• May 23, 2024

A Glimpse At Eagles Offensive Backfield

Here’s a look at the offensive backfield players in the Eagles training camp, who I believe have a legitimate chance at making the game time roster.

Quarterbacks – Michael Vick, Vince Young, Mike Kafka

Michael Vick = Vick has shined so far in this training camp. He’s made big strides in this week and a half of work. Vick has been reading the blitzes, making the adjustment with the line sliding and the remaining back being adjusted. His accuracy has been outstanding so far. Despite the great acquisitions in free agency and via trade, the progress of Vick has been the number one positive of the camp. Teams were able to slow down the Eagles offense by blitzing them. That will no longer be an answer for the quick-strike crew.

Vince Young – Young has been lost in his short time in training camp. With the lockout, guys like Young have been put in a tough situation. Expecting him to learn the offense in a week and a half with four or five practices is ridiculous. The Eagles quarterback coaches have been working on his footwork, which has made his throwing quite erratic. He’s got a ways to go to get comfortable in this system and with the fundamental changes being made to his throwing motion. Still he’s got to make a great deal of progress to learn this system.

Mike Kafka – Kafka has had a good camp. His arm has gotten stronger and he seems to have a great mastery of this offense. If he were called upon to start, his lack of a big time arm to get the ball deep to DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin would hurt the offense tremendously.

Halfbacks – LeSean McCoy, Ronnie Brown, Dion Lewis, Eldra Buckley

LeSean McCoy – McCoy has been solid this training camp and he’s put on much needed muscle. The added strength will make McCoy a stronger runner and more effective with his straight arm. He’s gotten better during his time here at running the screen play. Number 25 also does a great job with the draw because of his outstanding vision. The third-year back can do everything the Eagles need from the running back position but he needs to continue to improve his blocking.

Ronnie Brown – Brown is an outstanding ball carrier who has the strength to get tough yardage inside, but he’s also got the speed to get around the corner. I could see the Birds finding ways to get the ball in his hands. Like McCoy he’s a good pass receiver, who needs to improve his blocking.

Dion Lewis – Lewis is a small and quick back, who has shown good ball running skills, but he has struggled greatly as a blocker. I don’t see any way that Lewis will be able to pick up the blitz. He’s has good receiving skills, but he must shine on the special teams if he wants to make this football team.

Eldra Buckley – Buckley has been injured for most of the camp. He’s a capable runner but not much of a pass receiver. His chances of making the team are good because of his success as a special team’s performer.

Owen Schmitt, Stanley Havili

Owen Schmitt – Schmitt has been a beast in the blocking drills. He’s stood up every linebacker on the team in blitz pickups. He’s a decent back, but he’s not much of a threat because he lacks big-time speed.

Stanley Havili – Havili has been somewhat of a disappointment. His blocking is his biggest weakness. He showed the ability to make plays as a runner and receiver in college, but he needs to make some plays in the preseason games. I know Reid would like to have another weapon at the fullback position but he’s got to be able to block. Havili needs to also do something to stand out on special teams in order to make the squad.


Read Previous

Lee Continues Dominance With Another Great Performance

Read Next

Victorino Shouldn’t Be Sitting Out Games By Himself

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 10, 2011 10:34 am

A proven traffic runner like Ronnie Brown takes a load off Shady.Think about some of those games last year he was getting hammered inside. Now you have a guy to spell him and you get a little more finishing power in the runs with it.

August 10, 2011 10:40 am

So 3 questions hopefully someone can answer for me:

1) With the new CBA – did they do away with the 3rd QB being inactive type rule – does that QB now count against the game day roster….. or are the rules same as last year

2) On Schmitt – at West Virginia – didn’t he have some big rushing games – I remmebr having a 100 yard day – guess I am asking if he can be Alscott like if given the chance

3) Anyone seen Dion Lewis at camp – I almost thought the write up was left over from Ryan Moats and they just changed the name.. ho does he look


August 10, 2011 10:44 am

Havili & Lewis look like a practice squad guys. If you can’t block in AR’s system you won’t last long…

August 10, 2011 10:48 am

Good stuff G,
Many of us have been waiting on some player analysis now that Camp is has been opened for a little bit… Maybe a weekly re-cap by Position Group would be very beneficial to us fans to keep up on who is looking good and who is having some problems

At QB — It doesn’t appear from what many of us have read that VY is going to pick-up this offense anytime soon and is most likley a player who would need a full off-season to grasp this Eagle system let alone work and refine his own mechanics.. Having a 1 Year Deal at $5 Million, do you think it’s even worth having him on board where maybe another veteran who is familiar with this West Coast system could come in and run this offense more effectively with short notice.. (Jake Delhomme comes to mind, who was with the Cleveland Browns and knows the Holmgrem/Reid system pretty well..obvioulsy Delhomme is very limited athletically and doesn’t have a very strong arm, but he would know this offense right away where VY looks like he’s a long ways off which is something we all heard while he was with the Titans that they had to continually “dumb down’ the Offense for when he played which is one of the reasons Coach Fisher went to COliins so often so they wouldn’b be so predictable .. Just a thought moving forward.. maybe a team who suffers a QB injury this Summer Camp may be interested in acquiring VY for a Draft pick or 2…

At RB — I see the 3rd RB spot wide open to one of the young RB’s and I like what I’ve heard & read about undrafted free-agent Greg Cooper who at 5-10 205lbs packs a bigger punch than Buckley ans has looked good so far.. Buckley I think struggles to make final roster.. I have also read that Dion Lewis has been disapointing a little and also hurt a little bit missing on reps

At FB — I stated back on post Draft discussions that S Havilli was a long-shot if he wasn’t committed to blocking well (which was he bugaboo while in College) Analysis on him was he has that “Halfback mentality but in a Fullback’s body” and really wasn’t a player who enjoyed the blocking/physicality part of playing FB

I hope as camp continues and with the aggessive nature of the entire Front Office and Coaches, I hope the Eagles don’t keep players just because they Drafted them.. out of 10-12 Picks, there are always going to be some players who are just not mentally or physically ready for the NFL or maybe hust not a real good fit for the Schemes you have and instead of keeping players and hoping they become good in a year or 2, go with the players that can help now and maybe make some contributions and even if it’s on Special Teams..
But I see players from recent Drafts like Laws,Teo,Clayton and Sapp (who is already gone) as not real good fits on this club and from this years Draft Class maybe a D Lewis,S Havilli just don’t make the Cut.. You can’t hit on every Draft pick and instead of worrying about making an error in analysis or giving that player a benefit of the doubt, go with the players who are producing in camp regardless on how you acquired them…

August 10, 2011 11:02 am

More than anything else, the fact that this team does not have a legit backup QB at all is a huge issue.

Oh, and no, this does not mean I’m drinking the Vick kool-aid. Its practice. Though even I will admit he’s 1000x better than Young (a signing I hated).

“Young has been lost”….really? That’s a surprise, seeing he has an IQ around 80…….allegedly.

Innacurate and stupid. A great combination. And btw, I’ve forgotten to thank him for the ‘dream team’ quote. No chance that will come back to bite anyone in the ass.

August 10, 2011 11:06 am

Jeeez Paulman…you really suggesting Jake Delhomme? Good god.

August 10, 2011 12:52 pm

I know this is off topic but this is most recent Eagle post so I wanted to stimulate some conversation. Most of you will ignore it because you just like to hear yourself talk and don’t read other people’s posts. I like to hear myself too, but I do read what others have to say. Those of you that don’t should try it because we have some very knowledgable fans out there even if we don’t always agree with each other.
What do you think of these ratings of the starters? 1-5 stars. We are depending on a lot of potential on defense including DRC and Babin. So we may want to curb our enthusiasm. We are banking a great deal that guys like Dixon, Chaney, Nate Allen, Babin and DRC will play really well. You know they won’t all live up to expectations. I’m going to rate them as I see them right now.

T. Cole-4.5
N. Allen-3

I like Phillip Hunt and Hargrove as sleepers. These are guys that can be this year’s Sam Rayburn or Antonio Dixon. I think Chaney may be a four by the end of the year. And Allen may be a 3.5. I’d say four if not for the knee issue. Dixon is a wild card as well. I think Coleman and Mathews could finish a little higher as well because these are maximum effort guys like Ike Reese, Sheldon Brown or Q Mikell. They are tough, play hard and are effective, but just lack the tools to be able to be outstanding. I.e. size and/or speed, etc.

August 10, 2011 12:59 pm

I say Coleman is a 3. He’s been more stable than Allen – and if you discount where they were drafted (which I think you should, given that that doesn’t determine how you play), he’s a 3 if not a 3.5 in my book.

I’d put Babin at a 4. I’d also include Jarret, and Page in the mix at safety. And you have to consider playing DRC a ton.

I don’t really think the ‘starters’ are important at all. And neither is thinking in terms of the traditional base defense.

August 10, 2011 1:00 pm

Tapp too – I’d put him at a 3.

August 10, 2011 1:12 pm


D Jack-4
J. Jackson-2.5
R. Harris-3.5

Justice is a 2.5 so Harris is an upgrade if he is healthy. I don’t think Justice is above a three on his best day and last year in the second half he was more like a two. Shady could move up to 4.5 if Andy uses him more consistently. He needs to use him like he is Marshall Faulk or Westbrook. Right now he uses him like he’s Deuce Staley and he is missing sometimes. Maclin won’t move up this year because of his issues and I don’t think D Jack has potential to be higher than four. And I just can’t give Vick a five. Only Brady, P. Manning, Brees and Rodgers get fives. Peters again a cut below prime. Notice I said same for T. Cole. Watkins may turn out to be a four if he makes all-rookie team and/or PB. And Celek could reach a 3.5. It’s worth mentioning that Schmitt is not that relevant since Avant or another TE will be used more. Avant is 3.5.

August 10, 2011 1:21 pm

Wow Jbird- you’re harsh.

I’d put Schmidt at a 3.5 at least. And you’re penalizing Shady for the playcalling on the part of his coach? I thought we’re ranking players. I’d put Shady at 4.5 easily. And Celek? I’d put him at a solid 4 right now. You have to look at his whole career, not just last year when our OL sucked and they needed him to block.

I also don’t see you you can say Peters is that much better than Herramans. Are you docking Todd for health reasons? I could see that, but he’s been the best OL in my book for a few years now. And Jackson that low? Again, if you’re factoring injuries/missed time, OK, but he’s a solid 3 at least.

August 10, 2011 1:24 pm

Schill…can’t give Babin a four based on one year in an overall disappointing career. Let’s hold off there until Halloween and then see what we think. 3.5 is major stretch on Coleman. But he could be. We need to see a little more there as well. DRC is intersting. He is either a 3 or a 4. He is much like Lito in that he won’t give it max effort if he is a little hurt, pouting, or playing for a team thats not winning. He will be winning this year, but will he accept his role? I think he will be uneven and show up big in games like Dallas and NE and the playoffs but slack against the Bills or Dolphins or Skins.

August 10, 2011 1:34 pm

Schill…I’ll give you three on Fat Jack. I went a little low because it seems like there is something Mudd is not seeing that Kelce is getting so many snaps. Maybe he is just being proactive because Fat Jack has been hurt and he sees nothing in McGlynn. So I concede. Herremans is a guy that has never lived up to his full potential because I think he is a little cozy. He and Fat Jack have both failed to reach for the brass ring and have been content to be starters and have jobs. Not everyone has that drive to be the best. I posted earlier that his “foot” isn’t bothering him this year because Mathis is a good player in his own right and like I said he wants his job. Could be a blessing because now he has to work. Kind of like when AI participated in the 2000 Summer Games and low and behold was MVP in 2001 because he didn’t spend the summer with his posse doing nothing and was actually in a gym. Sorry but Todd’s a little lazy. And I’ll give Schmitt a 3-3.5. He does what they ask very well. Another point taken. And I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

August 10, 2011 1:41 pm

Schill….sorry about Celek. But I have to give him a 3. If Witten had to block all year they wouldn’t just put him in the PB because he is always there. Well yeah they might because they vote on rep. But thats beside the point. 42 catches is not getting you a four. And guess what. He didn’t block that damn good! Its still an issue after four yeatrs that the guy is an average blocker. Three and I stand firm. I concede if he catches 60 balls and scores more i’ll bump him. And he a case of the dropsies last year as well. You’re being a homer on me now Schill. I like the guy too but come on!

August 10, 2011 2:01 pm

Schill…by the way I did preface the whole thing with “where I see them right this minute.” There will be a lot of movement both up and (unfortunately for some guys) down. We need a lot of things to fall into place and if we have too many guys on that D that don’t reach their potential we won’t be much better off than last year come playoff time. GB actually took it easy on us and played very conservative. Even with our additions they could work the same exact game plan this year. Run and throw short. Limits our corners impact and our pass rush impact. We like to think we were a few mistakes away from beating the champs. Fact is we were a mediocre team that made the playoffs because Vick was awesome. AND the league figured us out and we were not going to sniff the playoffs this year without these upgrades. GB coasted. They could have killed us with ease. But they didn;’t need to break a sweat because we were obviously no match. And they almost blew it by taking it easy and playing down to their competition. It was never really close.

August 10, 2011 3:11 pm

I agree with Jbird about that Playoff game vs the Packers,
If Packers WR James Jones doesn’t drop a sure TD catch and run just before halftime, that game was over by the 1st Half as Packers would have been winning 21-3 making the Eagles even more 1-dimensional than they already were.. They sat on their lead in the 3rd Period which gave the Eagle a chance
(Very similar to the Arizona Cardinal game in the NFC Championship which was realyl over at halftime too in my opinion)

Anyways, here’s Paulmans Grades on Starters and they won’t be as high on some players as many of you have previously listed (Scale of 1-5)

QB – Vick (4.5)
RB – McCoy (4)
FB – Schmitt (2.5)
WR – D-Jax (4)
WR – Maclin (4)
TE – Celek (2.5)
LT – Peters (4)
LG – Herremans (3.5)
C – Jackson (3)
RG – Watkins/McGlynn (2.5 to maybe a 3–no experiecne to go by)
RT – Harris/Justice (2.5)
3rd WR – Avant (3.5)
4th WR – Cooper (2.5)
2nd TE – Lee (3.5)
3rd TE – Harbor (2)
2nd RB – R Brown (3.5)
Back-up QB – VY ( 2 Athletic but will have a difficult time learning this system)
3rd QB – M Kafka (2.5, knows the system well, but does not have a big arm to make the deep throws which this Eagles offense is predicated off of)

Kicker – Henerey (complete unknown — 4 based on College Performance)
Punter – Henry (complete unknown – 4 based off his College Performances)
Long Snapper – Donebros (4) does a solid job, would like to see him get into more tackles on punt coverages

August 10, 2011 3:25 pm

Paulman…you and I see it pretty similar. I see you a little low on Celek and Harris. Harris will be significant upgrade if he stays healthy. Remember he was going to be one of Denver’s bookends with Clady on a line that allowed 12 sacks before he got knicked up and fell out of favor with a coach that proved to be a mad man that destroyed the team. Justice is a flat out stiff and a sloth with no heart and soffftas they come.

August 10, 2011 3:26 pm

paul…do your D ratings please.

August 10, 2011 3:44 pm

T. Cole-4.5 (I’d agree with you here, possibility of hitting 5 or dropping to 4)

Dixon-3 (I think Dixion is solid espeically in the run game, which is something that he should be able to really sink his teeth into this year…I think he was 3.5 last year, with improvement, I think he may be 4 start of reg season

Jenkins-4 I’d agree with that

Babin-3.5 – I’d have to give Babin a 4 at least, he may even be 4.5..Pro Bowler, what he have 12 sacks, he will draw double teams which will open up plays for the rest of the line,

Chaney-3 – I think Chaney was 3.5 last year, damn near a 4…I like Chaney alot he is always around the football, just because he moved from the MLB, he will still be a presence…I give him a 4

Mathews-2.5 – I’ll agree with you here, as i dont really know what to expect from Matthews

Fokou-2 – I’d say 2.5 – his fifty/fifty, seen a few good things from him at times, but consistency is the big question…

Assante-5 – his play making ability alone warrants a 4.5…I’ll give him a 4.5, still some room for improvement…his risk taking to burn us once twice in the past…but his positive plays out weighs those occasions by far

Nnamdi-5 – I;d have to give him 4.5, I dont think he will struggle but being knew to the schemes playing a different position at times, I think there will be room for improvement…

N. Allen-3 – Allen is gonna be a very solid safety for us,,,when I say gonna be I mean gonna be this season…for now based on last season, a 3 is appropiate)

Coleman-2.5 – yea was never really that big on this cat! being we have the same last name, you’d think It would be different

August 10, 2011 3:53 pm

Real…thanks for the feedback. I like seeing what others think. Seems like you and I are pretty close in opinion. Coleman I compared to past Eagles like Reese, Sheldon and Mikell. He gives great effort and plays the right way. Just doesn’t have the physical tools. I think he will be solid though. I don’t want to jump the gun but I have a hunch JJ might be another second round bust we are famous for. See him as a terrific collegiate safety whose skills don’t translate to the next level. Don’t care that you hit hard son. Can you run? Can you cover? Well you better. I don’t think he can.

August 10, 2011 4:23 pm

The only glaring disagreements that I have are as follows:

Scmitt should be rated higher. He is a good lead blocker and very good as a receiver. Is he a game breaker at receiver like Weaver? No, but he is still very good and impressed me last year with some of his bail out receptions. Also, while he never runs the ball, consider that our halfback is hardly getting the ball enough.

Fokou–I rate the guy at around 3 to 3.5. He was our most consistent linebacker last year and really adds alot to our run defense. Rarely can I say that the guy is a liability or blows a play.Super physical guy.

Herreman is our best O lineman, hands down. I give him a 4 to 4.5. I also think you may be jumping the gun a little bit on rating Ryan Harris at a 3.5

I definitely agree about Celek. Actually, I think he may be the most overrated player on offense for us. The guy is average as a receiver and is abysmal as a blocker. Just my opinion, but I would not be shocked if he is supplanted by Harbor or Donald Lee this year.

August 10, 2011 4:25 pm

LOL, thats not fair comparison at all Coleman to Resse lol…I never really like Mikell at all, his stats were inflated in my opinion especially last year because the right corner got beat so often…I hope that won’t be the case with Jaquan, he seems to be pretty NFL ready (mentally) from the clips I seen from him in college…pretty good instincts, solid in pass coverage he hits hard, but physically….you hit the nail on the head, because of his size power running backs may give him a problem, so tackling is a big question? I’ll be watching him tomorrow night… But we’ll really need to give him a year or two more before we make a decision…

August 10, 2011 4:29 pm

Players I’ll be keeping an eye on, if I can (depending on camera angle lol)…Johnnie Lee Higgins, this cat is fast, playing in Oakland he never really had a quality QB so maybe he could be a solid pickup for us, being he’s returning the kicks, that tells you the type of speed he has…Being he’s playing behind Maclin and Cooper, he may see some serious action if Maclin, isnt back…That really concerns me! Maclin is probably our best all around WR…Higgins will probably be a number 2 at the WR position tomorrow…Cooper being the 1, I’ll be watching Cooper as well, seeing how aggressive he is coming to the ball, I would like Vick to throw him a similar pass he threw to GB, to see what he does…sending him across the middle, how he is blocking for the RB’s etc…I want to take a look at the young boy Jerrod Johnson, MM had some pretty good things to say about him. Although in college he didn’t appear to be that stellar…from what I’ve read, he was one of the worst NFL QB’s at the combine…hopefully the coaching staff can develop him, he has good size for QB and tons of talent.I dont expect much from Young, and honestly I think Kafka should be working as the #2 right about now…I’ll be watching both of these cats and comparying them to one another, because the #2 spot should be up for grabs in this case..

August 10, 2011 5:31 pm

On Defense

DE – T Cole (4) Doesn’t play the run as good as he should, lots of rushing yards come around his end of the field..)
DT – C Jenkins (4) a Solid player vers the Run and Pass
DT – A Dixon (3.5) is an unstoppable force when focused but needs work on his stamina and conditioning to play more snaps)
DE – J Parker (3) Solid Contributor when he’s a rotational player (30-35 snaps a game)
DE – J Babin (3.5) Is deceptively quick off the line and snap count, again, best stuited for a 35-40 SNaps a game rotational player to keep fresh
DT – M Patters (2.5) Solid vs run, not much of a penetrator
DT – T Laws (2.5) Needs to have abig camp/preseason or could be on way out, has the physical tools but needs to be healthy and focused
DE – B Graham (2) played well in spurts and besides reovevring from his Knee Injury, he needs to improve his Stamina and Conditioning, way too many times he was gassed after only 3-4 plays.. I see his future as a Rotational Player only
DE – P Hunt (2) an unkown at this time
DE – TEO (1.5) Tries hard but just seems lost out there and overmatched
DT – A Hargrove and Landri – (2.5) Both bring energy and experience and could move up the charts to a 3 and replace the injured Patterson and or

LB – Fokou (2.5) Solid versus run, poor vs the Pass, is really an early down LB only
LB – Chaney (2.5) Nice start in his ROokie season, very active and an excellet tackler, this year it appers he will be playing the outside so let’s see how he is out in space.. (I think he will be a good one and improve to a 3 or 3.5 as he gets more experience)
LB – Matthews (2) has the pedigree no doubt and has the work ethic to be a very good NFL LB, but lets give him some time to develop and learn the nuances of the Pro Game.. It won’t be for a lack of smarts and effort, just needs experience and can move up to 3 to 4 range in a year or 2
LB – Jordan (2.5) average skills but knows the system and very good on special teams
LB – Clayton (2) has excellent speed and get after the WB, feel he has been mid-used a little and would excell as a blitzing pass rusher,but needs to be discipline and stronger at the point of attack to get off blocks. Must improve in year 2 to make the Roster
LB – Rolle & Greg Lloyd (2) who knows at this point, both have vey good potential

CB – Asmoguah (5) not much to say, he’s the best there is
CB – Samuel (4) big time playmaker, will get a lot more opportunites which Asmo on board, can improve his tacking which was a better last year than his previous years
CB – DCR (3.5) can be a real playmaker in this Defense and thrive and be a dangerous “center fielder” in this Defense
CB – J Hanson (3) is an excellent slot-receiver CB, and very effective for up to about 10-15 Yards in coverage but is not very good when asked to play the outside postion in a lot of space..
CB – T Lindley (2.5) needs to get on the field and let it happen, I think he will have a strong pre-season and position himself as the back-up for Sammuel and possibly challenge Hanson as the slot/cb back, I like his upside and playing with some All-Pro’s is only doing to speed up his development but he has to make plays when giving the opportunity,must be a terror on Special Teams
CB – C Marsh (2) has the talent,but need a solid 2 Seasons to learn the tricks of the trade and he has great players to learn from, Could possibly be developed into a Safety and has the size and physicality to pull it off and must also contribute on Special teams..

S – Nate Allen (3) had a nice 1/2 of Rookie Season then hit the proverbial rookie wall and struggled a little bit before his injury.. Will make strides as he gains experience,, but needs to work on taking better angles and better leverage when tackling which are a fixable..
S – K Coleman (3) had a nice surprising Rookie Season if you ask me and got stronger as the Season went along and appears to be a natural leader and a solid Special Teams Player
S – J Jarrett– (2) an unknown and this time but has th physical and mental tools to be a good solid player for years
S – J Page – (2.5) A nice experienced player who is physical and will be a good mentor for the younger players and contribute on Special Teams

When this D gets and gets on the same page with the new players and coaches I think by mid-season could be a Top 5 Defense in the NFL and with adding 4 Pro-Bowlers in Asmo,DCR,Babin and Jenkins, as it should be and if the the Young LB improve and step up along with COle & Samuel, this could be a dominating type of Defense that we haven’t seen in Philly in years..