Eagles Wake-Up Call: On DRC And Secondary Questions
There is a host of pressing issues when it comes to the Eagles’ secondary, but you’ll have to excuse new defensive backs coach John Lovett if he doesn’t yet have all the answers.
“I don’t know how long everyone else has been here but I walked into the office today for the first time,” said the 62-year-old Lovett on Monday. “In fact I rode over here with [inside linebackers] Coach [Rick] Minter just so I can figure out how to drive over here and not get lost. We had a full staff meeting and a defensive staff meeting, then the phone guy comes in and a guy comes in to put a computer in. It’s been that kind of a day. Everyone is still kind of rolling around.”
That is the reality of the situation. The new staff has had little to no time to study tape of the Eagles from last season. That is Lovett’s goal this week — he will look at last year’s secondary, then will begin evaluating potential free agents.
“I think what I have to do is take a look at those guys and see what kind of impact they had, and talk to them also,” said Lovett, who coached DBs at Texas Tech last season. “Then meet with Coach [Kelly] and Billy [Davis], and find out what they want to do. Chip and Howie [Roseman], they’ll make the decision on how all this is going to go down, all I can do is give input and my piece on what I see.”
There are critical decisions to be made at each position in the secondary. Nnamdi Asomugha is scheduled to make $15 million. Do you cut him and eat the guaranteed $4 million? Try to restructure? Do you try and sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent? How do you proceed at safety?
Rodgers-Cromartie is particularly interesting, as Davis was the defensive coordinator in Arizona when he went to the Pro Bowl. Do the Eagles want to keep him?
“That I can’t answer because I am new in the building, and Coach Kelly and Howie will make those decisions ” said Davis. “I know DRC, we drafted him. As a young guy he went to a Pro Bowl [in 2009]. He made a lot of plays. We had some success in Arizona with pressure packages that got a lot of turnovers and we created some defensive scores, and Dominique was part of that.”
Because of how new the Kelly operation is, opinions on current personnel are not fully formed. But big picture, the staff knows what type of players they are looking for. Lovett said ideally his corners will be big and physical. The safeties need to be able to run stride-for-stride with a slot receiver one minute, and “sit people on the ground” the next. No wonder a good safety is getting harder and harder to come by.
The perfect players probably aren’t on this roster. The process begins now to figure out which ones will be good enough to hold onto.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Sheil looks at the new offensive and defensive line coaches, and the “old-school toughness” they bring.
Michael Vick believes he can run Kelly’s system effectively.
What does Vick’s return mean for Nick Foles? Kapadia takes a look.
Davis addressed the Philly media for the first time.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Behold, the 2013 NFL free agent list.
Are the Eagles still in the market for a QB after restructuring Vick’s deal? If so, they’ll likely be able to get a look at the top draft prospects at next week’s combine. From PFT:
According to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, [Geno] Smith will “do a full workout,” in Indianapolis, giving scouts a chance to see how he stacks up rather than making them wait for a pro day.
As Brandt points out, having Smith throw and do all the drills sets a bar for the other quarterbacks, and more will likely follow suit.
There’s a chance to not look as polished when throwing to unfamiliar receivers (unlike pro days on college campuses with guys you know, when 57-of-59 passing is more the norm), but taking that chance also speaks to competitiveness.
After Smith and Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley skipped the Senior Bowl, there wasn’t much to look at among the quarterbacks who played, but Smith’s going to give everyone something to talk about.
Marcus Hayes dissects Kelly’s performance at the podium:
Chip Kelly on Monday continued the construction of his image in Philadelphia. He explained, and sometimes defended, the hiring of 19 new assistant coaches and the retention of two from Reid’s staff.
As advertised, Kelly was, at times, informative; at times, glib; at times, abrasive. Several times, he bit his barbed tongue in deference to better judgment.
Sometimes, he spoke at length and said nothing at all . . . which, of course, was what Reid did nearly all the time.
Given time, polish and a great deal of self-restraint, Chip Kelly could be a legend of the lectern.
Or, if he submits to his baser instincts, he could alienate the public and the press, like his predecessors.
We’ll continue to feed you more from our conversations with the new coaching staff.