Long time Bleeding Green Nation writer, and founder/head writer of Blogging the Beast, Jimmy Kempski, took on our 5 questions this week. With the Eagles being a rival and at a low point in their franchise for the last 10 years, I decided to have some fun with my questions. Enjoy...
1.) Let's start with the OLine. At this point it looks like something Vinny Cerrato put together. Give me a quick run down from LT-RT and what to expect there with Foles.
LT King Dunlap - Dunlap played RT the last two weeks, and he was brutally bad. My buddy Tommy Lawlor from IgglesBlitz does a full game review of every Eagles player after every game (every team should have a blogger that does this). He's generally a pretty positive guy, but here were his notes on Dunlap from last week:
DUNLAP - Awful game. Holding call wiped out nice run by Shady. 2 hands to the face penalties wiped out pass completions, one which had set up 1st/GL. Struggled in pass pro, no matter vs who (Ware, Spencer, Butler, stunting DTs). Got no push on run plays. We tried to run wide, but defenders actually pushed King back which spilled the run play deeper and wider, giving the pursuit guys time to rally to the ball. Failed to block on the 2nd level on several plays. He would get out there and run, but not touch a soul. Didn't exactly sell-out to make the tackle on Carr on the pick-6. Had a very costly mistake after his H2F penalty that wiped out 1st/GL. Left the field and was on the sideline yelling. Only problem...we were kicking a FG and he's part of the FG protection team. Had to burn a timeout because of that. After cutting the lead to 31-23 late in the game, we had to onside kick since we only had 2 timeouts left. With the extra one, could have done a normal kickoff. If we stop Dallas then, they punt from the 30 and don't pin us inside the 10-yd line with a punt.
I did a film breakdown on the part where Tommy notes that Dunlap would get to the second level and then just not block anybody. It's actually kind of comical.
Anyway, King moves over to LT from RT.
LG Evan Mathis - Mathis has been good. I think he misses Jason Peters some, but he's clearly the best of the remaining offensive linemen.
C Dallas Reynolds - DeAngelo Hall has been in the league since 2004. After kicking around practices squads for years, Reynolds finally got his first ever NFL action this year after promising young C Jason Kelce was lost for the season. Reynolds and Hall are both 28.
RG Danny Watkins - Watkins is returning from injury. Rookie Dennis Kelly had been playing RG (and not very well) the last couple of weeks. Watkins has been a disappointment after being drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft. He's in his second year and is already 28 years old. The tradeoff was supposed to be that Watkins would be more NFL ready because of his age/maturity. Nope.
RT Dennis Kelly - Todd Herremans is done for the year. As noted above, Kelly had been playing RG. He'll kick out to his more natural OT position with Watkins returning. Dunlap moves over to LT and Demetress Bell will move from LT to the bench. See all the bad stuff about Dunlap above? Well, Bell has actually played worse. Kelly showed some promising things in the preseason, but your guess is as good as mine as far as how well he'll be able to handle Ryan Kerrigan on Sunday. Side note - Kelly and Kerrigan played together at Purdue.
2.) The Eagles are surprisingly tied with the Redskins for 28th with a lowly 14 sacks. The Redskins lost Orakpo, and Kerrigan is not winning any 1-1 battles, plus we don't have a true 3-4 NT. What's the Eagles excuse? (Babin, Jenkins, Graham etc...a lot of stars there.)
That's the biggest shocker of the Eagles' season so far. A lot of people (myself included) thought the Eagles' defensive line had the potential to be among the most dominant units in the NFL. And by units, I wasn't limiting that to just other defensive lines. But they have been a colossal disappointment. Babin is useless in the run game and has been dominated at times when trying to rush the passer, Cole appears to have lost a step, Cullen Jenkins is aging, and preseason phenom Philip Hunt has basically gone into hibernation. The two guys that have played well (despite underwhelming statistics) have been Brandon Graham and rookie Fletcher Cox.
3.) I love how Eagles fans claimed Kolb was the next Joe Montana calling for him to start over Vick and heralding his stories killing rattlesnakes. Our own Robert Henson who played against him with TCU said he'd be a bust and you blasted him for it. Turns out he was right. I see the same thing going on with Foles. I wasn't impressed with him the little time I spent with him at the combine...what percent of homerism do Eagles fans have for Foles' success vs reality (please don't mention Colt Brennan in your response).
At least Kolb is still collecting NFL paychecks, ha.
I really liked what I saw of Foles in the preseason. Smart kid. Accurate. Anticipates routes well, and gets the ball out as receivers make their break. That may sound like something that all QBs should do, but Philly fans haven't seen a QB throw the ball before the receiver makes his break since... Jeff Garcia? Last week, he made some correct checks at the line, moved receivers around, etc. That was nice to see from a rookie making his first NFL appearance in emergency fashion. People think he has some sort of monster arm because he's a big guy at 6'6, 240-something. I haven't seen that kind of impressive velocity though.
4.) From the outside looking in, the Eagles remind me of the Redskins of past where they have a bunch of free agents and a coaching overhaul coming in. Looks like the Eagles are headed into a decade of rebuilding and finding their identity. I know you have play makers, but let's be real, a new regime will wipe a lot of these starters out. They'll have to learn a new system. What's your outlook for the Birds' the next three years and what head coach would you prefer? (please say Jim Fassell or Jim Haslett)
I think a lot of the recent contracts the Eagles doled out will be goners. Nnamdi, Babin, and Vick are at the top of that list. The Eagles were smart about the way they structured those contracts, so it isn't exactly like the way the Redskins did business. They'll be able to get out of most of that without much pain.
I'm personally on the Chip Kelly bandwagon. There's a laundry list of failed college-to-the-pros coaches that have failed spectacularly. Oh wait... Forgot my audience here. But I think the big difference between an innovator like Kelly and an innovator like Spurrier is that Kelly will put in more than 3 hours of work per day once he arrives in the bigs.
The other guy that has always impressed me is Mike Zimmer, the defensive coordinator of the Bengals. No nonsense guy. If you look at the Bengals defense, they have Geno Atkins, an absolute star, and Carlos Dunlap. That's about it. Somehow, Zimmer has Terence Newman of all people playing well, and he's getting production out of dopes like Pacman Jones and Vontaze Burfict.
5.) You do a fantastic job on BloggingTheBeast.com and watch a lot of film. Take your Koy Detmer jersey off for a second and give me an honest prediction for this game, including score and stat lines for RGIII and Foles.
Aw shucks, thanks pal. I like the Skins here. 27-20. The Eagles can't block anyone in the run game or the pass game, and the defense has once again forgotten how to tackle. That's not a good combo. The Skins are a more functional crappy team than the Eagles at this point.
RG3: 19-29, 230, 1 TD, 0 INT. 5-43 on the ground.
Foles: 23-36, 304, 2 TD, 2 INT.
So, to recap. JimmyK is picking the Redskins and I am picking the Eagles. Next thing you'll tell me LaRon Landry is starting a game past week 10.
My answers to JimmyK's Redskins questions can be found here.