March 20, 2013

THE CLEAR STARTERS (So Far)

 

HERE’S who I see starting, and why.

 

(* indicates positional volatility or a need to upgrade.)

QB- Michael Vick: Money, locker room support, biggest X-factor of any QB on roster

RB- LeSean McCoy: Money, clearly one of the league’s best, 3 down back

WR- DeSean Jackson: Money, speed, rapport with the starting QB

*WR- Jeremy Maclin: Familiarity with starting QB

TE- Brent Celek: Breaks tackles, can run, finds deep seams

LT- Jason Peters: Money, great run blocker, no depth behind him

LG- Evan Mathis: Money, combos well with Peters, Solid player in his own right

*C- Jason Kelce: No depth behind him

*RG- ??????????: Expect a change. My guess is a Rookie

*RT- Todd Herremans: Money, no depth

 

LDE- Brandon Graham: Young, came on strong last year

LDT/NT- Issac Sopoaga: Fits 3-4, 4-3, 4-4 and goal line fronts

RDT- Fletcher Cox: Young, played well as a rookie last year

*RDE- Vinny Curry: Just a guess. Lots of depth, lot of options here.

ROLB- Mychal Kendricks: Also see him as an ILB in a 3-4

MLB- DeMeco Ryans: Can be great in (this) the right system, has respect of locker room

LOLB- Connor Barwin: Seemed to hint at a return to the WIL where he had more success

*SS- Patrick Chung: Or Kurt Coleman. The desire is there, but the talent is lacking

*FS- Nate Allen: He’ll get another chance to prove he’s starting material, due to a lack of depth

CB- Cary Williams: Money, 35 pass break-ups in his last 32 games

*CB- ????????????: My guess is a Rookie.

 

Right now I can see 3 potential starters who are only 1st stringers because of a lack of depth (Kelce, Chung and Allen). Despite all the bodies just signed in the Secondary, I don’t see a clear answer at Safety at all. I’d lay money against Kenny Phillips even making final cutdowns, let alone starting. That leaves Chung and 2012. They may use Bradley Fletcher to push Allen so don’t be surprised to see it. Actually, I’d be surprised if they didn’t. It would cover up any speed Fletcher’s lost as a result of his injuries, and allow him to use his coverage skills, if he had to cover a slot guy.

The O-line is a mess. While I don’t believe Herremans can be an effective run blocker at Guard, I can see them moving him to RG since it’s the mirror of the position he played when right handed Donovan McNabb was the QB. They signed him to an extension last year that guarantees him around 11 million over the next 3 years, so unless they trade him, they’re on the hook to pay him whether he plays or sits. So you play him.

Chip Kelly wants a run based offense. I don’t see it being very good with his current interior linemen. I get that he’ll spread the opposing defense thin and that should make getting to the second level easier, but only if the O-lineman doesn’t get stonewalled or pushed into the backfield. Ever seen an Eagles O-lineman go backwards? Too often right? That’s my point.

And now we can get a clearer picture of the focus of the Draft.

 

 

 

 

22 Comments:
  • Kenny Phillips is one of the most talented players the Eagles picked up in free agency. If he is healthy he starts, not Allen but it is nice to see you penciling Allen in at free safety not strong...I guess you must have read that Tommy Lawlor piece yesterday where he stated that Phillips and Allen would be competing for the free saftey spot. I'm also not too sure about Curry starting...he is one of those tweeners (too small to play end in a 3-4 and may not have the athleticism, speed or skills to play OLBer...the Eagles could have a couple players like this) and honestly I don't see that depth at end that you bring up. All I see is Cox and Cedric Thornton (I hope I'm wrong about Curry...I hate to think that the Eagles can't find much time for a talented 2nd round pick). Being that Herremans is listed as a tackle on the depth chart I'll leave my hopes for a starting tackle and his switch to guard out of this but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I've heard a few people (including Lawlor) state that they think Fletcher is a talented corner who could push for a starting spot but I do think the Eagles will draft a corner early and hopefully he is talented enough to grab onto that starting spot right out of the gate. You know my feelings about the QB but that doesn't change the fact that as of now I do agree with you. A first or second day QB could change my stance on that though. The Eagles seemed to cover a couple positions to help them make a smoother transition to a 3-4...got a very good OLBer, got that NT, unfortunately wasn't able to pull off a deal on a player that probably would have been the other starter at end (Jean-Francois). I think people are feeling a little better about this team today than they did a little over a week ago...hopefully the draft gives us some hope.
  • My concern is with Phillips health. There was much made of him coming out of college, but his knee (which he is still rehabbing) is a massive question mark.

    Where you and I disagree on DE I think stems from your outlook on them being a 3-4 team, and my outlook being that they'll run a 4-3 Under "Predator" scheme. In that instance we're up to out eyes in 4-3 DE's (Cole, Graham, Hunt, and Curry for starters).

    Herremans guaranteed money and provisos in his contract for different bonuses for G and T, tells me they may move him around.

    Fletcher is talented, but he too has a history of knee problems. For a CB, that could pose problems in Man Coverage, but as a FS playing Zone, (and some occasional Man) he should be fine.

    I think they got the depth/role players they need, but they haven't fixed the problems that hurt them the most last year (O-line, Secondary, and some would say, Vick). So far we got an emerging star at CB, a CB and a S with knee issues, another S who's so far been ho-hum, some role players for the Front 7, an underrated TE, and a WR who could be good IN THIS SYSTEM.

    Not a bad haul to start, but most of the work remains.
  • Phillips knee may be a question mark but the talent level when he and Allen are on the field isn't even close. Like I stated, IF Phillips is healthy, he starts. He sprained his MCL last year, he should be fine barring any setbacks and at his press conference he said that his knee was at 100%. Here's hoping it is.

    We now can all agree that the Eagles are going to run a 3-4 with the moves the Eagles made in free agency but they did say they would be switching up their defense at times. Sounds like there could be times that the smaller DEs could find themselves on the field but I wouldn't doubt they get looks at linebacker to see what they can handle...it's possible pre season hero Hunt may not be on the roster come September or maybe they try to find a trade partner for Curry. If some of these guys can't play some linebacker then having an abundance of them is nothing but a waste of roster space.

    I highly doubt the Eagles brought Fletcher in to play safety when there were and are other options out there. I know you like to think outside the box but sometimes (most of the time) it is as it appears. He was signed to push for a starter's job at corner and I would guess at the start of the season Fletcher is backing up the position or possibly starting if they don't bring in a better option in the draft. If they want safeties there are PLENTY they can choose from in the draft and I would guess that there were better options (like Phillips) to be had in free agency. Fletcher is a corner and always has been...it would be foolish to move him especially when the Eagles only player that has had a decent amount of success at corner is Williams.
  • Yea Phillips starts over Allen day one even if it isn't "official" him and Chung will be the last line of defense. All of this is based of not knowing who the eagles draft but #2 CB right now is Bradley Fletcher, that is unless Milliner isn't taken in the draft but my predictions aren't accounting for that. The only other changes i'd make would be that i think Cole will start, probbaly over Curry, he's a vet i doubt the make him a back up right off the bat. At RG look for the eagles to sign another FA there's still a hand full of quality offensive linemen left. Depending on who they get Herremans might slide inside (again this doesnt take in account for the draft). Vick is the starter right now but i honestly believe that kelly will hold open competition for QB (among a lot of other positions).
  • I'm not even sure Cole would be a good fit. The Eagles brought in Jean-Francois who would have been a good fit and probably would have been penciled in as the other starter but they couldn't agree on the money. I also heard they wanted to bring in Matt Shaughnessy for a visit but he agreed on a contract with the Cardinals before the Eagles could bring him in. Seems to me that they know they could use another body and I would guess a starter at the position. Could Lotulelei come back into play if he gets a clean bill of health? He can play all 3 positions in a 3-4 and could be the other DT in a 4-3 next to Cox. I doubt the Eagles draft him at 4 with his possible heart issue but you just never know what will happen.
  • I think cole is the type of guy who will work hard to make sure he'll be able to work in the new system. Obviously this is all working around who we have now. There's still decent FA out there and who ever we draft 4th will be expected to start so...
  • Agree 100 percent with offense although I think herremans can still play guard in the run game.

    The defense is where we disagree. Ive been saying since we got the coaches it will he a 3-4 n with the FA signings I'm sure of it. We have the ability to run the 4-3 under but the coaches n the players brought in run the 3-4 better. Barwin is much better as an OLB in the 3-4. His coverage skills r average at best n is a much better pass rusher. Soap is a great NT not so great off the center. Phillips will be the starting FS Chung ss Fletcher n Williams (assuming no one is added at the position) will be the starting corners.
  • Veeeeeeeeeeery important that folks realize that I put the words "so far" in the title.
  • I think we all got that.
  • Yea who doesn't realize that? He's just getting angry again cause people disagree with him n he doesn't see the writing on the walls or papers that we will be a 3-4.
  • I'm angry that Chip Kelly will employ a 3-4? Why would I be angry over that? Kelly has already said that he'll employ the 3-4 along with the 4-3. Billy Davis has already said they'll employ the 4-3 Under that he used in Arizona. Chip Kelly has said repeatedly that what the team is and does, will be determined by what the team (roster) has.

    This is the writing on the "walls" and papers, right?

    So what exactly am I not seeing?
  • I didn't say that's what ur angry about. I said ur angry cause people disagree with u n u can't see the writing on the walls. We all know u throw hissy fits when peoe disagree with u. U can't realize that we will run a 3-4 ad our base defense for the same reasons Vick will be our starter. If u wanna take these coaches for their word on defense but not offense that it will be an open competition makes no sense.
  • Sure it makes sense. One I believe, and the other I think is pure bull****. When someone lies to you they don't always lie about everything. Same here.

    I figure Kelly WILL stick to his word on Defense because someone else will be running it. As far as the Offense is concerned, I'll believe this "open competition" when I see it.

    I think it was you who said you used to play High School ball. For the rest of these people not to get it, is one thing, but for YOU to act like you don't is quite another.

    Kelly said it'll be an open competition, right? Okay then, who practices with the Ones? The O-line learning the QB's cadence, takes time. Learning to feel where the QB is behind you in the pocket, takes time. Receivers learning to see what the QB sees in a given situation, so they can improvise and still be on the same page, takes time. The reason the starter gets 85%-90% of a week's reps, is because it takes time, working through mistakes and repeating successes to get it down and make it natural.

    That gets screwed up if 5 guys are shuttling in and out. This guy becomes more comfortable with QB1, that guy with QB2, that guy with QB3...

    This is why I don't buy the open comp line. Anybody NOT getting enough reps will naturally be more out of sync with the rest of the starters. That puts them behind the 8 ball and makes it an UNFAIR competition. For them to win the job would be more about the guy who gets the most reps screwing up than about the rest of them winning it. And that is NOT how you build a winner.

    Look, I EXPECT most fans not to get it. Most of them have never seen the game from inside a helmet so they don't get WHY things work the way they do. But for those of us who have, we're supposed to represent the fact that we know better, and try to put it out there.
  • Maybe most of us haven't seen the game from inside of a helmet but sometimes you put your time on the football field above what truly makes sense (not to mention sometimes gives us a sense that you are "talking" down to us). Your explanation makes some sense and most of us do get how reps work, flip BUT it doesn't change the fact that the Eagles aren't the first team to declare and hold an open QB competition (usually between 2 but things are a bit different this year). I would think the competition has its numbered list and Vick get's the nod early...he obviously has an advantage over Foles in that he physically fits what Kelly wants but I have no doubt that when it comes to the mental aspect of the offense that Foles will pick it up much quicker than Vick. Foles will get some opportunities to show Kelly what he can do and Vick has not been quick out the box in a system he already knew the last couple years. Hopefully it will be enough to help Kelly keep his word. I actually have WIP on as I am typing this and a caller JUST asked Ike Reese if he believed Vick would be on the roster at the start of the season. His response was "he should be". He said that he feels that the Eagles want Vick to be the quarterback this year but if he falters and doesn't pick up the offense he could be let go. I won't take it that far but what some of us have been getting at is somewhat similar...if Vick struggles he could wind up back on the bench. You keep stating that the only way he ends up on the bench is if the Eagles draft a QB. You (again) expect us to take you for your word because you played the game but we shouldn't listen to the possibilities that the like of Ike Reese tell us daily on the radio station? Keep in mind that many of us have pro football players besides you (I know you played semi-pro) to get and form opinions from. Regardless, it almost seems to be a given (no mortal lock) that the Eagles will be drafting a QB and adding another arm in April. If it's Smith in the 1st or Manuel in the 2nd or 3rd (I don't think he will be there in the 3rd but I have been wrong before) I think he will probably be starting early and maybe even week one (Smith probably will start week one). Kelly will want his hand picked player in there running his system as soon as possible.
  • I don't think you should "take my word for it". I'm merely putting up a post that explains my point of view. The Eagles don't consult with me on what they should do, so it relegates what I type to an opinion. For all I know Vick could play well in the preseason and still end up on the bench for whatever reason

    Look around the page. When I don't agree with a post, I usually refrain from commenting AT ALL. Why go on someone else's post to offer up a lengthy diatribe on why everything they say or think is wrong?

    And again, look around the page. Most of what I talk about has little to do with the QB situation. I've said my piece and everyone knows what I think. I KEEP trying to talk about other positions on this team, but some of you KEEP bringing it back to the same old tired subject of QB. Look at this post above and see where I put the focus.

    I never put my time as a player above what makes sense. I have trophies from making sense. How about the Eagles? Oh yeah, most of their fans are STARVING for a trophy.

    Perhaps if when Reid/Roseman broke the bank on defensive free agents, they should have also gotten a legit DC. That would have made sense, right?

    Perhaps if the F.O. had made Dawkins a real offer, he'd have retired an Eagle. Would have made sense?

    Perhaps if Banner had simply reworked T.O.'s contract or even replaced him with a similar talent, we could have gotten back to another Super Bowl. That would have made sense, right?

    Perhaps if Norman Braman had paid Reggie White he could have retired an Eagle and lifted that Lombardi here.

    Perhaps if Buddy Ryan had bothered to coach the entire team instead of half of one, his playoff record here wouldn't be so abysmal.

    I'm all about doing things that make sense.
  • I brought up Vick because of 20dawks comments about how you look at the QB situation so that is what I went with. I also do agree with him that you seem to be bothered when we disagree with you. I never stated that everything you type doesn't make sense, quite a bit of it does...I even stated that I get why you think Vick has the nod to start. I (and others) just don't think Vick will be forced into the position even if he struggles like you seem to. You and I have discussed some of the other situations I mean by you not making sense at times. Your thinking that Bradley Fletcher will be playing safety...your thinking Herremans can't play guard because of his injuries and somewhat ripping people for disagreeing with you (I know you have backed off that), your thinking a tackle (Loadholt) would agree to come to the Eagles and move to guard when he was being sought after at tackle and one I didn't bring up that made me think "what the hell?" was your thinking that the Eagles should pay Asomugha 9 million to move to safety for the next two years...guaranteed yet. Why the hell would the Eagles pay a player that struggled at his natural position franchised safety type money to play a position he hasn't played since college? Why not go out and pay a Pro Bowl safety less money. Why not get an asset for less than the risk you wanted the Eagles to take? The whole Asomugha thing with you is strange. We all have seen him struggle...fans and media alike. I honestly think you are the only person that I have seen, heard or read anywhere that is so emphatic in your beliefs that it isn't Asomugha...that it was the safeties and the system. We all know the safeties haven't helped but Asomugha has no clue how to play the ball when it is thrown his way. He was a step behind players he was covering numerous times but even when he had tight coverage he gave up way too many catches. Should I even bring up his struggles with tackling? You think he still has game and that's fine but you called the people who think like I do on the subject idiots. That's much better than just leaving people's opinion you don't agree with alone. LOL. You typed to us how we should all look at the Vick re-signing with unbiased minds yet you forgot to do the same thing when the Eagles decided to ask Asomugha to take a paycut. Your opinion seems to be totally based on your love for an ex-Raider. You gave us crap ALL year last season for being down on the Eagles but you haven't been that same cheerleader ever since Reid was fired. What kind of sense is that?
  • GTD: I didn't mean to flag your comment.

    I can't say I'm bothered when people disagree with me, or even in general with what people say about me. It does however annoy me when people choose to respond on my posts and talk more about ME than the subject matter. (Or put up silly posts to pick arguments as EZ has done recently. I haven't even bothered to read it, because I'm so SICK of the subject.)

    I do think that with his knee problems Fletcher (who was thought of as a CB/S tweener coming out of college) would be protected at FS and it would let him push whoever is back there.

    I still think Herremanns can play G, I just don't think he'll be effective in the run game at G. They can protect him by making him the backside G, but still plays are going to go behind him sometimes, and he was always looked upon as a pass blocker, even in college.

    As far Na goes, I'm not even going to go into that. The instant he came here and wasn't Darrelle Revis, fans here began to sour on the guy. Meanwhile we release him and teams like the Saints and 49ers are in serious talks with him, while Charles Woodson waits for his phone to ring. The guy on NFL This Morning kept referring to it as "What Nnamdi went through in Philadelphia". Outside of the fans HERE, the blame is being put on US.

    And you're right, I'm not NEARLY the "cheerleader" I was last year. Last year we had a proven winner in our HC, this year we have a novice. The Raiders also have a QB competition going. Between TWO guys, both of whom started NFL games in 2012. If Kelly was making it competition between Vick and Foles, I'd be on-board. But a FIVE-way? I didn't want him to begin with, but being stuck with him. I just hoped I was wrong. But EVERY TIME he opens his mouth, he sounds like a guy who's going to get his (and Our collective) nose rubbed in it. So no. I'm not growing a big ol' rubbery one this year.
  • Don't worry about flagging me (freakin' yardbarker). Look, I honestly try to let people have their opinions but sometimes your attitude towards someone elses opinions seems much more negative than their objections to yours. The "idiots" comment, the "sick fascination" of moving Herremans back to guard come to mind. This is a discussion forum and all I try to do to start is discuss yours and others' opinions and also give my own. Sometimes it gets heated but I never mean to make people think their opinion or thoughts are any less of a stretch than mine (except for one particular barker). I know I did just that in my last post and in the past with you and for that I apologize. I sometimes let your words that bother me dictate what I end up typing to you and I should just keep it football related and let some of your comments roll off. I will try to do just that.
  • I know damn well why it won't be an open competition for the same reasons it WILL be a 3-4. That's the way the coaches coach.
  • You only have 10 starters on offense. Let's not forget the FB/HB/TE addition of James Casey. He is surely going to start. The Eagles will run an offense similar to the 49ers/Patriots (utilizing two TE's/H-Back and elements of the "read option/pistol" offense).

    While we could use a OT/G I think a bigger question mark should be LDE (in transitioning to a 3-4 defense). Thorton could be a possibility, but we lack serious depth at that position. Also we still have a lot of players who are suited for a 4-3 (Curry) and could possibly transition to OLB (Cole/Hunt). Curry lacks athleticism to be an OLB and also lacks size to play DE in a 3-4 scheme. Curry should have been Cole's replacement (this or next season) but now he should be traded or relegated to pass rush packages.
  • Yeah I know about the 10 guys, and I wish I could say I was amazed that it took anybody this long to notice it. When I typed "Veeeeeeeeeeery important that folks realize that I put the words "so far" in the title." I was hoping folks would go back and look but instead of the post they chose to focus on the poster.

    I only put 10 because I have NO idea of what he may use as his 11th (WR/TE/FB. I'd like to see them start 3 WR's just to pull teams out of their base, and pull a man away from the front to open up room to run inside; but I get a mixed message with the additions of Casey and Benn.

    As for his defense, Kelly said this team would A)use both alignments and B) use the personnel they have. It just seems to me that he has a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball already. I don't get why the F.O. has him adding extra baggage by doing more extensive rebuilding.
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