Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Marty Talks Dunlap, Foles Moves

BETHLEHEM -- Monday's scheduled interview session with Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was classic Marty.

Marty Talks Dunlap, Foles Moves

King Dunlap has moved ahead of Demetress Bell on the Eagles´ depth chart. (David Maialett/Staff Photographer)
King Dunlap has moved ahead of Demetress Bell on the Eagles' depth chart. (David Maialett/Staff Photographer)

BETHLEHEM -- Monday's scheduled interview session with Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was classic Marty.

Mornhinweg opened the proceedings by declaring that he was "pleased with many things that went on. certainly the win" in the preseason opener, but "extremely disappointed in more than several things."

The things Mornhinweg didn't like? Well, he didn't say. Wouldn't even say how many "more than several" might be. Is that like, 12? "Less than that," he suggested.

The first team offense ran just six plays, for a long gain of 5 yards. Pass protection was a jumble, which was partly how Michael Vick ended up scaring everyone when he banged his throwing thumb on Jason Kelce's helmet. The next practice, King Dunlap lined up in Demetress Bell's left tackle spot.

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"The plays that were called were precision-type plays. Several times, the precision wasn't there," Mornhinweg said.

Veteran Howard Muddologists, remembering the ups and downs of the o-line depth chart a year ago in the preseason, figure the o-line coach is just rattliing Bell's cage, trying to accelerate the learning process of a veteran tackle adapting to a totally new way of doing things. Dunlap is a decent untility guy, but if Jason Peters hadn't torn his Achilles, it isn't at all clear the Eagles would have moved to bring Dunlap back from unrestricted free agency last winter.

"There's great competition there," Mornhinweg said. "I've got great confidence in several men there that will do the job. This is one of the things that training camp is for; if someone has earned an opportunity, then we certainly ... try to give them an opportunity."

Asked about Bell, Mornhinweg said: "Anytime you're in a new system, there's quite a lot of learning to do ... He's right in the middle of that process."

Dunlap is a 2008 seventh-round draft pick who has seven career starts. "Big King has played for us in the past and played very well," Mornhinweg said. "He's worked diligently in the offseason, he's playing very well early in camp, so he's earned that opportunity."

***

Like most of us, Mornhinweg was encouraged by third-round rookie quarterback Nick Foles' back-to-back touchdown throws in the second half of the opener. Mornhinweg tried to walk the line between acknowledging Foles' quick assimilation and emphasizing how far away from a finished product the rookie from Arizona remains.

Mornhinweg wouldn't say whether he would be comfortable starting the season with Foles as the No. 2, as is the case right now, with Mike Kafka limited by a broken nonthrowing hand. He indicated he certainly wouldn't be comfortable starting the season with the rookie as Michael Vick's primary backup today, but he said he had no idea how he might feel in a few weeks.

"We'll see. If he continues to develop at a high rate will be the key for him," Mornhinweg said.

"He did just about what I expected him to do [against the Steelers], and that was play well," Mornhinweg said. "I now this -- he's got an opportunity to be a heckuva quarterback at some point. He's working every day. He's a smart guy. He's talented. He's picked the offense up at a pretty good rate here.

"He's quite a natural player, quick decision maker. You can see that his accuracy is good and his timing has been good up to this point. He's got a lot of work to do ... there's many plays that have been installed, he hasn't quite got the reps at these particular plays, or maybe he's only gotten one rep, and it was two weeks ago, against a particular coverage. Well, now he's gotta get through that particular play vs. all the possible coverages and blitzes ... It's a matter of reps, reps, reps."

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