Tag:Todd Herremans
Posted on: October 12, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 9:43 am
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Film Room: Redskins vs. Eagles preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



What is wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles? Theories about chemistry, the pressure of high expectations, focus, character and, everybody’s favorite, the “It Factor” make for great talk show palaver. But they lack substance. Fortunately, there are cameras in the sky that can answer Football America’s current favorite question. Heading into a matchup against their division rival Washington Redskins, here’s what the film says is wrong with this nightmare of a Dream Team.


1. Offensive Line
You already know that Philly’s offensive line is young, incongruent and, as of late, banged up. That’s all true. And, perhaps a little bit surprising. Youth is youth, nothing you can do about that. But with new offensive line coach Howard Mudd installing his straightforward and famously teachable blocking techniques, you’d figure things would click up front a little quicker than they have (or have not).

Under previous O-line coach Juan Castillo, there were five to six different blocking techniques that Eagles linemen had to correctly choose from on any given play. It’s not easy to be fundamentally sound when you first have to think about which fundamentals to use. Mudd changed that. He teaches only one technique that has built-in variations depending on the situation.

So far, many situations have been difficult for the Eagles line to handle. That’s in part due to youth (rookie center Jason Kelce had a costly blitz-pickup gaffe against the Bills, and right guard Danny Watkins initially failed to hold onto his starting job) and in part due to injuries (with Winston Justice on the shelf, Todd Herremans has played at the unfamiliar right tackle position, which has left a void at Herremans’ left guard spot; at left tackle, big but awkward King Dunlap has been filling in for injured Pro Bowler Jason Peters).
 
Though it hasn’t been smooth sailing off the dock, this Eagles’ line is not as atrocious as people think. It’s an athletic group that fits the system well and should improve. Of course, people may not notice the improvements given that the man this unit blocks for always has, and always will, make his linemen look bad.

2. Vick and his line
As Mudd explains so eloquently, offensive linemen are the only athletes in all of sports that play with their backs constantly to the ball. Linemen protect the man holding the ball, but they can’t see the man holding the ball. Because of that, their positioning and execution are built on trust and timing.
Michael Vick’s sandlot nature obliterates that timing.

This isn’t just about Eagles blockers not knowing where Vick is when he’s scrambling around (though that’s part of it); it’s about Vick not having a feel for timing his drop-backs. Quarterbacks take three-step drops when receivers run short routes, five step drops on intermediate routes and seven-or nine-step drops on long routes. Simply taking the steps isn’t enough – you have to synchronize them with the timing of the routes and with the timing of the pass protection concepts.

Vick has a poor sense of this timing. It’s part of his collection of flawed fundamentals. Often, he makes up for his flaws with insanely athletic plays. But in the process, life is always difficult for his blockers.

3. Defensive Wide-9 Technique
People are starting to grumble about new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo’s scheme – and rightfully so. It’s a Wide-9, which is a system built around generating a pass-rush with your front four. The defensive ends align in 9-technique positions, which means they’re outside the tight ends. This puts the defensive ends in space and allows them to be sprinters out of the box. It’s ideal for guys like Trent Cole and Jason Babin, both of whom are having productive years rushing the passer.

The problem is this system puts a considerable strain on a linebacking unit. As Ron Jaworski pointed out in the Lions-Bears Monday Night game, with the ends aligning so far wide, offenses run to the gaping holes inside. This is what the defense is designed to do. The Wide-9 aims to shrink the field by steering all the action inside. But this demands physical, stout linebackers who can take on blocks and play downhill.

The Eagles simply don’t have any. Exacerbating matters is the fact that their miscast linebackers are also inexperienced. Jamar Chaney is a sophomore seventh-round pick who has shuffled from one position to another. Brian Rolle is a sixth-round rookie playing only because he makes fewer mental errors than fourth-round rookie Casey Matthews.

Understandably, Juan Castillo is taking a lot of heat for the defense’s struggles. Only those within the Eagles organization truly know what kind of defensive coach he is. But you don’t have to be inside the organization to see that the system Castillo signed up to coordinate is not right for this team.

4. The Vaunted Secondary
Imagine buying a 65-inch plasma TV, but instead of watching Blue Rays or DVDs on it, you watch video cassettes. That’s sort of what the Eagles are doing with Nnamdi Asomugha. The ex-Raider was worth $25 million guaranteed because he’s the best outside press-man cover artist not named Darrelle Revis. But Asomugha has not been a press-corner in Philadelphia.

Greg Cosell, the executive producer of the NFL Matchup Show and one of the most respected analysts in the country, points out that Asomugha played outside press-man only 40 percent of the snaps through the first four weeks. The rest of the time he was in off-coverage, traditional zone or lined up over the slot (where he’s never regularly operated before). Consequently, Asomugha has been uncomfortable.
 
There are problems on the other side, as well. Asante Samuel is a classic off-coverage corner who needs to be able to see both the receiver and quarterback in order to be effective. Cosell adds that Samuel is also suited for a blitz-oriented scheme, where the quarterback is compelled to throw quickly, thus making routes easier to jump. In this Wide-9 scheme, Samuel has often had to play bump-and-run coverage, which he doesn’t have the physicality to do.

The Eagles may be sorting this snafu out. A few times against the Bills, they used Asomugha in man-to-man while everyone else played zone. But even if the corners are all utilized to their natural talents, there remains concern about the safeties.

Cosell, who can speak at length about the intricacies of Wide-9 run defense concepts, says a major issue has been Jarrad Page’s failures in run defense. Page was benched in the middle of the fourth quarter last week after several missed tackles.

5. The Redskins Matchup
With their bye, Washington has had an extra week to rest up and study Philadelphia’s myriad problems. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett should be licking his chops. The Redskins run one of the most aggressive (and effective) blitz schemes in the league. Outside ‘backers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan can feast on the Eagles offensive tackles, plus they have the athleticism to plausibly keep Vick in the pocket.

If Orakpo and Kerrigan are told to cut loose, don’t be surprised if strong safety LaRon Landry serves as a spy on Vick. Of course, let’s not get carried away with thinking these matchups spell doom for the Eagles. After all, Philly’s offense hung 52 points on Washington’s defense in Week 10 last year. (Philly’s D added seven more.)

On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ zone-blocking scheme does not create the type of pounding downhill run game that’s ideal for attacking this Eagles defense.

But it does create passing lanes for tight ends. With the Eagles corners stifling the mediocre Redskins wideouts, don’t be surprised if Rex Grossman throws 15-20 balls to Chris Cooley and Fred Davis. It’s a good place to attack given that the Eagles linebackers have also struggled in coverage.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 6 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: September 25, 2011 9:11 am
 

Report: Michael Vick will start

M. Vick suffered a concussion during Sunday's game vs. Atlanta (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Despite suffering a nasty-looking concussion last Sunday when he was thrown into his offensive tackle, it seemed like Michael Vick was headed this way all week. As in Vick, according to ESPN (via PFT), will start today vs. the Giants.

After suffering the concussion when Falcons safety William Moore threw Vick into Todd Herremans’ helmet during the Eagles loss to Atlanta, Vick improved rapidly throughout the week.

By Wednesday, Vick was symptom-free, though the Eagles were still being cautious. "Just because he doesn't have symptoms today doesn't mean he won't have symptoms tomorrow," trainer Rick Burkholder said. "You can't predict." But by Thursday, Vick was back at practice, taking first-team snaps.

And because Vick didn’t regress in the past couple days, he will return today, theoretically giving the Eagles a better chance to win than if they had to give Mike Kafka his first NFL start.

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Posted on: September 20, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Why aren't mouthguards mandatory for NFL?

M. Vick suffered a concussion during Sunday's game vs. Atlanta (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For a quarterback who likes to scramble and whose coach calls draws specifically because of that quarterback’s athleticism has to know he’s at higher risk for taking shots from the defense.

And as we’ve seen, quarterbacks are not immune from suffering head injuries, even if they never leave the pocket. So, wouldn’t it make sense for the quarterback who does so much running to wear a mouthpiece to protect himself from the dangers of a concussion that could keep him out of the lineup for weeks to come* (and, more importantly, help keep himself healthy in the long run)?

*I mean, Dunta Robinson was playing in this game, for gosh sakes!

You’d think so, but according to Foxsports.com, which studied the videotape from the Eagles loss to the Falcons, Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick didn’t appear to have a guard in his mouth when he was hit after a throw and suffered a concussion while banging his head into his tackle, Todd Herremans.

And Alex Marvez writes that if Vick had been wearing a mouth protector, perhaps his concussion and his lacerated tongue could have been avoided (even though Marvez also writes, “There also isn’t a definitive medical link between mouth guards and concussion prevention although some studies and anecdotal evidence have strongly suggested this is the case.”).

The mouthpieces aren’t mandatory, because the NFLPA -- and really, the players -- don’t want them. They’re uncomfortable, at least until you get used to them, and they make it hard to breathe. Plus there is a question about how difficult it would be to call out signals and audibles if you’re wearing a piece of plastic around your teeth.

But if the players are serious about their own health (and they were awfully quick during the lockout to levy charges that the owners were not serious about it), they probably need to take away the option of wearing mouthpieces.

It probably shouldn’t, but it always astounds me when players don’t seem to care much about their own safety. Whether it’s specially-designed helmets or mouthpieces that could reduce the instances of concussions, players, for the most part, seem uninterested in trying something new that could help. The NFLPA should make them care by agreeing to make mouthpieces mandatory.

And you know who was wearing a mouthpiece during that Sunday night? Backup Eagles quarterback Mike Kafka, who probably will start in place of the concussed Vick next week.

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Posted on: April 8, 2011 11:07 am
Edited on: April 8, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Herremans jabs Big Ben and religious fiancee

Posted by Andy Benoit

Ben Roethlisberger got engaged during this past season to Ashley Harlan, a New Castle (PAA. Harlan (New Castle News)) gal he met at training camp in 2005. Originally, the two dated briefly and then settled on the friends thing. They reconnected romantically this past summer. That went well enough for them to be engaged by Christmas.

The wedding is set for July 23 (just days before the Steelers open training camp…if there are training camps, of course). The entire Steelers roster and coaching staff has been invited, as have more than 400 other guests.

Roethlisberger has been mum about his private life the past several months. (You may recall he had a bad episode once…or twice…that leaked to the press and caused quite a disturbance for him.) However, this week, he spoke publicly about his wedding for the first time in an interview with Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


In the interview, Roethlisberger said the couple will not be taking gifts at their wedding, but rather, asking guests to make a donation to the Ronald McDonald House and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. He said they’ve been receiving gifts from strangers and are surprised at the amount of media attention being given to their upcoming nuptials.

More electrifying was this bit from Bouchette’s piece: “Ms. Harlan, a physician's assistant who turns 27 in July, lives at home with her parents. Mr. Roethlisberger cited the couple's religious faith and beliefs as the reasons for not living together until marriage.”
Big Ben

If you feel inclined to roll your eyes or make a snide comment, you’re not the only one. Check out what Eagles guard Todd Herremans tweeted: “What a turnaround... Rapistberger to Religiousberger... Good for him!”

After some backlash from Twitterverse, Herremans took to his Twitter account and defended himself. He tweeted, “Funny how it takes all day to get negative feedback from a tweet … If u read it correctly… It reads ‘good for him.’”

OK, Todd.

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Posted on: November 24, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Samuel fined $40K, calls Deion 'a hater'

Posted by Will Brinson

Today was a pretty good day to be around Asante Samuel; at least if you're a member of the media anyway -- Samuel kicked the day off by calling Deion Sanders "a hater."

Then he proceeded to get tattooed with a $40,000 fine for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Giants wideout Derek Hagan Sunday night.

Samuel's hit was notable because after doing exactly what the NFL wants him not to do (leading with his head), he proceeded to do exactly why the NFL hates leading with the head (celebrating) and seemed all but guaranteed to get fined.

According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Samuel was originally fined $50,000, but Eagles coach Andy Reid was able to (somehow) convince the league to lower the fine by $10,000.

Eagles offensive lineman Todd Herremans was also fined $5,000 for penalties he received after blocking attempts on Chris Canty, who believed that Herremans was going at his knees.

As for the Deion thing, well, he recently called Samuel "the best off corner in the game" which actually seems fairly complimentary, unless it's backhanded. Samuel tweeted that Deion is "the biggest hater in the world" and that "he ain't no [Florida] boy he is a fake."

Unfortunately for Asante, Deion now gets to spend some time on the NFL Network discussing the Eagles cornerback's most recent fine, and that means plenty of time to "analyze" his off-field actions too.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 2:37 pm
 

Same old Haynesworth

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In one of those moments that would be unbelievable if it weren’t so believable, Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth – who, to be fair, has begun to repair his image the past few weeks with solid play – was caught by the Monday Night Football cameras laying down on the job.

Literally, laying down on the job.

In this GIF, provided to the Internet world by Jon Bois of SB Nation, Haynesworth tries to get around Eagles G Todd Herremans in order to sack Michael Vick, but he fails. And he fails hard.

In the clip. Herremans brings Haynesworth to the ground, and as Herremens stands over him looking for somebody else to block, Haynesworth makes no effort to get back to his feet. Only after Herremens – and Vick, for that matter – has vacated the premises does Haynesworth find the strength to lift himself into a vertical state.

It, to say the least, does not make Haynesworth look real strong

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com