Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Chosen Position


I wrote about Moise Fokou at SAM for PE.com.



There are some people who now say that McNabb has to be dealt.  There is no going back.  In as sense, I agree.  When the team and players have to deal with the Philly media you are asking for trouble by having a delicate, but complex QB situation.  The Eagles should aggressively seek a deal for McNabb.  They need to be careful about trying to get max value in this situation.  The best solution for everyone involved is a trade. 

That said...you cannot give him away.  Get a good offer.  Franchise QBs are too valuable.  This is a game of chicken and you must be willing to lose in order to really win.  Favre could always flip on the Vikes in July.  What happens if Drew Brees or Peyton Manning gets hurt in TC with no legit backup?  What if Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson are god awful for the Cards?  And so on.  You can trade McNabb prior to the draft.  You can do it in June, July, August, or even September. 

We all want this situation resolved ASAP.  I think we're all tired of talking about it and thinking about it.  This just isn't a situation that we control, in a manner of speaking.  We must have a good offer.  If not, then holding onto McNabb is the prudent thing to do, despite the media circus that would ensue.

Before everyone goes to jump off the roof at the notion of this thing dragging on or not happening at all...relax.  The Raiders are talking to the Eagles.  Trust me on that.  There are multiple team involved and they all legitimately want McNabb.  The teams are making plans at this point.  The only point in dealing for McNabb is if you have some pieces in place and a good plan on how to use him.  Teams are trying to come up with a good draft strategy.  Can they deal a 1st to us and still get a LT in the 2nd round?  Can they find a WR in the 3rd?  Is there a young QB to develop in the mid rounds?  And so on. 

I really think that a trade will go down and it is just a matter of time.  Let's not get too fired up on what to do if McNabb returns until that is a pertinent scenario.  Focus on something relevant...like what Kevin Kolb will say when he's giving his HOF acceptance speech. 


RE:  Raiders LBs as targets

Kirk Morrison is a MLB.  I don't see him being a WLB target for us.  Thomas Howard?  More of a finesse guy, but he is a good athlete with coverage skills.  I would be interested.  The catch is that he's a RFA and we'd have to make some plans to sign him to an extension.  What kind of salary demands is he going to have?  If reasonable, then I'm interested.  If he's looking for a mega-deal...he isn't worth it. 

RE:  Asante Samuel

He is not on the trade block.  Asante is simply spending time with his kids.  He will be an Eagle in 2010.

RE:  ProFootballTalk

It is one of my favorite sites to visit and it is the very first thing I click on in the morning and the last thing I click on at night.  Great site.  Mike Florio does a terrific job of providing all kinds of info.  However...the key part of his site is called "The Rumor Mill" for a reason.  It is rumors.  Conjecture.  Hearsay.  Florio at time gets sloppy by reporting some nuggets of info that don't make sense.  You do have to understand that he's not an Eagles fan.  He doesn't know the ins and outs of our team.  Mike also has lousy sources in Philly.  He actually seems to think Sal Paolantonio knows the Eagles and has a feel for things.  Mike has great sources in certain towns, not so in others.  Don't focus too much on what he says about the Eagles. 

RE:  Eric Berry

I've asked around to see if the Eagles are interested or just curious.  No answers yet.  I'm sure they like him.  The question is whether they covet him and will do whatever it takes to get him.  Personally I think we send Jonas Blane and his team into Tennessee to extract Eric and bring him to Philly where he will be free to live a life of religious fulfillment.  I'll let you guys know if I get wind that the Eagles are really hot for Berry.  Trust me.  I'd be like a kid in a candy store if I got that news. 



Eric said...

Hey, Tommy

I was just reading GCobb's mock draft and of course I've seen this elsewhere. Pouncey going to the Eagles seems to make sense because of JJ's injury and speculative future.

The thing that irks me is they claim this is a now pick. Is a starting center really a now pick? I understand the guy is bright and can probably pick up football relatively easy, but in this offense he has to make a lot of the protection calls. Can he really do that as a rookie?

T_S_O_P said...

Simple question on the back of your article; is Fokou strictly a SAM?

Håkan said...

"Focus on something relevant...like what Kevin Kolb will say when he's giving his HOF acceptance speech. "

Jesus Christ!
The guy has done nothing!
I hope youre getting paid for all this McNabb bashing and Kolb asskissing that youre doing.

Kolb is the second coming of Bobby Hoying.
Remember that I told you so.

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ Hakan...

That was a joke.

Kolb could turn out to be a great player or a huge bust. I like him, but there is no guarantee that he'll be a good player for us.

Tommy Lawlor said...

RE: Pouncey at C?

We could play with a rookie C. It just isn't an ideal scenario. We put a lot of pressure on the C with the fact that he has to make all the line calls and blitz adjustments. We pass a lot and that means more pressure on the C. We also mix shotgun and regular snaps. More pressure. Finally, we run a lot of screens. We use the C to get out and block on those plays so that is just another thing for a rookie to deal with.

I think the Eagles really prefer to go with someone who's been on the roster for at least a year.

RE: Fokou

I think he can play MLB or WLB, as well as SAM. I had him pegged as a natural WLB coming out of college.

Myron said...

Tommy, regarding Eric Berry, what I want to know is whether or not the Eagles would possibly value the free safety position so much as to move up several slots to get somebody like Berry. Obviously the only way to have a chance at getting Berry is to move up into the top 6 or so.

I know that most successful organizations downplay the importance of the safety position and eschew it in the early rounds of the draft in favor of other positions such as offensive tackle or defensive end. However, the Eagles certainly got alot of mileage out of a former Pro Bowl safety in Dawkins, and may be looking to secure a similar kind of exceptional talent for the future. But would they be willing to target that kind of talent in the upper, UPPER portion of the draft, or would that be a reach even for an exceptional talent like Berry, the Eagle's value-oriented minds?

Cliff said...

Whoa. Hakan really flew off the handle there. He must not be a frequent reader.

Tommy, do you think Fokou might be the plan at WILL and Gocong will return as the starter at SAM? I admit I haven't read your article yet, so you might have speculated about this already.

connie.n said...

It does seem like Fokou's skill set is a good match for Will and Jordans a good match for Sam. More than the other way round at least.

connie.n said...

Where do you see Guard as a need Tommy? If Nick Cole is starting at center we have MJG backing up at both guard spots which is less than ideal. The Eagles don't really seem to think McGlynn is much of a guard prospect. We'd be fairly screwed if a starter went down. Tbh we'd be screwed if any OL starter went down. Do you think a swing Tackle/Guard like Ducasse could still be available in the third? Would that be a good pickup>

Pitmanite said...


First, let me just say that nobody talks to Tommy Lawlor in such harsh tones without severe repercussions. You need to have some manners when you're a guest in our house. I definitely don't think you made Myron, our mad ranter, very happy by coming in here and stepping on his toes with your very first post. You will find yourself in a timeout if these antics continue.

Did anyone check out that Duke vs Baylor game the other night? Great ending and Brittney Griner looks like Dave Chappelle in a nappy dreadlocked wig.

Baloophi said...

I liked the HOF joke.

I did, however, have to look up the Jonas Blane reference. Somehow "The Unit" totally slipped past me. Solid? If "The Wire" is a 100, and "Life on Mars" (US version) a 0, where does it rank?

Jay said...

Hey Tommy, any word on possibly trading Gocong to the Browns? What kind of compensation would you expect for him, would a 3rd be too much to ask?

Any info on a possible landing spot for Sheldon and what you would expect his trade value to be?

Sorry, I'm just so bored of talking about the whole McNabb situation at this point.

Håkan said...

Just to answer some questions.

I read this blog daily and have done so for the last 2, maybe 3 years? (could it really be that long?)

This is not my first post. The fact that I dont post a lot of crap all the time doesnt make me a noob.

If anyone owes someone an apology, it's Tommy who owns Donovan an apology.

This latest, admitted "joke", about Kolb was just too much.

Even if it was just a continuation of the incessant asskissing of Kolb that has brought the level of this blog down lately.

Ben said...


chill bro, chill..

it's time for mcnabb to go. i will root for him hard where ever he is, but it's time for our organization to move on. he is a declining player and we have a young team that is ready to take on its own identity.

Dan said...

Hakan, I think you are taking this too seriously.

Most of us frequent this blog because this is one of the few places where Eagles info is discussed in a thoughtful, even-handed and non-hysterical manner. Okay, there is some sarcasm, too. You are entitled to disagree with any opinions on this site, but when you express your disagreement with harshness and name-calling, you lower the level of discourse for everyone involved.

And honestly, I think there has been almost zero asskissing of Kolb on this site. Tommy offers his opinions and observations, which many of us agree are as objective and non-biased as possible. Just because you disagree with his opinions on Kolb (and you can't take a joke) doesn't mean it's asskissing.

Dan said...

Also: Ugh, I hate the thought of us taking Pouncey at 24 with all our needs on defense. Let Cole and McGlynn battle for C. I think most of the draftniks that mock him to us don't really know the Eagles all that well, they just know we lost Jackson late last year.

izzylangfan said...

There is no way the Eagles take Pouncey with their pick at 24. Scout.com has an interesting mock where the Eagles take a center with their pick in round two. Of course, it might not play out that way but I thought that it was a based on good reasoning.

Carson's said...

Hakan, let's relax a little. We don't want the comments to start looking like TATE.

Tommy Lawlor said...


Hakan is venting a little. That's okay.



I have followed Donovan McNabb since his first snap in college. I saw the game on TV and fell in love with the Redshirt Freshman QB who led his team to victory. I've been a big fan of his since that Saturday night in September of 1995. I have loved him being our QB for the last 11 years. Donovan has brought us tremendous success and stability. He's an outstanding QB and an outstanding person. You can take pride in the fact that #5 is your QB, on and off the field.

The fact is...it is time to move on. This isn't personal. It is business. Donovan needs to go somewhere that he can be the starter for 3-5 years. We need to move on to Kevin Kolb. There is risk involved, but McNabb has to get replaced at some point. All QBs fade away eventually. The timing is right for us to do this now.

geoff said...


Alot of people can't see that this is how a lot of us feel. We aren't McNabb haters or think Kolb is the next coming of Johny U. or anything, but we recognize that this is the right time to move on. I loved having Mcnabb here, I'll be a fan of his where ever he goes. Just that we need to see what Kolb can do and for the very little he's shown he could be pretty good, could be pretty bad too. People forget that McNabb didn't show too much before he started either. Suppose the difference is having Pederson Vrs MacNabb when the change is made.

T_S_O_P said...

Tommy, I clearly was never such a big a fan as you with regards #5. If that last paragraph is indeed a fact there is a lot of hullabaloo and conjecture from all quarters (pro sports writers/analists, ex and current players) disageeing and agreeing with it. Maybe you have more info, but if McNabb got us a pick from #45 to #64, I think that fact is evidently subjective.

My position well stated remains, McNabb isn't the biggest problem in the triumulative, that said I don't necessarily believe that Kolb would be either (This involves more trust though). Therefore, we need to get much better defensively to win more consistently, because our O can not be trusted... "Can it Marty?"

I would personally be OK (though I'd be keeping my fingers crossed) with the Raiders number 8 pick and for that pick to be spent on a dominating defensive player (I had visions of us picking an OL the other day). Further, if the McNabb move backfires the compensation is adequate... unless it is that O lineman that I conjectured.

Damn, didn't want to get drawn in.

Pitmanite said...


My post was meant to be a joke. Even if you were a "noob" you have just as much of a right to rant as us regulars (well maybe not just as much of a right but close). If you click back to the season, I think you'll find some near homicidal rants from me. I think the biggest reason people thought you were a new guy on here is that Tommy's joke went right over your head. I just thought if you read him regularly you'd pick up on his sarcasm.

Either way, it's less about Kolb, then it is about people wanting a change. I honestly believe that Donovan does have it in him to win in the right offense, just not in Andy's offense. If you told me a new head coach was coming in (not that I'm saying to replace Andy) I would be on board with keeping Donovan. The problem is that we know Andy won't change his offense so we're going to get more of the same. I think Andy expects way too much out of his QBs and puts way too much pressure on them with his one-sided passing attack. For a guy who struggles with accuracy, like Donnie, it's a problem that shows up even more. As he hits the down-slope of his career you can expect things to get worse and not better. I'm hoping that with Kolb's skill set (more accurate passer), he will perform better when Andy decides to throw the ball 80% of the time in a big game.

In the meantime, let Donnie move to a team with a more balanced offense that suits him. Why we can, we'll get a good draft pick for Donnie and move in a new direction. If he goes to the Raiders I think they have a really good shot to make the playoffs.

Tommy Lawlor said...

We all personalize players. I was furious when the exodus happened in 1993-94. That devastated me. I was furious when they let William Fuller leave in 1997. Those were questionable moves because there wasn't a good track record and there was no replacement ready to step in.

This is a completely different situation. And the things I hear about Kolb do excite me. The players really love him. That has to tell us on the outside that he's not just another backup QB. This is a guy that the team really loves.

Edward said...

You could really tell how much the whole team supported him during those two starts. I've never seen the whole team as excited and happy as they were after Kolbs TD pass to Desean in the Saints game.

(Those Connie.n posts are me btw, somehow managed to log into my housemates account)

Pitmanite said...

moving on from the mcnabb talk for now tommy...i want a d*mn resolution on the 1 gap vs 2 gap business. you tell spuds to get on his horse and get and it figured out w/ mcdermott or seagrest! i don't like this debate hanging out there and being uncertain as to how much i need to question your credibility in the future.

Edward said...

Hahaha. I want people to keep watching that eagles live video about it so i can pretend i'm famous for longer ¬_¬

Håkan said...

Thanx for all the cool replies, guys.

Tommy, Ive thanked you before for your blog, Ill probably do it again in the future.
For now, Ill just thank you for being a nice guy.

T_S_O_P said...

@ Edward

Oh contrare, I'd like to bet that Vick's TD was greeted with more celebration.

When Tommy states "The players really love him.", that really could apply to all 3 QBs.

T_S_O_P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dollar Brand said...


Great title for the column by the way. Fitting that Easter is just around the corner when Mr. Fokou gets a column. And it's a shame The Unit never got to have an official final season. Hopefully Shawn Ryan keeps making good shows like it and The Shield.

Re: Draft
Is the number of players that can come in for workouts and/or visits set or does it vary from team to team? Interesting that last year the Eagles had Andre Smith and Eugene Monroe in but also Cornelius Ingram and LeSean McCoy. Maybe some for future scouting or smokescreen.

Netherman said...

I have to say that I would like to see a lineman taken early (somewhere in rounds 1 - 3). The injury to JJ really exposed us. I would like someone who could play center in a pinch (Cole or McGlynn don't pan out or get hurt) but could easily slide over to guard as a future starter. I don't mind Cole at RG, but he is still playing year to year. I am not sold on Andrews yet. Who could be a 2nd or 3rd round C/G prospect with the pedigree to be a starter early if plan A1/A2 don't work? Steuber had a C going to us in his latest mock in the 2nd round...forget the name but it did get me thinking more on this.

Edward said...

@ Netherman

I definitely agree, however as i commented i think a player like Ducasse who could play both Guard and Tackle fits our depth needs better right now. If Peters or Justice (never thought i'd say that!) go down we're fairly screwed without a direct backup or guard backup for Todd.

Netherman said...

@ Edward, yeah good point, not to mention that those positions are harder to fill...would also like Tommy's thoughts on if Saffold would also be an option at backup T/G. His name keeps popping up and I believe he had a private workout with Castillo.

Tommy, one last question. They mentioned Steuber popping in on PE.com to chat during the draft. Any chance we see you in there in a similar role?

T_S_O_P said...

I'd be very happy for you Tommy if you were on PE during the draft. I would hope that you could somehow still be on the ScoutsNotebook forums too. I have really enjoyed the community there on draft weekend the last 3 years (or is it 4?). This year we start early. I hope I'm not at work or in bed :(

Maybe it's time to Tweet... Yikes!

Edward said...

The draft isn't exactly prime time watching for us this year is it TSOP!

So Cal EaglesFan said...

hey tommy,

I saw a report that Jason Peters graded out as the worst LT in the nfl last year on Football Outsiders. I didn't think he was spectacular but I definitely felt he had games where he was dominant. What is your opinion and do you think he will be better in year 2?

Myron said...

SoCal Eagles Phan: Yeah, that's really interesting. I guess FootballOutsiders thinks Peters is worst than every other NFL LT because of the number of "blown blocks" he had last year.

Here's the link to the article: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=5037654

It's ESPN Insider content, so I'll quote the relevant passage regarding Peters:

"Left Tackle
Worst: Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles (7 sacks/4 hurries/11 total blown blocks)
Best: Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns (2 sacks/0.5 hurries/2.5 total blown blocks)

The Eagles used a first-round pick to acquire Peters in the hopes that he'd be their left tackle of the future, but he was extremely erratic in 2009. Thomas is pretty clearly the best left tackle in football at this point, but no one knows it because he plays for one of the league's worst teams. He's the offensive Nnamdi Asomugha."

So Cal EaglesFan said...

Thanks Myron for your thoughts. I felt that when faced with a power rusher Peters dominated and only really struggled against the speed rushers on occasion. I think with another year with Juan he will be better in that regard since he had to change his style of pass pro. Plus having Todd next to him instead of switching players at that spot like we had to at the start of last season will help him be able to focus more on his spot with better unity on the line.

Myron said...

I personally feel a bit confused as to how they came to the conclusion that he was the "worst" LT in the NFL. I agree that he was inconsistent at times, and had some problems with false starts and occasionally let a speed rusher past him when he shouldn't have, but he also had some great games like Week 16 in which he dominated elite rushers like DeMarcus Ware for a whole game.

I mean, worst LT in the whole NFL? That's a really bold statement, and a bit of stretch, no? I agree he was not elite, and probably didnt' deserve the Pro Bowl bid, but worst? Wow.

Tommy, can you weigh in on this?

Kevin said...

There's no way on earth that Peters was in the bottom 16, let alone the worst LT in the NFL. None. Did anyone not watch Orlando Pace this year?

Ben said...

Even if Peters did struggle in pass pro (which he definitely did at times), I guess run blocking means absolutely nothing to them. He'll get better. Size doesn't hurt him, but speed gets to him sometimes.

Netherman said...

I cannot believe people earn a living coming up with this kind of stuff. How on earth do they know from watching tape whose assignment every single block is for every play of every game during the season? Heck, we are seeing how difficult it is to even get to the bottom of the 1 gap vs. 2 gap conundrum. How do we devote whatever computer cycles/energy was wasted on this to something useful like looking for aliens or curing cancer.

Stephen said...

I found the aliens already, they're living in Kolbs closet. Last I heard they were still trying to phone home.

I feel like football is a sport that is very poorly evaluated through statistics, especially traditional ones. Baseball is a good stats sport, football not so much.

Cliff said...

OMG! This just in: Vick will be back with the Eagles next season, according to ProFootballTalk.com! Holy crap!


Seriously, that's their headline in the Rumor Mill right now. And this is the site we all check routinely for McNabb trade news? Lord help us all.

frankfurtler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
frankfurtler said...

@ Cliff,

Lordy Lordy indeed, and Tommy is right on... its called 'PFT Rumor Mill' for a reason. As much as I think Florio is full of crap, I can't help but check the site at least twice a day anyhow. The Eagles QB situation is bait for all kinds of pro football media these slow days.