Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Some OL Talk


A buddy and I were on the phone yesterday talking about the Eagles and what could happen in the 1st round of the draft. He mentioned that O-line could be a possibility. I disagreed initially, but then we talked about it and came to the conclusion that one move will tell us all we need to know. Do the Eagles give Stacy Andrews the $4.1M bonus he's due in the next couple of months?

If the Eagles pay Stacy, taking an O-lineman in the opening round wouldn't make sense. Jason Peters is in his prime. Same for Todd and Winston. That's 3 of 5 guys. Stacy is in his prime. If we keep him then we've got 4 of 5 positions sewn up for a few years.

C is a mystery. Jamaal might return in 2010. It all depends on his knee. We could re-sign Nick Cole and give him the job. We could give it to Mike McGlynn. We could sign a FA. I don't see us moving any of the projected starters inside. We have never shown much interest in taking a player in the 1st round to play C. We seem to prefer to take guys in the mid to late rounds and trying to develop them.

If we do not give Stacy his bonus then OL becomes a major possibility at pick 24. We'd have hole to fill and there should be good players available. Mike Iupati is the hot name out there right now. He is the best G, far and away. Would he last to 24? Maybe.

Shawn Andrews is an x-factor. I think of him as the Loch Ness Monster. I've heard tales of his existence, but I don't necessarily believe them to be true. Every March he can be seen on, but I can't guarantee you those pics/vids weren't altered to perpetuate the hoax that he exists. I've dispatched Mulder and Scully to go look for him.

Back to Stacy for a minute...I know a lot of people think he's a bum/bust/whatever because of the way 2009 went down. Stacy is a proven starter in this league. He's big, strong, and experienced. He is a talented O-lineman. Part of the problem this year is that he had to deal with a knee, a new playbook, and a new style of blocking. He didn't trust his knee. He didn't know the playbook inside-out, and he wasn't used to the way we did things. That eroded his confidence and his play suffered greatly. Stacy will be much better in 2010. Will he be some star? No, I'm not telling you he's going to be a great player. At the least, he can be an adequate starter. I'm hoping for much more, but there is room for doubt because of 2009.

Depth on the O-line will be tricky. With no new CBA guys like Nick and Max will be RFAs instead of unrestricted. I'd like to keep Nick. He is a good G. I'm not Max's biggest fan. I'd like him to go to a running team and see if he can fare better for them. We also have Fenuki Tupou coming off IR. He played LT in college, but could play T or G for us. King Dunlap is still here, but he needs to be challenged in a major way.

I hope the OL looks like this:

OT: Peters, Justice, Dunlap, Tupou
OG: Herremans, St. Andrews, Cole
OC: McGlynn

Maybe: Dallas Reynolds, AQ Shipley

??? - J. Jackson, Sh. Andrews

There isn't a huge need for bodies. I'd like to replace Dunlap, but that would be with a mid to late round rookie. I want to re-sign Nick. We might need to add a C if Jamaal is behind schedule, and if either Reynolds or Shipley doesn't emerge.

The thing that makes the O-line so tricky is that you only play 5 guys. It isn't like the D-line where you can use backups and get into a great rotation. You do want talented backups, but also don't want to waste a valuable resource on a player who will sit for a couple of years.

The key to all this is Stacy. Does he stay or does he go?


This is Senior Bowl week so I'm not going to start any lengthy Eagles discussions for a few days. Lots of draft stuff. I do have some more QB thoughts to share, but that talk can wait for a slower time.

Tuesday's Practice Notes from the Senior Bowl are posted:



RE: interest in Vern Gholston?

No. Prior to his draft I was talking to a former NFL scout. I talked about how much I liked Vern. Terrific player. The scout told me Vern would be a bust. I thought the guy was crazy. Oops. He saw something in Vern that I hadn't. Some scouts can pick out players who just won't make it despite lots of positive signs.

RE: switch up DT rotation?

I mentioned that ideally you want a run stuffer with an athlete. Think of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams. Kevin is the athlete. He's still 6'5, 300. Victor is 6'3 1/2 and 275. He's more of a pure pass rushing DT.

I would love for us to add a guy with a 6'4 or 6'5 frame. Dixon is 6'3 which I like. I'd love someone taller to help push the pocket, but also clog the passing lanes due to his height/arms. A couple of inches can make a difference in that regard.


Edward said...

Thoughts on Riley Cooper Tommy? I like his size and he seems to find ways to get open. Bit worried by inconsistent hands in practise though and they mentioned a number of drops he had during the season. I see you think the same on Scouts Notebook. Is it a dealbreaker?

Edward said...

Current Man Crush list:

Kyle Wilson, CB
Corey Wootten, DE
Jerry Hughes, DE
Sergio Kindle, SAM (Watched more tape on him, lightning quick!)
Earl Thomas, S
Mike Iutapi, G

All pretty predictable but in my opinion ranked high for a reason unlike plenty of other players who are given 1st and 2nd round grades.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I like Riley quite a bit, but the drops do concern me. I won't rule him out, but he won't be a mid-round WR that I covet.

We do need a WR in rounds 4-6. Taylor Price of Ohio intrigues me a lot. Jeremy Williams of Tulane is interesting.

JCC said...

Tommy, how realistic is it to think that the Eagles have a shot at drafting Taylor Mays? Our need at S is glaring. And with his size, build, and speed, what more can you ask for? I've heard the complaints about his coverages skills - I'm sure they're real. This weakness can be mitigated easily with good coaching of technique. Those big, tall NFL receivers would have something comin' to 'em with his 6'3" frame patrolling the secondary.

Cliff said...


I don't think undisciplined coverage skills can be completely glossed over by coaching. Please see Michael Lewis and Roy Williams. Players can just get stuck in thinking their physical abilities are enough to get them by. That's not good enough for the NFL, it seems. My question, then, would be how coachable is Taylor Mays?

Also, I'm not sure I agree with the "glaring need at S" part. We need to add somebody, yeah, but drafting a S this season wouldn't necessarily be an upgrade this season. I really think Macho can be a good safety. He showed promise last season before getting injured. How many times was he *that* close to getting a pick or a sack? Maybe he'll be that much quicker next season with a full season of learning the scheme under his belt.

Finally, I'm not buying Taylor Mays. I think he's a dime-a-dozen "safety that looks like a LB" type. We've seen that fail over and over again in the NFL. We've also seen some really good safeties come out of the mid rounds. I'd rather use our #1 on a DE that could add immediate pass rush help.

All just my opinion, of course. Taylor Mays is possible if he's a mid-1st round pick. We've shown the willingness to move up that far several times before.

Kevin said...

Brian Urlacher and Thomas Davis were both first-round picks that made the conversion from Safety to LB.

Remember, poor coverage for a S is great for a LB. Mays would still be a vicious hitter at LB. The question is whether he can follow the ball.

I'd be fine if we picked him with the intention of him being our WILL of the future. Does he have the desire to hit FBs in the hole though?

Chris said...

If we were to move two of our QB's in the off season (not even going to speculate on who), who do you think would be a good developmental QB for our team who would last past the first few rounds. Could you see a Dan Lefevour or Jarrett Brown fitting that role?

Cliff said...

Brian Urlacher is a special player, though. He also wasn't *really* a safety in college. He was more of a "rover" (that's what VT's D calls it, anyway). He probably didn't have a difficult time moving from that position to LB.

And now we're talking about moving Mays to WILL? A position we actually have sured up? I thought the point was to find a FS?

Cliff said...

Oh, and my reference to the "rover" position at VT was because that's the D I'm most familiar with in college. I know Urlacher went to New Mexico, not Virginia Tech. I think the comparison is accurate, though.

rick said...

@Chris - according to DraftCountdown, Jarrett Brown is one of the guys the Eagles have already talked to at the Senior Bowl practices. One site says he's the best QB at the game. It doesn't necessarily mean the Eagles will target him but it does indicate that they will probably make a move with 1 of their 3 qb's this offseason.

Myron said...

Hey, how cool would it be if the Eagles can grab Brandon Graham in the draft this year? Dude has been very impressive in the Senior Bowl workouts so far.

I know we might need to draft an OL this year because of the stupid Shawn Andrews situation, but damn, I wish we could just do all defense this year. We need it bad.