Sunday, August 9, 2009

More on TE, Ingram


There is all of a sudden a lot of chatter about how the Birds were dumb to take a chance on Cornelius Ingram. Or that they were dumb to work him hard in the OTAs and Training Camp. Wrong and wrong.

The Eagles didn't just take a flier on Ingram in the 5th because he was good value. I heard from a source that the Birds coveted Ingram back in March. I knew he was someone they really liked. I'm sure the Eagles had concerns about his ACL, but apparently someone (Big Red probably) really wanted him. They liked his hands and athletic ability. Ingram showed why they liked him in the spring and early summer. He looked like a gifted, natural receiver and athlete.

The team was smart to work Ingram hard in practice. People are using flawed logic in relation to his ACL. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network reported that multiple teams had concerns about the ACL. They didn't like the repair job done by the surgeon. If an injury hasn't been properly fixed, then the problem is structural. Taking it easy on the player won't help him at all. The Eagles worked Ingram hard. That is the way to test the repair job. Would the Eagles have been better off taking it easy on Ingram only to have him re-tear the knee in Week 2?

I think the smart thing was pushing him to see if the knee could hold up. Clearly the repair job wasn't good enough. Now the Eagles can send him to a top shelf surgeon and get it properly repaired. Ingram will then have 11 months to rehab before the 2010 TC. I do believe that Ingram will be able to come back. Again, the knee was not repaired well. This injury is a result of poor surgery and not a chronically troublesome knee. My only hedge is that the doctor could have screwed the knee up with his sloppy work. If that is true, then Ingram could always be at risk. I have not heard that this is the case.

The Eagles are at fault in this situation for keeping Matt Schobel around and having him backed up by a project (Eugene Bright). Andy Reid is a really smart man and gifted coach, but I cannot understand why Schobel is still on the roster. It literally defies logic. Obviously Reid or someone feels that Matt is a viable backup, but that is where they lose me. He's come up small every chance we've given him. I'm not sure how the coaches see the situation differently. Unfortunately, they do.

One thing I think we do need to remember...we're better at TE this year than last year. Celek is a better starter than LJ Smith was in '08. We do need help behind Brent and that will be addressed. You may think I'm being presumptuous to say we're better at TE with the current situation, but I really had little faith in LJ and I do trust Celek.

I'll let you guys know if I catch wind of any possible moves. I haven't heard a word to this point.


* I was recently told that Big Red has been running a "strict", tough TC. The players aren't real thrilled with it, but players generally hate all training camps. My theory is that there is so much change that Andy felt like he needed to be tough and by the book.

There has always been an "Eagles way" of doing things. With guys like Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, and Brian Dawkins gone and so many new and young faces, I think Reid wanted to make sure everybody was on the same page and does things the way he wants them done. Reid did a similar thing back in 2006 after the tumultuous 2005 season. That team managed to win the division and played well in the postseason. The '09 team looks better on paper. Will the results be even better than '06?

* Shawn Andrews remains sidelined with a bad back. He missed most of TC last year and then was fine for the beginning of the year. I wonder if we'll see a similar dynamic this year. Might Shawn get healthy when camp comes to an end this week.

* One player who hasn't gotten a ton of notice, but I'm told is playing lights out is DE Chris Clemons. Last year he struggled with learning the scheme and handling the grueling nature of Reid's practices. This year those are not issues at all. He is flying around the field and looks like he's ready for a big year. That's great news.

* I've heard mixed things about Winston Justice. It certainly sounds like he's having the best summer of his NFL career, but I get the feeling that he is this year's version of Jerome McDougle. Remember that J-Mac was really good last year at Lehigh and the preseason games, but didn't even make the team. The Giants claimed him, but he played very little for them.

RE: Training Camp injuries for other teams?

All teams lose guys in camp. Football is a tough game in that sense. In order to practice you have to know that guys will be getting hurt. Practice is crucial. Guys need tough camps. You can't focus on injuries. Coaches don't want to be stupid, but they can't try to be too easy on their players. This is football, after all.


Brad said...

Hey Tommy, was wondering if you saw the updated depth chart? Found it very interesting that Brown and Maclin ae the backup WR's, and not Baskett and Avant. Does this mean that Brown or Maclin have the inside track for slot receiver?

Also noticed that VA is the starter at LDE. I hope he comes back soon.

Keep up the good work!

Tommy Lawlor said...

Jason is still the slot receiver.

The depth chart is based on a 2-WR set up. Jason is a backup for an outside spot.

I was happy to see VA as the starting LDE. Let's hope that is meant as a compliment to him and not a slight at Juqua for his pot bust.

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

I would think that Avant is going to be the primary slot reciever during the regualr season. Brown has the most experience at the Z spot and that makes the most sense to have him backing up Jackson there. Maclin is probably listed with the two's in order to get him the most reps possible, he is after all a rookie and gotten the least amount of work in TC. Baptism by fire, I'm sure they would much rather have him making mistakes in the PS than when it really counts.

Cliff said...

As a side note, this situation shows why players hold out for their rookie contract.

Surf the message boards or listen to sports-talk radio and you hear fans/pundits bash these rookies for holding out even though they haven't played a down in the NFL. As a fan, I hate to see Maclin not in camp too, but I understand players have to look out for themselves and their families and all the people who come out of the woodwork once stardom hits.

Jason said...

Hey Tommy, what do you think will happen at the TE spot? Do you think the Eagles may go into the season with what we have now or is it definite that we will trade and/or sign a FA TE? I think with absolutely have to sign someone but I don't know who that may be. Also, have you developed any opinions about Eugene Bright or Myers? Dave Spadaro seemed to be completely down on Bright which tells me he has nearly 0 chance of staying here, but that leaves Schobel and Myers...

Dan said...

I don't think the Birds were dumb or wrong to take Ingram in the 5th. He's great value there...even if he pans out, he was worth a shot at that pick.

However, I feel like the FO has a bit of fault here...they tried too hard to squeeze value out of their TE pick. Everyone and their mom knew that #2 TE was a NEED for us in the draft. I don't any reasonable excuse why we didn't grab one of the solid, healthy guys that was available in round 3 or 4...Cook, Beckum, Nelson, etc.

Cliff said...

Dan, you're on to something when you said the Eagles may have been trying to get too much value from their pick; however, what if they felt Ingram was the best TE in the draft (after Pettigrew)?

If that's the case, they were justified in passing on the other three and picking up extra picks in the process (including a 2010 3rd rounder and the pick that became Ingram).

Back-up TE was definitely a need, but the mistake wasn't made with the Draft. If hindsight were 20/20, they should've picked up a veteran like Crumpler (adequate blocker) or traded for Gonzalez. They did inquire about the Titans' Bo. I'd rather have a veteran back-up at TE than a rookie anyway.

Stephen said...

Dan, I think regardless of who was available the Eagles wanted Ingram more than those other guys. Could be he turns out to be a better pro than any of them, maybe not.

The real issue is the short term depth. Relying on Ingram for this season when theres questions about his knee is not wise, so it would have made sense for us to aquire someone else to work as a backup. I remember Quinn Sypniewskie's name came up some predraft as a player we might target, and right now I'd love to have him backing up Celek instead of Schoebel.

In the end we may end up having the best player, but at least for this season I think we came up short with our backup plan.

Dan said...

I definitely see your perspectives Cliff and Stephen. I'm sure the Birds liked Ingram the best and they got their guy at great value. I do like the Ingram pick and can't wait to see what he can do for us - his ceiling is huge - I just wish the Birds had been a bit more prepared for the possibility of him re-aggravating his injury.

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ Dan...

That last comment is a pretty good summary of the situation.

@ Jason...

The Eagles are going to acquire a veteran TE. I'm sure they are exploring trades right now. If nothing works out, they'll see who they like best of the guys that are unsigned. They also could wait for the cutdowns. I'm sure a decent player or two will get cut. The problem is that you have to wait a few more weeks for that to happen.