If Chad's still hanging at 14, could be a Bird

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by dmq, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. dmq

    dmq If I'm so pretty, why am I available?

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    If Chad's still hanging at 14, could be a Bird

    By LES BOWENbowenl@phillynews.com

    MOBILE, Ala. - There are lots of things the Eagles could use this offseason, things teams in the playoffs seemed to have that the 6-10 Birds lack.
    Right up there on that list is a big, fast, dominating outside linebacker.
    Like Iowa's Chad Greenway, for instance.
    Greenway, measured and weighed at the Senior Bowl at 6-2 ½, 243, is projected as the Eagles' pick at 14th overall in the first round in several mock NFL drafts. Mock drafts, particularly 3 months before the real draft, are a shot in the dark, but Greenway indicated the Eagles are among the teams that have shown the most interest in him.
    Of course, the Eagles haven't taken a linebacker in the first round since Jerry Robinson in 1979. They have often drafted linebackers in the second round, with a stunning lack of success. In the last decade, the Eagles have taken linebackers James Darling (1997), Barry Gardner (1999), Quinton Caver (2001) and Matt McCoy (2005), all in the second round. It's unfair to call McCoy a bust already, especially since he came out of college a year early, but his rookie year was not encouraging. It's not too early to call the others busts. In fact, Caver, cut early in the 2002 season because he couldn't figure out kick coverage, let alone the defense, might be enshrined in the Draft Bust Hall of Fame. With a bust in his likeness, of course.
    Maybe the Eagles need to change their linebacking draft karma by breaking out of the second-round rut. One hazard is that defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's scheme is quite complex, especially for an outside linebacker. That seemed to be a big part of McCoy's problem this past season.
    Greenway seems like an especially quick study. The coaches at Iowa certainly thought so; they recruited him even though he'd never played 11-man football, while growing up raising hogs in tiny Mount Vernon, S.D. (Greenway was a quarterback and safety on a nine-man team.) Then he not only learned to play the 11-man game, he moved to linebacker, and quickly became a star.
    "It really wasn't that big an adjustment," Greenway said this week. "Eight-man [played in some small, isolated areas] would be more of an adjustment, because the formation isn't square."
    In the NFL, he said, "I'm up for pretty much any adjustment I have to make, whether that be living the city life, or a different defense."
    A nine-man offense lines up like an 11-man offense, Greenway said, except the two tackles are missing.
    "We played with two tight ends and one flanker," he said. "You had to have five on the line of scrimmage."
    Abdul Hodge, Iowa's standout inside 'backer, also Greenway's teammate this week for the North at the Senior Bowl, said he couldn't believe it when they began talking about their high school careers, shortly after arriving at Iowa as freshmen.
    "To me, it seemed like a flag-football type of thing," said Hodge, who grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., far from such quaint notions.
    In the pros, Greenway sees himself playing the weakside, though he thinks he could play the strongside in a pinch.
    "I like playing WIL, being an athlete, being able to walk out into space and go against receivers, jam receivers, just being a bigger guy who can play in space and compete against the faster, quicker receivers," he said.
    Anyone who saw teams throw underneath on the Eagles over and over again last season had to like that answer.
    Hodge said the team that drafts Greenway will be getting an athlete and a leader.
    "He's a good person," Hodge said. "On the field and off the field, he does things right. He's down-to-earth. He doesn't get ahead of himself; he just keeps working."
    Greenway feels he has a pretty good feel for the Eagles already. Sean Considine, the former Iowa safety the Eagles drafted in the fourth round last spring, is a good friend. They talked often through Considine's difficult, injury-marred rookie season, which culminated in shoulder surgery. Greenway predicts Considine will have a strong impact next season, especially on special teams. And he said he wouldn't mind lining up with him.
    McDougle healing?
    One of the questions the Eagles need to answer as they head into the draft and free agency is whether they are likely to get any help from 2003 first-round pick Jerome McDougle. McDougle missed the 2005 season after being shot in an apparent robbery attempt in the Miami area the night before he was scheduled to travel to training camp. McDougle rehabbed through the first half of the season, but the day before he was to rejoin practice, he had to undergo emergency surgery for a hernia caused by scar tissue from the wound.
    This week at Senior Bowl practice, both agent Drew Rosenhaus and Eagles coach Andy Reid were optimistic about McDougle's progress, though Reid agreed that it would be difficult now for the Birds to project McDougle as a starter at defensive end, as they did last spring.
    Rosenhaus said McDougle has regained the weight he lost as he was recovering.
    "Jerome's about 260 and feeling great," Rosenhaus said. "He has the green light" to
  2. vicjagger

    vicjagger Well-Known Member

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    Now I get it. The Cowboys were playing 9 man football! No tackles. :rolleyes:
  3. MrPhil

    MrPhil Well-Known Member

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