It’s pretty obvious, the Eagles have huge holes to fill in their linebacker position. They first threw rookie Casey Matthews into the fire at MLB coming out of training camp. This was a disastrous mistake that led to teams running all over the Birds in the first part of the season.
I don’t know how Andy Reid thought he could just give one of the most important positions on the field to a rookie, because it cost the team big time. It’s a lot of pressure that was put on Matthews to make the calls on defense, then everybody lined up properly, during a time when the Eagles defensive coaches themselves were learning a new system.
Reid made a huge blunder when he and his coaches decided to neglect the middle linebacker position, while they went out and signed the members of the “Dream Team”, Nmandi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cullen Jenkins, Steve Smith and Vince Young. They addressed most of the needs on the defensive side of the ball, but did nothing about the defensive signal caller, the guy in the middle.
Matthews a rookie was overwhelmed from being in charge of getting the defensive front aligned up correctly versus the run, then he was supposed to get off blocks and make plays in the Eagles run defense. He didn’t perform either task particularly well. The youngster couldn’t get it done although his name was Matthews, younger brother of Green Bay’s Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews III and son of 19-year NFL linebacker, Clay Matthews Jr..
Last year, I thought the Eagles should have signed former Titans tackling machine Stephen Tulloch, who played with the Detroit Lions this past season. Tulloch recorded 111 tackles and two interceptions. He could be a free agent this off season, but Lions GM Martin Mayhew has made it clear he wants to resign him.
The Eagles need to make it clear that they’re interested in Tulloch. They can do this by working behind the scenes and getting word to Tulloch’s agent. I know you’re saying that’s tampering, but it happens all the time in the league as long as it’s done through the agent and not directly with the player. You’re talking to agent of one player, who just happens to the be the agent of this other player as well. You just happen to mention that you would be interested in this particular player if he hit the market.
I think they need to draft a young outside linebacker in the first or second rounds, but I think they need a veteran in the middle to make the calls and keep everybody lined up correctly. Remember that Tulloch is very familiar with Jim Washburn’s “Wide-Nine” alignment because he played behind it in Tennessee for years.
I know some people might say that there might be better middle linebacker talent in the draft, but remember we need somebody who can come in the get it done next season rather than take a season or two to learn what he’s doing.
Give me Lofton (if not franchised), or Tulloch in FA. Then draft 2 of any combination of, ILB- Hightower, Burfict, Cole; OLB- Brown, David, Lewis. Preferably Hightower & Brown.
Tulloch isnt the answer….too small….we need a thumper like Lofton in the middle. However, after last season’s “all in”, doubt the Eagles sign anyone outside of their own free agents and will rely on the draft…..sad future for the Birds as we know how Andy drafts… expect a 9-7 2012 season
Exactly what I’ve been saying all along.
jott, Tulloch is listed at 240; Lofton is listed at 241.
Tulloch is too small? he is not the answer? is this cat serious? Tulloch is a flat out beast! Most importantly he is consistent!
Yesterday when i threw all those names out as potential MLB free agents, stephen tulloch was on that list as a guy who the birds could be targeting.. but i think all we really need is a good veteran MLB.. it doesnt have to be little guy tulluch it can be a taller MLB, tulluch would be the smallest LB we’d have next to rolle.. we need height and bult at that position no more little guys.. i like tulluch but he fits the profile of too many of our LBs that we have already..
Dan Connor from Carolina and David Hawthorne from Seattle are both guys who are probably going to be unrestricted free agents and would be excellent targets for the Birds.
JH – Tulloch plays football well. Isn’t that what matters? You don’t win a game by getting on a scale and standing next to a height chart!
The dude plays the position well – why focus on anything else at all?
I screamed and screamed and screamed for Tulloch. If you go back and look i said it was more important than landing NNamdi (for THAT YEAR, not long haul). It only made sence….. new system up front, why not grab a guy who knows it well. Ticks me off.
over the years ive also screamed that they would keep…
heck, i would have even kept the “turd in the water” for a year because he was better than what we had this year. I just dont get it…. they will stockpile DC’s in hopes that 1 will turn around after 8 bad seasons yet….. we cant have a backup LB worth a damn.
I recall Stevo and myself talking about Tulloch last year and the importance of having an epxerienced LB and Defensive Play Caller who has played in the Wide 9 Scheme and who could be a real mentor with the other young LB’s on the Eagles Roster..
Going back over my notes from last Off-Season, I wanted and liked the following Free-Agents
DL C Jenkins, LB S Tulloch, CB Carlos Rodgers and SS Dwan Landry
and I would still choose these players today over who the Eagles ended up selecting last Year as Free-Agents
But it’s all water under the bridge now.. Eagles need to add a Veteran LB,
Draft 2 LB’s and upgrade the SS, DL thru the Draft
agree pman. So expect them to get…. 4 DE’s from canada, 2 Cb;s coming off major knee injury. Cut chaney because they will draft Ray Lewis’s 2nd cousin twice removed because he has a high motor.
Schill, i said i like tulloch but he matches the same profile as brian rolle, they actually play alike its just that tulloch has more experience… but again we need LBs that can cover these big TEs we have in the nfc, we were torched all year long by TEs right up the middle of the field and it wasnt on the safeties fault but the LBs were at fault as well.. Gronk, Gonzalez and a few others had big games against us this year, we could go out and get a taller LB with the same or better abilities than tulloch..
Jon, actually, the TE thing has gotten better over the years. Our biggest issue is that we cant bring a guy down. I feel it started the year before JJ left (or the yeaar before that or something). He wanted more turnovers- we were last in the league or something- and so… all the focus was on pulling the ball out like we do on madden. and…. there is was born…. the end of tackling as we know it. How many times did we see this blown this year? last year? the year before?
JH – I hear you. But Gronk and Gonzales have big games against everyone. They’re unstoppable.
Stevo, theyve improved yes but they still have struggled with it.. And them having tacking issues is included. These little guys hey have struggle to tackle the ball handler, they have to gang tackle alot in order to get a guy down.. Im not against that philosophy but they need to get a LB or 2 that can really lay some wood on guys, a real hitter/sure tackler… either through FA or the draft.. they have some guys that can cover well at LB but the premier QBs can throw the ball in an area where the smaller LBs can reach it.. we witnessed that in the game against the Patriots… what a mess..
I agree with Schiller,
Many teams use those big,athletic TE’s as other teams use WR’s where they get targeted 6-8-10 times a games.. TE’s like Gronk,Finley,Graham,Gresham,Pettigrew and others have helped change the way the game is played now and many of the cutting edge Coached has changed their Offense to target more TE’s then in the past…Coaches like (Belichek,Payton,Rivera,Schwartz,McCarthy have been doing this for a couple of years now to create more mismatches as I wrote about some time ago..) and which is a reason I wanted the EAgles to upgrade the TE the last off-seasons where there were many good young TE’s in the Draft.. It was great to seel CElek have a bounce-back Season in 2011, but the EAgles need to get C Harbor more involved or go out and get a receiving speed threat at TE too.. Look at the Patriots,RAvens WR’s,, Not much depth, but they have 2 good pass receiving WR’s who can be on the field at the same time..
Defenses keep their LB’s in and then get burned by the biggers,faster more athletic TE’s of Today.. Defenses bring in smaller DB’s to cover double TE Sets and then Teams run the ball to take advanta of having more smaller defenders in the game..
Schill thats true, but even like stevo mentioned they struggle to tackle, they used to be a well disciplined team that tackled very well but couldnt cover well, now its reversed somewhat and the feeling i get is that they need more bulk at the LB position along with guys that can cover well…
Jh – agreed – they definitely need better D and mostly better tackling. I guarantee you that there’s not a soul on the earth that would disagree with that. I’m not convinced it has to be size. But I’ll take good LB tackling at any size.
Paul, there are so many Hybrid TEs in the league that can run routes and catch and block like Olinemen.. I feel like we have that with Celek but like you said we need to get Harbor more involved or go out and get a new TE…
There is a TE in the draft that many are comparing to Graham of the saints.. his name is Ladarius Green from Louisiana-Lafayette, 6’6 240 4.7 speed..
TE Green had a very strong Senior Week down in Mobile this week per most observors/reporters .He probably will go Late 2nd Rd-Early 3rd Rd
ill say it- i think size is part of the problem. You cant have 11 starters out there at 5’11 and 200 pounds. There is a reason guys like Casey Mathews got pushed around. There is a reason guys llike Plax used to own us… there is a reason guys like Cole disapear at the end of most seasons. there is a reason tweeners have not worked here. Size is clearly not the only problem but it IS a problem. I dont want all my lineman to be 310 but having 1 DT that looks like he would eat an elephant might be a good thing.
Unfortunately Stevo, We have a Coach that looks like he would eat an ….
Steve im with you all the way.. they have too many of the same size guys.. 5’10 5’11 guys that cant tackle.. our LBs gotta be sure tacklers bc if there not they will be exposed.. another thing is guys gotta know there roles and assignments.. too many guys out of place last year too many blown coverages …
But as i keep saying i see the birds drafting a DLman.. DT Devon Still would be a huge grab.. and there are many other impact players that will be available.. safety isnt a immediate need to me i think our guys gotta get coached up and get healthier…
I was thinking wouldnt it be something if the eagles brought coach del rio in as a assitant dcoordinator? Hes a very good defensive mind hes just not a good head coach..
I heard the same thing about green, hes really opening some eyes.. he may not be a household name yet but he will be soon.. esp if a team like the saints go and get him in the 2nd or 3rd round… id love to see the birds nab someone like that but they probably wont…
DE/DT Quinton Coples is another one id target if i was the birds.. hes 6’6 285.. has had an outstanding senior week and scouts love the guy.. theyre saying olinemene have had trouble blocking him all week.. similar to what we heard with brandon graham during his senior week.. smh
For the Record JHm
Couples was measured 6-5 and 268 lbs at the Senior Week on Monday..
He used to be a DT and then was moved to the outside as a DE and so he lost some weight so he could stay on the outside.. He will be a top 10 Pick and probably end up with the Panthers of Bills according to my Top #50 Draft Selections
1st Round something like this
#1) Colts – QB A Luck
#2) Redskins – QB RG III (Redskins trade up with Rams for this spot)
#3) Vikings – OT M Kalil
#4) Browns – RB T Richardson
#5) TB Bucs – CB M Claiborne
#6) Rams – WR J Blackmon (Plus Redskins 2nd Rd Pick – great move )
#7) Jaguars – OT R Reiff
#8) Carolina – DE Q Couples
#9) Miami – DT D Still
#10) Buffalo – DE/OLB M Ingram
#11) Chiefs – OT J Martin
#12) Seattle – OG D DeCastro
#13) Arizona – CB D Kirkpatrick
#14) Cowboys – CB J Jenkins
#15) EAGLES – OLB ZACH BROWN
#16) NY Jets – SS Mark Barron
#17) Bengals (from Raiders) – MLB L Kuechley
#18) Chargers – DT M Brockers
#19) Bears – OLB C Upshaw
#20) Titans – MLB D Hightower
#21) Bengals – DE N Perry
#22) Browns (from Falcons) – WR M Floyd
#23) Detroit – CB A Dennard
#24) Steelers – DT D Poe
#25) Bronocs – DE W Mercilus
#26) Texans – WR K Wright (Steal of the Draft)
#27) 49ers (from Saints) – WR M Sanu
#28) PAckers – DT F Cox
#29) Ravens – MLB V Burfict
#30) 49ers – RB L Miller
#31) Patriots – LB B Wagner
#32) Giants – C/G P Konz
Jhm is supposed to be an insult? Paulina.. not much of a difference 6’5 or 6’6 and yes he can still play both DT/DE, lets not get too technical…
And for the record Paulina, his name is spelled Coples not Couples..
268lbs a big difference than the 285lbs he was listed in UNC Players Guide.. Word was that Coples only wanted to play and remain a DE and not go back inside to play DT as they wanted him to do… Has a lot of upside and potential and could be similar to Julius Peppers if he can keep a constant motor.. Detractors state that he takes too many plays off and needs to keep his focus which is common among a lot of college players.. If he falls, it wont be very far and possbily down to the BIlls at #10 or Seattle or Cardinals but he will definitely be selected b4 the Eagles pick at #15
RT777, I agree, Tulloch is very good, & perfect for the Wide 9, since he has played in it with Tennessee & Detroit. The Birds screwed the pooch by low-balling him in the offseason, when he could have been a difference maker. But hey, we got VY, Brown & Smith for a year. $$$ very well invested. We didn’t need any LB’s or safeties in FA. Right!?!?!?
Paul you have them taking Brown over LB’s Hightower, Upshaw, Kuchley, Burfict & Wagner & over players such as DT Brockers, & DE’s Perry & Mercilus. Not a chance. IMHO, Brockers doesn’t make it out of the top 10. But hey, it’s fun talk. Who the hell knows?
Upshaw is more of a 3-4 OLB/DE and I don’ tthink fits the Eagle Scheme at al as a traditional SAM or WIll LB. If you move him around standign up,blitzing and even have him play a little DE with his hand on the ground, he can be very effective..I have the Bears grabbing him since their LB’s are starting to get up there and Upshaw need to add a pass-rusher opposite of DE J Peppers..
MLB Hightower is a beast and I would love to seen him in Green & SIlver, but I think the Eagles want a 3 Down LB which HIghtower is not at this stage of his Career simce hie’s limited in pass-coverage
Burfict has too many character flaws for the Eagles to take a chance on him
Wagner would be a great Selection if he lasts to the 2nd Round which is doubtful..
On DL– You are probably right about DT Brockers, he’s probably going to the BIlls/Arizona and b4 the #15 Selection.I am not sold on DE Perry from USC and is 6-3 but 5only 250lbs strictly pass-rusher.. I think he falls to the 2nd half of the 1st Round but I really do like DE Mercilus from Illinois and believe he is this years version of Aldon Smith who the 49ers grabbed last year and a little like JPP of the Giants from 2 years ago and will probably end up being a All-Pro in 2 years time if he gets with a good team … Mercilus has tremendous upside..
Paulman, Coples measured out at 6′ 5-34″ 281lbs, not 268, at the Senior Bowl, down from 285 listed on the Tar Heels roster.
I agree with your assessment, but free agency moves should be telling to how the FO approaches this draft. If we fail to come out of FA without a Mike the FO will be forced into a need pick, like last year, and BPA once again is pushed to the side, unless they are 100% sold on Kuechly.
Brown at 15 is a reach
Defensive Line is stacked with talent in this years draft.. And dont forget about Free agency where there is a DE that will be available unless hes franchised but i dont see it happening, and that guy is Mario Williams, I think the Eagles would love to see a player like him on there DL in that Wide9 scheme.. He could create havok and could help Trent Cole and Babin and others out immediately.. He will be pursued by the saints, panthers, bears, maybe the bills among other teams.. hopefully the eagles dont waste time and they grab him up.. The texans wont tag him because of the cost of the tag and they have so many OLBS and DEs so hes gonna walk.. i just hope the eagles are there to meet him when he does…
I don’t see the Eagles being very active in Free-Agency this Off-Season, I think they go for a Veteran LB and maybe a 2nd Tier WR and that’s about it..
Last years big-spending spree will most likley not occur again, they have free-agents of their own that they have to figure out first like D-JAx, Mathis, Dixon,LAndri and then they have to stat thinking of extending McCoy/Maclin’s deal who can become Free-Agents after the 2012 Season
The will most likley Trade/Release Samuel,J Parker, W Justice, J JAckson
to free up about $15 Million in 2012 Salaries,
Then will look to renegoitiate deal with D Tapp who is due to make $3.4 Million in 2012 which isn’t going to happen for a rotational player,…Tapp either comes down or gets released…
EAgles have 10 Picks in this Draft and could possibly gain another 1 or 2 with trades of Samuel/Justice,etc,etc… This is huge Draft for the EAgl Franchise for not only the short-term, but for the team 5 years from now..
They have 6 Selections in the first 4 Rounds (In the Top #111 picks or so) and they need to hit on at least 4 of them and have solid back-ups with the other 2…. They cannot afford to take a “flyer” or a “reach”s or a player coming off an “injury rehab” from College..
Paul i agree, this is a huge draft for the franchise now and for years down the line… The one thing that Roseman said earlier this week was they as an organization need to draft the best player available instead of draft a need.. Lets see where they go in the 1st round, they could go a variety of ways but they will not trade out of the 1st, they are still paying for doing that in years past…
But I can see the eagles having a big Free agency again… maybe not signing all the guys they did this year but maybe 1 or two impact players.. I would go Mario Williams and a LB maybe D’Qwell Jackson or maybe a stephen tulloch (Though i dont see tulloch coming here).. But i noticed there are alot of Corners that will be available in free agency as well, im not sure who the eagles third corner will be, i wasnt impressed with any of the ones after Nnamdi or Cromartie that took the field… Joselio Hanson improved what was a bad position when cromarite was put there that being the slot corner position… but i would still like some better depth at corner because im not sold on the guys behind the 2 main starters…
Back to LB, i do not see the eagles ignoring that position this year, they know they have to upgrade there big time, so expect them to try and get the best player available there… either in FA or in the draft or even both, but do not think they dont have money left to sign all there guys back and then some, they do have money.. it seems like there money doesnt run out, Banner is a cap genius, though this mentality has caused the team much harm, not saying hes a cap guru is a lie.. so if they want players then they can get them…
I like Tulloch, I love Gary Brackett. I’ve posted before on this, but Indy is blowing it up and starting over the Eagles should make a legitimate trade offer to get Gary Brackett in here.
David Hawthorne is a guy that should be looked at for SAM as well.
49er rookie LB Aldon Smith was selected as the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He recorded 14 sacks during his first season, a franchise record for a rookie linebacker. He also ranked first in the NFL in sacks among rookies.
So I ask CLAY WHO???? “NO OFF SEASON”; WHAT? HUH? That’s the kind of production we need around here. A LB with as much or more sacks than DE’s. Also, we need those kind of draft head scouts around here, not a bunch of “pencil pushin” wussies in the most important part of this organization who don’t know jack about football. We need some young fresh thoroughbreds fresh out the stables ready to come here and wreck shop, not some used up goods from the junkyard that Andy’ Spadaro and the front office tries to keep selling us on every year. We need some serious drafting this year or…well whatever , we know that won’t happen with this clown show running things. Would you want JC coaching up fined tuned studs? “H TO THE NO”!? I wouldn’t. Lets get the firing squad together and in place because we will need it at the end of next season!
Until then, KEEP ON DRINKING BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I BELIEVE THE GREEN ALE IS AT IT’S FINEST THIS TIME OF YEAR!!!!!!! ANDY AND THE FO GET THEIR ROCKS OFF AFTER EVERY FAILURE OF ANOTHER SEASON!
Aldon SMith plays the OLB in the 3-4 Scheme of the 49ers and mostly comes in and plays in passing situations and where he will rush from a down 3 Pt stance position..He is also will rush standing up from all over th efomation similar to DE/OLB Demarcu Ware does… Don’t let the OLB positon tage fool you, he is Pass-Rusher and does not drop into coverages often like a true OLB would…
In most 3-4 Schemes, 1 or both of the OLB’s are really an extension of DE’s and are usually one of them will be used to rush the passer most of the time
The Eagles LBs are not the good but the safeties are even worse —— Kurt Coleman is the best of the 3 but he is a below average starter, maybe Jaiquawn Jarrett will surprise us this year like Jeremiah Trotter did in his second season and become a quality starter but he looks too slow and timid to succeed. I’ve seen enough to know Nate Allen is not tough enough for the NFL ( he is too soft and you can’t teach toughness in year 3) —- The Eagles need to add Safeties first before linebackers
Its still impressive that a rookie that doesnt even play every down and barely knows what hes doing out there could come in on a limited basis and record 14 sacks out the gate, thats what you call simplifying and making a scheme that tailors to the strength of a player.. he had a very impressive year and i dont see him slowing down, though he wont sneak up on anyone next season for teams will try to double team him RB chip him and things like that.. but the 9ers have taken video of ware and told him to watch it obviously because he plays almost identical to ware.. we can only dream of having a stud like that on our team..
HE’s a very good player and reminded many of JPP when enterting the Draft.. The Bugaboo on him was his “motor” and lack of focus at the College level when he would disappear for large portions of games versus so-so competition..like a lot of young players go thru… He has a huge upside and reminds me a lot of TB BUCS Simieon Rice.. He is quick off a blocks and has a great explosion and long arms to close in on a tackle,deflect a pass, alter a pass.. We will be reading about him for a long time..
A player in this Draft who reminds me of Smith & JPP is the kid from Illinois Whitney Mercilus who at 6-4 265lbs , has a smilar wiry build and a quick step
The think that’s real impressive to me when watching Mercilus is that he also plays the run very well and does a great job of containing his edge.. I would love the Eagle to grab him at #15 for I think he may be the best-All-Around DE in this Draft and could still be on the board around their pick.. There are lots of Good LB’s in this Draft and I think 1-2 could be had with their 2nd Round Selections… This Whitney Mercilus could be that best of DE that Eagle Fans have been longing for for a long time. He’s Red-Shirt Junior and and runs 4.68 forty Time and could easliy put another 10lbs on his long frame…. Another potential stud is South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram who is more of a Stand-Up OLB/DE who would be perfect in a 3-4 Scheme.. Ingram is 6-2 275lbs and reminds me a lot of Demarcus Ware wo can easily drop back in Pass-Coverages, cover the flat area and can still rush the passer too.. He runs a 4.82 and would not be surprsied to see the Cowboys snatch him up at #14 to play opposite D Ware since their other OLB Anthony Spencer is a Free-Agent and hasn’t played all that well the last 2 seasons..
Thats exactly what I’m talking bout Jon Hart, I feel ya buddy! Paulman- you see what Kind of”High Motor” (per Andy Reid) guy we got around here? We got another injured wasted money in the 1st round pick with no production. These other teams are getting simeon rice and ware type of players, and we’re getting duds every year. Whitney Marcelilus would be a great pickup paul , but we know this FO and AR don’t think like that. Marcillus had about 13 or 14 sacks this past season and could prolly fit this scheme at Melvin Ingram is a “pit bull” ready to be released in midnight green, who would completely terrorize our opponents. I’ve watched him since he was a freshman and he is as dominant as they come. I remember when he scored2 td’s against Georgia in one game to beat them 45 to 42. Ingram is the real deal as well. Good stuff Pauly, good stuff buddy.
But we all know that this is wishful thinking and that the Clown show up front will prolly go with an old D-Tackle and also neglect the Safety position. JC Will prolly be the Coord again and we have another season wasted like we did when we had the McNabb Crew in here for a good 5 year stretch. our current players talents will be wasted, we’ll prolly let D-Jax walk like we did with Dawk and Owens, and watch our Offense sink without that deep threat. McCoys numbers would go down because we won’t have anyone to stretch the field like #10 and we’ll be in the dumps again next season. TIMES YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Meant to say “and” Melvin Ingram is a pit…also, concerning Owens, not that he walked, but because we refuse to reward his play and dumped him and he was the catalyst to get us running toward the SB during that season (Not the playoffs, for those of you who want to point that out) I know.
if Dawkins is not a HOF player than the whole team will get stiffed for Canton enshrinement in the Andy Reid era including that Gold Standard Front Office
Keep in mind that there ia a MLB out there that is making a comeback to the NFL after sitting out an entire year and thats MLB Lofa Tatupu, looks like he may be an eagle this year, he wont cost much and the rest of them im not really high on but if Lofa is injury free after sitting out the whole year than i would take a chance on him.. aid still draft a LB or 2 but we need veteran help there over sticking a inexperienced MLB in there…
Also if Lofa is healthy hes better than all of the other LBs available in FA.. lofa has run the 4-3 all his career and can adjust to the wide9 alignment in front of him for hes a very smart smart football player..
A league source is confirming that the eagles have compiled a list of defense free agents that they will pursue “aggressively”.. Can these names involve 1.)Mario Williams?
Or more?… Honestly I like this list… But we will see…
No way JH,
Lofa is a no-go coming off back major Knee Surgery and at his age, was not even on anyones Roster last Season after the Seahawks decided not to re-sign him… He’s toast.. The Patriots may be interested in picking him up but that’s about it…
Who is Travis Porter… Do you mean the CB Tracy Porter of the Saints..