Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Column is Posted


Variety of things:   -Link-

I also posted some thoughts on Safeties in the draft:      -Link-


RE:  Kyle Vanden Bosch

Interesting guy.  I've heard his name from quite a few people.  He has experience at RDE and LDE.  He has a great motor and is very much a team guy.  The problem is that he's only got 7.5 sacks in the last 2 years combined.  He'll turn 32 at midseason.  Is this the guy to really help?  Maybe.  I've got to watch tape of him so I can give you more than numbers. 

RE:  Gocong to DE

I doubt the Eagles do this.  We have several guys that are 6'2, 260.  Gocong wouldn't necessarily be any better than Babin, for instance.  Chris does have 40+ games of starting experience at SAM linebacker.  That gives him some value at LB because no one else can match that. 

I'm not fervently against moving Chris to DE.  I think the notion that he's going to move there and be a stud player is wishful thinking.  The guy hasn't shown any special athleticism at all in 3 years.  If the Eagles really believe in Fokou and take a SAM in the draft then I'm fine with giving Chris a shot to rush the passer.  I love the guy and really want him to find some niche in the NFL. 

RE:  dealing for Kerry Rhodes

I'm open to this, but I need to watch tape on the guy.  Rex Ryan supposedly isn't happy with his hitting/tackling.  That has to concern us as well.  Rhodes looks good from afar, but might end up having more warts than we like. 

RE:  4-3 defense

3 of the last 4 Super Bowl winners ran the 4-3.  3 of the 4 teams in the title games this year ran the 4-3.  Find the right players and you'll win.  Scheme is overrated.  Baltimore has gone back and forth between both styles.  They continue to play good defense because they have good players.  I am a 4-3 guy.  Always have been.  Always will be.  I'd only consider changing my mind if Buddy Ryan, Tom Landry, and Megan Fox told me to do that.


Cliff said...

It seems to me the reasons to cut Howard are the same ad the reasons to NOT sign Vanden Bosch. Perhaps we end up saving money with KVB, but it's silly to me.

izzylangfan said...

The Saints and the Colts got to the Superbowl because they had teams that were so good, they could win even when they had an off day. They had good but not great defenses but their offenses were great and put up large scores even when off a bit..

In my view this margin for error is what a team needs to make it likely to get to and win the Superbowl. The Eagles have been a very good team for a long time yet have never won a Superbowl and only got there once. The year it got there was the year that no one could cover TO and the Eagles zoomed to a first round buy on the strength of excellent defense and unstoppable TO. Then we lost in the Superbowl when McNabb was a bit off. Other years the Eagles could have got to and won the Superbowl, but everything would have had to have gone perfectly –it didn’t. They needed to be better to have more margin for error so they can win even when everything doesn't go perfectly. The Eagles lights out defenses with Trotter, Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent and Hugh Douglas were fading and the offense was improving as McNabb came into his own. But the net effect was a team that was a bit stuck at a high level but not really improving.

So what are the chances for the current Eagles team to get to the Superbowl. About the same as it has been in my view because the defense has become only good and while the offense is very good we have to suffer one of McNabb’s clunker games about on time in three or is it four. So even if the Eagles get to the playoffs it is still hard to win those three or four in a row. There is no margin for error and we are unlikely to compensate in a game where McNabb is off or something else goes wrong. Maybe Kolb will be better but probably not in 2010.

In summary, the offense is very good but not great and the defense is between good and very good but definitely not great. I do not see much that the Eagles can do to get the offense to the next level short of taking a chance on Kolb. What is in the Eagles control is to improve the defense. Last year the Eagles defense had three major weaknesses.

1. Not enough pass pressure from the front four outside of Trent Cole.
2. Injuries to the linebacking corps created weaknesses our opponents could consistently exploit.
3. Poor play in the secondary due to the loss of Dawkins and the failure of Harris, Demps, and Jones to adequately fill in, and mistakes by the cornerbacks allowing too many damaging pass completions.

With Bunk and Patt established as the DT’s the key for the defensive line is to sign a free agent LDE and probably draft one highly for the future as well. We need to draft at the safety and cornerback positions. We cannot count on the current group at safety although they have good potential. I do not see a free agent safety that fits the bill as a long-term solution. We need to draft at cornerback to build for the future. Hiring Dick Juron as the secondary coach was great and should help but not enough. Our cornerback play should improve with good coaching and perhaps a bit less risk taking.

I like the Eagles linebackers with Bradley and Gaither coming back from injuries and with Witherspoon playing his natural position with a full training camp behind him. I think the Eagles brass likes our linebackers too, and they should. But signing an elite free agent linebacker along with an elite free agent LDE gives our defense the best chance to get to the lights out level. When you consider the potential number of large salaries that could be cut this year – Curtis, Westbrook, Howard, Clemmons, McNabb – the Eagles should be able to find the money to pay for these two top free agents as well as sign Bradley, Bunk and others to long term deals.

Initially, I did not think the Eagles needed to sign an elite free agent at linebacker but I have changed my mind on this. Besides that I just like it when the Eagles defense just crushes the other side, pounds them into the ground and leaves them for dead.

Cliff said...

I saw the report via Philly.com that the Eagles could cut Stacy Andrews this off-season. How does that even sound like something this front office would do? I can't remember a similar situation where the Eagles decided to cut a player loose after such a short period of time. I understand Stacy underperformed and is owed more money than he's worth, but aren't they all?

Tommy Lawlor said...

Interesting stuff Izzy. Don't count on the stud LB. I wouldn't mind the Eagles add one, but just don't see it as very likely.