March 28, 2022   5 MINUTE READ

Running It Back?

ITB: Birds Run-Heavy Rep Impacting Free Agency?

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The Eagles made multiple moves last week to bolster the pass rush and coverage for defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s front seven.

On the latest Inside The Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan discussed the Derek Barnett and Kyzir White signings, and looked at current personnel.

ITB photo: Despite attempts, the Eagles haven’t been able to secure a free-agent wide receiver yet.

Derek Barnett

Geoff Mosher: “The Eagles bring back Derek Barnett on a two-year deal. I think a big part of this was the fact that when the news got reported the numbers did not get reported. It wasn’t like two years, $20 million with this much guaranteed. When that happens – as we tell the people all the time – they don’t want the number out there. That’s usually because it’s not a great contract for the player, but it is for the team. So … I would imagine this is more of a one-year structure-type contract.”

Adam Caplan: “Yeah, I was given numbers but they’re not verified so we’re gonna wait till Thursday. I know someone asked me on Twitter, I’m going to hold off because I’m not putting anything out there that’s incorrect. I’ll get slammed if it’s not correct. We put out correct numbers, we’ve got a history of getting the stuff correct. So we’re not going to do that.”

Kyzir White

Mosher: “I like Kyzir White, but one thing I fear is that it’s a little bit repetitious of what they were hoping for with Eric Wilson, who was an undersized linebacker that had a ton of tackles the year before with Minnesota, playing on a pretty good defense with some good guys around him but also not being asked to always take on the run head-on, because Minnesota had been playing this defense for a while. We saw Eric Wilson really struggle in tackling. Now, Kyzir White, the metrics say he is a way better tackler, but you don’t know – is he tackling head on in the gaps, or is he tackling side-to-side?”

Draft Picks

Mosher: “[The Eagles] have four picks in the top 58. You and I tend to agree that they’re not making three first-round picks, they’re gonna maneuver a little bit. So how many picks do you think they’re gonna make in the top 60? I see a cornerback, I see a defensive end or strong-side linebacker. You don’t think an off-ball linebacker will be one of those picks?”

Caplan: “I think they’ll make three in the first 60…But when you really look at it, the history of this football team is they just don’t invest in linebackers.”

Offensive Identity

Mosher: “Are they able to get a receiver that gives them the confidence to be in 11 personnel? I wonder if perception right now is hurting them a little bit as far as what they were last year compared to what they want to be offensively. Last year, they cut their teeth as a run-heavy, run-first team. I think it was pretty obvious that was the key to their success after the first seven games of the year when they decided to completely rip up their offensive philosophy and start a new behind the running game. So you have to wonder if that’s the philosophy they want to go forward with because if they do, then they’re probably going to want to get another young, tight end who can block a little bit, maybe get into some more 12 personnel. Then if you do that, if you express that, then maybe receivers look at you a little differently.

“For example … Richie James was a wide receiver for the 49ers, was also a very good punt returner. We said the Eagles were interested in him, we came back from the Combine hearing that. We’re told he was down to two teams – Eagles and Giants, and he chose the Giants. Why did he choose the Giants? You would think there’s good opportunity for a wide receiver to come in here and get targets.  The Giants actually have a lot of receivers. You would have thought the Eagles would be more of an attractive destination, but if a wide receiver thinks the the Eagles are running the ball a lot and there won’t be that many targets, maybe that factored into his decision.

Caplan: “I could tell you this was brought up to me at the Combine by a couple of agents when we talked about Philly. They just mentioned how the offense was very run-centric, which is not like them, as we know. That wasn’t lost on some of the agents we talked to a the Combine. I don’t know what happened Allen Robinson other than he got a great deal. It’s obvious he chose Matthew Stafford and to try to win a Super Bowl. I don’t know the number the Eagles offered him but we heard they were very competitive. That one is obvious. But we heard at the Combine, a couple of agents who have players on offense  … that their players look at [the Eagles] as a heavy run offense.”

– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here: 

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