One of the many reasons I like offensive lineman Todd Herremans is his honesty when speaking with the media.
"Personally, I played probably one of my worst games ever," a disgusted Herremans said nearly an hour after the Eagles dispatched the New York Giants 19-17. "There's no getting around it, you know? Personally I feel fortunate that we won because of the way I played. I think that the rest of the offensive line played pretty well. I don't know. We'll watch the film tomorrow."
Herremans was being too kind. The rest of the offensive line didn't play nearly as well as he had alluded, at least in the first half, when the pass protection was almost as bad as the run blocking, which produced a total of just 2 yards for running back LeSean McCoy.
Good for Herremans. He took the good result of the win in stride. He focuses now on the reality of needing to get better.
Doesn't matter that the Eagles held a tenuous 7-3 lead at the half, or that they would go on to finish with 422 yards and McCoy would wind up with 123 of them on the ground on 23 efficient carries, or that they would come from behind for the third time in four weeks to pull out a victory over the defending Super Bowl champions.
Herremans knows he and the Eagles got away with one on that night, even though that's always preferable to outplaying an opponent but still losing.
"I think that we should be thankful that we're 3-1 right now," he said. "I'm not saying that we didn't earn it, but the way that we played, we were fortunate. We got down to business when we really needed to, but we need to come out in games like that, start like we finished, maybe have a blowout here or there."
Give Herremans credit for his head and heart both being in the most humble state possible as the Eagles now try to ready themselves for the Pittsburgh Steelers next week. This is the mindset they must have, knowing the law of averages will catch up to them in a marathon 16-game season if they don't start start out stronger and faster and establish themselves earlier in games.
Herremans was disappointed in the offensive line grades. But I was more concerned about special teams coverage, to wit, the Eagles gave up a mind-boggling 217 yards on six kickoff returns by the Giants' David Wilson and are ranked next to last in the NFL in covering kicks, with opponents' average starting position at the 27-yard line.
On Sunday, second-year kicker Alex Henery struggled with both length and hang time, allowing Wilson too much of a cushion at the start. But Reid was careful not to pin too much of the blame on Henery.
"A couple of the kickoffs were a bit short," he said, "and hang time is important. But we had guys in position on that 15-yard line at the catch, so you've just got to make sure that you work the right techniques, have the right scheme. The kicker's got to do his job too. But I wouldn't say that was the No. 1 thing."
Getting special teams ace Colt Anderson back will presumably help with that. Anderson (knee) was a scratch from Sunday's game but is expected to be back and ready for Wednesday's practice and Sunday's game at Pittsburgh.
Reid was adamant in his defense of the play of CB Nnamdi Asomugha, who came back from an eye gouge to finish the game against the Giants. This is noteworthy because Reid is on the exact same page as our own resident Sage and super-scout, JB-Lion....
What Reid said, in so many words, was that he liked Asomugha's spirit and toughness after suffering an eye injury, and that things aren't always as they appear.
"Listen, we all have things we have to work on," Reid said. "He's no exception and he has that mentality to do that. I was proud that he came back in and fought like crazy to get back out there and to play. He challenged, that's what he did. When some of you have a chance to look at the tape, you'll see that when you have help over the top and you're in a trail position, sometimes it looks like you might be getting beat down the field. There's reasons as you look at it that you'll see."
"I think he's a great player and he understands what we're doing and he's making plays. Like any corner in this league, there's going to be one or two you wish you had back. That's all part of it, especially in the type of defense that we run, where you're going to get up and you're challenging every snap."
Sometimes it looks as if Asomugha is getting beat one-on-one to the casual eye. But often it is the result of an offensive player getting away with a push or shove, or Nnamdi coming back to cover on the back end of a play that should have been picked up by a safety.
Asomugha was able to turn the tide of the Giants game by drawing an offensive pass interference penalty on Ramses Barden that ultimately pushed Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes out of his comfort zone for a 54-yard field goal attempt that failed in the closing seconds, enabling the Eagles to hold on for a 19-17 win.
"I just felt the guy drift over me as I was trying to get the ball," Asomugha said, "but those go either way. Sometimes they don't call it. I know if it's the defensive guy, they're going to have to call it, but an offensive guy, you never know. So, I was just happy that they did call it. I looked around kind of late and I saw the flag and it was relief. I knew it had to have been on them."
Fortunately for the Eagles, Brandon Hughes was nearly flawless filling in for Asomugha in the second and third quarters, when Asomugha was sidelined with an eye injury that turned out not to be serious.
Hughes, also third with 23 special-teams production points, dropped an interception near the end of the first half that still had him shaking his head in disgust long after. "You can't drop that on Sunday Night Football," he said, "especially when you can take points off the board."
Actually, Hughes did help take points off the board with that third-down breakup in the end zone, forcing the Giants to settle for three points instead of seven.
"I thought Brandon got up and challenged too," Reid said. "They had the one catch on him but he had a nice breakup on one of the plays. He got up and challenged. He did a nice job. He had the one in the end zone [where] sometimes guys grab other people's jerseys and pull them down. He had a chance for an interception and he kind of got snagged there a little bit. I thought he came in and played well."
For his part, Asomugha's confidence has never been shaken.
He believes the Giants were tricked into believing he couldn't stay with anyone deep because of the zones the Eagles were employing in the first half.
"We weren't in man coverage, so [Barden] was able to get behind me because I was in a trail position," Asomugha said, "and so I don't think they knew that. I felt like they thought, 'Oh, he can get behind them.' Then in the end, we were in man, so it wasn't going to happen.
"So I expected them to come back to it because they probably didn't know what coverage we were in and then they went back to it, but I was in better shape."
Wow, I didn't even realize Vontaze Burfict was doing anything for the Bengals, but he had a very decent game on Sunday. He's now starting for the Bengals even. He's starting to prove to all of 32 teams that passed him completely in the draft that he can play some NFL football. I say good on him.
@Jerky He had a great week...8 tackles, 2 for loss, a sack and a pass breakup...Nominated for Rookie of the Week...His character concerns were always overblown...He got a raw deal because he didn't have a lot of good support structures around him...If he can keep his shit together, Bengals got a steal, no doubt...This article about him was pretty eye-opening: http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2012/story/_/id/7821147/nfl-asu-linebacker-vontaze-burfict-draft-most-misunderstood-player-espn-magazine
@Blasphemizer Meh... RISK....... Lots of much more deserving young men that tried their Guts out for the same opportunities and didn't whinge about Hard Knocks
@beanstalk Dudesman, did you read the article?...He's just a human, he was at a low point in his life and he has since climbed out...It wouldn't be smart of him to fake an injury...Just dishonest...How would he ever expect to start a good new relationship wiff a new team if he outright lied in the beginning?...He wanted to make sure he would land wiff a team that would give him a chance in the condition he was in, and not based off of any expectations which he might not be able to meet...
@beanstalk He doesn't necessarily have to...He could just play the role, and they could have another veteran do that for him...At ASU, Magee (OLB) did a lot of the diagnosing and was the one who aligned him, and he was still plenty effective...Besides, people have already told him he couldn't do a lot of things, I wouldn't be surprised if he proved them wrong one more time...
@Blasphemizer Also IF he was smart Blas.... he wouldn't have shown up to the combine in Terrible shape.... That was completely unprofessional... He would have been smarter to fake an injury than show up and do those Combine stats out of shape
@Blasphemizer Hmmm... Maybe... Its the Play calling side not the Instincts I take issue with... I am sure he can play down hill from there, BUT not confident at all he can diagnose and direct a Defense they a pro like Ryans or Willis or Lewis does
That being said, he has been functioning very well at OLB for the Bengals, but I believe he could be better utilized in the middle...Once they finally realize Maualuga suks...
Yo ATV.... send me a mailing address Via e-mail... I found the Munchkin a kick ass present.... And No it ain't a Cling wrapped dawg
@beanstalk You're a good guy... With her 5th bday only about 10 days away too... She'll be a happy munchkin
@beanstalk @Jerky But an effective way to change the subject matter off sumlin I don't like to sumlin you don't
@atvcar You just wait.... me and JB have got you sorted.... All I need is the right size...... I am gonna go with Small.....
@atvcar Was that a good joke?...
@beanstalk Nope... Sorry to report I'm on munchkin leg patrol tonight... Been buggin her the last couple days... Usually equals a very bad night the 2nd night in... Last night she woke up but wasn't too bad and went back to bed... Crossing fingers that tonight will be smooth sailing... But on call just in case
@beanstalk Go to FRY'S atv, they stay open until late, not as late as Walmart of course...lol. Going to Walmart at night is like going to a zombie convention. Straight freak show.
@Jerky Who knows.... he might find true love
Jerks... I don't know how many monitors you got... But you can use a HDMI cable in the back of most of the new ones these days for PS3 use..
@beanstalk I'm thinking about purchasing one of these monitor/televisions/do it all thing-a-ma-jigs that's 32 inches at Costco for $389. Then I could just set it up on my hospital table that fits right over my bed (thanks gramps) and not have to share the TV... It's just that I don't have much time to game anymore.
@Jerky I am in the same boat....
Thing is tho, if your working and need chill time... Its not that much... I just got a 2ms 24 inch PC monitor that was for gaming, I just plugged it in to the PS3 to Flog you and could keep watching TV ... Just an idea is all...
@beanstalk @Jerky Agreed nothing should get in the way of a good joke... And when you finally make one... You be sure to let us all know ; )
@Jerky HANDSOME dudes
@beanstalk Only dudes now, eh? Ewww...
@Jerky No WOMEN!!!!!!!!! banned myself.....
for a month or So
@beanstalk I'm happy for you, bro. Party hard or at least until it falls off.
@Jerky Honestly.... I don't really mind.... I am just floating thru this day on a sea of Chardonnay and Vodka Cranberry.... Its 1.30pm... I am just grinning my ass off at my good fortune
@beanstalk I'm honestly not trying to dodge you, I just don't feel like arguing with my roo-me. I also have to get up super early in the morning because we're starting a new job, gotta wear harnesses with this one, the pitch is nasty and it's a tile roof. Thursday night, I'll put the whooping down on ya, deal?
(I know, I know, a bunch of excuses...but itz da troof!)
@Jerky batter up!!!!!!!!!!
@beanstalk Oh yeah, I was soundly flogged.. PShhh!