Sunday, February 14, 2010

Special Teams Stuff


Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News puts out STs rankings for all NFL teams each year.  The Eagles have been at the top or near the top plenty of times.  This year...17th.  Here is the report:


You might notice that Buffalo was 3rd.  That's important because we just hired their STs coach, Bobby April. 


Quick thoughts today.  Derrick Morgan would be a good fit for us.  He is about 6'3, 270.  That is really good size for an athletic LDE.  He will play the run.  Derrick gets into the blocker and looks for the ball.  He can shed blocks.  He uses his hands pretty well and has a good motor.  Derrick is also a gifted pass rusher.  He stays low to the ground and has a good burst.  Very agile guy.  Does a good job of turning the corner.  He could go in the top 15 or could slide down to our area, pick 24.  Morgan is good, but not a 100% lock to be the first DE.

Let's not overlook Juqua Parker.  He can be a very good backup at LDE.  We're looking to upgrade the starter, but Parker can be a terrific role player.

I watched some tape of Victor Abiamiri the other day.  I really think he's better suited to DT.  He's very athletic when going against a Guard or Center, but looks pedestrian when dealing with an OT.

Someone asked about whether we could have any interest in DT/NT Terrence Cody.  No.  Cody is 6'4, 370.  He is enormous.  That size is okay at NT where his job is to occupy blockers.  We need our DTs to be able to clog the middle, but also help in pursuit.  Patt and Bunk have very good motors for big guys.  They will get out and chase plays.  Cody is a 3-4 player.  I'll be shocked if any 4-3 team considers taking him in the Top 100 picks.  


This is the story of how the Ravens put together their first draft board.  Good stuff for anyone who is a draftnik. 



Cliff said...

Yeah, we can't be too quick to write off Parker. He had 8 sacks and 2 FF's last season. Those aren't scrub stats.

izzylangfan said...

Parker is excellent and we want him no matter who we sign and draft. But I believe that even if we sign a premier free agent LDE we still need to draft another. And while we might not do so in the first round it wouldn't be such a bad idea and we definitely need another high draft pick at DE

The reason is that the Eagles tend to rotate heavily at the DE position and we cannot be put in a bad spot due to injury. Clemmons and Howard underperformed this past year and in an uncapped year there is no real penalty for dead money on the cap. So it might behoove the Eagles to cut them in the uncapped year. Further Victor Albiamiri has underperformed expectations and 2010 is the last year of his contract. He will not be resigned if he does not deliver this year and could even be cut if he does not have a good preseason. A Kampman or a Peppers could eat up a lot of snaps but if we cut Howard, Clemmons and Albiamiri we would likely need at least two DE's to take their place. Thus I believe that signing one, drafting one highly is the way to go.

Myron said...

How is Derrick Morgan any better than Brandon Graham? Right now I have Graham as the #1 DE prospect on the board. Not as high of a potential ceiling as JPP, Dunlap, or Morgan, but the most NFL-Ready with the best intangibles. He could seriously be the next Dwight Freeney, imho.

That Abiamiri thing is interesting, because if we *could* find another good 3-down DE, it could free up Abiamiri to rotate in and out with Bunk and Patterson as a DT, and give them a rest in games.

Anders said...

The reason that Morgan is a better fit is because the way we want our DEs to play.
When they go for the QB they have to do it under control so that a run play wont get to far

Edward said...


I personally didn't see that from Morgan when i watched him but i'll concede to Tommy as he thinks otherwise. I wouldn't be unhappy with Morgan at #24 but i wouldn't go out of the way to get him.

Cliff said...

@ izzy

I coudln't disagree more on Howard. He had 6.5 sacks and 2 FF's this past season. He spells Trent and plays some DT for us. I think he's become an extremely important piece of the DL.

Cliff said...

I agree that we should add a DE in the draft with an eye on the future, however, signing a vet like Kampman makes that less of a priority. Which means, we don't need to spend anything more to move up and draft Graham or Morgan or Hughes.

That's a LOT of defensive linemen. I know we rotate a lot, but there aren't enough snaps to get all of those guys on the field and justify spending a 1st or 2nd round pick on a back-up with a very limited role.

Myron said...

Anders: Graham is just as good against the run from what I've seen on tape, and he's easily boasts the best repertoire of pass-rushing moves in the entire class. Compared to Morgan, he has much better balance and more speed. When I watch Morgan's game film, he loses balance and falls flat on his face often when rushing the passer. Graham looks far more nimble and capable of making cuts without falling down.

I think it'd be a mistake to pass on Graham if he drops to #24, and I think that he's almost a lock to produce double-digit sack seasons in the future for whichever team drafts him this year.

Joe said...

Not being argumentative here, but never understood why NTs are not considered good fits for 4-3 teams...How could eating up two OL ever be a bad thing? I understand that NT can't pursue the way there younger counterparts can, but if a team has to devote a guard and a center to him, wouldn't that mean more one on ones for the other OL or at least forcing teams to keep TEs in? Could you go into this some more?

Netherman said...

I definitely get the argument that you don't need a high pick on a DE if you get Kampman, but our pass rush was lacking last year without any injuries to major players. That means we would be putting a lot of eggs in the Kampman basket. JP has been good coming off the bench, but had issues last offseason which worries me. Andy used to be a bit of a hard-a$$ about that kind of stuff before, but maybe he is loving his new role as reformer of troubled "yutes".

I am almost completely off the Peppers bandwagon, but he seems safer if you are only going to get one NFL ready guy. That is an awfully steep price to pay for the safer option, and I worry about a potential rift with Cole who may deserve those big $'s more than Pep.

Let's say we get Kampman and you snag Kyle Wilson in the 1st. Who are potential targets for LB in the second and then DE in the 3rd? Also, how comfortable are you with Macho starting next year? Do we draft another safety high this year to compete or do you give him a second year to see what you have?

jamie said...

Atlanta with only 6 ST penalties is extremely impressive.

izzylangfan said...


I like Howard as a player and his stats in 2008 were even well better than 2009. The key is cost. Howard is due to make $5.2 million in 2010 and $8 million in 2011. Parker gets 3.1 million in 2010 and 4.3 million in 2011. Albimiri gets 1.3 million in 2010 the last year of his contract and Clemmons gets 2.01 with a big jump to 3.9 million in 2011. Thats 11.7 million for those four guys in 2010 and 15.2 for three (no Albiamiri) in 2011. Add to that $8-10 million at least for Kampman or $10 plus million for peppers and you've got one expensive LDE position. And looking at the line overall we've already got Cole and Patt and will need to pay up a bit when Bunkley resigns for 2012.

Howard does not really play defensive end but is slotted in at tackle on passing downs. This has been a a bit of a liability to the Eagles as as soon as he is in our opponents run the ball with success and the Eagles third down defense while a bit better this year has been wanting for several years. If we sign either Kampman or Peppers we would expect them to be three down linemen, perhaps taking away some of Howard's snaps. So the question becomes who do we move inside to rush in those situations. I'm not familiar enough with those players to know if they can play the tackle position on passing downs but if they can't the Eagles need to have a plan. Albiamiri could be moved inside. Maybe his production won't equal Howards but the increased production from whatever free agent we sign, the more efficient production from Parker now not forced into the starter's role and perhaps some production from whatever rookie we draft could well offset the nice production we got from Howard. So it is not that he is a bad player, it is a question of economics.

In addition the key weakness of the Eagles line has been that there is not much pressure outside of Cole unless the Eagles blitz. If we start getting pass pressure from a straight rush because we have a stud LDE, then everyone's stats are going up, including the ints from the DBs and LBs when we do not have to blitz so predictably.

Edward said...

Bradley should provide a nice boost to the Nickel run D as the Tracy White - Will Witherspoon combo is surely not as stout as Witherspoon/Jordan - Bradley. A nickel line of Abiamiri + a DT should then provide enough pass rush and run stopping ability combined with the presence of an upgrade at LDE.

I'd not personally be comfortable with cutting anyone at DE this year, however i'd be open to trading Clemmons (perhaps to a 3-4 team?) and replacing him with a draft pick. Babin could be cut if a free agent was signed.

Myron said...

Also, another situation occurred to me this morning regarding the safeties.

I read Tommy's recent piece on about Thomas's stengths vs. the pass and weaknesses vs. the run, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that Thomas would be perfect for the Eagles. Consider the fact that we have basically two strong safeties on the team in Mikell and Harris. Both are poor fits @ FS. We're fine against the run already; we need a FS who can drop back into coverage. And what do you know: Earl Thomas excels at just that. Draft Thomas to be the FS and let Harris be Mikell's backup and heir apparent @ SS. We get the best of both worlds. A good FS who can cover guys would make Mikell look better and he could revert to his dominant run-stopping form a la 2008.

craftyhaas10 said...

Any interest in bringing back Derrick Burgess?

Edward said...

I quite like that idea Myron, i truly believe Macho has the potential to be a good if not great safety but he needs time to learn the position. Thats definitely a draft day move i'd be pleased with.

Adam said...

Tommy were you able to watch some film of Trevor Laws? What happened to him this year? It seems that he would be a nice fit as a nickel DT and help against teams trying to run against us while playing nickel.