Eagles Wake-Up Call: Cole In Year 10

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Trent Cole is well aware that this is his 10th season in the NFL. He is at the point in his career where there is some inner-dialogue going on about how much longer he will be able to play this game.

“You kind of [ask] yourself, ‘When is that time going to come when you say, ‘It’s time to put ‘em up, Trent. You’re done. It’s your time,’ ” he said.




One thing that the 31-year-old knows for sure is he hasn't hit that point yet.

"I don't know what it is, man, but I feel good," said Cole, rolling into a half-crazed laugh, "and I'm ready to [expletive] rock-'n'-roll."

Cole actually came on down the stretch last season, at least statistically, as all eight of his sacks were in the second half of the season. (He added a sack in the playoff loss to the Saints as well.) Even when he wasn't registering takedowns, Billy Davis  was pleased with the kind of impact he was having on the game.

"Trent Cole last year kept moving the quarterback off his spot but not getting sacks," said Davis, "but you were constantly seeing a quarterback come out the other way because Trent's side was collapsing."

Rushing the passer has been a big part of Cole's game since coming into the league back in 2005. It was the other responsibilities associated with his new role that needed some work.

"I'm a lot better this year as far as outside linebacker. I'm a lot more fluid in getting into coverage, it's easier now, it's normal for me to drop in coverage," he said. "I feel like I was still in d-end shape last year playing outside linebacker and now I'm in outside linebacker shape. But I still have to keep that d-end mentality."

In reality, Cole is not just an outside linebacker. He plays three-technique, defensive end and some 4i (shaded just inside the tackle) as well.

"I'm playing 4i a lot of times on a run, so I'm down in the trenches. All of a sudden you'll see me on a  freakin' receiver. You have a d-end coming and playing outside, a guy coming off the line and then running downfield. But it is what it is. If I can do it, I'm going to put myself to the test and get myself to the highest level I can take myself to," said Cole.

He is still around the same weight as last season -- around 270 pounds -- but feels that he is better conditioned to play outside linebacker this year. His primary responsibility is still to rush the passer. While his sack total from last year is respectable, a closer look at the numbers shows that they all came over the course of four games. The other 12 regular-season games he had none. Davis clearly doesn't look at sacks alone to gauge whether a player is being productive, but as the primary "Predator" in this defense, the Eagles would benefit from some more takedowns out of the vet.

"We've gotta make it happen," said Cole, talking about quarterback pressure. "There is no getting around it."

WHAT YOU MISSED

“I’m an Eagle. I love being an Eagle. That’s really all I’m gonna say about it." Mark Sanchez, Pat Shurmur address the trade rumors. 

A look at why tempo is becoming more popular around the league.

The Eagles may lean on the blitz even more this year. Sheil explains why.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Jimmy Kempski on the chances of the Eagles trading Matt Barkley. 

Nick Foles is only 25 years old, which should give the Eagles less incentive to want a younger developmental QB on the roster behind him. If this were 2009 and a 32 year old Donovan McNabb were your QB, it would be more appealing to keep a guy like Barkley around to try to develop into a starting caliber QB. But with a young, promising QB in Foles and a capable vet in Sanchez in place, Barkley's value to the Eagles isn't all that great. 

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com put together an Eagles season preview, and listed the following under "Biggest Concern."

The secondary is ordinary, even after adding Jenkins. The defense overall, in fact, lacks a transcendent talent. Where is the pass rusher who will consistently win one-on-one matchups? Fletcher Cox is an underrated player, but that typifies the defense. It's a group of guys who can make the case as underrated, not All-Pros. For all of Kelly's innovations on offense and running a team, the defense risks being boring. First-round pick Marcus Smith doesn't look ready to make an instant impact.

The other concern here is a Nick Foles regression at quarterback. He never looked quite as impressive on film last year as he did in the box score, especially down the stretch. No one expects him to repeat his historical TD:INT ratio last season, but would it really be that big a surprise if Foles experienced some of the growing pains he avoided last year? A great offensive line and running game are huge allies.

Rosenthal still has the Eagles winning the division.

COMING UP

Practice continues in preparation for the Jets. Sheil has an All-22 piece in the works.

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  • JosephR2225

    This isn’t the first time I have read Gregg Rosenthal saying Foles “didn’t look as impressive on film. . .” Out of curiosity, has anybody ever seen or heard him give any examples? Or is this just one of those national media analyses we’re supposed to accept on spec?

    • G_WallyHunter

      He works for NFL.com and I guess that’s all that needs to be said? Site is garbage, sometimes great for quick info because they’re sometimes on top of things (rotoworld still faster), but for any kind of opinion pieces I just give a big old LoL to NFL.com, especially Rosenthal

    • Myke Lowery

      Maybe he’s just nit picking.like I do when I see Foles put Celek in bad situations with the placement of the football or times when he appears to hold the ball a bit too long waiting on the primary read to get open. I dunno. I think he just hates the eagles: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/11/another-proud-moment-for-philadelphia-sports-fans

      • JosephR2225

        He’s free to nitpick, of course, and so are you. I do the same thing. I’m just curious if he has ever actually explained what he was nitpicking. You can make the argument, I’ve just only ever heard the conclusion.

        • anon

          On tape you can tease the process from the results. We like foles b/c “27/2″ but he’s not that decisive with the ball, all his throws aren’t that accurate (he’s getting Celek killed in the middle recently and that’s going to be a problem), he takes bad sacks, etc. It’s all fine to us b/c he’s winning, but probably when you go back and watch it it looks a little raw; which is fine he’s a second year QB.

          Looking at Sanchez he’s much more deliberate / decisive with the ball — he’s way faster through his progressions and the ball comes out faster and surprisingly pretty accurate. But results are generally the same (TDs) so as a QB i’m agnostic.

          • JosephR2225

            Well, two things. First of all, if Rosenthal is echoing all those points you just made, fine. I disagree with much of it, but fine. I have just never heard him actually articulate any one of those reasons or point to any specific examples of plays supporting them, just make the broad and conclusory assertion that the tape doesn’t match the results.

            Second, I don’t think most of us are blinded by 27/2. I think a lot of people recognize there are areas for Foles to improve, particularly the elimination or reduction of the bad sacks. If you are looking at the tape specifically to find the flaws you’ll find them, but it’s silly to block out the good things the tape shows, like a very good use of the pump fake, a good job looking off safety coverage and consistently very good decision making. And I think if Sanchez were facing a first team defense he wouldn’t look quite so polished.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Yeah, that last sentence pretty much summed up any comparison of Sanchez’s to Foles’ running of the offense.

          • anon

            He faced 1st team defense against Pitt.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Mostly first team, and that was after Foles and the first team O already had demoralized them for the entire first half.

          • anon

            So if Sanchez plays with starters you think he looks worse than Foles? I think Foles looked pretty good – normal Foles, but Sanchez’s two TD drives were pretty decisive. Almost felt bad for our defense.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            In a real game, yeah.

          • aub32

            Hahaha, these guys are pro football players but were demoralized because of one half of a preseason game? o ok

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            When you read reports that the normally reserved Troy Polomalu was yelling on the sidelines because of how badly they played, yeah, it’s fair to say. The team prides themselves on defense and got manhandled. Some of these guys actually conduct themselves like pros and care about how they play. Seems that some of these pros seem to think they played very badly.

          • aub32

            Played badly is not the same thing as playing demoralized. The fact that Troy was yelling and cared how they performed was proof that they were not demoralized. They were having an off night. That’s fair, but they were having the exact same off night when Foles was in the game. Perhaps you misused demoralized.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Perhaps. Or perhaps we’re engaging in a debate of semantics when the general point was received. Maybe you’re ignoring my placement of “very” in front of badly, which could denote a level of demoralization. Maybe.

          • aub32

            What point? You said Foles demoralized their defense implying it was easier for Sanchez. I am not arguing semantics. I am disputing that entire point. Foles demoralized the Bears. That team gave up halfway into the 2nd quarter. The team didn’t even look like it wanted to be there. That’s not what happened against the Steelers. You said it yourself.

            “The team prides themselves on defense and got manhandled. Some of these guys actually conduct themselves like pros and care about how they play.”

            That implies that the team was not demoralized and tried just as hard to stop Sanchez as they did Foles which is the actual point that we were debating, not semantics.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I said one player was there yelling because of how badly it played at the hands of Foles and the offense. Aside from a few, the defense did appear to want to be there. Noting that a few guys handle themselves professionally and care does not denote that the entire team feels the same way. Keep twisting. They got demoralized.

          • aub32

            Did you mean “not” want to be there? Because otherwise you are kind of arguing against yourself. (It’s fine typos happen to me all the time) To your point, I disagree. The Steelers looked to be having a bad night from kickoff. So Foles and Sanchez both faced a team having a down night. So what they did on the field is comparable. Foles did not make the team quit and open the gates for Sanchez. You are reaching to say or even imply that. One night in which Sanchez looked as good or better than Foles against the exact same defense does not mean Sanchez should be the starter. It’s just an observation.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            We agree that they had a bad night from the start, that got worse after our first team offense put up 250yds in the first half. Which is where I go to them having been demoralized by half time… And it wasn’t the exact same D. A couple first teamers were done after the first half…. I know it’s an observation. He did look good. I just think there’s a difference in looking good from the beginning vs looking good after the team you’re playing has been beat up for 30 minutes already. We all have that friend who jumped in at the end of the fight and kicked the guy in the face while down. That was pretty much Sanchez.

          • aub32

            I have to disagree. You’re a regular on this site. So I know you have seen “27/2″ referenced all summer as if it was the gospel.
            ….
            Q: What about the fact Foles didn’t beat a single playoff team?
            A: 27/2

            Q: What about Foles coming out flat and taking bad sacks in the playoff game?
            A: 27/2
            ….
            Q: What about the stat showing that Foles held onto the ball longer than most QBs?
            A: 27/2

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Q1: Have to play who’s in front of you. He did. And he beat most of them.
            Q2: What about them? He had a lead when he left the field which you love to dismiss. He needs to work on throwing the ball away, a point most agree on.
            Q3: The SB winning quarterback held it longer. If your line allows you the time, this is meaningless.

          • anon

            Q3 – funny b/c that was the second biggest knock on vick.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            It’ll mean something if Foles starts turning it over like Vick did.

          • anon

            how many TOs put him in Vick’s range?

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Let’s just say he’s not even close right now.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            a million billion.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Not to mention, Foles led the league in passer rating on balls thrown 3+ seconds after the snap (or something like that) with a rating of like 130. I’d still like to see him get rid of the ball quicker, but I’ve had to ease back a bit on that desire after watching him all last year and seeing that often worked out well for us.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Yes, but I think the difference being that Vick was waiting for the big play and guys to become clearly open and away from their defenders (DJax). Foles does need to improve here, if only to decrease sacks, but you could see a marked difference between Vick & Foles holding onto the ball “too long”. Foles wasn’t afraid to look off DJax & go elsewhere with the ball.

          • aub32

            I don’t think that’s fair. Vick also held onto the ball because he could escape the first guy using his feet. He also has a cannon and can throw darts. Other athletic QBs, Wilson, Rodgers, Cutler, Farve and other also tend to hold onto the ball. However, there aren’t many QBs with skillsets similar to Foles, Manning, Brees, Dalton, who hold onto the ball as long as Foles did last season.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Yes, but look at that again and you’ll see Vick locked in down field on DJax many times when he’s holding onto it. There have been a bunch of respectable experts that have broken this down on film and even referenced DJax’s production drop when Vick went out and the rest of the offenses production increase when Foles stepped in. Not putting one against the other, but it’s just how it went. I’m not going to get into a Vick/Foles debate, as thats water under the bridge.

          • aub32

            I agree that Vick locked into DeSean more than Foles. I don’t even think that’s a point anyone could form a debate against. Vick preferred the big play. That’s the type of QB he is, like Cutler and Farve. However, that doesn’t really detract from the point I was making that his physical gifts give him and similar QBs the desire to hold onto the ball longer. I don’t think many, if any, thinks Foles should be that type of QB. I think Foles living and dying on his ability to throw bombs and darts is something that cannot be sustained. That’s why we both agree he needs to get better in going through his progressions and making decisions.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Exactly. Foles path to continued success and “possible” greatness doesn’t hinge on 27-2 (stats) or his physical gifts, but rather becoming better intellectually & repetitively execute. I think the argument/statement above is perfect. Be more like Brady, than Favre. I honestly would also like him to have some of Brady’s gusto.

          • dnabrice

            Agreed.

            Q1: Foles beat the Packers, a playoff team, I know Rodgers didn’t play
            (Bears and Cards were pretty good wins as well.) Early season losses to
            Broncos and Chargers were Vick. He did lose to the Saints, but was
            winning at halftime and had a better game line than Brees. The sack he
            took was just enough to mess with noodle-legs’s head at the end of the
            1st half. Would have been interesting to see if Brees could have taken
            them down the field for the TD instead of the FG.

            Q2: Peyton came out flat in the SB. It happens to plenty of QBs.

          • aub32

            The Packers are not a playoff team without Rodgers. In fact, it took Rodgers coming back and winning the final game to get them into the playoffs. The Bears were not that good. Their defense sucked something fierce. The Cards was a good win, but not a win against a playoff team.

            Peyton and Brees have earned the right to come out flat. They have won on the biggest stage. They have proven the moment isn’t too big for them. Foles isn’t anywhere close to that. So the idea of Foles getting a pass for coming out flat in a big game is ridiculous, not that you were implying he should.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I think #3 has to be taken into context. Did they not lead the league in plays beyond 20yds and also avg yds per pass? You don’t complete all those long plays getting rid of the ball in under 3 seconds. I do expect all of these numbers to subside as we’ll see more RAC numbers.

          • aub32

            That’s fair, but I think we also need to take into account that a good number of those 20+ yards passes were screens, where the ball should be delivered quickly. I completely agree that context should be included. My point is that rather than bringing up the valid point that you just did, “27/2″ was often the response over this summer.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Got it. Like I said, I think he needs to improve of his decisiveness to decrease sacks. I also seem to think that our screens do tend to take time to set up. Whether by design or not, there are times when Foles would go to the screen after he’d already looked off his 1st & 2nd read, possibly to draw the safety deep. I’d like to see more quick slants using Matthews out of slot, much like we used to see TO do. Matthews is very efficient with these and has taken sine the distance in college.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            27/2

          • aub32

            What other argument do you need

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Well, 46 and 2 would be a whole lot cooler.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Pretty much doesn’t get cooler than that.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I think that’s just it. People go to look at the tape expecting to be wowed because of Foles 27/2 stats. But instead of taking the time to actually break him down & look at what he does and doesn’t do well, they just turn it off saying, “ehh, he looked Ok I guess”.

            That pump fake Foles displayed last year, is a damn good one. He also does do a good job looking off the safety. I’d say decisiveness, ball placement & minimizing sacks would be his areas to improve. Oh and also embracing the leadership role that comes as the starting QB.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            I’m loving his little Gannon-esque sidearm deal that he’s been using more. He changes his arm angle for short throws and puts it where it’s caught or nothing.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            That’s most likely due to his height so that he gets the right trajectory on those short throws & doesn’t let it get away from him.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            I agree… I just like that he’s able to make that adjustment.

          • shady25

            Let’s not forget Sanchez is a 6 year vet and has been to 2 championship games. So he is going to be more decisive with the ball and have faster progressions. It’s ok though. Foles is getting there. I could care less what anyone says about Foles. He’s getting better every time he plays. No QB is perfect, but Foles isn’t getting worse so I’m good with that.

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      In fairness he’s on pretty safe ground with the statement. If you just look at the stats, Foles was pretty much the greatest QB in the history of ever, so in saying Foles doesn’t look as impressive as the box score he’s coming to the less than earth shattering conclusion that Foles is not in fact the greatest quarterback that ever lived.

      It’s not an incorrect statement, just an utterly pointless one. He can justify it no matter how Foles does this season. Fence sitting dressed up as insightful opinion. Lame.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      as impressive as what? he’s using a mythical standard. 27/2 is better than a P Manning’s best year, so yeah, he’s not ‘that’ good. and none of us are arguing that. the funny thing is, if you go back and re-read fans comments from gamethreads, most of the time we complained how many points he left of the field. Kelly’s offense is that good it felt like Eags stopped themselves, more than defenses stopped them. also, think half the criticism is he was throwing to open guys, so critics standpoint is ‘anyone can do that’. well, yeah, anyone can, like Sanchez. my comeback is ‘who cares, kelly’s offense is still here’.

      • OldDuckMcDoc

        And every time a critic says “anyone can do that” Matt Barkley dies a little inside….

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          lol, right. is it Foles’ fault that Kelly’s system is QB friendly. do other teams that have absurdly difficult systems to learn start off with 7-0 lead as bonus points? my guess is no matter what Foles does, anyone playing qb for eagles will have to battle ‘playing behind great run game’ and ‘making simple throws’ talking points.

          • aub32

            That’s no different than Wilson getting discredited by some for resting on the defense and the running game. Foles has too small a sample size and no big wins on his resume for the national media guys to jump on the Foles bandwagon. A couple more years playing at a high level as well as a few playoff wins will eventually result in praises for Foles and not just the system he plays in.

          • eaglesfan, 20-win failure

            Granted Foles didn’t always look sharp and he forced a lot of passes that his receivers had to make tough plays on, but i find it hilarious how a guy can go an entire season throwing only 2 picks, 7 TD’s in a game, and march a revamped team with new coaches/schemes/personnel into the playoffs and be described as “never looked quite as impressive.”

          • aub32

            That may have something to with the fact the team had the #2 offense before Foles took over, and he wasn’t even the best player or even the most important player on offense.

          • eaglesfan, 20-win failure

            so a QB can only earn respect by single-handedly turning around a bad team? doesn’t matter that Foles came in and made Vick’s early season performance look pedestrian? this isn’t fanatic overhype of an unproven QB; i’m just giving him the credit he deserves for last season.

          • aub32

            I never said he doesn’t deserve credit for what he did. I said that I would not think a QB who began with a low pedigree, did not win a playoff game, has yet to start more than 10 games in a season, took over an offense that was already #2 and kept it there, is not worthy getting a lot of national buzz. Nick had to amazing games. (OAK & CHI) Outside of those games his performances were on par with Vick’s performances against WAS, SD, and NYG. So I do not get where he made Vick look pedestrian. Vick looked bad in two games against two of the best teams in the league. Foles did not get a chance to show he could do much better. That’s not his fault. That’s the schedule. However, his performances against teams on the level of SD and WAS were on par with Vick’s. So the attention is going to go to the offense that worked so well with 2 different QBs, not the QBs themselves.

      • aub32

        I don’t think anyone knocks Kelly’s offense. I think the media guys are trying to debunk the notion that Foles should be grouped with Brady. I think a lot of fans, not just Philly fans, are seeing the stat sheet and thinking Foles is amazing. Yet those who watch the game closer notice he didn’t really do anything special and the talent and scheme around him (plus some real luck with injuries) helped him a great deal. Even if you watch the last preseason game, Foles had impressive stats. However, TD pass to McCoy was a poor throw, and it was a screen. He had other passes that weren’t particularly impressive and receivers made plays on the ball regardless.

        • anon

          lots of screens that go for 10+ yards, high percentage passing.

        • borntosuffer

          “I don’t think anyone knocks Kelly’s offense.” Well, not after last year. In fact, it’s so freakin’ good, they went from marginalizing the offense to marginalizing the QB. Like you said, it will all play out in time. But, the change in the conversation is humorous from guys who want to be taken seriously.

          • anon

            that’s bc it’s made MS, a guy we spent 2012 ridiculing look REALLY good.

          • borntosuffer

            Maybe that tells us as much about the Jets coaching than it does about the Eagles. I distinctly remember a comment made from Sanchez along the lines of liking the fact that in this offense there isn’t any time between plays for the coach to comment about the last play – you just have to move on to the next play. I have to think they didn’t do much for Sanchez’s confidence.

        • southy

          if you’ll recall during Brady’s first 2 superbowls he was getting marginalized as a system qb with a great defense (at least the second part was true). didn’t pop on tape. was functional in an offense that spread the ball around, etc. hell, even I remember trying to make the case that he’s not as good as his record belied.

          after a while the excuses started to disappear. the dude is a stone cold clinician who just makes the right decision snap after snap after snap.

          I won’t call Nick a young Tom any time soon, but the story is similar. young guy, not that highly rated coming out, not a freakish athlete – the media has to figure out a way to explain that other than “he was really good all this time and I never knew it.”

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            This.

          • aub32

            Agreed. Also, the media has seen this song and dance before. Cassel looked really good playing for NE. Feely played well when filling in for McNabb. Flynn put on the best performance of any QB for a franchise that has had Bart Star, Farve, and Rodgers. I think it’s unrealistic to expect the media to buy into a guy like Foles before he’s even started an entire season.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I actually agree 110% with this. I know a lot of people say, “Oh don’t go there comparing Foles to Brady”. But when you look at them physically and compare story lines of a young Tom Brady with Foles, they are quite similar. I’d even go a step further to say that where Brady improved over the years, is where Foles could really develop into a good QB. That is becoming a surgeon at what he does, without having to be spectacularly physically gifted.

          • aub32

            I agree. Foles may take a bit longer to reach that ascension though since he doesn’t have the defense to lean on like Brady did during his SB runs. Let’s face it. QBs get a lot of their hype based on how they perform in the playoffs. Wilson doesn’t have a good game against the 49ers, if the defense didn’t do their thing against the Saints when he was less than stellar. I do not know if Foles can be consistently good enough to cover for this defense in the playoff at this point.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Very true. He does have the luxury of an elite RB to lean on some though. I know I’ll probably get crucified for this, but I’d trade an elite RB for an efficient ground game & above avg (top 10) defense.

          • aub32

            You might wanna make that a top 5 defense. McCoy is on pace to be the best RB in franchise history before the end of the season, and he’s only 26.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            The potential is there. We’ll see.

      • dnabrice

        Vick got the same offense.

        Top Coaches and top QBs go hand in hand. Belicheck-Brady, Walsh-Montana, plenty of other examples.

        • aub32

          And he broke weekly records and led the #2 offense in the league. Hmmm…that system might have something to do with it.

  • anon

    “I’m playing 4i a lot of times on a run, so I’m down in the trenches. All of a sudden you’ll see me on a freakin’ receiver” — say what Billy D — don’t we have DBs for this?

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      But versatility.

    • aub32

      I know it’s sounds wild, but someone has to cover Victor Cruz while Boykin plays OLB.

    • Guest

      they’re too busy playing OLB

  • Breathe 21

    Lately, I’ve been feeling like we need to package a trade involving Cole for a pure OLB. Our D would be much improved and we’re not even going to have these 4-3 players on our roster next year. There has to be other players who don’t fit the scheme. The limitations at his position are actually the weakest part of our Defense.

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      Maybe we could get Dion Jordan!

      • Breathe 21

        At this point, I’m open to it. He is suspended for the first 4 games of the year though. The Dolphins cap hit would be insane, which is why I don’t think it will happen.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      wont happen, have to eat a crapton of dead money, along with taking on the incoming contract (and anyone you trade for would probably extend asap like sproles). way sal cap is structured, this is reason big name players arent traded. trading and cutting is same thing to sal cap.

    • aub32

      We’d have a much better shot at trading Graham. He’s much younger and has a more manageable cap situation.

    • 370HSSV 0773H

      Nobody is trading for a 31 year old DE who’s base salary will jump to 10 mil. next year.

  • DetmerWonAHeisman

    I think Rosenthal’s assessment of the defense is fair and accurate. Most guys are “underrated”, but no one is a guy the offense has to specifically game plan against. His Foles assessment is just like everyone else’s in the National media–lazy and presumptuous. The typical “he can’t be as good as last year’s numbers”. We all know he’ll probably have more INT’s this season, but can’t he get BETTER at avoiding taking a sack? Or BETTER with his ball placement. Or BETTER with reading defenses? These things all come with experience, and this will be his first full season as a starter. So although he’ll probably throw more picks, why is it so unrealistic to think that his overall game will actually IMPROVE as he gets more experience? I would argue that it is unrealistic to think that Foles is going to get WORSE with more experience.

    • anon

      bc players, especially Qbs are judged on stats.

      • DetmerWonAHeisman

        I think most QBs are ultimately judged on how many Superbowls they’ve won…..plus, Foles is obviously not being judged on his stats by the media–27/2 would make him one of the most efficient QBs of all time….and haven’t heard anyone in the media argue that point yet….

      • Jerry Pomroy

        I dunno. I guess ultimately yes. But some guys, especially elite QBs you look less at the stat sheet and more into how they led their teams to victory, or the intricacies of their craft that they do so well. I mean Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brees, you look at them and despite having stellar stats you can say that they’ve improved. Manning may be the best to look at, b/c he’s always had the stats, but did he get better with age and even after injury you could argue that he is a better “QB” than he was 5, 6, 7yrs ago. Heck look at McNabb. Early on in his career he seemed to me to be on the right track because he would use all of his tools to try to will a win, including his legs. Early on, he reminded me of my personal favorite QB, John Elway. Then he let things get to his head and didn’t want to run anymore. To me, from there on, despite stats, McNabb was less of a QB than he was previous. To me honestly, a good or even great QB speaks beyond just stats.

    • southy

      The reply to that is that we have seen a lot of QBs take a step back in their second year as starter lately. RGIII, Kaep, Cam, the case could be made for Wilson even though he won a SB. Teams are now taking a more conservative approach to QB development probably as a result – Minny, Jacksonville, Cleveland.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        There is decisive similarity between those QBs that does not pertain to Foles though…Mobility & athletically gifted. As I’ve said already, Foles development should be mirrored after Brady, not those guys.

      • aub32

        I really can’t stand the guys who refer to the “sophomore slump”. (I realize that you aren’t agreeing with it, just mentioning that other do) That narrative is so lazy. RG3 performed poorly in his 2nd year because he came back a month or 3 too early from a torn ACL, did not practice or play preseason, and had a coach he hated. Kaep lost his number one WR and Davis was in and out of games, leaving him to throw to a guy who can make contested catches but can’t get open. Wilson was actually slightly better in his second year, and I emphasize slightly because it’s eerie how similar his first two years were. Cam just never got any help. Defenses figured out pretty easily that the only guy they had to cover was Steve Smith, not the one never allowed back into Philly. The team foolishly dumped a quarter of the salary cap into RBs.

  • 370HSSV 0773H

    I remember when Sean McDermott had Cole dropping back into coverage and everyone was saying what an idiot McDermott was for doing that. Even Cole made comments about it. I guess McDermott’s had the last laugh.

    • aub32

      People are just sipping the Kelly koolaid and convincing themselves everything he does is “genius”, but that’s what happens when a coach takes a team that was 4-12 to 10-6.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Yeah I’ll agree with Nick. It’s not as if we’re saying, “Trent Cole dropping in coverage…Just genius on Chip Kelly”. Being taught to reacclimate yourself to something you haven’t done in almost 10yrs in college and be adequate at it at best? No koolaid there to drink. It’s kinda more like warm beer. You’ll drink it because you’re thirsty, but it’s nothing like a frosty brew.

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

          this. I don’t recall anyone blindly trusting Kelly with what has happened at OLB. we’re just hoping to outscore ‘em.
          shame the great pass rushers go so early, we’ll have to trade up for a great pick one of these years.

          • anon

            or buy someone.

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

            this too. not too many great ones hit market. hardest position to buy, never know what you’re getting with these 30+ guys we’ve seen moving. Curious how Ware (den) and Peppers (GB) look this year. And Allen, too.
            but yes, that’s a great position to have cap $ to spend

          • anon

            yeah me too. Denver really stepped up it’s D this year — i took him in fantasy b/c of additions of ware, talib and ward.

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

            took who, den d/st? curious how good their secondary really is. but if Von Miller is healthy, he and Ware may be really good. BAL is running out Suggs and Dumervil now, IMO a better pairing (today).
            they may run away with AFC again. I think they do. if Manning stays Manning

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      I don’t really think there are many people all that excited about Cole dropping in coverage now.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    Com’on COle, squeeze one more yr out of those 31/32 yr old legs. some point the father time monkey is going to jump on his back, this is where BG hopefully being able to play OLB/DE on Nickle and Dime 4 DL fronts will help. Might as well toss Ryans in there too, both in same boat. Cant have either out there for 1000 plays again. let them do the heavy lifting when in base 3-4 2 gap (surprisingly 1st and 2nd down base wasnt the issue last yr), get them into 3rd and longs so Boykin, Curry and BG can sub in and get after QB.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    looking over cap last night (curious about Sanchez trade, it’s possible cap-wise, but no way Rams give enough to make it worth Eagles risking a quality backup), surprise cut guy, Bradley Fletcher. wonder if he’ll get some run vs Jets to show he can play within rules. He’s 3m no dead, and Kelly said flat out ‘if you cant play within rules, you cant play’. Fletch cant play without grabbing. think it’s about 99.9% guaranteed Carroll is starting, so we’re talking about 4th/5th Cb now in Fletcher.

    • Breathe 21

      We need Fletcher or Carroll for depth. There are only 4 quality corners on this team right now. Idk why you would say 5th CB. We don’t have a viable back up option. Watkins isn’t ready yet. We’re not up against the cap so, that is not an issue.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        there’s 3, if Fletcher cant stop grabbing. if he’s a penatly 1st down every time he steps onto field, no reason to pay him 3m to ride the pine. there’ll be some CB shaken loose here in the next week.

        • anon

          fletch won’t be here next year def, he’s not made for the new nfl. more grabby than me at prom.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            was little surprised they didnt guarantee this yr and get a club option for next yr. right now he’s 3m but no dead if cut. so if there’s a vet cut, eags can shift money no harm done. bet Howie and Kelly knew this rule change was in works, and knew it would effect him greatly.

          • anon

            he’s always had PI issues so yeah i’m sure they had an inkling. People were practicing with boxing gloves – we probably should have too.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Yeah, think I heard Fisher had the Rams DBs holding tennis balls in coverage drills.

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

            eh, I don’t see how it doesn’t impact CW and half the other league-wide DBs. It’s not that dire yet.
            If anything, he loses starting role. I don’t see outright cut. We don’t need $ in ’14, and he’s not on ’15 books.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            never the point, it’s a free money upgrade. if a 4m vet guy gets cut, and there’s always one, Fletchers 3m no dead means that new player is only 1m new money to eagles. while, most teams, they might have to cut a guy with some dead, and add 4m, so talking 5m maybe more new money. that’s tough to fit in this late in cap.

          • aub32

            You’re taking a stab in the dark by assuming some CB will be released that is better than Fletcher. Fletcher played like a starter in the league last year. Many of us thought he played better than CW. He’s being hurt by the new rule emphasis, but as Rob said so are a lot of other CBs. I think you are jaded because you have seen Fletcher get called for so many penalties but haven’t watched enough of others get called for the same thing. He will be our opening day starter.

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

      I’d be upset with it. That assumes a bigger role for potentially Watkins, and then no depth. I’m not sure he’s ready. As much as I love Boyking, I don’t want to rely on him stepping in and playing well outside if needed. Also essentially eliminates dime package. And if NCII is our KR, that’s now a starting CB doubling up at RS.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        have to see who they’d pick up. cant go with Roc or Marsh, that’d be insane. just saying, if there’s a sal cap cut 5m guy, he’s only 2m new for Eags since Fletcher is 3m no dead. only cb i saw that i even recongized name was Ras-I Dowling. i’d claim just about anyone at cb right now and send marsh packing

        • anon

          gotta hope seattle drops someone, i can see why they might be trying to be careful with their waiver priority.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            pretty sure there’s no limit. can put in for 20 guys. not 100% sure how it works, but guess names get handed in, get put on a 24 hr clock, and then assigned to the 1st team that clamis them.

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

          you’d really take a last week in aug/early sept. CB over Fletcher right now? he’s that bad to you?
          you do realize this is killing a ton of other CBs as well. I mean, Kelly and WRs abused Ike Taylor all night. I’ve seen it in other PS games. And how many LBs are covering Ertz now?

          • anon

            ike taylor is 45years old. bad example.

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

            and he’s a starting CB in the league. There’s a lot of bad ones. And a lot who have earned starting jobs on physicality over pure talent. Like Fletcher, they’ll be hurt with flags.

            There are no realistic alternatives. He played well for us last year. He’s on a 1 yr deal, no big $. Dude was a little handsy in PS. we have no depth. And some mythical player another team cuts who we manage to claim before any other team is expected to come in and contribute? no thanks

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            if he’s still grabbing in 4th pre-season game, yes, he’s that bad. plus, we’re talking 4th corner here. will have some time to get new guy up and running.
            .
            again, surprise cut means 5% chance. not a name we’ve been throwing out. how many times can we b&m about caseymatthews?

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Until he’s gone. There will be no end to the B&Ming until he’s officially off the team forever.

          • aub32

            Did you see some of the calls from the last game? I thought he played well against the Steelers starters. You can’t help a WR running right into you and drawing a flag. I still think he starts day one as Carroll hasn’t seen enough game action in an Eagles jersey.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            yup, that one and the one on Ike in endzone were ridiculous. think it was Cooper, wasnt even in play, back to qb, Ike reached out and put hand on him, for no good reason, and drew a flag. on Fletcher’s, where was BF supposed to go, WR ran right into him. looked more like off PI, to me. it’s going to really suck when 3rd and 10+ Eagles D gets a stop, or worse, INT or Fumble, and even worse, D TD, and it comes back for a phamton hold…and it’s going to happen. just hope it evens out.
            .
            so much of Fletch’s game is grabbing. worried about CWills too, but he’s not going anywhere. guy has another week to sort it out, or at least a week that we can see. dont see why eagles can put in couple claims on new CBs and let marsh and roc go. i’m generally not in the ‘it cant get any worse’ camp, but in their 2 cases, it really cant.

          • aub32

            I wanted Roc gone last year. Though I would give Marsh one more season. The dude played RB most of his life, including college. He was a 3 year project from the day we drafted him. He’s finally in the right spot for coverage. He just doesn’t know when to get his head around. I’d be wiling to give him one more shot.

            Fletch isn’t going anywhere this year. Grabbing is a big part of a lot of CBs game. It’s the whole reason why emphasis is being put on it now, because the LOB just couldn’t keep their mouths shut and boasted about how they held on every play because they knew the refs wouldn’t call it on every play. Well now they are. I hope you’re happy Sherman.

    • PaoliBulldog

      I see zero chance the Rams get Sanchez and five percent chance they get Barkley. Why give starter compensation to get Sanchez and then open the QB competition two weeks before the season starts? And if the Rams are OK with Hill as their starter, then why would the Eagles take backup compensation and lose depth at the most important position in the game?

      If the Eagles trust Kinne and can get a top-75 pick for Barkley, fine. I don’t see it happening.

    • Age

      Looks like Davis is itching to use a little dime coverage this season, though.

  • Token

    McManus has been cut. Eagles 22nd on waiver wire. Hope they are interested. Of course thats a lot of other teams that can claim him first.

    Somebody made a good point on twitter, McManus is already used to kicking in the Linc because of playing at Temple.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      yup, that’s the issue. should have dangled 10th or 11th OL guy to Giants.

      • Token

        So is it a 24 hour thing? Like once a guys cut teams have 24 hours to put in a claim……

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          think so. see if Eagles get below 75 before Thurs. are they still at 76? need to be at 75 by noon. and think claims are assigned noon weds. stupid 4th game, have to have enough dead weight to play game.

          • anon

            there’s lots of crap left on the roster. that said it’s hard to see them carry 3 kickers for a week.

          • Token

            Then cut Henery or Parkey or whatever his name is.

        • PaoliBulldog

          Yes, during the season (which starts July 4), teams have 24 hours to put in a claim. I’m curious what starts that 24 hour period running. With the NFL, I’m figuring email or some kind of messaging system. For MLB, I envision Office Space-era fax machines with elderly security guards nodding off nearby. And color coded velvet bell-ropes in the next room.

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        Can’t they go back and essentially do the same thing they did with Fluellen? Would mean the cut/waiver wouldn’t be effective until 4pm

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          doubtfull. think these names are handed in, and put on waivers(krugers was picked up quickly by Chargers). Fluellen, they werent dealing with a deadline. plus, was Colts, Howie has done trades with them (forgot ex eagle that is now gm there, but seem to have good relationship). doubt Eags and Gs are interested in helping eachother out.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Grigson is the Colts guy… Yeah, not excited to help each other out but trading two guys who aren’t making your roster isn’t like swapping them some quality depth guys or starters. Curious the actual process for the cuts to hit waivers though…. Didn’t know Kruger was picked up that quickly. If that kid ever develops I’ll be happy it’s in the AFC.

  • anon

    From roto: Brandon McManus will be waived by giants.

    Don’t be surprised if McManus also is claimed on waivers. Via the New York Times, McManus has made a 75-yard field goal in practice, and his kickoffs routinely exit the end zone with 10 yards to spare.

    Can we get him? Please? Pretty please?

    • Token

      Hard to imagine he doesnt get claimed before us. There a number of kicker needy teams.

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

        may explain why Howie was willing to “trade” for a kicker. it means very little in the grand scheme, Fluellen getting cut anyway, but kept us from losing a potential candidate to wire.
        maybe NYG were in no interest helping us in similar fashion?

        • anon

          Giants are desperate for RBs i would have given up polk or tucker…

        • dnabrice

          They must have inquired about Hopkins and McManus as well, but couldn’t get a trade done. It all makes sense now.

      • dnabrice

        Eagles are #22 on the waiver list. I have a feeling I know where he wants to go.

    • Wilbert31

      Isn’t Tim related to this guy? Cmon TMac, make it happen!

    • PaoliBulldog

      What’s his weakness – inconsistency? Why would NYG cut a guy with that kind of leg?

  • southy

    I’ll agree with Greg(g) about our defense. If you asked a fan of another team, they might be able to tell you Boykin’s pretty good. Other than that we’ve got a handful of consistent, smart players like Demeco with a bunch of guys that have “potential” but are still a long way from a national conversation.

    We’ve been sitting around waiting a few years for guys like Kendricks and Cox to “blow up” and making excuses for guys like Graham and Curry. The latter two I doubt will make much more of an impact in our system than they already do. I’m praying this year is the one where either a couple of guys prove themselves as truly scary on a national stage or someone comes out of nowhere (Beau Allen? maybe? could be?) and just clicks.

    • eaglesfan, 20-win failure

      Not sure about excuses for Graham and Curry since they may actually be the solution to our 3rd down woes.

      • southy

        I’m not saying they suck, but they aren’t the kind of playmaker that is forcing their way onto the field either.

        Graham – hurt a couple times, coaching changes, logjam at DE ahead of him, wide-9 fiasco, change to OLB.
        Curry – flashed in preseason as a rookie then didn’t even dress, coaching changes, switch to 3-4 DE, need to learn to 2-gap…

        Sure there’s some validity to that stuff but I think at this point these guys are known quantities in the Eagles’ system. Graham is a good power rusher but is sorry in coverage, and Curry is an “undersized” pass rusher playing down in the trenches with the giants. Their upside is a good change of pace in 3rd and long.

  • daveH

    I WIL NEVER EVER EVER EVER buy calvin klein anything .. c’mon Sheil the in-your-face-youre BLOCKED unitl you read this AD is truly painful..
    ..
    you have any pull over there to tell philly mag that that is clueless marketing 101 ??