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DaveSpadaro

[News] A Schedule Of What's Ahead For Eagles

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johnreaves writes, "I can't believe you guys haven't learned anything about the folly of FA CBs after the litany of failed ones we've signed in the past decade"

I can believe it, unfortunately. Because other than maybe Brooks, the Eagles don't have any first class cornerbacks. With McKelvin gone, & Rowe given away for next to nothing, unless Carroll, Grymes, Mills, and CJ Smith show a significant improvement in 2017, this team doesn't have a single starting CB. Therefore, I don't think getting only two rookie CBs in the draft, as you suggest, is going to be anywhere near enough to fix the problem. Not unless the Eagles are willing to risk their entire 2017 season on 2 newbies working out as NFL starters in their very first year (speaking of bad odds). And if not, that means they have no choice but to make 1-2 CB acquisitions in FA.

This is what happens when you foolishly trade away players like Eric Rowe! Not only do the Eagles now have to scramble to find two legitimate starting CBs for 2017, but they also need to add more depth to the position. It's not a good place to be. Though Bill Belichick is certainly happy--as he depends on the Eagles [mis-] "management" to win Super Bowls.

So, I'm not crazy about seeing two rookie CBs starting for the Eagles next year. But it would depend on who they draft of course. If they intend to rely solely on rookies, given the poor CB situation, I'd say they have to pick up at least 4 CBs in the draft--in rounds one, two, three, and four--to even have a chance at finding two viable starters for 2017. Maybe it's worth doing.

On the other hand, A.J. Bouye is an impressive player, and worth taking a risk on, in my view. Though I agree, Houston would be foolish to let him go. I also think Denver's Keyvon Webster might be a smart acquisition for the Eagles, since he's more of a great special teams player, who has the potential to become a very good CB (& besides, he's not on every team's radar).

As for RBs, you have more faith in last year's rookies than I do. I hope you're right. But as I see it, Smallwood gets tackled too easily. Yes, he's quick, but he almost never breaks a tackle! Marshall is unproven, and who knows whether he'll even work out, and I haven't seen enough of the other guy to offer an opinion. In addition, Sproles is getting old, and the Eagles need to find his replacement sooner rather than later. Nor do we even yet know whether Matthews will be back in 2017 (& able to play at a high level). Like you, I hope Barner gets resigned--but surprisingly, coach Pederson only used him sparingly in 2016. So, it's not a very impressive picture, and again, I'd say the Eagles have no choice but to add a #1 RB for 2017.

One of the more affordable 'decent' backs on the FA market this year is Christine Michael. But I don't think the Eagles should pick him up, since Samaje Perine is right now the stronger back & he's younger, with less mileage. Though Michael might make a solid bridge for a year, if need be. I also don't see many RBs with the "McCoy-like" moves & blazing 4.3 40 speed of prospect Tarik Cohen, who is expected to go in the later rounds (due to his small size). I think Cohen would be a smart 5th to 7th round pick up--as a potential replacement for Sproles in 2018. There are several other college RBs that I like too.

It's a pleasure to debate these points of disagreement with you, first of all. I completely agree about drafting a CB on round one, but to say "unless Carroll (and the others you name) show a significant improvement in 2017..." I believe Carroll was pretty good, not great but good, and I'd only want to keep him around for another year at most, but the Smith was looked even better in the preseason (which is the only time they put him on the field), and Grymes looked pretty good too (in his limited opportunity too). These guys were both rookies and not given any shot during the season despite the fact McKelvin was routinely targeted and taken advantage of by offenses. Mills was inconsistent, and I'd agree that if he remains at CB he needs to improve a lot (which is possible, given he also was a rookie). I think he should be switched to safety, and could become a top tier one.

A #1 pick starting at one CB spot and either Carroll, Brooks, Smith, Grymes, and perhaps a second CB who gets drafted on round 2 or 3, would be a solid upgrade. I completely agree about the stupidity about trading Rowe and keeping McKelvin (and Brooks, who we differ on about what he's shown in coverage). When I refer to the 'folly of FA CBs...", do I need to list the many players we've signed, many for big contracts (Asomaugh, Samuel, and Maxwell, most specifically), who ALL were major disappointments? If Bouye is there in free agency he'll come at a high price and a look at the history of FA CBs show that's just a bad investment. I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to two rookies starting at safety, but only if they both earn it. For next year at least, it has to almost certainly makes coverage weaker than if a solid vet is at one of the starting spots, however.

Regarding RBs, it's interesting that you talk about being willing to start two rookie CBs then say Marshall is unproven. Marshall looked very good whenever given the chance to play. I agree that Smallwood did not look great, but he was never healthy and both Westbrook and McCoy didn't look very good as rookies. Le'Veon Bell averaged 3.5yds/rush as a rookie, too (McCoy's was 4.1 and so was Smallwood's). Sproles is still very, very good and should playing until he wants to hang them up. Terrell Watson has a ridiculous size and speed combination and an unbelievable track record in his college career. To not allow him the chance to see what kind of NFL back he could be, and draft someone else who looked good in college instead, is foolish in my opinion. Many, many top players on elite teams are guys who did little in their rookie seasons. We're building a team, not trying to get from an 11win-type team to a Lombardi Trophy winner next year.

We're a young team with a second year QB. We also had a slew of first year players at both CB and RB. We shouldn't be bringing in new suspects until we give these young guys the chance to step up and develop into solid starters (and backups). To bring in a rookie (or Grymes,) who looks good when given an opportunity to play, then want to dismiss him before his second season begins because he's 'unproven' is crazy to me. Unless they bring in some great RB, which they won't (they only come around like once in every five years or so...and usually make their teams champions anyway, though Marshawn Lynch is the only exception I can think of in this century). There's not only no reason to allow young guys to play a lot everywhere and anywhere there's not someone clearly much better. We need to allow Wentz and the potential young talent around him on the current roster to develop and grow together. If they fail, then address it at that point. Building continuity and consistency is at least as important to growing a bonafide contender as adding additional talent. We certainly need to upgrade the WR and CB positions, and maybe the DE and OLB ones as well, but nowhere else is that clearly the case.

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  18 hours ago, johnreaves said:
  18 hours ago, johnreaves said:

The plan should be, and I believe will be, close to this:
1. Attempt to sign Jeffrey as a true #1 WR; if it can't be done then go for Desean, a true deep threat; if that's not possible, Pierre Garcon... a dependable guy who never drops balls.
2. Draft a CB #1
3. Draft a WR #2 (I like Zay Jones; if they sign Jeffrey, I might like Dede Westbrook more, the deep threat)
4. Draft either a second cornerback or OLB, which ever they grade higher when the picks arrives
5. DO NOT DRAFT A RB. Give the three rookies from last year, plus Barner, the chance to develop into a strong group (with Sproles there for a final season). The running game was good, especially in the last month, and if it proves to be lacking in 2017 then deal with it next offseason, but gives these young guys a full opportunity this year.

I see some here want to sign Bouye. I doubt Houston will let him go, but I can't believe you guys haven't learned anything about the folly of FA CBs after the litany of failed ones we've signed in the past decade. One in twenty FA CBs, at best, are not dismal failures. Teams don't let really good cover corners leave any more than they let really good QBs leave in free agency.
Also, some here want a tackle high in the draft? Really? That's crazy.

I'm a crazy kind of guy!

Our line was the strongest unit on the team last year, even with LJ missing 10 games and two rookies being forced into playing due to injuries (and emotional problems) to other players. Those two steadily improved too. We have depth now and a solid line with two second year players capable of starting. Finding a tackle late in the draft or as a UFA as a long shot is fine, but there's nowhere on this team that's as set as the offensive line.

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  18 hours ago, johnreaves said:

The plan should be, and I believe will be, close to this:
1. Attempt to sign Jeffrey as a true #1 WR; if it can't be done then go for Desean, a true deep threat; if that's not possible, Pierre Garcon... a dependable guy who never drops balls.
2. Draft a CB #1
3. Draft a WR #2 (I like Zay Jones; if they sign Jeffrey, I might like Dede Westbrook more, the deep threat)
4. Draft either a second cornerback or OLB, which ever they grade higher when the picks arrives
5. DO NOT DRAFT A RB. Give the three rookies from last year, plus Barner, the chance to develop into a strong group (with Sproles there for a final season). The running game was good, especially in the last month, and if it proves to be lacking in 2017 then deal with it next offseason, but gives these young guys a full opportunity this year.

1) bleeding into 2) Paul Turner is like a young Pierre Garcon, I wouldn't go for him. would love to See Jeffry in an Eagle uniform, if they don't sign a difference maker in FA, then I would pick a WR first. CBs are a little deeper in the draft.
3) I would still like to see them get a young play making WR to grow with Wentz.
4) yes they need 2 corners.
5) I mostly agree, I like Smallwood, if they get a good primary back,instead of this RB by committee crap, that would make me happy.

1/2)Paul Turner looked pretty good, but not that great and is nowhere near Pierre Garcon at this point. Turner has 9 career receptions in 4 games played, for a total of 126 yards (but one catch was a 46 yard reception, and the other 8 were for the remaining 80 yards). I won't bother to give you PG's record of consistent performance over a number of seasons. Also, there's a better chance the WR we can get on round 2, or even 3, is as good (or possibly better) than whoever we can get at #14 (or 15) overall than the CB on round 2 compared to the one we'd get on round #1. The WR position is deep too. Chances are that among: Kupp, Dede Westbrook, Zay Jones, Josh Reynolds, and some others...they'll be one or two as good, if not better than Mike Williams or Corey Davis turn out to be. That's much less likely to be true with CBs, because a lot more of the top ones will be gone by our second pick.
3) Absolutely, though I'd also like to see a solid veteran as well. The problem with the three top guys last year (who ARE all young players) was just dropped passes, though it was less a problem than in 2015, not the talent otherwise they displayed.
4) we agree completely here
5) I hate the primary back crap and most teams have gotten away from it, and Marshawn Lynch, and to a lesser extent Le'Veon Bell, are the only examples I can think of going back to the early 90s of one that was important to a team that went deep into the playoffs. Both Atlanta and NE certainly went with the 'RB by committee crap'. The reasons most teams now prefer the RB by CC is that it allows you to: keep all your backs fresher over the course of the season, throw different looks at defenses during games, not be too adversely affected by an injury, and doesn't require you to invest huge cap resources in one player at a position where it's simply not necessary. If Zeke gets injured it hurts Dallas much more than if any RB gets injured on Atlanta, NE, and most other teams. Remember, in Shady's best two seasons as an Eagle we were 8-8 and 10-6, and 0-1 in the playoffs.

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johnreaves writes, "I can't believe you guys haven't learned anything about the folly of FA CBs after the litany of failed ones we've signed in the past decade"
Wrang says : We have a different Sheriff in town now. I can think of a couple of cornerbacks we signed in free agency that played well before we signed them and played well after they left the Eagles. The poor play occurred when they were with the Eagles. Sure management screwed up a couple of them but the coaching staff screwed up some of these free agent CB's as well not playing them to their strengths. Now with that being said, Do you trust this current coaching staff with the new CB's whether free agent signings or draft picks? Do you trust the new Sheriff to make the correct picks at any position whether free agent signings or draft picks? Do you trust the Eagles to draft the correct CB in the first round knowing that the success rate for first round drafted CB's since 1999 is 30%? The best success rate with first round draft picks since 1999 is 1. LB, 2. TE and 3. OT. 4.RB. WR is last and CB is next to last.

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johnreaves writes, "[C.J.] Smith was looked even better in the preseason (which is the only time they put him on the field)"

No, they played Smith on special teams, and I believe he got a few snaps at CB. He made some mistakes though (on special teams); which granted, are to be expected of a rookie. But I agree Smith looked good in the preseason, and better than Mills. In fact, after the preseason, I wanted Mills to be put on the practice squad, and Smith to be given the opportunity to play. But that didn't happen.

As for Mills, I'm not sure he's big enough to play safety, is he?, though he tackles well. Yes, I thought Mills was very inconsistent. At times he played fairly well against some of the top receivers in the league, but at other times he got beaten badly--by Steve Smith, Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, & others, and on those occasions Mills looked slow, clueless, and not at all like he belonged in the league.

So, if Mills' bad play was simply due to inexperience, then he may show enough improvement to be ready to start in 2017, but if it was due to slowness, then he'll never be a top CB.

johnreaves writes, "Regarding RBs, it's interesting that you talk about being willing to start two rookie CBs then say Marshall is unproven."

I'm not sure I follow you here. No, I'm not keen on starting two rookie CBs. Though I don't want to say never, since I might be open to the possibility, if two rookies clearly proved themselves to be the best on the team (in the preseason). As for Marshall, yes, "unproven" may be the wrong word--let's say I wish Pederson had given Marshall more of a chance to prove himself, as I'm still unsure about him. But I agree he did look good at times. And yes, I'm all for giving Terrell Watson a big opportunity in the preseason.

I suppose where we differ is that I don't especially care about the negative statistics or past odds--since the Eagles still have the daunting task of improving the team regardless, and to me, the mistakes NFL teams make are more about who's doing the picking (& the coaching staff as 1wrangler points out)--since there are always good players to draft and acquire in FA every year. And when I see that a team has a specific weakness, I think the goal should be to try to acquire an embarrassment of riches at that position for the next season, so that they have many more options to solve the deficiency before the final cuts are made. In other words, I think the goal in 2017 should be to acquire 3-4 new CBs (and one that can play safety too--such as Humphreys, since I wasn't impressed with Jaylen Watkins last year). And why not? the Eagles have 8 draft picks this year!!, so why not use all those picks to get the very best 2 CBs, 2 WRs, 2 RBs, DE/OLB and back up safety they can possibly find? (& they will additionally need a G & Peters eventual replacement at OT too). If 3 or 4 of those 8 draft picks work out, they've had a very productive off season.

I also expect there are going to be some attractive mid to late round picks in this years draft, which I didn't think last year, at least, not as much.  I'm very excited about who the Eagles might draft with their two 4th round picks, and believe it or not, their two 7th round picks as well; along with some potentially good un-drafted players too: mid to late round picks such as RB Tarik Cohen, WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR KD Cannon, RB James Connor, RB Samaje Perine, S Orion Smith, CB Adam Lampkin, G (OT in college) Kofi Amichia, WR Keevan Lucas, WR/P & KO returner Victor Boldin Jr., WR Keon Hatcher, S Tedric Thompson, S Xavier Woods, RB Khalfani Muhammad, and maybe WR Trey Griffey too, since athleticism tends to run in families, etc. etc. In other words, I see 2017 as a great year for potential late round steals!, and the Eagles are in a perfect position to do so, with two picks in both the 4th & 7th rounds.

However, unfortunately, I don't have much confidence in the present Eagles organization--not with their poor track record (both past and recent) of getting rid of first class players for next to nothing. As CB Eric Rowe said, it's a "weird organization". In other words, there's a good reason why Bill Belichick stays so friendly with the Eagles, as he has the difficult task of continually building Super Bowl teams with no high draft picks, and he's learned that he can depend on the Eagles to help out. I mean--what first class, starting players did we receive in return from the Patriots for Dion James, Danny Amendola, Eric Rowe, etc.? None.

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@Mr Simpson - The more I hear Joe Douglas speak about what he looks for in good players the more I like him. Lets be honest though. You either have the talent to draft or sign good players in free agency or you don't. An example of this would be a free agent cornerback like a Stephon Gilmore. Stephon just made the pro bowl this year so if the Eagles thought he would play well in their defensive scheme and decided to pony up the money to sign him and he becomes a failure next season, who gets the blame? Management for signing a proven All Pro CB?, the coaching staff for not recognizing his talent and bringing it out properly?, or the player himself? I think the important thing to remember is that most talent evaluators are better at judging certain positions over other positions. Very seldom is one guy good at judging talent equally at all positions. That is why you have to surround yourself with multiple trustworthy individuals at judging all the positions and let your ego at the door when it comes to your positional weakness and defer to others for the pick. I like to think I am fairly decent at picking some positions on the field but other positions I defer to others on this board for advice.

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http://247sports.com/Article/Mellowed-Out-Arkansas-Razorbacks-LT-Dan-Skippers-change-from-agg-47659564

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The RB position: I think RMat has to move on. Smallwood shows promise as a complementary back. It seems I'm higher on Barner than most to be in the mix as a complimentary role. Marshall seems ok but not cutting it for me. Watson...could be good change up from the others. Can he take a huge step forward this season? ......................................................Sproles we have for one more season so I'm not basing decisions on him much/if at all.

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I want to take the analogies of both Mr Simpson and 1 wrangler a little deeper... Why do we continue to miss on players. Bellacheat uses my Eagles, like a talent pool taking players that our coaches decide don't fit. Why does HC Doug hold on to a 1st round pick like Agholor, and allow Schwartz to dump a physical talent like Rowe, Schwartz extolls the attributes of 7th rounder Jalen Mills who we know fell to the 7 rd because of off the field issues. I hope yr2 Mills becomes who they say he is, WR's are getting taller and faster short CB's like Mills will be at a disadvantage we saw him being beat repeatedly over the top. Mills greatest virtue according to Schwartz was how competitive he was, his short memory after getting beat. Doug is the head coach, Howie the GM, why was Rowe not given the opportunity... NOT trying to beat a dead horse.

Didn't Chippa just gut our team in his arrogance. Everyone wonders how Bellacheat continues to turn Eagles garbage into Patriots gold. Players play, Coaches coach, Gm's bring in players that should fit the team's needs. I look forward to the type of player Joe Douglas wants here. What does it matter if the people charged with the responsibility of making the players succeed continue in their arrogance to dismiss players that Don't fit their scheme. A la Chippa. Bellacheat never seem to have that problem...

Why can Coach Fipp continue to deliver the best ST year in year out regardless of player T/O ? @ 1wrangler and Mr. Simpson. What does it matter what talent we bring in if the people charged with developing the talent don't utilize them... CJ Smith, Paul Turner to name a couple. I am not a BellaCheat fan, I must however acknowledge his utilization of whatever players he adds to that roster. Why are we unable to do the same?

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Living up here in Pats land i can tell you a lot of it has to do with coaching and continuity, 2 things the Eagles are still woefully short on. D and ST's are good, my hope is Groh can make another part of our team stand out. It's not always weak players, as the Pats continue to teach the rest of us.

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Trini says Why can Coach Fipp continue to deliver the best ST year in year out regardless of player T/O ? @ 1wrangler and Mr. Simpson. What does it matter what talent we bring in if the people charged with developing the talent don't utilize them... CJ Smith, Paul Turner to name a couple. I am not a BellaCheat fan, I must however acknowledge his utilization of whatever players he adds to that roster. Why are we unable to do the same?

Wrang says that Turner is good enough to be on the field (in the slot) but at the present time JMatt is the starter and Pederson will not substitute JMatt for Turner. The experiment with JMatt playing the outside receiver position is over and it was a failure. IMO Going forward JMatt will be the slot receiver permanently or he will be traded. The only way I see Paul Turner getting a chance to play is if JMatt is traded. We pretty much know now what we have in JMatt. I don't think he has much more upside than what he has shown already. Maybe a little more upside if he is playing with a couple more GOOD wide receivers. Never the less, the Eagles have a decision to make with him. Trade him this year for a player or a pick in the draft or keep him the last year of his contract and hope you can sign him to a reasonable contract. As of now I don't think he will be worth the money he will be asking.

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I don't understand why we keep sticking with these bad corners all year. Bradley Fletcher,Nolan Carrol and McKelvin. We can all see it's broken yet they stick with them all season. We should have at least been giving time to lots of unknown young guys. At least then we could have upside possibilities. Even with those two duds playing for us at least they got Mills in last season. Not sure he's much of an answer though unfortunately. Something tells me Mills isn't going to be working his butt off to perfect his craft this offseason. Just not thinking of him as the hard worker. He has to make a huge leap forward this offseason or....

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Living up here in Pats land i can tell you a lot of it has to do with coaching and continuity, 2 things the Eagles are still woefully short on. D and ST's are good, my hope is Groh can make another part of our team stand out. It's not always weak players, as the Pats continue to teach the rest of us.

Was at Cheers Bar last Saturday while visiting my Youngest daughter. Her Finace' says that NE has the worse fans in the country lol. He has not clear cut favorite team, rather routs for particular players.... Was a nice visit. Not sure I would want to live there though....

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