Roob's Observations

In Roob's Observations: What Howie Roseman really meant regarding James Bradberry

In the next edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations a more in-depth understanding is provided into Howie Roseman's recent comments at the NFL Combine on James Bradberry.

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What Howie Roseman really meant when he spoke about James Bradberry, a wild Nick Foles stat and an Eagles assistant coach who’s coached under Chip Kelly, Doug Pederson and Nick Sirianni that you probably haven’t heard of.

I was wondering if I started doing a daily 10 Observations how long I would last before I flat-out ran out of material. For now we’ll keep it weekly. So here’s this week’s edition of Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Offseason Observations.

1. My initial reaction to Howie Roseman’s remarks regarding James Bradberry at the combine Tuesday was, “What the heck? Why would Bradberry be part of the plan? That’s nuts.” Then I took a deep breath and took a step back and thought about it. And, yeah, he did call Bradberry, “Part of our plan,” but the full quote was, “He’s under contract. Part of our plan.” He didn’t say, “He’s a good player. Part of our plan.” He didn’t say, “He can still play. Part of our plan.” He specifically said, “He’s under contract” and that’s it. When asked about Bradberry, he didn’t mention anything regarding his ability. That tells me that this didn’t have anything to do with where Bradberry is as a player but just Howie not wanting to come out and say, “Yeah, we want to get rid of him,” while the player is still under contract. Because that would damage his ability to trade the 30-year-old veteran cornerback. I don’t think Roseman will be able to trade Bradberry. But if there’s any chance at all, standing at a podium and saying, “He was terrible last year, he’s not part of our plan,” wouldn’t accomplish anything. He’s part of the plan as in … our plan to get better by getting rid of him. I think? Gotta be. Howie knows better.

2. Jalen Carter this past year became the fifth NFL rookie interior lineman in the last 20 years with at least six sacks, eight quarterback hits and eight tackles for loss. And he’s in some pretty good company. The others? Ndamukong Suh in 2010, Chris Jones in 2013, Aaron Donald in 2014 and Kobie Turner also last year. 

3. Last year’s Super Bowl in Glendale wasn’t the first championship game the Eagles have played where the field was in poor shape. In 1947, the Eagles lost the NFL Championship Game 28-21 to the Cards in Chicago. In the next day’s Inquirer, Eagles beat writer Frank O’Gara wrote, “The Philadelphia Eagles made the disconcerting discovery today in refrigerated Comiskey Park that a superlative game of fighting football was not enough to counteract their deficiency in the art of ice skating. While the Eagles slipped and skidded, the Chicago Cardinals – sure-footed by strategy – unloosed four long scoring shots of between 44 and 75 yards for a 28-21 victory and the championship of the National Football League." Some 75 years before the Eagles were forced to play on a slippery field in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium, Greasy Neale’s team suffered a similar fate: “We had our defensive men all set,” Greasy said postgame. “But they just couldn’t recover on the slippery field.”

4. I’ve come to the conclusion that Nick Sirianni needs to retire his core values. I’m not saying he needs to abandon the actual concepts of connection, competition, accountability, fundamentals and football IQ. They’re important. But he rambles on about them so much I feel like they’ve lost their meaning. And let’s be honest. What coach doesn’t want players to believe in each other, to compete hard in practice, to be accountable when they mess up, to learn fundamentals and to have a high football IQ? That’s all basic stuff. It’s just that the constant core values sermons have worn out their welcome. Nick even recites them so fast anymore that it’s like one big, long word – “connectcompeteaccountabilityfundamentalsfootballIQ.” It’s almost like even he seems bored talking about them. And if he’s bored, you know what everyone else in the building is thinking. Time for some new material.

5. In the Fog Bowl – the 1988 conference semifinal playoff game against the Bears at Soldier Field – the Eagles netted 430 yards of offense without scoring a touchdown. That’s the most yards without a touchdown in NFL postseason history and the most yards in any game in Eagles history without a TD. The Eagles had drives to the Bears’ 4, 5, 9, 11, 11, 16, 17, 17, 24, 25, and 39 without scoring a touchdown. That’s impossible. And it wasn’t just the fog that stopped the Eagles. They had 174 yards and four of those drives inside the Chicago 20 in the second half, after the fog rolled in off Lake Michigan

6. Fun note about Nick Foles’ seven-touchdown performance against the Raiders in 2013: He was 22-for-28 that day in Oakland. So he had more touchdown passes than incomplete passes. Seven other quarterbacks have thrown seven TDs in a game but none of the others had more TDs than incompletions. Four quarterbacks have thrown six TDs in a game with more TD passes than incomplete passes: Tom Brady twice, Peyton Manning twice, Patrick Mahomes and Daryle Lamonica.

7. From time to time, it’s important to celebrate Bobby Hoying’s historic 1998 season. Bobby went 1-6 in seven starts, threw nine interceptions and no touchdowns and had a passer rating of 45.6. He’s the only NFL quarterback since 1978 to throw as many as nine interceptions with no TD passes in a season. And his 224 pass attempts are the most in NFL history without a TD. His 45.6 passer rating is 2nd-worst by any QB with at least 200 pass attempts since 1979. Ryan Leaf had a 39.0 also in 1998. So Bobby has the 2nd-worst passer rating in the last 45 years but didn’t have the worst in 1998. In his only win – a 10-9 thriller over the Lions at the Vet - Hoying threw for just 97 yards, and both Charlie Garner (141 yards) and Duce Staley (121 yards) had more yards than he did. In Hoying’s seven starts, the Eagles scored 44 points. But two came on a safety and seven with Koy Detmer in the game. So they averaged 5.0 offensive points per game with Hoying on the field in his seven starts. That is almost impossible to do. What Hoying did 26 years ago will never be duplicated.

8. It’s probably not in the top 50 things that went wrong with the offense after the Buffalo game, but I do not understand why D’Andre Swift just stopped being part of the passing game. It was never like he was putting up huge receiving numbers, but through 10 games he had 33 catches for 197 yards, so he was at least involved to some extent. After that? The last seven games he caught six passes for 17 yards. So less than three yards per game. Just plays into the whole stale, predictable narrative. Swift had 156 catches for almost 1,200 yards and seven TDs as a receiver in three years in Detroit. But he was a non-factor the last two months this year. With Dallas Goedert out or less than 100 percent and nobody but A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith doing anything in the passing game, the Eagles really could have used Swift as a receiver. He’s got terrific hands and a nice knack for picking up yards after the catch in space. His 7.7 yards-per-catch was 8th-highest in the league from 2020 through 2022 among RBs with at least 100 catches. But Brian Johnson and Nick Sirianni never made it happen. The ball either went to Brown, it went to Smith or it didn’t go anywhere. If Swift is back, Kellen Moore has to find ways to get him involved as a receiver. The more ways you have to move the ball, the less predictable you’ll be. Seems pretty simple.

9A. Bet you didn’t know Bradley Roby shattered an Eagles record this past year. Roby missed 24.1 percent of his tackle attempts, the highest percentage by an Eagle defender since Stathead started tracking missed tackles in 2018 (minimum 10 tackle attempts). OK, it’s only six years, but 24.1 percent is an insane number. Roby attempted 29 tackles and was credited with seven misses. He broke the record of 22.2 percent set in 2018 by De’Vante Bausby (four misses in 22 attempts). Incredibly, Roby wasn’t the worst in the NFL this year. He was 3rd-worst behind Packers rookie safety Anthony Johnson and Browns rookie corner Cameron Mitchell, who both missed 25 percent of their tackle attempts.

9B. Who had the fewest missed tackles on the Eagles? Kelee Ringo had 21 tackles with no missed tackles, and Justin Evans actually had 15 tackles before getting hurt with no misses. Best in the NFL was Rams linebacker Ernest Jones, who had 145 tackles and missed two for an NFL-low 1.4 percent missed-tackle rate.

10. T.J. Paganetti has had one of the most fascinating careers of any Eagles assistant coach ever, and it’s crazy that he’s still here. Ten years under three coaches with six different titles. Paganetti coached under Chip Kelly while he was still a student at Oregon, and when Kelly was hired here in 2013, he brought Paganetti along as a quarterback and offensive analyst. After two years in that role, Paganetti returned to Eugene and worked as a grad assistant coaching linebackers under Mark Helfrich, Kelly’s successor. By then, Kelly had been fired here and replaced by Doug Pederson. But even though Pederson had no connection with Paganetti other than through Jeff Stoutland, he brought him back as assistant offensive line coach under Stout along with offensive quality control. In 2019, he was promoted to running backs coach and in 2020 assistant running backs coach and assistant running game coordinator under Duce Staley. When Pederson was fired, Nick Sirianni kept Paganetti around as offensive quality control coach for two years and run game specialist and assistant tight ends coach last year. Paganatti survived this year’s coaching staff shuffle and is now once again assistant offensive line coach as well as run game specialist. So Paganetti has been hired by two different head coaches who succeeded head coaches who hired him (Helfrich and Pederson), and he and Stoutland are the only coaches remaining from the 2017 Super Bowl staff. The 34-year-old Paganetti’s brother Ryan, who also coached under Pederson here, is now in Jacksonville as Pederson’s director of analytics.

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