LETTING FS Rodney McLeod walk as a free agent, was probably a little premature. While I think FS Marcus Eppsis ready for the starting role; it would have been better to increase Epps snap share for the first four weeks, then hand him the keys on Week 5. If for any reason he looked shaky, McLeod should have still been here as insurance.
Instead, what we did was jump right off that bridge. Maybe not the most careful move, but it’s easy to see why the Eagles did it. Hell, I’ve been yelling for months, that they should. Epps has generally looked good with extra snaps (usually at SS). Also, given his age (26), and his contract situation (Unrestricted Free Agent after this season), the Eagles need to know what they have.
That said, we need to stick with him when things get bumpy for him. Let me repeat, a lot of his best tape comes at SS, so playing alone, back deep, he’s going to be learning a new gig. Though Anthony Harris has started at FS (in Minnesota), his deep speed is questionable. While K’Von Wallace can run, his eyes are less experienced. Epps is unseasoned, but the clear option here.
We didn’t draft Epps, but we signed him when Minnesota cut him, just eight weeks and 12 defensive snaps into his rookie year. He’s been an Eagle ever since. We raised him. Nurtured him. Brought him from deep bench, to possible starter. What is the point of stockpiling young talent, just to develop it for other teams? Don’t do that. Start Epps, and stick with him. Period.
New categories include an EXCLUSIVE weekly Offensive Line Report(Rushing TD’s + 3rd and 4th downs converted:missed of 2 yards or less – sacks allowed); as well as Drive Killer (Int – FR – 4th down Tackles – FF – TD).
Drive Killer: (S) SS Anthony Harris (1 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0)
Sack Leader: NO QUALIFIER
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these Four Thingsarticles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
So how much of what I mentioned in Four Things: Buccaneersdid the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Run the damned ball: One hand-off in the first half. A total of 9 in the whole game. Hurts carried the ball 10 times. For the first time this season, Sanders led the team in rushing and we didn’t win. That said, the Offense didn’t truly come alive until the touchdown drive where Sanders had 4 of his 9 carries.
For the second week in a row, nobody bought Hurts play-action. And why should they?
Head Coach Nick Sirianni has made it clear that he will go down with the ship, doing it this way. At this point, I’m just sitting back waiting for him to be fired. (NOT DONE)
2) Shut down Brady: On the down where Brady threw an interception, DT Fletcher Cox(1 – 0 – 0 – 0) had bull-rushed the RG almost into Brady’s lap. Aside from that, the only pressure on Brady, was barometric. (NOT DONE)
3) Bombs Away: Our two biggest plays of the day, were pass interference calls on 45 and 50 yard attempts to WR Jalen Reagor (3 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0). There was also the 24 yard pass to Watkins. Aside from that, the rest was dink and dunk bullshit. Didn’t we chew Sam “Sleeves” Bradford a new asshole over that? Why is this now acceptable to some fans? (NOT DONE)
4) Stick with Man Coverage: Utterly bailed on this. Last week he let his CB’s play more aggressively and tanked that “keep everything in front of you” nonsense. This week we were back to soft zones and cushions. The result was Brady field dressing our squad. On national television.
I hope Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon, gets an ulcer from watching this game tape. He called a timid and cowardly game, and got fucked in the ass like prison ponks do, as a result. Good! Learn a goddamned lesson. (NOT DONE)
So this week we did0 of the Four Things needed to win, and as result, the game was never as close as the 22 – 28 score would indicate. Not this Sunday, but next Sunday we travel to Las Vegas to try and beat my second favorite team. So no matter how that one works out, I won’t be completely bummed at least.
On The Whole:
Defensively, it seems like teams are targeting LB Alex Singleton(15 – 0 – 0 – 0). I noticed this a few weeks ago, but I didn’t say anything about it, because I wanted to see him vs a few offensive styles. On the boundary and in the flat, he’s fine. Unfortunately, he’s played in the middle, and has no feel for re-directing or denying traffic. Also, at just 230 pounds, RB’s keep overpowering him for extra yardage.
These issues reared their heads again vs the Buccaneers. You can’t just move an OLB to MLB and consider it equal. MLB is a mindset. You don’t manufacture a MLB, they have to be born. I know this first-hand.
As a player, I could be a maniac, but I was always a maniac with a plan, and was extremely self-aware. A couple of my coaches wanted to harvest the “maniac” and thought they could transplant me from LT to MLB. I gave it a shot in my first offseason.
Physically I was THERE! Nothing I couldn’t do. But mentally? As a lineman, collisions have a point. As a MLB, they don’t need one. A lineman filters chaos, to make clear paths for those behind him. A MLB is a guy who puts on a suit, kisses his wife goodbye, gets in his car, and causes a 22 car pile-up. And hopes to do it again and again!
Let me give you an example: Jon Runyantelling BWest to take a knee. Lineman. Dick Butkus playing on essentially one knee since high school, and living to hit people? Middle Linebacker. Mentally, I am not a MLB. And neither is Alex Singleton. He needs to be moved back to the edge.
Offensively, I’m not going to focus on Jalen Hurts. You’ve probably already seen enough of that on headlines today. I’m also not going to get into Sirianni telling the world at his press conference, that Hurts isn’t a franchise QB. I’ll get into that HEAVILY, later. For now, let’s talk WR’s.
Jalen Reagor was thrown three passes, and dropped every one of them. Quez Watkins didn’t showcase his speed in this one. Instead he showed off his concentration catching a deflected pass for 23 yards, and his body control on a 24 yard completion along the sideline. Despite Watkins being the better player week in and week out, Reagor keeps getting the juicy routes. Why is that?
Funny, we cut WR Travis Fulgham from our Practice Squad, but we keep trying to feature Reagor, and apparently kept WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to draw offensive pass interference penalties. Game-planning more touches and snaps for lesser players is just dumb, and it needs to stop.