March 05, 2013

THE 12: #1 - STOP THE BLEEDING

 

WITH Nnamdi Asomugha and DRC all but gone, we’ll need CB’s.

Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, and Trevard Lindley were all projects from the Andy Reid era. Chip Kelly doesn’t have the time or expertise to use projects as starters. The thinking among fans is that the Draft could solve half of that problem, but it wasn’t the CB’s that seemed to frustrate the coaching staff, it was the Safety play.

Kurt Coleman is a liability as a center-fielder, both in terms of foot speed and biting on fakes. We need someone with better instincts, and enough speed to be that last line of defense.

If they still want to take another year on Nate Allen to see if they can make something out of him, I doubt anyone would call them fools for it. If it goes longer than a year, I think folks around the league will begin to talk.

Colt Anderson is a heck of a Special Teamer and is a capable sub, but he’s not ready for primetime.

**************************************************************************

THE MEAT:

Formulation of a Secondary is THE single most important issue facing this team by far. Regardless of how bad the Offensive Line blocks, how inaccurate the QB is, or how lackluster the LB’s are; we must stop the rest of the NFL from thinking they can continue to score almost at will against us. We have to force turnovers to keep games close.

We have to stop this bleeding.

THE MOVE:

Safety is easy to write a prescription for. Assuming that Nate Allen is the SS and the cornerstone of the Secondary, we’re still short a FS and 2 CB’s. The smartest move would be drafting a FS. The top of the food chain in this year’s Draft, is Eric Reid. He’s supposed to still be there early in the 2nd and if he is, we’re idiots not to grab him.

Cornerback is trickier.  Grabbing a FA like St. Louis’s Bradley Fletcher or San Diego’s Antoine Cason would be smart to do on one side. (I would avoid Sean Smith since he doesn’t care where he plays as long as he “gets paid”. Bad mindset.) On the other side, I suppose that drafting Dee Milliner in the 1st would give us 4 starters (FA CB, Milliner, Reid, Allen.)

This uses up the first two picks, but if the Secondary doesn’t get fixed it could de-rail everything else. Like they say the NFL is a passing league. We need to be able to defend against that.

26 Comments:
  • Completely agree with the draft logic. Milliner has been my favorite pick since the combine ended. Reid has been shooting up some draft boards but if he falls to us in the 2nd i'd say we have to pull the trigger on him as well. There are some other good safety prospects this year so taking one in the 3rd might not be a bad idea as a security measure and competition for Allen. Your thinking on FA is spot on the only guy I would pay for is guard Andy Levitre he's a talented young player would could fix out starting line problems. After him I would love to get Sean Smith but like you said he wants to "get paid" and that mindset isn't something we need. The talent we bring in via FA has to be at the right price. The CBs you mentioned would be good and I think we could even get an older veteran like Woodson to come in and be a leader.
  • Like u said the corners weren't the ones coaches were going nuts over it was the safeties. In a season with so many holes to fill why add to it by getting rid of both starting corners? If they can both be had for about 6 million give or take a million than I'm all for keeping them. If asomo doesn't wanna redo his deal than bye-bye. I disagree about Sean smith. I think he still has alot to prove n play for but u do have to worry about his effort after a big pay day, that's why if I were to go after him it would be an incentive heavy deal. A guy that still has a ton to prove n I think is worth the risk is aqib talib. My guess is he's back in NE next year though. Cason isn't that good to me. If he comes cheap enough sure but I wouldn't expect him to turn the defense around. My draft isn't including milliner. I would go after a guy in round two (Rhodes) if Reid is gone or if we can get two seconds some how. Reids the guy everyone wants so that's an obvious pick even if we have to move into the first again for him I would. I could see the pats ravens or 49ers taking him. We need to sign a safety too. Let's say Moore goldson n we know Byrd r off the list. I think Kenny Phillips with Allen or Anderson as his back up incase/when he gets hurt would be good for now. Delmas could be a solid pick up if healthy

    Other than these guys the so called big names, I would like to add
    CB Cedric griffin- he has been great in the slot n could replace either corner we have
    CB Chris Owens- good young prospect
    Safety glover quin- he's gonna get a ton of offers
    Getting these three may end up being cheaper than the so called big names n there for easier for Kelly to sign
  • I completely with what what you said about getting rid of both CB's, but the Eagles seem hellbent to haggle over Nnamdi's contract, so I think that will seal his deal.

    I actually like EZ's idea of moving him to FS. If they offered him a deal for 9 mil this year and a guaranteed 9 next year, I think he jumps at the deal and it would completely alter our draft picture for the better allowing us to get a top shelf O-lineman to build around.
  • I'll be curious to see if the Eagles go back to labeling their safeties properly with the coaching change. You again bring up the need for a free safety even though you assume Nate Allen is the "cornerstone" of the secondary at SS...Nate Allen is the deep or free safety. We'll see if Billy Davis and his coaching staff go back to the traditional labeling of their safeties or decide to stick with the old coaching staffs backwards thinking. Regardless, if the Eagles are thinking saftey in the second or somehow late in the 1st and Reid is there I would be thrilled if the Eagles drafted him.


    Just heard that WIP is reporting that Asomugha will be released today and it doesn't seem like DRC is coming back (could be one of those surprise resignings but it certainly doesn't seem like it) so obviously the Eagles have to be more aggressive at corner in free agency and the draft. Sean Smith (if the rumors are true and they are willing to spend for him), possibly Milliner at #4 (Read today that KC is now considering him at #1 and aslo heard that they are also interested in Sean Smith...so many rumors leading up to the draft) and Reid or one of the other top safeties in the second should go a long way in helping this secondary get stronger.




    Update: March 06, 2013
    An update of my comment about Asomugha. Howard Eskin reportedly tweeted that he would be released today and Barkann and Reese (WIP) made the announcement...Jeff McClane (Eagles beat writer from the Inquirer) followed with his own tweet that the Eagles will not release Asomugha today...I would guesss that it will happen before free agency on Tuesday...may as well get it done now.
  • I don't know if you recall but the guy usually trailing receivers who scored deep over the middle was Kurt Coleman. So either Nate Allen SHOULD have been back there and was waaaaaaaay out of position every single time that happened; or Kurt Coleman SHOULDN'T have been back there and was waaaaaaaay out of position every single time that happened.

    Any way you cut it NEITHER guy plays deep well, so yeah, I assume if Allen stays it's not as a "centerfielder", but as an in the box guy.
  • Allen in the box doesn't bode well considering all of those tackles he missed last season.
  • Maybe, but odds are we'll have to stomach some of last year's starting Secondary starting this year.

    Besides, considering all the blown assignments on either Safety last year, would you rather have him back deep as the last line of defense?

    If they have to have liability out there, there may as well be a limit to how bad it can hurt us.
  • Of the two I think Coleman is a better special teams player. I would rather see Colt Anderson and his fragile small frame in the box if I had to choose a safety already on the roster. At this point Allen is just too damaged physically and mentally to be good. He's a guy who it could help to get a change of scenery. Heck go make a play for Laron Landry. Anything is better than what we had last season.
  • I've seen them both trailing receivers deep and honestly Allen is the one I can see more often...both getting there late the last two years and making his interceptions in his first year playing centerfield. I remember when Castillo made the goofy ass call of changing up the safety positions he said it truly didn't matter in his scheme because they asked both safeties to play similar roles. Regardless of what Castillo wanted to call Nate Allen he was a coverage safety in college, played it here in Philly (poorly but he played it) and he never will be a true strong safety even if Chip Kelly and Billy Davis decide to try to force him into that role (which I doubt happens). A strong safety needs to want to hit and that just isn't the biggest part of Allen's game by a long shot. You are right though, neither he nor Coleman have covered particularly well...let's hope that changes soon with some new additions. Also want to point out again that Jarrett was brought in to be the hitter as an "in the box" safety to "compliment" Nate Allen's coverage skills and if you doubt my words here were a few words typed up by Tommy Lawlor in June of 2011:


    One of the things missing from the secondary since Brian Dawkins was kidnapped by aliens has been a physical presence. Mikell is generally a good tackler. He can hit, but isn't a punishing hitter. Mikell doesn't lack toughness or intensity. He's just not an impact hitter. Some guys are good at that and some aren't. Jarrett is. Reid talked about Jarrett's ability to hit and make his presence known as one of the key reasons the Eagles wanted him. They felt a need to have an impact hitter in the secondary.

    The Eagles are hoping the situation plays out a certain way. They want Allen to be the rangy, centerfielder type of safety. They want Jarrett to be the box guy who can really lay the lumber. They want Samuel to be the ballhawk corner. They want the right corner to be a bigger, more physical player than Samuel. That group would give the Eagles a complete secondary.

    The pieces aren't all in place right now, but the secondary has the potential to be good. The Eagles need Allen to stay healthy. He looked really good at times last year. The Eagles need to land the right guy to play opposite of Samuel. It doesn't have to be Nnamdi Asomugha, but the team needs a talented cover corner. The secondary will also be better if the young players can stay on track. Lindley and Coleman could be very valuable backups. The uncertainty of the spring and summer could turn into a pretty good unit by the time fall gets here.
  • That all said. Nate Allen is likely to start because:
    1) He's a cheap veteran so he'll be here.
    2) He's the more talented cover guy between he and Coleman. (Admittedly that's not saying much.)
    3) He's overall more talented and faster than Anderson.
    4) Until someone else is added to the roster, this is what Kelly (and any fan looking ahead) has to work from.

    With no one coming to Allen's defense about his lack of success in coverage, if he is to start do you make him your last line of defense? Better to alleviate both he AND Coleman of the responsibility. Which leaves Allen where exactly?

    Playing Allen at SS would be less about him being good at it and more about realizing that only so many roster moves will likely be made; and of the three guys with real experience, Allen is the most talented guy on the roster at that position.
  • Or they can try to replace both during the offseason and keep Allen as a backup to compete with whoever is brought in. He has one year left on his rookie deal...if he keeps struggling he will be on somebody else's roster.
  • I believe both will be replaced as well. Truth is no one in the secondary deserved to keep their jobs. All this talk about safeties being the reason Nnamdi stunk only cements it for me. He's not elite! Imagine Deion putting his hands in the air blaming others for coverage liabilities! Eric Allen was A SHUT DOWN CORNER WITH TWO SAFETIES WHO MAY HAVE HAD ONE GOOD LEG BETWEEN THEM. Nnamdi isn't a great corner and DRC played when he wanted to. It's that simple. None of the four deserve to be back. Lets not forget the fact Nnamdi got benched last season for Curtis Marsh. Quarterbacks completed over 60 percent of their passes on the guy and had over 100 QB rating. 4 new starters would be an improvement.
  • I truly don't get what is taking the Eagles so long to cut the ties with Asomugha. The only thing I can think is that they want to buffer their cap a little for one year while sticking a bandaid on one of their corner spots. Maybe the Eagles don't want to try to fix every spot this year when they just may make costly mistakes again. I guess they could take cheaper, shorter term chances (redoing Asomugha's contract for 1 year) and get lucky instead of going "all in" and getting themselves in an expensive hole with Kelly in year one.
  • What are you 20 years old? Eric Allen played with what has to be the greatest Safety duo in Eagles history.

    Andre "Muddy" Waters was the BLUEPRINT for Brian Dawkins (from the motivational slogans he used to tape to his forehead, to his in the box play, to his bone jarring hits), and Wes Hopkins was the only ballhawking FS we'have here since I've been a fan.

    Eric Allen wasn't a Shutdown corner either. He used to bait passers into throwing at him. Ben Smith (before he wrecked his leg) was a shutdown CB. I wonder what they could have been if he'd stayed healthy.
  • Everything you wrote here makes no sense at all. Andre Waters may have been the slowest starting safety in football, and after Wes tore his knee up he was out there playing on one leg. Eric Allen not a shut down corner? Are you crazy!?! Ben Smith had about two years of good football tops and the funny thing is the Eagles wanted him to originally play safety! Dude don't come at me thinking you know when you really don't!
  • Wes Hopkins got an awful lot of picks for a guy with one leg. Perhaps we should tear up all of our Safeties knees.

    For Andre Waters to be so slow he made enough plays against the run as the SS for one of the leagues better defenses year in and year out.

    As for Eric Allen, shutdown corners are called that because they eliminate their man as an option for the QB (See: Revis Island). Eric Allen got quite a lot of action to his side, and snagged a LOT of those passes. Hard for a guy to net 34 picks in 7 years if he doesn't see quite a bit of traffic.

    As for what the Eagles WANTED Ben to do, who cares. I'm talking about what he DID do. You're right about him only having two good years, but that was my point when I said: "I wonder what they could have been if he'd stayed healthy."

    That Secondary was one of the leagues best AS A UNIT, for years. My guess is that their career achievements will stand as greater monuments than your evaluation of them.

    I'm not "comin' at you" bro. If you want to argue, fine, but keep in mind it's history you're arguing with, not me.
  • I'm not going to argue with anyone who thinks Ben Smith was a better shutdown corner than Eric Allen. There is no point in arguing against someone who is completely wrong.
  • With the re-signing of Colt Anderson we keep a little depth in the Secondary and shore up our Special Teams as well. Now if we can get ourselves a real starter at FS, we can move Kurt Coleman back to ST where he can team with Anderson and give us a crazy Kick Coverage unit!

    Dear God: PLEASE, send us a Safety!
  • The Eagles are confirming they have worked out Geno Smith.
  • Even went so far as to drag Lurie along.
  • Derrick Gunn is stating he feels it is just in case he falls and that they won't use the #4 on Smith. You just never know though.
  • They could trade down as well. I wonder how many quarterbacks will eventually be on the roster at one time. It must be maddening for all those supporters of Vick who don't think he should have competition for the job.
  • Free Agency begins in 15 minutes. I'm hoping for a LEAST a Safety. Fingers crossed.

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