2013 Philadelphia Eagles: Some Observations After Week Three

A breakdown of observations and a look at some of the numbers for the Philadelphia Eagles after three weeks of play in the NFL.

After three weeks of the season….

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Posted by ericengberg - September 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

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Should the Philadelphia Eagles Go After Josh Freeman?

For all intents and purposes Josh Freeman’s career is over in Tampa after being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.  The 25 year old signal caller finds himself in search of a new home after five up-and-down seasons with Bucs.  With the Eagles’ future at quarterback murky at best 3 games into the new season it begs an interesting question as to whether the team should make a play for him.  As a fan of the Eagles I am torn as to whether this would be a good move for them or not.

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Posted by ericengberg -  at 7:01 pm

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2013 Philadelphia Eagles Preseason: Thoughts After Game Two

The Eagles second preseason contest was much like the first one.  There were a lot of things to be excited about and some things that are still a bit vexing as we head towards the first game of the year.  So here is the good and the bad after the Eagles 14-9 win over the Carolina Panthers.

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Posted by ericengberg - August 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

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2013 Philadelphia Eagles Preseason: Thoughts After the First Game

There were a lot of ups and downs that came out of last night’s game against the Patriots. The offense looked pretty good while the defense looked downright atrocious at times. Here are a few observations I took away from last night’s game.

Offense

1. As of now Michael Vick appears to have the slight edge over Nick Foles but not by a lot.  Those championing Vick will point to the TD pass he had and the fumble that Foles had.  The fact of the matter is part of the blame on Foles’ fumble goes to the offensive line as the protection broke down in front of him.  Foles, however, needs to do better to secure that football.  He should have eaten it rather than trying to throw it away and cough it up in the process.

In the end, though, Foles did some really nice things and he proved what Kelly has been saying all along which is that he does not need a mobile quarterback to run the type of offense he wants to run.

2. There has been a lot of chatter this summer that Matt Barkley just might pull the shocker of all shockers and win the starting job at quarterback this year. That is not happening any time soon.  Barkley started poorly but finished strong once he got comfortable and found a rhythm out there.  He looked especially sharp when they switched to the no-huddle offense and he led the team to a touchdown in the 4th quarter.  Barkley flashed some potential last night, but he still has a ways to go.

3. Bryce Brown showed some nice versatility catching a pair of passes out of the backfield and not putting the ball on the ground once.

4. Clay Harbor made an awfully strong case for the team keeping 4 tight ends this year and the team very well may end up doing that given all of the injuries at the wide receiver this summer.

5. It is pretty much a given that DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, and Jason Avant are atop the depth chart at WR right now.  Greg Salas made the strongest case for being the #4 guy last night.  He was tremendous.

6. Ifeanyi Momah has a long ways to go if he is going to make the final 53.  My guess is we will not see much more of him in the pre season and the team will place him on the practice squad.

7. The offense is going to be in serious trouble if any of the starting offensive lineman miss significant time this year.  The starting five did a commendable job, although, Allen Barbre got beaten pretty bad by Chandler Jones on the Foles fumble.

8. I loved it when the offense switched to no-huddle mode.  They really seemed to struggle running plays at a slower place and really clicked when they went no-huddle.  All three touchdown drives were no-huddle drives.

Defense

1. The run defense was downright atrocious last night.  The Pats had runs of 62 and 51 yards in the first half.  Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount, New England’s top two backs, combined for 193 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 19 carries.  This team has a lot of things to fix with the run defense over the next four weeks.  It was disheartening to watch as linebackers were consistently out of place or over-pursuing ball carriers.

Unfortunately the defense did not look any better than it did last season.  I was never a fan of hiring Billy Davis in the first place and it is painfully obvious he has had little to no impact in coaching up his players or changing the way they play on the field.  The guy had no success as a coordinator in Arizona and Cleveland so I have pretty low expectations for this year’s defense.

2. The secondary was not much better.  Give Tom Brady his due for making some great throws, but there were a few times where Patriots receivers were running open with nobody around them and Brady was just shooting fish in a barrel at that point.

3. It was not all bad on defense.  Vinny Curry and rookie Bennie Logan really stood out when the second team defense got on the field.  Curry got a couple of good licks on the QB and was credited for half-a-sack while Logan racked up 5 tackles, half-a-sack, and a tackle-for-loss.

4. Brandon Boykin looked solid in coverage last night.

5. Fletcher Cox looks like he is going to be a beast of a player this year.  He disrupted a couple of plays in the two series he was on the field.  By the end of the year we may be looking at Cox, Curry, and Logan as the primary lineman when the team plays a 3-4 front.

6. Undrafted rookie linebacker Jake Knott was all over the field last night.  He had 4 tackles, half-a-sack, a pass break up and got two licks on the quarterback.

7. I have seen enough of Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews to know they need to go.  Neither guy seems to be getting any better at reacting to the flow of the game and Chaney still has not learned how to wrap guys up and bring them down to the ground.

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Posted by ericengberg - August 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm

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Philadelphia Eagles: What Happens at Quarterback Now That Matt Barkley is Here?

Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly shocked the league Saturday when they jumped up to the top of the fourth round to grab USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Heading into the draft Barkley was seen as, at worst, a second round prospect and nobody saw him dropping all the way to the fourth round.

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Posted by ericengberg - April 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm

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2013 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Fifth Round Pick – Earl Wolff

With the 136th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles selected safety Earl Wolff from North Carolina State. Wolff is a good athlete who posted strong measurables at the combine. He is average size for a safety with above average speed. He tends to overrun plays a bit and will need to improve on his tackling to succeed at the next level.

He joins a somewhat crowded safety position in Philadelphia with incumbents Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen being joined by free agent signees Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung. The team also re-signed Colt Anderson this off season.

On the surface it looks as though Kurt Coleman is going to be the odd man out entering camp. I doubt Wolff challenges for a starting stop right away and probably needs a year or two of seasoning before that is the case. Don’t be surprised if he pushes Colt Anderson out of the door though. Anderson provides little more than special teams play and was horrible when pressed into playing safety over the last month of the season.

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Posted by ericengberg -  at 11:29 am

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2013 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Fourth Round Selection – Matt Barkley

The Eagles traded up with the Jacksonville Jaguars to move up to the 98th spot and take USC quarterback Matt Barkley at the top of the fourth round. Barkley is an interesting pickup for the Eagles. He was once regarded as the blue chip quarterback in his class but tumbled mightily due to a disastrous senior season.

He joins an already crowded depth chart at quarterback with Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, and G. J. Kinne already there. Adding Barkley to the mix brings up some interesting questions as we head into training camp. It seems unlikely the team will carry Vick, Foles, and Barkley but they may do just that. Or, will they look to trade Foles or release Vick when the time comes?

From a purely strategic and forward thinking standpoint it would make sense to move on from Vick and roll with Foles and Barkley as the top two guys as their skillsets are more attuned with each other than Vick and Barkley.

It seems unlikely that Barkley will be brought in to challenge for the starting job right away. This is likely a case of the Eagles seeing a guy who they thought to be a great value pick and as a guy who could develop into their starter two years down the road.

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Posted by ericengberg - April 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

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2013 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Third Round Pick – Bennie Logan

With the 67th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles selected defensive tackle Bennie Logan out of LSU. I am not a huge fan of this pick for a couple of reasons, the first being that this feels like a reach. They could have traded back to the middle or the end of the round and still gotten him and there was a very good chance he is still on the board when they pick in the fourth round.

Another reason I don’t like it is there were far better 3-4 defensive line prospects still on the board when pick 67 rolled around. Georgia’s Johnathan Jenkins and Alabama’s Jesse Williams were both still on the board and both were much more highly regarded than Logan is.

With that said Jesse Williams is still on the board as we head into the 4th round and he could be a target for the Eagles on Saturday.

Logan is expected to challenge for playing time as an end in the 3-4 and could move over to tackle in 4-3 fronts. The main issue with Logan is he is best suited to play tackle in a 4-3 defense. He does not quite have the size to play the nose nor does he really have the speed and quickness to be a play-maker at the end spot.

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Posted by ericengberg -  at 9:52 am

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2013 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Second Round PIck – Zach Ertz

With the 34th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles snagged Stanford tight end Zach Ertz. I really like this pickup for the Eagles.

Incumbent veteran starter Brent Celek struggled with drop balls last season and it has been a chore for him to stay healthy the past couple of seasons. Celek is still a solid pass catching tight end but Ertz is slightly bigger and stronger and does not have issues with dropping the ball.

Celek has a step Ertz in terms of speed and getting down the field but Ertz is the better route runner and uses that to make up for his lack of straight line speed.

Look for Ertz to challenge for the starting job out of the gate. His selection could mean the end of Clay Harbor in Philly or Celek could be shown the door in an effort to save some money.

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Posted by ericengberg - April 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm

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2013 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles First Round Pick – Lane Johnson

With the fourth pick of the 2013 NFL Draft the Eagles selected offensive tackle Lane Johnson out of the University of Oklahoma. Johnson is one of those guys who sky-rocketed up draft boards on the heels of strong combine workouts.

I like this pick for the Eagles. He is very athletic and played in an up-tempo offense at Oklahoma and played quarterback and tight end before converting to offensive line.

With this pick it solves a couple of issues for the Eagles. He will be an upgrade over Todd Herremans at right tackle who, in turn, will now slide back inside and be an upgrade over Danny Watkins at right guard. In addition to that he also provides some insurance in the event Jason Peters is not longer able to play at an elite level.

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Posted by ericengberg - April 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

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