It's time for the second part of my look at the Eagles through training camp so far. This time around it's the defense's turn. So much to say, but I will try to limit it as much as possible. Again, this is just based on the film I have seen so far and analyzing what is available at the moment. So let us begin...
Bunkley - The man is continuing to step up and grow as a player. He's an important piece to us if we want to open up holes for this new faster group of LBs. No bad news to say about the guy right now. Keep up the good work.
Patterson - Mike has been the same as Bunk. Not much is being said about him, but I take that as a good thing. It just means he is doing his job and holding onto his starting position. He looks good in 1 vs 1 drills and live action. We all know what to expect at this point with him.
Dixon - Tough to say a lot about him because of the injury. He came in right where he left off and is a force from the DT position. I like the guy a lot, but it seems like he has some players challenging him at the moment. Hopefully he gets back from injury soon so he can start showing the coaches why he made this team last season and took playing time from Trevor Laws.
Laws - One of my biggest surprises this off-season. I had pretty much written this guy off as a bust after last season after he got beat out by Antonio Dixon for playing time. Seems like he found out what to do with himself during his time off this season. Trevor has become a real force inside using both power and finesse to push the O-Line. They even have him in now with the Nickel Package. I am impressed with this young man and can now finally see why we used a 2nd round pick on him.
Robinson - Not a bad player at all, but really has gotten lost behind the rest of the players. Slower and not as much power as the guys he is going against. It's going to be a real struggle for this guy to make the final cut.
Owens - I love this guy even though he will probably only make it to the practice squad. The pure power behind this kid is amazing. He is constantly pushing the pocket and forcing it to collapse. In my opinion he would be great on goal line, run situations, and to open up holes for Sims to burst into. Not the fastest guy in the world by any means, but the power behind him is enough to turn anyone's head. I'm pulling for ya Jeff!
On a side note: Doesn't Jeff Owens look like Star Jones when she was big?
OK back to the real stuff...
Abiamiri - It's that time where this guy needs to get cut. I'm sorry Vic, but you gotta go. A player is of no use to us if he can't stay healthy. Also, the stuff I have seen from the guy when he was on the field is not enough to justify keeping him around. The other players I am going to talk about next are showing much more promise.
Cole - Beast. Nuff said.
Graham - I get the move now during the draft. He's big, he's fast, he's strong. The thing that impressed me the most is his arsenal of moves when going up against these linemen. He can run, spin, swim, you name it and the guy's doing it. Most of this stuff has come in the 1 vs 1 drills though. I want to see how this guy handles being chipped by TE or FB during a game. I can also see the Dwight Freeney comparisons, but I'm going to wait until we get a little more live action before I start saying it as well.
Parker - Still a good solid player. I have seen Winston Justice stand him up more than a couple times, but we all know he can play when it comes to real game time. I think we will see less of him this year, but only because AR is going to use a lot more rotations at DE.
Sapp - I just can't get behind this kid. He's just too small for DE. Austin Howard has been tossing him around like a ragdoll. Is it he fast? Yes. Is his speed enough? No. I would like to see him on practice squad or switched to LB to give him a shot. Even as a joker position I just don't see him having an impact. Bulk up Ricky and we'll start talking about playing time.
Tapp - Good hands and movement. I am really excited to have this guy here to give Trent Cole a rest every once in a while. I would not want him as my every day starter, but as a transitional/back up guy I am very happy. Bigger players seem to get a push on him that he does not come back from easily, but he gets good leverage and once he gains a slight edge, he owns you. A little more work with the line coaches and I could see this guy becomes a phenomenal addition.
Te'o-Nesheim - I know I am going to catch flack for this, but I can't buy into this guy from what I have seen so far. His hand placement is not the best. I haven't seen many moves from the guy. Speed is there, but it's not elite speed. He gets into fights and makes headlines. That's nice, but what is not being said is that he is getting into fights after he is getting stopped and is getting frustrated. I will wait til pre-season games start before I make a final judgment, but as of right now I am not a huge fan. I do think that he will be very good after some coaching, but don't expect too much this year like Graham will be doing.
Bradley - Yup, he's back. The biggest thing for me with Stew back is how he takes command of the D. We missed that last year. Good to see him back and taking helmets off people's head.
Chaney - Faster player who doesn't give up easily. He has had some mental slips at times during drills, but he's a rookie. I'll forgive him for now. As far as making the squad is concerned, it's going to come down to special teams and how he does during pre-season. I can't wait to see this guy play in preseason so I can make some real decisions on him.
Clayton - Now here is a man that I would be upset with if he didn't make the team. Clayton just has a natural nose for where the ball is going to be. That is one thing you just cannot teach players. Good speed and from what I hear this guy is supposed to be a beast on special teams. I am very excited to watch this guy go up against the other teams in preseason and start to make a name for himself.
Fokou - One of my biggest problems with the Eagles' D last year was Moise. He had so many mental mistakes that cost us dearly. This year we will see if he learned from those mistakes or not. It seems like he has lost the starting nod to Jordan right now, but time will tell. This battle is going to come down to preseason games. Again, this just proves to me how important preseason is. One big thing to point out is that he has looked really good at LDE. I didn't know the guy had moves like that. He is just swatting away the OL.
Gaither - Omar seems to be getting lost behind the newcomers in the news, but he has actually looked fairly decent. The man is a must have as a back-up in my opinion because he can fill in for all three positions. His coverage skills have been on point this year so far. I am interested to see if they keep him or not because a lot of people consider him to be on the bubble right now.
Jordan - Congrats on making it back to the starting line-up Akeem. Can he keep it? He has more of the build for the SAM position, but we will see where he ends up. I haven't seen or heard too much from him, but that can be a good thing. Maybe he is just doing a great job and there is no need to really talk about him.
Sims - I can't talk about Sims too much because I am biased. In 2006 I had him as one of the top players in the draft overall and the top LB overall. I wished and prayed that he would magically fall to us somehow. Instead he goes the blackhole for talent, Detroit. Ugh. What a waste of good years. Mental lapses have happened where he is way off target on where he should be, but he's fast, hits hard, and can cover. I love this guy and I think he will be a Philly favorite soon.
White - Special teams is where this guy needs to stand out if he wants to make the team. Honestly, I don't see it happening. There is so much talent ahead of him right now that it's just going to be too hard. He's been mediocre is every category. Nothing stands out. Nothing so bad that it needs mentioning either though. It really depends on if they feel he is better for the ST squad then other players. My opinion? He gets cut.
Hanson - For a guy who talked a lot of smack during the off-season about how the RCB position should be his to lose he has not shown up. If that was the case, then he did a good job of losing it. Look, he is a solid nickel back for sure, but I expected something more from him this year after so much smack talk. Coverage has been decent, but I have seen him get beat on crisp routes too often. Not many break-ups or INTs. Hasn't been super impressive getting a push at the line. I guess I'm just not sold yet and expected too much.
Harris - Macho has actually done a pretty decent job so far (when not injured). I like the physical approach he brings to the game. Not many of our CBs have been bringing that thunder. I don't want him as a starter, but I really think he can be molded into a really solid player eventually. I really don't know what the Eagles are going to do with him right now, but it's going to be interesting to watch. I also like his versatility to fill in a safety position if we are in a desperate spot for one game. Not sure how he is on special teams, but we will see. They had him returning for a while there, but I don't really know what that's all about. Return man does not seem like his spot in my opinion.
Hobbs - I like the guy. He's a tiny man, but is not afraid to step up to players. He will have a tough time with taller WRs, but we just have to make sure he doesn't get mismatched too often. How quickly we forget that the last time he and Asante were lined up together as starters the team went undefeated. My biggest issue? Can he stay healthy? Let's hope. He has really been getting in and breaking up passes from what I have seen. Pass deflections always seem like a category that gets lost in the INT madness.
Lindley - Very impressive so far, but we need him to be. He's a rookie who is already 24. If he wants to be an NFL star and get paid then he's got to get real good, real quick. Many, many pass break ups. Good speed to contend with NFL receivers. I wanna see him in games against some of the bigger WRs of the NFL, but that's what preseason is for. I can almost see this guy stealing the nickel away from Hanson by season's end. He's got a nose for the ball as well. When he plays, it almost seems like he has been forcing the WR to overrun the ball so he can get underneath it. I had no idea what to expect from this guy when he was drafted, but I like what I am seeing so far.
Patterson - One this is going to save this guy and possibly make this team. Special Teams. The guy is an ace. He is quick and the ST coaches have been talking him up more so than others in his "on the bubble" position. Not sure what is going to happen here because he's really not looked amazing on covering our WRs and that's without Jackson or Maclin.
Pender and Pope - Sorry guys, neither has impressed me. They have a great play here and there, but in the end I just hear their names too many times about a WR beating them for a catch. Maybe the practice squad. Maybe.
Allen - The most impressive thing about Allen that the others did not have last year is his mental awareness. He has taken good command of the secondary and calls out adjustments very well. His hands are great and he makes good reads on the ball. I feel WAY more comfortable this year about our secondary with him in there. I would like to see what happens when we send him in on a blitz. I also have questions still about his tackling, but those will be answered soon enough when live games happen. A good start and I hope he continues to improve. Thank God we got him in camp on time.
Coleman - Where the hell did this guy come from? The man has been all over the field making plays. He's a beast, but I still see him as more of a SS. Maybe the Eagles will make the switch for him. Maybe they will keep him as back-up with the possibility of filling in for either position. The guy is a rock when it comes to tackling. I've heard him compared to B-Dawk, but Dawk was my favorite of all time and that is a little crazy to compare the two. At least for now. I've heard of him possibly being groomed to take Mikell's spot when he leaves and I could not agree more with the move. Coleman has to make this team. There is no way he doesn't.
Harris, A - Not impressed. More training camp fodder.
Mikell- I like the guy and think he does a decent job. He's looked solid in training camp so far and I have no complaints as of right now. I still don't think he should be considered and elite SS as some people like to think, but I also don't worry too much when he's back there.
Demps - I just need to know which Q I'm getting. This camp he has looked awesome, but will it translate into the season? I can't put trust in this guy yet. I need to see it during games. Movement and hands have looked very good this year so far. I'm just going to have to trust the coaches with this decision on whether he stays or goes.
Hamilton - Again, not impressed. Just hasn't shown me any reason to keep the guy around. Maybe practice squad as a development player, but not much else.
Well, that's it for the second part of my first post. I know I'm gonna get it for my Te'o comments, but that's life. Can't have everyone see it your way. Thanks again to everyone on here for making this site the best out there. Keep posting and I'll keep reading!