Nolan Carroll Continues To Impress

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Brandon Boykin was the camp standout on defense last year. Every day it seemed like the Georgia product made at least one play that commanded your attention. This year, that distinction belongs to Nolan Carroll.

It didn’t move the needle much when the Eagles signed the former Dolphin to a two-year, $5.25 million contract in free agency, but he has opened some eyes since his arrival.




His moment on Thursday (or at least one of them) came during 7-on-7s. Locked up with Jeremy Maclin, Carroll extended himself to break up a Nick Foles pass in the end zone. Those PBUs have become a regular occurrence.

"He's a very well‑rounded talent," said Billy Davis. "He's got size, he's got length, he's got speed.  He's a real tenacious competitor.  I love his attitude out there the way he presses and competes and puts his hands on the people, and he's got a good knack for the ball."

Who knows if a solid summer will translate into a productive fall like it did for Boykin but Carroll continues to impress, even if he's not all that impressed with himself.

"No," Carroll replied when asked if he thinks he's having a good camp. "I'm not doing enough, man. I really feel that I'm not doing enough right now. I need to do more, actually. I'm trying to do anything I can to start so in my mind right now I'm not satisfied."

A former fifth-round pick out of Maryland, Carroll (6-1, 205) spent the first four seasons of his career in Miami. He started 12 games for the Dolphins last year and finished with three interceptions and 11 pass break-ups. According to Pro Football Focus, quarterbacks completed just 47.8 percent of their passes into Nolan's coverage. Only three corners in the NFL were statistically better in that department last year. He also finished ninth in opposing quarterback rating (65.0).

The 27-year-old said this system suits him because of all the press man Davis asks his corners to play. Overall, he feels like he is hitting his stride as he enters his fifth season.

"Because I've gone through so many scenarios in my first couple of years, nothing I see really surprises me -- situations, receivers, system, nothing surprises me anymore," said Carroll. "I was thrown into the fire so early that my head was on a swivel all the time trying to catch up with everybody else. I was around a lot of veterans so I always was a step behind because I was trying to keep up with those guys.

"Every single year I've felt like I've gotten better and better and now I'm at the point where I'm comfortable. I know what I'm supposed to do when I'm out there and I'm always thinking about just making plays instead of thinking about if I'm aligned correctly, what's the call, am I playing it right. I'm just out there playing now."

Most seem to believe that he has the best chance of replacing Bradley Fletcher on the outside. Davis was asked how realistic it is that Carroll supplants either Fletcher or Cary Williams. 

"Oh I think everybody has a legitimate chance at the starting jobs.  That's one thing about the off‑season and training camp that we pride ourselves on. It's open competition at all spots," he said.

"And guys that are new coming in, whether it's a young rookie or it's a veteran from another team, is that we open the doors, and competition is the healthiest thing that we've got going and they are all competing for the starting job.  I think it's a great possibility.  Anything's possible."

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • FluxCapacitor

    If Nolan keeps this up I can’t see how they can keep him off the field.

  • TNA

    Every time I think about what Carroll means to this team, I think of Brees targeting Roc to get a key 1st down. EVERYBODY knew Brees was going to go after him. And it was a feeling of complete helplessness.

    Whether Carroll starts or comes off the bench, the depth he provides is absolutely crucial.

    • CHRIS – CB with dreads

      That was so frustrating. Even if he doesn’t beat out cary or fletch, i’ll be happy with him off the bench instead of roc or marsh. Absolutely needed cb depth this year.

      • TNA

        mutatis mutandis note: why don’t teams have small practice areas next to the field where bench players can work to get their bodies primed to enter games? kind of like a smaller version of how the Eagles split up the field now to practice different units. cones, sleds, cardio equipment that’s hooked up to monitors ensuring the players are periodically near their VO2 max levels.

        I can think of lots of reasons why this particular setup isn’t allowed, but Huls should think of something that keeps bench players primed during games.

        • CHRIS – CB with dreads

          Sort of like a bullpen? That’s a good question, not really sure but I can definitely see the benefits.

      • John E. Zang

        What a pathetic draft that was. You mentioned Marsh and I almost vomited. How did anyone let Big Red wiff like that? I myself can almost guarantee I could’ve worked the boards better than him. He was so pompous in his evaluation of players. He thought he could mold anyone with the proper “motor” and 40 time to his likings.

    • Amar, CB who bought in

      I’m glad you brought that up, the NO game was such a stark reminder that this team is far from a finished product. The defensive play calling leading to a poor run defense, press coverage, lack of pass rush….I could go on, are needs that require upgrades.

      • dnabrice

        To be honest, the Defense held up far better than we anticipated. I think we were all surprised that the Offense didn’t perform better against their Def, esp in the first half. But having said that, it came down to a field goal, with us holding the lead….

        • Amar, CB who bought in

          Not sure who the ‘we’ you’re referring to, The defense was stellar against the high flying Chicago Bears and should have been able to get the 3rd and 4th down stops.
          I agree that the offense seemed lackluster at home in a home playoff game against a franchise that had NEVER won a playoff game on the road.

  • SVPhilly

    Guessing how they do after the actual pre-season games will be more telling . . .

  • NCBiRDMann22

    I like fletch over Cary if Carroll gets the green light! Plus I really feel we need to see Boykin outside. He has to get a shot.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      He probably will, just not with the Eagles.

      • dnabrice

        Have to upvote that, just hate doing it.

    • FluxCapacitor

      I agree on the Fletcher thing, I like his upside. But, I also think the writing is on the wall on Boykin. They drafted two DB’s this year that have slot experience…to me that screams they are getting ready for when Boykin departs.

      • NCBiRDMann22

        With as much as talent he has you would think they would try and trade him out…instead of letting him walk for nothing. To see something like that happen again would be very disturbing. To keep giving away talent because they don’t fit your measurement criteria will eventually hurt this team.

        • FluxCapacitor

          The guy is a playmaker, no doubt about it. It all depends on who they have to replace him, if he does in fact go elsewhere.

      • Eagles4Life

        That may be true. OR it could signal that we’re going to play more dime this year to help with coverage on passing downs as opposed to relying on Meco and Kendricks.

        • CHRIS – CB with dreads

          one of the reports from practice mentioned a dime package with meco out and i think kendricks, cwill, fletch, carroll and boykin in. Sounds good to me.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            front 4 of graham, curry, cox and cole
            .
            3rd down defense is going to be so much better this year.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            Better be 3rd and 8+, that’s a skinny front 4 vs the run Cliff

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            not that much of a difference between those 4 and a one Reid rolled out for 14 yrs. also, not terribly worried teams will run 3rd and 10+ in 4 wide formations, 3rd and 3 is shotgun 90% passing nowadays…except Eagles.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            If I’m Peyton, and I see that formation, I’m thinking about Curry’s lack of gap discipline and Cole/Graham not being a serious threat to drop into coverage (graham more than cole).

            The good news is, if i’m Eli, I’m throwing an Int. If I’m Tony, I’m waiting until the 4th quarter and throwing an Int. If I’m RGIII, I’m getting sacked from the blindside and fumbling the ball.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            dime works a lot better with Wolff, he’s big enough and aggressive enough to come down into the box.
            .
            dime would have been great to roll out in those 27-3 midway thru 3rd q games. plus, only need to carry 4 ilbs, because replacement for Ryans is resting on bench. can carry 5 olbs. Dime’s great when you know they are throwing every down. wont see it sub’d in mi 2nd q when game is tight.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            predicated on getting the lead early and forcing the opposing offense to become predictable. Kinda like the 2006 Colts.

          • dnabrice

            That’s classic.

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          that would be a change, they played very little dime last year.

          • NCBiRDMann22

            Gives Vinny a great opportunity to showcase his pass rush. He has too much talent to see on the sidelines.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            another guy the coaches didn’t trust to have on the field more, despite obvious pass rush ability.

        • FluxCapacitor

          I believe they are going to play dime regardless of the plans with Boykin. They just didn’t have the personnel last year – plus Kendricks can now call the D without Ryans. Everything points that way.

          • Eagles4Life

            As long as Roc Carmichael is nowhere near the field lol

      • John E. Zang

        Could be but I think they know they need a lot of depth at corner. They may be in the process of designing ways to get him on the field more. He can serve as a special weapon for this defense. Think it’d be interesting to see him play an amoeba roll where he lines up in the slot, outside and they blitz him a few times. He may have the potential to serve a similar role as Dawk (not a safety obviously).

      • aub32

        I think they are prepping for CW’s exit. Have you seen the money he is set to make next year? No way he plays in 2015 under his current contract.

    • John E. Zang

      I think with the increase in amount of plays for the defense we are going to need a lot of depth in the secondary and it’s possible they all see the field and switch positions at times. In certain games they may ask Boykin to mirror a certain receiver. I’d like to see him beat up Desean for two games.

      • aub32

        I’d rather see Carroll covering DeSean. He’s the only CB on this roster that I haven’t seen DeSean roast time and again.

  • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

    Carey and Fletch were never billed as dynamic playmakers – just solid, athletic guys. Our only playmaker in the defensive secondary has been the guy who plays half the snaps. I’d love to see what Carroll and even Watkins can do on the outside this year.

  • Rick H

    Really like all the hype on Carroll & Mathews! I am however beyond ready to see it for myself in a game. I would also like to hear about some other guys breaking out if there are any? I sure would like to hear that Barbre is impressing more then expected. There are A FEW comments by writers that Marcus Smith is developing quicker then expected which is cause for more optimism. Those are critical positions.
    Protecting the QB & getting the other team’s QB usually wins a lot of games!

  • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

    The preseason games will tell the story here. I for one can’t wait to watch some specific battles play out.

    First and foremost I can’t wait to see Carroll in live action. If he can come in and supplant Cary or Fletch I’ll be quite happy. Second, I’m really looking forward to seeing who will win the second safety spot. Will Allen remain the average, but solid, safety that he showed in the latter half of last season or will Wolff prove to be a play maker and take the role? Third, I’m going to really focus on Ertz’s blocking this year. If he can become a solid NFL blocker then he’s going to take a lot of snaps from Celek. I love Celek, but Ertz’s potential as a receiver is undeniable and fair untapped. I want him to go out and take the role. Fourth, who will win the back-up QB job? I personally and pulling for Sanchez. A back-ups job is to step in for a game or two and manage the system. If we need more than that then we’re screwed anyway. I think Sanchez’s game experience makes him more valuable in terms of that role. I’m also excited to see how the front seven shakes out. I think we’re all pretty sure of the starters, but will Smith II impress? Will he show that he deserves to be on the field for obvious passing downs (which I think we all want to see)? What about Curry? Can he crack the rotation for more regular playing time, also on passing downs? I think if he and Smith II step up then our pass rush will be much better this year. Lastly, and not least, I can’t wait to see the pope in live game action. If he can be a legitimate slot guy (maybe 650-750 yds and 5+ TD’s) then I think we won’t miss DJax at all. Maclin is going to get his, IMO, and an obvious upgrade over Avant will be huge.

    We have a lot of fun battles to watch this year in preseason! I cannot wait. ONE WEEK until our Birds are Flying!

  • CHRIS – CB with dreads

    Off topic, but i’m listening to the Jordan Matthews interview. The reporter asked what his feelings were about being drafted in the second round as opposed to the first, and his response was along the lines of:

    “Me and Marcus are great friends and I’m so happy that he got drafted in the first round and I ended up in the city that I wanted to play in, and I’m happy for Marcus because the money and benefits of being drafted in the first round really helped him and his family exponentially, and I don’t want anything other than to see my friends and teammates happy.”

    I mean, wow. I can’t be any more impressed with this kid. Hype aside, what a good guy to have on the team. I know he has that desire to be the best but his selflessness shines through.

    Someone else linked to this earlier but I don’t remember who, so sorry for not giving credit, but here it is again if anyone wants to listen.

    http://nyc.podcast.play.it/media/d0/d0/d1/d5/dU/dS/dX/15USX_4.MP3

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      setting the over/under for receptions this year at 45.5. Whatcha got?

      • CHRIS – CB with dreads

        I have to go Under, unfortunately.

        Good line, had to peek at last year…avant had 38 and you’d like to think that JM will get most of those, but my concern is that Chip seems like like b.smith right now. Only 3 players had 46+ (DJ, shady, coop)..so with smith in + sproles, I think it’ll be hard to get enough looks to get over that number.

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          yeah, I cheated a little. its Avant’s average in the slot over the last two years (53, 38). I think if we get 40+/700+ – its a great 1st year.

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            agree, not out of the question at all. I’m really interested in seeing his YAC, feels like that’s where his upside might be this year and you know CK will give him the ball in space

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            That kid was born to YAC

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            Hopefully it’s not the YAC that Mcnabb was familiar with

          • John E. Zang

            Good one. Does anyone else remember how when Don threw in the slot or to the TE they’d always roll on the ground like they were on fire? Chad Lewis comes to mind the most. He never caught a pass on two feet. Poor guy.

          • Andy

            I totally remember that. Chuckling.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          I think Chip is just keeping Matthews on his toes to not get complacent. Seems like he’s handled all rookies same way the past two years. Start out on the bottom, learn the system and work your way to top of depth chart. If Brad Smith starts over Matthews, then Brad has blackmail pics on Chip.

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            I’m hoping you’re right. Sounds reasonable enough.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        Over. 48.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        under…but yards is what matters. does something like 40/650-700, and just read esterday from Sessler Ertz is going 70/1000…it’s going to be a trackmeet down the middle on defenses

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          Based on all our reasonable projections, Foles is a lock to throw 4600 yds.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            he gets in high 4k’s, Shady’s getting his, this is going to be cant miss TV. think Kelly is having sleepless nights due to 1) excitment,seeing these weapons and also 2) spite, (they all have ears) that his offense will regress w/out dj

          • Amar, CB who bought in

            God bless Sunday NFL Ticket and a place where all games are considered Out of market :)

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I guess I can live with that first half of the season.

      • Rockedupeaglesfan

        I’d go under. The only way I see an over is if Cooper or Mac miss any extended time.

      • dnabrice

        Tough to say until we know he’s starting…Yes, heresy around here…if he does, I say he’s over.

    • JosephR2225

      Jordan,

      Marry my daughter. Thanks.

      -Joseph

    • John E. Zang

      What do you expect from the future leader of the Utopian World? That happens shortly after he solves world hunger and cures cancer.

      • Amar, CB who bought in

        He is the John Anderson we’ve been waiting for.

    • Max Lightfoot

      Plus he can climb walls like Spider-Man.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Hmm, I thought he was already casted to play the next Spider-Man?

        • Max Lightfoot

          I heard it was Archangel in the next X-Men.

        • Amar, CB who bought in

          Meanwhile, the ‘real’ spiderman is auditioning for the role of Jordan matthews in James Cameron’s next.

        • Max Lightfoot

          I heard Archangel in the next X-Men

    • anon

      I see why we ended up taking him over cody latimer and marquise lee.

      • peteike

        Cody looking solid at Denver camp. Apparently abusing Roby who is not looking good at all

    • Amar, CB who bought in

      Wow, just wow.
      Let me say this, if I had that kind of poise and maturity at his age I would’ve done some great things by now.

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

    The 27-year-old said this system suits him because of all the press man Davis asks his corners to play.

    I knew it! We talked about this all last year, esp. with pickup of Sconces and CK talk about big DBs. Shame that Chung and Wolffcub prevented us from having the S to make it work. If any WR regularly beat that press……

    This also supports their reasoning for keeping Boykin inside. Not that I personally like it, but (1) it plays to his strengths and the team’s weakness, (2) keeps the big guys outside pressing

    Really think the development of Wolff is the key to a top20-25 defense —->top15

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      Wolff? blame Average At-best Allen.

      • CHRIS – CB with dreads

        Maybe I have too much faith, and i’m a huge Wolff fan, but I think Allen will have a good year this year. Less responsibility with Jenkins making the calls, increased competition with Wolff waiting to start as soon as Allen makes a mistake, and the obvious “second year in the system” cliche.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

        I don’t blame him so much, but unfair to expect a 5th rounder to have to come in and suck less than Chung, plus he got hurt (hence, wolffcub). Actually played better than I would have expected. Allen was a known mediocre. which is ok, so long as he’s no better than our 3rd S this year.

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          Wolff was 5th rdr because of off the charts athletic ability, couldnt have been for film. i blame the 4 yr vet 2nd rdr for being mediocre at everything, before the rook. but, what’s done is done. think Wolff showed Weds that it’s his to lose, Allen cant keep up with him athletically. Wolff at this point needs to show he can stay on the field. little annoyed he backed up exciting practice with tub-time
          .
          plus, we all know i’m bias…want Wolff to be a stud so i can name my next GSD Wolffie

        • John E. Zang

          Would it surprise you if Allen had a pro bowl season this year? Wouldn’t surprise me too much. Just because he was thrown to the dogs on the leagues worst most retarded (pardon my French) defense isn’t an indictment on his talent. He showed promise under McDermott his rookie season until he got hurt and then Andy hired an O-line coach for the defensive coordinator. Allen has talent, he never had stability or worthy coaching. Now it’s possible it’s too little too late but he had a lot of upside coming out of college.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            yes. very surprised.

          • John E. Zang

            I would be surprised just for the fact that he’s not a household name and not too popular amongst his peers. He’d have to have sick numbers in INT’s, tackles and sacks to get the nod over the other perennial guys.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            Allen to pro-bowl is crazy cowboy fan talk. he’s a defensive liability that Davis spent 16 games finding ways to hide the guy. his best games were the ones we never heard his name. he’s fine as 3rd guy, Davis knows him now, if Wolff cant make jump or some missed games, he can step in and make sure wheels dont pop off. but he sure as $h!t aint winning games, like you expect from pro-bowlers

          • John E. Zang

            He wasn’t a “liability”. You must be thinking of Chung. He has talent and the ability to be a ball hawk with stable coaching and confidence. I’m not saying he’ll be a perennial pro bowler but the guy has talent and never had a chance to put it all together until now. This season will tell. But he showed steady improvement last year under a real defensive system and coordinator.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            yes, he is a defensive liability. he needs scheme and coaching so his play is break-even. really, that’s all you can hope for from Allen, dont screw up and let someone else make plays. there’s a reason no one wanted him when safeties were flying off the free agent board. chung stinks, i told everyone the day he signed, not sure if you were around, but sure other can back me. terrible angles and worse tackler.

          • aub32

            Chung was the liability. Allen did his job. Who knows? He might have been able to do a little more if Chung wasn’t bringing down the entire group. Sorry I meant the entire defense. Never mind the team. How conflicted do you think Foles was last year? Foles: “I could easily throw this wide open TD to Jackson, but then Chung is going to have to come on the field. I think I’ll take the checkdown and make this drive last a few more plays.”

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            allen was a liability, chung was a disaster. we all knew it. Allen was fine last year cause Davis hid the F out of him, which is to Davis’ credit, not exposing an average player to wide 9 principles. guy is average, that’s fine, cant have 35 pro bowlers. think we know what Allen is, and let’s hope Wolff can stay out of the tub long enough to put him on the bench where he belongs.

          • RIP illa

            Sorry Cliff, but Davis didn’t hide Allen anywhere. He just changed his responsibilities from playing the run to pass. Plenty of Times Allen was put on slot WRs and “exposed”. He really showed tentativeness and was not very good for the 1st part of the year in this role. Whether it was covering or being aggressive enough to make the tackle after the catch. In the 2nd 1/2 of the season, that changed. He wasn’t great, but his play was night and day better from the 1st 1/2 of the season. He was (dare I say) solid.

            Yet still we do want better. He’s still not strong enough against the run, he’s still very exposed to getting beat deep, he still will always bite on the TE seam rather than baiting the QB and being in position to anticipate the deep ball or the seam, and he’s still not the greatest in man. It’s not really an argument at all. The man did his job, but not to a praise worthy degree and was not a complete liability. Did he get beat…Yes, but everyone does. Is he still Nate Allen…Yes, but whatcha gonna do bout that. :-)

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            true, cant ‘hide’ anyone, but this all started with pro-bowl talk, and that’s crazy. Allen at best is a nuetral defender, if he can just break even on his assignments, not S the bed, that’s all we can expect, average. to me, that’s a liability (not sure what others call it, but the guy doesnt instill confindence) as you pointed out alot of his flaws. but i cannot understand how anyone wants Allen over Wolff. Allen is average, we know what we’ll see, Wolff least has alot more upside.
            .
            as i said, dont think the wheels come off on defense if he’s playing. it’s not Seattle defense, offense is still stearing the ship. actually care alot more about qb pressure than Allen v Wolff, but we wont know anything about that till season starts.
            .
            good to hear from ya rip, taken a break? getting ready for season?

          • RIP illa

            I see your points and they are very valid. I love Wolff’s athletic ability, but the whole lack of knowledge (bad angles & out of position) coupled with the “injury” thing, leaves me in show & prove mode when it comes to him.

            I’ve been mostly lurking the board with a few comments here and there. Trying to avoid the influx of hype and crazy excessive optimism that’s running rampant. So much so that I actually am agreeing with almost everything Token (Sup Tok) is saying…Almost. LOL

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            ah, people are just excited the arrow is pointing upwards. it is, i believe that, but we’re a year away. think we know kelly’s system work, howie can draft, cap is fantastic and let’s hope someone can get to qb and foles is legit. rest, is just issues that teams better be able to solve if it’s going to contend.
            .
            hit my comments my man, we have some good battles. still waiting for my apology, lol.

          • anon

            Nah he was better than Chung and Wolff, he didn’t get beat a lot over the top and he had his first pick (ever i think). He wasn’t good, but he was the best we had. It’d be great if he was the 3rd beset safety on the team.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            agree Allen was better than both, doesnt change that he was average and hidden. my hope is Wolff can make the jump Allen never could. dont think it’s doom and gloom if Allen palys this year, but be disappointed that Wolff couldnt beat him out. Allen wont ever see pro-bowl, Wolff still has chance, slim since he cant stay on the field.

          • aub32

            We were all hoping Allen could make that jump at one point. Allen had a much better rookie season than Wollf. The injury and coaching changes derailed all of that. I think he could be above average with the right guys around him.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            Allen should have had better rookie year, early 2nd rdr vs raw had no clue what they saw on tape 5th. that’s ancient history. talking today, which has better chance at being impact player, it’s Wolff. sure you read the tweets, everyone agrees, Allen is vet stability, but has no chance at making the plays that Wolff can and does (when he’s out there). not sure why anyone wouldnt want Wolff to step up and take job away from Allen.

          • aub32

            You always want the guy with more talent to win the job. I just don’t think Allen is a bad option. At this point the question is will Wolff be available. If Wolff can’t play through a little soreness, then how will he get the experience necessary to make use of his raw ability?

          • OldDuckMcDoc

            Allen actually got a pick in his first game, and a second pick in his second game.

            He looked really good in his rookie year IMO, then injuries, then “Dream Team”, then the complete mess that was 2012. I think his ceiling’s “solid starter” at this stage but curios to see what he could do with a bit of stability, and with Not Chung for support alongside him.

          • aub32

            I think Allen deserves to be in this league, but I don’t think he has the physical ability to keep up with Wolff. Wolff has some very raw ability, and CK seems determined to culture it and see what comes out.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            yes it would surprise me. that’s asking for everything to go right.

    • aub32

      I think the development of Smith II would contribute more. This team was struggling to mount a pass rush at the end of last season. No safety can cover all day.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

        true. but barring huge performance, I don’t see him making a huge impact in ’14. Wolff at least has a greater opportunity to steal a starting role, and has a pretty decent ceiling.
        I also think Davis will have better blitz/rush options now that front 7 know 2gapping. Not that pass rush through blitz is ideal, but still should be improvement over last year.

    • Token

      Counting on Wolff is foolish. The kid likely wont play the whole year and has shown no signs of being someone to get worked up about in the first place.

      We are left hoping Allen can be average and Jenkins can be just above average. Still dont see how theres gonna be enough pass rush to make this all work any better.

      • anon

        Sad but true. Be interesting to see if wolff can even stay healthy. Haven’t heard anything from the other 2 dbs we’ve drafted. I assume their getting worked all over the field.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

        don’t believe I ever said I was counting on him; rather, if he pans out, we’ll jump in defensive rankings. c’mon now, read before you pessimize

        • Amar, CB who bought in

          ‘…read before your pessimize’
          Now, where’s the fun in that ?

      • dnabrice

        Chung had negative value, so not having him at all raises the ability of the defense. Jenkins is a significant upgrade over Chung, and that help the def out a lot.

        Biggest benefit is Carroll and the ability to play dime on 3rd and longs. Just couldn’t do it with Roc. If they fix that, the defensive stats will come way down, and the rankings will go up significantly.

    • Dominik

      I’m not a big fan of statements like that, but if you read that:

      Carroll (6-1, 205) spent the first four seasons of his career in Miami. He started 12 games for the Dolphins last year and finished with three
      interceptions and 11 pass break-ups. According to Pro Football Focus,
      quarterbacks completed just 47.8 percent of their passes into Nolan’s
      coverage. Only three corners in the NFL were statistically better in
      that department last year. He also finished ninth in opposing
      quarterback rating (65.0).

      Why could we sign him for 2.6m/year? He’s 27, so not right before decline. Even if you can’t start him (we don’t know if we will), he’s a ST ace (great Gunner, apparently) and seems like a high character guy. He brings you depth at a reasonable salary and maybe even is a decent starter.

      Felt the same way about Barwin last year. Is it some kind of swarm dumbness?

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        Swarm dumbness. I love it. The other GMs were assimilated into the Hive Mindless. But not Howie.

        • Dominik

          I mean, if he’s 5-9 and puts up stats like he has, I get it. You fear that he just can’t repeat it, since he doesn’t have the size. But he has the size that seems to be the new goal in the NFL since the Seahawks showed how effective it is to have those big, nasty press corners.

          I don’t know how fast Carroll is (he didn’t attend the combine and his wikipedia page has no Pro day numbers), but it shouldn’t be too bad. He delivered last year. Not on a Pro Bowl level, of course, but that’s not the question. Sam Shields didn’t play at a Pro Bowl level either and got a 4 years/39m contract.

          Not saying that Carroll is as good as Shields, but decent CBs tend to get overpaid, imho. I mean, just look at Cary Williams.

          • MagatBrackendale

            Just as a point of interest, last time I made a reference to Wikipedia, I was almost beheaded. Has it become more respectable to mention that site? Or is it the difference between X and Y chromosomes? I am mindful that the attacker is no longer on this site, so maybe that’s all it was.

          • Dominik

            It depends on the exact use of it, I’d say. Nothing wrong with Wikipedia telling you at which round in which year a player was drafted, or what his measurables are. Imho, that is. Now, if you evaluate a player with Wikipedia as a source, that’s a different story.

            Don’t know why GEagle attacked you, so I wouldn’t know if I disagree with him or not.

          • MagatBrackendale

            I was attacked for using Wikipedia at all. Used it to redirect to UCLA website looking or info about Anthony Barr. Wasn’t supposed to look at team website either. Mostly because he didn’t think of it first I suspect.

      • aub32

        I think there are always going to be good players that don’t have a big reputation because they are either on a bad team or overshadowed by a supers star (JJ Watt). The trick is being able to find those guys who can make significant contributions without taking a big piece of the pie.

      • TNA

        Carroll and Barwin also have something in common – parents who are elected officials. Carroll’s mom was Lt.Gov of Florida before stepping down earlier this year because of some allegations of fraud conducted by a client of her former PR firm. She’s not under investigation, but her perceptual association was potentially a distraction in an election year.

        Anyway, just a tidbit, and not anything we should judge Carroll on, for better or worse.

        • Dominik

          Nice info. I’m sure Howie has a bucket full of stats on how children of elected officals are playing in the NFL.

          I’m only half kidding.

      • JohnA

        Maybe Howie factored in the Sports Science effect as something like being 2-3 years younger and/or 1 fewer major injuries had.

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    Tim, let’s be real. Most writers think Carroll should take Fletcher’s job If anyone’s. Most fans seem to think he should take Cary’s.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Majority wins! This is such a BS point.

    • aub32

      Sheil promised a post that would delve into why the fans and writers feel so differently on the issue.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        Well, the wait continues.

  • Steve Richards

    Does he play without gloves!? If he plays without gloves he’s the best corner we have.

  • Fly High

    I have a different answer to the “whose job would Carroll take” conversation. The eagles will play fast at times this year, faster than last year, as they are more accustomed to system. When we are playing that pace. It is better to have a lot of depth and rotation on D, so the other team gets more worn out than we do. 3 CB + Boykin? Perfect. 3 Safeties who can play, ideal. Hopefully MS2 turns into that 3rd OLB, and it is possible we have more of that depth on the DL this year. It seems like ILB is the only place we might not have the quality of back up to play a frequent rotation. And that depth will make us better in fast paced games.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Agreed, but I just can’t accept people basically telling me that CW was better than Fletcher. Therefore if Carroll earns a starting spot, it’s gonna be Fletch’s spot, not CW’s he takes.

      • peteike

        good thing is though, were not the coaches so they know what they are looking at. Ill trust their judgement regardless

  • southy

    This team has so much more depth than last year it’s unbelievable.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    “Most seem to believe that he has the best chance of replacing Bradley Fletcher on the outside.”

    Again I ask… Who is “most”? Anyone with two eyes could clearly see that Fletch outplayed his counterpart Williams. I don’t anticipate being able to play more press to change that. Williams is the same player he was in Baltimore… A give up the catch, keep the play in front of him & make the tackle CB. Will better S play help?…Sure. But unless we’re doubling to CW’s side, that better S play isn’t going to stop CW from giving up that 7yd catch on 3rd & 6.

    CW benefited leaving Baltimore after winning a ring and also playing on a team that played tough defense. I’d love to have him as the next guy off the bench or come in as an extra DB in Dime situations. But if you’re telling me that CW played better than Fletcher last year, I’ll flat out tell you you’re wrong till I’m blue in the face & don’t give me “oh he did a good job against Megatron in the snowbowl” or “he got better as the season went on” or “the safeties effected his play”. It’s all BS, because what you saw is the same play and the reason Baltimore let him walk & most of their fans were happy to see him go.

    • aub32

      Seems like in 2014 the more a CB talks the better he is. Sherman is seen by many as the best CB in the game. However, I would argue it’s the less talkative Peterson. CW talks a big game, while Fletch just does his job. So I guess in the eyes of “most”, he’s the better CB.

      • peteike

        ya they mentioned how Peterson plays every other teams best player while Sherman stays on one side but both are really good. Carroll will get his snaps, nice to know depth is there regardless in case of injury.

        • aub32

          It’s not just that Peterson follows guys, he also doesn’t have Earl Thomas behind him. Don’t get me wrong, Sherman is really really good, but for my money I am taking Peterson, Revis, and maybe Hayden before him. I givr the guy credit for bringing attention to himself. He would not be a household name if not for all the talking he does.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I agree. I like Peterson more and think Sherman is a “look at me” guy. I get alerts on my phone from ESPN & NFL and I have to admit that when I see something concerning Sherman & Lynch, I just delete/clear the alert.

            I was ok with Cary coming over as a stop gap until we found someone better. But that day has come as I feel he’s #3 on this team as far as big CBs & #4 overall when you throw Boykin into the conversation. I honestly hope CW’s mouth gets him a taste of his own medicine. I honestly don’t mind guys talking tough, but Cary genuinely seems like he wants to literally get into a street fight with everyone and I hope someone decks his a$$.

          • anon

            i think he’d be ok with it if it was someone on our team. He just wants everyone to play tough and hungry. Why do you think the DBs are playing so physical, Cary is trying to instill that. What do you think is going to happen when our WRs play seattle, SF, etc. they’re going to deal w/ tough physical DBs they need to be prepared for that and figure out how they’re going to deal with the physicality of the game.

            What we don’t want is a team like Denver, all finesse, and then a team like Seatlle just out-played them from a physical perspective.

          • aub32

            He’s bullying guys that likely won’t even make the team though, and I question Maclin’s toughness regardless of what CW does. Plus he can’t simulate a hit from Chancellor.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            strikes me as fake hustle. always hated those guys.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            If he wants to be the “tough guy”, move to safety where he’s free to display that toughness taking on RBs with a full head of steam or TEs that outweigh him by roughly 40-50lbs.

            Look I get it, but he can do that as the veteran backup. I have a big problem with Cary as he feels that being tough makes him a superior CB. He’s not. In my eyes, he’s the equivalent of the goon on a hockey club. Which is fine, but they have their place on a team.

          • aub32

            I don’t know if you read what he did to Maehl or the rookie yesterday. Apparently he decleated the guy as he was going out of bounds and was all but punching Maehl while down. I wish he would try something like that against Boldin or Fitzgerald. I wish we traded for Andre Johnson so I could see him show CW what being tough is all about.

          • peteike

            ya totally, seems weak to go after guys you know are smaller etc. Like hes trying to live up to his mouth, lame

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Yes, the depth is great. But I want my best two CBs starting. To me that’s the two that minimize completions & take opposing QBs out of rhythm.

      • CHRIS – CB with dreads

        The good news (I hope) is that CK and Davis are smart enough to know the difference, and play the better player.

        But you have a great point about being loud and seeming like the best CB.

      • anon

        better at racking up PIs?

        • RIP illa

          Fletch by 1 actually.

  • Will

    I wonder if he can play Safety with Jenkins…

  • ohitsdom

    I really think the Eagles will play a lot of dime in passing situations to get Williams, Fletcher, Boykin, and Caroll all on the field. All the reports sound great so far, so I look forward to seeing it!

    • aub32

      This sounds great for stopping the pass, but what about our run D? We did all we could to limit the Saints passing attack, and it worked. However, what did we do to stop from getting runover like we did? If Ingram can do that to us, What happens when we face Lynch and Gore?

      • anon

        That’s what happens when you’re in nickel and getting run on. Jenkins is much better “box safety” than allen or chung. Our NT was a rookie last year, most of our line was young / inexperienced so i’m not surprised we got run on a little. I expect progress from them even if small.

        • aub32

          If that’s what happens in nickel then you would assume dime to be worst. If we are relying on our safety to be the guy making tackles against the run, then we are in trouble. Also, I still need to know who can we count on to create any type of pass rush. Dime means nothing if the QB has 8+ seconds to throw.

          • anon

            Pass rush is a problem but i guess there wasn’t anyone in the draft that was worth it. I hope they figure out how to get rush from our interior lineman (cox and curry) i think honestly they’re the best pass rushers we have (no offense T. Cole).

          • aub32

            I do think they are, but the scheme is working against what they do best. I still don’t know why we didn’t try to pick up someone in FA to help out our front 7.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        doubt they’ll play dime unless it’s like 2 Wash games in 2nd half, well ahead and know team is going to throw 95% of the time. or 2 minute drills. opponent subs in 4 or 5 wrs on 3rd and 10+, pretty safe to run it out then too. nothing wrong with 4-2-5 with only Jenkins as safety and kendricks and Smith II in middle. should be plenty of options for Davis, no reason to give up 3rd and long after 3rd and long. wow that was frustrating

        • aub32

          yea that was too annoying to watch it happen week after week. I do like the 4-2-5 look, but I often wondered why we did not see Barwin come in for Ryans. I like Barwin over Smith in that role for now. He’s a good tackler. and I think Smith admitted to needing to get better against the run.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            like the haunted past and dancing w/ flower girl…it’s all deadly

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    all this Wolff v Allen talk…Wolff is sitting out again. too sore to practice. not going to say the ‘S’ word yet, but he’s got the ‘s’ and the ‘o’ already

    • Token

      Yea its kinda hard to deny at this point. The coaches thought Wolff could have played last year.

      Im sorry but if you are a rookie trying to hang onto a starting spot in the NFL and you sit out even after cleared to come back then its likely you dont have the drive it takes at very least. Nobody in the league feels 100%.

      • aub32

        but he had a boo boo

      • peteike

        sorry we dont really know whats wrong with him so its easy to speculate and call him soft. Sometimes if they come back too soon they can actually hinder their long term health/career. I dont begrudge any player to look out for themselves. We know plenty that teams dont care at all in many cases about players’ health. Its what have you done for me lately. Cant disagree about being a young player though, sometimes they have to fight through. Just watched Fred Taylor explain how Coughlin forced him back too soon when his groin was completely torn, he then had issues years later and was labeled soft for it.

        • Token

          If a guy is “looking out for himself” as a rookie trying to lock down a starting spot on a good NFL team, I gotta question it. Team cleared him. Docs cleared him. Maybe you see guys “looking out for themselves” if they have a contract already and a starting spot. Someone whose really hungry would be back on that field the first chance they get IMO.

          And ive said before, you can overlook some stuff if a guy is clearly a high end talent. But im not gonna stand here and beat the drum in Wolffs corner. The guy has proven nothing and showed little so far. Hes got a ton to prove, if he ever stays on the field.

    • OregonDucker

      Not making excuses for Wolff but the sports science team evaluates his fitness and makes recommendations to the coach. Hydration, heart rate/oxygenation metrics, etc are considered. Softies and slackers will be identified quickly and dealt with. Chip runs a tight ship. If Wolff is a slacker, he is on very thin ice.

  • MattE

    Regardless Fletcher is in a contract year. so he is gonna have to step up this year or risk not only losing his starting spot but money going into free agency.

    In any case i feel better with CW, Fletch, Carroll and Boykin than i did last year.

    This has become the most interesting positional battle at camp IMO.

  • Honest_T

    Judging by the comments and the talk about “whose job will he take?” it seems most fans don;t yet understand that Chip is trying to win through depth at positions. It isn’t just about competition, it is about having a minimal drop off in production should one player go down/get suspended. There aren’t superstars, but solid players at reasonable salaries backed up by solid players at reasonable salaries.

    The exception to that seems to be the OL & Shady.

  • Kuato

    If he starts or not is pretty irrelevant. Gotta have depth. He’ll see the field one way or another.

  • Clyderightside

    The Eagles will play more dime coverage this year. That means they would use four corners at the same time. Fletcher, Williams, Boykin and Carroll will be on the field together a lot this year. The two safeties would be Allen and Jenkins. They would play two backers (Barwin and Kendricks) ) and three down linemen. But they could also use a four man front.(Graham DE, Curry DT, Cox DT and Cole DE) with one backer. Those guys could really get after the QB.