Sunday, March 22, 2009

Random Stuff

* Dave Spadaro of said that the addition of Weaver at FB definitely moves Dan Klecko back to DT. That makes me like the signing that much more. Klecko gives us a good #4 DT.

* Leonard Weaver isn't a top shelf blocker, but he is an upgrade on what we had in the 2008 season. When you mix in his ability as a runner and receiver the lack of special blocking skills is more acceptable. And it isn't as if he's terrible.

Weaver played TE in college. You see that in his blocking. He will engage a defender and block him. He's just not a downhill guy that runs through his target. We want all FBs to block like Moose Johnston, Lorenzo Neal, or Tony Richardson. There is a reason you see 35-year old fullbacks still bouncing around the league. It is hard to find really good lead blockers these days.

He signed a 1-year deal, but it sounds like Weaver and his agent are open to a long term agreement. Check out this blurb:

"I have a hunch he's going to be an Eagle a long, long time," Lewis said. "He always thought Philly was the perfect place."

Lewis acknowledged the Birds had drifted out of the picture over the past week or so, until they suddenly drifted back in again.

"I was looking at a three-horse race with Seattle, Tampa Bay and Houston," Lewis said. "Then I got a call from Andrew Brandt [who recently joined the Birds' front office]. We started goofing around . . . and shortened the gap," presumably with the incentives.

Lewis said they took less than Weaver could have gotten elsewhere, because they felt this was the best fit for Weaver's long-term earning potential.

"We're taking a little haircut now and hoping for a wonderful 'weave' later on," Lewis said.

* Our draft needs just got adjusted. I've had us taking a DT and FB in the 5th or 6th rounds in recent mocks. I doubt we go for either spot in the 5th at this point. We now may go 6th, 7th, or UDFA.

We're now 5 deep at DT. We've got the big 3 + Klecko and Amon Gordon. We need at least one more body. They may go UDFA at this point. I'd still like to see a big body added to the mix.

With Kyle Eckel and Weaver leading the group at FB I just can't see us taking one before the 6th or 7th. We have several options in terms of how we go at FB. We could keep both Eckel and Weaver. We could go with a rookie and Weaver. We could keep just Weaver and then have the rookie on the Practice Squad.

I should also mention that I think we'll use at least a couple of the 5th round picks in trades to move up. I don't think you want four 5th round picks on a team that is a SB contender.

Back to the notion of carrying 2 FBs on the roster. That has happened before. We had Cecil Martin and Kevin Turner in 1999. We had Thomas Tapeh and Jon Ritchie in 2004. Ritchie got hurt and Josh Parry took over. And of course last year we had Eckle and Klecko. It isn't ideal, but factor in that Weaver also plays the role of a big back and it makes some sense.

* Have we made a commitment to running the ball more? Adding Weaver gives us mixed signals. We did seriously address the position of fullback. We didn't add a great blocker. The problem is that we didn't have great choices in terms of blockers to go after. Very weak FB group. Weaver was the best FB on the market.

I think letting Tra Thomas go was a good sign. He was never a good run blocker. No matter who we add or play at LT, the run blocking will be better.

We still need to see what happens in the draft. If we add Knowshon Moreno, a blocking TE and another FB, then there will be no doubt. Let's just say I'm cautiously optimistic at this point.

* WR Hakeem Nicks scored an 11 on the Wonderlic. This is a concern. The Eagles have a complex playbook. You must be able to master it.

The Eagles won't rely just on the Wonderlic. We all know that some people don't test well. Reid met with Nicks at the Combine to get a feel for him. If the Wonderlic bothers them, they might bring Nicks in for a visit. They can test him on football matters or give him an oral exam. The goal is to find out if a player is just a poor tester or if he isn't very bright.


shlynch said...

One other time they had two FBs on the roster:

In 2000, they carried both Cecil Martin and Stanley Pritchett. I mention that because Pritchett, I would guess, is the closest comparable to Weaver that we have had. Weaver should be a better blocker, and Pritchett was the better runner, but one could imagine Reid using the FB position like he intended to in 2000 before Duce got hurt.

Tommy Lawlor said...

Excellent point. I thought about Stanley, but forgot to look up when he was here.

Matt Williams said...

Tommy, I can still see the Eagles using a 5th on Quinn Johnson. As you pointed out Weaver fills not only FB but a Big Back/FB hybrid role. Seeing Westbrook and Weaver lined up together in formation behind DMac creates a world of possibilities. Giving a rookie like Johnson a year to put his feet down in the complex Eagles Offense isn't exactly a bad idea. Goal line plays with Weaver running behind a Johnson lead block should be a bit more pile moving than we have been used to.

I don't know enough about how Johnson does in STs play. Any insight?

A said...

I know that the consensus is that Weaver may not be the ideal FB prospect for the Eagles, but that he should be an upgrade over what we had. Would you consider him an upgrade over a healthy Thomas Tapeh from 2007-2008? That was Westbrook's best year, and I figure if he's at least as good as Tapeh, then it's good enough for me.

Tommy Lawlor said...

RE: Quinn

He's a solid STer. Andy wouldn't have to convince him to go out and cover kicks.

RE: Weaver vs Tapeh

Similar blockers, but obviously Leonard is much more skilled. I'd say Weaver is an upgrade.

Boyboy said...

The other thing about adding Quinn Johnson is that Weaver is only signed to a one year deal. Groom, Johnson for a year and then have a cheaper, long-term alternative. Add a RB early in the draft and then you've got an impressive whatever Booker can give.

ZackISM said...

I have a "rules" question for anyone...who may know...

What happens if a Resrticted Free Agent is signed by a team that doesn't have the corrosponding draft picks due to the former team (like if it's a Teir 2, and the signing team only has a 1st and a 3rd)...

How does it work?

Tommy Lawlor said...

They can't sign that player without agreeing to compensation with the other team.

Some teams will take a lesser pick if you throw in another late rounder or something like that. You could also offer a higher pick. No one would complain about that.

Very few RFAs change teams each year so this doesn't come up much.

izzylangfan said...

I don't think Reid would pay 1.75 million if he thought Weaver couldn't block. Any speculation as to how the differences between you and Reid arise?

Getting Weaver really suggests the
Eagles will go with a RB in the first round. With a first rounder and Westbrook there are some assets to maximize. At 21 a running back may be the best bet if Pettigrew is off the board. The elite tackles will likely be gone. There will be some interesting receivers there but the Wonderlic might be an issue. However, I think we could still get a good running back at 28 if Reid wants something else at 21 or more likely trades up from the 21st pick to grab Pettigrew or an offensive tackle perhaps. I would not trade down from the 21st pick. However, I think trading down to the top of the second round from 28 could be worthwhile if they can also move to the top of the second round from their pick at 53.

Any chance they use Weaaver partly as a back up tight end also? I'm a bit surprised the Eagles didn't sign a back up tight end in free agency. I assume Schoebel will be cut so the Eagles will need two TE's - perhaps one a high pick.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I doubt Weaver plays any TE. Schobel will be cut after the draft. We may add a veteran, but could add a couple of draft picks to fill the 2 holes.

RE: Weaver's blocking

I'm pretty careful with my words. I haven't said Leonard "can't block". I have said that it isn't his strength. There's a difference.

Weaver is an adequate blocker. I do not think he's good at it. He makes up for that by being a good runner and receiver.

Sheldon Brown is a good hitter/tackler, but doesn't have good hands. Asante has very good hands, but is only an average tackler. Both guys are good CBs. They just have different skill sets.

Moose Johnston was a great lead blocker. He wasn't dangerous with the ball, though. His longest catch was 28 yards. Weaver had 2 plays longer than that in the SF game last year. The longest run of Johnston's career was 18 yards. Weaver had a 37-yd run in 2007.

I wish Leonard was a great blocker, but he isn't. He's a terrific receiver, good runner, and adequate blocker. When you factor in that we aren't a running team and don't run behind the FB all the time, Weaver should be a solid fit.