Saturday, February 28, 2009

Deals Are Final

Brian Dawkins is in fact a Bronco. He signed a 5-year $17 MIL deal. In essence it is really a 2-year $9 MIL deal. He got $7.2 MIL in guaranteed money. You sure can't blame Dawk for taking the money. That's a good deal for him.

Should the Eagles have paid that much? Opinions will be all over the place on this issue. I don't think so. About midseason I was writing that Dawk might not be back in 2009. He was very up and down early in the year. Dawk played his best football from Thanksgiving on.

Dawk has actually started slow each of the last 3 years. Each of those years Dawk has come alive late. He won NFC Defensive Player of the Month in both December 2006 and 2008.

The problem is that one of these years Dawk will start slow, but won't have the good finish. Will that be 2009? 2010? The theory that some coaches and personnel guys have is that you are smarter to let a player go too soon rather than too late. Dawk had 1 INT and 6 pass breakups this year. I haven't researched it, but a couple of those were probably deflections at the line of scrimmage. He simply wasn't making the kind of coverage plays that he has in the past.

I wanted Dawk back in 2009. I wanted him to have one final year to close out his career so that he could leave as an Eagle. Unfortunately Dawk is under the belief that he can play a few more years. I think the Eagles were smart to only want him for one year.

I am disappointed something wasn't worked out. I'd love to know what the Eagles offer was. I'd be fine if they offered one year at $5 MIL or so. I hope we don't find out it was only $3.5 MIL or something like that.

We knew Dawk's career as an Eagle was coming to an end. This isn't the way we wanted it to happen. No one is happy about this.

Let's set aside the Dawk angle for a moment and talk about the 2009 season. Quintin Demps is the FS as of now. I doubt the Eagles will go after a free agent to come in as a starter. They prefer draft picks to step up and take jobs. Demps showed enough in '08 that I'm comfortable with giving him the job.

Demps has better speed and range than Dawk. He isn't anywhere close to being the hitter/tackler than Brian is. Dawk is also one of the best blitzers in the entire league. Demps won't be nearly as effective at that. He will give us the speed in the backend that has been missing for a couple of years. We better get more INTs and PBUs from Demps. Dawk only had 2 INTs in his last 26 games. Let's put that in perspective. Stewart Bradley has 2 INTs in his last 18 games.

I love Dawk. I'm not trying to rip the guy. You just have to understand that Demps will be better in some areas because of his youth and athleticism. Obviously Dawk is the better player as of right now. There's a reason Demps was a backup. At midseason next year we'll see where they stand. Demps could light it up for us or struggle. Dawk could actually get off to a fast start in Denver or he could completely hit the wall. I hope both guys play great. I've followed Dawk since he was a draft prospect at Clemson. I hate seeing his career nearing the end.

I know a lot of fans are going to wonder about the emotion and leadership that Dawk brings to the team. What happens in those areas? Someone else will step up. Heck, it will probably take multiple guys. No one will be as fiery as Dawk and take his spot exactly. Maybe Stewart Bradley emerges as a leader. Or Trent Cole. The dynamic of the group will be different and that will allow other personalities to become more assertive. Players watched Dawk lead. Now he's gone and the gap is there for one or more of them to step up.

Backup Sean Considine is also gone. He headed to JAX. That means we have 2 known commodities at Safety...both of the Quintins. We do need depth. I expect some veteran to be brought in as a backup. I haven't had a chance to study player lists to see who I want.

The other Safety will get added through the draft. There are plenty of choices. The Eagles will likely take a SS prospect to develop behind Mikell. However, these days a lot of Safeties play both spots so the Eagles may just take the best available guy.

There are a couple of interesting possibilities on the roster. Byron Parker was brought in from the CFL. Could he develop into a good backup? I'm excited to see him play. He was a real ballhawk in Canada. The other idea that will get tossed around is moving Sheldon Brown to Safety. I don't think that will happen, but you never know. If Jack Ikegwuonu somehow looks great in the camps, that could force the coaches to try and get the best players on the field. I think Brown will stay at CB, but this option will get talked about.


Stacy Andrews officially signed today. I've watched some tape on him to get a good feel for what we're getting.

Andrews is a very interesting player. Didn't play football in HS. He loved basketball and track so stayed off the gridiron. Decided to give football a try while at Ole Miss and showed some real ability. That got him picked back in 2004.

Stacy didn't play a whole lot in his first 3 years. Started 14 games in 2007, playing both LG and RT. Stacy tarted 15 games at RT in 2008. He then tore his ACL and MCL in Week 16.

We are not getting Jon Runyan. Stacy is more raw than you'd expect for a guy at age 28. However, he is still an ascending player. He's now been a RT for over 20 starts. He's starting to develop a comfort zone and could become a really good player. Andrews also lacks the nastiness of Runyan. Stacy can be a big, physical blocker, but he doesn't have the edge that Big Jon did. Here are some raw notes on him:

STACY ANDREWS - Really looks the part. Big guy. Has pretty good feet. Speed rushers can be tough on him. Hops a bit more than you'd like in pass pro. Coaches prefer the kick slide. However, that can be taught. Nimble for a big guy. Gets off balance at times. Looks okay out in space. He's able to pull effectively. He's able to block guys when he squares up. Doesn't have the mean streak that you prefer in a RT. Run blocking is inconsistent, but shows promise. Very effective when he gets his hands on the defender. Hasn't peaked as a player.

STATS Inc has him with 1 sack allowed in 2007. They have him with 9.5 sacks allowed and one holding penalty in 2008.

Andrews sounds optimistic about playing in 2009. Maybe I'm being to negative. I'm just hesitant to think he can really be our starting RT on opening day. I'd be ecstatic if he was able to play half the season.

Good signing.


Adam said...

While I'm upset about Dawkins leaving we all have to be realistic about it. He HAD to take that deal, nobody was going to offer him anything close to that. It's going to be really strange and uncomfortable to watch dawkins in a Broncos jersey. More than anything I'm just glad he didn't go to an NFC team, I just wish he had gone to a team that is more of a contender than Denver. Dawkins deserves a SB ring.

Unlike most people around I think the Andrews signing is very good. He is more likely to be ready to play than Jon at the start of the season and it appears as though we have enough pieaces in place to survive if he can't play until week 7 or so. The only thing left is a LT, does Shawn or Todd move out? or do we draft? I prefer the latter myself.

Love the Lito trade! I hope he lights it up in NY so we can get that 2nd rounder, that would be huge. Curious to see what happens in April with all those draft picks, no way in hell they use all 11 but wehre do they end up or who do they trade 'em for?

ZackISM said...

Any way to turn this off season around Tommy?

Lost a starting:
LT, RT, TE (well kind of), key back-ups at RB and FS/SS (really special teams player).

And only added a injured RT...

This isn't how a team improves in my mind. Why did we even bother with the NLTBE's if we're just going to sit on 40 million in cap room...

I'm bitter at this point, and think this team is run by a bunch of idiots and fools.

Stephen said...

I'm beginning to wonder if we're ever going to use that money we have under the cap, or whether we're going to keep growing it like it was an investment or something.

T_S_O_P said...

Just a thought on Stacy, any chance we are going to try him at guard?

mr_england88 said...

lets be hypothetical here with the use of our cap room. lets say its payday and you want to make an apple pie, you go to the grocery store to buy the apples, but all they have are rotten. Do you still spend your money on rotten apples?

I think this is an example of the FA market this year, it is just not strong enough to warrant WASTING money. Just because you have the money doesn't mean you have to spend it. Why not lock up bunkley and bradley? Enough with the ridiculous FA aspiriations.