Monday, July 6, 2015

The Eagles should be able to entice free agents at some positions, not so much at others

JERSEY CITY, NJ -- In free agency, the No. 1 reason players sign with one particular team over another is money. Cary Williams admitted as much to the Inquirer's Jeff McLane back in September.

The Eagles should be able to entice free agents at some positions, not so much at others

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Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

JERSEY CITY, NJ -- In free agency, the No. 1 reason players sign with one particular team over another is money. Cary Williams admitted as much to the Inquirer's Jeff McLane back in September.

Asked recently why he signed with the Eagles, the cornerback gave the answer most free agents would give if force-fed truth serum.

"No. 1 was money, no doubt," said Williams, who listed the history of the Eagles organization as a close No. 2. "This is the NFL. We only get a few opportunities to make the most money and they were offering the most money."

However, if money is equal or at least close, the Eagles are going to be able to entice offensive players to come to Philly. The Broncos' fourth wide receiver is Andre Caldwell, who is set to become a free agent after the Super Bowl. Caldwell talked in glowing terms about the Eagles' offense. 

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"I'm a football fan, so I saw the Eagles' offense," said Caldwell. "I played with Riley Cooper, so I keep up with him. That's a very explosive offense. There's a chance as a receiver to make a lot of plays, and make a big impact for your team. It's high-flying, and it's fun to watch, so it's a great receivers' offense.

"That's a place I could expand on my career and make something happen for that team. I don't know what it's like there, but it seems like a great place to be, and they're building and getting better now that Chip Kelly is going to be there. I could definitely open up that offense with my skill set."

Conversely, there are going to be some positions where the Eagles may have a tough sell. One such area where the Eagles are going to have trouble convincing players to come to Philly will be along the defensive line, because of their 2-gap scheme. Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com succinctly explained the difference between a 1-gap and 2-gap scheme.

The Eagles run a 2-gap system. This requires the DL to engage the blocker at the snap and to read the play. The DE is responsible for the gap to his right and to his left. In 1-gap systems the defender just attacks one area and doesn’t have to read plays. He can be more aggressive. The Eagles goal is for 3 DL to control the line of scrimmage. That won’t happen on every play, but when it does, it keeps the LBs free to fly to the ball and make plays.

Like Andre Caldwell, Seahawks defenstive tackle Tony McDaniel is set to become a free agent when this season concludes. McDaniel, who is listed at 6'7, 305, discussed the difference between the two systems in terms of picking a team to play for.

"My body type is fit to be a 3-4 defensive end," said McDaniel. "They're normally bigger, more rangy guys. I'm a prototype DE for a 3-4. Any defensive lineman would want to play one gap, because responsibility is slim to none. But 2-gapping, I feel like I have a body type for that, because I have long arms and (can shed blockers), and handle 2 gaps. My body type is built for a 2-gap, but you can't go wrong being in a 1-gap scheme."

In other words, despite being a self-described prototypical 2-gap DE in a 3-4, McDaniel would rather play in a 1-gap system.

Under the Chip Kelly regime, the Eagles may get some bargains on the offensive side of the ball in free agency, but may need to pony up a few extra dollars to sign defensive line talent.

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