Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Answering Questions


There is no hot topic of the day so I'm going to address some recent questions.

RE: is Aaron Kampman a legit target

I think so. I doubt he will be the primary target at LDE because he tore his ACL in November. He's also 30 years old. Aaron came from the same draft class as Lito, Sheldon, and Mike Lewis. Aaron was a poor fit for the Packers new 3-4 scheme. He is a natural LDE. I think they will let him go and hope for a decent Comp. pick. Kampman is the type of player who would be a great fit for our style of play. He isn't an explosive athlete that just flies up the field. He understands about working up the field, but also playing the run as you go. If his knee were healthy Kampman would be a perfect target for us.

RE: will the 3 losses to Dallas have a ripple effect?

I hope so. In 2007 we got swept by the Giants. The first loss was by 13 points and was the Osi game. The second loss was by 3 points. We missed some key starters in the first loss and that made the game worse than it was. We didn't make a lot of special personnel changes due to those games, but we did make some changes in our strategy. We started keeping in extra blockers. We really helped our OL. We also made the running game more of a focal point against NY. Since then we are 4-1 vs the G-men.

Dallas didn't beat us in squeakers. They whipped our butts. We can make some schematic changes, but we also need some personnel moves. Andy Reid has made division games a focus since coming to Philly. I'm sure the losses to the Evil Empire will have a major impact on our offseason plans.

RE: defensive changes

Don't count on anything major. Execution trumps strategy in the NFL. Monte Kiffin had a very simple playbook at Tampa for his decade of running the defense. Was anyone better at D in that period? Green Bay had a good year in their new 3-4, but gave up 45 offensive points last week. We got destroyed by Dallas and only gave up 34. I know that Dallas changed in the 2nd half, but we also held them scoreless in the 1st Qtr. 27 of 34 points came in the 2nd Qtr. Depressing and amazing. The Patriots run one of the most complex schemes in the league. They gave up .9 less yards per game. Denver did some very creative stuff on defense. They gave up .8 points less per game. Scheme can be overrated.

Jim Johnson was a genius in 2000-2002. He had Hugh, Corey, Trot, Dawk, Troy, Bobby, Al, etc. He struggled in 2003 when that group was gone or injured. The D had problems in 2006 when some key guys got old and/or started to underachieve.

A good coach knows how to use good players and how to get good results. Sean will do a better job as we solve a few problems and get some stability. Would JJ have done a better job in 2009? Probably so. He's a mastermind. Sean is learning on the job. Don't fool yourself into thinking that Jim would have made the defense significantly better. That isn't the case.

RE: Zep reference

I'm glad someone got that. I am a huge Led head.

RE: Safety in 2010

Mikell did have a down year this season. There is no doubt about that. He wasn't awful, but he was too sloppy. Paul Domowitch recently speculated that Q might have been trying to do too much to cover up for FS problems. That makes a lot of sense to me. I do think Mikell will be better in 2010. There's no way FS is as much of a circus, if for no other reason than Demps and Macho will be a year older.

FS is going to be a real interesting position. The team wanted Demps to get the job. He dropped the ball. They had signed Sean Jones as insurance. He didn't impress over the summer. Rookie Macho Harris did impress and got the job. Things didn't work out great. The Eagles had a plan, a backup plan, and an emergency plan.

What will be the plan this year? We can have a competition for the job between Demps and Macho? We can draft a player, but he wouldn't be a sure thing to start in 2010. I don't know what the FA pool looks like now with the CBA mess. I don't have much interest in Sean Jones coming back. He's more of a SS.

Most of the good FA targets won't be FAs without a new CBA deal. That could limit our choices. Guys like OJ Atogwe and Nick Collins are playmakers. Antoine Bethea could be of interest. We just don't know if they'll be available. Ryan Clark of PIT is a veteran who could be of interest to come in here and help develop the young guys. One player I'd have interest in trading for is Vincent Fuller of the Titans. He's mainly been a backup, but he is productive and has solid cover skills.

I'd love to find a pro personnel solution, but in the end it may come down to a battle of Macho, Demps, and a rookie.

RE: blitzing - pressure & coverage

We do various kinds of blitzing. Our zone blitzes don't require press coverage. Those are plays where only 4 or 5 guys are coming so there are plenty of guys back in coverage. The goal is to fool the offense as to which players are rushing and which are dropping back.

Other plays we rush our DL and other players. The goal is to hit the QB or force a quick throw. You can play press coverage to try and limit offenses. You can also have your CBs play off and try to read the ball so they can break on it and try to come up with a pick. I can't say one system clearly works better than the other. The big problem this year was that we had coverage breakdowns.

RE: Could you pen any thoughts on the running game?

I don't write fiction.

I'll start thinking about that as I prepare for my Season Review stuff. Depressing stats.


Stephen said...

The whole season was smoke and mirrors, we never really could get it together against a team that was playing well.

I wish we would do what NO did this year, make a systematic effort to establish a running game, all the way from the coaches and gameplanning standpoint down to the practices and players on the field. I remember announcers talking about how in the offseason Sean Payton made that one of his top priorities. Its paid off well for them. You could tell they ran the ball much better this year.

We have Andy though, so I know that won't happen.

Myron said...

Tommy, do you think McDermott will have a big say in personnel moves on the defensive side in free agency and draft? I would think so, right? What kind of players do you think he'll go after this offseason?

This could be a very exciting offseason, in particular the draft. This is the first real year McDermott will have to prepare in full, as this past year he was just kind of thrust into the job. Now he will have an opportunity to really put his own stamp on the defense.

I can't wait for the draft to see what kind of choices the Eagles make this year.

Cliff said...

What do ya'll think about this Lane Kiffin mess? I generally don't care because I think the players and coachers are getting a great deal regardless, however, I read in that Vols players had to be restrained and calmed down by assistant coaches after Kiffin told them he was out.

Pitmanite said...

here's an article from ray diddy. puts the eagles performances/stats into perspective. basically we had a lot of nice looking numbers this year, but pretty much was result of feasting on bad teams.

i'm not surprised by the kiffin mess. coaches are as loyal as their opportunities. not saying i blame him on this one though. he's at like the 4th or 5th best school in the SEC, and he had an opportunity to go to the king of southern california. obviously players benefit from going to college for free and getting some nice perks, but when it comes to coaches or ncaa they usually get the short end of the stick. just the way it works.

Jason said...

Looking back at this season, I can't really decide how good or how bad of a team we really were. Were we a overachieving team, underachieving team, or a team that played at our expected potential? Based on our record, it is hard to call us an underachieving team. Any year you go 11-5, you can be happy with your regular season. Somehow though, that only lead to the 6th seed. That being said, against teams with winning records (New Orleans, Dallas 3 times, San Diego, and Atlanta), we only went 1-5. The combined record of all the other teams we faced (which includes the Raiders who we lost to) was 67-109. Looking at it in another way, the combined record of the teams we beat was 71-105. You can look at that in two ways. One being that we won the majority of the games that we should have won (Oakland being the exception), or that our 11-5 record is not a fair indication of our level of talent.

All that being said, we had a terrible year in terms of injuries. No team wants to use injuries as an excuse but we had it real bad right from the start.

IMO, looking at the team and how we played, we have a quality core of players with a couple of standouts such as Jackson. That being said, I think we need a couple more impact players to really make this team a great one. Also, I do think leadership needs to be addressed on this team. McNabb can be a good leader, but I do think we need more than just him. I think we need a guy that can jump start the defense and get players better focused during and before games. Bradley may be a major help there and losing him hurt us a lot, but we will have to see next season.

T_S_O_P said...

Wake up Andy/Marty no more sleeping in bed

No more ariel thinking, time for a running game instead

The NFL ain't changed so very much, from what it used to be

Dropping back to pass too much, is a still an erred philosophy

This ain't gonna get much better if we just let it be

We got change our focus and use the R B


"Turn off the lights" RIP Teddy

Cliff said...

Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache officially retired today. He's wanted to retire for a couple seasons now. Blache was only DC for the last 2 (or 3?) seasons, but was their DL coach for a while before that.

The Skins' D has always been tough. Jim Haslett was hired as their new DC. Oh, and OL coach Boss Hog (Joe Bugel) retired as well.

Two big coaching losses, but you had to think there'd be turnover anyway as Shanahan brought his guys in.

ZackISM said...

Dunta Robinson worth a big time contract as a UFA? Might give us a old secondary, but while it's talked about all the time, I imagine we could move Brown to FS to extend his career, and with time in practice I also imagine he could be a successful one.

Robinson & Samuel would give us the safe guy and teh gambler again (now that Sheldon decided to become a bit more of a gambler this year).

Guys like Vanden Bosch, Kampman could come here on the cheap....and both have the ability to rush the passer (or had). I know you like Kampman, but do you think Vanden Bosch has anything left?

Lastly I know you'll work on off season posts here sooner or later, but we have to address FS or LDE in free agency and then the other with our 1st rounder no?

Joe said...

I think we shall see a difference now that Sean will have his first offseason as DC. You can tell there are players he is not into (Trevor Laws, maybe Gocong) and he will probably have more of a say in the types of players he needs to create the D in his vision.

Myron said...

Tommy, here's something I've been thinking about:

What if the Eagles were to switch to a 3-4 defense? We draft or sign a big NT and draft another LB like Navarro Bowman, Rolando McClain, or Brandon Spikes. Then you'd put Bunkley and Patterson on either side of the NT, and put Stew, Witherspoon, Cole, and the new LB behind them.

Might be an interesting experiment - I could easily see Cole being more effective as a run-stopping 3-4 LB than a 4-3 DE. And consider that one of the reasons McNabb has been so terrible against the Cowboys lately is because you are much better against what you practice... and McNabb would undoubtedly be more comfortable playing against Dallas's D if he could practice against a 3-4 at home.

Prem Prakash said...


Cool rhymes!

Wonder if Shawn Andrews will do a You Tube rap of your lyrics.

Chris said...

Could be an interesting off season. My question for you...would you extend DJack this off season? If so, what do you think he deserves? Top 10 money? Top 5 money?