Stock Watch: 6 Up, 6 Down for Key Philadelphia Eagles Through the First 3 Games
Through the first three weeks of the regular season, some of the Philadelphia Eagles have seen their stock rise exponentially. Some have seen their stock plummet to an all-time low. And some have taken their shareholders on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs unlike any heretofore seen in their careers.
In stock terms, if Andy Reid is your broker, you’d better think again about who you’re trusting with the future of investments. He just can’t seem to manage anything. It’s like giving someone a small fortune only to see him squander it and explain his lapses in reasoning with, “I gotta do a better job.”
Reid often gives answers like that. It’s vague and simple, which makes you wonder if he really knows what goes wrong. If he doesn’t, that’s bad. Not just bad, but almost scary. To further validate the idea that Reid might not have a grasp on what’s wrong with his coaching style, he’s predictable.
After all, we see him make the same mistakes time and time again with regard to play-calling and clock management. How in the world can he justify his consistent erroneous decisions when it comes to running the ball, understanding the implications of certain penalties and perhaps most importantly with making personnel decisions both on and off the field?
Enough with the analogies. The following is a list of the six players whose stock has risen the highest, and six players whose stock has sunken the lowest.
Down: DeSean Jackson
David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
Let’s start off with the bad, so we can end on a good note and call out DeSean Jackson for his childishness and immaturity.
If there are two kinds of players that Philadelphia Eagles fans cannot stand it's sissies and quitters. During last Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, DeSean Jackson was both.
It looked like DJax was on his way to an outstanding start to the season, especially in the win over the Ravens. However, you may have jumped to a conclusion if you thought that.
During the second quarter of Sunday’s game in Arizona, Jackson was running a deep route with Patrick Peterson all over him. Peterson slipped and made contact with Jackson, but at best it was incidental, thus not warranting a pass interference or illegal contact call.
It looked like Jackson may have been able to get a pretty big step on Peterson, too. Even if he couldn’t have, the fact remains that he gave up on the route while the ball was in the air and the play was live.
Why did he do that? To demand a call from the official on the sideline, which is absolutely outrageous.
That’s the kind of sulky, crybaby behavior we saw from him last year.
When it’s the second quarter, and you’re losing, you cannot give up on a play until you’ve been taken out of it due to a penalty from a defender or because you’ve been hurt. No exceptions.
Down: LeSean McCoy
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That’s right—LeSean McCoy’s stock has fallen. Why?
Because Shady could not pick up any blocks vs. Arizona.
How can he expect to be a complete running back in the NFL if he can’t at least obstruct a defender’s B-line to his quarterback?
Ray Rice blocks. MJD blocks.
There’s more to the position than footwork and reading the field with the ball in your hands.
Oh, yeah: McCoy’s fumbled the ball twice so far, too.
Down: Damaris Johnson
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If there’s anything worse than crybabies and quitters, it’s guys who lose the ball.
First off, Damaris Johnson is not an established wide receiver, and the play I’m referencing was on special teams.
After he caught a punt, executed a fantastic spin move, and looked like he was going to pick up over 10 yards on his return, he got hit and coughed up the ball with his team down on the scoreboard.
That kind of play is absolutely infuriating. In fact, if I was the coach, I don’t know if he’d be returning punts for me anymore.
This is something you may be able to let slide if it’s late in the game and your team is up by a few scores, but in the first quarter, to give up the ball and put an already overworked defense back on the field is egregious.
Down: Nnamdi Asomugha
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Asomugha’s stock plummet bears a direct correlation to Arizona’s second-quarter play-action touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald.
It was a zone scheme, the safeties bit and Asomugha left Fitzgerald open.
If you watch the play, you can see that the coverage should have been Kurt Coleman’s, but he took himself out of the play and left Asomugha as the only man who could have stopped the impending Arizona score.
Why on earth did Nnamdi Asomugha come off of Larry Fitzgerald to stay in a zone when the ball was already in the air? He saw Coleman, but didn’t make the connection that he had no shot at breaking up the play.
Down: Michael Vick
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This guy just can’t seem to protect himself. He also doesn’t make good decisions with the ball, which begs the question: Does Michael Vick know how to read a defense?
His taking a beating is not completely his fault, but when a quarterback holds on to the ball as long as he does, knowing that his line can’t protect him, what does he expect?
He was rattled before the last play of the first half that led to a Cardinals fumble recovery and touchdown. You can’t hold him completely responsible for that because of the play call, the O-line’s inability to give him enough time, and because Shady missed a block. But, come on.
That’s a situation when you have to either get rid of the ball quickly or abandon the play and try to run it in. Do something. Don’t just stand there like a sitting duck.
Moreover, he’s turned the ball over a total of nine times and managed to get away with two wins by the grace of God. That is not good, no matter how you slice it.
I’m not saying that it’s time for him to get benched for Nick Foles—not by a long shot. But, I am saying that these are the kinds of things that need to be addressed and fixed. Now.
Down: The Entire Offensive Line
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It doesn’t matter if the players on the line are backups or starters. Regardless, these are professionals in the NFL. If you can’t protect your quarterback, it’s time to consider a new profession.
The blame may fall on Andy Reid for giving these guys their jobs and trusting them the way he does. Regardless, they are the guys on the field when the game is happening and they cannot perform.
They need to be held accountable for a lot of Michael Vick’s troubles. I know they aren’t telling him where to throw the ball, and there have been maybe five or six times when they did give Vick enough time to make a play and he didn’t, but you can’t take the penalties these guys have taken. You can’t just get run over. You can’t be out of sync with each other.
The Eagles aren’t going anywhere if the O-line situation doesn’t improve.
Up: DeMeco Ryans
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DeMeco Ryans has been a huge addition to the Eagles defense.
He stops the run and forces turnovers, and he’s apparently an outstanding leader.
There aren’t many bad things you can say about Ryan’s play. Maybe he should have come up with that interception that bounced off his hands and then Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s hands, but ended up being a Michael Floyd touchdown.
Regardless, he’s a monster who waits behind the line for the opposing team’s QB or RB to make a mistake and then capitalizes seemingly every time.
He’s also trustworthy when receivers come over the middle.
You really can’t praise the guy enough.
Up: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
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Hindsight is always 20/20. That said, DRC should have been the guy on Larry Fitzgerald. Furthermore, given the game that Nnamdi Asomugha had, I think it’s safe to say DRC is the Eagles’ No. 1 cornerback.
He’s caught interceptions and been great in coverage. He breaks up plays, he’s got freakish athletic ability and the kind of closing speed you need to be able to label a cornerback “shutdown.”
DRC is still poised to have a great season this year.
Up: Jeremy Maclin
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Maclin is tough. I don’t think there’s any disputing that. At the same time, that doesn't mean he's not injury-prone.
He played hurt during Week 2, and ultimately was too hurt to play vs. the Cardinals. Considering the Eagles' embarrassing offensive showing, I’m not sure how much of an impact he would have had anyway.
Nonetheless, Maclin’s made some great catches and some important catches. He’s reliable, and he is developing into Michael Vick’s No. 1 target.
Up: Brent Celek
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Even though he didn’t do the best job blocking against the Cardinals, Brent Celek had a career game that his team needed in Week 2.
That’s why his stock is up.
Celek’s already been great during his time with Eagles, but the game against the Ravens really put him on another level.
I wonder why he isn’t targeted more often. You’d think that with the way the game was going on Sunday that Andy Reid and Michael Vick would have paid more attention to their stud TE.
Up: Mychal Kendricks
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With the linebacker problems the Eagles have had since the departure of the guys from the Jeremiah Trotter era, signing DeMeco Ryans seemed like it was a step in the right direction.
The first step that the team took by adding Ryans has paid off, but the real surprise has been the showcase that Mychal Kendricks has treated Eagles fans to so far this year.
He's fast, strong and athletic. He can cover, and he can stop the run. He's disruptive for opposing offenses and a nuisance for guys with the ball in his area.
Kendricks' stock is way up, perhaps the most of anyone on the team, especially when you consider the expectations (or lack thereof) for him coming into the season.
Up: Brandon Boykin
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He almost didn’t make it because Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals made him look like a rookie last Sunday, but Boykin came up huge against the Ravens, and he didn’t look all that bad against the Cardinals.
When he broke up that pass on the Ravens’ final drive in Week 2, he showed that he has real instincts, the kind that either can’t be taught or take forever to develop (I don’t know, I’m not a cornerback). Plus he’s a gifted athlete who has been all over the field.
Boykin may have evened out last week, but more rising in the future is far from out of the question.