Eagles Address Defense in Round Three, Draft LSU DT Bennie Logan

Eagles Address Defense in Round Three, Draft LSU DT Bennie Logan

We knew the Eagles had to come
away from this draft with at least one defensive lineman. They found their man
in round three in Bennie Logan.

Two things stand out about
Logan. First, he has a big-school pedigree coming out of LSU where they
routinely are a defensive juggernaut in the SEC, college football’s best
conference.

Second, like Lane Johnson and
Zach Ertz in rounds one and two, “athletic” is one of the first adjectives used
to describe Logan. At 6-2, 309, he also happens to be a load on the interior.

More from NFL.com:

Strengths

Athletic
tackle with a wide frame and solid thickness and strength throughout. Nice
lateral quickness to step into a gap after the snap, can penetrate through to
get a hand on the ballcarrier or hold his ground with a shoulder against single
blocks to stuff the hole. Plays with leverage when man-up and against
double-teams, doesn’t get moved off the line often. Flashes the violent hands
and pop to shed and eat up backs coming into his area. Works hard as a pass
rusher, can use his hands and strength to bull through the shoulder of his man
to reach the quarterback if the ball stays in the pocket too long. Strong
tackler who swallows ballcarriers when in position and also slows them with an
arm even if engaged.

Weaknesses

Not elite in
his initial quickness, will be stoned more consistently by NFL linemen unless
it improves and might be taken out in obvious passing situations. Might be best
as an athletic nose, rather than a three-technique. Inconsistent getting off
blocks inside to two-gap, lunges towards ballcarriers after they’re already by
him. Gets overaggressive on his punch on occasion and doesn’t have elite
upper-body strength, so better linemen and double teams can get his shoulders
turned out of the hole. Stamina is an issue, losing his chase ability and
short-area quickness when facing strong competition, and forces him to be
heavily rotated. Has difficulty seeing and handling cut blocks. Doesn't offer
much as a pass rushing threat.

Obviously this doesn’t sound
like a player who will step in and become a dominant force from day one, but he
is a third-round pick after all. What you have to like about Logan though is he
brings a versatile skill set to the table.

Logan had 45 total tackles,
5.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks in 2012, and 57, 6.5, and 3 one season prior,
his only two years as a starter. He spoke to the Shreveport Times about what NFL
suitors were looking for out of him.

“A lot of
teams are looking at me to play nose guard, defensive tackle, and a few teams
are even talking about me playing defensive end,” Logan said last week at LSU’s
Pro Day of various speed and agility drills. “Teams are looking at me to play
up and down the line, not just a set position.”

Logan (6-foot-3,
287 pounds) played only defensive tackle at LSU as he started the last two
seasons before declaring for the draft as a junior.

“So, I’m
going to play where they ask me to play,” he said.

Defensive line was an absolute
must in this draft. Obviously the Eagles are getting away from a 4-3 as their
base, and whether it’s a conventional 3-4 or the hybrid 4-3 under, those alignments
tend to require unique personnel. Plus the front office dumped several interior
linemen in the offseason, most notably Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson.

That was the Birds’ final
scheduled pick of the evening, so that will do it for tonight unless they
decide to trade back into the round. Assuming that’s all for day two though, it feels
like it was a successful one for Howie Roseman and company.

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Pete Mackanin on Odubel Herrera's slump: 'He needs to battle his way out'

Pete Mackanin on Odubel Herrera's slump: 'He needs to battle his way out'

After an 0-for-5 day at the plate, Odubel Herrera isn't heading to the bench a day later.

He's leading off. 

Pete Mackanin chose to move the slumping centerfielder atop the lineup card for Friday's series opener against the Reds despite Herrera's striking out in all five plate appearances Thursday.

"I think he's a .290-plus hitter as a leadoff man and I'm not going to sit him," Mackanin said pregame. "He needs to battle his way out. You figure you're the leadoff hitter once a game. After that, it's wide open."

While he hasn't batted leadoff this season, Herrera spent the majority of his time in that spot last season. In 76 games there, he batted .285 with a .359 OBP and .417 slugging percentage. 

The leadoff hitter this season has been Cesar Hernandez, who has a day off with a groin pull he's dealt with the last 10 days. Herrera primarily has been the No. 3 hitter this season and his average is down to .226 with 49 strikeouts to just 11 walks. 

Mackanin hopes the leadoff role can help change Herrera's approach at the plate.

"He was drawing a lot of walks at leadoff, so whether he has that mindset or not, I'm not sure," the manager said. "I just want to get him as many at-bats as possible. We need to get him going. We need him and [Maikel] Franco to get going."

May specifically has been tough on Herrera. He has four hits in his last 36 at-bats and has seven strikeouts in his last two games. He has just seven hits in 22 games this month. 

"I think he's at the point where he's grinding and sometimes when you grind, sometimes there's that feeling where you get lost," Mackanin said. "I've been in situations as a hitter where I've gone up to the plate saying, 'I don't care where it is. I'm going up there and just hacking.' Because you start thinking and that's not working.

"And you look for a pitch and then all of a sudden you say I'm going to take a pitch to get a look at and it's strike one. Then he throws you a nasty slider and that's strike two and your plan is out the window. So I've gone up to the plate myself saying, 'I'm just looking down the middle and swinging. I'm not thinking.'"

When asked, Mackanin said the team had not discussed demoting Herrera or Franco to the minors to take pressure off the duo.

While Herrera tries to hit his way back into a groove, Howie Kendrick is in the midst of working his way back to the majors. He was hit by pitch twice in a rehab appearance Thursday but is back in the lineup Friday in left field. 

Mackanin said Kendrick needed four days minimum in his rehab assignment and will therefore play Friday and Saturday before the team sees how he feels.

The manager also said the team would give more playing time to backup catcher Andrew Knapp. He started consecutive games for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

"I'm going to try and see him as much as possible and keep him as sharp as possible instead of once a week," Mackanin said. "That's tough to hit, once a week. It's tough to hit twice a week if you don't hit back-to-back. There's no ulterior motive."

Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

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Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.

"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."

Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.

The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.

Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.