TWO words: Marlon Tuipulotu.
He’s the DT that the Eagles have put on Injured Reserve. Remember when they carted him off the field on Monday ni-, oh right. They didn’t. The Eagles put him on I.R. on Wednesday the 16th. This is Sunday morning the 20th. Quick! What’s his injury? Anybody? Anybody? His injury is sucking ass, and being pushed aside for two better players, that’s what his injury is. Please! Go to the Eagles website and get the details on this “injury”. I’ll wait…..
Over the last 5 weeks, the Eagles have allowed 124 rushing yards or more, in every game. It got really bad after the Bye week, when we allowed 144, 168, and 152 respectively. Many things factor into that. Not bringing arms to tackle attempts, holding runners up to claw at the ball, tackling shoulders instead of thighs. All of which are quickly correctable.
The biggest reason we’re getting run through however, is because we’re getting beat on the line of scrimmage. The knee jerk from fans, has been to either blame DT Fletcher Cox for falling off, or to blame the injury to DT Jordan Davis. Both are correct, but only in a round about way.
Cox was being asked to play more snaps than usual, as the coaching staff hoped he could fill the hole left by Davis, both as a presence and rotationally. As a result, we’re running Cox into the ground. In fact, we’re using him the opposite of how we should be using a player his age. (More on that in the upcoming Quarterly Report. Yes, it’s late. I know. Bear with me.)
So the Eagles added 34 year old DT Linval Joseph, and then DT Ndamukong Suh, who is 35. While Joseph is more of a space eater for the run game, Suh is a flat-out disruptor of blocking schemes. Even when he doesn’t make the play, he frequently causes havoc.
Understand, the worst of our run defense has coincided with the ramp up in snaps for Tuipulotu. Over the last three games, he’s averaged 33% of the defensive snaps. And that is not a good thing! I made it clear in last years Draft Report that I didn’t see selecting him as a good move. He stuck anyway.
I repeated my point about Tuipulotu in this year’s Pre-Draft Preview. My specific choice of words: “Marlon Tuipulotu played like trash, with a side order of ass last year,”. Yet he kept seeing the field this year. And the more he did, the more others like Cox were asked to compensate for everything that Tuipulotu can’t do. Which, you know, is pretty much everything.
Cox eats double teams and disrupts the pocket; DT Javon Hargrave is an ‘A’ gap penetrator who gets to QB’s; Davis is a space eating, pocket collapser. Those are our true DT’s. While DT Milton Williams can play that spot, he’s more of a DE/DT tweener. He’s coming along, but we still don’t really know who he is, just yet. Tuipulotu is just a 300 pound guy. Hell, I’M a 300 pound guy! There should be more qualifications than that, to get a roster spot.
When Davis went down, we were left with a bum (Tuipulotu), and two guys who specialize in slipping the point of attack, not holding it. That’s not saying that Cox and Hargrave can’t play the run! We all know that they can. But that’s not where their salary size comes from.
Do you realize that at worst, if Suh and Joseph don’t contribute much as players, those two, plus Cox and Hargrave, will be pouring wisdom into Davis. Meanwhile we have no timetable on Tuipulotu’s return date. Which is totally understandable without an actual injury to assess.