Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Rating the Eagles' talent

Where do the Eagles rank among the NFL's 32 teams in terms of talent? And is Andy Reid a top-five coach? Plus some other links to pass along.

Rating the Eagles' talent

Is Eagles WR DeSean Jackson the team´s only "blue-chip" player on offense? (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Is Eagles WR DeSean Jackson the team's only "blue-chip" player on offense? (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

On Friday, I linked to a piece that looked at the number of "blue-chip" and "red-chip" players currently on the Eagles' roster.

It's a project by NFL.com's Michael Lombardi, and yesterday, he took a closer look at the list and ranked every team based on those players. Lombardi's got the Eagles at No. 19:

Another surprisingly low total, but losing a blue quarterback and not replacing him with one will hurt the initial total. However, the Eagles could be one of those teams that can significantly increase this total if Kevin Kolb plays well and some of their defensive players (Brandon Graham, Stewart Bradley and Ernie Sims) take the next step.

On offense, Lombardi gives the Eagles only one blue-chipper: DeSean Jackson. Leonard Weaver, Brent Celek, Winston Justice and Jason Peters are all red-chip players.

Defensively, Trent Cole is the Eagles' only blue-chip player. Asante Samuel is a red-chipper.

What's surprising about the list is that the Eagles rank third in the division. Lombardi has the Cowboys ranked sixth, and interestingly enough, the Redskins 13th. Donovan McNabb makes the list of blue chippers - meaning Lombardi has him ranked among the top 10 quarterbacks in the league.

There was also one non-talent based factor: coaching. Lombardi picked his top five coaches and gave those teams extra points. Mike Shanahan gave the Redskins a bump there. Andy Reid was not among Lombardi's top-five. His other elite coaches were: Bill Belichick, Jeff Fisher, John Fox and Mike Tomlin. Belichick, Shanahan and Tomlin have all won Super Bowls. Fisher and Fox have not.

Based on numbers, Reid has a more impressive resume than both Fisher and Fox. In terms of regular season winning percentage, Reid is at .617; Fox .555; and Fisher .553. Reid has made the playoffs in eight of 11 seasons; Fox three of eight; and Fisher six of 16. Reid's playoff record is 10-8; Fox is 5-3; and Fisher is 5-6.

LINKS AND NOTES

* According to Adam Caplan of FoxSports.com, the Eagles were one of the teams to show interest in defensive tackle Montavious Stanley, who ended up signing with the Dolphins. Stanley spent last season with the Jaguars and was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the sixth round of the '06 draft.

Kevin Kolb in his first season as a starter is one of Peter King's main NFL story lines, as outlined in his MMQB column on SI.com:

Kevin Kolb's going to be a compelling story. I like his moxie, and I like the moxie of Andy Reid trading Donovan McNabb with three or four relatively prime years left to give Kolb his long-term shot. Why not? With McNabb, it was been there, done that. With Kolb, there's a freshness to training camp, an excitement that hadn't been there. Unless Kolb chokes and fails miserably, I won't rip the Eagles for making the move because they'd already seen everything they need to see from McNabb.

* A little nugget making the rounds in Dallas. Apparently first-round pick Dez Bryant refused to follow in rookie tradition and carry the shoulder pads of fellow wide receiver Roy Williams.

"I just feel like I'm here to play football," Bryant told The Dallas Morning News. "I'm here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone's pads. I'm saying that out of no disrespect."

* The Honda Civic is almost packed up, and I'll be headed up to Lehigh later this afternoon. I must say, while I miss the old, beat-up Jeep, it will be nice to have a car with air condition this year during the drive. Anyway, check back later today for updates from Andy Reid's press conference at 5 p.m., and of course, the Tweeting and practice observations will be in full effect once practice starts tomorrow.

* If you just can't wait, join me for a live chat at 1 p.m. today.

* And finally, yesterday, I posted seven thoughts on Eagles camp, in case you missed it.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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