Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Stuff

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I heard DeSean was likely to sit this week before yesterday's story broke. I'm fine with him and the Eagles being overly cautious on this. DeSean is impossible to replace. The Eagles have never had a guy like him in the history of the franchise. Jeremy Maclin is a good WR. We've had plenty of them. DJax is unique. Protect him.

The reason I refer to DeSean in such a way is that he is the only player we've ever had that is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Ray Didinger might be able to make a case for someone in the pre-50s era. Back then good athletes really stood out because they were rare. The league is now filled with athletic guys. When you stand out in today's NFL you are really a special, special athlete.

I'm sure the recent string of concussions and news about concussions is starting to strike up some fear in players. DJax could be sitting as much because of that as the injury itself. We don't know. I'm okay with being cautious, though. I don't want him playing scared. Let him sit for a week and then get back out there.

We're dealing with a new situation in football. I was a backup in HS. My lack of talent, size, and athletic ability kept me firmly planted on the bench. One day in practice I got my bell rung by a guy named Pat McNair. He loved to hit me every day in practice. Pat was tough. And competitive. And mean. He saw me on a kickoff drill and nailed the crap out of me. I stood up and the field was spinning. That was my first (and probably only) concussion. An Asst Coach came up and told me to get into the next drill. I told him I couldn't because the field was spinning. He goaded me into staying on the field and taking part in the next few drills. I don't hold any grudges with the coach. That was how football went in those days. It was a different world. Getting your bell rung was almost a rite of passage. Now we refer to it as a brain injury and look at it much more seriously. By the way...I don't want Pat to sound like a bad guy. I think most football fans will understand that calling a guy "mean and tough" is a compliment. He played hard and practiced hard. If we had more guys like Pat we'd have won more games.


PERSONNEL SHUFFLE

WR Jordan Norwood was added to the roster because of DeSean's injury status. Norwood was on the Practice Squad. Here are my pre-draft notes:

#3 WR at Penn State, but has some pro potential. Had a productive career, 126-1593-13. Could be a #4 WR. Works the slot well. Has very good hands. More quick than fast. Only runs in the 4.5 range despite being small (5'10, 180). Does have some RAC ability. Tough guy. Not afraid to take a big hit over the middle. Has limited experience as a PR. Likely a UDFA, but has the right attitude. Just wants a shot in camp to show what he can do. Father is the Defensive Coordinator at Baylor so you know Jordan is a "football guy".



We cut CB Ramzee Robinson from the roster. He was good on STs, but the return of Quintin Demps made him expendable. Q is a very good gunner, as you saw on Sunday.

We added CB Chris Roberson to the PS in place of Norwood. I liked him when he was a prospect prior to the 2005 Draft. He's bounced around the league since then without much success.


PLAYOFF TALK

We really are in a good position right now. We'd be the 5th seed if the playoffs started today. The goal is to win the divsion, but for now we need to at least secure a Wildcard spot. We're 7-4, 6-2 in the NFC.

Non-Division Leaders

PHI 7-4
GB 7-4
NYG 6-5
ATL 6-5
SF 5-6

At best, the Giants will split with us. They're struggling right now and injuries are piling up.

We don't play the Packers. We do have a better NFC record as of now.

We play ATL this week, obviously. We could gain a huge advantage by beating them.

We play SF later on. Should they stay hot and get closer we can take care of them head to head.

Remember that this time last year we needed so much help it wasn't funny. Feels much better to control our own destiny. That doesn't mean we can't screw it up, of course.

One note about the close games...we haven't played a complete game in a while. One way to look at that is that we're due to blow someone out. I'd love to save it for the Cowboys, but won't object if it comes this week in Atlanta. Winning the close games is great, but I sure could use a relaxing Sunday.


DRAFT TALK

I think about the draft basically all year long. I love talking about it. The only thing that will drive me crazy is if you guys get together and choose a player to ask about over and over. Kenny Phillips was that guy 2 years ago. I grew to hate him more than any other human being, except Stuart Scott and Billy Mays.

One thing to keep in mind when reading a mock draft that I put together is that this isn't necessarily what I want. It is more of an exercise to see how things might play out. I don't skew picks around the Eagles to have certain players fall to us. What's the point in that? It would be easy to have Eric Berry slide to us and make that pick. I'm more interested by what you do when there isn't a clear target. That happens quite a bit and it makes you look at things creatively.

Taylor Mays is an interesting prospect. He's 6'3, 230. He can hit like a ton of bricks. He's got great range. Unfortunately he isn't much of a playmaker. He has 5 INTs and a FF in 4 years of playing. Taylor isn't the most instinctive guy either. I really value Safeties that anticipate plays and can get into position ahead of time. Those guys tend to have a nose for the ball. I won't object if the Eagles go for Mays, but he's not a slam-dunk choice like you might think. I still have some hope that Demps and/or Macho can develop.

Navorro Bowman is a terrific LB and he'd be great for us at WLB. I'm just not sure we'll spend the pick on him. Sean McDermott likes Spoon at WLB. That's a guy he wants there the rest of '09 and next year. That makes Jordan a backup at MLB and WLB. We can still draft someone to add to the mix, but it probably won't be early.
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11 comments:

Adam S. said...

Thanks for the clarification on the mock draft. I wouldn't expect you to skew everything around to make it look favorable for the Eagles, what would be the point in that?

I like draft talk because I hear none of it until after the superbowl so I like knowing a little bit ahead of time. Mays sounds a lot like Mr. Horsecollar, Roy Williams. Big, fast, hits like a Mack, but that's about it.

How often do we see a guy that isn't a "playmaker" in the secondary that comes to the NFL and turn into one? We see plenty of guys labeled as playmakers in college that never amount to one once they are drafted.

Stephen said...

I actually felt like Akeem Jordan was playing really well at WILL for us, he was making plays, and playing very tough aggressive football against the run game. Its weird and I never thought I'd say this about Akeem but I feel like we miss his presence out there.

If Eric Berry is attainable there should be no hesitation in going to get him, forget about hoping that Demps or Macho works out. Berry is the Brian Dawkins replacement we've been looking for.

Myron said...

Is Berry really as good as everyone is saying he is? Is he going to make an immediate impact for any team who drafts him?

I only saw him play one game, but nothing really *stood* out for me, I dunno

Dread said...

I agree with you Stephen. Give credit, where credit is due. With that said, Akeem Jordan, has been playing well this season.
He has shown that he can be a contributing starter in this league and not merely a "back-up."

Boyboy said...

Since we're talking LBs, let's bring Fokou and Gocong into the mix. I think Gocong is a UFA after the season. To me, he just seems to be "a guy" out there. He just doesn't seem to stand out. Fokou had 10 total tackles when he got the start against San Diego and always seeemed to be around the ball. Where does he fit into the mix next year? I also read somewhere (maybe Diddy) that Gocong could command interest as a rush LB from a 3-4 team. Thoughts?

Cliff said...

Our LB situation hinges on Stew. Are there any update on his recovery status? If he's healthy and rust-free in 2010, we'll be very good at LB.

Spoon and Stew are obviously the starters, but does Jordan's emergence as a solid player make Gocong expendable? I can foresee us letting Gocong walk with Jordan at SAM as a back-up plan.

Dread said...

Again, why all the hating on Akeem Jordan? Can we give the man some credit? He was the team's leading tackler before the injury. Once he's back on the field you all will see that he is solid. He is a solid playmaker with good instincts.

Edward said...

C.Ingram seemed to suggest Disco Stu was ready to go already. I don't think he'll have trouble coming back. However i do think a linebacker core of Jordan-Spoon-Bradley makes the most of our talent.

What're your thoughts Tommmy?

Personally i'd leave the linebacker core, draft a STUD LE in the first and a very good project corner in the second. I have faith in macho turing into everything we want as a safety.

Pitmanite said...

Unless Eric Berry loses a leg between now and the draft there is no way he falls to us. Tommy was just making a point in brining him up, so we'll have to look elsewhere for our next Dawk.

I was hoping Spoon would move to MLB when Jordan came back, but I'm not going to argue with the d-coordinator.

Stephen said...

forget falling to us, lets go up and get him!

Pat said...

Hey Tommy why didn't you lay the hammer on Pat McNair? Get him back big guy!