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Topic: One aspect of Jordan Howard’s game< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
zhangzk
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Posted: May 09 2019,09:56

WhiteFanposts Fanshots Eagles StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Eagles NewsYahoo Eagles Team PageYahoo Eagles ReportYahoo Eagles Depth ChartYahoo Eagles TransactionsYahoo Eagles PhotosOdds About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub  ng NewsThe Eagles' 2019 draft class is finalized  rdan Howard can be a three-down back for the EaglesNew Jay Ajayi Jerseys Stitched ,55commentsOne aspect of Jordan Howard’s game isn’t getting enough attentionEDTShareTweetShareShareJordan Howard can be a three-down back for the EaglesQuinn Harris-USA TODAY SportsOne of the Eagles’ biggest offseason stories broke over the weekend when they traded basically nothing a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020 for Bears running back Jordan Howard, who found himself as the odd man out in Matt Nagy’s offense. Naturally, I was away in Boston for the weekend doing nerd things, and couldn’t really say much as it happened. A lot has been said about the trade since then, and there’s one thing being repeated that I disagree with and felt compelled to address: “Jordan Howard is not a 3-down back” and its counterpart, “Jordan Howard is an early-down back.” These phrases are tossed around as if they’re an accepted truth, and I don’t think they are, as my title suggests. But before diving into my argument, let’s discuss definitions so we’re on the same page.So what is a “3-down back,” anyway?This is an important question to answer, as I’ve seen it used in different contexts. The one I (admittedly) see the most is a running back who is a legitimate receiving threat out of the backfield, since he can catch the ball on an obvious passing down. Jordan Howard has not been this player during his career, so if you are insistent that this is the correct definition of a 3-down back, you might as well stop reading now and jump down to the comments to tell me how wrong I am. I won’t argue with you on this.Another answer to this question is a “featured back” who takes the majority of snaps throughout a season, in the mold of Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, or Saquon Barkley. While Jordan Howard is durable and thus capable of handling 300+ carries in a season, it would be in a smashmouth run-first offense. This is not Doug’s offense, so Jordan doesn’t fit this definition either. Again, if this is your definition of a 3-down back, you can stop reading and tell me I’m wrong in the comments, although I’m more likely to fight you here, because I think this concept is covered by bell-cow back and workhorse back, which to me is a separate idea from 3-down back.And finally, there’s the literal interpretation of “3-down back”: a running back who adds value to the offense by being on the field on a third down. This is the definition I’m using for this article, and while it may not be exactly how people interpret the phrase, when you say someone is not a 3-down back it implies he isn’t really useful on third down, or at the very least not as useful as pass-catchers. I strongly disagree with this implication, which is why I get bothered when I see this description of Howard. And now that we have our definitions all squared away, I can tell you why I get bothered.What makes Jordan Howard a 3-down back?This is an excellent question with a simple answer! Say it with me, everyone:Jordan Howard can pass block.Jordan Howard can pass block.Jordan Howard can pass block.This has absolutely been discussed before - but only really in passing. It’s been an afterthought Youth Dallas Goedert Jerseys , as in “Oh yeah he’s also good in pass protection, which is, like, cool I guess.” I think people are massively underestimating the value that a great pass-blocking running back brings to Doug’s offense, and how much he himself values a running back who is an asset in pass protection. Take a trip down memory lane for a moment to 2016. It’s late October, and Doug is being hounded by the Philly media for overusing Darren Sproles. Aside from a boilerplate statement about going with the “hot hand,” how does Doug justify it? “He is our best pass blocker in the backfield.” In 2017, former fifth-round pick Wendell Smallwood found himself phased out in favor of UDFA Corey Clement, but why? On top of Clement being a better receiver, he also developed into a better pass blocker, which helped keep him on the field on third down. And just last year, Smallwood saw the same thing happen again, this time with Josh Adams, who not only showed more explosiveness as a runner (albeit temporarily) but also added more value as a pass blocker. While there have been different reasons for Doug to favor one running back over the other during his time as head coach, one underlying theme is that he values pass protection in his running backs. This is because having a pass-blocking running back helps makes Doug’s offense unpredictable. I say this with full knowledge that “predictability” was a big reason why Howard wasn’t a fit in Matt Nagy’s offense - “if he was on the field, he was going to be handed the ball” - but Matt Nagy’s offense is not Doug Pederson’s offense (despite the identical coaching lineage), and there’s more than one way to make an offense unpredictable. Matt Nagy wants to make his offense unpredictable by acquiring versatile players that can do multiple things with the ball in their hands. Quarterbacks who can run the option. Wide receivers that can run the jet sweep. And of course, running backs that can catch the ball. This is why Jordan Howard fell out of favor in Chicago - he was not really a receiving threat and will never be one. On the other hand, Doug Pederson wants to make his offense unpredictable by having multiple plays that run out of identical formations. In other words, instead of having post-snap unpredictability (“What is he going to do with the ball?”), Doug favors pre-snap unpredictability (“Who is going to get the ball?”). In simple terms, Jordan Howard adds to pre-snap unpredictability because you can’t really be sure if he’s going to get the ball or stay in to pass block. This sounds really obtuse, and a dumb reason for a 1700+ word article, but the genius behind it begins to show itself when you analyze the current state of the roster, and one player in particular: Dallas Goedert.Wait, what? Don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this. In case you missed it in an edition of The Linc, Goedert (who was already a talented pass catcher) actually graded out as a top-five run-blocking tight end in his rookie season. Assuming he continues to develop, he will only get better. Now, between Howard and Goedert, we have the following skills offered by only 2 players:pass blockingrun blockingpass catchingdownhill rushingStarting to see where I’m going with this? Let’s assume the Eagles are facing a 3rd-and-4 (ah hell Dallas Goedert Jerseys Stitched , let’s make it a 4th-and-4). They are in 12 personnel, since Doug learned that his offense is more successful in this grouping from last year. Carson Wentz is under center, Howard is lined up behind him, and Goedert is the in-line tight end. The ball is snapped, Goedert comes across to deliver a punishing trap block, and the red sea parts as Howard rumbles ahead with the handoff for six yards. First down.Or or OR... the ball is snapped, Carson fakes the handoff, Howard holds a blitzer at bay while the line fakes a sweep to the left, and Goedert leaks out to the right for an easy pitch and catch on a tight end throwback for six yards. First down.Both of these plays came out of the exact same formation. If you’re a defender, the question is: who gets the damn ball? Unless the Eagles mistakenly build a tell into their alignment or hard count, it’s impossible to really know. Moreover, who says the decision even needs to be made pre-snap? The Eagles already run a ton of RPOs. Let a defender pick his poison after the snap - but instead of crashing on the runningback or quarterback, he’s crashing on the runningback or tight end. This is the potential I believe Doug sees in a runningback with great pass-blocking skills. Okay, fine, but what about 3rd-and-longs?What about them? The example I gave above is just that - an example. One that primarily involved 2 players. Doug can whip up an entire Howard/Goedert subpackage of plays, all out of the same 2 or 3 formations, and we haven’t even discussed on how he can involve the rest of the offense, which includes the NFL’s best tight end, the greatest deep threat in NFL history, and one of the league’s best contested catchers. With a receiving corps like that, it gives you a lot of room for creativity in your running game.Remember that, in 2017, the Eagles popped off more 10+ yard runs than any other team in the league. If it’s 3rd-and-7 (or even longer), and you have DeSean Jackson lined up outside, an HB draw could be just the trick to catch the defense off-guard. And if you decide to throw it, is it really such an awful thing to have an extra blocker in on long-developing routes? You can have Howard, Goedert, Ertz, Jackson, and Jeffery on the field all at the same time. With that kind of pass-catching prowess, are you really gaining anything by losing a blocker to shove Aggy onto the field as well (with all due respect to Agholor Youth Derek Barnett Jerseys , of course)? I’m not so sure.All right, I’m convinced (or am I?)What constitutes a “3-down back” is subjective. If you think a “3-down back” needs to be a legitimate receiving threat, then I won’t have changed your mind. And that’s fine. It’s okay to have a runningback that can’t really catch - the Eagles won the Super Bowl with one like that 2 years ago. But to say that such a player adds no value on third down and must be banished to the bench in favor of one with more pass-catching abilities EVERY SINGLE TIME isn’t really fair, either. And to be clear, I’m not saying that the role played by Clement or Sproles should be diminished in their roles - the Eagles need a pass-catching runningback in their stable. Howard may be a 3-down back, but he’s not their only back.All I’m saying is that Howard’s role may be bigger (and more impactful) than what we expect, because of the offense that Doug runs. And I’ll trust Doug over any pundit that relegates Howard to the status of “early down bruiser.” Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/21/19."Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...Alshon Jeffery correctly predicted the Eagles would win the Super Bowl in 2018. Will he be right again? Six things to know about new Eagles safety Andrew Sendejo - BGNThe Philadelphia Eagles added to their secondary earlier this week by signing free agent safety Andrew Sendejo to a one-year contract reportedly worth $1.3 million. In order to get to know more bout Sendejo, I thought it’d benefit BGN readers to get a Minnesota Vikings perspective on him. In order to do that, I reached out to Christopher Gates (@Gates_DN) of Daily Norseman. Here’s what he had to say.NFC East free agency grades: Landover, MD team edition - PhillyVoiceThe Landover team lost a number of decent contributors, but at least that cleared some cap space to spend on new acquisitions.So what did they do with the money that freed up? They blew most of it on a box safety, signed a few additional old guys, traded for a quarterback similar to the flawed one they already have, and added one of the biggest draft busts in the last decade.Let’s Talk Duke - Iggles BlitzAdam Caplan knows the Eagles pretty well. He doesn’t say the Eagles are the team, but you can connect the dots. My guess is that he’s talking about the Eagles. Caplan mentions that Johnson won’t be bringing much in compensation. A late round pick should do the trick. Why would the Eagles be so interested in Johnson? He is an interesting player, even going back to college. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry and 10.4 yards per reception. He was more playmaker than workhorse. That trend has carried over to the NFL, where he has 299 career carries and 235 receptions. He averages 4.3 yards per carry and 9.2 yards per reception. Johnson is a good runner. He is a dangerous receiver. You can see where the Eagles would love to add a young RB with that kind of ability into their offense.Carson Wentz’s deep-ball stats might explode with DeSean Jackson’s addition - ESPNHistory shows Wentz’s numbers are in for a significant spike, however, now that Jackson is in the fold. It makes sense that having one of the best deep-threat receivers in NFL history at your disposal would help a quarterback in the big-play department, and the stats back that up. Just about every QB Jackson has worked with became a more dangerous and efficient downfield thrower with him on the field. On average, the quarterbacks experienced a completion rate increase of 7 percent, an additional 3 yards per attempt and an improvement of .65 to their touchdown-to-interception ratios when playing alongside Jackson. The outlier is Jameis Winston, whose numbers fell just about across the board. The fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick experienced a solid bump when teamed up with Jackson during the same time period pokes a hole in the theory that Jackson’s impact is diminishing. Jackson, 32, remains one of the fastest players in the game, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He reached 20-plus mph on eight of his 52 touches (15.4 percent) last season, the highest rate in the league, and had the highest average target depth in 2018 at 19.1 yards, according to ESPN Stats & Info research. For whatever reason, he and Winston were just oil and water on the field.Adam Caplan: I know one team that’s very interested in Duke Johnson - 92.3 The FanAdam Caplan from Sirius XM NFL joined Andy and Jeff to talk Browns. He said the OBJ deal was a no-brainer for the Browns and the team should absolutely be a favorite to win the division next year. They also discussed the Kareem Hunt signing and Adam said Hunt is one of the top-3 most talented backs in the league. They also discussed whether or not Duke Johnson gets dealt and Adam said it doesn’t make a ton of sense to keep him since Chubb has shown he can play all 3 downs. But he also added the return won’t be huge. Eagles fans knock Cowboys out of Best Fan Base bracket - PE.comThis is pretty funny. Every year, numerous versions of brackets are released to celebrate March Madness. The NFL on FOX Twitter account unveiled its own to resolve once and for all who has the league’s best fan base. The seeding was determined by the number of followers for each team’s official Twitter account. Fans selected the winner of each matchup by a poll.Improving the Eagles secondary Derek Barnett Jerseys Stitched , ages of the offseason additions, and the backup-QB market - InquirerMy guess is Nate Sudfeld’s presence complicates the search. The Eagles want Sudfeld to compete, but why would an established backup come in and compete for the No. 2 job? Nick Foles didn’t do that two seasons ago. Mike Glennon, Trevor Siemian, and Brock Osweiler are among the experienced backups still available. The Eagles could wait until the draft for a developmental quarterback to compete with Sudfeld, but then they wouldn’t have a No. 2 with starting experience on a depth chart topped by a starter who has ended the past two seasons injured.Five reasons the Dallas Cowboys are off to a great offseason - Blogging The BoysSometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. The Cowboys got a stroke of good fortune when their future Hall of Fame tight end delayed his enshrinement just a bit by returning to the Cowboys. The team is still on the prowl for their tight end of the future, but having Jason Witten return to the team means that Dak Prescott will at the very least have a reliable target at his disposal. One might say that the Cowboys did nothing that deserves praise for Witten returning, however - it speaks to how much the iconic tight end loves this organization. He wants to be out there with his teammates and playing for these coaches. Nobody is running down the halls screaming about this move, but it’s solid. Witt’s always solid. [BLG Note: Signing a 37-year-old tight end is the number one reason on this list!]Futures: Ed Oliver - Football OutsidersThough his decision to stay in Houston made sense on a personal level, things did not quite work out from a football perspective. The lack of direction and front-seven talent in Houston’s defense during Oliver’s final two seasons with the Cougars resulted in Oliver being miscast as a nose tackle to maximize the rest of the roster. At 6-foot-2 and 287 pounds, Oliver was playing a similar position to that of Damon Harrison of the Detroit Lions, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 353 pounds. To say Oliver was playing out of position is an understatement. Oliver was regularly double-, triple-, and even quadruple-teamed by opposing offenses in order to stop him from getting to the quarterback. He was Houston’s most threatening defensive lineman by a mile, and the rest of the American treated him as such.2019 NFL Draft: Could Redskins find trade partner in Jets in an attempt to land Dwayne Haskins? - CBS SportsLeague sources say Washington is already among the teams sniffing around, and with pretty much every GM in the league wholeheartedly convinced that QB Kyler Murray is going first overall, and San Francisco likely to take its top defensive player on the board second overall (early money is on pass rusher Nick Bosa), then the Jets very well could be sitting pretty with that third pick as an avenue for a QB-needy team to jump ahead of the Giants (sixth overall) to land Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. There is a readily-accepted drop-off in the quarterback class beyond that, and while the need is not as robust as in some past years, it only takes one team to make the move.Ranking NFL Quarterbacks: Where does Giants’ Eli Manning fall on the list? - SNY14. Eli Manning, Giants. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards with 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions despite playing behind a terrible offensive line that got him sacked 47 times. He also played better late in the season, even though he lost his No. 1 receiver for the last four games. He’s not what he used to be, but putting up those numbers in those circumstances? Saying he’s done is definitely “a crock.” [BLG Note: LOL]A favorite and sleeper in each NFL division following one week of free agency-SB NationThe NFC East remains a sloppy mess, and Philadelphia seems like the logical call. The Cowboys have held back thus far, while the Eagles added defensive tackle Malik Jackson and wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Giants appear to be a quasi-rebuilding mess, while Washington is rolling the dice with Case Keenum. Even with the addition of Landon Collins, Washington has serious problems....Social Media Information:BGN Facebook Page: Click here to like our pageBGN Twitter: Follow @BleedingGreenBGN Manager: Brandon Lee Gowton: Follow @BrandonGowtonBGN Radio Twitter: Follow @BGN_Radio
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