Posts Tagged ‘Eagles’

Ok, the experiments should be over and I’d like to emphasize the word should. Danny Watkins is on the bench, Casey Matthews has finally been moved out of the middle linebacker spot, the right tackle position looks solid with Herremans at the helm, rookie Jason Kelce seems to be making progress at center and the search for the kick/punt returners seems to be over. I’m pretty confident that going forward, the coaches have found the right positions for all 53 players on the roster.

There is one reason why I think that the upcoming game will give us a good idea where the Eagles stand. The Giants will test the areas where the Eagles have appeared weak during the first two weeks of the season. First, the Giants have a strong running game. No one can deny that Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs is a good one two punch at running back. Maybe not to the level of the thunder and lightning combo of Jacobs and Tiki Barber from a couple of years ago. Jamar Chaney is back at middle linebacker, where he should have been at the start of the season and will be tested by the aforementioned running back combo. This Sunday will tell us if the recent shuffle at linebacker is the right move. By the way, my prediction there is yes.

Second, the Giants have a good pass rush. The G-men are notorious for putting pressure on the QB. We all know that through two weeks Mike Vick has sometimes looked like a tetherball tied to a pole. We also know that #7 is coming back from a mild concussion. How the offensive line and Vick handled the Giants pass rush will give us a good idea about what to expect for the rest of the season. I think at this point in the season the O-line should start to gel. They’ve had two games where they’ve seen many different blitz and rush packages, as well as several practices and film sessions. The Eagles are strong in every other area and I challenge you to disagree. If you see success this Sunday from the O-line and the linebackers, the following 12 weeks will be a lot of fun.

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When free agency began there was a mass influx of free agents who decided to join the Eagles organization, plus one who arrived via trade. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Vince Young and Ronnie Brown are some of the notable new names on the Eagles roster trying to help the team get to the Super Bowl and win it. What some people might not know is that not only do The Eagles have new players on the team, but there are also new coaches who will be trying to get the most out of these players. Over the next couple of days we’ll meet the new coaches. The first one is:

Jim Washburn – Defensive Line Coach

One word you might use to describe Jim Washburn is crass. You might also use, blunt, rude or just a mean SOB. If Comcast Sportsnet, ESPN, or the NFL Network decided to air one of the Eagles practices they would have to have the FCC “bleep out” guy work overtime. That being said, not many coaches are known to get more out of their players than Jim Washburn. Jim is best known for his tenure with the Tennessee Titans, which ran from 1999 to 2010. There, he helped turn players like Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jevon Kearse, and Albert Haynesworth into household names. During his twelve year tenure the Titans ranked 7th in the NFL in sacks and in 2008 they led the league in that category. Jim Washburn can also be partially credited with the Eagles signing of free agent Jason Babin. Jason has been kind of a journey man in the NFL. During his eight year career, Jason has played with the Texans, Chiefs, Seahawks, Titans and Eagles and has amassed a total of 30 sacks. Thirteen of those (or nearly half) came during the 2010 season while with the Tennessee Titans, under the direction of –you guessed it– Jim Washburn. During a recent interview with 610 WIP, Jason Babin captured the essence of Washburn’s teaching style. He said, and I paraphrase, at first you kind of want to run him over with your car in the parking lot, but then you understand that he’s just trying to put you in a position to be successful. If Jim Washburn can get the same production out of this defensive line as he did with some of the Titans defensive lines, we’re in for a fun season.