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The Sports Daily > Eagles Eye Blog
Can Jay Ajayi play left tackle for the Eagles?

Hehe, that was ATV Ruggiero’s reaction to the semi-blockbuster trade the Eagles just made with the Dolphins.

The Eagles have traded a 2018 fourth-round pick in exchange for Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi.

This is a surprising move as many people expected the Eagles to target either a linebacker or left tackle before the NFL trade deadline. However, the Eagles now get a young, lead back in Ajayi who has proven to be a threat in both the receiving and running game.

Funny, I just spent about three hours last Thursday watching Ajayi and his Dolphins get pushed backwards by a resurgent Baltimore defense which had entered that game last in the league in run defense. I noticed some frustration on the Miami sidelines expressed by both Ajayi and coach Gase. Later it came out that Gase was unhappy with Ajayi’s apparent unwillingness to follow his blockers according to the play design.

Ajayi wants to hit a home run on every play. Sometimes that’s a bad thing. When you swing from your heels on every pitch, you strike out a lot.

This season, the 24-year-old Ajayi has 465 rushing yards on 138 carries to go along with 14 receptions for 67 yards. Last season, Ajayi broke onto the scene in a big way as he was one of the main reasons why the Dolphins made the playoffs. The Boise State product had a career year on the ground with 1,272 yards on 260 carries and eight touchdowns. On the other hand, in the receiving game, he had 27 receptions (35 targets) for 151 yards. Ajayi had three games where he rushed for 200 plus yards.

How does that translate to the Eagles’ offense? I don’t know. I thought we were okay with the current RB roster of LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Kenjon Barner. I guess coach Pederson and GM Howie wanted something more…explosive?

Maybe Ajayi’s arrival also means the Eagles may be looking to move one of their other backs as part of a deal for a veteran starting left tackle or linebacker? Stay tuned, I guess.

Meanwhile like most of you I stayed up late Monday night to scout the Denver Broncos, our next opponent.

I noticed a similarity between the team we just played (the 49ers) and the Broncos. Both teams have fierce, physical, attacking front seven’s on defense. But both teams were done in by their inexperience at QB and by receivers who have trouble with consistently running good routes and catching the ball when it hits them in the hands.

Andy Reid’s Chieves were there for the taking with any kind of pro-quality offensive support from Denver’s offense. But the Broncos were almost futile on offense—their own worst enemy. I don’t know how John Elway could sit through that game in his executive box without drinking heavily.

As I analyzed QB Trevor Siemian’s performance in the game, I was getting C.J. Beathard flashbacks.

To be fair to Siemian, he had about five or six really good throws dropped by open receivers. Those balls if caught would have changed the complexion of the game which ended in a 29-19 loss to KC.

But Siemian was so rattled at times by the Chiefs’ pass rush, all that fans will remember are the terrible throws and bad decisions he made under duress. It looked so amateurish at times that I was thinking I’m wasting my time scouting this guy—as the Broncos will surely make a QB change for the Eagles game this Sunday.

Siemian threw three interceptions in the game, and completed only 19 of 36 passes for 198 yards. He’s now thrown only three touchdown passes and eight interceptions in his last five games, which is clearly holding the offense back, and Siemian’s inefficient play is a big reason the team has lost four of its last five. Again, to be fair, his offensive line is leaking like a sieve.

Head coach Vance Joseph elected to stay with Siemian in the second half of the game, rather than playing Brock Osweiler in his place, and it’s currently unclear who will start under center in the team’s Week 9 game.

Siemian was asked about the possible change at the quarterback position going forward, and had this to say about it after the game:

The Broncos quarterback did add that he committed “too many mistakes,” and that the team did a good job of attempting to keep the game close.

Siemian also noted that the most frustrating aspect of Monday’s loss is that he was beating himself, and admitted that he was pressing a bit at times, which could explain some of the interceptions.

The worst play of the night for Siemian was something you usually only see in high school football. On a 4th quarter rollout to the right with the game still in the balance, he threw across his body to the deep middle of the field to a receiver that wasn’t even close to being open. Of course that pass was easily picked and there went any chance for a Broncos comeback.

That piece of tape will haunt Siemian for a long time. If I were Doug Pederson I wouldn’t even show that tape to the Eagles secondary. Nothing in the NFL should ever look that possible to even plan for.

 

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