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How Do You Solve a Problem like Jordan?

Matthews

Matthews’ true from. Image From Reddit

For Howie Roseman, Jordan Matthews is good mannered problem child. He has the right size, an undisputed work ethic, and he’s the best player of what is a miserable receiving core. He also doesn’t fit anywhere in the modern NFL.

He has size and speed but isn’t trusted on the outside. He can get open in the slot, but can’t reliably catch. What do you do with him?

One path is to resign Matthews next year and hope that his hands improve. After all, he’s the best receiver the Eagles have and they need to build around Wentz.

The other path is to be realistic.

Roseman gets it. Jordan Matthews is a player that will not get substantially better. Hand-eye coordination is not something that improves at the NFL level so move him now. The fact is none of the receivers are part of the Eagle future. Replacing a misfit part now is worth it even if it means a step back.

There’s also the possibility that the Eagles could trade Matthews and still be better in 2017 than 2016 at wideout. Think about it. The Eagles are connected to free agents, draft prospects, and trade targets at WR. We could see a lineup of DeSean Jackson, Brandin Cooks, prospects X and Y, and Nelson Agholor. That’s a huge step forward WITHOUT Jordan Matthews.

So trade that young man, Howie! Just don’t ask Bryan Colangelo what he’s worth.

A Lost Detail in the NFL Draft Aftermath: Bryce Brown

Peace!

Peace!

It was hard to imagine Bryce Brown as an Eagle this year. In fact, I gave him a notable roast with the expectation that he’d be going home. Then the Eagles traded him during the draft and I became the smartest man alive. Now to understand why trading Brown, a fringe contributor, was so intriguing you have to understand the full series of events involved.

The whole thing started when the Buffalo Bills traded up to the 4th pick in the draft. Originally slated at 9, the Bills gave the Cleveland Browns their 1st and 4th round selections in 2015 to move up. They then selected Sammy Watkins out of Clemson. That’s where the dominos fall.

Once Watkins was brought in, the Bills had a receiving core of Watkins, Robert Woods, Mike Williams and Stevie Johnson. Johnson, who was the team’s best receiver the past few seasons, was considered expendable given the depth and price tag.

He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a conditional pick. Specifically, the pick could be a fourth in 2015 or a third in 2016. Given that Johnson is a 27 year-old receiver with a price tag of roughly $5 million a year it was a fair deal.

However, the Bills traded that conditional pick from the 49ers to the Eagles for Bryce Brown. Yes, transitive property (there it is again), then suggests that the Bills value Stevie Johnson as the same as Bryce Brown. What!?

Here’s the numbers:

Stevie Johnson
Year G GS Rec Yds TD
2010 16 13 82 1073 10
2011 16 16 76 1004 7
2012 16 16 79 1046 6
2013 12 12 52 597 3
 Average     72 930 7

 

Bryce Brown
Year G GS Att Yds TD
2012 16 4 115 564 4
2013 16 1 75 314 2
 Average     95 439 3

It feels like stealing from the Eagles perspective. They traded what would have been their 4th string running back in camp for the value of a starting wide receiver! That’s ridiculous.

It’s also quite humorous because the Bills are loaded with backs. They have CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson so Brown will hardly play anyway unless he has a revelation with his field vision. Consequently, it defeats the purpose of trading Johnson in the first place because of depth at receiver. They traded away depth for a lesser quality player that will never play.

Great work by Roseman to pull off such a horribly lopsided deal.

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Around the Cooler 5/11/14: Eagles Draft Special!

Notice the length he uses to hold the jersey

Notice the length he uses to hold the jersey

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • Marcus Smith, sleeper or reach?
  • Understanding the MO of the front office
  • MURDERLEG!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Female persuasion continues!
  • Michael Sam, the Rams, and Tony Danza

Follow us on our iTunes Stream, Right Click to Download, or play on your mobile device!

What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Around the Cooler theme composed and performed by Matt Schwalm

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Follow us on Twitter: @TheWooderCooler

Follow our crew: @VQuinn_TWC     @Dj_Raydio     @Turtle94

 

Eagles Will Not Draft a Receiver in the First Round

Eagles are in line for another non-sexy pick (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Eagles are in line for another non-sexy pick (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

DeSean Jackson was released by the Eagles on March 28th. Once the angry mob subsided, conventional wisdom dictated that the Eagles will draft a receiver with the 22nd overall pick to replace the 27 year-old Pro Bowler.

The Eagles have a hole at wide receiver—a 1,332 yard hole. Wide receiver is considered the deepest position in a highly rated draft. That hole isn’t going to be filled on Thursday night.

That’s not because Jackson’s production is irreplaceable with a first round pick, but because Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman won’t even try.

Check out the rest of the article on CBSPhilly.com!

DeSean Jackson Decision More Foolish Than Prudent

DeSean Jackson signs his new deal in Washington. (credit: Washington Redskins Twitter)

DeSean Jackson signs his new deal in Washington. (credit: Washington Redskins Twitter)

[Note from Vince: This piece is a counter to my article from yesterday. Expect us to verbally duke it out in a podcast this week!]

Why did the Eagles release DeSean Jackson? He’s a locker room distraction. He’s cocky. He’s lazy. He’s a bad influence. He’s a gang member. Most important of all, he does not fit in with the Eagles culture.

What is the Eagles culture and what exactly about it does Jackson not suit? All of those tag lines about Jackson listed above that explain why he was released are rather ambiguous.

Here’s the concrete stuff.

He recorded 82 receptions, 1,332 yards, nine touchdowns and a 16.2 ypc average in 2013 as the team’s most utilized and targeted receiving option.

It is not entirely clear what culture the Eagles are looking to build, but the above facts about Jackson seem rather congruent with a winning one.

Read the rest of this entry

A Deep Breath After DeSean Jackson

DeSean JacksonAfter weeks of back and forth, the Eagles released DeSean Jackson on Friday. Now, he’s a Washington Redskin.

The debate over Jackson’s departure has hinged on the simple and seemingly unanswerable question: Was this the right move?

In order to give a fair assessment of this decision you can’t look at the move as an isolated instance. Yes, the Eagles just released a 27-year-old Pro Bowl receiver coming off of a career season. Yes, they’ll need to add some depth. However, I don’t think the answer can be found by asking ‘how does this affect the team?’ It should be ‘what does this say about the organization?’

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Philly Media Lazily Reporting DeSean Jackson Story

Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson must be tired of all the rumors.

Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson must be tired of all the rumors.

As a media member I often find it counter intuitive to critique those I like to consider my colleagues, or who in terms of stature, are more of my mentors but my aptitude to call it like I see it, is naturally setting in, as it has a time or two before. For the past two weeks or so, we have listened to the apparent DeSean Jackson trade rumors and today I got my complete fill of it.

The reporting of this story has been some of the laziest reporting I have seen in a long time. Yes, opinion has a role in sports reporting. However, this story seems all too perfect for the media to have done their due diligence.

Call me a conspiracy theorists if you like. Judging from some of the examples of journalism being displayed with this story, that is all it takes today anyway.

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Eagles Season Ends in Dissapointment but Have Success Overall

Well Philadelphia, it’s over, our beloved Philadelphia Eagles 2013 season is officially over. After a heart breaking, last second field goal by the New Orleans Saints propelled them into the divisional round, Eagles fans were left thinking upon the season past.

A rookie coach, an essentially rookie QB, a questionable defense not much was expected out of this team coming into the season coming off a 4-12 from the season prior. I myself said the team would be “successful” with 6-8 wins. If you told me instead they’d go 10-6 and win the NFC east I’d of probably laughed in your face but now that person is laughing at me (and a lot of other people I’m sure.)

Lets break this season down by each side of the ball and the coach while were at it.

OFFENSE

Now to be honest I would probably put offense and the coach (Chip Kelly in case you’ve been living under a rock over the past year) in the same category but I’ll keep them separate as much as I can.

One word really describes this offense well: EXPLOSIVE.

The style of offense Kelly had in his brain was in such question at the time of his hire and pre-season I myself starting questioning it. Never really doubted it but questioned it. And man did Kelly prove all the haters wrong. This was the most fun offensive Eagles team probably in franchise history. McCoy Lions

And one player in mind for that is of course, Shady McCoy. The RB set franchise records for rushing yards and yards from scrimmage so no question that man will continue to flourish under Kelly.

Along with the official break out of McCoy we also were shown who will likely be leading the Eagles behind center for years to come: Nick Foles. Now I know my buddy and fellow writer for The Cooler Vince will disagree with me in some cases I’m about to say but hey were not here to always agree are we now?

Foles is the present and future of the Eagles. 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, you can’t argue with that kinda stat and say “eh maybe we can get someone in this draft.” No Foles is Chip and Howie Roseman’s guy.

Does he have flaws? Of course no QB doesn’t have flaws. (That’s right ladies, your UGG wearing, eye candy Tom Brady isn’t perfect either.)

Foles needs to learn how to keep come under pressure. He’s great and going through his progressions to find the open man but once he sees no one is open or the pocket collapsing he starts panicking. Generally leading to an intentional grounding or sack.

The guy is a 2nd year QB, still has to go through a full season, and he’s still progressing at the ripe age of 24. Give it time people you’ll see he’s the Eagles guy soon enough.

Defense

You know how every person/team/etc. has their Achilles heal? Well this was it for the Eagles (and maybe Alex Henery but I digress)

Roseman and Kelly really need to focus on this side of the ball this coming off season. Especially in the safety position. Patrick Chung should of been cut the minute the Saints made that field goal.

Earl Wolff could be a decent safety but with him out a majority of this season with knee problems we fans just don’t know enough about to be comfortable with him as the every day starter next year. So this is the number 1 priority for our Birds

Front 7 wise I thought the team was solid. Bennie Logan, NT, developed into a solid lineman and again he’s a young gun who will only continue to get better. Connor Barwin, wow just wow, this guy was a warrior, getting great pass rush and when he wasn’t getting there threw his hands up to try and swat that ball down.

Brandon Boykin is probably the only secondary guy I”m 100% comfortable with. Leading the team with 6 interceptions for the 2013 season.

I have full trust in Roseman and Kelly to find the pieces in the secondary and maybe an additional pass rusher this off season to really aid this team come next season.

Coach Kelly

Really can’t not evaluate the man that is Chip Kelly. This guy is still waving to his haters I think with the completion of his first NFL season.

Well, maybe he isn’t waving, knowing him he’s probably still at the Nova Care Complex working on the depth chart for 2014.

Kelly came into the NFL with quite a few question marks. Mostly how will his offensive schemes work in the NFL.

And well long story short, it works in the NFL.

Kelly has his flaws sure. Challenging plays, getting the points instead of going for it on fourth, etc. But all of these are easily teachable and fixable. Roseman knew what he was doing when he hired this guy to lead the Eagles team.

The future is bright for this team and it’s fans.

Strap in ladies and gents were in for a fun ride the next few years.

P.S. Don’t look now but our Philadelphia Flyers are in 2nd place in the metropolitan and went 4-1 on their road trip but more on that later.

Eagles Not-so-quick Thoughts

So the Eagles lost a heartbreaker at home in the playoffs…

There’s plenty to say about the game and how the team played, most notably tackling, coverage, and the battle in the trenches. However, I’m gonna save that conversation for what will inevitably become a podcast this week.

So instead I’d like to give some more conclusionary thoughts since I’m working til 6am and have nothing better to do with my time:

1. Foles has emerged as a solid system quarterback. I think he’s our Alex Smith/Eli Manning type QB. Probably enough to keep him around barring some incredible opportunity. Feel free to yell at me in the comments for that comparison.

2. Adrian Peterson has passed the torch. All hail LeSean McCoy.

3. Chip is a boss. He’s got his flaws, but for a kid tinkering in a machine shop for the first time he made a hell of an offensive beast. I still think he’s coach of the year.

4.The young defensive line struggled in big games. Looks like a pretty good unit, but not as dominant as I previously thought a few weeks back. Still an impressive campaign from them.

5. Brandon Graham is wasting away on this team. I feel bad for the guy. Trade him somewhere where he’ll be a 4-3 DE.

6. Considering the list of players brought in as free agents, most were a success. Even James Casey came on later in the year. Good work from Howie Roseman. I’m expecting more of the same from him this year—especially with Tom Gamble around. It’s good to say considering Roseman got a lot of flack last year for the Danny Watkins fiasco.

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Eagles make all the (boring) right moves on Day 1 of Free Agency

Newly-signed Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher celebrates an interception (September 29, 2012 – Source: David Welker/Getty Images North America)

Though some fans might be angry that the Eagles didn’t use all their cap space to add an “impact player,” the truth is there are very few players who will turn out to be worth the monster contracts they signed yesterday. While other teams were clamoring for “top talent,” the Eagles put together 5 signings that, while unsexy, will serve as a solid foundation for the new look of Chip Kelly’s team. Here’s the skinny on your newest Eagles.

Patrick Chung

Pos: Safety
Age: 25
Ht: 5’11”
Wt: 205
Last Team: NE

Chung reunites with his former college coach after four decent but uninspiring seasons with the Patriots. While the Pats secondary has been one of the worst in the league since Chung was drafted in 2009, ranking 8th worst in touchdowns allowed and dead last in yards allowed, Chung rated pretty well on an individual level. He is a very consistent tackler. According to ProFootballFocus, in 40 game appearances since 2010 (including playoffs), Chung recorded 161 solo tackles and only missed 16Chung can cover a bit too, allowing just a 56.4 passer rating against last season. The big knock on Chung is health. He’s missed 14 regular season games over the last three years due to various ailments, and this undoubtedly reduced his price tag. Chung won’t do much to make the highlight reel, but he’s a good overall player and should immediately supplant Nate Allen or Kurt Coleman in a starting role.  Read the rest of this entry

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