our starting veterans are in place and we simply don’t even have much room for starting FA additions. The Core is pretty much in place, now it’s time to build thru the draft. You want to avoid losing a starter and replacing him with a brand new Eagle. Strong franchises lose a starter, and already have his replacement in the pipeline. We can argue about how many years Meco has left starting for us. But one thing we should all agree on is, losing our leader/starting ILB and penciling in a brand new draft pick or free agent signing is not ideal. Best case scenario is that when it’s time to replace Meco, we have a hungry young kid who we have been growing an developing in hous, bringing him along slowly in reserve roles and sub packages who has been playing so well that it’s becoming harder and harder to justify keeping him off the field.
    ,..
    So, even tho there are positions where we know we already have the starter for the next two years, there aren’t really any positions that couldn’t use young athletes. we need to restock the depth across the board with young players who can be back ups next year but who also ATleast have some sort of potential to grow into an eventual starter..A young guy like Roc may grow enough to be a better backup next year, but he doesn’t have any real long terms starting potential.A guy like Barbre I trust as a short term back up, but he isn’t young enough to whete we can say he has the potential to eventually replace Evan Mathis…so even the positions we are set at in the short term, still need depth upgrades…so this roster depth still has a tone of work to do, which is why it may be a good idea to trade back a few times and stock up on extra picks in rounds 2-5
    ..
    Spend big money on a Safety and trade say the 22nd pick, for a top 10 pick in round 2 and a top 10 pick in round. 4(extra pick in 2015)

    Take that extra 2nd round pick and trade back 15 spots and add an extra 3rd and 5th

    End up with something like:
    Two 2nd round picks
    Two 3rd round pick
    Two 4th round picks
    Three 5th round picks

    Of course, the down side of a lot of Underclassmen is that you are adding younger players, who require more time to develop. So fans who prioritize instant gratification may not like this strategy….You would have to tolerate more Fletcher Cox types who you have to wait til year 3 to become a beast, instead of Dontari Poe type who will be a beast in year two.

    • anon

      How do you have a set roster with no pro-bowlers? If they bring in a rookie DL or Secondary or ROLB i’d be thinking i can compete for a starting spot.

      And why would this year be any different than next year? All the talented red shirt freshman and true sophmores this year are going to declare next year — it’s a cycle.

      • Andy124

        No pro-bowlers other than the pro-bowl MVP! ;)

        Yes, I know what you meant, he made it as an alternate. But you know it had to be said.

        • anon

          Sorry i was definitely talking about defense.

          • Andy124

            My first sentence is actually pretty stupid as it makes it sound like Djax and Shady weren’t there.

            Was obviously just taking the opportunity for us to enjoy that pro-bowl MVP thing again.

      • GEAGLE

        We have probowlers on our roster, they just haven’t arrived yet. Cox,Mykal will be probowlers, only question is will it be this year or in 2015..Meco had a better year then years where he was named to probowls….we are a Starting Safety and OLB away from having a defense that’s ready to win NOW!!! However, for our current personel to work, I think the safety we add NEEDS to be the most talented player in our secondary, and the OLB we add NEEDS to be the best pass rusher on our team…and if we can continue to hold teams to less then 24 points with No probowlers, then god bless us. Works for me. No probowlers who are top in the league in terms of turn over differential….works for me!

        If you are right about the cycle then James Winston will be in next years draft..his coach seems to think that won’t be the case

        • anon

          Unclear whether Kendricks has the mentals to be a top ILB.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol..FOles was unclear whether he could be more then a back up or ever play for Chip Kelly lol…..
            .,
            What type of DOPE would expect a young player, learning a brand new scheme and coaches, to be a finished product after his sophmore year, and a dysfunctional rookie year in a drastically different defense? Just because he hasn’t grow into it yet, it’s not a Reason to Knock the kid…lol go as Barwin!or Meco about Mykal Kendricks lol. Ask coach Minter about Kendricks…this kid is going to be a stud, it’s sad to hear silly fans unrealistic instant gratification expectations….

          • Andy124

            To be fair, he didn’t say he can’t be or won’t be or that he underperformed or sucked or any of that, just that it’s no sure thing Kendriks will develop in to a pro-bowler.

            I sure don’t consider it a sure thing. I’m not even inking Cox’s name in anywhere (largely because it’s hard to make it as a 3-4 2-gap DE). Also not writing either of them off. I’m excited to see how everyone on the team does in their 2nd year in the system.

            Let’s say Graham sticks around. This will be his first time in the same system in consecutive years in how long? What a jackpot that would be if he magically morphed in to a stud pass rushing OLB for us.

          • GEAGLE

            FO and coaches PROJECT..they just do! They factor the improvements they expect from their young players into their offseason plans…they don’t just expect ANY player to be great once he gets to his second year, but YES, we are definitely projecting a few of our guys to be special, and it will have an impact in our offseason decisions. I believe we think the world of Mykal and Cox, and EXPECT them to be serious players for us going forward,,,.sure a guy like Graham can surprise us given continuity. But I doubt our coaches are counting on it. To where as I think we are absolutely expecting and counting on Mykal being a stud…
            ,,
            TAke Ertz for example. we can’t Gbarentee that he will continue to drastically improve, but I’m sure we expect it, and I’m sure his bigger role will be factored into certain decisions, like WR roster moves

          • anon

            Isn’t that BPA, didn’t we sign Casey then take Ertz?

          • anon

            So whiffing on tackles is scheme based? I didn’t say he didn’t have the physical attributes to be a stud.

            I’m not saying he can’t be good (Barwin) but I can name 20 LBs who are better than him some same year or younger.

          • GEAGLE

            Yes you dope..whiffing on tackles can come from having to think too much about your responsibility, not being able to diagnose what the offense is doing fast enough..too much thinking, not enough reacting…
            ,,,
            Do you think all of the sudden Kendricks just learned how to tackle around the Oakland game? Lol you think he learned some special technique he didn’t know in September? Hahahah come on man! you can’t be serious!!! Lol

            As Mykal got comfortable in his new scheme, new position, new responsibility, new team mates, new this, new that, you saw his tackling improve DRASTICALLY as the season went on

    • Tom W

      I’m always fine w trading down and acquiring assets but you can still get younger at olb, ilb, wr, corner and guard or de w just sticking w our picks as is … Benjamin/ealy, attaboy/Cjones/robinson, msmith/Lawrence/McGill/, mbryant/oregon corner/Clemson corner/barrow, urban/limbo/Tripp/okl corner/colt

  • Tom W

    Saw that scouts inc and rotoworld’a Adam Norris dropped Anthony Barr outside the top top 15 and top 20 respectively after reviewing more game tape and not seeing as much production vs potential. Also reading a lot of good things about Terence Mitchell from Oregon in press and deep man coverage. Could be a better safety prospect than corner or just allow us to play dime w him cause he can tackle and has height to cover some tes. Don’t have much love for scouts inc but josh Norris is a very well respected college football guy

    • NickS1

      Looked him up. He’s a developmental guy for sure, but as far his tackling goes, CBSsports listed this blurb under weaknesses: “Not particularly physical in run support. Will make the tackle when necessary but doesn’t seem to enjoy the physicality of the game, often dancing around the action rather than getting involved. ” ….. That doesn’t bode well for a safety.

      • RIP illa

        And he’s slow. I would like a lot more speed on our D

    • GEAGLE

      Like I said, Barr is this years Star Latululei, and he may become this years Sharif Floyd if he doesn’t have the beast of the combine everyone expects

      • Tom W

        Star had good tape just wasn’t sexy. Barr’s tape isnt that great. The comparison to Floyd is a bit more appropriate but no one had floyd falling out of top 10 before he actually did so I don’t think that works either. Just sounds alot like a Bjorn Woerner … a guy Kiper had like top 3 before the offseason and the sheep followed and someone who dropped leading up to the draft as a fringe first rounder.

        • GEAGLE

          I don’t think comparing ANY DL to OLB is valid…

          I don’t get why I should have to explain that the comparison is just about draft positioning…Star AND Sharif were BOTH thought of as perennial top 10 picks…Star fell to 15-20 range, Reef fell to 20-30 range…..that’s the ONLY comparison I tried to make..nothing in my above post talks about the reasoning for why the prospects are falling out of the top 10 or what type of prospects they are

          • guerst

            What? You’re the one that compared Barr to two DL. I dont get the obsession with finding comparables. Anthony Barr is Anthony Barr. Not Lotulelei, Floyd, or Woerner.

  • Andy124

    So let’s say Barr falls to us at 22. Does that mean we’re uber excited and got our ideal player or does that mean he not near as good as we thought and maybe he should just keep right on sliding? I’m going with option A.

    • GEAGLE

      We dance naked in the street, but then prepare to deal with all the idiot writers and fans who bash him his rookie year because he won’t be ready to be more then a Nickle pass rusher

    • NickS1

      I hope it’d be A. Would love to see what the kid can do after being coached up.

      • anon

        Spend a first rounder on a raw guy? Unless he’s LJ need a starter especially at that position.

        • NickS1

          I think the situation we’re in with Cole makes it okay to have a guy who gets worked into the rotation. Cole in on 1st and 2nd, Barr in on obv passing downs. As he progresses through the season, start seeing more of Cole’s snaps. Much like Ertz.

          • Richard Colton

            Barr-ing a major coup in the draft or FA – I think Cole is our starting ROLB going into week one. That doesn’t mean we didn’t draft OLB in rounds one, two, or three. Just means it might take some time to work a raw guy into the lineup. I love Attaochu, but he doesn’t look like a day one, three down OLB.

          • NickS1

            Exactly what I was going for in the first sentence. Such a coup would involve Barr falling in the first place and coming in with a “Chip” on his shoulder to prove everyone wrong. Another, would be landing Atta-guy in the 2nd and him just 100% outperforming Cole from the time he steps into the NovaCare complex. If, after the combine, Atta-guy is still projected in that 2nd round range, I would 100% love a trade back into the early second to nab him and a WR or C-Jones (hoping he’s still there, too). Use the two 3rds on a S and another WR. In this scenario, the trade into early second nets a 3rd, not a 4th, I think. I also tend to think CLE, now that the a-hole resting face is gone, would be a great potential trade partner.

          • Richard Colton

            I’m not sure Attaochou makes it to #54. Man, I would love to have about five picks in this draft between 30 and 55.

          • NickS1

            Well, getting five may prove a bit difficult, but three is possible. Trade the #22 and a 3rd next yr for the Browns #35, their 3rd from (either one) and their 4th (not INDs). Trade the higher 3rd and 4th rd picks for a 2nd, and we’re at 3 second round picks. Can do some damage from there. Even if we traded the #35 back 5-8 spots to pick up some extra mid round ammo to try and trade back up. Might be able to get a 4th 2nd rounder that way. Just spitballin’. Trying to accommodate where I can. Just a team player over here.

        • guest

          You literally couldn’t be more wrong, ESPECIALLY at this position. I see others already explained why. Just piling on.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        his 30 for 30 in a decade: “Yeasted Down, but Coached Up: The Barr Story”

        • Andy124

          When he and Najee combine for a tackle on special teams can we call it a Mr. Goodbar?

          • guest

            You can. No one else will.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            you win the internet today.

    • Token

      I cant think of a scenario where he falls out of the top 15, let alone to #22. The question would be is if he falls to the 10-15 area to they like him enough to trade up? What would it cost? I wouldnt want to give up picks from this years draft to move up. Id want to be giving up picks in next years if anything..

  • Tom W

    Cmon Hinkie lets get going here so you can make one deal and get a pick and expiring and send that expiring to another team w luxury tax trouble (clips) or send that late first to another team who already divested itself of its 2014 first rounder (like the pistons) w a player and get back a sick 2015 first w less protection.
    Turner to Bobcats for gordon and blazers first
    gordon to bulls for boozer’s atrocious deal and worse of two firsts to get them under tax line
    Thad and second to houston – asik to phoenix – lakers 2015 top 3 unprotected from Phoenix to us and Thebeet’s expiring
    Hawes to OKC for whichever first they want

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

    Oh boy, more Banner talk! this is tremendous. the man may be out of the NFL after this:

    http://mmqb.si.com/2014/02/12/cleveland-browns-jimmy-haslam-fires-joe-banner/

    • GEAGLE

      I can’t check out that link right now..
      ..,,
      But i heard that some teams flat out wouldn’t deal with banner and Lombardi. Since they were fired yesterday, GMs are now saying that they will be once again open to dealing with the Browns…I didn’t know execs had black listed deal ng with banner/Lombardi…anyone else hear anything about that?

      • NickS1

        Never heard about it, but it’s not like it doesn’t make sense.

        • GEAGLE

          Rotoworld had a report yesterday about how GMs now are once again open to doing business with the browns lol….The report didn’t specify if it was over Lombardi or banner!!I knew banner was a dirtball people didn’t want to work with, but I didn’t know Lombardi was so Polarizing..he was not depicted in a pretty light lol

      • CrackSammich

        If I were a GM, I’d be more than happy to take advantage of a newish owner and a brand new GM. Send all the terrible trade offers you can and hope they bite on one.

      • anon

        They did pretty well in the one trade they did make. Heard problem was A not being able to get a coach (understandable) and B that owner wanted Schiano and Banner was like wtf. To be fair given the circumstances they got a pretty good guy. I think what banner was going to do with that roster was also a problem.

    • peteike

      he apparently does a cameo in the new Draft Day movie as Joe Banner, President of the Browns. Wonder if they will edit that out now

      • RIP illa

        That movie looks so embellished and horrible…but I’m still gonna go see it. I think I have a problem. Damn you NFL!!!

    • NickS1

      Thanks for this link. This basically just confirms everything we already knew. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in CLE this past season just to watch this train-wreck. Plus, Banner has a-hole resting face. I wouldn’t even want to look at that as the face of the business side of the franchise.

      • Tony

        You can criticize Banner all you want for his business decisions, but please don’t mock his disability. I understand his pain as I too, have an a-hole resting face. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v98CPXNiSk

        • NickS1

          I’m not mocking his disability, as it’s an unfortunate disorder from which to suffer. However, he lives up to the face he displays, if not exceeding it, therefore, I do not feel bad mocking his disorder. I treat people who suffer from ARF on a case by case basis, and you, sir, do not seem to be someone who lives up to the face you display to the world.

    • Andy124

      So glad that’s not howie do it here.

  • JofreyRice

    Wasn’t another Eagles homer blogger on the Rob Jackson bandwagon last year? Jackson’s very mediocre, I don’t know why he captivates these guys; size? He had a chance to shine when Orakpo went down and was just OK. I hope we’re at the point where we don’t need to improve by just adding “OK” players. I hope our baseline roster is filled with mostly “OK” guys, and we can add players that are actually “Good”. Come on fellas, let’s shoot for the moon here, we’re just spitballing.

    • GEAGLE

      Couldn’t upvote this enough!!!

    • guest

      Because you can go anywhere to read about the top FAs at each position. Its that attitude that you see from people that said, “who?” when the Eagles signed Bradley Fletcher last year. Roseman is on record saying he liked the “high batting average” philosophy…sign a bunch of “OK” players and hit on most of them.

      And you say that you hope we’re at the point where we dont need to improve by just adding “OK” players. Newsflash buddy, the Birds are in the middle of a rebuild. Brand new offense….completely new defense. This isn’t a team thats a player or two away from a title. Yes, they won the division…one of the worst divisions in the league. They’re leaps and bounds away from Seattle and San Francisco.

      At OLB, they’re not likely to add a starter in FA. Jason Worilds could be a solid fit, but thats probably the best you should expect. Orakpo is not happening.

      • anon

        at some point you need someone you can build the d around. you’ll never be a player away if you never get great players. you never make the shot you don’t take.

        we rebuilt last year we had no expectations and lots of holes. now we have a solid foundation and a couple of glaring holes. if we don’t pay for talent now then when?

        • guest

          I dont disagree with you on that. But you need to be careful that its the right guy. The best OLB in this year’s class might be the 6th best OLB in next years class, but he’ll still get paid like the best…if that makes sense. Maybe you think Orakpo is that guy (he’s 26, only had the one down year, etc). I personally dont. (by the way, I dont assume you like Orakpo…he’s just the only “shoot the moon” OLB available in FA this year).

          I think this team is still in the process of filtering out Reid’s guys and bringing in Chips guys. I think there are more glaring holes than others. To me (and this is just one man’s opinion), there are 2 glaring holes at S, 2 glaring holes at CB, a glaring hole at OLB, 2 glaring holes at WR (outside and slot). Thats 7 glaring holes. Thats a lot. Now, are Williams/Fletcher solid? Sure, but they’re not championship level CBs. Is Cole solid at OLB? Absolutely. I love Trent Cole. But its clearly a big need. And this is not to mention depth along both lines, and possibly a new RG and RT (given Peters/Herremans age and assuming a move to LT by Johnson).

          I get your point, and respect it. But I personally dont think this team is as far along as you think. There is a LOT of work to be done. Thankfully, I feel that the right people are in place to do that work (Chip, Howie, Gamble, Donahoe, Mueller, Patch, etc.)

          • NickS1

            Just going to play a little devil’s advocate here, but I think Cary’s SB ring might disagree with your assertion he’s not a championship level CB…. I get your point, that he’s upgradeable, but, upgrading the S positions makes the CBs job a little easier, as does some semblance of a pass rush. Which leads me to the conclusion that, while they can be upgraded, the CBs aren’t “glaring” holes.

          • Andy124

            Yeah, gonna need a definition for “glaring holes”.

      • JofreyRice

        Orakpo’s not coming here because he’s going to work out a deal, or be franchised by, the Redskins.

        So they “hit” on most of their free agents? Bradley Fletcher is an OK cornerback, nothing more. They didn’t “hit” on Chung, or Sopoaga, or Casey, or even Williams.

        The pass you’re giving them for a multi-year rebuild is very generous, but they made the playoffs, and were pretty damn close to winning against a good New Orleans team. It’s great that they exceeded expectations, but it’s not the same ballgame it was when they were a 4-12 team with the 4th pick in the draft.

    • dnabrice

      There were plenty of guys on the Seahawks D that were considered just OK when they were on the FA market. Chris Clemons for instance was a cast off of the Eagles, but was certainly part of the Hawks pressure D.

  • Andy124

    So the Phillies are signing 37 year old Burnette to a 16 million dollar deal. At least it’s only a 1 year deal so it won’t screw over whoever replaces RAJ next year.

    So who replaces RAJ? Maybe Howie and Hinkie can tag-team it.

    • NickS1

      How Amaro has a job still is simply mind-boggling.

    • guest

      its actually a solid signing….at one year. I’m shocked that Burnett’s agent couldn’t fleece RAJ for more. I figured the Phils would end up getting Burnett, but only because I figured other teams would offer 1 year, $16 million, with RAJ swooping in and offering 5 years, $80 million with a full no-trade clause, a Mercedes, free admission for life to Cheerleaders, a night with Kate Upton, and an order of Crab Fries.

      To answer your question…..ANYONE can replace RAJ

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      I miss Gillick more and more every day

  • anon

    Elway gets extended and becomes GM. The only thing he did was get Peyton. Not a small feat, but that team steady gets exposed in big games.