Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Jun 2010

Marlin Jackson Out For Year

When I entered in this headline, Safari's auto-complete was already entering "Marlin Jackson Out For Season", since I posted that article recently enough. Either way, it might not be all that surprising that Marlin Jackson got injured, but the nature of his injury and the timing is considerable -- he's ruptured his Achilles tendon, an injury that will surely keep him out for the year unless he's on the Clady timetable.

The bright spot in this for the Eagles is that Jackson ruptured his Achilles now and not in August or early September. That gives them the opportunity to shop for a safety and bring someone into camp. Perhaps they go for O.J. Atogwe on a one-year deal?

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 02 Jun 2010

51 comments, Last at 07 Jun 2010, 10:57am by chemical burn


by Sean McCormick :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 12:52am

He was hobbling around during practices. Not all that surprising...I mean, even without taking into account that he is Marlin Jackson.

by Bobman :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 1:08am

Arrgh, Colt fans have a fond place in their hearts for him and his 2006 postseason, but breathe a sigh of relief that a key member of their secondary didn't get hurt in preseason... I mean, a key veteran. Well, I haven't checked on Sanders lately, but it's an even year, right? No, wait, that's bad luck.

Get well Marlin.

by jebmak :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 8:23am

Another example of needing a rec button like Bloody Elbow.

by Lola was a dude (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 9:56am

Agreed. That pick to close out the AFCCG against the Patriots ranks #1 on my all-time personal good moments as a Colts fan, going back to 1984. It's too bad his body gave out so soon. I wish him nothing but the best, but this is probably the end of the line for him.

by Purds :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 6:03pm

Agreed. I was bummed that he left the Colts, as the AFC pick was great, and in general, he was a very good Colt. Too bad for Marlin. Hope he recovers to play again one day.

by tally :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 1:25am

Damn, I saw the headline on another site that read, "Eagles' Jackson Out For Year," and immediately thought it meant DeSean. In other words, I guess it could be worse.

by BucNasty :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 2:40am

Bill must be losing his touch.

by Temo :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 7:38pm

Seriously. Golden opportunity lost.

by pouringlizards (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 7:53am

By all reports he was running with a limp, and working his way back up to full-go. I can't help but think he pushed it a bit too much trying to come back when he saw he was in the middle of the pack. There's a lot of competition for that safety spot on the Eagles' roster. Not necessarily top-flight competition, but before this injury it was seen as something of a three or four-horse race between Jackson, Nate Allen, Macho Harris and Quintin Demps. Now, that's not a great set of options, unless Allen shines. It's not totally awful, either.

by Dean :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 9:07am

Harris is not in the competition. He has been moved back to CB full time.

Given his lack of speed, I read it as a precursor to being cut in August, but if he impresses on special teams (where he was solid as a rookie), he could keep his roster spot. Dude tries hard. I wish every player in the NFL had his heart. But at some point, you need a minimum amount of ability and he doesn't have it.

by pouringlizards (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 11:40am

Oh, yes, my bad. I'm not so sure about Harris being cut, though. I think he might end up as a Reno Mahe figure on the Eagles for a while- that guy who has slightly lower athletic ability but is willing to do absolutely anything for his team and so baffles Philly fans by hanging around the lower end of the depth chart for a few years.

by Dean :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 12:24pm

Macho as the next Reno?

This makes too much sense to not happen. Spare us! Where's Jeremy Bloom when you need him?

by bubqr :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 11:58am

Macho won't be cut in August, and if you think he hasn't got a "minimum amount of ability", you're in for a surprise.
Macho played FS last year, but S.Brown was traded, N.Allen was drafted pretty high and M.Jackson was signed, so they moved him to CB. While I doubt he can be a starter because of his lack of speed, I'm sure, and willing to bet on that, that Macho will be a solid nickle/dime CB for some team, hopefully the Eagles.

by Dean :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 12:27pm

"Macho won't be cut in August, and if you think he hasn't got a "minimum amount of ability", you're in for a surprise."

I would love to share your optimism, but I'm wondering on what its based? I don't want to sound like a jackass (any more than usual, anyway), but did you go to Virginia Tech or something?

I'd love to see him succeed. Like I said, he's got a ton of heart and great work ethic. That makes him easy to cheer for - but it only goes so far on the field. Eventually he needs to be able to run with the WRs, and he's simply not fast enough to do so. A 35 year old who has lost a step might be able to get by for a while with guile, but not a kid who hasn't been around long enough to have guile. Imagine how slow he'd be if he lasts long enough to lose a step!

by chemical burn :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 4:51pm

Man, Dean, you hate Macho Harris for some reason - it certainly wasn't because of his rookie play at new position where he showed several games of real promise. Also, you are crazy if you think there is a better prospect on the Eagles roster for the #2 CB spot - you want to talk terrible, just dial up some Ellis Hobbs highlights from last year.

I predict Harris the starting #2, Ellis Hobbs gets cut for one of the younger guys floating around (he's the dime, if he's lucky), Nate Allen starts at safety (Samuel, Mikell and Hanson stay where they are.)

by pouringlizards (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 7:14pm

Though I'm not entirely sold on Harris as starter material, I would love him to prove me wrong. I see him as hanging around as a guy who isn't top-flight but will do pretty much whatever is asked of him and hold the fort when plan A fails- my Mahe comparison above was actually intended as a compliment, albeit a bit of a backhanded one.

The thing is that Harris is now a good fit as the 'backup for multiple spots and does lots of Special Teams work, good attitude and high motor' guy that goes a long way to solidifying the lower half of a roster. He's played CB, Safety, gunner, kick returner and hasn't been top flight at any of them, but he's never screwed up catastrophically and has been there when called on. That'll go a long way.

by Dean :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 8:43am

I don't hate the guy. I just don't see any talent there.

"it certainly wasn't because of his rookie play at new position where he showed several games of real promise"

If that was the case, then why did they move him back to corner? And why did he still take all his reps at corner yesterday if he had such promise?

"I predict Harris the starting #2" - You'd better hope not. Because if Harris is starting, then the Eagles have the worst secondary in the league.

Look, the one thing we know is true is that he'll get a legitimate shot to prove me wrong. Don't hold your breath, though. Dude is terrible.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 1:54pm

"If that was the case, then why did they move him back to corner?" Well, my fear is that McD has a real tendency towards switching players between positions/starting/back-up/nickel. Last year, he was constantly moving players from SAM to MLB, S to CB, etc. A lot of that was because of injury, but it also looked a touch like indecisiveness or immediate regret at decisions made. McD, in 1 season, has shown a real propensity for moving players from position to position. I honestly don't even know what position Joe Mays supposedly plays at this point.

Anyway, moving Harris to CB, his natural position, when there's a big hole there makes sense - especially if you factor in a highly touted rookie & a guy that had all but won a starting job (Demps) competing for the safety spot.

As for Harris starting at CB, Ellis Hobbs is every bit as terrible, whatever that is worth. I'm curious what you hope happens at the #2 CB slot. If you think Hobbs is ok, but Harris is a disaster, I just don't know what to say to you. Hanson has progressed throughout the years and is top-tier nickel CB, so I'd hate to see him moved to #2CB, where I have very little confidence in him. It'll just serve to downgrade 2 positions (although, again, he played a million times better than Hobbs last year.)

by Dean :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 2:17pm

Your thoughs on McDermott’s D are very interesting. I hadn’t picked up on it, but now that you mention it, he did have a lot of juggling going on. Like you said – maybe injury related? It might also be a one-year fluke. Something to watch going forward, though. And I think Mays is a MIKE, but if you put a gun to my head and asked how certain I was of that I’d probably just end up soiling my pants. So you might be onto something there.

I’ve deliberately avoided any mention of Ellis Hobbs in this discussion because in my mind the jury is still out. He played poorly last year, but was battling injuries. He was better with the Pats – although admittedly that may or may not translate into an acceptable level of performance in Philly. As far as comparing him to Macho Harris, it’s a no brainer to me. Better to take the guy (Hobbs) who might produce instead of the guy who won’t. I simply have no faith whatsoever in Macho Harris’s ability to run with/cover starting caliber WRs. And it’s a shame because the Eagles could use a corner who can tackle, if only he wasn’t so SLOW. The whole discussion of if he’s better than Hobbs or not to me seems absurd, in that I don’t really believe he’d even emerge from camp ahead of Dmitry Patterson on the depth chart. Much like Mike Labinjo – just because you can tackle on special teams doesn’t mean you can be a starter. I see Harris as a great college player who is just a step to slow to make it at the next level.

If I had a higher opinion of McDermott, I’d suggest the move to corner was just a mind game to see if maybe some of his hitting would rub off on Asante? Unfortunately, some of Asante’s speed won’t be going back the other way any time soon.

FWIW, we agree on Hanson 100%. His size can be masked at nickel, where he’s effective, but I think he’d be overmatched as a starter.

I guess, to me, the best case scenario would be for them to have caught lightning in a bottle with Trevard Lindley. Which is not to suggest that I believe that will happen. Down the line, who knows? But it’d be a fools dream to expect big things from him in ’10.

The funny thing is that I’m also at a point where I just don’t know what to say. I just don’t see why anybody would have any reason for optimism about Macho Harris. A cool nickname doesn’t make you a good player.

by >implying implications (not verified) :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 4:51pm

Garry Cobb shares your doubts of Macho Harris' ability to play CB:


I’m not sure Macho Harris is fast enough to play cornerback in this defense. He’s made his share of plays during this camp but he’s also been beaten. Harris would be an ideal cover two corner because he knows how to play to his help and he’s very good at supporting the run on the corner.


Kolb started out at the quarterback and he hit Jeremy Maclin on a curl route against Macho Harris. Maclin looks more polished in his routes. Harris backs off all the receivers and gives them the short to intermediate routes. This is why I doubt his ability to play the corner spot.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 8:34pm

Yeah, I guess I'm not saying I have a ton of confidence Harris will be good, jst that he will win the #2CB spot for opening day... because he's better than Hobbs and all of the other choices are even more unproven/dubious. I keep forgetting about Lindley, but the Eagles have a strong history of drafting at CB, so there's no reason to count him out...

Also, it's hard to criticize a CB for giving Maclin and Jackson the short stuff - those are the two fastest guys on the filed virtually every Sunday... Come to think of it, they seem to be grooming Harris for the Brown role (who, it should be noted, was never a speedster) of the guy who gives up 9 yards on 3rd and 10, hits like a (small) safety and is always careful not to get beat deep...

by Dean :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 9:05am

Philadelphia Inquirier is reporting this morning that it is a ruptured achillies, and could be career ending.

On the other hand, Atogwe became a UFA 9 hours ago. Why is he not an Eagle yet?

by nuk :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 10:31am

Poor Marlin. I hope he saved his money.

by Johnny Socko (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 11:51am

His interception in the 2006 AFC Championship will forever live on. He deserves special kudos for having the smarts to fall down after the interception. The week prior, a Charger intercepted Brady late in the game, only to fumble the ball during the return, which gave the Patriots another chance to win the game (which they obviously did). This enabled the Colts to play the Patriots at home rather than the Chargers on the road. Funny how these dominos fall. We could still be talking about Manning not having a Super Bowl ring if that Charger had not fumbled the INT.

by jackgibbs :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 12:17pm

or if reche caldwell could catch wide open touchdowns when the colts forget to cover him and the ball's thrown to him like he's playing catch in warm-ups.

by Nathan :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 1:10pm

i still don't understand how he can drop a pass with eyeballs like that

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 7:14pm

Probably bounced off his corneas, they protrude a good six inches from the front of his helmet.

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 11:52am

Seems ruptured Achilles is replacing torn ACL as the most feared injury in football.

by tuluse :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 3:20pm

That's the injury that took a step away from Mike Brown and basically made him to slow to play.

by >implying implications (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 2:03pm

We wouldn't be in this situation if the Eagles front office were willing to pay Dawkins and Brown. Two years ago we had an awesome secondary: Dawkins, Mikell, Brown, and Samuel. Now we have: ?????, Mikell, ?????, and Samuel. Spending the money would have been a better move than eviscerating the secondary.

by Dean :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 2:47pm

I disagree about Dawkins. He may have been a fan favorite, but he was a liability. If anything, they kept him a year too long. The flotsam that played safety for them last year didn't play well, but the truth is, had Dawkins stayed, they still wouldn't have gotten high-level safety play. Denver offered "F-You Money" to Dawkins, so I can't blame him for taking it, but there's no way he was worth even a fraction of what they gave him. Sadly he would have been, at best, marginally better than what we had - maybe not even that.

Sheldon Brown is one of the few moves this offseason where the team genuinely got worse in the short term for having made it. On the other hand, he was clearly unhappy and wasn't going to be happy until he got more money than the Eagles were willing to pay. The fans would have liked to have a better option than Ellis Hobbs to turn too, but I think it's a gross overreaction to say they evicerated the secondary.

by Nathan :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 4:38pm

You sure about that? Dawk had 50% more tackles and 83% more passes defensed last year in Denver than he did in Philly in 2008. I agree with you that in 2008 he looked like a liability in pass coverage, but he seemed to have a mini resurgence last year to these eyes.

Any better stats than these two out there for safety play?

by chemical burn :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 4:56pm

Letting Dawkins and Brown walk are classic Reid era Eagles' moves - they get out early, even if the player has a few years left in the tank. I think Dawkins really should've been the exception because he's a future HOFer and what he had in the tank is still pretty darn good.

Brown (and Gocong) leaving remains a head-scratcher. I guess I can buy wanting to go for speed at the SAM and Fokou is the right choice for that... but there is no legit #2CB on the roster. If Hobbs ends up starting in Week 1, the Eagles are in for another rotating cast for the position like they did last year at safety: a mixture of bad players, those not living up to potential and under-prepared guys who should be learning from the bench or nickel spot...

by >implying implications (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 6:45pm

You're right that Dawkins was becoming a liability. I would rather they have moved him to SS rather than trade him. They had no viable replacement for Dawkins and didn't understand how reliant their defense was on him. For example, Samuel is great if you have someone else that can hit/wrap up when Samuel gambles on a pass. Dawkins + Samuel works, but ????? + Samuel manifestly did not work last season. It looks like it's going to continue to not work this season.

It makes sense to let expensive veterans go early if you have someone coming up that can credibly play the position (not at Dawkins' level obviously, but someone who can get the job done). They didn't have this, and this is going to be the second year running where they don't have this. Trading Brown without a backup plan just compounded the problems the secondary faces. I feel bad for Dick Jauron who has to sort this crew out.

Good thing that the LBs and d-line got a lot of good players back from injury or in the draft, because they're going to need to pick up a lot of slack for the secondary.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 2:00pm

Anyway, for all of the panic about the eagles defense, they were a top ranked unit according to FO last year, their pass defense in particular. I think getting Bradley back (and adding Ernie Sims) offsets whatever the Brown loss means - in the passing game, they'll be a little weaker against wide receivers and a lot stronger against TE's and RB's. Plus, Nate Allen has to be replacement level to be an improvement at safety. (or Will Demps could take a jump in his 3rd season to "more or less competent" - that doesn't seem outlandish.) Their defense was a strong unit that seems to be significantly upgrading at LB and DE, along with a chance to upgrade at S. I think even if they are weak at #2CB (but just as strong at #1 and nickel as they were last year), they could easily be a better unit than even last year's strong squad.

by >implying implications (not verified) :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 4:43pm

You're right that the improvements at LB will (hopefully) make them stronger against TEs. The two losses to the Cowboys at the end of the year really exposed the Eagles' weaknesses to short passes over the middle to physically big TEs and slot receivers. Having Stewart Bradley back is important, given that his main specialty is pass defense.

McDermott seems to want to blitz less, and the addition of new DEs will hopefully help him achieve this. A lot of the passing touchdowns the Eagles gave up last year were on blitzes, and McDermott was blitzing above even the Eagles' average last year (an average which is already comparatively high). We didn't really have the LBs or the secondary to make a blitz-happy defense safe. So the idea is to get more pressure on the QB just from the d-line, rather than having to blitz every other play, thereby leaving more people in coverage.

Still, it's difficult not to worry about the secondary, given the way passing teams were able to embarrass the Giants last year.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 8:45pm

Yeah, but the Eagles secondary is only getting worse at one position, #2CB. It's hard to believe that whoever ends up there will deliver such a Jason David-esque performance as to sink the whole unit...

by BGNoMore (not verified) :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 7:07pm

. . . and so soon after Michael's death. We're praying for you Tito!

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 7:56pm

Jjackson's Eafles career last sahorter than dolphin after getibng oiled by limeys.


Jacksin eag;es career go down faster than Maek Chmura in hot tub withj 15 yeesr olds

by chemical burn :: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 10:17pm

Raiderjoe is a national treasure.

by Lance :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 2:46am

Dude. That's a lot of Sierra Nevada.

by TherealJosh (not verified) :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 2:27am

They called him "Mr. Glass"

by Shattenjager :: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 1:05pm

On behalf of myself and the other three people who liked that movie, I salute you.

by Jimmy :: Fri, 06/04/2010 - 11:53am

Well I liked it, does that only leave two others?

by Shattenjager :: Fri, 06/04/2010 - 5:05pm

I think so.

(To be serious, it obviously has more fans than that. It has a 7.3 on the IMDb, which is actually pretty high. It seems to me like it had an overwhelmingly negative reaction for the first couple of years or so after its release and since has improved a great deal.)

by chemical burn :: Sun, 06/06/2010 - 5:38pm

When I bought the dvd at Best Buy, the clerk actively tried to talk me out of getting it.

by tuluse :: Sun, 06/06/2010 - 7:18pm

Wow really?

Why is it so poorly regarded?

I for one enjoyed it.

by chemical burn :: Mon, 06/07/2010 - 10:57am

Not sure why, but people really hate that movie. I think there was some letdown for people who wanted another The Sixth Sense (which it obviously doesn't have much in common with) and folks also complain about the "twist" ending. I, personally, enjoy it quite a bit and think the animosity is overblown...

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 06/07/2010 - 12:23am

what movie?

by tuluse :: Mon, 06/07/2010 - 12:50am


by TheRealJosh (not verified) :: Mon, 06/07/2010 - 8:46am