Roob’s Observations: Stop complaining about Steichen calling plays originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia:
A current Eagle who might be able to beat Devin Allen in a 100, an interesting comment Dick Vermeil made about Irving Fryar and why you should not have any problem with Shane Steichen calling plays.
With OTAs wrapping up and training camp still six weeks away, we plow into the dog days of the offseason with a fresh Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Offseason Observations!
1. Nobody should have a problem with Shane Steichen calling plays. Who cares who calls plays? If it works, it works. If Nick Sirianni is more comfortable delegating so he can have more time on Sundays being a head coach – talking to the defense or special teams, conferring with the coaches upstairs, working the refs, whatever it is – then it makes sense. There’s no hard and fast rule for this sort of thing. Andy Reid is as talented a play caller as there is, and he handed it off to Marty Mornhinweg a few times. Steichen showed a flair for it last year, and as long as the Eagles are moving the ball, converting third downs, scoring points and keeping defenses off balance, I don’t care if Dana Bible, Julian Lurie or Jay Wright are calling plays. If the plays are working and the Eagles are winning, why change?
2. We always talk about LeSean McCoy’s remarkable running ability – and he’s one of only six backs in history with 11,000 rushing yards and a 4.5 average. But he was such an under-rated receiver, too. During his six years with the Eagles, Shady had the highest catch percentage in the NFL (minimum 300 targets) at 78.3 percent, just ahead of Darren Sproles and Matt Forte (75.4 percent). His 533 career catches are 15th-most ever by a RB, and he’s the only back in history with 11,000 rushing yards, 500 catches and a 4.5 average.
3. How many completions is AJ Brown worth over Jalen Reagor? Think about the math. Let’s say Brown catches – conservatively – one pass per game that Reagor wouldn’t have caught. That’s 17 passes over an entire season. Just like that, those 17 extra completions turn Jalen Hurts from a 61.2 percent passer to a 65.3 percent passer. One more completion per game and Hurts has the 2nd-highest completion percentage in franchise history. You want a more accurate passer? Get him a more talented receiver.
4. The Eagles last year became only the seventh team in NFL history with 2,700 rushing yards and a team passer rating of 89 or higher. The others: 1948 49ers, 1988 Bengals, 2012 Washington Football Team, 2014 Seahawks and 2019 and 2020 Ravens.
5. The Eagles revamped their linebacker corps with the additions of off-ball backers Kyzir White and Nakobe Dean along with pass-rushing backer Haason Reddick. But do not expect TJ Edwards to go into mothballs. His playing time will decrease from the second half of last year, when he played 95 percent of the defensive snaps. But Edwards has gotten better every year and has really made himself into a solid player after entering the league as a longshot undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin in 2019. My hunch is that Dean will end up playing the most snaps of all the off-ball linebackers , and White is going to be next. But you’ll see a lot of Dean and Edwards, some White and Edwards and even sometimes Dean, White and Edwards. Jonathan Gannon has so much more at his disposal this year, and you’re going to see every imaginable front, alignment and combination depending on the opponent, the game situation and the down and distance. And Edwards will be a significant part of it.
6. Jordan Poyer this past season became the first player drafted by the Eagles to make 1st-team all-pro for a team other than the Eagles since Cris Carter with the Vikings in 1999.
7. Irving Fryar and Dick Vermeil were watching OTA practice on Tuesday when the subject of the Pro Football Hall of Fame came up. “This guy right here, he should be in the Hall of Fame,” Vermeil said, pointing at Fryar. You can make a pretty good case for the Mount Holly native. When he retired after the 2000 season, Fryar ranked 5th all-time in catches: 7th in yards: [12,785] and 10th in TD catches: . Only four other players reached those milestones through 2000 and all four are in the Hall of Fame – Jerry Rice, Andre Reed, Art Monk and Carter. When you look at Fryar’s career you have to consider the era. He did not put up the kind of numbers that guys like Julio Jones or Brandon Marshall did more recently, but for his era, before the proliferation of high-powered passing games, he was one of the best ever. Fryar is the only WR who did not play after 2000 who had at least 12,000 yards and made five Pro Bowls and is not in the Hall of Fame. But do not listen to me. If Vermeil believes he’s a Hall of Famer, that’s good enough for me.
8. With their 21-7 wild-card loss to the Rams at the Vet in 1989 and their 20-6 loss to Washington at the Vet in 1990, the Eagles are the only team in NFL history to lose home playoff games by 14 or more points in consecutive seasons.
9. DeVonta Smith is the only player in Eagles history to catch a pass in his first 17 career games. The longest streak with at least one catch to begin a career before Smith? It actually belongs to Jalen Reagor, who caught at least one pass in his first 16 games – all 11 games he played in 2020 and his first five games last year until he was blanked against Tampa in Week 6. Next on that list is Charle Young with 15. He caught a pass in all 14 games as a rookie in 1973 and the 1974 opener. The longest streak of consecutive games with at least one catch in NFL history to begin a career? Roman Catholic graduate Marvin Harrison caught a pass in all 190 games he played in!
10. So Devin Allen wants to race one of his teammates? I’ll put cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. up against the Olympic hurdler. At Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial High School, Vincent ran a leg on the 800-meter relay team that set a national scholastic record of 1: 23.52. And at LSU, in his spare time away from football, Vincent ran 10.07 at the 2019 LSU Invitational, which is a tad faster than Allen’s 100 PR of 10.12 from the USATF Golden Games in Walnut, Calif., In April. Vincent also ran on LSU 400- and 800-meter relay teams that were ranked among the top 20 in the world in 2019. I’m not sure Vincent could beat Allen right now since he hasn’t trained seriously for track in a few years , but I’ll bet he could give him a race.