Posted tagged ‘Omar Gaither’

Jeremiah Trotter with the Eagles – Again

October 2, 2009

We all know Jeremiah Trotter went to work-out for the Eagles.  Now he is signed and an official member of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Jeff Garcia – not needed any longer – was released to make space.

Trotter brings a big body and strong linebacker against the run.  He definitely provides more power and strength to Joe Mays and Omar Gaither.  We also know that Trotter is quite capable of playing a downhill Philadelphia style defense.  The big unknown is – can Jeremiah still play?

I think Trotter can still play.  A few years back, the Eagles brought in an aging Levon Kirkland to play the middle.  He was serviceable.  Comparable to Trotter, Jeremiah has Kirkland beaten in everyway.  Assuming that Trotter’s knees are healthy, which I think they are or the Eagles wouldn’t have signed him, Trotter will be a strong presence in the middle of the defense.  Of course, Trotter will also be a force in the locker room.  

I guess the only question remaining is – what number is he going to wear?  Will he have to wash Tracy White’s car, similarly to washing Nate Wayne’s car when he came back to the Eagles nest?  We’ll find out.

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Trotter in for a Workout?

September 25, 2009
Jeremiah Trotter, last seen in an Eagles Uniform in 2006

Jeremiah Trotter, last seen in an Eagles Uniform in 2006

I was shocked to see the late afternoon blog headlines on philly.com yesterday proclaiming that Jeremiah Trotter worked out for Coach Andy Reid.  Really?  Jeremiah Trotter was cut during training camp two seasons ago.  He went on to play for Tampa Bay in a reserve roll and then was entirely out of football last season.  I don’t get it.

However, we all know that Eagles are having problems at the middle linebacker spot since Stewart Bradley went down with an injury.  Trotter manned the position successfully over two stints for the Eagles.  With Trotter’s knee issues – the reason he has been out of football – I don’t think he could come back in and contribute at a top level.  Trotter claims he had been working out with a trainer and with some of his former teammates, while continuing his current gig as a sports personality at 610 WIP.  Also, he has been in contact with Coach Reid since Bradley went down with an injury, so from Trotter’s perspective, the workout wasn’t entirely out of the blue.

Here is the PhilaTude take:

Coach Reid brought Trotter in for a workout to almost “threaten” Joe Mays and Omar Gaither to get their acts together.  I don’t think there is any intent to sign Trotter.  Also, Coach Reid brought in Trotter for the workout to appease, what I think is repeated requests, Trotter’s insistence to Coach Reid that he can still play football.  This workout turned out to be a motivator for the current linebackers and a wake-up call to Trotter that his on the field football career is probably over.

The Eagles Finalize Their Roster

September 10, 2009
Donovan McNabb

Donovan McNabb

Every year during the finalization of the Eagles roster, I always have my doubts about Andy Reid’s decisions.  Last year, I was concerned that cutting Jerome McDougle would come back to haunt the Eagles, luckily it didn’t.  A few years back I was upset the Eagles cut Jon Ritchie in favor of Josh Parry.  In fact, 2 years ago I remember ranting about the lack of kick and punt returners on the roster.  While I can criticize Reid for a certain lack of roster flexibility or lack of talent in certain areas, things usually work out well for the Eagles in the end.  This year is no different, but I anxiously wait to see how it all plays out.

The Eagles kept the standard 10 offensive linemen, annoying to me that we can’t just go with 8, but I assume once Todd Herremans recovers from his injury and Shawn Andrews proves he can play, the Eagles might reduce their offensive linemen footprint.  An even further wrinkle is that Jon Runyan worked out for the Eagles today.  Who knows what will come of that.  Reid only kept two tight ends this year, claiming that he only had two active per game last year.  I see the logic in that philosophy if you have the ability to have a linemen work into the goal line package as a third tight end.  The Eagles did that with Todd Herremans last year and we might see that again with Herremans or another lineman.  They have plenty.  The seven wide receivers on the roster weren’t so much a surprise because of the personnel, but a surprise that they were able to skimp in other areas to keep seven.  Obviously, Brandon Gibson was too good to cut and they kept the depth of Baskett and Brown is case Curtis or another receiver would be injured.  Still, I see the Eagles cutting or trading a receiver when Michael Vick has to come off the exempt list.  The Eagles kept McNabb, Kolb and Vick as their QB’s – no surprise.  Running back and full back were also pretty standard.  I am glad to see Lorenzo Booker go and with the surprise special teams play of Eldra Buckley, it doesn’t really matter.  Also, for the first time since I can remember, the addition of Leonard Weaver gives the Eagles a real blocking back for Brian Westbrook and a strong runner on short yardage.  The offense looks good in terms of personnel, let’s hope they can put it together and score some points.  

Ten defensive linemen made the squad this year, heavy on the ends.  I assume the Eagles will play some of their bigger ends at the tackle spot during passing downs.  Trent Cole looked strong in the pre-season and if another end, maybe Juqua Parker or Victor Abiamiri, could take some pressure off of Cole, he should have an excellent year.  Bunkley and Patterson look like solid mainstays at tackle.  They both have been consistent and look great.  Hopefully, they will be solid against the run, because I worry about the linebacking.  The Eagles were hopeless at linebacker when Stewart Bradley went down with an injury.  Omar Gaither will play the middle – he played there before- with Akeem Jordan and Chris Cocong at his sides.  I am not sold on this linebacking tandem.  The back-ups are primarily special teamers and 1st and 2nd year guys.  Joe Mays will be ok as a back-up, but the other two are unproven.  The secondary at cornerback is solid, all the way through the 5th corner.  Safety is a little sketchy, especially since Quintin Demps lost his starting spot.  It was his spot to lose and he lost out to impressive rookie Macho Harris.  The specialists are the same as they have been the last three years.  The only comment I have is that it is disappointing the Eagles don’t have a long snapper that can double in another position.  For years, Mike Bartrum was the long snapper and 3rd tight end.  Jon Dorenbos is a great snapper, but provides little else and takes up a roster spot.

I like this Eagles team; they have plenty of talent and should win plenty of games.  Of course, the lingering questions are the Eagles linebackers, the rookie playing free safety and the cohesion and health of the offensive line.  The Eagles will mask the linebacking inexperience, but the offensive line could make or break the season.  The wildcard, as usual, is does Coach Reid prepare his team for the start of the season?   I doubt it, I sense some fan frustration early on with Reid until he gets the team together.  Let’s hope the team comes together sooner, rather than later.

Training Camp Injuries and Maclin Signs

August 4, 2009
Stewart Bradley, out for the season with a torn ACL

Stewart Bradley, out for the season with a torn ACL

Only one week into training camp and injuries to the Eagles are starting to mount.   The random quad contusion and stinger injuries are just camp bumps and bruises, but when you starting right tackle leaves with back spasms – an injury that kept him out of the line-up most of last season – and your starting middle linebacker tears his ACL, problems arise.  

As reported yesterday, Stewart Bradley, the starting middle linebacker for the Eagles and a PhilaTude favorite, tore his ACL and will be out for the season.  This is a huge loss for the Eagles.  He was becoming a vocal leader on the defense and solid middle linebacker against the run and in pass coverage.  Bradley appeared to be in excellent shape and poised for a solid season leading the defense.  This is especially noteworthy that Bradley will out of the line-up because he was considered a strong vocal leader to help alleviate the leadership void left by Brian Dawkins.  The Eagles will probably replace Bradley in the line-up with little Joe Mays or Omar Gaither.  Rumors are swirling that the Eagles are going to sign Matt Wilhelm, formerly of the Chargers and Ohio State, but he isn’t a starter, just a depth guy.  My perspective is to give Mays the nod.  Of course, he will compete with Gaither in camp, but Joe Mays definitely knows the defense and could provide a serious infusion of competitiveness and toughness.  The loss of Bradley hurts, but if Mays comes through, this could be a big surprise of the season.

Shawn Andrews’ injury bothers me.  I am concerned that he is still having issues post back surgery, especially when he came into training camp in good shape, ready to play football.  He is penciled in to be the starting right tackle, a new position for him in the NFL.  If he returns to the excellent form he showed as the “Big Kid,” I think he will be a solid right tackle, but this nagging back injury is cause for concern.  I hope Coach Reid has a real back-up plan if Andrews can’t go.  Speaking of Coach Reid, yesterday he refused to update the media on the injuries to the Eagles players.  Apparently, he was aggravated that the media knew the Stewart Bradley situation prior to it being announced officially by the team.  Coach Reid, while you think you are punishing the media, you are only hurting the fans.  The media provides the fans with the information they want, no matter how they get it (as long as it is legal and ethical).  So, by Coach Reid not reviewing the injuries with the media, I have no clue on the status of the injured Eagles, including Shawn Andrews, Stacy Andrews, Brian Westbrook and Trevor Laws – all integral parts of this Eagles team.

While it’s still early and the regular season is about a month away, these injuries worry me and continue to mount.  The key is to get to the season healthy and prepared to win.

Notes:  It’s about time that the Eagles 1st round draft choice signed his contract.  Jeremy Maclin signed a 5 year deal with the Eagles.  Now, the question is – when will he show up for camp?  I hope he will be available for the afternoon session today.  If Maclin expects to contribute and play a key role on this Eagles team, he better learn and catch up quickly.  At this rate, he might be destined for the inactive list or on special teams duty.