Tag:Jason Peters
Posted on: October 12, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 9:43 am
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Film Room: Redskins vs. Eagles preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



What is wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles? Theories about chemistry, the pressure of high expectations, focus, character and, everybody’s favorite, the “It Factor” make for great talk show palaver. But they lack substance. Fortunately, there are cameras in the sky that can answer Football America’s current favorite question. Heading into a matchup against their division rival Washington Redskins, here’s what the film says is wrong with this nightmare of a Dream Team.


1. Offensive Line
You already know that Philly’s offensive line is young, incongruent and, as of late, banged up. That’s all true. And, perhaps a little bit surprising. Youth is youth, nothing you can do about that. But with new offensive line coach Howard Mudd installing his straightforward and famously teachable blocking techniques, you’d figure things would click up front a little quicker than they have (or have not).

Under previous O-line coach Juan Castillo, there were five to six different blocking techniques that Eagles linemen had to correctly choose from on any given play. It’s not easy to be fundamentally sound when you first have to think about which fundamentals to use. Mudd changed that. He teaches only one technique that has built-in variations depending on the situation.

So far, many situations have been difficult for the Eagles line to handle. That’s in part due to youth (rookie center Jason Kelce had a costly blitz-pickup gaffe against the Bills, and right guard Danny Watkins initially failed to hold onto his starting job) and in part due to injuries (with Winston Justice on the shelf, Todd Herremans has played at the unfamiliar right tackle position, which has left a void at Herremans’ left guard spot; at left tackle, big but awkward King Dunlap has been filling in for injured Pro Bowler Jason Peters).
 
Though it hasn’t been smooth sailing off the dock, this Eagles’ line is not as atrocious as people think. It’s an athletic group that fits the system well and should improve. Of course, people may not notice the improvements given that the man this unit blocks for always has, and always will, make his linemen look bad.

2. Vick and his line
As Mudd explains so eloquently, offensive linemen are the only athletes in all of sports that play with their backs constantly to the ball. Linemen protect the man holding the ball, but they can’t see the man holding the ball. Because of that, their positioning and execution are built on trust and timing.
Michael Vick’s sandlot nature obliterates that timing.

This isn’t just about Eagles blockers not knowing where Vick is when he’s scrambling around (though that’s part of it); it’s about Vick not having a feel for timing his drop-backs. Quarterbacks take three-step drops when receivers run short routes, five step drops on intermediate routes and seven-or nine-step drops on long routes. Simply taking the steps isn’t enough – you have to synchronize them with the timing of the routes and with the timing of the pass protection concepts.

Vick has a poor sense of this timing. It’s part of his collection of flawed fundamentals. Often, he makes up for his flaws with insanely athletic plays. But in the process, life is always difficult for his blockers.

3. Defensive Wide-9 Technique
People are starting to grumble about new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo’s scheme – and rightfully so. It’s a Wide-9, which is a system built around generating a pass-rush with your front four. The defensive ends align in 9-technique positions, which means they’re outside the tight ends. This puts the defensive ends in space and allows them to be sprinters out of the box. It’s ideal for guys like Trent Cole and Jason Babin, both of whom are having productive years rushing the passer.

The problem is this system puts a considerable strain on a linebacking unit. As Ron Jaworski pointed out in the Lions-Bears Monday Night game, with the ends aligning so far wide, offenses run to the gaping holes inside. This is what the defense is designed to do. The Wide-9 aims to shrink the field by steering all the action inside. But this demands physical, stout linebackers who can take on blocks and play downhill.

The Eagles simply don’t have any. Exacerbating matters is the fact that their miscast linebackers are also inexperienced. Jamar Chaney is a sophomore seventh-round pick who has shuffled from one position to another. Brian Rolle is a sixth-round rookie playing only because he makes fewer mental errors than fourth-round rookie Casey Matthews.

Understandably, Juan Castillo is taking a lot of heat for the defense’s struggles. Only those within the Eagles organization truly know what kind of defensive coach he is. But you don’t have to be inside the organization to see that the system Castillo signed up to coordinate is not right for this team.

4. The Vaunted Secondary
Imagine buying a 65-inch plasma TV, but instead of watching Blue Rays or DVDs on it, you watch video cassettes. That’s sort of what the Eagles are doing with Nnamdi Asomugha. The ex-Raider was worth $25 million guaranteed because he’s the best outside press-man cover artist not named Darrelle Revis. But Asomugha has not been a press-corner in Philadelphia.

Greg Cosell, the executive producer of the NFL Matchup Show and one of the most respected analysts in the country, points out that Asomugha played outside press-man only 40 percent of the snaps through the first four weeks. The rest of the time he was in off-coverage, traditional zone or lined up over the slot (where he’s never regularly operated before). Consequently, Asomugha has been uncomfortable.
 
There are problems on the other side, as well. Asante Samuel is a classic off-coverage corner who needs to be able to see both the receiver and quarterback in order to be effective. Cosell adds that Samuel is also suited for a blitz-oriented scheme, where the quarterback is compelled to throw quickly, thus making routes easier to jump. In this Wide-9 scheme, Samuel has often had to play bump-and-run coverage, which he doesn’t have the physicality to do.

The Eagles may be sorting this snafu out. A few times against the Bills, they used Asomugha in man-to-man while everyone else played zone. But even if the corners are all utilized to their natural talents, there remains concern about the safeties.

Cosell, who can speak at length about the intricacies of Wide-9 run defense concepts, says a major issue has been Jarrad Page’s failures in run defense. Page was benched in the middle of the fourth quarter last week after several missed tackles.

5. The Redskins Matchup
With their bye, Washington has had an extra week to rest up and study Philadelphia’s myriad problems. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett should be licking his chops. The Redskins run one of the most aggressive (and effective) blitz schemes in the league. Outside ‘backers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan can feast on the Eagles offensive tackles, plus they have the athleticism to plausibly keep Vick in the pocket.

If Orakpo and Kerrigan are told to cut loose, don’t be surprised if strong safety LaRon Landry serves as a spy on Vick. Of course, let’s not get carried away with thinking these matchups spell doom for the Eagles. After all, Philly’s offense hung 52 points on Washington’s defense in Week 10 last year. (Philly’s D added seven more.)

On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ zone-blocking scheme does not create the type of pounding downhill run game that’s ideal for attacking this Eagles defense.

But it does create passing lanes for tight ends. With the Eagles corners stifling the mediocre Redskins wideouts, don’t be surprised if Rex Grossman throws 15-20 balls to Chris Cooley and Fred Davis. It’s a good place to attack given that the Eagles linebackers have also struggled in coverage.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 6 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Vick's finger 'popped out'; Peters, Cole injured

Posted by Will Brinson

Everything is coming up Eagles, huh? Not only is Philly's favorite football team 1-3, and not only is their defense an insult to the word sieve, but the injuries are starting to pile up.

This one, in particular, is gross and terrifying: one of the fingers on Michael Vick's left (read: throwing) hand "popped out" during the Eagles loss to San Francisco on Sunday.

"Yeah my finger popped out of place in the first half and I was just determined to finish the game, regardless of how I had to do it," Vick said on Sunday afternoon. "And I did it.  Wish the outcome could have been a bit different, but it is what it is."

One: ew. And two, um, it sure seems like Vick's body is determined to keep him out of some games this year doesn't it? Speaking of things that won't help Vick stay healthy, the offensive line took a pretty huge hit on Sunday as well, as it appears left tackle Jason Peters will miss some time with what Andy Reid classified as a "fairly significant" hamstring strain.

Peters could certainly miss time and Reid said he and defensive end Trent Cole will be closely evaluated over the next few days. Antonio Dixon, another defensive lineman, is expected to miss the rest of the season because of a torn triceps injury.

Cole also has a "fairly significant" calf strain, and it sounds like each could miss some, um, fairly significant time.

The news doesn't get that much better for the Eagles, who face the Bills and the Redskins on the road in the next two weeks before hitting their bye week. Theoretically, those two games are winnable without some of their key parts, but you can bet everything you own that Philly will see a heavy dose of Fred Jackson and Ryan Torain/Tim Hightower, respectively.

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:35 am
 

Michael Vick's contract has no 'conduct language'

Posted by Will Brinson



On Monday night, Michael Vick became the first player in NFL history to sign a second nine-figure contract, getting a six-year, $100 million contract from the Eagles that makes him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

Given his past -- ahem -- transgressions, it wouldn't be surprising to find out that Philadelphia guarded themselves from getting torched by Vick through specific language in the contract relating compensation to conduct.

But they didn't. Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports report that Vick's deal contains "nothing other than the usual stuff," has "normal" stipulations on conduct and is "no different" than other player contracts.

Vick's Second Life

So, clearly, the Eagles weren't pressing Vick (or couldn't?) to include a pile of stipulations in the deal about his behavior off the field. Obviously that's something the Falcons wish they'd done, as it would have made recouping money much easier than actually, you know, suing Vick.

For Philly though, it might not have made any sense to do so. They clearly believe that Vick's a changed man -- and if a cynic like Prisco believes it, can you blame them? -- and the more risk for a player that's included in a contract like this, the more money that's required from a team to make said player take said risks.

If the Eagles don't believe Vick will go back to his old ways, and they quite clearly do not, then there's no reason to push the negotiating envelope on player conduct clauses.

Bonus nuggets that are interesting about Vick's contract: if he's fully paid, it's believed that his creditors will also be fully paid. That's annoying for Vick, since it means giving up a lot of $100 million, but it also means that this deal fully guarantees him freedom from bankruptcy well in advance of the timeline that was set when he left prison.

And, because Vick's making so much money, the Eagles now have the highest-paid lineman in the NFL (Jason Peters, who makes $12.8 million a year), the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL (Nnamdi Asomugha, who makes $12 million a year) and the highest paid quarterback in the NFL in Vick.

That's indicative of the Eagles willingness to spend this offseason, but give them credit -- if you're going to pick three positions to truly pay a premium price in the NFL, those three are excellent choices.

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Posted on: March 27, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Jason Peters arrested for disturbing the peace

Posted by Will Brinson

Jason Peters became the second Eagles tackle to get arrested in the past month -- King Dunlap was also picked up for reckless driving -- when he was nailed for disturbing the peace in Louisiana on Saturday night.

Peters was arrested, according to KSLA-TV, was one of the "celebrity guests" at a concert by rapper "Rick Ross" (real name William Leonard Roberts, II). Ross was arrested for possession of marijuana in a Downtown Hilton.

Peters, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, for "blaring loud music and resisting arrest."

Sergeant Bill Goodin of the Shreveport Police Department stated that police "heard the music coming from Peters' vehicle in the downtown area, and when they approached the Eagles lineman, he refused to provide identification, leading to the resisting arrest charge."

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Posted on: November 6, 2010 11:50 pm
 

Week 9 injury report analysis Part IV

Posted by Andy Benoit

Colts @ Eagles
D. Jackson (US Presswire)
These days, it’s almost easier to list which Colts players are NOT injured. Actually, there’s only one that needs to be mentioned: Peyton Manning. He’s fine, so the Colts are fine.

Though if you MUST know more details, Anthony Gonzalez went on IR with a knee, but Austin Collie (finger) could be back this week, so it’s all a wash. Joseph Addai (shoulder) is doubtful; Mike Hart is unavaila nble after not practicing on a bad ankle all week. Cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Justin Tryon did not practice either, due to foot injuries (or would it be feet injury?). LB Clint Session, who deserves serious Pro Bowl consideration, was hoping he could fight through a dislocated elbow and fractured forearm, but he’s out Sunday.

The Eagles have Michael Vick 100 percent healthy now that his rib injury has healed. The hope is that Vick’s favorite target, DeSean Jackson, will be able to return from his Week 6 concussion. Jackson practiced and is probable. LT King Dunlap is out with a knee, but fortunately, the man Dunlap was filling in for, Jason Peters, is back from his own knee injury. No Ellis Hobbs (hip) for Philly, which is crucial because he has always killed the Colts as a return man.

Chiefs @ Raiders

Dexter McCluster was limited in practice for the Chiefs with a high ankle sprain. The rookie did not play last week and it would probably behoove the team to be safe and sit him one more game.

Speaking of ankle sprains, Raiders superstar Nnamdi Asomugha has one. He sat out practice all week and is doubtful. It’s actually amazing Asomugha’s status is even that hopeful; on Monday, speculation was he’d miss about a month. Tight end Zach Miller was on crutches during the week and is doubtful (i.e. 99 percent certain to be out) with a foot injury.

Wideouts Louis Murphy (chest) and Chaz Schilens (knee) remain sidelined. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski’s shoulder is still not 100 percent, which is why Jason Campbell gets the nod. Most people believe the hot-handed Campbell should keep the job anyway. This gives us a chance to pass along this tidbit from Mike Tanier, arguably the funniest football expert in the biz:

“Of course, leave it to Oakland to get stage fright after a two-game winning streak: the team was considering benching Jason Campbell in favor of Bruce Gradkowski, generating a quarterback controversy for its own sake. The Raiders ultimately decided to go with Campbell, but have said Gradkowski will return as the starter when healthy. With decisions like these, they’ll be back to punchline status by Thanksgiving.”


Cowboys @ Packers

Does anyone care who plays and doesn’t play for the Cowboys at this point? (Included in that “anyone” are the 53 Cowboys themselves.) Out of principle, we’re going to skip right ahead to the Packers.

For only the second time in a little over six years, the Packers will take the field without wide receiver Donald Driver. The veteran was ineffective the past two games trying to fight through a quad injury. Defensive lineman Ryan Pickett will once again test his injured ankle. RT Mark Tauscher remains questionable with a shoulder injury (first-round rookie Bryan Bulaga has started in place of him the past four weeks). Both starting linemen on the left side, T Chad Clifton (hamstring) and G Daryn Colledge (back), are probable. Despite constantly battling for his job, Colledge actually has a 72-game consecutive starts streak that he’s continuing to build on.

Steelers @ Bengals

DE Aaron Smith (out, triceps) is the only Steeler listed on the injury report. The Bengals’ injury report reads like the first string of the defensive depth chart. S Roy Williams, CB Johnathan Joseph, DT Tank Johnson, LB Keith Rivers, S Chinedum Ndukwe, DE Jonathan Fanene and DE Frostee Rucker are all banged up. Their status for Monday night has not yet been declared.

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 10:44 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 10:56 am
 

Key Matchup Week 9: Colts-Eagles QBs vs pass rush

Posted by Andy Benoit


The Colts-Eagles game this Sunday (CBS 4:15 ET) gives us a chance to pull the mask off oneP. Manning (US Presswire) M. Vick (US Presswire)of the greatest farces in the NFL. Thanks to Michael Lewis’ The Blindside, many fans believe you need a dominant left tackle in order to win in today’s NFL. Not true.

The reality is, a great quarterback can overcome just about any pass protection issues. We often think of mobile quarterbacks in this instance. And, obviously, Philadelphia’s Michael Vick is the poster child here. Indeed, early in the season, we heard again and again about how Andy Reid would choose Vick over Kevin Kolb because Vick had the athletic ability to evade pass-rushers who would shoot through Philly’s porous offensive line. This thinking is certainly logical (we’ve all seen Vick make spectacular plays when having to flea the pocket), but it’s also a tad under-baked.

Will Vick’s mobility be important this week against speedy Colts defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis? At times, yes. But the Eagles aren’t going to rely on it. Eagles coaches know that left tackle Jason Peters is coming off a knee injury and struggles with pass protection technique. They also know that right tackle Winston Justice does not have the lateral agility to handle Robert Mathis’ dip-move around the edge. Thus, look for the Eagles to employ frequent double-tight end formations, and to align receivers and running backs close to the edge of the front five in order to help chip.

Why would the Eagles help their tackles in protection if they have a quarterback who can simply scramble away from the Colts ends? Because as valuable as scrambling can be, the best way to elude a pass rush is to play with poise in the pocket.

Enter Peyton Manning. The future Hall of Famer runs like he’s wearing ski boots. And his left tackle was a sixth-round pick in 2006 who would be a utility backup on just about any other team. Yet Manning almost never gets sacked. Thank his poise in the pocket.

Poise in the pocket can mean different things. Sometimes it means getting rid of the ball in a hurry. Other times it means holding the ball a split second longer even when your protection is breaking down and you know you’re going to get drilled the second you finish your throw. Often times it means taking a six-inch step forward or a two-foot step to the side in order to subtly elude a pass-rush and give yourself room to operate.

This skill takes outstanding footwork and throwing mechanics. It’s a skill Manning has mastered and one that so many coaches have tried so very hard to instill in Vick. While improved, Vick is still far from masterful in this department. And he does not have the command of Philly’s playbook the way Manning does of Indy’s. It’s this command that allows for Manning’s quick decisions, which allows for the Colts to live with a Trent Cole-on-Charlie Johnson mismatch.

The Eagles don’t have the luxury of simply living with this type of mismatch. Vick takes longer to process information and has rougher mechanics. Thus, he needs a cleaner pocket than Manning. The Eagles can give it to him, but they’ll have to compromise some of his receiving targets. This means fewer weapons for Colts defenders to worry about, which means Colts defenders can now be more deceitful before the snap and more aggressive after it.

As you can see, it’s a domino effect. But the first domino is not actually the left tackle – it’s the quarterback.

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Posted on: October 15, 2010 2:32 pm
 

Eagles news: Kolb starting; Peters, Bunkley out

Posted by Andy Benoit

Michael Vick is throwing a football again, but Kevin Kolb will remain the starter as the Eagles face the Falcons this week. This according to a reliable source familiar with the organization (Andy Reid).

In news that is equally as important (though not breaking), the Eagles will also be without Jason Peters. The athletic left tackle recently underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Peters actually hurt his left knee before facing the Niners Sunday night, but the injury worsened during the game. Anyone who saw King Dunlap try to play left tackle understands the significance of Peters’ absence. Making matters all the more severe is the fact that Dunlap will be matched up against John Abraham on Sunday. Reid gave no timetable for when Peters will return.

Finally, as expected, run-stopping defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley is also out with an elbow injury.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com