The coaches used Gordon creatively this spring. They gave him reps in the various roles. You can’t really judge offensive linemen based on non-contact practices, but Gordon is a player they seem to like based on the way they used him. A strong showing in Training Camp would be huge for Gordon. He might once again make the roster, but this season could become a key role player and not just a backup with future potential.
It’s hard to be in the shadows when you’re 6-3 and 327 pounds, but Beau Allen has done a very nice job of it. When reporters crowded the defensive line area of the locker room inside Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night after the Eagles’ 33-23 win over Indianapolis, most were waiting for defensive end Brandon Graham. However, one said, “I’m here for Beau.”
The Eagles feel like they don’t lose much when Allen comes in to give Cox or Logan a breather. Allen uses his strong lower body to get off the ball when it’s snapped and he has great balance and leverage to win inside. After that, it’s a matter of finishing and Allen is as hungry as they come in his third season, looking for more ways to contribute to the Jim Schwartz defense.
Allen was surrounded by his family when he received word about the Eagles’ choice, and afterwards he explained that he’s more than ready to get his NFL career started. “It’s exciting and it’s overwhelming really, just all the love and support that’s coming in to me and my family from everywhere,” Allen said. “It’s a great feeling really, and I’m just so excited about my future.
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Allen, a 6-foot-2, 333-pound lineman, met with the Philadelphia Eagles jersey cheap earlier this spring, and very soon into the meeting, he felt like Philadelphia was the perfect place for him to land. “I did my homework on them and I came out for a visit earlier this spring and it went really well,” said the Eagles’ seventh-round pick. “I thought that I meshed really well with the coaching staff and I really like (defensive line) coach (Jerry) Azzinaro. I had dinner with him and then I had a meeting with him the next day, and I just think he’s a great guy and someone I really got along with.
Allen never missed a game with the Badgers, playing in 54 consecutive games over four seasons, a fact that he often brags about. He finished his collegiate career with 94 tackles and 15.0 tackles for loss, but he wasn’t just a one-trick pony. Allen also tallied eight sacks, which he believes proves that he can be more than just a run-stopping presence.
“Coach Azzinaro mentioned to me on that visit that they didn’t want a 350-pound nose guard that is only good for a few downs and doesn’t provide much of a pass rush,” said Allen. “They want a guy that can be active as a pass rusher and can run sideline to sideline and give great effort, and those are the things that I bring to the table. Sometimes I get the unfortunate knock of just being a run stuffer, but I don’t see myself like that at all. I see myself as an athletic guy that can move and rush the passer well. I think I bring a lot to the table and obviously so do the Eagles coaching staff or else they wouldn’t have drafted me.”
Gordon could also play some fullback. Most teams just can’t justify keeping a fullback on the roster since three-receiver sets are the base of most offenses these days. Fullbacks don’t play enough snaps to merit a roster spot. Doug Pederson would love to use a fullback in certain situations. Last year, he had Beau Allen line up as the fullback on some plays. Gordon could handle that role as well. He would offer the coaches a lot of versatility.
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This is a great job by Cox against this Trap run scheme from the Redskins. Cox feels that he was unblocked, so he expects the pulling guard from the other side. He gets his eyes up and stonewalls him in the backfield. Defensive tackle Beau Allen plays an integral part in this run stop as well. He squeezes his man down to the point of attack to shrink the crease Kelley had to run through. I always love seeing this many Eagles flow to the football as well.
In addition to Logan, the Eagles released defensive end Connor Barwin and cornerback Leodis McKelvin. Cornerback Nolan Carroll agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Dallas over the weekend.
Who will start alongside Fletcher Cox this season? Fourth-year veteran Beau Allen has played all 48 regular season games since being a seventh-round pick of the team in 2014. He started three games in 2016 and recorded a career-high 32 tackles and four tackles for loss for the year. The Eagles signed defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao as a rookie free agent last season. Playing only 26 percent of the team’s snaps, Vaeao had 19 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. The team also has another rookie free agent in Aziz Shittu, who spent his entire rookie year on the practice squad.
There is some work to be done on the defensive line. The Eagles released veteran defensive end Connor Barwin and need to add a pass rusher to the mix. Bennie Logan signed with the Chiefs, so there is going to be change at the defensive tackle spot. There is no need to panic. The Eagles have a good core of players, but they want to get deeper. They need to get better.