A couple of Eagles odds and ends...
Jaiquawn Jarrett's dismal performance, the other first-team defender who
struggled in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh last week was
Brian Rolle. Currently the starter at weakside linebacker, Rolle was
often pushed around or out of position, and he was already something of a
question mark entering 2012.
All of which raises the question
whether anybody is pushing Rolle for his job. The backup would be Jamar
Chaney, who missed the game due to an injury, but has since returned to
practice. Chaney is playing in the team's nickel package, but for the
moment, we're not sure there is a position battle brewing in base
If Rolle has another shaky outing however, it would be
wise to give Chaney a look. We've seen a lot of Chaney at middle
linebacker over the past year and change, but have not been sufficiently
impressed. Still, he's a bit bigger than Rolle, and was a far surer
tackler last year according to these numbers.
At least the other two linebacker spots appear to be nailed down.
On Lots of Defensive Ends
Darryl Tapp clearly should be the odd man out if a cut must be made at
defensive end. The Eagles currently have six defensive ends battling
where they normally carry five players. Obviously Trent Cole and Jason
Babin are the starters, rookie Vinny Curry makes the team, then there is
Philip Hunt, Brandon Graham and Tapp.
Hunt was impressive down
the stretch last season, and that carried over into this summer with a
two-sack effort against Pittsburgh. The notion that Graham isn't making
the cut is astounding given the coaches need a real chance to evaluate
him coming off of that injury, and so far so good through one game. That
leaves Tapp, who is dependable enough, but doesn't do anything
Whether he's swapped for some depth at
another position or a late-round pick, or even outright released, this
isn't rocket science. Tapp is expendable. They could carry all six, but
it will be tough to find playing time for everybody if they do.
Andy Likes a Full Back
Andy Reid confirmed on Thursday the Eagles will use a fullback this
season, despite how little we've seen of the position. 2011
seventh-round pick Stanley Havili continues to lead the way there.
Reid: "in our offense, you need a fullback."
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) August 16, 2012
Fantasy Owners Beware of Shady
Attention fantasy football players: it's buyer beware on LeSean McCoy
this summer. While there is little doubt the fourth-year back will have
another fine season in 2012, expecting him to duplicate or exceed last
year's numbers could be a tall task.
First and foremost, nobody
is going to miss Jason Peters more than Shady. Peters is the best in the
business at creating running lanes on the outside, then getting to the
second and third level to finish off the run. Improvements from
second-year players Danny Watkins and Jason Kelce should help the ground
attack overall, but McCoy's yards per carry will likely experience a
dip without those huge gains off-tackle. Plus, the odds of him scoring
20 touchdowns or close again are relatively low, so that's another drop
in production you can count on.
We're seeing McCoy as high as
third overall in mock drafts, but I can't endorse that. If you draft
McCoy, you're guaranteed a solid back who will receive the large
majority of his team's carries and put up decent numbers. That said,
with all the prolific players that will be available at the top, I plan
on letting someone else reach for "decent."