• December 4, 2021

A Preview Of The Eagles’ 2013 Linebackers

DeMecoRyans2As the roster of the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles and their season is studied, analyzed, turned inside out and upside down, I decided to add my other two cents. You’ve seen the revamped secondary, but I want to take a look at the one group of Eagles players that – for me – may be the biggest question mark maybe even up until Training Camp, is the Linebacking Corp.

Philadelphia finished last season as the 10th worst defense against the run allowing 2021 yards, 126.3 ypg, 4.2 per carry while yielding 11 td’s, 13 of which went for 20 or more yards. One of the worst defenses in the league in forcing turnovers the Eagles collected only 7 fumbles. This is an area the team addressed in Free Agency and the later rounds of the Draft and perhaps not sufficiently enough.

We’ve been told who the projected starters on the inside will be when the Eagles take on their new look Hybrid 3-4 alignment but who are the outside guys going to be? As the Draft neared and my picks regularly flip flopped I was hoping for Dion Jordan out of Oregon to come to Philly as the 4th overall pick but Miami snatched him up.

Last year’s rookie starter Mychal Kendricks joins second year Eagle DeMeco Ryans in the middle. Kendricks showed flashes of greatness early in the 2012 season but seemed to hit the rookie wall down the stretch (58 tackles, 1 sack) becoming invisible at times. Drafted last year as an outside linebacker (in a 4-3 alignment) for his speed and ability to cover, I question the move to the inside in a 3-4. The Eagles however, need him to hit an early stride this season and build momentum as the season progresses.

Ryans played fairly well last year, leading Philadelphia in tackles with 113 to go with a sack and an interception (27th in the league). Before the trade to Philly, Ryans was unable to flourish in a 3-4 after tearing his Achilles tendon in 2010. Can we expect him to excel in a 3-4 and be the same player he was before his injury are two concerns with the former All-Pro brought in to be that “monster in the middle” this team has lacked for too long.

For the second consecutive year the Eagles plucked another linebacker from the Houston Texans, Conner Barwin who at 6’4” 260 (3 sacks) looks to have the edge on the left side. So who does that leave on the right side? I said last season that Linebacker/DE Brandon Graham at 6’2” and down to 265 should have gotten a look last season and it looks like he’s going to get a shot this spring. Graham came on strong towards the end of last year and got the most production per play (30 tackles 5.5 sacks 2 ff) than any other defensive lineman on the team.

On the other hand Trent Cole – who saw his production slip dramatically (24 tackles, 3 sacks, ff) has been my favorite DE for years – could be effective as a standup edge rusher but the question is does Chip Kelly have a serious desire to keep him or will he use him to get deeper at another position or even for a draft pick or two down the line? But since Kelly is starting from scratch, I would leave Kendricks outside and slide Graham inside with Ryans to exploit the power, quickness and agility of the fourth year pro. These guys are gonna have to find some nastiness and attitude in their football psyche.

Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews are the incumbent backups if they make the cut. Matthews – who seemed to be Andy Reid’s Pet may have an even better shot at sticking now that his former college coach has taken the reigns. Number 7 Draft Pick Joe Kruger at 6”6’ 270 (who wasn’t drafted for his athleticism) might be a steal and battle for a spot at right OLB. Philip Hunt listed as a DE at only 254 lbs. may even get a look. That leaves newcomer Free Agents’ Jason Phillips (6’1” 240) a 2009 5th round  draft pick, Chris McCoy (6’3” 251) 2010 7th Round and Rookie Jake Knott out of Iowa State to battle for positions on the 2013 roster. Oh yeah, Chris Gocong, the one time starter from a few years ago before being traded to the Browns is back and looking for a home.

There is the potential for this Eagles team to wreak havoc in 2013 and this Linebacking Corp needs to be a huge part of it. But Philly is a town that is lo-o-ong tired of potential and there are still too many “if’s” leading into the season. With many new and different pieces to put together, these guys will need to rely on quick chemistry and trusting a new culture and new coaching techniques. I’m not just looking for “Nasty”, I’m expecting someone, anyone to bring it!

Mylow Young

Originally from Philadelphia Mylow now lives in Statesville, NC about 40 miles north of Charlotte. Mylow once aspired to play with the Eagles a bit after coming out of high school but was sidetrack by street activity and later drugs. He did however play Semi-Pro ball in the Tri-State Football Conference in 1978. He has have been clean and free from an addiction to crack cocaine for almost ten years now thanks to the mercy and grace of the God who loves him! Mylow is the author of two books, his first novel "Against the Gates of Hell: A Crack House Exodus" was released 9-1-11. Visit him at www.mylowyoung.com

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72 Comments

  • WOW, every article not just on here but around on other sites. Never even mention Acho the kid they got from cleveland interesting.

    • Because he is strictly a special teams guy…..not worth it

      • Gm you may be right but dam he hasn’t even played yet. Give him a shot, hell they mention Casey Mathews he is the worst linebacker I have ever seen in Eagles green.

        • I think he should replace Casey Matthews, he has no business in the NFL. I’ll give him a chance Murder, my brother, but at this time that is what I expect from Acho.

  • Good Article Mylow!! In other words, we have no real impact at Linebacker.

    I have made the suggestion to move Kendricks to Strong Safety, and draft 2 guys to play the OLB, and 1 to be able to play both ILB/OLB, next to Ryans;
    Ansah, Cornielius Washington, and Jamie Collins, as well as Ryans successor Ty Powell.

    Irresponsibly, Howie Roseman drafted none, imagining Connor (3 sack last year) Barwin , Brandon Graham, and Trent Cole were still the answer. Until this team learns how to draft TALENT, we will remain light years away from contending for a championship.

    • Love Jamie Collins the Eagles really messed this draft up. Where the hell was Gamble Gm.

      • I guess they were listening to Chip Murder.

        I was hurt to my heart that New England could see in Jamie Collins, what I saw, and made him their very first pick in the draft. The Eagles dropprd the ball on that one Murder.

  • Mylow, you need to do some research on the “4-3 under” defense that is going to be run by Davis. It’s not your typical 3-4. Cole and Graham will be playing the “Predator” position which is 90 percent rushing the passer. At LB, the Barwin will play the TE and rush 70 percent of the time with Ryan playing MLB. In this defense, big Dlinemen while try to occupy blockers, but Ryan may have to take on Guard coming at him at the second level while the other OLB (Kendricks) will be free to make tackles all over the field.

    • Good Point Ballhawk!!! I just don’t think Cole, Barwin and Graham, are as good as who we could have had.

      Excellent post Brother!!!

    • Nice post ballhawk. Makes perfect sense to me

  • Lots of moving parts, we need to see what happens on the field before passing judgement. Nobody knows what the offense or defense is going to look like. I for one can’t wait.

  • I think Cole is the odd player out and just don’t see a spot outside of a DE Pass Rusher if they emply a 4-3 Alingment on obvious passing downs
    He may see 15-20 Snaps a game based on opponent, score of game,etc
    Cole probably makes 2013 Roster but I think gets phased out by mid-Season
    Due to his lack of versatility and then flat out released after 2013
    Season..

  • You can’t really judge these Eagles players because there coaching was so terrible let me explain people. 1. They had no real Def Coord for the last 2 seasons. 2. The Def Coord and Def line coach were doing the own thing that was just a mess. 3. Wide nine defense just terrible I believe the Lions run that same defense with a good defense line and there defense is just as bad as the eagles were. I’m telling you Brandon Graham is a beast but was being held back because of the wide nine when Washburn left he was a monster

    • Brandon Graham is no beast…HE PLAYED OVER HIS HEAD, just like Jason Babin did the year prior. I wasn’t impressed.

  • The only draft pick I didn’t like was Bennie Logan I thought he would of been there in round 5 or 6.

    • I didn’t like 1, I liked Ertz – but I wanted Cyprian -, and I didn’t like 3-7 picks either. Most of the guys drafted were special teamers…..all of the 7th rounders were special teamers.

      • Chorine was already gone GMCliff to the Jags before the Eagles Selected, so why keep harping on it.. The Jags and HC Bradley wanted him too..

        • If I know how this draft is flowing, and I wanted Cyprian, not Chlorine, I make a deal to get him…….

          And I’ll stop harping on Cyprian, when you stop harping on Vick, being traded, cut , not starting, or anything else negative about the man, sense he is already signed, and prepared to start, whether you like it or not…and stop blogging him in every post you write,……….. fair enough?

        • Paulman that pick was for sale, I live in Jacksonville they wanted more picks later that pick was there for the taking. Nobody offered so they took Cyprien.

          • If they had moved down in the draft, they would have been in the position to trade back into the early 2nd Round, and get the guy they should have had.

          • I believe u Biggy, I would not have given up multiple picks to move
            Up 2 spots to Select Cyprien..not even I Need Players

        • That also tells me if Gus Bradley was the Head Coach of the Eagles, he wouls have had a more impactful draft for the Eagles than Chip.

      • Crypin was gone with the 1fst pick of the second round

        • Welp.. Got ahead of myself and didn’t reads Paul’s post. He already stated that.

  • gmcliff I disagree with you because we don’t know what these players are gonna be but I will tell most of these players fits Chip Kelley system and that’s important I think they did a good job with draft and free agency.

    • Turk, you can disagree, but you will be admitting I was right seasons end. To me thats all that matters.

    • What system is he running?…….. Do you know that for sure?

  • Graham had just as many sacks as JPP last season and JPP started every game.

    • Graham sucks, and should have been traded.

      • Couldn’t disagree with you more about Brandon Graham’s supposed suckitude.

        • Brandon Graham was the Eagles Best All-Around DL the last half of 2012 Season,Hands down, and yes that was over Fletch Cox,Cole and everyone else.. I still think he will end up playing ILB with D Ryan’s as they shift Kenricks to OLB opposite of Conner Barwin, then on 3rdDiwn/Passing downs, Gragam will be a Pass-Rusher from various locations all across the Defensive Front’s

        • Thats okay brother you can disagree, the more the merrier. Welcome aboard!!!

          I just like to hear what people say when I’m proven correct. We’ve been through this for the last 2 years, and I’m still standing.

          E0S IS PULLING HIS PUBIC HAIRS OUT AS WE SPEAK. LOL!!!!!!

          • GMCoinflip —–I wrong half the time – it is called a coin flip. Only you believe you can call head/ tails better than statistic reality.

            • 1-800-DUMB – ASS

            • BTW, i’M RARELY WRONG…….

              DON’T FORGET TO CALL 1-800-DUMB-ASS…..they will help you with your problem…..

              • GMConceited

              • Lol…Cliff I just called that number for shits n giggles
                It’s no longer in service

  • They did not mess up the draft. The drafted Exactly how I expected them to draft after Chip Kelly was hired.

    They prioritized offense.

    Why was Kelly hired? For Defense?

    He was drafted for Offense…and at the draft he began to revamp that first. Defense will come later (maybe – Kelly does not have a stellar defensive record in college at all)

    Draft….OT, TE, QB. This is where the concentration was. It was to be expected after the hiring of Kelly.

    If Eagles had concentrated on D, then you’d all be pissed about how they didn’t address the oline!!!

    Don’t be upset next year if you see another OL, WR, and maybe even RB. QB if Kelly doesn’t like the young Foles/Barkley combo (Vick does not factor into the Eagles future decision making process)

    GMCliff….all 7th rounders are special teamers.

    • Bryce Brown was a pretty good 7th Rounder. I’ll give it to Howie there.
      How about 6th Rounders, are they special teamers – Research Tom Brady.

      This draft stunk Vinnie. Your explanation of Chips thinking more than emphasizes why he shouldn’t have been hired. The head coach is the head coach of both Offense, and Defense, which means it of equal concern especially when your Defense is next to last in ranking. Irresponsible not to prioritize Defense in this draft.

      If you paid attention to me, in my former mocks the Offensive Line was addressed with DJ Fluker, and Larry Warford as targets. I even mocked Wide Receivers. But, the focus as a whole should have been to fix the defense.

      Now, when this year is over, you guys will be pissed off about how poorly the defense played. Well what did you expect!!!???

      • I expected this exactly.

        • Oh Yeah. Are we still boys Vinnie?

  • Good lookin out on Emanuel Acho murder, I passed right over him. 6th rounder by the Browns… missed the entire 2012 season due to a leg injury so… D.C. Davis saw something worth taking a look… and I don’t like Matthews. Props to Ballhawk, we won’t know what we have til it gets going and I’m usually optimistic… we’ll see. “Maybe” Kruger or one of those free agent signings will turn out to be a diamond in the rough. I’m always afraid though of the numbers victims who turn out to be monsters the following year after being released.

  • Eagles defense is a work in progress. We only have guesses as to what Davis will run and where players are projected to play. Way too early to even speculate with any degree of certainty. The first practice that is open to the media, or if players disclose information about where they’re playing will be the first real glimpse. Until then, a lot of this discussion is simply to fill the space until we actually learn something.

  • How Billy Davis uses Trent Cole dictates the whole defense. Trent Cole is still the Eagles best pass rusher. If Trent cannot assimilate to a 3-4 than the Eagles will most likely be playing a 4-3 mostly to get their best passer in the best position to make plays.

    • 1-800-DUMB-ASS……has the help you need…Hurry call now…You don’t have to go through this by yourself…..

      • GMClairvoyant – Dinner and The Great Gatsby tonight for me.
        I know you don’t have time with all that NCAA sophomore and junior scouting film of the 2014 draft prospects you have to digest. LOL don’t stare at the film room screen too long or you’ll need glasses.

        • If you hurry you can get there by dinner time there serving green jello!!!! Boy I know you can’t wait right?!!!

          • BWAHAHAHA!!!!

        • Gatsby blew, & DiCaprio is a closet ankl grabbing, pillow biter!

        • i don’t have to watch film to tell if a person can play. He either has it or he doesn’t. You have to because your evaluations need the work. Enjoy your popcorn.

  • Eagles will have 10 wins this season but 9 and 11 wins give or take a game there’s no way a Chip Kelley coached team will have 5 or 6 wins I don’t see it with the talent on this team.

  • Paulman,

    You really think Brandon Graham has cover skills to play inside linebacker ?

    • I say Graham as ILB for stopping the Run on early Downs then being used a pass-rushing LB from all over the formations like a James Harrison or Clay Matthews type are used with their Teams, I do not see Graham dropping in Pass Coverage, and think that are 3rd Downs (or obvious passing downs and distance he will come after the QB and a LB like Kendricjs, Barwin or even Acho to cover the TE, and drop in pass coverages

  • Matthews has no skills whatsoever other than tagging the runner down after he has already been tackled. Baby Thor is way too much praise for this guy. He flat out sucks.

  • The Defense should have been more of a priority in the draft considering where it placed last season. Having said that with a log jam at a couple of positions for a 3-4/Hybrid 3-4 there’s some cause for cautious interest. Of all the players mentioned I’m interested most in seeing Gogcong get a shot at playing OLB. He’s always been a misused player, but seemed to possibly have a nose for QBs. Maybe he’s lost a step and can’t do it at this point I don’t know, but I would be even more curious to find out who brought him in and for what intended position. Personally I think Chaney and Matthews are done here.

    My projected Linebacker corp:
    Cole/ Ryans/ Barwin/ Graham
    Curry/ Kendrick-Gocong/ FreeAgent or Acho/ Gocong-Kendrick

    D-Line:
    Dixon/ Sapoaga/ Cox
    Remington/ Logan / Thornton or Geathers

  • Paulman’s Front 7 Projection

    LB
    Starters Barwin and Kendrick as OLB
    Graham & Ryan’s on the inside

    On passing Down’s, Kendrick’s slides inside to replace Ryan’s
    Acho/Gcocong come in to replace Kendrick’s at OLB

    DL
    Starters in Base 3-4
    Cox, Soapaga, Thornton
    (back-ups – Logan, Geathers and Trent Cole & Curry)

    Trent Cole and V Curry will be used as pass-rushing DE ‘s
    And Cox/Thornton slide to the inside as pass-rushing DT’s

    • LB J Phillips will back up as ILB behind Graham & Ryans

  • I can’t say I loved the draft. But you cannot fill all the holes this team had in one year. They had to go OT with their first pick because Heremans sucked at RT last year and Watkins has always been a bust. So that pick potentially fixed two holes and was the most sensible thing to do. This team is so far away on defense it actually made more sense to sure up an offense with talented players so we can at least try to put up some points. Trying to “fix” the defense right now is futile. Like other posters have said, we have to just see what we have. I think Cox and Kendricks will be future stars on this defense. Graham is a wild card. Cole has to go. There are several guys that will be solid if unspectacular. Barwin, C Williams, Fletcher, Ryans and Chung will all be decent players for us for the time being. I don’t think Phillips gives you much and Wolfe gets to play quite a bit because Phillips will continue to be injured. I will say the D line picks were pretty bad. Logan is a tweener. Krueger was Howie following the bloodlines again. Too small to play DE and not athletic enough to be good OLB. King is just a practice squad guy.
    I summary, they did great with L Johnson and Ertz and nothing wrong with taking a shot on a guy (Barkley) that was supposed to be the first pick in the draft twelve months ago. Better than reaching with Geno or Matt Scott. But on the other side of the ball, their D line picks were weak and they took a safety too late. They totally should have taken a safety where they picked Logan and I would have been much happier with their draft. I have no problem with not taking a LB. And I applaud them not taking an OLB early when they don’t know what is here yet.

  • This is a pathetic Eagles news website. Hasn’t been any Eagles update since the 10th along with no information about todays practice. No one comes to this webpage to read about the Phillies or the Flyers and yet they get more stories than the Eagles!!

    • I guess we can talk more about Mike Vick then, Good Grief!!!

      • Its F’ed up that we have to make up our own conversations because this website is too lazy.

      • Or Paulman we can talk about Donovan McNuggets retiring as an Eagle and having the ceremony week 3 vs the Chiefs. What a great gesture except for the idiots that will boo him and Reid of course.

  • WTF? G you can’t up date us on whats going on? Why don’t you give your press pass to someone who gives a fuck? G you might as well kick us all in the balls, you should be licking our balls for supporting your shitty site and this is how you pay us back. I think I logged in about 10 times today thinking you might actually do some work and I get nothing thanks. Maybe it’s all a clever ploy to sell advertising, you had a million hits today, but it’s the same 20 guys login on every 5 minutes to see if your lazy ass actually posted anything. Good job G.

    • Well said

  • I have not heard much about whos shining in Eagles camp so far but from what I heard Matt Barkley looks like the best QB. Vick looks bigger and stronger and Curtis Marsh looks very good. Marsh is an interesting name whos name was never really mentioned as a starter this year so ill be keeping an eye on him. For a quick look at the Eagles mini camp go to youtube and type EAGLES HEAR THE MUSIC to get some looks at the players.

    • ES, Barkleys not even getting any reps, so how is he shining?

      Vick and Foles are splitting the reps.
      Barkley is going to hold the clipboard because he can’t touch either one of them as far as talent, especially with his weak arm.

  • Reported that Eagles are moving TE Clay Harbor to OLB
    At 6-3, 245lbs, and very athletic.. Can he tackle???

    • Which leads me to believe that Kelly & Davis do not like what they see
      from Graham & Cole trying to convert to OLB .. Stay tuned..

      • Or maybe he doesn’t fit into the tight end picture but they want to see what they can get out of him.

        • Obviously HArbor was not going to beat out Celek,Casey and 2nd ROund Draft Pick Ertz.. Harbor is Athletic but that’s about it, he has average hands,average in his route running, and just an ok blocker…
          I bet GMCliff thinks Harbor could be a good Safety..

  • **NFL News

    Patriots TE Gronkowski to undergoe a 4th Surgery on his Forearm, which he broke twice last Season and then also had a follow up surgery to fight a staph infection.. Reports are he may also have to have back surgery to repair a bulging disk in his back.. This guy’s bod/health has all kinds of issues..

    Seahawks DE/OLB Bruce Irvin (Top Pick in the 2012 Draft) has failed NFL Performance Enhancing Tests and will be suspended the first 4 Weeks of the 2013 Season similar to Justin Blackmon who was a Top Pick of the Jaguars in 2012 who also failed a NFL Substance Abuse Test and will mist the 1st 4 Weeks of the 2013 Season too.. Both Teams are counting on this Top Picks from a Year ago and if you want to know a good reason why Teams stay away from “bad character/Players with Drug/Alcohol Issues, it’s for this very reason, not only the $$$ that’s invested in these Top Players, but the fact that many of these kids with a checkered past are tested more frequently and will be suspended and mist games so as a Teaam like the Jaguard who have not real Receiving Threat, then losing their leading Receiver like Blackmon is a real blow to the Team.. Also Seahawks have their Top Rusher C Clemons recovering for a late Season ACL and where Counting on Bruce Irvin to pick-up the slack while he’s out..now Irvin goes on and gets suspended..

    • GRONK!!!!!!!!!!

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