Eagles Wake-Up Call: Huff Shows Finishing Ability

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Josh Huff’s first kickoff return as an NFL player was not a memorable one.

He took the ball 8 yards deep in the end zone, headed upfield and was brought down at the 13 yard line.

“The first one, I think, he probably could have got back inside,” said Chip Kelly. “It looked like when we look at the pictures there was a hole there.”

Huff looked at the pictures on the sideline too and realized he left some yards on the field. But he would get several other opportunities. And late in the first half, he fielded another kickoff. The Eagles had a different return called this time, but Huff found a running lane, headed for the left sideline and saw he only had one man to beat.

“I couldn’t let the kicker tackle me,” he said. “I would have heard it from the rest of these guys in the locker room and my college coach back at Oregon.”

Huff switched the ball from his right hand to his left hand and stiff-armed Robbie Gould before scampering down the sideline to the end zone for a 102-yard touchdown.

“I was just kind of looking at what angle he was going to take, and he took a pretty good angle to possibly make the play,” Huff explained. “So I did what was best and switched the ball over to my outside hand so I can push off with my inside hand [and] stiff-armed him.”

According to Football Outsiders, the Eagles ranked 15th in the NFL on kickoff returns last season. They’re hoping to improve on that number in 2014. Nolan Carroll II had been used on kickoff returns in practice, but he sat out Friday night’s game with an injury.

Huff made the most of his opportunity, and his ability to finish – which Kelly has seen up close for years – could give him an edge.

“The one thing he can do is he can finish,” Kelly said. “He’s a big, strong guy, did a great job stiff-arming the kicker and finishing it. A lot of times, the returns are designed, you can’t block ‘em all so it’s gonna bounce to the safety if we get it blocked up right. And I thought we did a really nice job of blocking it. Josh has got that mentality, he’ll hit it and then come out the other side.

“And then when you come out the other side, you’ve gotta make the kicker miss. I thought it was a real physical move by him. And then he’s obviously got the speed to finish it off. So it’s good to know that you’ve got a kick returner that can finish things. Sometimes if you don’t have that type of speed or you’re not as physical, sometimes you’ll get through the first wall and you’ll get it blocked up the right way, but you’ll get tackled on the 40, which isn’t bad. But we’ll take the return for a touchdown any day over that.”

The night before, Huff saw his former college teammate De’Anthony Thomas generate some buzz with an 80-yard punt return score for the Chiefs.

“When DeAnthony made that punt return last night, it just made me think I had to do it as well,” he said.

“It was only right. Two Oregon boys showing off on special teams.”

Huff’s role on offense depends largely on how the receivers ahead of him on the depth chart perform. But in the next three preseason games, he’ll look to solidify his role as the Eagles’ primary return man.


T-Mac with notes from Franklin Field, including Nick Foles addressing what he needs to work on.

A position-by-position game review of the Eagles’ offense against Chicago.

A position-by-position game review of the Eagles’ defense.

Julian Vandervelde to have back surgery and other injury notes.

Mark Sanchez makes a strong first impression, writes McManus.

Rookie Beau Allen was a “disruptive force” in his NFL debut.

Jordan Matthews did not dazzle in his debut, writes T-Mac.

Post-game observations from Chicago.

Father murdered, mom battling addiction, failed CFL tryouts. Josh tells the story of Eagles cornerback Davon Morgan.


The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane checks in on Vinny Curry:

Curry already has proven he can do that. But for schematic reasons and the necessity of being stout against the run, he isn’t likely to see the field much more than he did in 2013.

“It’s tough because you want him out there as much as you can to get pressure on the quarterback because he’s gifted and natural at doing it,” Ryans said. “But I’m not sure how to get him out there more.”

Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz pins blame for the Eagles’ offensive woes on the line:

Nick Foles looked shaky, but I figured out a big reason why. The offensive line struggled in a big way on Friday night. I was surprised to see them play so sloppy. And it was “them”…as in the whole line. Actually, Todd Herremans is the one guy who I didn’t see get clearly beat or make a major mistake.

Jason Kelce got driven right back into Foles lap on one play. Evan Mathis had 2 holding penalties. Jason Peters had one holding penalty. Allen Barbre struggled in pass pro on a couple of plays. The line didn’t magically just start to suck. This isn’t about age or talent. They just played poorly. The one thing that stuck out to me with Mathis and Barbre is that they let defenders get into their body. Linemen need to get their hands on defenders quickly to try and control them. The guys were slow to do that and the rushers got the best of them.


We’ll hear from Billy Davis this morning. The Eagles have a walk-through, and then it’s off to Massachusetts for a week with the Patriots.

Around The Web

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.

  • Dominik

    It will be a great test for our WR to go one on one with Revis, Browner, Arrington and Dennard. Hopefully Huff and Matthews get at least a few opportunities against Revis and Browner, altough it’s not likely, since they are with the 2’s or in the slot (Matthews). Still a good test for Cooper, Maclin and Momah. It doesn’t get much better than those two in the NFL, if you exclude the Seahawks.

    I also like our DBs have to go against Brady. And maybe Foles can learn something from Brady again (he learned Bradys pump fake last year). Brady is not just a first ballot HoFer, but also the absolute best case for Foles development. Both are tall and unathletic, they have to do it with their brain.

    I know some of you hate the Patriots, I know some of you (+ sconces) hate the joint sessions. But I love them, to be honest with you.

    As a pure bonus, Wolff and Reynolds can learn something from a proven veteran in Patrick Chung.
    Just kidding.

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      They can learn what not to do. Especially if Wolff missed any pointers from last year.

  • anon

    Just read that tannehill went 6 for 6 and a td in his preseason. Has anyone given thought to the Billy lazor effect. How important is a qb coach?

    • MediaMike

      Kelly coaching tree – planted and growing!

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      alot less than HC. probably gameplanned or at least heavily practiced 1st series of plays. new HC, young QB along w/ coming off Incognito disaster, bet they went for some good press.
      for me, 1st preseason game isnt much about team, cause simply dont know what they are calling or testing out. it’s who sticks out as good and bad. like Ertz, Kendricks and Curry looked like they were playing at a different speed. Corners, well, let’s hope Kelly can put up 40+

      • damrvrhunter

        Dolphins have a new HeadCoach (HC) ?

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          that’s right, he’s OC, isnt he. still, they needed the press. that’s a half interested fan base to begin with, then coming off last season, they have to worry about tickets.

    • aub32

      Yes. I thought the move didn’t get as much attention as it should have. I definitely wished he could have stuck around for at least one more year and give Foles his complete attention this offseason as the unquestioned starter.

      • Dominik

        I think everyone, including Chip, would have prefered that. But you can’t blame him for taking an OC job.

        I hope Musgrave is as tough of a SOB as Lazor was with Foles. But you have to trust Chip on this one, he knows his offense.

        • aub32

          I definitely can’t blame him. The guy has to do what’s best for him, and I’m glad Chip isn’t like Harbaugh who keeps his coaches from getting other jobs. I was just hoping the guy could slip under the radar for at least a year.

          • anon

            Umm, i would have. My QB just had one of the best seasons ever, i’d be like i’m sorry — Jeff will pay you more but you aren’t leaving. If Tanny goes gangbusters this year and Foles is just OK that’s one thing that i’m going to look at. It’s not like Foles is a vet — this is probably his most important year in terms of development. But we’ll see.

          • aub32

            If Foles has a major drop off because his QB coach left, then he isn’t a franchise QB. Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees, and Ben don’t have anyone holding their hand to cross the street. Foles had some time with Lazor. He needs to remember what he was taught and pick up new lesson from Musgrave and on the field experience.

          • anon

            Nah, Brady, Rodgers, Brees and Ben sat behind great QBs. Foles doesn’t have that opportunity. Foles is a second year guy who last year looked a lot better than he’s looked every other year. Why would you risk that on coaching?

            Look at the rest of our team — we’re 100% relying on coaching (HC/OC — DL coaching, etc.). Coaching is a huge part of why our drafts pre-2012 looked terrible.

          • aub32

            Who did Ben or Brees sit behind? Ben started from day one. Brees started year 2. You may want to check your facts.

          • I can’t spend this season on Mariotta Watch. I just can’t. Too much hype going in. It would be way worse than ’11.

          • TNA

            If the Eagles lose a lot and get a high enough draft pick, there’s going to be a lot of pressure to get Mariotta. As you could see against the Bears, the key is OL and the QB being a threat to run, thus keeping the crashing end in check. If this OL can’t execute, the offense (any offense, really) will be in trouble, but the need to use up another player to take out the crashing end is somewhat limiting their options. Of course, Foles isn’t going to run unless he’s totally uncovered in preseason, and it was only the first preseason game.

          • So, in other words, Chip’s offense needs a running QB?

    • I think he’s a good coach, but they’ll be hurt by the OL down there. And their RBs and TEs are nowhere near ours.
      I think they’re still at least 2 years away on offense, not sure Tannehill stays that long. But IMO he’s pretty decent

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    not sure what Huff did besides run straight ahead. think i could have gotten to mid-field. that play was all blocking, and Braman jogging next to a sprinting Huff. that crazy man can sure move

    • Dominik

      Finally someone recognizing Braman there. I found it amazing that your 6’5 OLB jogging right behind your KR who just returned a KO for a TD.

      • JofreyRice

        He’s definitely a special teams demon. Didn’t think he looked very good on D, though. I imagine he’d have the inside track for that 4th OLB spot, even though Graham offers much more in terms of pass rush. It’s really fascinating to see them marginalize passrushers just because they don’t have a balanced skill set, rather than finding a way to use them to help the team.

        • damrvrhunter

          We have already been through this scenario before and his name was Jason Babin. How did that work out ?

          • JofreyRice

            Babin had 19 sacks, and is still making money rushing the passer. You think Babin’s lack of discipline against the run was the major problem with that D? Casey Matthews being drafted from the 4th round to be a starting MLB, the DC being an offensive line coach, or the starting safeties being Kurt Coleman and Jarrad Page, etc. all contributed much more significantly.

            How versatile is Robert Mathis? Aldon Smith? It comes down to a vision for the D. Do you want your OLB rushing the passer on 3rd down, or running around with TEs and RBs? I can tell you for the large majority of 3-4 defenses, the answer is the former. We have a good sense that Barwin’s not capable of that unless he’s allowed to run free. We think Smith’s going to be a long-lead project in that department. They need passrush from the OLBs right now, to be a better defense.

          • Jason

            The defense sucked before Castillo

          • JofreyRice

            And they sucked after him, too. They’ve pretty much been mediocre to poor since JJ passed.

          • Skin cancer did to the Eagles what drunk driving did to the Flyers.

          • aub32

            Yeah but McDermott is doing a pretty good job down in NC. Maybe Andy shouldn’t have used him as a scapegoat and given him a chance without Dimitri Patterson starting a CB.

          • Token

            So right. Im tired of hearing people talk about OLB coverage ability. I just dont care. We arent at the point where we can care about that. We have no pass rush. A 3-4 is not gonna do very well with not one real good OLB rusher. And then they try and draft a Barwin clone in the 1st round? I mean? There was a list somewhere of the % of snaps the top rushers dropped into coverage.

            Confusion can only get you so far. Barwin cant win 1v1 battles with a lineman. So if you have two guys like that does it matter how mirrored your D is? You will still likely have to beat a man. How often do you get a chance to run free to the QB? Not a whole lot.

          • you’re forgetting the very simple and basic truth that Davis likes to bring A-gap pressure. So having cover OLBs helps if the ILBs are blitzing/ green dogging (gap control until pass play identified, then rush). Plus the DBs he brings from slot. It’s a zone blitz scheme, not a straight rush.

            Is it atypical? sure. Will it work? maybe. Does he care if you think it’s not proper role for OLBs? no

          • Token

            Does Davis read this stuff? Didnt realize that. Thought we were just a bunch of idiot Eagles fans talking to each other. Dont get so defensive over the DC of the team.

            OLB coverage ability is nice sounding on paper. Seems like it would help. But it doesnt really matter all that much most of the time. Other then maybe 2 or 3 guys in the league it will always be a mismatch when you have a OLB in coverage.

          • aub32

            Thank you. I didn’t know we weren’t allowed to discuss such things. God forbid Davis should read our comments, quit his job, and leave us stuck with Castillo again.

        • Dominik

          Graham is a victim of the scheme change. It happens all the time when a new HC comes to town. I feel bad for the guy, but he needs to be in the 43. There is no room for his skill set in this D.

          This is not Vinny Curry who is far from perfect for this D, but can be valuable as a specialist. 3rd and 10, who’s name will Billy D call to get an inside pass rush? Vinny.

          Our D can’t life with an OLB (and Graham can’t be your DE in the 3 men fronts, he isn’t built for that) who can only do one thing, even if it’s rushing the passer.

          We need to get a better pass rush, no doubt. The lack of pass rush is what concerns me the most about next season. But Graham isn’t the answer.

          • JofreyRice

            I don’t think Graham is going to be “the answer” but he can be a part of it. You’ve got to make a meal out of what’s in the kitchen. The Eagles didn’t add any ingredients to bolster the passrush, so they’ve got to be creative and work with what’s on hand if they’re going to improve it. Finding a significant role for guys that have shown they can make an impact in that department should be in the job description for a DC.

          • anon

            isn’t the point that he hasn’t shown he can be impactful in that department. If he was as good at pass rushing as Curry is and could play the run then T. Cole would be gone. T. Cole can’t cover me which tells you all that you need to know about Graham.

          • JofreyRice

            When you see Graham in the games, he’s beating T’s and G’s and pressuring the QB. Then there is an effort after the fact to qualify and minimize the performance–“Oh, it was against 2nd and 3rd team players”, “He’s too straight line”, “He’s got no natural position”, “PFF just loves him”. All of that is debatable, but it’s undeniable that when he is on the field, he’s making an impact for the passrush. It’s like Boykin. There is just a rejection of the guy, despite demonstrated ability, primarily based on measureables. We’re not talking about upsetting a perfect chemical equation on defense, here. They’re mediocre at their absolute BEST. If it comes down to adding another jackoff of all trades player with great physical dimensions, or keeping a guy that has shown he can beat NFL OL and rush the passer, I want the passrusher.

          • aub32

            Exactly. All the Graham talk is just wishes, hopes, and dreams that we have some stud on the bench ready to breakout. There’s a reason why the guy is on the bench, and it’s not because he can’t cover RBs and TEs from a position that’s barely required to cover RBs and TEs.

          • Dominik

            I rather have a combination of Smith/Cole/Barwin and a QB not knowing where the rush is coming from than to have Graham on the field and a QB knowing exactly what’s going on.

            Disguise isn’t the only part of a pass rush. And if you have a monster like Ware, the good C. Matthews or Aldon Smith, go let him kill the QB. He will know what’s coming, but he can’t stop it. But if you don’t have that kind of weapon (and Graham isn’t imho), then go the disguise way. I get Billy D in that aspect, to be honest.

          • JofreyRice

            The theory is good, but I don’t think the theory has worked too well in practical application, across most of the NFL. Off the top of my head, guys like Rex Ryan & Bill Belichick are the only guys I can think of with the ability to truly manufacture pressure through disguise & scheme. I haven’t seen Billy Davis do that. I’ve seen him turn Brandon Boykin into an OLB and force Cox to 2 gap. I mean, they haven’t contacted me for my thoughts on the matter, so i guess we’ll get to see how it turns out in the next season or two with two mediocre-at-best passrushers at OLB being heavily reliant upon the coordinator to get them free runs at the QB.

        • Although Braman played better ST, I thought Long looked the best (of those 3) at OLB

          Not gonna lie, I’d be pretty upset if Graham beats both of them out for 4th OLB. I get needing a backup predator, but clearly (1) he can’t be a cover OLB, and regardless of Token’s opinion that’s what Davis wants; (2) not as if he’ll be here in ’15; (3) Curry is already our rotational pass rusher

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, I thought Long looked pretty decent, too. Much better on D than Braman. The roughing the passer call didn’t bother me too much. Very subjective, and I clearly remember Trent Cole getting flagged for overaggressiveness as a young player.

          • anon

            You do understand Curry and Graham play different positions? I don’t want Graham either, but I’m assuming Braham has no pass rush capabilities or else we’d have heard soemthing, right?

          • I’m well aware. But is the team really keeping 2 guys for nothing but long 3rd downs? Curry can play all over the DL, especially in 4 man looks; Graham has 1 spot he can play ok, only when rushing.
            And just because you don’t hear much how is that a sign he doesn’t have a skill? Physical rushers are tough to identify in camp, they can’t hit the QB, remember? If he is a step below Graham as a rusher but better in every other field, why keep Graham? ESPECIALLY if they can still get anything for him

          • anon

            Hear you. I think Graham should go — i’d easily take a 5th for him.

            But Curry can’t play in space. Putting him as the edge rusher is just asking for a screen pass that’ll go for a TD if blocked up right.

          • again, that’s a shortcoming/gamble they’ll have to take, especially with the personnel deficiencies they have now.

            I feel for the guys, I really do, but Chip/Billy didn’t draft them, and decided they’d switch schemes sooner than later.

            To me, keeping graham for 1 year and losing him for nothing next year is a pretty bad scenario. I mean, would Curry even stay in ’15? I don’t like the idea of holding these guys just to sit on the bench (barring injury). But it is also hard to speak on other options until seeing more of Braman and Long play

          • aub32

            I think you have to rely on a 3 man rotation and god help us if a guy gets hurt. I think Barwin can play the predator if need be. Smith II can play the Jack. Then Cole can dispel Barwin for a bit. Then Barwin relieves Smith II. Man the FO really dropped the ball on finding some guys in FA to help with this transition to the 3-4.

          • anon

            I would have tried to pay for Ware or something just to get a dominant guy in there. I do like the idea of Barwin moving over and smith playing his old spot — i do think that’s where they are going with it.

            I understand rushing the A gap b/c the center / guards are your worst blockers on the line — but need guys that can get home.

          • JofreyRice

            Really hoping passing up Dee Ford for a “mirrored defense” player isn’t something we all end up cursing. The guy can fly off the edge. Will be a difference maker. Hoping our guy is.

          • when the time comes, I’m more willing to curse alongside you all. But I don’t get why some players can’t even see NFL snaps, or Davis is allowed to deploy a year 2 scheme, without some of these armchair GMs wishing for the coulda/woulda/shouldas

          • JofreyRice

            Because the first looks at year 2 looks suspiciously like year 1? Being an armchair GM is one of the things that makes this place fun. We’re right sometimes, we’re wrong often, the Eagles go year after year with no Lombardi, the world keeps spinning.

          • I’m with you 100% on everything but the 1st sentence.

            Go back to last year. Almost everything we thought they’d do turned out different, particularly on defense. But why are so many so confident they have Chip/Davis figured out based off TC and 1 scrimmage, and that what they have figured is wrong?

            I guess I should apologize for just waiting for things to play out. This is august, after all

          • JofreyRice

            I just hope you’re not going crazy watching people react in normal and predictable ways. The pass D got roasted, couldn’t get off the field on 3rd downs, Ryans sucked in coverage, we got no pass rush from the folks that will be given that job come the regular season. Considering the misgivings some of us have had about their offseason approach, we’re going to react to the first time we’ve seen them in 7 odd months.

            I can guarantee you this, very, very few people have a personal vendetta against Billy Davis. If he puts a consistently decent-to-good defense out there week to week, the complaints will become a murmur.

          • I get it. Happens every year. Don’t know why I waste my time arguing otherwise.

            To me, it’s very similar to philosophy about war I’ve seen/heard. The disconnect between folks fighting the wars for those writing/talking/blogging about it is unreal. And there is no hope of explaining some of the realities on the ground and the vision it takes to employ tactics over time when 1 or 2 instances that make it to the news shape the overall opinion. My time in mid-east really put some things in perspective

          • JofreyRice

            I got you. I have a tough time just putting guys off-limits to criticism just because they’re “in the thick of it”. Just my nature. Analyze, critique, recommend. When it’s clear, I try to admit when I’m wrong, even when it annoys me to do so. At the risk of sounding condescending, which I’m really trying to avoid, I do appreciate your eternal optimism & hope, though, along with Andy12345, and some others. I think it’s an important foil. Without you guys, it would just be philly.com on here. I’d have to switch sides and become a fluffer. :D

          • Thanks JR. You’re a fun personality as well. But I don’t quite see myself as an eternal optimist whatsoever; I just prefer to think about other alternatives before I critique. For instance, on this thread alone:
            1) to those saying we did nothing for front 7— we spent a 1st rd pick on an OLB of future (whether or not he is dominant rusher is moot, since that’s not what PHI was after and there weren’t really any available at 26 anyway). We also got depth at OLB in FA. Had better ILB options been avaialable, they would have as well (Kelly said as much). But just because some guys signed elsewhere, why does that mean Howie failed? Why can’t there be improvement in the players we have?
            2) How is it 100% fair to judge Davis as a success or failure based on 1 year of him transitioning a defense to a new scheme with retread parts? We can argue whether or not they should be a 34, but if that decision is out of his hands why fault the guy for making do with what’s available?
            3) If Foles has a few bad passes in PS, during first live action in months with Momah as a #1 WR, poor OL play, bad refereeing, and no offensive gameplan whatsoever, how does that correlate to his RS performance? There is no correlation between 2 series in a PS game to RS production

            Of course these are all in theory. Of course we all have different viewpoints. But when names like Ware and Revis are tossed around as examples of poor FO execution, it’s just absurd to critique the 20 variables no one on here knows about.

          • aub32

            1. I could’ve sworn Maclin was on the field as the #1 WR.
            2. Nothing was done to improve the starting front 7, which was the complaint. You are switching the argument to being about depth.

            3. No one said Davis was a 100% failure. This is the hyperbole you have accused others of participating in. This isn’t black and white as you make it. You can like some things and dislike others.
            4. I love how we could take away from last year’s preseason when Foles looked pretty good, but this year preseason means nothing. A bad decision in preseason is just that. Foles throwing to a double covered LB is not something he should try, just because it’s preseason. Foles is not an established vet that can just half ass preseason like Cole or Ryans.

          • aub32

            So should I have just waited to see how Castillo being made DC played out before I started complaining? Trust is earned not given. Chip earned my and many other’s trust in this offense. As such, no one is saying the offense struggled Friday because he cut DJax. This defense has not earned any trust in my mind. Nor have they made moves that warrant me thinking things will be much different than last year.

          • stop. Davis to Castillo is not a comparison. You’re at Token levels of hyperbole

          • aub32

            You are ignoring the point of the question just because I mentioned Castillo. Nice try. How about you answer the question.

          • what is there to answer? you said they have not earned your trust. Nothing to say to that. We watched 2 different teams last year. They went from bad to not so bad in a 1st year transition to entirely new scheme. And in your world, spending tons of money on a guy who doesn’t exist or has not played up to his value somehow puts us over the top.

            your loaded questions supported by confirmation bias are absurd. Believe whatever you want.

          • Token

            Not finding a spot on your team for a Vinny Curry is a failure on the part of your DC and coach.

          • I think if there was a 5th dangling out there for Graham, we would have already taken it. Maybe we’ll get lucky and a 4-3 team will have some injuries and come calling.

          • aub32

            Would you take a 5th from ‘allas?

          • anon

            Yes — they have no pass rushers — their guy just got hurt right?

          • Sure. That’s practically a 4th.

          • aub32

            They play different positions, but their true value is as situational pass rushers. You don’t nee too many of those guys on the team. Curry can play either the 4-2 DE or DT spot. Cox will man one of the DT spots. Cole should be on the field in case of a draw. So I get there’s a spot for Graham left, but is he that good a rusher for him to have no other use? Barwin/Smith II could play DE with Curry inside. Or Thorton/Allen could play inside and kick out Curry to DE.

          • anon

            I agree 100% I’d prefer one of the ST aces though i don’t know how [w]ell they can play in space or set the edge but i’d be open to trying to find out.

            It’s a shame they switched to a 3-4 when they are lacking the MOST important position…

          • aub32

            I was really surprised when they decided to go all in on the 3-4 last year, despite having the personnel to pull it off. I am even more surprised that after making the switch, nothing was done in FA to upgrade any of the major positions (ROLB, ILB, NT). This is one of the bigger issues that did not get as much attention as it should have due to the DJax talk and the Boykin should play more conversation.

          • that’s not quite fair; they (supposedly) showed interest in some OLB guys like Orakpo and Worilds, it’s not their fault the market didn’t shake out that way. In the same breath, Chip clearly stated he had some ILB prospects targeted but were drafted before us. And in FA, what possible options for upgrade were available at NT and ILB? none. And it looks we may have a steal in Beau anyway.

            It’s alright to say that in vacuum, but clearly the effort to upgrade was there- just not the opportunity

          • Dominik

            Dead on. If there was a chance to sign that stud OLB and they would have ignored it, I’d be pissed. But Ware was the closest thing to that and he’s old – we’re not in win now (yet), he is. So it made sense for both sides to not sign him.

          • Some fans forget it’s a 2 way street. Want to know why FAs go to DEN? Peyton Manning. Who knows, we could offer him double and they still go there. But I guess that’s Davis’ fault?

          • aub32

            I blamed the FO, not Davis.

          • how? why? Howie takes heat because a man of his own free will chooses to go play with Peyton and a team that just made the super bowl (and paid him pretty decent)?

          • anon

            what would we need to be in win now mode?

          • aub32

            Exactly. If you can make the playoffs, then you should be in win now mode. I don’t think the 2011 Giants thought they weren’t in win now mode.

          • there are so many variables. Still somewhat a scheme/coach/philosophy transition, possible ? at QB, and extremely limited depth. So why drop $50M dream-team style on overpaid guys like Worilds or Byrd? Is that really putting us over the top in ’14? Can we have just a little consistency in this organization from year to year without fans screaming for immediate upgrades?

          • aub32

            The team lied first. Kelly and Davis both stated they would run the defense best suited for their personnel and then transition toward what they wanted. Instead we have our most talented players on the bench for the majority of the game, and our starters are playing out of position.

          • sure. I can 100% support that. But that’s not the same as saying the FO dropped ball bringing guys in. Birds 24/7 did an article about that mid-season last year, and they explained they’d rather switch now and absorb hiccups/misfits than force it later. It’s ok not to agree. I just think the condemnation is overboard before the season even starts, especially considering the improvements we were seeing towards end of last year. And yes, we played injured teams, but so does everyone.

          • aub32

            One or the other needs to get blamed. Last year I blamed the coaching staff for forcing the change. However, don’t force the change then achieve nothing in FA to make the team a better fit for the scheme. This Allen hype is just that for me. Maybe we got lucky, but I won’t give them credit until he can do something against starting O lineman. That’s not a knock on Allen. I like him. That’s a knock at the team for thinking a 7th round pick should be our improvement to the starting front 7.

          • anon

            I just think the windows are really tight in the NFL. Honestly, last year i thought we were the 2012 Seahawks. And they spent their offseason getting guys to put them over the top — and they won. B/c they have a championship mindset — every year they are trying to go for it. Ppl say look it took seattle 4 years to get there — they weren’t good before PC came. We only had one losing season and i don’t 100% blame the talent for that.

            You gotta pay a BUNCH of people next year, and the year after. In 2-3 years McCoy starts slowing down (and he’s crushing cap space).

          • B/c they have a championship mindset — every year they are trying to go for it.

            this may be the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen yet.

            Are you frigging serious? They had just as much a gamble with Wilson playing well as we do with Foles. They also have good OL and RB. and the secondary was good before last season because they’ve been developing it over 3 years!!!!

            you really think Howie and Lurie don’t want to win? really? there were a few moves we could have made that would put us in driver’s seat this year?

            good lord.

          • anon

            We’ve got the best RB, a QB that had one of the best years a QBs ever had, a top OL (that’s aging). They need pass rushers and a WR and they paid for that and at least tried to get stars (we didn’t even look at Jared Allen)

            Personally, I think if we’d got a safety and real OLB and Foles continued to play at 90% of what he did last year we’d be ok. I understand S and OLBs weren’t there in abundance in FA/draft. But that’s always going to be the case.

            To your point who are we developing the secondary? We’re just picking up guys that are straight getting cut and praying and then being dissapointed when they don’t play well.

          • where the hell is Jared Allen playing on this defense? I’d take Curry over him any day at this point in his career. Same skillset/position

            I don’t get it. I’ll just stop here. Everything sounds great in a vacuum, until you realize there are other teams (some of whom are good) also throwing $ around.
            Re: your 2nd paragraph, that’s assuming Foles assumes mantle of franchise QB and everyone stays healthy again. Which is great to hope for. But not guaranteed.
            Who did we pick up getting cut? CW and Fletch were FAs, not cut, and Carroll was a starter who we signed under the radar. I’d love a great CB/S too. But there are plenty of teams with worse secondaries than us

          • anon

            They were FAs who weren’t cap casualties.

            On Allen, he’d be T. Cole / Brandon Graham except at least he’d be dominant at rushing.

          • he’s 32. and signed for 4/$32, $15.5 guaranteed. Sorry, but that’s paying for past performance, not future production. Let the bears have him.

          • aub32

            They did spend money on their front 7 though. SEA has done some developing. That’s true, but let’s not forget all the FA moves they’ve made. PC has made more roster transactions than any coach. They paid for Avril and Bryant last year. They always sign guys like TO and others just to give a chance. They traded for Harvin. They aren’t just a draft and develop team. So the idea that we can just sit back draft and develop and we will be SEA is silly.

          • sure. we can revisit this after Chip’s 3rd year and see if he goes out and gets final pieces in FA.

          • aub32

            What do you mean final pieces? We made the playoffs last year. We should be in win now mode. What are you waiting for? SEA couldn’t win because they didn’t have a QB, but they weren’t sitting back and thinking o next year we will make moves. They were always in upgrade mode since the day PC arrived.

          • And the majority of those upgrades were groomed over multiple years. Bennett and other FAs were final pieces. They did what we did after 2010, except it worked. And clearly, Lurie and Howie (at least for now) have admitted they don’t want to do that again. I don’t get how you dont’ see this

          • aub32

            I didn’t say go on a spending spree. However, you’re lying to yourself if you are going to tell me there weren’t guys worth the money this offseason. Revis was available. Ware was available. Dansby was available. That’s just FAs. We have tradable assets.

          • and who is to say Howie didn’t try to trade anyone??? it takes 2 teams, aub. If only Howie had even called Revis, he’d of course say yes…..
            You’re really stretching this argument beyond logical framework. Sorry, but I’m done, this is a joke, until you realize there are 31 other teams in the league also trying to upgrade.

          • aub32

            So you mean to tell me the only teams who have any hope of picking up FAs are DEN and SEA? That’s how silly your argument is. You refuse to acknowledge any FA other than Ware. There are more FAs, and they all didn’t go to teams that were in the SB last year. I brought up Dansby. He went to CLE. Griffen didn’t go to DEN. You go ahead and sit on your ridiculous logic that only teams that are supposedly one player away, which really doesn’t exist in football, has a shot at landing anyone in FA.

          • I never said what you’re accusing me of saying, but twist the words how you see fit to justify your tunnel vision. Clearly, the FO doesn’t agree with you, so how about you maybe let things play out?

            I can only imagine if we had brought in Byrd, Ware or some other OLB, and this make-believe DL you want…..you’d probably take the other side and demand Howie draft better so we don’t have to do that.

          • aub32

            Who are you mistaking me for? I’m not some negative ned that bashes every move made. I defended Howie last year. I can form my own opinion. Also, I did not want Byrd for the money he got. There’s overpaying and then there’s paradigm shifting. NO was bidding against themselves at that point. Like I said, there were more names than Ware, which you still refuse to acknowledge. That’s the thing I am accusing you of. I am also accusing you of making an argument that could be applied for any case. (The how do you know) argument. I could easily say how do you know Howie didn’t really want Griffen or Johnson, two of the names other than Ware, and played it wrong. Maybe he low balled them too long. Do you finally get why that’s a lazy argument?

          • — I acknowledged all OLBs when I posted the FA list link. And I said they were garbage players. You seem to believe us not getting them implies Howie did not try, and they are better talents than what we have. Assumption.
            — You stated in this very section we should spend $ on top FAs, who you say are available, yet recognize Byrd (top FA) was overpaid. But somehow not these great OLB talents itching to play here had only Howie picked up the phone.

            I must say, you have mastered the art of faulty logic and short term memory loss.

          • aub32

            First off, I am talking about moves not made to improve the front 7. They improved the secondary. They brought in a starter. Was it the best starter available? No. He’s still an upgrade. I loved the move for Barwin last year. We didn’t get anyone in a front 7 that has plenty of room for upgrades. We can just agree to disagree that there were guys available.

            I never said Howie didn’t try to get anyone. I said that the FO dropped the ball. That means either they didn’t try or they tried and failed. Say what you want, but if I lined up a dozen FAs I bet 10-12 of them would say that the biggest motivation on where to go is money. This is not an assumption. This is based on how many times players get asked that question and they respond “money”.

          • anon

            Gotta pay to play. Agree with Beau. But in the spots that make your scheme go you’ve gotta just pay for talent.

          • dude, wtf. There’s paying, and there is overpaying. See: Everson Griffin.

            Also, guys have, you know, preferences. If JAX and DEN were both bidding for Ware, where the hell you think he’s gonna go?

          • aub32

            We aren’t JAX though. We made the playoffs. He’s this division. He’d get to stick it to the Cowboys. (That often does matter to players). Would he have been overpaid? Yes!. Are we not overpaying CW? I’d rather overpay Ware.

          • c’mon dude. If you’re looking at PHI and DEN on paper, as an older vet, do you really think we have as much a chance in ’14 to get a ring? and even if that was the case, not all $ is created equal. It’s false to just assume if we offered a few million more that he would jump on it. The dude has made money already.

          • aub32

            I can’t buy that. We disagree here. I saw Howie pull off a jedi ninja move to bring in Nnamdi for cheaper than what anyone was saying he’d go for without so much of a peep coming out in the media that we were even interested. That was in a year we were coming off of an 8-8 season. Call it being a victim of his own success. I think he dropped the ball because I know the guy can make moves.

          • wrong. in ’10, we were 10-6, won division and made playoffs, and saw resurgence of Vick.

            we were a completely different team when he signed.


            not even considering Nnamdi and Ware are same guys? same motivations?

          • aub32

            My mistake. Wrong year with the record. The guys are not the same, but that’s a lazy excuse. That’s like saying damn we offered so much money for JJ Watt to come here, but his baby cousin was killed by an Eagle. So he didn’t want to play for them. Hyperbole? Yes, but you get the idea. Throwing out the excuse… well you don’t know what the player wanted can be used in any case. Again, maybe I give Howie too much credit. If you look back you will see I have defended him as a GM in the past. The guy knows the draft pretty well in regard to moving up and down. He also has a good idea of when players are coming off the board. In the past he’s made move via trade or FA when they needed doing. He didn’t do enough this offseason, or the FO was being cheap. Either way it was a failure not to upgrade this front 7.

          • aub, that invalidates your whole point. We were in the same position in ’10 as teams like Den this year, and you just showed how (great) FAs took less $ to play for a team they thought they’d win. Those are facts.

            JJ watt and baby killing? wtf? you’re off the deep end with poor logic. It’s just as dumb for you to assume Ware would come here with more $$$ than for me to assume he went to DEN for less to win.

            He didn’t do enough this offseason, or the FO was being cheap. Either way it was a failure not to upgrade this front 7.

            and you keep saying this. Yet every time I challenge you on it, you acknowledge there was limited chances for us to actually upgrade.

            I wish I lived in this vacuum where we assume if Howie only tried, we could get anyone to play here.

          • aub32

            Nnamdi didn’t take less money to play here. He cost less than what pundits and other guys were saying, but we made the biggest offer. Other teams were scared off initially because they heard the projected numbers.

            We are talking about pass rushers. When aren’t your options to upgrade at pass rusher limited? That’s what separates the really good GMs from the mediocre ones. Again, you don’t think Howie could have done anything. That’s fine. I disagree. I think the truly good GMs find a way to get things done. The FO failed to do so, and now all they have left to sell is a 7th round pick, a 1st rounder who isn’t even learning to pass rush, and the 2nd year in a scheme.

          • I think the truly good GMs find a way to get things done.

            the truly good GMs draft excellent pass rushers.
            aub, the only player we had a chance to get for the pass rush was Ware. So beat that drum all you want, but there are plenty of other variables that go into a human being’s decision than what GM is calling you with what $$ amount

            and until you support your opinion with a list of players we should/could have signed, and you know their motivations for not signing here, and how they would instantly improve our defense to a championship level, it’s just criticism for the sake of criticism

          • aub32

            That’s the only rusher you choose to acknowledge. I named others. I know they were expensive, but again I say you pay for rushers. You said earlier that J. Allen, who I do not think we should have pursued, got paid for past production. Then why not pursue and pay Griffen for future production? I would have even been ok with a guy like Peppers whose been wanting to play in a 3-4 for years.

          • That’s the opposite end of the spectrum; Griffen got paid based on hopes and dreams. And he’s a DE. Even a rushing OLB is not the same thing as a rushing DE. MIN can only pray he plays up to that contract

            Horrible, horrible contract. And Peppers is friggin 34 years old! you really think he’s much of an upgrade over Cole at this point? For what he signed for??? I could care less what he wants, there is no value to that contract

            Go look at that link of FAs again. Come back with a reasonable player we could have signed that can play 34 OLB at least as well as Cole did last year. I think it’s a pretty big indicator the 2 guys we considered were tagged before the market. The rest are your typical FA “B” grade players, at best, getting A++ money.

          • aub32

            A B grade player is better than what Cole gives us as an OLB. Yes you have to overpay guys. I have said that time and time again. That’s how supply and demand works. We can afford to overpay a player or two. So I don’t know why you keep bringing that up. Please don’t even mention the money we will need next year because we have more than enough cap room to pay our players, even if we signed 1 or 2 big time FAs.

          • Not their strategy though. Howie says it all the time. overpaying somebody else’s FA makes for a sour locker room, and makes it harder to sign your own. The day we spend top $, its going to be for a top guy.

          • aub32

            Their were top guys available this offseason though. So Why not spend the money?

          • At Safety you mean? Because there wasn’t a LB or DLine guy worth market rates. And at Safety, even with how this offseason has shaken out so far, I still would have paid up for one of the top guys.

          • This has nothing to do with next year or cap for future.

            There were no OLBs available to us this year. Period. The ones who signed are clearly, to our coaches and FO, not an upgrade. Regardless of what you think. Griffen, Peppers, Allen, Ware….you complain Cole has little left in the tank, so you replace him with a more expensive version who ALSO can’t play in coverage, which Davis wants? Oh and by the way, Dansby is an ILB who would not play in front of either our ILBs

            You’re unreasonable. And steadfast in your belief of what a defense should be, not what Davis is trying to build. Supply and demand is BS because half the teams are run by idiot GMs.

            just stop, aub. You have no factual basis for your argument. It’s just as much assumption as mine. The only difference is I’m willing to be patient regarding the moves we did make vs. condemning the ones we didn’t because you’re so confident it would make us better.

          • aub32

            1. I said we should have upgraded in the front 7. That includes NT, and ILB. I know what position Dansby plays.

            2. Just because you refuse to acknowledge any OLB other than Ware does not mean he was the only guy available.
            3. You say I have no facts but choose to ignore the fact that there were pass rushers available. How is that logic. Do I know what our chances were of getting those guys? No. However, I am not going to just ignore that they were there to be had just to make myself feel better about Davis and the FO.
            4. Your double standard is amazing. You criticize me for saying what our team should have done then call half the other GMs idiots. Jones aside, how do you know what they were trying to do? How do you know players just didn’t want to go play for them or that the owner/ coach didn’t force their hand? Do you see how your “How do you know” argument is such a strawman that it can be used in any situation?

          • aub32

            There were several guys on the market for OLB, like Ware and Griffen. Yes they were expensive, but you pay for pass rushers in this league. I’d have to go back to see what ILB and NT prospects there were. Though you may be right that there were no significant upgrades over what we currently have.

          • http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/transactions/free-agents


            And IMO, those guys were never worth what they were paid. And the top 2 targets linked to us were tagged. We had this discussion months ago.

          • aub32

            I was unhappy with it then. Nothing has changed.

          • Dominik

            Paying guys like Griffen the kind of money they received is the best way to go the Dallas Cowboys way of being in cap hell for years to come.

          • aub32

            Disagree. The Cowboys got like that because they overpaid their own players. They paid Austin and Ratliff way over market value. They spent their franchise tag on Spencer. Anthony Spencer! Overpaying one guy when you have tons of cap room isn’t going to put you in cap hell. Let’s stop with that excuse.

          • unhappy with what? I just don’t get the argument. We should have improved our team, but improvements weren’t available/signed elsewhere/cost too much/draft picks went before us????

          • right on

          • Token

            Theres a simple truth… you gotta rush the passer. And you should be able to create pressure rushing 4. Until that happens I cant bring myself to care at all how good my OLB can cover. Barwin is supposed to be amazing at it yet he got roasted many times last year. Its always gonna be a mismatch. The focus should be on finding really good pass rushers.

            As JR said it is funny to see possibly two rushers on the roster that cant crack the lineup. Tho Cole cant cover and cant even rush at this point and will play 85% of snaps.

            Im not sure if it even matters what Davis wants. Its what Chip wants. Davis loved the 4-3 Under before and even right after getting here. This system hes running now I cant imagine is fully what hed like to do. Sounds much more like a Chip idea.

            And before we start pounding the table for Billy Davis in his defense……. lets remember hes a career failure that has done really nothing yet here to instill a ton of confidence.

            Besides building a defense based around not being able to rush the QB, I cant come up with a reason to play CBs 15 yards off the ball still. All that does is always give the QB a easy throw to make if under duress. Is the safety excuse still gonna be what they go with? Even after showering Mike Jenkins with money?

          • Just for fun – say we did run a 4-3. How would a line of Curry-Cox-Thornton-Graham (Logan off the bench) look to you?

          • so is Cole gone in that lineup?

          • And Cole. He’d be the converted 3-4 OLB who you bring in on 3rd downs to spell Graham, mostly because he has experience dropping into coverage and would allow our brand new 4-3 “hybrid” to use the zone blitz.

            seriously though, just forgot about him.

          • anon

            I don’t think graham is better than Cole. Our DL would be CRAZY in a 43. Rotate Allen / Logan inside. The stunts and twists would be silly.

          • you’re right – but you can grow with my front 4. Cole is close to the end.

          • Token

            I think a 4-3 look is much better for this current roster then a 3-4. And this years draft pushed this timeline back even farther for the transition. Maybe it can be a 3 or 4 year transition if they are able to find a rusher next year. But they could have probably been a decent 4-3 squad if they brought in a real quality 4-3 DC.

            Im a 3-4 fan. I wanted them to switch for years. But in this case it just didnt make sense. You have put your only good defensive players in a worse position.

            So we will assume Cole is gone after this year either way and thats why you didnt put him in your DL. But Curry at 4-3 DE could have ended up being pretty good. Hes just explosive. Cox is a much better 4-3 DT prospect. Logan could have been pretty good in there.

            Kendricks WIL – Ryans MLB – Barwin is a prototype SAM

          • anon

            agree all of our talent is on the DL.

          • aub32

            Cole over Graham. Cole is still as good against the rush as Graham. I think better. Plus he’s better against the run, which you’re losing with Curry.

          • I’ll agree with you, to an extent, re: the Chip/Davis dynamic. In a PC last week, they acknowledged the transition for a very simple reason– if done right, a 34 defense can stop the run (fill gaps) with 5 guys vs. 6 in a 43.
            To Chip, it’s all a numbers game. And clearly, his ultimate desire is to (1) run the ball, and (2) defend the run

            can he win a SB like that? who knows? but it seems he’d rather have 2 extra, albeit mediocre, pass rushers in a varied rush than 1 extremely good one.

            and the Davis/career failure talk is just more Token hyperbole. You can write it every comment section, but it doesn’t make it true. He showed enough just last year teaching 34 technique to justify his presence.

          • Breakerdog

            “if done right, a 34 defense can stop the run (fill gaps) with 5 guys vs. 6 in a 43”

            This exactly.
            Chip wants a bend but don’t break defense. Not a “pack of wild dogs”. If they can control the run with 5 and get 6 into coverage it means that there will be no big plays given up. Chip knows his offense will put up points. He wants the other team to have to march the field and put together long drives to equal them. This is a system that can be sustained with average to above average players that are replaceable. You don’t need to over pay star pass rushers and CBs to make a 3-4 Cov3/Quarters based D work

          • exactly.

            that is clearly their vision. will it work? not sure. but for Pete’s sake, let it play out before demanding we overpay a guy like Ware to get us a ring in ’14

          • anon

            Umm if you have a halfway decent QB they’ll be more than happy doing that all day long. Or we have NOLA example where we sell out against pass (bc we don’t have good DBs) and get gashed.

            Hard to think of a SB winner that doesn’t have a good pass rusher.

          • anon, if we had 1 or 2 more offensive scores, we win that game regardless of what NOLA does.

          • John E. Zang

            Yep and better special teams coverage. Had Henery made that field goal and/or kicked one into the end zone we most likely would’ve advanced.

          • anon

            Don’t get us started on the need to upgrade kickers.

          • Breakerdog

            Chip / Howie are setting up their payroll for offensive skill players and offensive lineman. They are hoping to be able to scheme up a workable defense with replaceable parts. You can’t have stars everywhere. Watch how they draft. On defense the mantra is smart guys with “versatility”. Not freak athletes who dominate with their skill set. Chip wants a whole 11 man unit of Connor Barwins. You don’t have to overpay Connor Barwins.

          • anon

            I dont know. Maybe. As i think of GB, they at least had Clay Matthews (last offensive genius team to win SB). SEA, has awesome defense, RB and field stretching WRs, same with BAL and Pitt.

            I’m not sure what was good about the giants teams that won…

          • you know what the real trend there is? Great coach and great QB play.

          • aub32


          • aub32

            That pack of wild dogs down in NY was responsible for 2 SBs. Much attention goes to SEA, but it was those wild dogs that had Peyton tap dancing all night. Just saying that in this league pressure on the QB wins.

          • John E. Zang

            I’d love to see what everyone thought of JJ being hired as Andy’s defensive coordinator. People just cry about anything because they watch too much bull****. I’m sure a lot of those same people would’ve rathered us hire Lovie Smith over Chip last year.

          • anon

            I agree with all this — we won’t contend until we can get constant pressure (BUF / SF / CAR) OR have guys that are great in coverage (SEA) or both (DEN).

          • we won’t contend

            c’mon, that’s as dead a horse as Djax. Plenty of crappy defensive teams contend, since we have a great offense. It’s Chip to a T.

            They’re banking on offense carrying team until some Reid guys are replaced. Is that really so unreasonable?

          • anon

            I mean contend for a SB, we can get out of the division, yes. You saw the Den game and the saints game. Then you saw what SEA did to both of those teams (think they played the saints twice last year). And you see what Den did last offseason loaded up on every position where they didn’t have pro bowl calibur guys. Peyton is like LBJ in terms of recruiting guys.

            If you don’t have a defense that get consistently get off the field on 3rd and 10 that’s a prob.

          • anon, you’re missing the point. I would love a great defense too. But we didn’t have pieces, in 34 or 43. And they weren’t available to us this year for immediate improvement. I’m sure if we had Peyton, we’d be recruiting guys too. But it’s Howie/Chip/Davis’ fault we don’t

            so instead, they’re building for long-term success and taking the bumps in road.

          • John E. Zang

            First of all Denver is just going for broke because Elway was very upset with the Super Bowl loss. There are plenty examples of how that works out in the end and we should know first hand. Peyton is one year older and was exposed in the Super Bowl for not being able to throw a good deep ball. I love now we’re building the right way and not the “popular” way.

          • anon

            We will see this season whether we can compete with the top 4-5 teams in the league.

          • peteike

            unless they keep throwing flags for minimal contact and change the way D is played. I hope not but bad sign in first preseason go around

          • Dominik

            Re (2): not sure? You never know in the NFL, but Graham would be flat out stupid to sign a contract with us in 2015 – because Howie will give him only the kind of money he’s worth for us, and that’s a low number, imho. If I’m Graham, I rather wait until August or so for a 43 team to call me than to sign with the Eagles. Guy needs to 43 if he wants a career in the NFL.

          • anon

            Same issues with Cox, Curry, Boykin.

          • Dominik

            Oh, we will pay Cox market value (his play this season will set his market value). I’m sure about that. Curry, it’s tough to say. Depends on the market for him, I’d say. But as much as I like him as a specialist, he’s not worth starter money and I don’t think he will see starter money.

            I’m in the minority, but I think Howie will pay Boykin starting CB money. He rolled the cap over and over again because he knew the 2012 draft was special. That includes Foles, of course, but Boykin and Cox, too. We don’t sign many FA because we want to build our team through the draft. You have to keep the drafted talent afterwards, though, and I’m sure Howie will deliver.

            Don’t forget, Boykin has a ridiculous Rookie deal (4th round pick). We (and only we) can extend him next offseason and I don’t think Boykin gives a damn if he plays in the slot (as one of the best in the league) our outside, as long as he gets solid money and he gets it asap, because that’s what matters to those guys.

          • aub32

            I completely agree on Boykin. Wave enough money in his face while he’s still making peanuts, and he will sign to an extension. I do not think they pay Cox. Smith and Peterson, two of the best of their position in the league, are the only 2 1st rounders that I know have signed an extension. Watt doesn’t have one. Cam doesn’t have one. Why would Cox get an extension when the team can just use the 5th year option?

            Curry will eventually be gone. Unlike Boykin, I doubt we offer him starting money. He will play out his contract and then sign a short 1-2 year prove it deal for decent money. Then he will have a chance to show what he can do in a 4-3 scheme. Graham will likely do the same, though I hope we trade him.

          • Dominik

            Cam doesn’t have one because the Panthers are only slightly better at managing their cap than the Cowboys are. Watt is difficult because he defines his position and wants Mario Williams type of money – who is, as stupid as that sounds, still the best paid Defender is this league.

            I’m not saying he won’t use the 5th year, I’m just saying that I think Cox will be here long term if he develops properly.

          • aub32

            What about the other 20+ players that don’t have a new deal? Cox may have the potential to be one of the best DTs in the league. However, he’s limited in this scheme. He will likely not have the production to warrant an extension with 2 years left on his deal.

          • anon

            Esp. not at the $$ he’d be able to make in the right scheme.

          • Dominik

            Like I said, I don’t rule the 5th year option out. But I think Cox will be here long term.

          • aub32

            I am not saying he won’t be here long term. I just think he’s more likely to get a new deal in ’16 vs ’15 with Foles and BB.

          • anon

            You going to pay him more than you pay Cary Williams? CBs are getting pizaid in this league if they can play outside.

          • upvoting “pizaid” – because it’s really the only accurate way to describe professional sports contracts.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I’d offer him similar money. CWs bases were 750k last year, 4.75m this year, and 6.5 next, with a 5mil or so signing bonus and additional 2m in incentives. Something around there should be the initial offer to Boykin if you expect to retain his service, I think.

          • tell you what Nick, I’d be really impressed with Howie if he somehow got Boykin to agree to a deal like that.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I would, too. I did specify that it should be the initial offer.

          • anon

            C. Will had 3 picks as our starting outside corner. Only person with more picks than boykin is sherman, who had probably twice as many snaps and you see what money he got paid.

            I think you gotta look at paying Boykin in the 6-7mm range. Sherm is making 10+ and if i’m Boyking and i have 7picks this year (including several game winners) then I’m telling my agent to look closer to $10mm than $5mm.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Looking only at the contract years & numbers, Williams avereaged a little over 6m/season, so that initial offer I stated is exactly in the ballpark of what you’re saying. If Boykin does repeat or exceed, there’s no doubt in my mind he’s commanding closer to 10 than 5, and rightfully so. However, Sherman has nothing to do with it. He’s an outside corner 100% of the time. You have to look at what the coaches’ plan is with Boykin and determine the value based on that. Overall I find this to be a pretty tricky contract situation, especially since the self-proclaimed best slot corner in the game only signed a 1yr/3mil deal.

          • Dominik

            Cary Williams is overpaid. And he will restructure next year or he is gone. No way he will be in the books for 8.1m next year. With 1.6m dead, Howie has enough leverage.

            I could imagine Boykin getting Alterraun Verner money, maximum.

          • Breathe 21

            We need both Graham and Curry. One pass rusher isn’t enough. They could easily doulbe one of them. We need both to improve our pass defense. Then, we don’t have to blitz on 3rd down. We would force more turnovers and help the offense, which is thin at WR.

          • aub32

            I think you are overestimating Graham as a pass rusher.

          • Breathe 21

            The experts and PFF talk about the effectiveness of Graham as a pass rusher, despite playing limited snaps. You’re overestimating Cole and Barwin as pass rushers. Barwin shouldn’t be pass rushing on 3rd downs under any circumstances over Graham or Curry. They’re both clearly more effective than Cole. Graham was the only one to get to Brees in that playoff game. Majority, of Coles sacks were against weak tackles and backup Qbs

          • aub32

            Look at Graham’s competition on those snaps. PFF is a good source but you have to put their numbers in context. Look at who they have as their top TE?

          • JofreyRice

            come on, you have to realize that they rate Ben Hartsock as a +16.0 overall because of his +16.9 run blocking score. Switch the criteria to “Pass” rating only–essentially discounting blocking–which is how most fans & ESPN judge the position, and their TE rankings go Graham, Gronk, Julius Thomas.

          • aub32

            That was the point I was making. You have to consider context. Graham’s sack have come in bunches, meaning he had a good day against a guy not having a good day. They have also come in passing situations. It’s a lot easier to rush the passer when you can completely ignore the run, especially when you’re fresh and the other guy has been playing all game.

          • JofreyRice

            Can’t say I’ve seen him completely ignore the run. It just seems like the folks that are trying to explain why Graham isn’t as good a passrusher as he seems have to roll out their same talking points frequently; basically every time he sees game action.

          • aub32

            I just can’t get amped when a guy runs over 2nd and 3rd stringers. I also think if he were really that good, someone would’ve made an offer. The guy has one pass rush move. He plays in limited snaps, and he isn’t always a force, as I said he gets sacks in bunches.

          • JofreyRice

            I’m just saying I think there is a high likelihood you’ll be typing these arguments about how he’s limited, runs over backups, only beats bad players, overrated by PFF etc. after the next time he plays. I hated the pick at the time, but this was a first round player, he’s not coming out of the arena league or something, this is what they expected him to do when they drafted him–beat OL for sacks/pressure. Just don’t get why a passrush poor team would toss that away.

          • Breathe 21

            Graham is pass rushing against the same players as Cole during the season. He is more effective at putting pressure on the qb. No matter who it’s against. Like I said, look at the saints game. That’s a playoff team and I think they had a rookie start at LT. Cole was ineffective that game. I like Cole and Barwin, but I want what’s best for the team on 3rd down. With Carroll here, we need to run dime more and take Meco out for Goode on passing downs

          • aub32

            Cole was very disappointing in that game. However, I don’t recall Graham coming in and doing anything. Being on the bench does not make him a better player or mean he could’ve done more. We spent most of the Saints game in a 4 front. Why wasn’t Graham on the field?

          • Breathe 21

            BG got pressure on multiple occasions. He got the only sack in the game. I’m surprised you don’t recall that in such a close game. All I’m saying is the 4-man front on 3rd and long should be Graham, curry, cox, and Cole. Barwin is just not a threat. Our d would improve if we start Carrol over Fletch, replace Meco on 3rd and long, sub Barwin for Graham, and start Wolf over Allen. Wolf has way more ability and impact.

  • 370HSSV 0773H

    What I thought was amazing was how Braman was keeping up with Huff on that kickoff return for a TD. I think he’s faster than Huff.

    • EagleDuck

      Saw that also. Not sure if he had an angle or what but he looked crazy fast.

    • TNA

      Hard to say who’s actually faster, but Braman is definitely fast for a big LB. After he got blown back a bit after engaging a block at the 20, he had to clear traffic and then had an open angle towards the sideline. Huff had the ball and had to make his way past some contact and then had to adjust to put the stiff arm on Gould. So in a straight footrace with no ball, I bet Huff is faster than Braman, but Braman showed impressive acceleration after getting clear. Perhaps he has potential as a backup Jack LB. Or better yet, convert him over the year to safety.

      • he’s got the potential to be a really good ST player, which is why we brought him in. If he’s on the field for any other reason, we’re in a lot of trouble.

        • Token

          People get a little too crazy about a guy with long hair and a tough attitude.


          He did zero on that return.

          Im hoping hes the ST ace he was brought here to be. But ST aces dont get me excited. Especially since hes like the 11th one Chip has brought in during the last two years. Keeping all the aces last year meant nothing on STs. Id rather find players that have upside potential to play NFL positions.

          • not unlike Colt Anderson. Everyone wanted his special teams play to parlay into Safety play. Then he did. And we saw why he was a career special teamer.

            Injuries will eventually force Maragos or Braman to see some limited time (or even a spot start) at S or OLB. They might even play well in limited action, but they’re special teamers. That’s it.

          • Dominik

            Concerning Maragos, you’re a little bit premature, Richard. He was the back-up for Earl Thomas in a Pete Carroll Defense.

            Nobody knows what would have happened if Thomas would have gone down due to injury. Maybe they would have made their SS BU their starter, maybe their #4 CB would have played FS and they would have changed their scheme. But it’s possible that Maragos would have been the starter in the Legion of Boom. Colt Anderson wouldn’t have been a back-up for Pete Carroll, I can guarantee you that.

            Seattle let him go, but they let others go, too. They had to. I’m not saying Maragos can play Safety, I’m just saying it’s too early to tell that he can’t.

            With Braman, it’s another story. He had no Pro Bowler and All Pro players who play 100 percent of the snaps in front of him, if Wade Phillips thought he can play Defense, he probably would have played Defense.

          • Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, and Cushing are nobodies? HOU had just as much a dearth at LB as SEA did in secondary.

          • Dominik

            Cushing is an ILBs, Braman is OLB. And I’m not saying Mercilus or Reed are nobodies, but you rotate your OLBs. If Phillips thought he’d be a good back-up, he would have played him. Not as a starter, but as a rotational player.

            I’m not ruling Braman out to contribute as OLB, I just think it’s far mor likely that Maragos contributes as S.

          • I agree with your 2nd paragraph. And even if he can’t start, Braman and Maragos sure seem to be better depth than we had last year. If they start, great, but that was never the expectation when signed. $ reflects that.

            FA should be about getting quality depth. If a team is hoping to build a winner from that model, they have serious internal development issues.

          • Look – I like Maragos. But isn’t it telling that even with the dearth of good Safety play around the league, he doesn’t get a chance to start anywhere? And that we got him for next to nothing?

          • Dominik

            I don’t think it’s telling, to be honest. He didn’t have many snaps at Safety. Players like that can fly under the radar. Doesn’t mean they can’t play.

            Again: I’m not saying he can play Safety, but at least there is nothing that speaks against it. Not playing behind Earl Thomas, who never missed a start in his career and mostly plays all of the snaps is a crime 99 % of the Safeties in this league would be guilty of.

          • other than lack of film at the NFL level proving he can’t play, what, if anything, suggests to you that he can?

            Or is this just wishful thinking? If it is, I’m totally down with it. That’s what August is for.

          • Dominik

            I don’t want to get philosophical here, but I just don’t want to rule something out if there is no reason for it. Back-up to Earl Thomas in Pete Carrolls Defense is a good thing. Like I said, Colt Anderson wouldn’t have been a back-up for Carroll.

            You think he can’t play because there is no proof he can. I say there are reasons for this lack of proof and therefore contain my judgement.

            We’re not talking good starter here, the odds are cleary against that. But quality depth, maybe capable of starting one or two games – I’m not ruling that out. Not until he (or the coaches via their decision to play Reynolds or Watkins or whoever) proves he can’t.

          • For me, a guy has to show me he can play first. Or, in the case of Mohmah, he can continually demonstrate not being able to play, yet the fans keep bringing him up.

          • Dominik

            “For me, a guy has to show me he can play first”

            For me, too. Except if there are reasons why he didn’t see the field – namely Earl Thomas. ;) We’ll see. Maybe Chip and Howie were the only ones who watched his preseason tape and liked what they saw there. Maybe he sucks despite being the back-up to Earl Thomas and they just signed him for ST. We have to wait and see. :)

          • I’m willing to give him the same chance. As a realist, I know that 31 other teams saw the same tape and no one saw him as a viable starting safety.

            He does, however, look like Burt from Sesame Street’s angry nephew. That alone makes him worth rooting for.

    • Pennguino

      His speed showed up. I rewatched the game to see how well Curry played but kept it on when Braman came in. He seemed like a chaser most of the time as the play went away from him. The couple of times it came to him he did set an edge and force it inside. He doesn’t have the power to jack up a T and get to the QB. Role player and ST. I want to see him in coverage more to see his agility. He might be a coverage backer.

  • Andy

    Damn you Andy Reid!

  • aub32

    The OL played poorly, but that does not excuse how poorly Foles played. He made some very poor decisions and turned the ball over where he could have either thrown it away or picked up 2-3 yards and slid. He’s not a rookie anymore. Can we please stop making excuses for the guy?

    • John E. Zang

      He’ll never live those two int’s in the preseason down. His legacy will be defined by this. Just can’t get them back. I bet we’ll finish last in the NFC East preseason.

      • aub32

        Ugh. So any criticism on Foles is just unacceptable huh. It’s preseason so nothing matters. He’s not Brady. He’s still developing. So these reps are important.

        • John E. Zang

          And making mistakes are part of the process. He knows it’s preseason and so does the rest of the team. You’re kidding yourself if you think those guys go out there with the same intensity and urgency as a real game.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            If you can’t get yourself amped up for a preseason game you’re in the wrong league!

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Whelp, there goes most of the NFL.

          • aub32

            That’s ok for a guy like Ryans, not Foles. Foles isn’t some seasoned vet who can rest on what he’s done. You’re kidding if you think Foles is that good at this point that he’s on that level.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          He’s not Brady.

          You know who is Brady? Brady.

          And I remember him stinking the joint up at least once in the pre-season when he was coming into his first year as a full time starter. Off target throws, bad decisions, INTs, the lot. I remember this because it was against the Eagles.

          I never waste time worrying about pre-season performances and have zero difficulty believing a QB would make different decisions and take more chances in pre-season than he would when the games matter.

          • aub32

            Sigh. You are missing my point. No one is saying Foles sucks. I am simply asking that we stop making excuses for him. He played poorly because he made poor decisions/throws. That was not all on the OL. Does that mean he will stink it up in the regular season? No.

          • OldDuckMcDoc

            1. Saying pre-season doesn’t matter isn’t an excuse. It’s a fact.
            2. Saying somebody might take chances in a game that doesn’t matter which they wouldn’t in a game that does is also not making excuses.
            3. You said these reps are important, which is nonsense, so I gave you an example of a guy who faced similarly “important” reps, stank, and yet somehow turned out OK.

            September 7 is important. This? Not even a little.

          • aub32

            Did you even read what I said? I did not say that if you stink in preseason, then you will stink for the rest of your career. I said these reps matter. I guarantee if you ask Foles, he will state as much. These are reps in which he has a chance to continue to fix things and get back to game speed. They do NOT project how his career will be. Sheesh. Some of you just can’t read past Foles good or Foles bad.

          • OldDuckMcDoc

            Did you even read what I said?

            Yes. It’s how I was able to quote the bit about how he plays in pre-season reps being important. As I said, I think that’s nonsense.

            They do NOT project how his career will be.

            And hey, turns out you agree.

    • but it’s not to say those are the same decisions he’ll make in the regular season.

      did you ever see him throw an end zone ball last year like he did the one in PS that got picked?

      • aub32

        I’ve always believed you play like you practice. Practice poorly and your play will be poor.

        • anon

          not in philly. :)

        • that did not answer my question, though.

          • aub32

            Yes. Foles got lucky on some of his throws last year. Let’s not act like he didn’t make any poor throws/ bad decisions. Did he do them all the time? No, but yes I have seen him do that before.

          • every QB gets lucky.
            you can chalk that up to irrational defense of the guy if you want. but irrational condemnation by drawing a correlation where it doesn’t exist is just as futile.

          • aub32

            Hahaha where’s the irrational condemnation? Man you are so quick to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Foles played poorly. That happened. I didn’t make it up. I didn’t imagine it. I also didn’t say the season is over and he’s doomed to suck. I simply said the Oline excuse doesn’t work for me. I bet if you ask Foles he’d say the same. He forced balls where he shouldn’t. When watching it live, my first thought was “Wow, Foles made a nice move to elude pressure” then the trow came and I was like WTF Foles!. I guess I can only say good things about Foles or else it’s irrational condemnation.

          • peteike

            Ill be right there with you if hes stinkin it up in games. People just arent going to get uptight about ripping him in a few series in the first preseason game. If we see a pattern going into the next game then absolutely but even then, they are trying things, the wr corp is thin etc. You worry some of that can carry over. I really think there is a massive difference in the flow of an entire regular season game compared to anything in preseason. QBs have terrible quarters, halves all the time and then light it up within a game so that part is big imo.

          • aub32

            I am not saying the guy can’t have a bad quarter. I am saying his mistakes were on him not the O line. One bad quarter in preseason isn’t huge. I just get tired of all the excuses.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Foles doesn’t make mistakes. Defenders try to make him look fallible. It’s not his fault he has haters on opposing teams.

    • bill

      Gotta agree. Which is why I always refused to give Vick any slack for his flat-out awful decision making in 2012. Didn’t stop many people from making excuses for the veteran, though. So you’re probably not going to get what you’re asking for.

      • aub32

        I hear you. I defended Vick. So I get defending Foles. I just don’t like when people ignore or dismiss what they saw. Vick had flaws. Foles does too. He needs to have a better showing, and I am sure he would agree.

    • peteike

      3rd and 17 and he chucks it up to try to make a play. Who cares, I dont, I say go for it there in preseason. The other pick was the only one I care about, he made a bad throw behind the receiver and forced it. Other than that its not excuses, its more a condition of preseason and really not putting too much weight on it.

      • aub32

        did the near pick by Briggs bother you?

        • peteike

          didnt see it, could only get bad espn highlights. Couldnt even find it on replay on nfl network

          • aub32

            ok. it was pretty bad.

  • Hanibal

    Give up for Rob working overtime :D
    If Huff can lock up KOs, who has punts? I’m dying for a good return game.

    • pjcostello

      Darren Sproles will be the primary punt returner.

  • Token

    “Davis loves Curry’s rush and ability to impact from a 4-man front, but Davis basically saying Curry won’t ever be a starter here.”

    Much like Boykin, Curry has the potential to be a guy who leaves here and goes on to be a good starter elsewhere. Hard to just give up on the few guys you drafted who have a real impact when they are on the field.

    As Ive said many times, we all better hope the Chip era works out especially the Billy Davis experiment.

    Disclaimer: Yea, I realize hes not gonna start on the DL in the 3-4.