Eagles Droppings 5/4: Eagles Sign Guard, Judge on Eagles, Eagles Stock Down, Lindley's Mistake and More
By Lance Epstein
Eagles Sign Local Guard:
On Tuesday, the Eagles and Philadelphia native, guard Greg Isdaner, came to terms on a three-year contract.
Isdaner (6-4, 327) signed with the Dallas Cowboys last year as a rookie free agent, but was later released. Eventually he signed with the Eagles and spent the a good portion of the season on the club's practice squad.
Before he attended West Virginia for college where he was named a 2008 first-team All-America and a three-year starter. Before going to the Mountaineers, he played football at Episcopal Academy in the Philadelphia area. While Isdaner is a long shot to make the team, he was at the Eagles post-draft minicamp.
Still Isdaner has a shot to make the practice squad, but making the team and beating out Nick Cole, Stacy Andrews, Todd Herremans, Mike McGlynn and Max Jean-Gilles is a very daunting task.
CBS's Clark Judge On New Look Birds:
In an article written yesterday by Cbssportsline.com's Clark Judge, he discussed the the Eagles going younger, but being as confident as they ever have been.
One of the main topics Clark wrote about was the team moving on from the crafty veteran Donovan McNabb to the younger and promising Kevin Kolb.
"Kolb is young, accurate and promising. In his two starts a year ago he was 1-1 -- throwing for more than 300 yards in each game -- but those are his only two starts in three seasons, and to say the Eagles are assuming a risk is an understatement," he wrote. "Kolb is replacing a seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback who took the club to five conference championship games in eight years and their only Super Bowl in nearly three decades.
"But the Eagles believe in Kolb. If they didn't they wouldn't have sent McNabb off -- to a division opponent, no less -- and they wouldn't have extended Kolb's contract."
Clark then went onto compare the Eagles situation with McNabb and Kolb to the San Diego Chargers dilemma in 2006. A dilemma in which the Chargers organization decided to thrust a young and virtually inexperienced Phillip Rivers into the lineup and let Drew Brees walk away to New Orleans. A refreshing take on the whole circumstance considering everyone has been comparing the Eagles' situation to that of the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre.
"I don't know that the Eagles are going to a Super Bowl. But I do know the time was right to get Kolb on the field," Clark wrote. "It reminds me a little of what San Diego did with quarterback Philip Rivers, sitting him for two seasons behind Drew Brees before giving him the ball.
"The difference, of course, is that Brees was an unrestricted free agent coming off a serious shoulder injury and that Rivers had two seasons -- not three, as in Kolb's case -- to sit and learn."
Again Clark praised head coach Andy Reid for making the bold decision and cutting his ties with McNabb after 11 seasons. He even added fuel to the Eagles fans excitement for the upcoming season.
"OK, but remember what Gaither said: This is no teardown in the works. The Eagles had gone as far as they thought they could with McNabb & Co. and decided a turnover was necessary. So McNabb and Westbrook left," Clark wrote. "So did Chris Gocong and Sheldon Brown. And Shawn Andrews, Sean Jones, Kevin Curtis, Will Witherspoon, Reggie Brown, Chris Clemons, Darren Howard and Jeremiah Trotter.
"Now the Eagles are back to try it all over again with a younger and less experienced roster, and I would be careful not to underestimate these guys or their head coach. In eight of Reid's 11 seasons the Eagles have reached the playoffs, and you heard Kolb: He's already talking about what it takes to reach the Super Bowl."
One thing is for sure, the Eagles have gotten much younger on both sides of the ball. Entering last season, the average age of the Eagles roster was 26.8, which was still remarkably young. As it stands today, the Eagles average age is a whole two years younger at 24.8.
As inspiring as Clark's article was, fans should be cautious. It is not because the team cannot go out there and be a contender for the division title, but there will be a lot of growing pains. There are a lot of young players and new faces who new to the system and schemes. Plus Kolb will have his ups and downs like Rivers, Rodgers and Matt Schaub did in their first season as the starter.
As a side note, if this situation is more like Rivers and Brees like Clark stated, it would mean McNabb goes onto win a Super Bowl with the Redskins like Brees did with the Saints after he left. Do not know how pleased Eagles fans would be with that.
Eagles Stock Down:
Espn.com released their offseason power rankings and the Philadelphia Eagles dropped from seven at the end of the season to No. 13.
One reason for this is that senior NFL reporter John Clayton had the team ranked at No. 8 after the embarrassing lost to Dallas. Once McNabb was traded to the Redskins, the Eagles fell 10 spots to No. 18 in his eyes. In fact, Clayton believes that the Redskins and Cowboys will be fighting atop the NFC East for the divisional crown.
He was not the only one to drop the birds down, many of the experts at ESPN simply do not believe Kevin Kolb can adequately replace the six-time Pro Bowler in his first year as a the starter.
Another reason the Eagles dropped was due to the difficulty of their schedule. This upcoming season, the square off against 11 top-level QBs in Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and perhaps Brett Favre.
Lindley Made A Mistake:
When the Eagles drafted University of Kentucky cornerback Trevard Lindley, Andy Reid and Howie Roseman knew they were getting a potential steal in the fourth-round. If Lindley opted to come out in the 2008 NFL Draft, most analyst and draft gurus had him graded as a second-round cornerback and even first-rounder.
Unfortunately, his 2009 campaign was marred with injuries, which hurt his stock as one of the best corners on the collegiate level to a virtually forgotten player. According to Wes Bunting of National Football Post, Lindley was one of eight draft choices/undrafted rookies to make his list of players that should've stayed one more year or left a year too late.
"Following a brilliant 2008 reason, which resulted in Lindley being named first team All-SEC, second team All-American and leading the SEC in pass break-ups (11), his stock was never going to get any higher," Bunting wrote. "He was considered one of the nation’s top cover men and seemed, at worst, a lock for the first three rounds in the ‘09 draft. However, after missing parts of his senior season with injuries and being exposed routinely at the 2010 Senior Bowl, Lindley was lucky to even hear his name called in round four last Saturday."
Hopefully for the Eagles, Lindley can stay healthy and on the field because he has a great opportunity to compete and push for a starting job at the right corner position. Ellis Hobbs is only pencilled in as the starter. Additionally the Eagles have to be wondering if he can recover fully from his neck injury, which cost him eight games last year. Moreover, when he did suit up, he was less than impressive.
Lastly, Lindley's game is very similar to current Eagle Asante Samuel, who was also a fourth-round selection. Both players do not like to make a tackle, but are playmakers that have a knack for the interception. Furthermore, Samuel is going to be 30 heading into 2011 and has a large payday. Lindley could be the replacement down the road for Samuel.
King On Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and Michael Vick:
Peter King of CNNSI had two nuggets of information pertaining to the Philadelphia Eagles in his weekly "Monday Morning Quarterback." First, he discussed five notables from around the league during this weekend's minicamps.
He wrote about McDermott having to patch together a defense, which eventually fell apart at the end of the season. However, he did say McDermott is very happy to have a new pass rushing threat in Brandon Graham and linebacker Ernie Sims.
Sean McDermott, Philadelphia defensive coordinator. Last year, the baby-faced McDermott scotch-taped things together pretty well after succeeding the lateJim Johnson-- until the final two games of the season. Dallas exposed the Philly D for 58 points. Now McDermott will have a costly new pass-rusher, top pick Brandon Graham, plus a new linebacking corps (as well as holdover Stewart Bradley, who missed the season with knee reconstruction). McDermott likes what he's seen in outside linebackerErnie Sims, acquired from Detroit via trade. "There's a shark in the water, and his name's Ernie Sims,'' he said.
Besides the topic of McDermott, King seemed to come away very impressed with the new Michael Vick. He was blown away by the maturity that Vick has shown towards the game of football in his 'Ten things he thinks' segment.
I think the most mature thing I've heard Michael Vick say in a long, long time is something he said Saturday at Eagles minicamp: "I'm blessed to have a job in the NFL.'' I hope he believes that. Not that he ought to be kissing anyone's feet to be in the league, but he should be pretty happy he's making $5 million while working his way back into what he hopes will be a starting role. Somewhere.
Vick has been a good solider this offseason for the Eagles and understands his role with the franchise. In addition, he has been working out for the first time in his career at the team's facilities and looks to be in marvelous shape. Of course, he will not be the starter this year, but next year as a free agent some team is going to get a player with a new leasehold on life and better understanding of how to be a QB at the NFL level.
Giants Draft Pick Hurting Already:
Even though this is not Eagles news, it is a story that will surely make fans feel better about taking Brandon Graham in the first-round over Jason Pierre-Paul.
At Giants' minicamp this past weekend, Tom Coughlin called out his first-round pick from this year's draft (No. 15) by saying his conditioning was not exactly where it should have been. However, Pierre-Paul said he was in fine condition, but his back is hurting.
While this is only minicamp, you rather not have a player already complaining about injuries or not being able to make it through drills. It is only minicamp and he has excuses. Can't imagine what the excuse will be for him in training camp when the intensity is ratcheted up.
This was one of the reasons scouts called him a boom or bust player (playing for two JUCO schools and at South Florida team's question his maturity). Right now, fans have to be pretty happy to have Graham and not Pierre-Paul.