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Mailbag: Bye week smorgasbord

We talk secondary, offensive line and... vaping

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

It’s my turn to do the mailbag. Which we should probably call something else because nobody really gets mail anymore. But I digress.

With it being the bye week, we’ll do some off-the-wall questions in addition to serious ones.

@ProtoTyler: In your opinion, what is the most difficult game remaining on the schedule?

We thought it might be the Steelers, but that turned out to be the easiest game of the season so far. So I have no confidence in this answer. But right now I’ll go with at the Seahawks. That’s a really hard place to play, and the Seahawks are a really good team.

The Vikings look impossible to beat right now, but the Eagles don’t play them for three weeks. That should still be a hard game but at some point Minnesota is going to stop getting three turnovers a game and turn the ball over a little bit themselves, through three games they have one offensive turnover. That ratio is completely unsustainable. Hopefully the regression to the mean will happen in time for the Eagles game.

@wvbleedsgreen: With Lane's suspension starting, how do you think the shifted OL will fare?

It’ll certainly do worse, because Lane Johnson is one of the best right tackles in the league and Allen Barbre is not. And then there’s the trickle down effect of replacing Barbre at left guard with Stefen Wisniewski or Isaac Semualo, which is a smaller drop off but a drop off nonetheless. By the end of the suspension Semualo might be better than Barbre was at LG, but not next week.

However, I don’t think it’s going to be a disaster, because of Carson Wentz. QBs make offensive lines look better than they are, so if Wentz can continue his development and play better in the pocket, the line will look better than it is. Against the Steelers they played better, and so did Wentz, which is a bit of a chicken and the egg situation. If that can continue, they can survive for 10 games. If Jason Peters goes down, then they’re screwed.

@LibertarianNJ: Where do you rank Philly’s secondary top 30 top 15 top 5?

The only teams that can claim a better safety duo than the Eagles are the Seahawks and Cardinals, so that gives them a really high starting point. Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll aren’t going to win any post-season awards, but they’re both solid “#2s”. The issue with the Eagles, and really every team, is depth. Ron Brooks is fine as a slot corner but not someone you want on the outside, and Jalen Mills has potential but is still very much a work in progress. I’d say they’re somewhere in the 6-10 range. I’d put (in no order) the Seahawks, Cardinals, Packers, Chiefs, and Broncos ahead of them. After that it’s a mix of teams with a better corner or two but far inferior safeties.

@scarpedieme: who is more likely to be the lead back in 3 years, Barner or Smallwood?

I’m going to cheat a little: Neither. Barner is 27, it’s more likely he’s off the team than on it in 3 years. The coaching staff is high on Smallwood, but I’m going to take “the field” over him for that far down the road. The Eagles defense is not only good but has every key player but Bennie Logan under contract for the next few seasons, so they can invest a lot of draft picks and signings on offense, and there’s an impressive stable of running backs coming down the pike. They’re going to start stocking up on weapons for Wentz. Nothing against Smallwood but I’ll take my chances that they find a lead back that isn’t him between now and then.

@Philatticus: will da eagles make da playoffs

Yes. They’re going to win the division.

@nvuono: if the Eagles stop causing us immense disappointment does Bleeding Green Nation have to change name to something positive?

Unfortunately is not available.

@chainshaw511: which eagles player/coach/staff is most likely to vape

Bryan Braman, who was arrested for making hallucinogenic mushrooms in college, would be my top pick among the players. I also considered Beau Allen, Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Josh Huff (pun not intended) for no good reason. Among the staff, I’ll go with assistant trainer Joe O’Pella, who you probably know as “the Eagles trainer with the huge mustache.”

I know it’s stereotyping but a guy like that probably vapes. I also considered Jim Schwartz. I just want to believe that he has a hookah for post-game relaxation.

@johnwintertweet: Let me hear your best Carson Wentz sponsorship ideas...

(Dink and) Dunkin’ Donuts

@ryne_jones: which bird do you think would be the best partner on the amazing race

I’ve never seen the show but I know that it’s basically a rally where instead of a special stage you do a bunch of odd tasks. I’ll take care of the driving, so we’re going to be really good there. Really, really good. Just tremendous, believe me. But I need someone athletic so we can dominate anything that involves physical activity, someone smart so we can have our best chance at any brainteasers, and I’ll need someone who can push me when it comes time to do things I don’t want to do. That sounds like Malcolm Jenkins.

@bebinabraham: Fine. @BrandonGowton said he can dunk, can you dunk? If you can't, why not? WHY DON'T YOU HAVE HOPS DAVE?

No. I’m 5’9”. Only athletic freaks my height can dunk. My only basketball abilities are that I have five fouls to give. And having literally bumped into Shaq twice, I bring some experience in it.

@Randyljobst: Food of choice after an Eagles loss?

Beer. Also the food of choice after a win!

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