Inside The Birds Pod: Birds Sign Two Free Agents — Joe Flacco On Deck?
With NFL free agency underway, the Eagles have finally made some moves to fill positions of need.
In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan take an in-depth look at the Eagles’ newest signings, backup quarterback candidates, and more on the NFL offseason.
Geoff Mosher: “We felt this team was really going to do something to bring in someone who was familiar with the scheme, either at safety or corner or maybe both. Here you have [Anthony] Harris who not only has experience but he was actually coached by Jonathan Gannon for a couple of years when Jonathan was the assistant defensive backs coach with the Vikings. So everything about this move makes sense, and it reminds me of when Jim Schwartz took over the Eagles defense and the Eagles signed guys like Nigel Bradham and Leodis McKelvin. So it’s important.”
Adam Caplan: “Anthony Harris is here to help teach this defense. He’s a true deep safety, he is not a box safety. I got a tape breakdown from an NFL personnel source who read me a scouting report of him for free agency. He’s a true post safety, Harrison Smith was your move around, put him in a box, make a play on the ball type safety. Harris is deep. Really smart football player, will help everybody get lined up correctly and will know this defense inside and out. That is why he’s here folks. One hundred percent why he’s here. This is one of two players, they’re going to add another player who’s played for Gannon and knows the defense.”
Mosher: “They did re-sign defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, a guy that also has experience with the Colts. He played with the Colts before coming over in a trade with the Eagles, so that’s good because he knows the scheme, he knows Gannon. Here’s the thing I wonder about him and I think we have to find out a little more. My sense was that Hassan Ridgeway has always been like a 3-technique or backup 3-technique type of D-tackle. I’ve said this on the podcast before, I’ve heard that Gannon would like in some form or fashion, maybe not a starter but more of a nose [tackle], which is not a three technique. That’s a guy who lines up instead of over the outside shoulder, more head-up on the offensive lineman, more of a run-stuffing guy. You’ll see them a lot in 3-4 defenses, but they can also be in 4-3, as well. So, I don’t know if maybe he envisions Hassan Ridgeway being able to play that, I don’t know if Hassan played it that way in Indianapolis, just some food for thought there with the connection.
Caplan: “Yeah you had said a couple weeks ago that they were gonna need a nose and I know that role is not going to be more probably 10, 15, 20 plays but Ridgeway is seen around the league as a fourth tackle not a third, but he’s got upside as a fourth tackle. If it all works out over his career with the Eagles and again he’s only back probably for a year, I haven’t seen the contract yet but whatever he’s back here for, he’s still fourth tackle until he proves otherwise. But from what I understand he’s put together some really good tape and training camps and he’s just had some bad luck with injury but he definitely has some talent.”
Mosher: “To me it sounds like Nick [Sirianni] over-explains things. He starts talking about something. He gets excited about it, fine, no problem with that. But then he kind of babbles a little bit more and then like, what started off as good substance and good information, almost becomes rah-rah. I think the one thing you can say about this guy, Adam, is that he is the most rah-rah, energetic head coach that the Philadelphia Eagles have had in decades. Andy [Reid] to Chip [Kelly] to Doug [Pederson], none of these guys were like this, and so this is culture shock for us, for the city, and maybe some of the players who are very more used to a quiet, stoic kind of guy.”
Caplan: “Yeah, he is super energetic. I think the fans are gonna like him, he did a great interview with Dave Spadaro about two or three weeks ago on his entire coaching staff. It’s really good. I would recommend folks go to the Eagles website and or you can watch it in the app. But it’s really good and I love how he breaks down every coach, a lot of stuff I didn’t know. How he kind of found out about them and some of the stuff, but anyway, he needs to be there coaching is what he needs.”
Mosher: “The one thing I want to make perfectly clear is I think he’s genuine. I think when you’re genuine your players will appreciate that for the most part, but to be fair, Chip Kelly was not fake. Chip Kelly was genuine, he didn’t give you a distilled version of who he was, but his version of [being genuine] did not appeal to the locker room and that’s where I wonder about Sirianni. I believe his players will view him as being genuine but these are now grown men. I mean look, he’s been a coach in the NFL, but now it’s different. You’re in charge of the entire locker room. If you win, it’ll be fine but I just find that he is so different than any Eagles head coach.”
Mosher: “We’ve been talking about this for quite a while, the Eagles still need a backup quarterback. And we know [Jacoby] Brissett is gone, we know Tyrod Taylor is gone, there have been other names off, you starting to get into that territory right. Everybody cringes when you say Blaine Gabbert or some other name that just makes you cringe when it’s like well what else do you expect here?”
Caplan: “So here are the names. Colt McCoy, who is a West Coast offensive quarterback doesn’t have a very good arm, decently athletic but he’s not on their list as far as I know. Blaine Gabbert, that’s Bruce Arians’ guy who had him in Arizona. Brian Hoyer, they’re not interested in, I’m told, though Sirianni was with him for a year in 2018. Sean Mannion who was a backup for the Rams and the Vikings. But Joe Flacco is that guy we’ve been saying, now and as I’m told, as of Monday morning, the Eagles are on Flacco. The 49ers, he visited, and the Jets, so I expect in the next 24 to 48 hours he’s gonna have a new team. The Eagles are definitely interested and that’s a fact, not a secret.”
Jalen Hurts vs. QBs
Mosher: “We haven’t gotten into the draft yet, we will, but I have talked to some people and even Daniel Jeremiah, I was on his press conference, and some of the people I spoke to said, ‘You know what, Fields and and Lance really have everything it takes.’ They all will pretty much tell you that they have the better skill set, as far as driving the ball, the accuracy, the athleticism than Jalen Hurts. I haven’t heard too many people say that Justin Fields does not project to be better than Jalen Hurts. People think it’s gonna be pretty sizable.”
Caplan: “I don’t think it’s close. I know people love to ask these questions, they’re kind of comical but I’ll address it. Like one guy asked on our [Facebook Community Group page], and I don’t even know if I passed on it because it’s just so hypothetical no one could tell you, but I asked because I thought it was funny … If Hurts was in the draft this year, where would he go? Late second, early third is what I was told. There’s just not a lot of love for him around the league. They like the kid. They just see flaws in Hurts’ game, which with better coaching, by the way, could be corrected.”
Mosher: Every team has holes to fill, even the team that just won the Super Bowl. It’s when you have eliteness at certain positions, especially quarterbacks, that cover up those holes. I just don’t accept the argument that, ‘We just need to get playmakers and then if next year we’re not good, we’ll get a quarterback because we’ll be bad.’ If you’ve got a guy now and you have the opportunity, you get that guy. That’s how I feel about that.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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