Eagles Wake-Up Call: Marcus Smith And the Pass Rush

NFL: Preseason-Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles

Successful 3-4 outside linebackers need to do three things well: set the edge, rush the passer and drop in coverage. By the sounds of it, Marcus Smith is a third of the way there.

“He’s always done a really good job in the drop aspect but you have to be able to do all three,” said Chip Kelly. “So working on two phases of that now.”

The biggest challenge has been getting after the quarterback. That might seem strange considering Smith finished second in the NCAA last year with 14.5 sacks. The Louisville product explained that in college, much of the mission could be achieved with sheer athleticism. On this level everybody is crazy athletic, so it becomes more about technique. Right now, Smith still needs a lot of work in that department.

He appears to be moving in the right direction. Kelly said that Smith showed improvement in the final two preseason games. And Smith referenced a couple specific circumstances where all that technique work paid off.

“In the Steelers game I used one move and I got around the tackle and I got close to the quarterback. And the last game against the Jets I used a move inside and I got a hit on the quarterback,” said Smith, who was credited with eight tackles, a pass defensed and a tackle for a loss this preseason. “So the stuff is starting to come and it’s going to be more frequent once the season comes along.”

That’s the hope. Smith is the backup “Jack” behind Connor Barwin. Brandon Graham is the primary “Predator” reserve, backing up Trent Cole. As a former first-round pick, Graham certainly understands the pressure to perform (and perform early) when you are selected that high in the draft.

“I know exactly what he’s going through. He says some of the similar things that I used to say, like: ‘Man, Coach is on me. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I know I can play, I know I can do this, I know the defense. What am I doing?’ I’m like, ‘You’ve got to settle down, you’ve got to do it the way they want you to do it and in the game, he’ll give you a little flexibility. As long as you make plays, that’s all that matters,” said Graham.

“You go from being a man to now you gotta come back to being a rookie or freshman all over again. I told him, don’t let it bring you down because stuff is not working that worked on the college level. You’ve gotta keep perfecting your craft and working on your technique. You’ve got it because you’re here but you have to work on those little things that’s going to take you up to the next level.”

Smith anticipates that he will be active against the Jags Sunday but is unsure what the extent of his role will be. Given the amount of learning that still needs to be done, it’s probably safe to assume that he won’t be featured prominently. That might not be the news Eagles fans were hoping for when it comes to the 26th overall pick, but that seems to be about where we’re at.

“Everybody on the outside, I know their expectations for me,” he said. “Actually, I have high expectations for myself. I feel the same way. I feel like I need to be out there going balls to the wall, too.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

“If I had to… I would say no.” Donovan McNabb is not yet sold on Nick Foles as a franchise QB. 

Chip Kelly on injuries, the kicker situation and  Marqise Lee. 




Our prediction series continues with a look at how much the Lane Johnson suspension will impact this team.

Sheil gets us more familiar with the Jaguars. 

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Domo talked to an NFC scout about the offensive line, including Allen Barbre:

"If Barbre has to face an elite guy, he's going to struggle. He struggles with spin moves and with guys getting underneath him. He's just OK out there. I'd have a lot fewer concerns about him if he was inside at guard and not out on an island against fast edge rushers."

And Jason Kelce

"Kelce is developing into one of the best centers in the game," the NFC scout said. "He's not the biggest guy in the world, so he can't overpower the big nose tackles. But I watched him play against New England last month and he just wheeled around Vince Wilfork the whole game. He shielded him easily.

"His hands are so good and he just runs so well. He gets to the second level. He can lead sweeps all the time. He can snap and get out. He's just extremely talented at what they ask him to do."

Sal Paolantonio is very high on the Eagles heading into the season. This from his Tuesday appearance with Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic:

"I think you can make a very good case for this team representing the NFC in the Super Bowl," said Paolantonio. "To me, the three teams they have to go through are New Orleans, Seattle and Green Bay...I just think that when you look at these four teams,  the Eagles get the two toughest games on the road -- at Indy and at San Francisco -- they get Indy without Robert Mathis; they get San Francisco in the middle of all these suspensions and injuries on defense. I think this team has got a  really good shot of capturing enough wins to get home field advantage.

"Peter King predicted the Eagles would get home field advantage but he didn't predict them going to the Super Bowl, suggesting that they were going to lose at home in the playoffs. I don't see that happening."

COMING UP

Preparation for the season opener against the Jaguars continues. The coordinators speak prior to today's 11:15 a.m. practice.

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

    Is Mathis suspended for the Colts game? I feel a lot better with Barbre out there on Monday night if he is. Especially since Tobin has that high ankle sprain.

    Smith is a plus athlete, which we knew coming out of college. I’m glad that he’s developing into Barwin Jr. I haven’t seen that fast twitch the better pass rushers have, but I’m hopeful he’ll develop into some kind of pass rushing threat down the road.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Yup yup Mathis gone, then no bowman or smith for 49ers, and I’m pretty sure their secondary is looking rough with a suspension, forget who. Great to know. It will be real interesting to see what those 49ers do if they don’t have their precious defense protecting their leads.

      You think Smith could turn into a Kendricks 2.0? What LB in league could u see him resembling

      • Piatz1019

        Their DT got the suspension. That’s huge for McCoy and the pass rush cause McDonald took 2 blockers

        • aub32

          Did McDonald get suspended? I thought they were going to wait for the trial.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            matter of time. did you see pics? she has finger bruising on her neck.

          • aub32

            I haven’t seen any recent updates. I heard the trial is this month. So I figured the team and league would wait to hear the judgment, since the case isn’t being tried months down the road.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            yup, you are right. but from sounds and looks of it, he better have affairs in order before going to court. i’m all for letting it play out, but dang, he looks and sounds really guilty.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            Link?

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            i heard thru friend, it is nasty.

          • Piatz1019

            I’m not positive on that but it’s 6 games automatically if proved

          • aub32

            Yeah I know that. I just didn’t know how soon we’d find out the ruling. I know the suspension is good for the Eagles, but I am rooting against it, as I’d like to think more players aren’t hitting women. However, if he’s found guilty; he’s gone.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Or more.

      • Johnny Domino

        “You think Smith could turn into a Kendricks 2.0?”

        Like that comparison, and would sign on for that progression.

      • TNA

        Smith does look like Kendricks 2.0. I don’t know if he has shown the explosiveness Kendricks has, but that could just be because he’s still thinking too much. Once he gets his bearings, we’ll see.
        If he’s ok in dropping in coverage, he needs to learn the nuances of setting the edge and containing, which poses a relatively complex set of technique challenges and understanding of what the offense is doing. His strength seems to be suspect right now, but his athleticism shows up.

        • NickS, Combine Warrior

          What’s his playing weight right now? Thought he was around 250 at combine/draft time, but played last year at 260ish. Could be wrong about that, but it would certainly be a factor if the case.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I know I’m a blow hard when it comes to Smith, but that’s only because I watched so much of him over and over leading up to the draft. I’m confident that he’ll be a player. He might not be that guy pushing for the league lead in sacks. But he’ll be a guy that floats around double digits in that department along with adding in a significant amount of hurries, TFLs, FFs & INTs. I see him as a better version of Barwin, but a notch below a Clay Matthews once it clicks.

      • OldDuckMcDoc

        I think an under reported (at least from what I’ve seen) part of how Smith has looked so far is that the Eagles quite often ask guys they’re trying to develop to do things they’re less comfortable with in preseason. Whereas in actual games in regular season you try to cover a guy’s weaknesses, in preseason they like to take them out of their comfort zone. So in the case of Smith, if they’re happy with his ability in coverage they ask him to rush the passer a lot. Results can be ugly in the short term but hopefully it pays off down the road.

        Not that I don’t have concerns about him but in PS they aren’t putting him in the best position to succeed in that particular game, but in the best position to develop and improve for the future.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          “…they aren’t putting him in the best position to succeed in that particular game, but in the best position to develop and improve for the future.”

          This is a point that I’ve been trying to make for some time and you summarized it quite well.

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

      re: Mathis, yes.

      re: Smith, I’m curious how many pass rushers outside the top 10-15 drafted have that “fast twitch”. I’m sure there are plenty of cases of later picks developing into good technique rushers (coach-speak).
      Do you (or anyone) know any sites that would have this kind of info, without lengthy research? I’m interested in maybe the top 20 or so edge rushers in the league

  • Token

    Nice to see us getting some breaks already. Two top teams we face will be without their elite rushers.

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      Yeah, but then if/when we win all we’ll hear is that we got lucky and faced teams depleted by major injury/suspension.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Who cares, they’d still be checks in the win column & give us the element of surprise being the underdog.

        • NickS, Combine Warrior

          I like wins however they come. Others here do not.

      • Johnny Domino

        Will take a tainted win over a loss any day.

        • NickS, Combine Warrior

          Same here. Just noting that such wins were dismissed by many here last year. Don’t want to keep hearing it.

          • aub32

            Injuries happen throughout the year to every team, but it’s significant to point out when we beat a team that was missing the best QB in the league, and barely beat another team missing a top 8 QB. Facing the Colts without Mathis is not the same as facing the Packers without Rodgers or Cowboys without Romo.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            If it was me who liked to point out every win deserving of an * due to injured/suspended players, I’d make sure I put one next to the Colts game if we win when they don’t have a guy who just put up a 19.5 sack season, especially when he’d be facing a backup OT. Luckily, I like wins regardless of the other teams’ inactive list and don’t like to worry about things like *s.

          • aub32

            I don’t put *s next to any win. A win is a win, and no win counts more or less than the other, unless you want to say division wins are worth a tad more. I have not nor have I seen anyone discredit a win. I have pointed out circumstances that were fortunate. So I do not read into a Rodgerless Packer win as much as I would a win over Rodgers. You do the exact same, but when Foles is concerned it’s off limits. For instance you cannot tell me that you honestly think that putting up 30 on the cowboys is the same as putting up 30 on SEA. They both may result in a win, and the win is equal (DAL may be worth more since it’s in division) However, what you take away from the performance in regard to evaluation is very different. Here’s where you and others try to ignore and change the argument from being about performance to solely about wins and losses.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            You lost credit when you said you don’t discredit wins but are always quick to point out that we didn’t get any wins against playoff teams (even though we did). That’s discrediting wins. Obviously beating the Packers without Rodgers isn’t the same but you can’t argue the outcome because you have no idea what it would have been. A factor? Yes. A game-deciding factor? Unknown. A win is a win and it was against a playoff team. And obviously hanging 30 on SEA, the #1 D, is different than 30 on DAL, an all-time bad D. But even arguing that changes the dynamic of the discussion. Points against different Ds is limiting the discussion to the offensive side of the ball…. As for Foles, I don’t even know how you’re factoring Foles into this. He was never a point of the conversation.

          • aub32

            So GB without Rodgers is a playoff team?

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            So that’s not a ‘*’?

          • aub32

            No.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            So then, what exactly does it mean to you to “put *s next to a win”.

            I think you can guess that you clearly have a different definition of that than Nick and me.

          • aub32

            An * next to a win is discrediting the win completely. Foles won that game. There is no if, ands, or buts about it. You seem to be alluding to my statement, Foles did not beat a playoff team. GB is not a playoff team without Rodgers. That is a fact. GB went 2-5-1 without Rodgers. You replied to my question, but you did not answer it. So feel free to answer. Is GB a playoff team without Rodgers?

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Of course not. No one said otherwise.

            But putting an * on a win or record just means that there is a caveat that makes it less, or different than it appears to be. It’s a note intended to alter the perception, meaning or weight of a thing.

            At least, that’s what I think the common definition is. If you can find an official definition somewhere, please share.

          • aub32

            I do not need to provide a definition because there’s no disagreement. You just said that GB is not a playoff team without Rodgers. So what are we going back and forth about? Whether using my definition or your own of what *s are, we reach the same conclusion. Foles did not beat a playoff team this far into his career. I guess when I say that, it’s bad, untrue, biased, and has asterisks. However, you are allowed to say it without judgment.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Read my posts aub. I didn’t engage in that. Not interested in round 1,345,772. That’s between you and Nick.

            But in Nick’s eyes, you’re losing credibility by claiming you don’t put *s on things the sentence before you put *s on things. There was an obvious language barrier there.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            “Foles won that game.” Incorrect. The Eagles won that game.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            The Packers were a playoff team last year, were they not? Factoring in a certain player doesn’t necessarily change the outcome. Therefore, the Eagles beat a playoff team.

          • aub32

            Fine. In that case there’s no longer any point in this discussion, as your need to defend Foles has made you unreasonable. You have done nothing but dodge my question because you know the answer is that GB is not a playoff team without Rodgers. So rather than answer my question with a yes or no, you chose to answer my question with a question; because despite all the Foles fandom not even you can admit that GB is in fact, not opinion, a playoff team. So I will ask you again. Were the Packers a playoff team without Rodgers?

          • MagatBrackendale

            NickS1 did not say one word about Foles. You did. Your need to belittle Foles has made you unreasonable.

          • aub32

            Nick did not bring up Foles. Is earlier statement did seem to allude to a Foles debate that we had earlier. So I chose to engage in that debate. I have no need to belittle Foles. I just don’t want there to be any misunderstandings. For some reason criticizing a player that someone else loves is belittling. I have players that I am huge fans of as well, but I don’t ignore their flaws just because I want them to be great.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Maggie hit the nail on the head: I didn’t bring up Foles. You did. I’m not defending anything other than the fact that last year we played a playoff team and won. They happened to be without their QB. Projecting their record without said QB would lead one to believe that they would not have been a playoff team. Stranger things have happened, though. Like that time when Tom Brady went down for a season and the Pats still went 11-5. However, saying that if GB had their QB against us guarantees a different outcome is stupid. There’s no way to tell.

          • aub32

            I didn’t say we would win or lose if Rodgers played. The Eagles did not beat a playoff team last year. Whether they would have won or not neither can say, but they did not beat one. That is what I have been saying all off season. There’s no asterisk in that statement. They played one playoff team with Foles at the helm. They lost to that playoff team. So it is fair to say that I want to see this team, when led by Foles and coached by Kelly, beat a playoff team.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Believe what you want. We beat a playoff team, one who was missing their QB, but still a playoff team. Where we do agree, is that we both want to see some wins against some of the better teams in the league. I’d also like to beat a playoff team…in the playoffs.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          He said taint.

      • MagatBrackendale

        Who cares what “they” say. All that shows up in the standings is a win. As for the negative nellies online, they will complain about something if the score is 56-0 Eagles. Gee, maybe a corner will get called for PI once. That will give “them” a week’s worth of whining.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      #HulsSeals

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

      hey- want in the birds 24/7 FFL? 1 spot opened, and you had made the original proposal.
      just need an email.
      draft is 6pm tomorrow night

  • Saunders

    smith will be a bust

    • Sean Bealer

      Yo, what are going to be the Powerball numbers today? I could use some money, and since you clearly can see into the future, I figured you may be able to help.

    • MagatBrackendale

      On this board it is preferable to show some sort of reasonable explanation behind your doom ‘n’ gloom pronouncements. Even if your reasoning is in error, at least show that you are capable of thinking at all.

  • Token

    One more day til the season starts. Get into the forum gridiron challenge.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nfl-gridiron-challenge/2014/en/group?groupID=22598

  • JosephR2225

    The selection of two Oregon players is representative of a greater philosophy the Eagles have adopted. As one reporter phrased it in a question to Roseman: Limit the variables.

    […]

    “Sometimes it’s tough when you’re evaluating some guys on film, because you see their athletic ability, but you’re not sure how it’s going to translate when you see people that run similar schemes to what are run at this level,” Kelly said. “And what Stanford does, it helps in your evaluation because you’re not guessing or projecting. You say, here’s evidence that he’s done it.”

    The philosophy extends to other areas as well. For example, you may have noticed that the Eagles have stayed away from small-school prospects the last two years. The reason? They require more of a projection because they’re competing against lesser competition. The same can be said for guys with character red flags. You won’t find any of those among the Eagles’ picks the last two seasons.

    http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2014/05/12/theory-behind-picking-oregon-players/

    ——————————–
    I’m not one of the people predicting doom and gloom because Marcus Smith probably won’t contribute much in year one; most rookies don’t make too significant a contribution on good teams, especially pass rushers. Only about half of last year’s playoff teams got significant contributions from first round rookies. I’m just not sure how using the 26th overall pick on such a project player with great athleticism but lacking in technique squares with the professed philosophy of limiting the variables. Seems he’s got variables written all over him.

    • Dominik

      Some variables are taken off because of the scheme. Lousiville plays a similar scheme to ours and their OLBs have similar responsibilities.

      That’s where that variables game comes into play.

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

      barring the red flags for character, work ethic, mental makeup etc., his talent is [to me] justifiable to take a waiver on. He is a great physical talent, great size, very raw on defense. For that position, you’re not finding a ton of pro-ready pass rushers. I’ve always seen the later 1st rd picks (playoff teams) as more long-term than short-term contributions, if the expectation is above average play.
      Also, the variables are indeed important and he does seem more boom/bust than the quotes from Howie imply. But the sum of those facets aren’t so overwhelming that he doesn’t look like NFL-caliber player.
      Someone else brought up the Kendricks analogy. Although Kendricks finally seems to be putting all of his potential together, his performance was never so bad to cut him or bench him. I think MS2 is similar in this regard. He’s just not good enough in any one aspect or overall to replace the starters at this point.

  • Addicted2MAmula

    Marshall bold prediction: McCoy will have 1000 yrd rushing and recieving. With Sproles on the team I can see it happening

    • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

      Did you see Warner predict the birds would win 14 games?

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

    I really think SF implodes this year. Not HOU level (2-14), but maybe borderline playoff team.
    Their current DL, with Dorsey on IR and McDonald getting susp., is composed of Justin Smith, Quinton Dial, and Tony Jerod-Eddie. Tank Carradine and Demarcus Dobbs are only listed DL reserves. LB core, with Bowman and A. Smith out, is Brooks, Wilhoite, P. Willis, and Dan Skuta. DBs were always their weakness – CBs are Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver. Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid at S.
    Is that really a big threat to Chipper’s offense?
    OL is still rough at C and RG; WRs aren’t really deep (after Crabtree, it goes Boldin-Brandon Lloyd-Stevie Johnson). I’d say our WR group is probably better or comparable. Curious how much time Hyde sees at RB. And of course, I’m not Kaep’s biggest fan.

    Shame STL offense stinks and ARI took some key defensive hits as well, they may have really challenged SF and SEA this year. Still will, but much tougher task.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      Yeah, but I got stuck with SF defense in fantasy, so they have to be great…

      Nah, I picked up Houston D last night to cover my rear end. Let the implosion commence.

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

        you should be collecting many sacks at least. Watt is hungry, which is terrifying for every QB.
        Interesting that the selection of Clowney, and subsequent pairing with Brooks Reed at OLB, gives them surplus of starting OLBs (they drafted Whitney Mercilus in 1st rd. of 2012). I’m sure one of them is destined for PHI.

        • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

          Philadelphia Texans

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      Agree with most of it. Only place I’d disagree is WR. I think their WRs are better. Crabtree is better than any WR we have when healthy, which he is. Boldin > Cooper and Lloyd/Johnson > Matthews/Smith/Huff until proven otherwise. Just my opinion.

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

        that’s fair. kind of a toss up for me. Of course Chip’s scheme makes the WRs better, but that’s not their fault. I’m not so much analyzing individual player v. player matchups but rather whole performance expected of unit.
        That said, I’d nominate Crabtree as best overall WR. Maclin is probably 2nd, if healthy. Huge Boldin fan here, but dude is getting old, he’s like the Witten of WRs. I think both drop off this year. And Lloyd is a bum IMO

        • NickS, Combine Warrior

          I, too, am a big Boldin fan. I wanted us to pick him up last year… I agree with the statistical dropoff, but for Boldin, I think that’s more of a factor of Crabtree than it is just age. Age hurts, obviously, but I think he’s got another year or two of solid production. Having Crabtree might actually help him by way of less usage and taking of bigger hits.

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

            fair.
            how about TEs? Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald (2nd rd pick last year; 8 rec. for 119), Derek Carrier. I take PHL.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I’ll take PHL all day, there. Davis is a good and all, but Celek and Ertz win that comparison without question. Don’t even need to mention the other two TEs on the roster.

    • B-West

      I would thoroughly enjoy the implosion, all because of Harbaugh. I actually like a lot of their players. I also think there is a chance that they tread water until they get guys back, and then they get hot and are a team that nobody wants to play in January.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    I can’t say a r s e?!

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      You have to spell it “E….L….I”.

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        I thought it was spelled D O N O V
        Well, you know where I’m going. :)

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          Don’t be such an Eli!

          See, totally works ;)

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Don’t call me an Eli, you McNass.

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

    Sheil/Tim/Intern:

    1 spot open in the BIRDS247 fantasy league! Do you dare match wits with us lowly commenters?

    • JosephR2225

      When is the draft? I’d take it if you need a guy.

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

        current order of waiting list: (draft Thurs 6pm)

        sheil/tim/intern
        Token (had original idea)
        Jason (he was the 54th man of original league, told him he’s up next)
        JosephR2225
        truehaynes
        jtre
        brennan h.

        • JosephR2225

          No sweat. It’s probably not the best thing for my job performance to take on another league, but if you’re desperate for a guy just email me josephr2225@yahoo.com

        • Token

          Couldnt you add more teams? Or is it a lot right now?

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

            depends. are you in?
            I guess assuming you, joseph##s, and Jason can all join and draft tomorrow night, I believe that would be a solid 12. I think I can change it.

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            Yea i think you could pop it to 12 and maybe just get rid of 1 wr spot that we added. fine by me

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Agree with Chris.

          • Token

            The draft is what 6pm? cutting it close to that first game. I should be able to do that. If its a ESPN league you can change the size up until the draft time. Is it standard scoring? Standard roster?

          • aub32

            I thought the draft is at 545. 7 is a bit close to kickoff.

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

            http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/leagueoffice?leagueId=1663403&seasonId=2014

            6pm tomorrow (thurs). pretty standard. need your email.

          • Token

            Ok send the email to theycallmerobsbestfriend@hotmail.com

            Its the email I use most of the time.

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

            ha! good one. we will need a real email though

          • Token

            im serious. Send it and see.

          • Token

            So nobody could do the draft tonight? I dont care either way, but will the draft be done before kickoff?

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

            yes. starting at 6, it should be done by 7:30 honestly. 8 at latest.

            if you have anyone playing thurs night, should only take you 5 min to set lineup. Rosters lock right before games start

        • jabostick

          add me on the wait list for next year

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      man, i’ll be jealous if you get a tim/sheil team. but be happy it’s my spot.

    • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

      I think we should try to get Sheil and Tim to give a prize to the winner. Something like an opportunity to write a guest article on Birds 24/7!

      • aub32

        or a free copy of the 2015 Eagles Almanac.

    • CHRIS – CB with dreads

      tweeted at them to join haha. trying to make this happen!

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    of course Barbre going to struggle 1v1 against elite. a, there’s a reason he’s a lifelong backup, and b, everyone struggles with elite, cause, the guy is elite.
    .
    be curious to see Smith playing time if Eagles can Washington this game, get up by 20+ mid 3rd. rotate Barwin Kendricks and Smith, should improve coverage.

    • Rockedupeaglesfan

      I thought that went without saying too. My question is will he struggle enough that we consider someone else before Lane is ready? Like Tobin or possibly even Kelly? I think people could be clamoring to slide Tobin outside if Clemons week 1 or Orakpo week 2 tears him up?

      • Clamdigger

        Are you serious? What is it with you people? You even clamor for the backup’s backup. It’s insane.

        • Rockedupeaglesfan

          Wondering if a backup is good enough to get the job done, is the same thing as clamoring for his replacement now? I’m glad you feel so confident in our backup RT, who struggled through the preseason, I have some apprehensions. I must be insane.

          • MagatBrackendale

            Well at least nitpicking.

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            Maybe, but what else do I have to worry about, the season hasn’t started. This is what happens with 10 days between the last preseason game and the opener.

    • peteike

      ya, so glad were facing Henne instead of Bortles. Bortles threw a bomb flat footed that was a beauty, guy looks like the real deal. I think their defense may be good enough to slow us down and at least make it a game.

      • Clamdigger

        lol