Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hunt Will Get McNabb or Westbrook Hurt

Flash back to September 9, 2007. It was last year's season opener. The Eagles lost to the Packers 16-13. There were many reasons why the Eagles lost the game, but the most obvious goofs came on special teams. The Punt Returners couldn't catch the ball. Reed and Lewis were pathetic at best.

Despite the ineptitude of the PRs, the loss was the fault of Reid. The entire off-season the team put all their return faith in the abilities of Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom. Bloom ended up being cut and Reid saw it fit to just make anyone the PR. Such thinking put the Eagles in a 0-1 hole to begin the season.

Fast forward to August 30, 2008. Tony Hunt makes the 53 man roster as the team's lone fullback. This is despite Hunt only learning the position a few weeks back. His total in-game experience at FB is 2 preseason games. And if the inexperience wasn't enough, Hunt also appears to be carrying a less than enthusiastic attitude about being moved from HB to FB. This is a recipe for a disaster. It instantly brings back images of the 2007 season opener.

Reid again thinks he can put anyone into a position and they will be OK. I understand that the FB does not have a major role in the Eagles offense. If the FB is lucky they might see action on 20-30 percent of the offensive snaps. Their main role is to block and perform well on special teams.

It is the blocking part that scares me greatly. Yes Hunt can run. But at this point he is a mediocre blocker at best. And if history repeats itself, Reid's ignorance is going to come back and bit the Eagles right on the ass, this time in the form of a missed block and McNabb or Westbrook getting injured.

Here's hoping that the waiver wire has a real FB out there for the Eagles. Sorry Hunt, I'd rather you be a wasted 3rd round draft pick then the cause of an injury to #36 or #5.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Even Mama McNabb Was Cut

To all you NFL roster causalities, you are not alone...even Mama McNabb was cut this week

Call it a hunch, but below please find my best guess at the Eagles 53 man roster:

QB: Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, A.J. Feeley;
RB: Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter, Lorenzo Booker
FB: Tony Hunt
WR: Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, DeSean Jackson, Hank Baskett, Greg Lewis, Jason Avant
TE: L.J. Smith, Matt Schobel and Brent Celek
OL: Tra Thomas, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Shawn Andrews, Jon Runyan, Max Jean-Gilles, Nick Cole, Winston Justice, Mike McGlynn.
Safety: Brian Dawkins, Quintin Mikell, Sean Considine, J.R. Reed, Quintin Demps
CB: Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard and Joselio Hanson
LB: Omar Gaither, Stewart Bradley, Chris Gocong, Akeem Jordan, Rocky Boiman, Joe Mays;
DL
:
Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Trent Cole, Juqua Parker, Victor Abiamiri, Chris Clemons, Trevor Laws, Darren Howard, Dan Klecko; Bryan Smith.
Specialists: David Akers, Sav Rocca, Jon Dorenbos.

Yes, the above is the Eagles final 53 man roster, as I am posting this at 8pm on Saturday.

I see no real surprises with the final roster cuts. Yes, McDougle ended up being cut, but again what is the best that we could expect from this guy, 5 sacks? Memo to all, the guy has 3 career sacks. That's right, in 33 games, 3 sacks. We aren't going to be missing much.

When predicting the success of the Eagles this year, did McDougle being on the team at all factor into your predictions? I bet Clemons being on the team factored into those predictions. You know the guy that in 2007 had almost 3 times as many sacks as McDougle had in his career.

And so what if the Giants pick up McDougle. Can he really replace what Strahan or Umenyiora brought to the field last year? No! And do you really think that against the Eagles that McDougle would have success against Runyan. No!

So is this roster really "pedal to the metal?" I guess only time will tell.

Can't He Just Shut-up?!? And Roster Thoughts.

Who asked for his opinion on McNabb? GO AWAY!


And as we wait for the six o'clock firing bell to ring, some last minute roster thoughts:
  • Wouldn't you rather cut Rocky Boiman, carry 5 LBS, keep McDougle, and carry 7 DEs? What is the value of a veteran LB that can't play!
  • To get to 7 DEs maybe instead keep 2 TEs. Cut Schobel and Wilson. Can't we just bring back Chad Lewis if Smith or Celek gets injured?
  • Or why is everyone so worried if McDougle does or does not get cut? Remember the man has 3 total career sacks. Some years it was bad luck and circumstances, but the success of the 2008 birds will not rise or fall on McDougle sticking around.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Will This Happen On Saturday at the NovaCare Complex?

By 6pm tomorrow, NFL rosters have to be trimmed to 53 players. This afternoon the Eagles released receiver Bam Childress, cornerback Therrian Fontenot, cornerback Nick Graham, receiver Jamal Jones, running back Ryan Moats, safety Marcus Paschal, offensive lineman Stefan Rodgers, and linebacker Pago Tagofau. The roster currently stands at 67 players.

Let's hope that none of the players act like this guy upon hearing of their release.



And it looks like the Giants' fans are already jumping on the McDougle bandwagon. Check out this Giants fan site.

Your Back-Ups Are Better Than My Back-Ups

Major kudos to all who attended last night's preseason finale or watched the game in its entirety on television. You my friends truly Bleed the Eagles Green.

What can we take away from such a meaningless game. A game that had the Jets playing a WR on defense. I guess the fact that none of the starters got hurt is all that really matters (yes, I am aware that they did not play!)
  • As the starters did not play, I guess it is safe to assume that DeSean Jackson is one of our starting WRs. Who would of thought this back on draft day. Who would of thought this based on the history of Eagle rookie WRs.
  • You could see the determination in the eyes of McDougle and Smith as they fought to get credit for the games' first sack.
  • With the game being meaningless, it was nice to be able to focus your attention on specific players and not worry about missing the end result of a play.
  • Neither Hunt or Davis did anything special to gaurantee themselves the starting FB spot.
  • Demps has the quick burst needed to excel as a returner. Returns are going to be fun this year! When is the last time you could say that as an Eagles fan.
  • Joe Mays continues to shine. Wonder if at some point this year he can crack the starting unit. Maybe move Chris Gocong to DE? Will the Eagles waive Rocky Boiman?
  • If Kris Wilson and Matt Schobel were on even ground entering last night's game, Wilson left on top.
  • Good thing Andrews miraculously cured his depression. Wonder how serious the Max Jean-Gilles injury is? Prior to the injury, I wonder if coaches were seconding guessing all of the praise they piled on Gilles this off-season. Stupid, stupid unnecessary roughness penalty.
  • I love Andrews' comment regarding the Tackle position, "The tackle position isn't a complex job, so I think I could handle duties." Maybe a low-blow at Runyan for not supporting him this off-season?
  • Bryan Smith has some kind of motor. Yes he was going against back-ups, but so was McDougle last night. With his 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks last night, I think Smith might have earned himself the last DE spot. It is going to hurt watching McDougle play for the Giants this year.
  • Don Banks of Sports Illustrated is out of his mind ranking Kevin Kolb as the 24th best back-up QB in the NFL.
  • The Eagles 2nd string offense must have learned their red zone offense by watching the 1st string offense.
  • It would not be shocking for the Eagles to rid themselves of the Winston Justice error this week. It would be the smart thing to do. Last night's holding penalty just adds to the reasons he is a bust.
  • I guess Akers can still hit from 40+. My bad!
  • Though it won't happen, why not keep a Michael Gasperson instead of Greg Lewis?
  • Someone should really tell A.J. Feeley that the object of the game is to throw to the Eagles not the opposition. Smart move in having Kolb as our back-up QB.

And yes I was one of those fans that watched the entire game. What can I say, I bleed some Eagles green.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Eagles Helping The New York Giants?

If your football knowledge reaches beyond the Iggles, you know that the Giants are desperate for some help at the DE position. Last season's strength is now a weakness with the retirement of Strahan and the season-ending injury to Umenyiora. No way Tuck gets another 10 sacks being the focus of the opposition.

So come Saturday afternoon the Giants are sure to be scouring the trash heap following final roster costs. Our beloved Eagles could actually be unloading some DE garbage worth recycling.

Back to the team we know. The Eagles appear to have a numbers crunch at the DE position. I see the Eagles keeping 6 DEs on the 53 man roster. The shoe-ins are Cole and Parker. You would also think that Howard and Abiammiri (recovering quickly from his wrist injury) are also guarantees. That leaves Clemons, Smith, and McDougle battling for the two final spots.

Would the Eagles risk cutting Clemons or McDougle and then watch as they get picked up by the NY Giants?

I say Reid has a little trickery up his sleeve come Saturday. Both Clemons and McDougle will make the Eagles team. No way the Eagles are giving up on Clemons after giving him a $4 million signing bonus. No way the Eagles cut McDougle who is their best DE this preseason.

I foresee rookie Bryan Smith suffering a mysterious injury Thursday night against the Jets and being placed on IR for the year. In this scenario the best 6 players are on the roster and a high draft pick is not lost on waivers.

But if my thinking proves wrong, don't be shocked to see McDougle sporting Giants' blue this season.

The Eagles Odds Are In and Some Surprising

In case Fantasy Football just doesn't cure that NFL betting itch, below find the latest odds (courtesy of http://www.bodoglife.com/) on a variety of things Eagles.

Please remember bleedeaglesgreen.com if you happen to hit big...no donations are too small.

Team Odds
Odds to win the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII
Philadelphia Eagles 25/1

Odds to win the 2008 NFC Championship
Philadelphia Eagles 10/1

Odds to win the NFC East Division
Philadelphia Eagles 7/2

Win Totals
Philadelphia Eagles Regular Season Wins
Over 8.5 -180
Under 8.5 +150

Philadelphia Eagles Regular Season Home Wins
Over 4.5 -180
Under 4.5 +150

Philadelphia Eagles Regular Season Away Wins
Over 4 -175
Under 4 +145

Will the Philadelphia Eagles make the playoffs?
Yes Even
No -130

Where will the Philadelphia Eagles finish in the NFC East?
First 7/2
Second 7/4
Third 3/2
Fourth 2/1

Miscellaneous Odds
Will Andy Reid be head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for week 1 of the 2009 NFL season?
Yes -170
No +140

Player Performance Odds
Donovan McNabb Passing Yards
Over/Under 3200

Donovan McNabb Passing Touchdowns
Over/Under 18.5

Donovan McNabb Starts
Over/Under 14

Brian Westbrook Rushing Yards
Over/Under 1230

Brian Westbrook Receiving Yards
Over/Under 700

Brian Westbrook Total Touchdowns
Over/Under 11.5

Lorenzo Booker Rushing and Receiving Yards
Over/Under 475

Reggie Brown Receiving Yards
Over/Under 820

Reggie Brown Touchdowns
Over/Under 5.5

DeSean Jackson Receiving Yards
Over/Under 490

DeSean Jackson Receiving Touchdowns
Over/Under 3

LJ Smith Receiving Yards
Over/Under 600

LJ Smith Touchdowns
Over/Under 4.5

Trent Cole Sacks
Over/Under 11.5

Asante Samuel Interceptions
Over/Under 4.5

Dave Spadaro Finds A Friend

One can never say that Dave Spadaro isn't Mr. Positive, Mr. Optimistic when it comes to the Eagles. With Dave everything is seen through Eagles beer goggles while holding a tall, cold glass of Eagles Kool-Aid.

Well, it looks like Spuds has found himself a friend. A friend that may even be more optimistic then himself.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Paul Zimmerman has picked the Eagles to win the NFC East this season with a 12-4 record. Once reaching the playoffs Zimmerman has the Eagles knocking off both the Cowboys and the Vikings en route to an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII (which they lose to the Pats).

Here's hoping that Dr. Z is right! I just hope that McNabb being on the SI cover doesn't jinx this whole plan.

E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!

SportsBlogNet.com Launches into Beta

We just wanted to let our readers know that we are apart of a new Sports Blog Network at SportsBlogNet.com. SportsBlogNet.com is a site that feeds in over 50 great sports blogs and links back out to all of them. They drive traffic to our site and also sell ads for all the blogs in the network.

At SportsBlogNet.com you can:

Currently SportsBlogNet.com has approximately 56 blogs in the network with a reach of approximately 200,000 unique visitors per month which is growing daily. Check it out. They are interested in hearing your feedback.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eagles Would Be Wise To Cut Akers

After just reading the subject line how many of you think I am nuts? Cut Akers, but he is a fan favorite and one of the league's best kickers.

Sorry, Akers used to be one of the league's top kickers. OK smart guy, who would the Eagles sign to replace Akers? It's not as if a elite kicker is just waiting out there to be signed. Oh wait, there is...Jay Feely.

In a stunning move the Chiefs have released Feely one day after signing the kicker. So Feely is the replacement. The numbers don't lie.

  • In 2007, Akers was 1-6 in field goals between 40-49 yards and 1-4 in kicks 50+ yards
  • In 2007, Feely was 7-9 in field goals between 40-49 yards and 1-1 in kicks 50+ yards

The numbers show a dramatic upgrade at the PK position for the Eagles if they sign Feely. And despite camp reports on Akers rediscovering his length strength this off-season, preseason action again shows Akers struggling to connect from 40+ yards.

With the Eagles red zone struggles, why not sure up the kicking game. Feely is just waiting to be signed. Akers has had a phenomenal Eagles career, but at this point in his career is he more reputation then results?

A team that is "pedal to the metal" would make this obvious move to upgrade the roster.

In Case You Were Wondering - Luke Lawton

Trash pick-up was yesterday and one team's garbage is another teams' fullback.

Luke Lawton, a roster casualty with the Eagles last week, has been signed by the Oakland Raiders. Who would of thought that a player with 13 career rushing yards would continue to draw interest (must be one heck of a special-teamer). I guess time will tell if he has better luck in Oakland cracking the roster.

But when you can't beat out an undrafted rookie TE (Jed Collins) and a fullback who has never taken a regular season snap (Jason Davis) the odds of sticking on any roster are slim.

Four Is Just Too Many

Preseason games. How about one, maybe two games, and then we get things rolling. Honestly, what is the point of having four preseason games.

If teams need the extra revenue that is generated from the additional home preseason games, just charge more per game for the regular season action. Fans are still going to buy the regular season tickets regardless if they have to dish out an extra $25-$50. Having the stars healthy and not injured in preseason would justify the extra fees.

It is just criminal to watch a teams' top player suffer an injury in a game that means squat. The Eagles have already lost their top WR (Curtis) and held their breath as Dawkins left the Patriots game with an ankle injury (Dawk should be ready for the season opener). The Giants are now without Pro Bowl DE Umenyiora, while the Redskins are unsure if Pro Bowl DE Jason Taylor will be ready for the season opener (not that this Eagles fan is complaining!).

I mean what motivation is there for coaches to play their starters in the preseason? Wouldn't a coach rather have a player a bit rusty entering the regular season, then not having the guy for the year because of some injury suffered in a pointless preseason game.

Something has to change. It is unfair to teams and to fans to have an entire season change or be lost because of something that happens in a preseason game.

Thinking Thoughts About the Eagles:

  • Why did it take the Eagles so long to move Hunt to FB. At this point there just isn't enough time for him to become a strong blocker, which is the main role of an Eagles FB. The Eagles handling of the FB position is all too familiar to their handling of the KR/PR last season. And we all saw how that worked out for them. I can just see it now, Westbrook or McNabb getting hurt because of a missed FB block.
  • If Jackson continues to shine as a WR, will the Eagles keep him as their Punt Returner? Do you really want your #1 or #2 WR getting injured on a special teams play?
  • I sure hope J.R. Reed is ahead of Sean Considine on the depth chart.
  • Now would be as good as time as any for Reno Mahe to hand in those retirement papers. There will be no week one phone call from the Eagles this year.
  • Quintin Demps is not a cornerback...bad experiment!
  • When the hell are the Eagles going to cut Ryan Moats?!?
  • Clemons, Smith, or McDougle, who survives the ax?
  • Sounds like Dan Klecko is making the team. Maybe he is some sort of Championship good luck charm. Played for the Patriots, got 2 rings. Played for the Colts, got 1 ring. Played for the Eagles??
  • Anyone still believe that the Giants are serious contenders for the NFC East crown? The DE position, which was their greatest strength last year, is now one of their greatest weaknesses.
  • Anyone worried about the Redskins this year. The Skins looked pathetic against the Panthers, managing only 2 first downs in the first half, 3 net passing yards, and turning over the ball twice.

The Headbuster




Joe Mays looks like a stud. He’s a rook and is playing against backups, primarily, but… man can the kid hit. He’s always around the ball and he plays downhill with great instincts. With a promising young corps already in place, where does this kid fit?

The starters are set and Akeem “The African Dream” Jordan is the 4th LB, ready to come in and play on either the strong or weak sides. Boiman should make the team as a veteran leader for the ST squad that has started at all three LB positions. That’s 5 LBs, only leaving one more spot… maybe.

Mr. YouTube has undoubtedly been outplayed by Mays. Roland should clear waivers, allowing the Birds to develop him at WILL on the practice squad. So, if the Eagles can keep 6 LBs, Mays should have a job. With his outstanding play, it should be a no-brainer that he makes this team.

In my crystal ball, I see this kid developing into a true run stopper and a solid leader at MIKE. What would that mean to the future LB corps? Mays may be the MIKE in a year or two, moving Stew back to the SAM and Gocong to a pass rush specialist role. Mark my words, unless Gocong can develop his freakish athleticism and become a true LB, he’ll be depth at LB and play a Joker role in this defense. With Stew, a prototype strongside backer, on the roster, and a possible stud MIKE in Mays, don’t be surprised.

Back to reality, Mays NEEDS to make this team. His play has been stellar. I feel bad for Togafau who has played with heart and can be a decent special teamer, but Mays is the real deal… at least as a solid backup LB.

Westbrook vs. McNabb

The argument was made to me today that we’d be in more trouble if Westbrook went down than if Donovan went down. Sure, the Wizard of Westbrook is a stud… the single most dangerous offensive weapon in the NFL, the 2nd best back in the league, the best receiving back since Faulk… but I disagree. If D-Mac goes down, we’d be lucky to go 8-8, very lucky in fact. If West goes down, we’ll be okay and here’s why.

Depth. We are deep at RB. Buck is coming off a season where he averaged over 5 yards per carry. Yes, it was in limited duty, but he made the most of every opportunity. Remember that his only start last year was against the Giants and he had over 100 yards rushing. He ran for 69 yards in the first quarter before Marty and Andy abandoned the run and let the sackfest ensue. The biggest hole in his game has been his blitz pickup and it looks like he’s worked on that per this preseason. He’s going on 3 years healthy and is running very well.

Booker, or LoBo as Tommy Lawlor calls him, was brought in to be the 3rd down back that Westbrook used to be. He’s shifty and quick, a Westbrook-lite. He is what Moats was supposed to be, although I am not convinced he could ever be a feature back. However, fact is that he doesn’t have to be. He’ll be used on gadget plays and would be the third down back with Buck starting if Westy went down.

Hunt is likely the Day 1 fullback, it seems. His blocking will improve and we know he can run. Keeping him on the roster means that he can be a HB if another HB goes down. He runs hard and can be a Buck type of back if he continues to develop. My sneaking suspicion is that Collins is a PS player and could be brought up to play FB in a pinch, moving Hunt to HB.

Overall, Buck, Booker, and Hunt should be more than adequate as backups. The gameplan would have to be altered, but not in the same way it would if D-Mac went down. Kolb is still wet behind the ears and he’d have to go through growing pains before being effective. AJ is what he is, a guy who will make some plays and make some mistakes. Westbrook means a lot to this team, but Donovan means more.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Is McNabb Only Protecting Himself?

Another Monday, another Monday Eagles conversation with the boss, and another view that I don't agree with.

Big win on Friday night, all and all the starters looked good in their final preseason tune-up. So you would think everyone would be happy, confident going into the season opener. Wrong!

I agree that despite DeSean Jackson's strong preseason play the Eagles could still use help at the WR position following the Curtis injury (though it was good to hear the doc say the Curtis hernia injury is not as serious as what Smith or McNabb suffered). McNabb's comments also hint that fans should be cautious in hyping up Jackson too much.

"He's made a lot of plays so far, but we have to stay patient with him," the quarterback said. "He is a rookie. He's just learning. We haven't gone into a full game plan for a regular game."

Nothing wrong with the comment, we all should be in agreement. But others think that such comments are being made by McNabb not to protect Jackson but to cover his own ass if he tanks this season. McNabb is assuring himself that he will not be the scapegoat for a lost season. Any failure will be Mr. Reid's doing.

If Donovan has a mediocre season, Donovan can look back and point to the lack of talent at the WR position and say "you expected me to win with this" or "all off-season I begged for more playmakers, and the best I get is an undersized rookie WR."

On such thinking I say, not going to happen. If any QB in this league can win with crap at the WR position it is McNabb. Jackson and Brown (and hopefully Curtis at some point) are heads above the likes of Thrash, Johnson, Pinkston, and Mitchell. And I recall McNabb carrying their sorry butts to post-season success.

So please just let McNabb be. In the end he is just going to end up making you eat your words. And once his Eagle days are behind him, these same fans will be the first ones crying for #5 to come back!

In Case You Were Wondering - Jeremy Bloom

In case you were sitting there thinking, gee I wonder what ever happened to Jeremy Bloom? Well, wonder no more.

The latest update on Mr. Bloom is that the Pittsburgh Steelers have made him a camp casualty today. Looks like Reid wasn't the only one questioning Bloom's talents.

Bloom is now a man without a team. Maybe he would of been best served sticking with skiing? Maybe Abercrombie & Fitch needs a new model?

Fans Select Cunningham Over McNabb

Not sure how I missed this one, but ESPN.com conducted a fan poll for each teams' greatest player. Below are the results for our Eagles.

I disagree with White over Bednarik, since Reggie split time with the Packers. I also disagree with Cunningham over McNabb as I don't recall Cunningham ever reaching a Super Bowl or multiple NFC Championship games. But I guess people tend to remember the flash with Cunningham. And for a Hall of Famer Tommy McDonald is too low.
  • 57.4% Reggie White
  • 10.5% Chuck Bednarik
  • 9.6% Randall Cunningham,
  • 7.0% Donovan McNabb
  • 3.8% Brian Dawkins
  • 3.7% Brian Westbrook
  • 3.4% Ron Jaworski, QB
  • 2.5% Steve Van Buren
  • 1.3% Wilbert Montgomery
  • 0.8%Tommy McDonald

The Eagles Won't Miss This

Why are Winston Justice and Donovan McNabb smiling today...Osi Umenyiora is out for the year!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Is Clemons A One Year Wonder?

  • 2003: DNP
  • 2004: 3 sacks
  • 2005: 2 sacks
  • 2006: DNP
  • 2007: 8 sacks
  • 2008: Failed to make Eagles roster?

It is still the off-season and it is never fair to all-out bash an injured player, BUT is Chris Clemons in danger of not making the Eagles 53 man roster?

Worse, is Clemons a one year wonder? Was his 8 sacks in 2008 a mirage? Is the real Chris Clemons the man whose previous career high in sacks was 3 and had difficulty staying on an active roster?

I tend to believe that injuries are preventing Clemons from showing his true worth to the Eagles. In his short time with the Eagles Clemons has already been rushed to hospital for dehydration and suffered a calf injury that has sidelined him for the past two preseason games.

But as we get closer to final cuts, will there be enough time for Clemons to showcase his talents? Are the Eagles Eagles willing to admit their error and eat the $4 million signing bonus given to Clemons?

Despite his injuries and inability to grasp the defense, the Abiamiri injury should secure Clemons a spot on the team. This is a sad statement for one of the Eagles top off-season acquisitions.

But on the flip side, McDougle looks like he may FINALLY be about to justify his first round draft selection.

So just look at the situation as McDougle playing at a Clemons-like level in 2008 and Clemons playing at a McDougle-like level in 2008. Sometimes such whacked-out logic is needed as an Eagles fan!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The New Number One WR...

Ambassador of Quan?

A new Q joining the Birds?




Boldin's wikipedia entry states:

In the offseason 2008, Boldin requested a trade. Cardinals other wide receiver signed a 10 year, $40 million deal. Boldin's had 3 years, $12 million remaining on his contract. As of August 22, 2008, The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles were looking to acquire Boldin.


The Cardinal's messageboard has a moderator claiming inside knowledge of a deal sending Boldin to the Birds. Click here for the thread.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jeff Garcia Is the Answer to the Curtis Injury

How will the Eagles survive with Kevin Curtis sidelined? Simple, Jeff Garcia.

Huh?

That's right, time for the Eagles to go all Jeff Garcia on us. Time for the Eagles to go back to a balanced offensive attack. Possibily even favoring the running game. Even with a healthy McNabb, the strength of this offense is the running game. Westbrook, Buckhalter, Booker, and even our new FB Hunt.

Westbrook 4.8 yards per carry, Buckhalter 5.0 yards per carry, and Booker 4.5 yards per carry in 2007. Impressive numbers that need to be dupolicated in 2008.

Remember when McNabb went down in 2006 and we all thought the season was lost. Well it wasn't. And if it wasn't for a Scott Young false start penalty who knows how far the Eagles would have gone. It wasn't Garcia being a better QB than McNabb that made the offense go. It was Andy and Marty finally balancing their offensive philosophy.

I love the optimism of Andy saying that the current group of WRs is fine and no additions are needed. No need to bad mouth your own players. Heck, the Curtis injury could even turn out to be a blessing by getting Jackson on the field earlier and more often. But, why not go with a sure thing and work the running game.

Cash in on the Westrbook investment. Grind out one more year with Buckhalter. See what Booker can do on a a decent team. So Andy, just say no the pass...please!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eagles: Pedal to the Metal This Is Not

We now had a day to absorb the Curtis injury. The reports have Curtis out anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Based on Eagle history with the injury I would bet on the later time frame.

So I ask, as we look at the Eagles right now, how are we feeling? Do the pluses out weigh the minuses? Does anyone honestly think the Eagles are Championship caliber?

#5 leads the way...
  • McNabb is healthy.
  • Westbrook has a new contract so he is happy. Westbrook is healthy.
  • The linebackers, despite their youth, look ready and able to perform at a high level.
  • Asante Samuel leads probably the best defensive backfield in the NFL.

The Eagles will have to overcome all of this...

  • Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, and Greg Lewis will now get significant time at WR. Enough said.
  • Can Andrews keep his depression under control for the entire season?
  • What does it say about the defensive line that Howard, McDougle, and Klecko will most likely make the team.
  • A special teams unit that somehow got worse in the offseason.

So in short, can a strong QB, RB, CB and LB rotation overcome a weak WR group, the team's best OL battling against depression, a DL that carries more than one retread, and a special teams unit that is special for all the wrong reasons.

Honestly, I say the Eagles will struggle to make the playoffs, but in the end they will.

Looking at the current make-up who else wants to smack Lurie for his "going for it and pedal-to-the-metal'' comments. It is scary for the future if he actually believes the crap that spills from his mouth.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Get A Dog, Learn About Sheldon Brown

Eagles Fever travels and lives in South Carolina. Well more specifically the love for Sheldon Brown is still alive down in hot, humid SC.

I took my sister's dog for a walk around Charleston (on vacation this week) this morning. And of course Zoe (dog) was sporting a Philadelphia Eagles dog collar. And boy was that collar an attention grabber (well that or my Bleed Green T-Shirt).

When the occasional idiot wasn't telling me that the Eagles suck others were coming up to me sharing their favorite Sheldon Brown comment.

"Oh we love that Sheldon boy."

"That Shellie boy is such a sweetheart. We just love Mr. Brown."

"Sheldon Brown, what a star. Lito better shut his mouth, thinking he should be starting over my boy."

"Them Eagles, boy they got them some smarts, drafting our Sheldon. You should of seen some of his interceptions back in the day."

"He is a Philly man now. But he will always have a place in our southern hearts."

So Andy, if you are listening, please don't go changing that cornerback rotation. But if you do, please let Zoe and I out of South Carolina first.

One fan even said that Brown could play some WR too. Hey, can he be any worse than Greg Lewis?!?

The Kevin Curtis Options

If it weren't for bad luck Philadelphia would have none. I hate the preseason, absolutely hate it! Why...one word...injuries!

The breaking news from Eagles camp is that WR Kevin Curtis is out with a sports hernia. According to Coach Reid, Curtis "will be out for awhile." The injury was suffered during the Panthers game.

Stupid, stupid preseason games. And now a mediocre receiving core will struggle to even be mediocre. Curtis was an absolute stud last year, leading the Eagle WRs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Even bigger things were expected in his second year with the team.

So we are now left with Brown (also injured), Baskett, Avant, Lewis, and Jackson. Can Baskett and Avant carry their strong camp play into the regular season or are they just another Na Brown? It looks like Greg Lewis will secure himself another year with the Eagles now. Jackson has handled the NFL transition with ease to date, can he continue his strong play?

Does it matter that Curtis is now out? We have seen McNabb lead the offense before with mediocrity at the WR position. James Thrash, Charles Johnson, and Todd Pinkston never prevented the Eagles from achieving post season success.

Do the Eagles explore a trade or go after the recently dumped Joe Horn. Horn is no longer dominant, but might be considered an upgrade to the current group of WRs on the Eagles roster. Any team interested in a disgruntled cornernack? Hey, Freddie Mitchell is still out there!

Following Curtis' surgery we should have a better idea of a timetable for his return. Based on the history of the injury I would expect at least half the season to be lost for Curtis.

Let's just hope that all is not lost by the time he does return. McNabb and the defense it is time to be stellar. Reid, time to run the ball!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Andy Knows Best, We Hope

"Maybe it would have been better (earlier), but that's not what it is." [Tony Hunt on his move to Fullback]

As a fan you tend to believe that the Eagles know what they are doing. The current state of the special teams and fullback position tends to infuse some doubt into that belief.

Start with the fullback position. Yesterday we find out that Tony Hunt is now being moved to the FB position. Hunt joins a long list of offseason moves focusing on the FB position. Let's look back:
  • Dan Klecko: A DT signed to play fullback. Failed experiment.
  • Jason Davis: The veteran of the bunch, without ever taking a regular season snap at the FB position. Started as the top FB option, continues to move his way down the depth chart.
  • Luke Lawton: One word. Unimpressive. Has yet to get anywhere near the first team unit.
  • Jed Collins: The current first teamer despite being an undrafted rookie free agent TE. Not a confidence building statement.
  • Tony Hunt: The current experiment. Not good enough to get into the RB rotation, but too soon for the Eagles to admit failure on a 3rd round draft pick.

I'll say it again, whoever would of thought that replacing Thomas Tapeh would prove so difficult? What's next, open tryouts? I hear Mark Wahlberg is between projects!

And what the hell is going on with the special teams. All offseason you heard that Reid was emphasizing improving the ST unit. And then the first 2 preseason games the same slop is put on the field.

The blocking is horrific. Penalties are aplenty. Inexperienced returners can't catch the ball. When a nice return is made, the ball is fumbled. I could go on and on. Reid and company have 2 games left to correct this mess. And the mess needs to be corrected.

Champions excel in all three facets of the game. No even Lurie or McNabb can talk us into believing this ST crap is championship caliber!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Eagles Fans: Creme de la Creme

Some might call this biased, but the most passionate fans in all of sports are without question Philadelphia Eagles fans. They're cold-blooded and probably give KC a run for their money as being the loudest. They are by far the most knowledgeable fans in the league, and invented the perfect "boo." What cemented Philadelphia fans' reputation as the most amoral, loathsome collection in sports is famously called The Booing of Santa Claus. You would boo and throw snow balls too if Santa came out drunk in a half-done costume. Eagles' fans must deal with sports owners whose actions have not produced a champion in 25 years. The Eagles haven't hoisted a championship flag in 48 years, but the waiting list for season tickets is so long that you could sell out three stadiums full of Eagles fans for games.

Full Article on MSN Sports

The Eagles - A Bunch Of Copy Cats

The NFL is a copycat league. A team wins the title and then all off-season teams try and follow that team's blueprint to capture the title next year.

The NY Giants are this year's model. And it appears that the Eagles are playing the role of copycat. But just not in the way you would think.

Unfortunately it looks like another season of Trent Cole being a one-man sack show on the D-line. Despite strong camps, Howard and McDougle are well, Howard and McDougle.

The Eagles saw the impact that rookies had on the Giants' success. Rookies can step into a starting role or provide valuable depth on the roster. Despite criticism of the Eagles again trading out of the first round, it looks like they might have found a few 2008 contributors.

I would not be surprised to see at least 4 Eagle rookies contribute this year.
- DeSean Jackson: Top punt returner; Wouldn't be surprised to also see him as one of the top 2 WRs on the roster by mid-season
- Trevor Laws: 3rd in the DT rotation, reminds me of another Mike Patterson
- Quintin Demps: A playmaker in the defensive backfield; Maybe the heir to Dawkins?
- Joe Mays: A stand-out on the second unit; The Eagles continue to hit with their LB selections

This time last year no one would of picked the Giants as Super Bowl champs. Only McNabb has the Eagles as Super Bowl champs in 2008-09. Hopefully the Eagles can also copy the Giants post-season success.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Karma and The Philadelphia Eagles

"He helps you laugh and tries to make the situation better, but ultimately, he really showed that he cared and that meant a lot to me.”

Karma, it's a funny thing.

The above quote is from Shawn Andrews on how Coach Reid treated him. Some fans (including myself) were very harsh of the Eagles and their treatment of Andrews. Turns out we were wrong. And this fan couldn't be happier.

The team is very supportive of Andrews and his battle with depression. As a result Andrews is back and practicing with the team. Andrews is also in great physical shape. Reports are the Andrews could even start the next preseason game. This is good news for the Eagles.

Max Jean-Gilles is good, but I never believed he was as good as camp reports and camps quotes had him. And on Thursday night, we saw Max for what he is at this point. He is still a back-up. Not that it is OK for a back-up to commit 4 penalties and miss a key screen block. But it is more tolerable if he is a back-up.

Karma. Treat Andrews with respect, show him some sympathy and compassion and good things will follow. Your All-Pro guard will get back on the field. Your All-Pro will get back to anchoring your offensive line. Your All-Pro guard will get back to protecting your All-Pro quarterback.

Now if karma could only help the WRs catch the ball. Well I guess you can't expect karma to perform miracles!

Talking About Favre, I Mean McNabb

Typical Philly media, always looking to stir up controversy. But since they started it, why not run with it..

The below are McNabb's comments from his Thursday press conference. Who am I talking about here?
  • Guy broke every record possible
  • Lead the team into one of the top teams in the NFL over the past decade
  • Ever since he has been quarterback his team has had a lot of success
  • From the outside it can happen to any quarterback
  • When teams are ready to move in another direction, there is nothing you can do
  • Change doesn't scare me
Well of course we are talking about Favre. But we could easily be talking about McNabb. I am already picturing the 2008 Favre off-season repeating itself with McNabb in 2009.
  • Guy broke every record possible [Applied to McNabb in regards to the Eagles' records]
  • Lead the team into one of the top teams in the NFL over the past decade [McNabb equals Gold Standard Eagles]
  • Ever since he has been quarterback his team has had a lot of success [see 4 NFC Championship games + 1 Super Bowl appearance]
  • From the outside it can happen to any quarterback [even a quarterback who is the franchises' best ever]
  • When teams are ready to move on in another direction, there is nothing you can do [Like when you team drafts a quarterback with their #1 pick last year]
  • Change doesn't scare me [I can just go play for my hometown Chicago Bears and be loved by the city. Me after Grossman, I would be God. Dikta and McNabb]

We all say that if McNabb leads the Eagles back to the playoffs the Eagles would be idiots to let McNabb leave after the 2008 season. Remember the Packers under Favre last year made it all the way to the NFC Championship game.

Fans should enjoy this season.

Friday, August 15, 2008

DeSean Jackson and The Defense - Game #2

A win is a win, right? Well in the case of last night's game against the Panthers, probably not. There was some good from Thursday's game, also some bad, but the end result was a W. Being an optimist lets blame the bad on the rain...

  • Was it simply a coincidence that Pam Oliver was the sideline reporter for the Panthers and not the Eagles? I am sure last year's McNabb controversy had nothing to do with that assignment.
  • The Eagles first team defense was much improved from game one. The Panthers' offense went 3 and out on the first drive. The Eagles defense allowed only 4 first half first downs.
  • Andy Reid looks in regular season form with his clock management. A time-out on the 3rd offensive play in a preseason game?!? Calling two timeouts at the end of the first half when you are unable to get the ball back?!?
  • Andy Reid also looks in be in regular season form with his press conference comments on the botched fake field goal. "That was a pretty poor coaching job on my part.” Way to state the obvious big guy!
  • Reggie Brown has to be getting worried about his starting position. Yes at this time he is still the second best WR on the Eagles (not very comforting), but Jackson is creeping up.
  • Speaking of Jackson, it was nice to see him build on his strong first preseason game. 7 catches for 71 yards. McNabb showed confidence in Jackson by going to him repeatedly on third downs. Loved the break-away speed on the deep ball. I am not worried with his few drops.
  • Anyone else get pumped up watching the "Believe in Now" football commercial. Only a few more weeks til kickoff!
  • The special teams unit was again dreadful. Is it the coach, is it the players, it is the system? Whatever it is, it needs to be fixed. I miss the days of John Harbaugh running the special teams.
  • Could of been the rain, but the first half offense took a big step backwards from week one. Zero points in six first half possessions.
  • Who needs training camp practices when you are as good as Samuel? Loved the first quarter pass break-up.
  • Booker and Jackson you have to hold onto the ball on returns. Mahe may not have your moves and explosiveness, but he was sure handed.
  • Wonder if the coaches will still be singing the praises of Max Jean-Gilles after his 4 penalties and missed screen block? Is Andrews healthy yet?
  • Could of been the rain, but Akers again looked like 2007 Akers, missing a 46 yard field goal. Where was this new found length strength we were hearing so much about this off-season?
  • Dawkins had a nice, ball separating hit (jacked up!) in the end zone, but to me he is looking a step or two slow this preseason. Look at Mikell and then at Dawkins. Could Mikell be overtaking Dakwins as the top safety on the team?
  • Get Greg Lewis off the field and off the team!
  • They probably don't deserve the excuse, but I will say the rain and wet ball caused the WRs to drop pass after pass in the first half.
  • Why is Andy Reid throwing the ball 50+ times in a preseason game.
  • I wondering if Rosenhaus has a new Sprint promo out yet to yapping about Sheppard's first half interception.
  • Tony Hunt you might have just won yourself one more year on the squad. Why not just cut Moats now?
  • Kolb (though it was against 2nd stringers) was the best Eagles QB on the field last night.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Eagles vs. Panthers: The Blame Goes Here

Jimmy Rollins Being Jimmy Rollins (Unfortunately)

And I quote Jimmy Rollins on the Philadelphia Fans, "There are times," he said. "I might catch some flak for saying this, but, you know, they're front-runners.

Rollins you are an ass. First you don't hustle, then you can't get your lazy butt to the ballpark on time, then you bitch to the national media about the Philly fans. Good, bad, we fans sell-out the ballpark to support the Phillies.

The man wins one MVP award and one freaking division title (first in 14 years), and now he thinks he has the right to insult his fans? It is the old adage, think before you speak man! It might be OK for Rollins to think or discuss privately that the Phillies fans are front-runners, but to actually say it on TV is a slap in the fans' faces.

It is inexcusable for a veteran player on a team that hasn't won a title since 1980 to insult the team's fanbase! Oh the boos that are going to rain down on Rollins on Tuesday night.

Maybe Rollins should look across the street and take a lesson from Donovan McNabb. McNabb gets unfairly criticized every single season by the fans and the media. His every move is under the microscope. Yes McNabb tends to whine a bit about the treatment, but not once has he ever complained or attacked the Philly fan base. McNabb is a class act that knows better. Rollins is a spoiled crybaby who thinks we all owe him something after one good year.

Time to shut your trap J-Roll and perform on the field. You are a mediocre player this year and as of this morning your team is on a free fall from first!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Speaking of Drinking the Kool-Aid

With 69 current votes, Desean Jackson is winning the current poll by a landslide.

Do people actually believe that Jackson is better than Brown at this point? It appears so.

1 preseason game with 5 catches for 51 yards and he's better than a three year player that has progressively improved and is a legit #2 guy?

Will Desean be better? Quite possibly. Is he now? Ummm, no...

Do They Know Lito Is A Back-Up?

I guess Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown weren't available.

Looks like Lito found himself a part-time job to compensate for his measly NFL salary. And Lito, your side of the field is now called Samuel's side of the field!

Bunkley Robbed


Bunkley’s home was burglarized and rather than feel bad for him, many of the Philly media seem to be making a big deal about him having an “arsenal” because he is a gun collector. Among the things taken from him, several expensive and rare guns were taken from his home.

Bunkley is not a bad guy, he did nothing wrong. Most of us know this, but sometimes the stupidity of a few outweigh the sense of the masses. I, for one, feel bad for Bunk for getting his house burglarized. Property crime is a serious issue that eats away at one’s sense of security, as well as their finances. Keep your head up Bunk.

Why We ARE Contenders

There are many logical reasons why the Eagles are contenders, despite the arguments of many illogical fans that argue the Eagles to be no better than a playoff team. This isn’t to say that I am confident that the Birds WILL win the big game, but it’s altogether possible and here are a few reasons why:

1. The GIANTS won the Superbowl.

Despite having a bad secondary, an inadequate pair of outside backers, a mediocre QB, and a group of decent to slightly above average running backs, the Giants won the big one. Their offensive and defensive lines were solid. The defensive front four came up huge. The Eagles have invested a lot in the big men and could easily replicate or surpass what the Giants did last season.
For the other reasons, visit my full commentary at http://thepaintedman.brookiellen.com/why-we-are-contenders/.

I’m ready for all the hate from the Negadelphians, Klink included… so flame on!

Thinking Thoughts About The Eagles

A quiet day in Eagle land. Players are back to practicing in Philly and the preseason home opener is tomorrow night against the Panthers.

Some quick thoughts...

  • Anyone else feel the pressure on Brown to have a strong showing against the Panthers tomorrow night? Report after report have every receiver, except Brown, having a great camp.
  • Sheppard is officially listed as the back-up to Sheldon Brown at Right CB. Somehow I still can't figure out how Brown beats out Sheppard, a two-time Pro Bowler.
  • Again, it is only preseason, but I am curious to see if DeSean Jackson can have another strong showing at WR against the Panthers. It would also be nice to see him do something as a punt returner. Special teams blocking needs to be improved tomorrow night. It is scary that so much emphasize is being placed on special teams and we look no better than last year. Again only one game, but we need to see some improvement against the Panthers.
  • Hopefully the 1st team defense got the memo that there is a game tomorrow night. Hopefully the Santonio Holmes TD last week was a blown coverage and not Dawkins looking his age.
  • If the offense gets in the red zone tomorrow night they need six points. No more field goals or a lucky dump off to Jason Davis. The 1st team offense needs to punch it in with authority and confidence. The Eagles cannot be settling for 3 points again this year.
  • Will Jed Collins get the start tomorrow night? Is Collins, an undrafted TE, the real deal or are Davis and Lawton that bad?
  • Darren Howard needs to make some plays against the Panthers. He has been a camp star, but game time is where is counts. Even if game time is the preseason.
  • Supposedly Andrews showed up to camp in good shape. I still think that he is rushing, either by his own accord or the Eagles pushing him to, back to football. If you have depression one or two visits to the therapist is not enough and the medications still need time to work into his system. Call it a hunch but once the medications take effect, I foresee some major weight gain for Andrews.
  • What the hell is Bunkley doing with two Desert Eagle .50-caliber handguns, an Armalite rifle, a custom-made .223-caliber rifle, and a .45-caliber Glock handgun? And now these guns are stolen and in the city. Just what Philadelphia needs more gun violence! It's funny if you look close enough at the picture of Bunkley's house you can see an ADT Security sign on his lawn. Guess someone forgot to pay the security bill! Anyone check Marvin Harrison's house (ouch!)
  • Stupid ESPN.com and their McNabb Interview. I know it makes a good read, but bringing up the T.O. mess again after three years, stop! And Donovan, you couldn't just say no comment?!?
  • Bad news...looks like Plaxico Burress is back to practicing with the Giants. I guess we can stilll hold out hope that Steven Jackson (Rams) will continue his holdout into the season.
  • Good point Asante. Who needs training camp. Last year you held out and were an all-pro!

Sheppard Talking With The Money Man

The man can play and the man can speak, who knew! Throughout training camp it was rare to see Asante Samuel on the practice field and even rarer to hear him speak.

Well Samuel has finally had a healthy week of practices and yesterday he had his first press conference since his signing. Save us the " I just love to go out and make plays. That's what I'm all about, making plays, helping my team win.'' Blah, blah, of course you are, what else would we expect you to say. The typical player speak.

What I found most interesting from Samuel's PC is that Samuel and Sheppard are very close and have been actively discussing Sheppard's ongoing contract unhappiness. Smart move Lito. Who needs Drew Rosenhaus when you can get advice from a man who just netted a $57 million deal. "I [Samuel] can give him my pointers and my opinion on the whole situation. We can relate to that, definitely."

It is blatantly obvious that Lito is jealous of Samuel's contract. His crying got the loudest after the Samuel signing. So why not buddy up with your idol and see how to get yourself paid.

One can't forget that just last year Samuel was also battling for a new contract, sitting out of the Patriots' first 3 preseason games, before signing a 1-year franchise tender. Samuel went on to have a strong 2007 season, was not given the franchise tag by the Patriots again, became a free agent, and became a very wealthy man with the Eagles.

So hopefully the advice that Samuel is giving Sheppard is to shut his trap, quit the whining, keep your ass on the field, and produce. If you do these things the money will follow. And to think none of these things involve Rosenhaus the rat either!