Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia eagles’

Very little went the Eagles’ way on Sunday. The Eagles were clearly overplayed by a much less talented, but hungrier NY Giants team. As we all know, games are not won on paper. Casey Matthews continues to look lost even at his new outside linebacker position. During one play, he reacted ridiculously late to Brandon Jacobs coming out of the backfield in the flat. By the time he realized that Jacobs was his responsibility all he could do is turn around to watch him go into the end zone. Michael Vick again looked like a piñata, taking hit after hit, after hit, until he broke his right (non-throwing) hand. I’ll put the blame on the offensive line there. Originally, I thought that the linebackers and the offensive line were the only areas of this team that needed a little shoring up. However, this game added another whole new list of concerns.

I’m beginning to wonder if Jim Washburn’s wide nine scheme is the one the Eagles should be running. Yes, there has been some added pressure against the quarterback compared to last year. But this team continues to get gashed for long runs, and they do not have good enough linebackers to do anything about it. Last year the secondary was Asante Samuel, that’s it. This year, they added Nnamdi and Rodgers-Cromartie. Should the Eagles maybe run a more traditional rush scheme and rely more on these talented corners? Speaking of secondary, the safeties worry me. Kurt Coleman all but whiffed on a tackle in the open field which resulted in a Giants touchdown. I also remember seeing Nate Allen get stiff armed 10 yards back at the end of a play and Jarrad Page’s attempt at an unsuccessful arm tackle. As usual with Andy Reid, this game had some suspect coaching decisions. For example,  the Eagles went for it on a fourth and one and LeSean McCoy (the lone bright spot of the game) got stuffed for a 2-yard loss, giving the Giants good field position. This Eagles team will win several games based on talent alone. But to be elite, it takes more than just talent, and the sooner they realize that, the better off they’ll be in the long run.

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Lets get one thing out of the way. Preseason games DO NOT count! There is absolutely no reason for any Eagles fan to throw him or herself off the ledge, or even to get up on the ledge for that matter. If you didn’t know already, the Eagles never got off the bus to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in last night’s preseason sequel. Andy Reid described his team’s performance best “we all stunk”. Michael Vick threw three interceptions in one half of football and the defense struggled to get off the field against a Steelers team that seemed to play with a chip on its shoulder after its own lackluster preseason premiere. It’s hard as a fan not to be concerned after our starting offense and defense looked like a Pop Warner team playing against (literally) last year’s Super Bowl runner up. All you can do is assess the good and the bad and hope the team gets better from here.

The Bad

  • Revamped starting defense struggles against a seemingly superior Steelers offense. This includes two 14-play Steeler drives that resulted in touchdowns.
  • Safety Nate Allen looked like a deer in the headlights, getting beat and making poor decisions on several plays.
  • Linebacking corpes looks overmatched and seemed to get pushed around much of the time. They don’t have size.
  • Mike Vick threw three first half interceptions.
  • Not much pressure put on by the defensive line on Ben Roethlisberger.

The good

  • Offensive line pretty much held their own against a very solid Steelers defensive front.
  • Vick was pressing in the second quarter, knowing that he’d only be in for one half. He forced some throws that he normally wouldn’t have.
  • It’s good to see DeSean back.
  • With all the “dream team” talk (which I believe the team was starting to buy into) it’s good for this team to get punched in the mouth. They need learn from this and know that wins in the NFL aren’t given away, they’ll have to earn every single one.
  • It’s Preseason!!!!!!

This team has too much talent not to have a very successful season. At the same time, all of this new talent has to come together as a team, not a bunch of talented individuals. If they learn from their preseason mistakes, (and they will make more of them) and continue to practice hard, they should be one of the best teams in the entire NFL.

Today we continue our series on the new Eagles coaches by putting the spotlight on the new O-line coach, Howard Mudd.

How many of you cringed last season every time Mike Vick took a hit behind the line of scrimmage? I say behind the line of scrimmage because once he takes off running, he’s pretty much on his own. Last year the Eagles played musical chairs at right tackle, with the likes of Winston Justice and King Dunlap getting playing time at the position. Neither of the aforementioned tackles are good enough to protect Vick’s blind side on a full-time basis. This year however, the offensive line has been revamped. Mainstays Jason Peters and Todd Herremans are back atleft tackle and left guard respectively. There is also the return of center Jamaal Jackson and the arrival of promising rookie guard Danny Watkins. The Eagles also added via free agency, veteran tackle Ryan Harris. With this new line, it’s only fitting that the Eagles brought a new face to mold them and bring them together. Enter Howard Mudd.

Howard Mudd is known for his 11-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts. When we hear Indianapolis Colts, we hear Peyton Manning, we hear high powered offense, one that performs more like a symphony rather than a garage rock band. Here are some tidbits on Mudd’s resume that make him more than qualified for the job.

  • Colts had the highest point total in the league during his tenure (26.1)
  • Colts had the lowest sack total in the league during his tenure (227)
  • League’s lowest sack total six different seasons
  • 2006 Super Bowl Champion

It’s tough not to be excited about the potential when you read stats like that. I believe that with this line, the offense is in for its best season yet. It is customary for the QB and running back to take the big boys out to nice dinners every time certain milestones are reached, (300 yard passing games, 100 yard rushing games, pro bowl elections, etc.) Expect the guys on this offensive line to eat hearty this season, and not on their own dime.