Here’s what we’re talking about:
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE WOODER COOLER!!! WE’RE 2 YEAR’S OLD!
- We break down the NFL’s controversial two-game suspension of Ray Rice.
- Rihanna takes on Philadelphia Freedoms Tennis Star Taylor Townsend in Feminine Persuasion
- We answer a fan question regarding the Eagles defense
- Is this the end for Ryan Howard, it appears so
- and more…
What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!
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Here’s what we’re talking about:
- We break down the most important phases of the Eagles system on the Eve of Training Camp and the influence of Chip Kelly
- We also are joined by Pete Curtin to talk about the outlook of the NFC East
- Everyone’s favorite segment, Feminine Persuasion is back as WNBA All Star Schoni Schimmel and American Ninja Warrior Kacy Catanzaro
- We broke down the newly proposed NBA draft system
- Also, the TWCNN Weekly Update makes a return and Vince shares his progress on his diet “17 in 7”
What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!
We didn’t make fans with any Lions fans this week (screw ’em!) so instead I’ll be giving you a preview of some important things to watch this week.
Now this is a HUGE game for the Eagles. Both teams are 7-5 and fighting for the chance to win their division. However, since the Eagles can’t tie Dallas’ record and make the playoffs the next three games are that much more important. This is very much a must-win game for the Birds.
Interesting fact: In the history of the franchise, the Eagles are 16-3-2 vs the Lions
What To Watch For:
1. Big Plays. The Eagles produce the most big plays out of anyone in the league. They have 72 plays of 20+ yards and 18 of 40+. The Lions are third in that category with 60 and 10. Expect a ton of yardage on Sunday as these teams sling it all over the field.
2. Running Back. The quarterbacks will get all of the love because
it gets Goodell’s rocks off that’s the nature of the beast, but running back I think is a far more interesting match-up. Reggie Bush may have been the best free agent signing of the year and he’s put up over 1,300 total yards in 11 games for the Lions. McCoy is regularly compared the Lions legend Barry Sanders, and both teams have great, young defensive lines. I think which ever team performs better on the ground has a definite edge in this game.
3. Calvin Johnson Stressing Linebackers. Megatron is the best receiver in the game hands down. From the report in another top-notch piece from Eagles 24/7, the Eagles won’t do much to blitz this week and Johnson is a major reason why. He’ll be double teamed all day and the Eagles will want to rush four so the they’re not killed in the underneath game. Mychal Kendricks and Connor Barwin will need to perform well in coverage to get the Eagles and their 7th worst 3rd down defense (40% conversion pct.) off of the field.
4. Rookie Battle! Ziggy Ansah was drafted immediately after the Eagles selected Lane Johnson in the draft. A young, raw, athletic end out of BYU Ansah was brought in to ad some pass rushing talent on the Lions’ line. He’s done pretty well so far notching eight sacks and regularly stopping the run. As a result it will be a great test for Lane Johnson who has really hit his stride the last few weeks. The less a struggling Todd Herremans has to worry about helping on the perimeter the better.
5. Quick Releases and Interceptions. The Lions have allowed only 15 sacks on the season and plenty of that has to do with Stafford not taking his time in throwing the ball. Nick Foles is very much in the same boat given the read and react style of Chip Kelly’s offense. However, the difference between the two is that Stafford has 14 interceptions and Foles has none (because he is a golden god). If the status quo holds true, the Eagles should win this game.
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After last week’s fantasticly fantastic fantasticness, this week should hold more wonders for fans as the Eagles take on the San Diego Chargers in Chip Kelly’s first NFL home game. Considering the fact that the Chargers have a significant disadvantage due to time zone issues and the Eagles have only shown “About 60%” of their offense, there’s good reason to be excited. The Eagles should win.
Here’s some things to watch for as you stuff your face with pizza and fancy beer.
1. New Formations! Chip threw all sorts of curveballs offensively in the first game. He lined up the tackles in pods on the outside of the field, worked with unbalanced lines, and made his lineman hit the deck. However, most of this was done without the assistance of James Casey, who had only two plays against the Redskins. Be prepared for Chip to unleash his tight ends in a variety of fun ways today.
2. Blitzball. One way the Redskins decided to slow the Eagles down was to blitz the hell out of Vick. They released the hounds on just over 50% of Vick’s dropbacks and earned three sacks. The Eagles should expect to see a lot more blitzing this week—especially towards Lane Johnson and Todd Herremans, who obviously struggled. How do they adapt?
3. Receptive Diversity. This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with distribution. San Diego had seven different players catch a pass last Sunday and not one of them had more than three catches. This team distributes the ball under Mike McCoy and will continue to do so today. With Bradley Fletcher out and the secondary already unstable, this is a big problem for Billy Davis.
4. Sharing the load. After LeSean McCoy reminded everyone how much of a boss he is, he admitted to reporters that Bryce Brown and Chris Polk will need to get some carries in this offense. McCoy simply can’t touch the ball 32 times a game. It will be interesting to see how early and often Chip is willing to take his precious out of the game.
5. Special Teams. This unit was fantastic last week—just check out the Redskins drive chart. They almost never had a short field to work with on Monday night thanks to special teams’ excellent work. It’s easy to pass over this stuff, but it really matters. I also can’t shake the feeling that we’ll see some awesome trick plays from these guys soon.
After giving the new draft class a chance to simmer, we spoke to our friends from 3D Philly Sports (who you can find on Facebook and Twitter) to see how they feel about the new haul of picks. This time, we get the low down from 3D’s Dave Bennett. If you’re looking for my answers, then check it out over here!
Who was your favorite draft pick?
My favorite pick is 5th rounder Earl Wolff. He has all of the “unteachables” you could ask for; the size, speed, and athleticism to be a solid safety at the next level. The best part is he can sit and develop for a year, which no other safety’s really had the chance to do while Andy Reid and Company were running the show. Nate Allen was a second rounder but should have been given a year to learn the game and develop physically with a full year of a pro workout regiment. Wolff will get this opportunity and a player who is over 6 feet tall and runs in the low 4.4 range, I’m happy with that. Other players will clearly have more immediate benefit but long term he has the opportunity to become a key piece in this defense for a number of years.
What late round pick/unrestricted free agent pushes for playing time? (Rd 4-7)
Jordan Poyer was a 7th rounder who fell out of favor because of ONE off the field citation. Long and short of it he was at a bar and wasn’t supposed to be there, got kicked out and went back. This was a few years ago and not having a single issue since then is telling that he learned his lesson and isn’t walking down the wrong path. Poyer is 6 feet even and was over 190 lbs at the combine, aka he fits the mold of the corners Chip is looking for. Not to mention this kid improved his game year over year at Oregon State. If he hadn’t had his ONE off field issue he probably goes in round 3 or 4 easily. Another player who can benefit from learning/growing for a year but also could be a great special teamer this season with the ability to come in for injury relief. However he has the ability to push for starting snaps, especially if/when Carey Williams has nuclear mental breakdown this season.
If you could have taken someone else outside of the first round who would it have been?
There has been a ton of speculation regarding the changes that would inevitably take place once Big Balls Chip Kelly was hired as the head coach of the Eagles. So far, most of the analysis has been fairly shallow.
He’s not a bore at his press conferences, he plays music at practices, he talks a mean game about having a mean team. That’s fantastic, however, still only a few crumbs of food from a king’s feast. The draft finally provided an opportunity to develop a sincere understanding of Chip’s philosophy and the general direction of the franchise.
The key word at the center of this draft is the word versatility. Every player that the Eagles drafted this year (Barkley excluded) has the ability to be used in multiple looks. Lane Johnson can play left and right tackle, Zach Ertz could feasibly be four different positions on the field on any given play, and guys like Jordan Poyer played safety and corner in college. All of this plays to Chip Kelly’s favor and supports his notion of putting players in the position to succeed.
Many times that sentiment is lip service from coaches. Andy Reid had a square peg (Michael Vick) and bludgeoned it to smithereens with a hammer (passed 45 times a game). This attitude of fitting players into a scheme rather than catering to their talents is a disservice to the team, the organization, and the fans.
With the 4th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected OT Lane Johnson from Oklahoma.
Let’s all take a minute to breathe a collective sigh of belief that it wasn’t Geno Smith.
Ok, now here’s what you want to know.
Who is Lane Johnson?
In short, he’s a ridiculous, freakish, otherworldly athlete.
Here are some unbelievable numbers from the draft combine:
4.72 second 40-yard dash
34.0 inch vertical leap
9’10” standing broad jump
4.52 second 20-yard shuttle
You might expect results like that from an athletic tight end, or a big linebacker. You’d never expect that from a guy who is 6’6″ and weighs 303 lb.
But can he play football?
You tell me. He’s the one wearing #69.
Is Johnson a mauler? No. And he likely never will be. But Chip Kelly doesn’t require that of his players. What he does require is quickness and size. Johnson has both of those attributes, and then some. Johnson also played a fair bit of no-huddle at Oklahoma, so you know he’s capable of keeping up with Chip Kelly’s game speed.
As we discussed Around the Cooler this week, the Eagles could feasibly take a number of prospects in this year’s draft. However, I don’t feel like waiting for the draft to take place. So, I’m going to sift through the sands of confusion to find the
Ark of the Covenant Eagles’ draft choice at number four.
Let’s begin by examining the list of candidates that the Eagles have worked out:
Geno Smith, QB West Virginia
E.J. Manuel, QB Florida State
Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M
Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan
Sharrif Floyd, DL Florida
Star Lotulelei, DL Utah
Dee Milliner, CB Alabama
Ziggy Ansah, DL Brigham Young
Dion Jordan, LB Oregon
From this list, you can immediately cross out Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel. I recently explained why the Eagles will not take Smith. Manuel is universally considered a second-round graded prospect so there’s no chance that he goes at the top of the draft. He could be the Eagles’ choice at the top of the second round or perhaps a player that they jump into the late first round to grab, but don’t expect a quarterback at four. NEXT!