Thursday, January 14, 2010

Couple of Items



The Eagles fired STs coach Ted Daisher and hired Bobby April, recently let go by the Bills. One word ... YES!!! April is arguably the top STs coach in the league. He's creative and aggressive. He gets his guys to perform at a high level. Ted was up and down, but Bobby is a definite improvement.


The Eagles have apparently decided to make some changes on the staff, but not the guys that will get anyone excited. The team reportedly fired strength coaches Mike Wolf and Jay Merlino.

I don't have much insight into this move. Wolf has been here for 15 years. This could simply be Andy feeling like it was time for some new blood. I'm sure some fans will be howling about how our guys get pushed around, but that is anecdotal griping more than reality. Our team has changed in the last few years. Maybe it was time to change the way we have the guys work out.


The Eagles signed A.Q. Shipley when the season ended. He was a rookie this year, but spent the season on the Steelers Practice Squad. Shipley lacks ideal size at 6'1, 304. He doesn't have long arms. He is tough and tenacious. He's good on screen passes and blocking out in space.

Right now the C derby for next year should look like this:

1. Jamaal Jackson ... can he heal/recover in time to keep his job?
2. Nick Cole ... is he a FA or RFA? Can he adjust to playing C after a sloppy finish to '09?
3. Mike McGlynn ... is he good enough to earn a starting job?
4. Dallas Reynolds ... is he good enough to steal the starting job?
5. AQ Shipley ... is he worthy of a roster spot?


RE: switch to 3-4

Won't happen. We're built to be a 3-4 team.

For argument's sake, here's the depth chart...

ROLB - Trent Cole, Chris Clemons
RDE - Trevor Laws, Darren Howard
RILB - Will Witherspoon, Akeem Jordan
NT - Mike Patterson , Antonio Dixon
LILB - Stewart Bradley
LDE - Brodrick Bunkley
LOLB - Chris Gocong, Juqua Parker

RE: McDermott / Personnel

The assistant coaches do have say in personnel matters. Andy, Howie, and the scouts will bring in the kind of players the coaches want, when that is possible. You don't want to pass on talent just for fit, but finding the right kind of players is very important.

I don't have any inside info to pass along as to what Sean may be looking for. I heard somewhere that he would prefer to play more press coverage. That's not a strong point for Sheldon or Asante. If we target a big, physical CB that will be a major hint.

Sean won't have so much pull that you should expect a LB to get taken in the 1st round. We're still going to build the team the same way. The difference might be that Sean would rather have a certain kind of LB or DB or what have you.

RE: Lane Kiffin

I'm not his biggest fan, but I think Lane might be less of an idiot/jerk than some think. He came to UT when UF and UGA were the clear powers in the divsion. LSU and 'Bama were clear powers in the West. Tennessee had to fight for the #5 spot in the SEC. Rather than go conventional, Lane opted for "there's no such thing as bad publicity". Sadly, it worked. Tennessee had a good recruiting class coming in. Kids fell for his schtick. Some kids go to Oregon for the 237 different uniforms they have. Kids are idiots.

Lane now heads to USC, an established brand name. He doesn't have to challenge Saban or Meyer. Lane will probably tone down his act. He's at the big school and doesn't have to create publicity anymore. If he still does this stuff, then he is a complete idiot.

RE: Greg Blache

One of my favorite assistant coaches. Always did more with less. Smart guy. I'm glad we no longer have to face him twice a year.

RE: FA names

Dunta Robinson - could definitely be a target
Kyle Vanden Bosch - not likely. More of a RDE.
Aaron Kampman - coming off ACL, but a classic LDE that we should take a look at.



Stephen said...

Sigh, its gonna be a long offseason. The end came so fast. Dunta Robinson is a player I've liked for a while, how is he at playing the run?

Cliff said...

What are the important dates we should be watching for in regards to a new CBA? I haven't even heard anything mentioned in a while.

I imagine things will start to really heat up a week or so after the Super Bowl when players have had a chance to be at home for a while and talking to their agents and union reps.

Edward said...

This is slightly belated but just thought i'd give you a MASSIVE thank you Tommy. Don't know what i'd do without this blog. The game reviews and day to day posts are fantastic.

Finding this place and Igglesblog has changed fandom for me!

Cliff said...

I think the question needs to be asked then: if April is so good, why did the Bills release him?

Prem Prakash said...


Yea, I should also take the time and offer you a shout-out, Tommy. I tracked you down from the EMB where I always enjoyed your posts. Eagles Blitz has kept me informed and entertained. Lots of good stuff from the posters, too.

One quick thought about #5. Wouldn't you think if you were Desean you would want a guy with a cannon of an arm to stick around? Can Kolb throw the long ball?

Is the season really over? Damn.

frankfurtler said...

Keep up the great work. Makes my day to check in and read up the blog.

Very excited about the new ST's coach. April is one of the best, I heard on NFL radio he had a number of teams interested, including the Steelers, Redskins, too bad for them, he is an Eagle.

Definitley will give the team a competitive edge and the return guys we have in place, sky is the limit for the transition game on ST's.

Eddie said...


he opted out of his contract and thus not fired

and i wanted to know what you guys thought about lendale White, i think he could be good as a short yardage back

Edward said...

@ Prem

Desean had 4 catches for 101 yards and a TD in Kolbs first game and 6 for 149 yards and a TD in his second. Those are his 4th and 2nd best receiving games of the season. Kolb doesn't necessarily throw the 50 yard bomb straight down the field but he seems to make more use of him than Donovan. Though that is obviously a tiny data range.

ZackISM said...


Question - why don't teams every use both the 4-3 & 3-4. I understand there are some key positions to both, that you may not have the talent to run the 3-4 full time or 4-3 full time....but wuoldn't it confuse the offense?

Is the risk you run, confusing you're own defense?

I mean in the breakdown you put, it appears we do have enough pieces, where we could potentially switch to that on a passsing down, and maybe have better rushers (although we did a solid job getting to the QB this year - it can always be better).

I know we've "mixed" it in from time to time, but would 20 of 60 defensive snaps in a 3-4 be that difficult?

ZackISM said...


Just a note - but I believe LenDale White will be a RFA barring a new CBA is negotiated.

Also my non-film studying assement of White - is he doesn't run like a power back. I know we all like to say big back, but guys like MoJo and Peterson run with power. Jacobs (in 2008) ran with alot of power, in 2009, he went down on the first hit a lot. White in the little of seen of him, seemed to go down upon early contact. I don't like that.

Edward said...


The Pats tried it a bit this year so its doable, could't really tell how it worked out for them. They were 5th in scoring defense but not exactly clutch.

Carson's said...


What value does Vick have in the trade market? Rotoworld says the Rams are going to discuss the possibility of trading for him, but suggest a late round pick.

I mean if we can only get a late round pick for him, why not pick up his option and work him in more next year?

Myron said...

Now if the Special Teams could play all 4 quarters for us, we might have something next year :)

Edward said...

I've asked similar questions to this in the past but this is a new twist on the same theme.

Akeem at SAM? He's better in coverage than Gocong and seems to play with a lot more power than Fokou. He's certainly got a better frame to play the run than Fokou.

That would give us a lineup of Witherspoon - Bradley - Jordan. That sounds pretty good to me?

I really don't understand what the Eagles want at Will, Mike and Sam. Never seems to be what you'd expect.

Cliff said...

Edward, I think this season we learned not to have any expectations about WILL, MIKE, and SAM. It's ironic that less than 1 year ago we were all pretty confident in our young, developing group of LBers.

I hope we can find enough playing time for Jordan because I really like him, but I don't know if he'll have a starting position next season. I think the coaches really like Fokou, but I can't really tell. Were they really that confident in him or was he getting so many reps purely based on injuries?

Where did Tracey White get most of his snaps - WILL or SAM? A lot of his reps were in the nickel, right? How does he factor in to the LB mix?

I keep telling myself that LB should be an upgraded position no matter what happens since Stew will be back. Although, I'm not overly excited about Witherspoon.

As long as we upgrade our pass rush, I don't care who we put in at LB, to be honest.

Edward said...

How the hell does Chris Steuber have a job at and his own forum on when you don't Tommy :( You seem to be far more on the ball than he is, he was touting dunlap as a perfect prospect without any floors and didn't even mention his motor or work ethic.

Give an email and say i think you should have a job. They're bound to give you one then! Haha

Tommy Lawlor said...

No post for Friday. I'm working on something for tomorrow. I'll try and answer some questions in there.

RE: Steuber

He's infinitely better than me at computer stuff, but he's more of a casual fan than a football scout. I think he might be friends with Spadaro or something like that. As for have no idea. They've talked to me about some stuff, but nothing has gotten off the ground.

Chris loves Colt Brennan and thinks Matt Ryan is overrated. To each his own, I guess.

Myron said...

A thought occurred to me: if we get Ellis Hobbs back from his injury intact next year (does anyone know what the projected return is for this guy after that neck injury early in the season?)... and this Bobby April fellow lives up to his reputation as the #1 ST coach... and DeSean continues to be an elite punt returner...

How off-the-chain amazing will our average starting field position be next year? I have visions of Donnie getting a short field to work with 90% of the time. :)

Cliff said...

I think Hobbs is a FA.

Cliff said...

Speaking of Colt Brennan... doesn't he seem a little Jay Cutler-ish? I bet he gets more of a shot at the starting job for the Skins under Shanahan.

I do not, however, think he's in any way better than Matt Ryan. Yikes.

Edward said...

While i would love a Stud DE, we managed the #3 D in the league two years ago with the same players at LDE. The difference was the linebackers and at safety with some more consistent corner play. I'm leaning away from LDE being the #1 priority. BPA from CB,LDE,LB,S and maybe even OT/OG could be the best move. Though BPA is i imagine exactly what the organisation is thinking anyway.