Linebacker Shuffle: Bye-Bye Rolle Edition

The Eagles cut Brian Rolle this morning and replaced him with linebacker Adrian Moten. Tim McManus talked to Rolle, and got some interesting quotes:

“I felt like I didn’t get the chance. People saw how productive I was last year. Why I am I not in there this year?” he said.

Um, I hate to break it to you, but the Eagles gave you the starting job and you couldn't hold on to it. Also interesting what Rolle said about "there’s been tension the last couple weeks." Tough to say what that's about, but this move is almost certainly about the atrocious special teams play. Rolle was not doing a good enough impression of Akeem Jordan. Eagles linebackers should keep in mind that there are only two roster-worthy types at their position: potential starters and special teams standouts. Be neither at your own peril (looking at you, Casey).

Also, for what it's worth, Jamar Chaney got a big "Way to go" from Howie Roseman in the locker room after Sunday's game.

Round and Round They Go

I swear to God that I was planning on writing a post for today titled "The Optimist's Guide to the 2012 Eagles." Heavens knows I've been critical all offseason.

But then we heard the music from Linebacker Musical Chairsstart up once more:

Asked if he still considers himself a three-down linebacker, which is what the Eagles heralded Ryans as when they traded for him, Ryans said: "I am."

But will he be a three-down linebacker on Sunday?

"That's the coaches' decision. I don't decide who goes out on the field," Ryans said.

Apparently Jamar Chaney and Mychael Kendricks took first team reps at nickel. For more, see my post from July on Ryans not necessarily being the three-down linebacker we expected.

Game Rewind: Preseason Week One

Jake Louden, blogger at Eagles Fan 4 Life and on Twitter @EaglesJake, made some great videos where he highlighted every play of a few key Eagles in last week's first preseason game. Let's go through them with some notes.

Here's the first one, starting with King Dunlap:

Overall, my impression of Dunlap is mixed, as he's playing mostly against second-teamers. In pass protection, he doesn't let up much of any pressure, although the Steelers rarely seem to put much energy into attacking.

His run blocking was suspect. Especially compared to Jason Peters rampaging through the second level, blowing up defenders, Dunlap looks passive out there. He rarely finished blocks to the whistle and often finds himself in the middle of the field just half-heartedly looking for a defender close enough to block. If Dunlap gets his long arms on someone, that person probably isn't getting by him, but too often he just seems to let guys go.

Also, the rest of the second-team offensive line does not inspire confidence. Not that I'm expecting much from rookies like Dennis Kelly, but Julian Vandervelde? Yikes. He gets beat and/or knocked on his butt multiple times.

A look back at DeMeco Ryans's combine numbers shows that he was never a particularly fast or strong guy. Today, he certainly doesn't look like the best athlete on the field. He's not a dominating presence in the middle. In fact, there are a number of times where I expected Ryans to get to the ball faster or get off a block that he's tied up on. 

Still, it's easy to see that he's going to be a major upgrade in the middle for the Eagles. Comparing Dunlap to Peters may not have helped, but Ryans gets points for looking so much better than Jamar Chaney. His biggest asset seems to be diagnosing plays quickly and knowing where he needs to get to. Ryans doesn't always make it there in time, but you can see he's knows what hole he's supposed to plug or which receiver is his responsibility. Those simple things will go a long way.

Finally, we get to the rookie Mychal Kendricks. On second viewing, Kendricks looked just as good to me as he did live. He's fast and can be a sure tackler in space. Not everything is clicking yet, but he looks a mile ahead of where Casey Matthews was a year ago. I hope he's soaking in the lessons from Ryans next to him. Kendricks's physical talent plus Ryans's veteran acumen could make a powerful combination.