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Thread: What is realistic to expect from the 2010 Eagles?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by CalamityMack View Post
    The maturation of Kolb/Maclin/Jackson/McCoy is the #1 priority. The defensive minded draft and the return of Disco Stu hopefully keeps our defense serviceable, with the goal of improving our secondary in 2011, but what offensive frankenstein have we created? Will it be boom/bust all over again?

    While we figure that out, 9-7 and wildcard contention into the last week of the season sounds about right.
    Agree with all of this, especially the last sentiment - this season is going to set the tone for the next several years of Eagles football. It's going to take a season for these guys to get in sync with each other, and 9-7 in contention sounds right to me. This may be cautious optimism, but given that the last several Eagles seasons have ended in a crotchpunch, I honestly am not terrified of a season of rebuilding and mediocrity if it pays dividends in the not-too-distant future.

    I agree with some of the others as well that Bradley is the X factor - he needs to come back healthy and ready to hit someone. The linebacker corps was very suspect without him, so it will be good to get him back on the field and 100%. Also looking forward to seeing Nate Allen starting and what he can bring to the table. Three interceptions versus Washington? Yes please.
    [I]"Now I know that I'm supposed to lead by example and all that but I'm not shoving that aside like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I honestly do, but we're talking about practice. We're talking about practice man. We're not talking about the game, we're talking about practice."[/I]

  2. #12
    The Eagles' troubles this year are not going to be on the offensive side of the ball. Kevin Kolb doesn't have the first round pedigree of, say, Alex Smith or Jamarcus Russell, but he does have a number of factors working for him:

    1. Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles Coaching Staff -- A decade ago, Andy Reid took this perennially anemic franchise and turned it into one of the powerhouses of the NFL. For all the criticism he has gotten over the years both in Philly and nationally, his success is no accident. His coaching staff is first-rate. Juan Castillo is arguably the best offensive line coach in the league. The Eagles' offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, also knows a thing or two about quarterback transitions. He was the QBs coach for the San Francisco 49ers when Steve Young took over for Joe Montana.

    2. Donovan McNabb -- For all his flaws and imperfections that drove Philadelphia fans crazy over the years, you cannot deny his mental grasp of the game. His remarkably low INT to TD ratio is much more a reflection of his intellectual grasp of the game, rather than of his physical gifts. And, while one cannot share one's physical gifts with others, you can share your knowledge and understanding of the game. Kevin Kolb had three years to work with and learn from Donovan McNabb, and McNabb's personality is not one that would be withholding from a potential rival like Kolb. Kolb could not have asked for a better mentor.

    3. Offensive Weapons -- For all the criticism Reid seemed to ignore in the old days, the Eagles offense is suddenly stocked with young, top-tier talent. Gone are the days of Todd Pinkston, James Thrash and (everybody's favorite) Freddie "The People's Champ" Mitchell. Here are Jackson (2nd Round -- No WR's were drafted 1st Round in 2008), Maclin (1st Round), McCoy (2nd Round), Kolb (2nd Round). Brent Celek is coming off a career year and, from what we've seen so far, has the best chemistry with Kolb of any of the receivers. Add in Jason Avant as a veteran known for making the clutch catches, and you've got an Eagles Offense that can go toe to toe with the best of them.

    To reiterate, the Eagles problems will not be on the offensive side of the ball.
    The Eagles will have problems, however, and they will be on the defensive side of the ball; specifically, in the secondary.

    The front seven should handle themselves adequately this year. Trent Cole is a top-tier talent at the end spot, and with Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley continuing to mature, at least one of the Eagles' auditions for the left end spot should work out (hopefully Brandon Graham is who they think he is). With the addition of Ernie Sims (2006 9th Overall Draft Pick) and the return of MLB Stewart Bradley, the Eagles linebacker corps should perform head and shoulders above what they were able to do last year. Omar Gaither, Akeem Jordan and Moise Fokou all have good experience in the system and one of them should have the talent and knowledge to perform.

    As a fan, I'm frightened by the secondary. The Eagles offensive will put up a lot of points -- and they're going to need to in order to win games. Asante Samuel is one of the best corners in the league, but his well-documented tendency to gamble on plays means that the Eagles safeties need to play at an extremely high level. The Eagles have lost the hard-hitting and physical Sheldon Brown, and do not have an adequate replacement lined up for him. Joselio Hanson, Macho Harris (last year's starting safety), and Ellis Hobbs are all vying for the second cornerback job. None of them have shown the true athleticism and ability necessary to excel in the Eagles' offense, which often requires exceptional man-on-man play from its cornerbacks due to exotic and frequent blitz packages.

    The opening day safeties, in all likelihood, will be rookie Nate Allen and veteran (and backdoor Pro-Bowler) Quintin Mikell. Many of the Eagles' woes last year were caused by poor play from its safeties -- more specifically rookie Macho Harris who has since been moved to cornerback. Safety is the most cerebral of the defensive positions and requires an excellent grasp not only on your role in the defense, but also on everybody else's role. Relying on a rookie to have this understanding is an unfortunate necessity for the Eagles for the second consecutive year.

    In all, the Eagles seem to have the talent in place to continue their annual presence as a playoff hopeful, but too many question marks remain at this point to rank them with any degree of certainty among the top teams of the league.

    But, mark my words, the problem won't be with the offense.

  3. #13
    Hey everyone, thanks for all the replies! Great discussion so far.

    The reason I think Celek will have an even better year in 2010 s really due to the chemistry he showed with Kolb against NO and KC. He totaled 16 catches, 208 yards, and a TD in those two games. Though I don't expect those numbers to hold up over all 16 games (has a TE ever had 1600 receiving yards?), I could easily see 80-90 catches and 1100+ yards. I do understand the comment that Mcnabb always made good use of TEs, that's very true. But apart from the trust Kolb has already shown in him, the best friend of any young QB is a TE who can get open, and Celek seems to be just that.

    Defense does seem to be where we all have our concerns, and rightfully so. But we can't overlook one potential pitfall on offense, and that is an increased turnover rate. Apart from Kolb being young, as I said before, Mcnabb was historically good at not throwing picks. However, something we're forgetting is the ball security showed by our primary RB of the last 5 years. Westbrook had the lowest fumble rate of any top RB. And now that we've got Lesean Mccoy lined up as the opening day starter, he must must must get better at holding the ball. If he gets 200+ carries this year with the way he carried the ball last year, we might be in trouble. He's got to learn to tuck the rock away and stop carrying it so far away from his body. He reminds me of LJ Smith sometimes, and that's not a good comparison! If he can improve his ball security though, I love just about everything else he brings to the table.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Big Island Hawai'i
    I'm actually not a huge Shady fan. I don't dislike him but he just reminds me of a poor man's Westbrook. They have a comparable skill set in terms of versatility, but he just can't do anything as well. His rookie season running the ball was not overwhelming, just okay. As far as his 200+ carries, he had nearly that last year at 155. He's a back that will need 290-300 carries to break 1,000. To put it in perspective, the year 36 went for 1,200 + on the ground he did so in 240 carries. He won't avg 4.1 for an entire season. He showed limited burst through the hole and limited breakaway ability. Even on that 66 yarder he looked gassed - closer to the Leonard Weaver run than Westbrook. Toward the end of last season his ypc plummeted. Yea I know they attributed it to the "rookie wall" but I don't believe he can be as productive. He is shifty though.The best thing I like about him again, is that his skill set is multi dimensional and so thus, fits our offense but the production dropoff btwn him and Westy will be noticeable.

    The way I see it, Jackson will get his. He'll bust another 1,000 comfortably and Maclin will get his as I mentioned as the benefactor of one on one's while over the top coverage is rolled the other way. He already had nearly 800 yds last year, and this doesn't even take into account the improvement from year 1 to 2. Unless we turn into the Card's offense and Kolb looks more like Kurt we can't have 3 1,000 yd receivers. Someone's production will dip, and that leaves Brent on the outside looking in. I think he'll make clutch catches, and be good in the RZ, but expecting 200+ yds tacked on to last year is expecting too much when looking at the overall picture. Also the fact that Kolb cannot throw it downfield like 5 could means there will be no quick strike offense. That means less possessions over the course of a season, which means there will be even less balls to go around.
    Last edited by HiloVulcan; 07-09-2010 at 08:00 PM.

  5. #15
    I don't fully disagree with you, especially when you start doing the math and totalling up the yardage. It's unreasonable to expect 4000+ yards from Kolb in his first year, even with the talent he has around him. But I honestly don't see the Eagles quick-strike nature going anywhere. I mean hell, the longest two TD catches of Jackson's season last year were thrown by Kolb. He might not throw the ball a mile in the air (and to be fair, I think he does have a pretty good arm, it's just tough to compare to 5), but getting the ball out quickly and hitting these talented guys in stride is going to lead to big things...I hope!

  6. #16
    Join Date
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    Big Island Hawai'i
    Quote Originally Posted by brianr View Post
    I don't fully disagree with you, especially when you start doing the math and totalling up the yardage. It's unreasonable to expect 4000+ yards from Kolb in his first year, even with the talent he has around him. But I honestly don't see the Eagles quick-strike nature going anywhere. I mean hell, the longest two TD catches of Jackson's season last year were thrown by Kolb. He might not throw the ball a mile in the air (and to be fair, I think he does have a pretty good arm, it's just tough to compare to 5), but getting the ball out quickly and hitting these talented guys in stride is going to lead to big things...I hope!

    Big difference striking quick with a big play via YAC v. a vertical offense where you can score via the bomb. You expect Maclin and Jackson to break it on the ground every game?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New Orleans/St. Bernard/Da lower 9th ward, LA
    I like the idea of promoting the articles. Now onto the question. I have to agree with most people here in that this team can be anywhere from great to terrible. I think it all falls in the hands of Kolb. They are in a rough division, of course, so surviving those games is a must. I do believe they actually have a chance of winning this division because the Giants will be getting their act together on D which can take time. The redskins will slip some victories here and there against division opponents (especially yall if you don't watch out). The cowboys I always feel just look great on paper but never seem to get it together when it counts. They will be the only challenge if Kolb plays above average. Nothing special. But gets the job done.
    [B]St. Bernard born and raised! BLACK AND GOLD TO THE SUPER BOWL! WHO DAT![/B]

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by HiloVulcan View Post
    Big difference striking quick with a big play via YAC v. a vertical offense where you can score via the bomb. You expect Maclin and Jackson to break it on the ground every game?
    I'm just not sure why you think Kolb doesn't have the arm to make a good throw downfield. I'll agree that he doesn't have the arm that Mcnabb does, but neither do 25 other QB's in the league. That said, I do think he's got a very good arm, and a nice touch on the deep ball. Just look at the throw to Jackson against the Saints ( It was a moderately deep ball that also hit Jackson in stride giving him the chance to motor up field. Also, check out the deep out to Maclin on 3rd and 5 in this clip, at about 38 seconds ( A serious NFL throw right here, the ball gets out there in a hurry.

    Also, lemme give credit where it's due. I saw most of these throws a second time due to two nice articles from Bleeding Green Nation, worth checking out. A little film study from a modestly biased, but overally fairly objective source:
    Last edited by brianr; 07-12-2010 at 02:06 PM.

  9. #19
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    Big Island Hawai'i
    He has the quintessential definition of an adequate NFL arm. It's not Jay Cutler, but it's not Chad Pennington either. I realize McNabb has one of the strongest arms of all time (Mornhinweg's quote which I agree with) so that exacerbates the perception of Kolb's arm, but in reality it's just not that great.

    The first clip, that ball travels maybe only 40 yards max in the air. I don't know what your athletic ability is, and I suspect many posters in general are true armchair quarterbacks, but I can throw that same pass with that amount of air under it no problem (maybe not as accurately over and over but we are talking arm strength here). Let's say Jackson runs the same deep cross and he's got the corner in the trail position and the free safety deep 1/3 whose depth is right at that 38-40 yard line in front of where Jackson caught the ball. Kolb couldn't put that ball on a rope and fit it into a window. McNabb could, no problem. Even on that out pattern, which admittedly is the best test of a QB's arm because of the actual distance the ball travels, that ball floated a little bit. The tape makes it look like the velocity was good, but when you look at the replay you see Maclin is reaching for a ball that is kind of laid out at the sideline. An accurate, smart pass, but not a good example of his arm strength. McNabb would have that ball on his body as soon as he turned out of his break, BEFORE the underneath man could break on the receiver forcing Kolb to put it up and away.

    So no, I don't think Kolb will be able to get the ball downfield as frequently or accurately as McNabb. I never thought McNabb had huge accuracy issues besides the occassional head scratcher, but one area his accuracy was beyond question was throwing the ball deep. They will transition to a "purer" WCO. That means less quick strikes, more time of possession and less overall possessions, less points. I continuosly hear "Kolb is accurate and will lead his receiver and thus with great YAC guys, they can break it whereas McNabb didn't give them that chance". Leading receivers means two things: picks, and big hits. And no one with half a football brain can seriously think Jackson, Maclin, whoever, can weave their way through zone defenses consistently to bring it to the house.
    Last edited by HiloVulcan; 07-12-2010 at 10:22 PM.

  10. #20
    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then until we have a 16 game season to watch. But I'd urge you to read both those articles on Bleeding Green and take a look at all 85 throws the guy made in weeks 2 and 3. There's a few bad throws absolutely, but there's also quite a few positives. Regarding your issue with leading the receivers, you'll see that there are a number of throws where he chooses NOT to lead the receivers, instead puts the ball back shoulder or low to prevent them from getting hit.

    Think back to some of the Mcnabb to Jackson's TDs in 2009. Are there any throws that Mcnabb made that you don't think Kolb could? Off the top of my head, without digging for them I really can't. Deep ball to the left side against the Giants (think ref falling down), maybe 45 yards in the air, hits him in stride nicely. Left side against Washington, WIDE open, maybe 50 yards in the air Jackson has to stop and turn around to catch an underthrown ball. Vs the bears, middle of the field, just over the fingers of the outstretched defender, Jackson again has to slow down to haul in the 50 yard pass. Second Giant game, open Jackson cutting across the field deep to the left, ball went about 50 yards and again Jackson has to slow down to get the ball, defender dives and misses. I'm sure any Desean Jackson highlight clip with crappy music will have all these passes

    Oh I remember one that I don't think Kolb could have made! I think Mcnabb's biggest throw was when he loaded up from about 60 yards out and hit Maclin in the end zone against TB, I don't think Kolb has that throw in him quite yet. The same might be true of the deep out to Maclin (challenged) against Denver without about 50 seconds left.

    But yeah, though we lauded Jackson for his plays over 50 yards, the longest reception he had from Mcnabb was in that 2nd Giants game, 60 yards. We shouldn't pretend like Mcnabb was throwing 60 yard tosses on a rope to the guy all season long. Of course we can agree that Mcnabb has a bigger arm, but I'll remain cautiously optimistic that the quality of our skill position guys will keep our big play offense moving. Will we score more than we did last season? Almost certainly not, we set a franchise record for points in '09 so it would be silly to suggest that we'll improve on that, but I do think this team should be able to put up points, when turnovers don't limit them!
    Last edited by brianr; 07-12-2010 at 11:16 PM.

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