Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DeSean Speaks


There is quite a bit of talking going on by Eagles and former Eagles.  I didn't really get into the DeSean/Donovan spat because it was such a non-story.  DeSean said some things to pump up his current QB and the press ran with that as insults to McNabb.  Mole hill becomes mountain. 

Now DeSean is claiming that Marty Mornhinweg said some things to him questioning his toughness after DeSean missed a game with a concussion.  I have to believe this is a case of miscommunication.  With the way the NFL was so concussion-focused last year I find it hard to imagine that Marty would try to get DeSean to play by goading him.  Maybe I'm giving Marty too much credit.  Who knows.  Coaches can be a little insane when it comes to injured players.  Bottom line...this won't happen again.  You can bet someone from the league office will make a phone call or send a strong email to the Eagles to remind them how to handle concussions.   Coaches have been known to push players too hard at times.  There are times when they have to be reminded that players are human beings. 


One of the readers yesterday posted an alternate draft to what we actually did.  He based this on us staying at pick 24 and keeping our original selections.  arby put some work into this so I figured I'd offer a good response. 

Here the actual draft class:

1 - DE Brandon Graham
2 - FS Nate Allen
3 - DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim
4 - CB Trevard Lindley
4 - LB Keenan Clayton
4 - QB Mike Kafka
4 - TE Clay Harbor
5 - DE/LB Ricky Sapp
5 - WR Riley Cooper
6 - RB Charles Scott
7 - DT Jeff Owens
7 - SS Kurt Coleman

Here is arby's alternate draft:

1 - CB Kyle Wilson
2 - FS Nate Allen
2 - LB Sean Lee
3 - DE Corey Wootton
3 - LB Navarro Bowman
4 - DT Geno Atkins
4 - DB A, Owusu-Ansah
6 - RB Charles Scott
7 - QB Zac Robinson
7 - SS Kurt Coleman

Here are arby's comments so that you can understand his thinking:

In my post-mock, the emphasis is on the secondary not the pass rush. I've chosen 10 players as opposed to 13. Except for the DE & QB, the mock has mostly higher ranked players at arguably greater need positions but we don't get our great pass rusher or our 5th WR or 4th TE but then I don't care about those 2 positions with what we already had. Yes, we need to rush the passer better but Atkins was giving Iupati fits during Senior week and Wooten if he returns to form was one of the top DE's of the class. DE & QB are 2 of the highest priority positions for all teams and we got quality players at those positions - hard to fault the team for that. I started to post this last week but decided not to, thinking it would be read as a complaint; now that the conversation has turned back to the draft, I thought I'd throw this out there. I understand why we did what we did - we wanted a game-changer type of player and I hope Graham is that. Then we went for quantity with the hope we get some winners and Sapp, Cooper, Scott and Coleman are all great value picks. I'm happy with our first 2 picks and happy with our last 3 rounds. But the 3rd and 4th produced some head scratchers IMHO. It seems the Eagles like to use the 3rd round for a little gambling which hasn't been very successful (except for Disco Stew). Obviously the Graham pick is key to this draft - giving up #70 & #87 and "forcing" us to trade out of #55 to "make up" for the lost picks.

I'm sure there are some of you that would prefer the 2nd group.  That is a good set of players.   Wilson would have pushed for the RCB job immediately.  Sean Lee would give us a great insurance policy at MLB and would also challenge for the WLB spot.  Wootton would give us our biggest LDE since Ray Rhodes draft bust of 1997.  Lots of talent and potential in the group. 

There is one slight flaw.  This set of players would not have done what we set out to do.   We wanted to beef up the pass rush.  That was project #1.  And maybe #2.  We wanted to build a deep group of talented, versatile pass rushers.  I've said this a few times and can't stress it enough.  There were only a handful of 4-3 pass rushers available in the whole draft.  There were a ton of good DTs.  Great group.  There were plenty of 3-4 DEs, big guys that have some athletic ability.  3-4 teams had a lot to choose from.  There were quite a few good 3-4 OLBs.  The one scarce DL group was 4-3 pass rushers.  You had to target a few players and go after them aggressively...if that was your main focus.  And it was for Howie and the Eagles. 

arby made good choices in his post-draft mock draft (first time I ever typed that phrase).  He took good players and got good value with his picks.  The problem is that he didn't really address the area that we focused on.  Wootton has struggled all year with his recovery from a nasty ACL tear.  He didn't play in the Senior Bowl or workout at the Combine.  There is no telling if he'll ever get back to 100%.  He is a run stuffer type for now, but you can't count on him as a pass rusher. 

As for Geno Atkins...he did play lights out at the Senior Bowl.  You have to understand that he was firing off the ball and going against Iupati at RG.  Mike played LG at Idaho and struggled all week when they moved him to the right side.  Atkins looked better than he actually is.  The matchup and game setting favored him heavily.  Besides, Trevor Laws was a better version of Atkins a couple years back.  We aren't a great fit for DTs that are 6'1, 290 anymore.  Daniel Te'o-Nesheim will play a lot of DT for us this year, ala Darren Howard.  We like our pass rushing DTs to be 270, not 290.  If we want a guy with more size we can just use Laws in that role. 

I wish we had been able to land a stud CB.  I hate the fact we didn't.  I did think going after the pass rushers was smart.  In my final mock draft for I had us take Jerry Hughes at pick 24.  I wanted a pass rusher more than anything.  Those guys have a dramatic impact on games.  Good CBs are important, but unless you have an elite player he isn't likely to be a game-changing force. 

As for the notion that the 3rd and 4th rounds had some head scratchers...I've already talked about Teo.  He will be a backup DE and will have a chance to play at lot at Nickel DT.  We use that role quite a bit in our scheme.  Don't think of him as just a backup DE.  Teo played Nickel DT on a regular basis at Washington so it isn't as if we're asking him to do something he can't. 

The 4th round featured 2 solid prospects (Lindley, Kafka) and 2 great athletes (Clayton, Harbor).  Kafka wasn't a reach at all.  I thought he could have gone in the 3rd.  Lindley was a reach based on what I thought, but not other NFL scouts.  I've heard good things about Trevard from the scouting community.  Most people feel that was a very solid pick. 

I had Harbor pegged as a round 5-7 guy.  Going in the late 4th is hardly a major stretch.  I was also hurt by the fact that I only saw him in one game and one all star game.  The Eagles studied him closely and thought he was easily worth a 4th round pick.  Why is Harbor here for us?  The offense is going to change.  We'll no longer be the mad bomber attack.  RAC yards are going to be a critical part of the offense.  That's an area where Harbor is very gifted.  He's fast, athletic, and elusive.  The other TE we really liked was Tony Moeaki, who also has great RAC ability.  Both guys can block and are good athletes.  Both should be good STers.  We passed on Moeaki, but jumped on Harbor in the late 4th. 

Keenan Clayton was the "oddest" of the 4th round picks.  As I said in his write-up "projects to Nickel LB in the NFL".  How do you value that role?  The Eagles feared losing him and made sure to take him somewhat early in the 4th.  This wasn't a player that they casually had interest in.  I liked Keenan a lot.  I just wasn't sure how to rate a guy that might not be starting material.  He could be an outstanding role player.  He's athletic and productive.  I love those qualities. 

arby talks about missing on some 3rd and 4th round picks. That is worth its own post or article.  The one thing I'll say that I like about these particular guys is that they are being brought here to do what they do.  Clayton is here to play in the Nickel defense.  He excelled in coverage at OU.  Harbor is here to be an athletic TE and backup.  We're not asking him to be a huge part of the offense.  He could grow into a role like that, but for now he should be in a good comfort zone.  That will allow him to adjust to the NFL easier and find his niche.  Kafka has time to develop and is in an offense that fits him.  Lindley has potential, but needs coaching.  We have Dick Jauron ready to teach him all spring and summer. 

I've been down on some previous picks.  Tony Hunt was a workhorse runner brought here to be a role player.  Dumb.  Max Jean-Gilles needed to go to a run offense.  Here he's asked to pass block 40+ times a game.  Dumb. 

The value might seem off from an outside perspective, but the 2010 prospects have a good combination of skill and athletic ability and just as important...they fit what we need them to do. 


Stephen said...

You know, now that Mcnabbs Im the victim routine had taken the bus down to Washington I had hoped these stupid media games would have been over, but it seems even from beyond the grave he needs to make sure everyone knows how victimized he was here in Philly.

Thank god Kolb is about as controversial as a boy scout.

Mike said...

Any chance the Birds see Keenan as a possible safety?

Tommy Lawlor said...

No to Keenan at Safety. He plays between 225-230 lbs. He's very athletic, but looks more like a LB to me.

Mike said...

I like the group we have better. I am a firm believer that we can get by with ok DBs if we have a great pass rush.

The goal of our Defense is to create turnovers first and foremost. That is why we signed Asante.

Also, in the past couple of drafts it seems DBs develop quicker than pass rushers...If you are trying to rebuild a defense, it makes more sense to take the longer developers first.

Kendall said...

It is hard to believe Marty would take such an old school approach to such a serious problem. The sensitivity and carefulness with which he handled the concussions of the other team members, particularly Westbrook, make it difficult to believe that this is any more than either a miscommunication or Desean trying to make himself look the part of the tough guy. I don't doubt Desean's toughness. I just think this is an example of his pride (confidence) coming out of his mouth. He's still a great player and his tenacity is always appreciated.

Netherman said...

So is it out of the question to call Jauron the most valuable addition of this off season? I don't think so. I loved that move.

Oscar said...

Just got around to listening to your podcast. About McCluster -- I can assure you that he was a target but at #55 not at #37. They were upset he was gone much earlier than that.

chris said...

I was listening to Eskin on the ride home today, so I take what he says with a grain of salt. He said that someone from the Eagles Media Relations Dept. (I forget the name he said) was with DeSean during the interview and said that DeSean was goofing around with the Marty roughness remarks and the reported decided to create some controversy by playing the remarks as serious.

Who knows?

Eric said...

What makes this all even more amusing is Stephen A. Smith has to add his two cents in saying how McNabb is right and he is the better man.

No! If DeSean really did talk smack about you, the better man wouldn't reply. He'd just go about his business. But Mr. Drama Queen had to do it.

arby said...

Thanks for the long response.