Eagles observations: How defense is getting the most out of Brandon Graham

Roob's observations: How Eagles are getting most out of Graham originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Is it time to give Devon Allen a shot? Is Lane Johnson playing his best football ever? Should Nick Sirianni add Frank Reich to his staff?

A Monday night game after a Thursday night game means you guys get a bonus edition of Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Observations!

1. Jonathan Gannon has found the perfect way to use Brandon Graham. B.G. is only playing 39 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps, but he’s making the most of his limited reps to really contribute in a big way to the NFL’s No. 2 defense. Graham is 34 now and coming off a very serious Achilles injury, and to see him out there playing at such a high level is wild. Since he became a full-time starter in 2015, B.G. has never played fewer than 69 percent of the snaps, so this is a huge adjustment. But he’s accepted his role and embraced it like the team guy he’s always been. This is Year 13 for B.G. with the Eagles, and only Chuck Bednarik has played more seasons in an Eagles uniform. B.G. has been here so long he played with LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick and Mike Patterson. He's a folk hero around here, which is great. But he’s contributing in a big way, and that’s even better.

2. I’m not sure what this means, but Jalen Hurts has thrown as many touchdown passes in his career to offensive linemen as running backs. 

3. It’s time to give speedy Olympic hurdler Devon Allen a shot on special teams. We saw Allen make enough plays as a gunner in the preseason that with another 10 weeks of practice I believe he’d be able to help out this moribund special teams unit. Anything he might give you returning kicks or as an occasional go-route specialist is a bonus. This special teams unit needs an injection of speed, explosiveness and playmaking, and I’m ready to see if Allen can provide it. Nothing to lose.

4. Lane Johnson has allowed a quarterback pressure on 22 of 960 pass block snaps since the start of the 2020 season, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s 2.3 percent of his plays, and that’s fewer than one QB pressure per game. That’s insane. We don’t talk enough about how good and how consistent and how dominatating Johnson is. 

5. Josh Allen has thrown four red-zone interceptions in his last three games. Jalen Hurts has thrown two in his career. 

6. I’d love to see Nick Sirianni bring in Frank Reich as some sort of senior adviser or consultant. Reich has a terrific offensive mind, he’s got a great relationship with Sirianni and Shane Steichen and it would give him a head start learning the Eagles’ offensive personnel in case Steichen or Brian Johnson leaves after this season and Sirianni brings in Reich as a full-time assistant coach. Reich really had his hands tied with a bad owner, a worse GM and a ridiculous QB situation in Indianapolis, and he still went 40-33-1. The Eagles have a bunch of sharp offensive minds on that coaching staff, and one more would only be a positive.

7. When the Vet was as old as the Linc is now, it was only 12 years from being demolished.

8. Hurts’ numbers since the loss to the Giants last November: 10-0 record, 68 percent accuracy (217-for-230), 275 passing yards per game, 15 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 106.1 passer rating. 

9. The Eagles are 8-1 in their last nine road games, which is awfully impressive. At 4-0 this year, they’re one of two undefeated road teams – the Jets are also 4-0. They won their last two road games last year after losing to the Giants in Week 12., so they’ve won six road games in a row overall – the 4th-longest road winning streak in franchise history. Overall, the Eagles are 10-3 away from the Linc under Nick Sirianni, 2nd-best road record in the NFL over the last two years (the Cards improved to 11-3 Sunday). Just another example of how focused this team is. Stuff like short weeks, prime-time games, trap games or long road trips doesn’t affect them. That’s a really special quality. Last time the Eagles had consecutive winning records on the road was 2010 (6-2) and 2011 (5-3). No coach in Eagles history has had a winning road record in each of his first two seasons. This team needs to win one more road game to lock that up.

10. Up through the 2000 season, before the NovaCare Complex opened, all the Eagles’ facilities were at the Vet – team offices, weight room, locker room, etc. The locker room was up a short tunnel from the field behind first base, and when you went through the door, there was a wall with a bulletin board immediately in front of you. If you turned to the right, the equipment room was straight ahead and the equipment counter parallel to the entrance. The locker room was laid out in two long columns, with half the lockers on the right and half on the left. When the NovaCare Complex opened in time for spring workouts in 2001, players walking into the locker room found a bulletin board straight ahead, the equipment room to the right, the equipment counter parallel to the entrance, and the locker room laid out in two long columns, with half the lockers on the right and half on the left. The layout that the Eagles use today in their locker room is identical to the locker room in the Vet. And it’s not a coincidence. When Eagles officials were working with the architect to design the NovaCare, they wanted the players to have a sense of familiarity with their surroundings, so they designed the NovaCare locker room as an exact replica of the Vet locker room. There are absolutely no other similarities between the two facilities.