Friday, December 18, 2009

Westbrook Maybe Coming Back This Week With A Special Helmet!

The chance of Brian Westbrook playing this week is continuing to increase. The veteran Running Back has been out for a total of 7 games this season, most recently because of multiple sustained concussions. Westbrook, a 3-time Pro-Bowl player, has been undergoing tests and evaluations from various medical examiners and neurosurgeons over the past few weeks, and appears to finally be ready to return to the field.
It was dubbed likely that Westbrook would miss the entire season and perhaps be forced to retire from football when he initially suffered his second concussion of the year while playing against the
San Diego Chargers in early November. However, the team has made it quite clear that the versatile runner is far from being done, and that he is probably even going to suit up this Sunday versus the 49ers.
According to a team source, Westbrook is planning on donning a specially-designed helmet if/when he returns to the
Eagles’ lineup. The head piece apparently contains an additional protective padding that is not found in other helmets. It also includes a shock-absorbing material that was actually used to protect the heads of former Navy SEAL soldiers in battle. If a football helmet with the strength of an army warrior’s head piece isn’t enough to keep the 8th-year player safe, then I certainly don’t what will. Seriously, though, this special piece of equipment is designed to turn hard hits into “glancing blows”, reducing the possibility of sustaining a concussion.
Head coach Andy Reid made no comment about the potential helmet change for Westbrook, but he did speak regarding the RB’s practice status for the week: “I am today [planning on having Westbrook playing this week] … It’s a day-to-day thing.” [He will practice with the scout team this week, and we're] just getting him back into football shape.”
In other injury news, TE Brent Celek missed this afternoon’s practice session with a sore back, but WR Kevin Curtis–who has been out since Week 2 with a nagging knee injury–was able to participate in a limited role.

Eagles Vs. San Francisco. Is It A Trap Game?

Is This A Trap Game?
Picture this: You have just come off a big victory over a playoff contender, and your team is being hyped up by the national media as a Super Bowl contender. And now, you get to take on the sub-.500 San Francisco 49ers.
This describes the
Philadelphia Eagles.
A week ago it described the
Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona's 30-17 victory over Minnesota (that was not as close as the score indicates) was arguably more impressive than our win yesterday. They were in prime position for a 3-seed and in striking distance of Minnesota for the first-round bye. They had a chance to clinch the NFC West for the second year in a row in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football.
What did they do? They turned the ball over 7 times.
Frank Gore rushed for 167 yards and the 49ers had a comfortable victory.
The Eagles cannot afford to have an emotional let-down. The fact is they are playing another tough team that will cause some match up problems. We are the better team, we are playing at home against a west coast team playing on a short week. But we CANNOT sleep on this game. The Eagles need to come out with the same intensity as last week. They have not won anything yet. I want to see the young guys (particularly Desean Jackson, who has been a national sensation this week) come out with the same intensity again.
Offensively, we have an advantage.
Roddy White torched the 49ers secondary for 200 yards and I think the Eagles should have success through the air. The matchup of Brent Celek and Patrick Willis should be interesting as well. However, I expect the Eagles to put up at least 28 points.
The defense is another story. Can they shake off last week's effort? They're facing young, but talented receivers again this week.
Michael Crabtree is similar to Hakeem Nicks, but he is better. He can break tackles, jump and make great catches. Josh Morgan provides some speed opposite him, and of course the Eagles will have problems covering Vernon Davis. Frank Gore had a big game last week and the Eagles have struggled with running backs like LT (and even last week the rush defense was meh).
The key is, then, to force Alex Smith into turnovers by bringing the heat consistently. Force them into third and long and force errant throws that can be gobbled up by
Asante Samuel and CO.
This is not the Eagles defense of old. Teams are going to move the ball on us, and they are going to score. I think our defense is very similar to the
New Orleans Saints. The Saints give up a lot of points. They have some talented players. But they have no left defensive end opposite Will Smith, and they are weak at one of the safety spots. In addition, outside of Jonathan Vilma, the linebackers have been inconsistent. However, while teams do score on them, the Saints force turnovers at the right time, and the explosive offense takes care of the rest This Eagles defense will have to rely on big plays to help the offense win the game.
The mentality for the Eagles will be the key. Will Desean Jackson take it easy? This week he arrived as a superstar. Is he going to rest on his laurels? Because he can't. He is our best player and we need him to play like he's capable of playing. Will the defense continue to make sloppy plays? Or will the veterans step up and light a fire under the defense's ass. Time will tell. But we cannot afford to become Week 15's version of the Week 14 Arizona Cardinals.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eagles vs. Giants Offense Review

What a game! 850 yards of total offense! This really showed Eagle fans how many weapons we really have. I think our goal to winning a Superbowl is in our sights. Here is a break down of what I took from this game.

Offense- First person I have to start with is D-Jax. He is unbelievable! I can't remember having such a huge offensive weapon since T.O. D-Jax had 6 catches for 178 yards and 1 receiving touchdown and 1 punt return touchdown. D-Jax is so fast he runs a 4.3/40. He is by far the fastest guy on the field every week and one of the fastest players in the league. Next I have to talk about Donovan Mcnabb who also had a huge game with 275 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a spectacular 110 QB rating. For all you Mcnabb haters answer one question. Could Kevin Kolb have sealed the game with a 91 yard drive in the 3rd/4th quarter against a hungry Giants D. I think Not! Let's not forget about our run game which sets up the big plays. Shady Mccoy keeps maturing each and every week and Leonard Weaver is a Beast! Enough said. Brent Celek is definitely earning that money the Eagles front office just threw at him. He has the making of a great tight end and is a huge upgrade from last years starter L.J. Smith. At least the fans who bought L.J.'s jersey can wear it again without being embarrassed, with the addition of Alex Smith who is also # 82. Also don't forget about Mike Vick who is back in football shape and is a huge threat in 3rd and short situations. He has been playing very well and also upping his stock so we can get a good 2nd or 3rd round pick for him this off season. If our offense can consistently keep playing at a high level I see good things in the future. Also kudos to Andy for keeping a balanced offense with close to a even pass/run ratio. This is a quick strike offense and when Westbrook and Curtis come back it is going to be very difficult to defend us.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vick Not the Star Today, It's All About KK

Kevin is the true #2 guy right now, and has started to make a believer out of this naysayer in regards to his future here as a #1.

Sure, Vick played and was okay, yadda yadda yadda. Kolb and Celek were what made the offense go today. Desean made some big plays, Lesean played the workhorse role a bit, but Kolb to Celek was there all day.

After this week, hopefully we don't see much Kolb or too much Vick ater the buy, because this is Donny's team... but at least we know the KK is a legit guy who can come in and play when needed.

Sorry to see Jeff Garcia's last day in an Eagles uniform essentially be a fumbled snap... but there is much more to be happy abotu here than worried about.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hot to Trot?

Jeremiah came in for a workout today. Some on the Eagles Boards and other sites are speculating he could be coming in because the team doesn't like Omar at MIKE. Others note that he could be depth in case of further question, especially with Mays not playing due to injury. There is one thing everyone seems to be missing...

Trotter was a ST beast when asked to fill that role. He's a hard hitter and a solid leader who could possibly help a ST unit with little leadership due to the departure of Baskett and Considine, as well as the loss of Gaither/Jordan as both are starting on the Defense.

If this signing occurs, he may see some downs in goal line sets and 4th & 1's, but expect him to be hauling ass downfield to hit people on kicks and punts with Tracy White, because that's where he'd fit most and where he's needed right now.

EDID Won’t Join the Show

All jokes about the Big Kid aside, I had honestly hoped he’d join my RemixThis! Contest on my personal website. While I have received 10+ awesome entries, one is lacking… EDID’s remix.

Shawn answers most of my tweets about food, life, and football… but he ignores my requests to join in the fun of remixing CookBook’s hot track, “Solid Gold”.

While I can forgive him, as he has been all over the place getting his backed check on and whatnot, I was truly hoping that EDID could help Cook get his Michael Phelps on!

Tweet @shawnandrews73 to say hi sometime, he’s definitely a nice dude. But if you mention me, make sure not to be a flaming tool. I honestly wish the guy well, despite being a frustrated fan that wants the mauler on the field.

Fantasy Football: Backup Birds Style

This may just be the week that us Birds fans who picked Shady in the mid-to-late fantasy rounds get to play him. Even if Westbrook starts this week, it’s unlikely they lean on him against the Chiefs. While we cannot afford a loss to this abysmal club, Westy is banged up and is likely to be unneeded. That leaves an opening to be filled by the prolific Pitt back.

So, unless you have can’t miss stud backs (ie. I start Michael Turner AND DeAngelo Williams in 1 of my 3 leagues), give Shady a chance this week. He’s gonna surprise you.

Fantasy Forecast: 80-90 yards rushing, 5 receptions for 45 yards, and a TD.

PS. Yes, that is my adorable 10 month old son, Cash, in the Shady jersey up top. Just call him “Li’l Shady”!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Get Win #2 Now!

How quickly we have forgotten last season. True the Eagles did get their miracle to get into the playoffs, but don't forget they needed a miracle.

Every game counts. Despite it being only Week 2...every game counts. So I am confused as to why I am hearing fans and media outlets saying that the Eagles are fine if they split the next 2 games before the bye.

Screw that! I want a 3-0 record. I want the Eagles to get themselves an early cushion in the W column. Last time the Eagles started 2-0 they ended up in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl, in Miami, is where I want the Eagles again this season.

Of course the team is playing to win this Sunday against the Saints. But we fans also need to expect the Eagles to win. Yes even if Kolb starts at QB expect the win. Just expect that B-West and Shady lead a successful running attack, the defensive game plan will again be A+, and the Special Teams will be able to break a few against a weak Saint's unit.

So enough with down playing the importance of this weekend's game. It counts just as much as a Week 16 or Week 17 match-up. Come Monday this fan wants a 2-0 record.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kolb Just Has to Be Koy Good

Did anyone think that maybe Kolb delivers a Koy Detmer-like performance this Sunday against the Siants? We (myself included) are so quick to assume that Kolb will suck it up this weekend. Garcia will enter the game after halftime and then start Week 3 against Kansas City.
Hey, the feelings of doom and gloom are well earned based on past Kolb performances. But maybe, just maybe, Kolb has some Koy magic in him. Remember that Monday night game in 2002 (November 25). Donovan McNabb had broken his ankle the prior week against the Cardinals. Everyone gave Detmer zero shot to beat the mighty 49ers on Monday Night Football.

Damn, were we so wrong!. In steps Koy to hit on almost 70% of his passes, throw 2 TDs, post a QB rating of 121.8, and most importantly, lead the Eagles to an 18 point lead. A nobody back-up QB was shining on prime time.

Unfortunately for Mr. Neckbeard he would dislocate his elbow in the 3rd quarter, ending his game of glory. But no worries, another nobody back-up QB stepped in, Mrs. Mitts, to lead the Eagles to a playoff berth.

Moral of today's post, don't go writing off Kolb just yet. Even the worst of QBs can step up when finally given a chance. Our hope of the Eagles entering the bye week undefeated is still a possibility, even with Kolb.

But if he does tank, well Kolb is f-ed because even a Koy Detmer could deliver at the QB spot for the Eagles when called upon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Booker Story: One Man's Garbage Is Another Man's Garbarge

So I was reading up on the happenings of an NFC East rival and I came across the following bit regarding Lorenzo Booker.

It seems that every Eagles' fan favorite whipping boy was in for a look-see with the G-Men. After watching Booker's tenure in Philly it's not surprising that Booker left without a new deal. The Giants liked Gartrell Johnson better. (So who has the better ex-Charger as their 3rd RB, the Eagles or the Giants?)

So it looks like another day on the unemployment line for Booker. It's a shame he can't play QB, I hear the Eagles are into bringing back their exes. Oh well, maybe Booker can go hang out with Tony Hunt on Sundays.

The Youth Movement

I put myself in the camp of still wanting Jon Runyan back with the Eagles. But if you look back at the film from Sunday's game you gotta see it as a good thing that the Eagles have moved on from Tra and Big Jon.
With Peters and Justice (with some blocking help for Justice) the Eagles got younger, got quicker, and got 2 guys who can get the leverage and pull needed to make a consistent, effective run game.

All this time I have been bitching about Reid not running the ball. But maybe Reid just wasn't able to run the ball effectively with Runyan and Thomas the past few seasons. Sure Reid is a pass first coach, but was his over dependence on the pass a result of playing to the strengths of his 2 starting Tackles?

After the 2 False Start penalties for Peters we got a glimpse of how effective the Eagles run game can be with athletic Tackles (and some other giants along the O-line). The athleticism of Peters allowed him to get down the field as a lead blocker for the RBs. The most effective runs for the Eagles were also off the edges (behind their Tackles).

I am still on board with Runyan coming back. But if he comes back he comes back as a back-up. I am liking the athleticism of the current OL too much to reach back into the past. With McNabb already injured the Eagles need an effective run game. The OL from Sunday is the most effective group for the run game.

And just wait until Herremans comes back!

Saying Hello, Saying Good Riddance

You Bleed the Green so by now you know that the Eagles have placed Shawn Andrews on IR. The Big Disappointment is lost for another season.

Yeah, the kid has talent but the Eagles would be wise to cut their ties with Andrews this off-season. Eat the million dollars and get rid of the constant questions and headaches that always seem to surround Shawn. (Plus Shawn has a great singing career ahead of him so what does he need the Eagles for?!?)

With Shawn on IR, the roster shuffling continues. Out is Andrews, in officially is Jeff Garcia. Oddly, in still are 7 WRs, despite deactivating 2 WRs for the Panthers game. But the roster shuffle looks to continue with reports that the Eagles are attempting to find a trading partner for Hank Baskett. (So much for the fade to Baskett in the back of the endzone!)

So soon Hank will be gone, freeing up another roster spot. My guess is that Runyan will be signed for depth at the RT spot or as insurance if Justice becomes the Justice of old. Or if the Eagles don't sign Big Jon maybe the Eagles use the extra spot to activate Vick prior to week 3.

Activating Vick a week early would allow him to practice with the team while McNabb is nursing his rib injury. Or maybe Garcia is the QB answer while McNabb is out (yes, I have already given up on Kolb), in that case I guess Vick stays inactive since he already knows how to run from the QB spot.

So damn confusing with these Eagles. Oh well, at least they are 1-0!

He Ain't No Freak

Here's a novel thought, let's focus on a player that actually played Sunday (sorry Jeff!). Enough QB talk for the moment.
As a group the Eagles defensive performance on Sunday was DOMINANT so it's difficult to single out 1 particular player. But for the purposes of this post my main man from Sunday was DE/ DT Darren Howard.

Based on last season's stats Sunday's perforance for Howard wasn't too surprising. Howard finished the 2008 season with 10 sacks. So his 2 sack performance Sunday shows that a repeat performance this season is a strong possibility. With possible questions at LB and a rookie starting FS getting pressure from the front 4 is a must for the Eagles this season.

Banking on a season of double digit sacks from Howard used to laughable for Eagles fans. Howard was signed to a big-money contract prior to the 2006 season and then proceeded to tank. In 2006 Howard finished with 5 sacks and in 2007 Howard finished with only one more sack than you or I (one).

As a fan you were thinking the Eagles signed themselves another Kearse to the roster. But then a funny thing happened. The Eagles figured out how to use Howard properly. Put Howard at the DT postion on passing downs. Howard isn't DE quick, but he is DT quick. The result was 10 sacks in 2008 and a DT rotation that could generate pressure on the QB.

With 2 sacks and a FF against the Panthers is it too early to think that the Eagles may have another William Fuller in the nest? A marquee DE signing that could actually deliver a Pro Bowl appearance. If Howard get get himself 10+ sacks this season it may happen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

You Can't Write This Stuff

It's like fantasy land over at the Nova Care Complex. If you would have told me a few months back that the Eagles would have both Michael Vick and Jeff Garcia on their roster I would have thought you to be nuts!

But the Eagles made it all a reality today when they signed Garcia. Kevin Kolb you have officially been warned...step your game up this weekend or your NFL career just might be over. Honestly, if the Eagles were to cut Kolb would any team sign the guy? His stats and game action would make it difficult for Kolb to find employment in the UFL.

And nothing like your your make-it or beat-it game happening at the Linc. I can already hear the "We want Garcia" chants following the first Kolb incomplete pass. Hey if the fans are going to chant for Garcia or Vick when Donovan, a Pro Bowler, struggles, Kolb deserves even worse.

The Garcia signing says to this fan that maybe the McNabb injury is more serious that what is being reported, the Eagles have little or no confidence at this time in Vick or Kolb to successfully QB the team, and that this is going to be one hell of a crazy season regardless of W-Ls. (Or could Garcia be that desperate for a team that he would accept game to game employment).

Donovan supposedly may have endorsed the Vick signing. But after 2006 there is no way he can be supporting the Garcia signing. Just imagine a scenario where Kolb gets cut (it's OK to admit a draft mistake Andy) and the back-ups to McNabb are both Garcia and Vick?!?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Heavenly Performance

This wasn't week 1 in 2008. These weren't the Rams. The Panthers were 12-4 last season. The Panthers were the NFC South division champs. The Panthers have the top 1-2 rushing combo in the NFL. The so-called experts had the Panthers again being one of the NFC's top teams this season.

Questions swirled all around the Eagles Defense this off-season. There was the unexpected departure of fan-favorite and future HOFer Dawkins. Dawkins was then replaced by a rookie S who played CB in college. Then there was the tragic passing of legendary coach Jim Johnson. Lastly, one of the conference's top MLBs, Bradley, was lost for the season in a silly exhibition show.

So based on all of this the Eagles D should of been in big trouble today. Not quite. Not even close. To say the Eagles D dominated the Panthers today would underestimate their performance. McDermott must of been talking to JJ the angel on his headset this afternoon. The gameplan was perfect and then some. I loved the use and Cole and releasing him from the LB position.

Williams and Stewart were held to 72 yards on 25 carries. 5 interceptions were spread across three Panthers QBs. 2 fumbles, 5 sacks, and 1 TD. Makes you wish your fantasy team was starting this D today.

McDermott made his mentor proud today. The Eagles defense showed last season's top 3 ranking was no fluke. The bar is set high for the D. With the McNabb injury and the possibility of Kolb leading this team next week the D is going to need an encore performance against the almighty Drew Brees.

Anyone else hoping that A.J. Feeley is waiting in the Philadelphia airport when the Eagles return home tonight?

Kolb Can't Run an Offense, But The Eagles Can Run

1 sack allowed and 185 rushing yards gained. Not a bad day for the much questioned OL. And with the injury to McNabb will Reid actually lean on the OL and the running game in the upcoming weeks? May we see a return of the 3-headed monster. Weaver, McCoy, and Westbrook tallied 121 yards rushing this afternoon, so hopefully the answer is yes.

And even more reason to hope the Eagles lean on the rushing game next week is the play of Kolb. A completion percentage of 64% (7 of 11) may look good, but #4's play was anything but a confidence builder. Kolb may mentally know the Eagles offense, but executing the plays he cannot. Kolb looked scared, indecisive, and as a result was unable to move the offense.

The sample size for Kolb in the regular season remains small, but this fan has seen enough. Some players peak at the college level. Mention the University of Houston to a knowledgeable football fan and I can guarantee the fan will say...David Kingler, high draft pick, an NFL bust. Andre Ware, high draft pick, an NFL bust. Kevin Kolb, high draft pick, yep, he is looking like a bust too.

Back to Donovan. Despite the cracked rib I think he plays next week. The man can handle the pain. Week 11, 2002 season, McNabb breaks his ankle on the 3rd play of the game yet stays in the game and throws 4 touchdowns.

Also Donovan is a team man. He too has to know that the Eagles are sunk with Kolb as the QB. Hopefully Andy rewards McNabb's super man attitude and gives him a running game to heal on.

Gone Are The Off-Season Muscles

Eagles football is back, well at least for some of us. Huh, what?

Remember when the Eagles failed to resign Dawkins this off-season and fans screamed how they were now done with the Eagles. They were spending their off-season looking for a new football team. No more cheering on the Iggles. Hope that new team is playing at 1pm today or you are a big Phillies fan.

If Dawkins didn't turn off the fan then the signing of Vick did. Again some Eagles fans screamed "No mas." The people were unable to separate the horrific off-the-field acts of Vick with on-the-field football. I hear libraries are again open on Sundays...enjoy the quiet.

But come on it's a football Sunday. Time to put away those off-season muscles. You know you will in front of the TV at 1pm this afternoon. Eagles fans can't just stop being Eagles fans because of some off-season Front Office stupidity.

Save the anger for a worthy cause, like if the Eagles season again ends in disappointment. The off-season muscles will be nice and rested to end the Reid era.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Fan's What To Expect - Eagles v. Pantehrs

Screw the so-called experts and their weekly picks and season predictions.

No one knows for sure what is going to happen this Sunday or the next 16 Sundays. See last years Bengals - Eagles game or the events of Week 17 that allowed the Eagles to sneak into the playoffs last season.

Any given Sunday baby. It's what we love about football. So take it for what it's worth, here is what I see happening tomorrow.

- McNabb and DeSean strike early for a TD of 40+ yards.

- The Panthers run game is successful against the edges of the Eagles defense. D. Williams falls just short of the century mark tomorrow.

- McDermott gets burned on a blitz and Jake goes deep for 6 to Mr. Smith.

- The combination of B-West, McCoy, and Weaver together run for 120 yards on the ground by exploiting the weak middle of the Panthers defensive line.

- B-West rewards those fantasy wizards who used a 1st round draft pick on him with 2 TDs.

- DeSean breaks a punt return, but doesn't fully break it, late in the 4th quarter.

- Akers nails a 40 yarder with less than 2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter to put the Eagles up by 3.

- McDermott calls a successful blitz. Gocong forces a Delhomme fumble that Howard recovers.

- Eagles win 24-21.

Fantasy Begins: Sign This Man

The guy on the right, that is. Expect this picture to be a familiar sight this weekend, with a likely 20+ carries to the former Eagles mainstay, Correll Buckhalter. Buck, the Birds' dependable backup for the past few seasons finally gets his chance to shine (even if it is for the possibly dreadful Broncos) and I don't expect him to waste it.

While Westbrook (the Eagles starter) is/was a proven commodity ahead of Buck on the depth chart, Knowshon Moreno is not! A solid week or two as the starter and Knowshon becomes the 3rd down back for this season and the future starter. Sure, Moreno will get touches, but this is Correll's chance to cement himself as the Broncos' starter for this season.

At very least, sign him up as a plug and play for this week. Buck is facing Cincy's defense, which is mediocre at best... and with Moreno hobbled, he is the guy. Hillis may steal a goalline TD, but the rest of will be the Buck show.

Book it! (for my most recent fantasy advice, check out this post on my website).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Is LB the New FB?

In 2007 it was the Punt Returner position. The oversight cost the Eagles the opening game against the Packers. The season just never got right after that.
In 2008 it was the Fullback position. Too many games were lost because of the Eagles inability to convert short yardage plays. The Chicago Bears game still haunts this fan.

It's now 2009 and I see the LB position as the new position that will surely screw the Eagles this season. Just look at the depth chart as the Eagles begin the 2009 season.

At MLB Gaither is starting with a gimpy knee. Gaither is starting not because he excelled in the off-season but because Mays didn't excel. Currently backing up Gaither at MLB is Chris Gocong, who has zero experience manning the middle. Joe Mays is out up to 4 weeks so he is zero help for the 1st quarter of the season. And once the pressure was on Mays this off-season he crumbled so I am not too optimistic that he will step up when the games actually count.

The picture is just as bleak when you move outside. Based on his progression last season I am excited about Gocong at the SAM position. Hopefully Chris is put into more situations that allow him to pressure the QB. Behind Gocong is 7th round draft pick Moise Fokou. A rookie means no game experience. Being a 7th round pick screams project to this fan.

Over at the WILL position you have Jordan. No complaints with Jordan as his insertion into the starting line-up coincided with the defense improving last year. Jordan won't lose a game for you, but sometimes you wish there were a few more game changing plays in him. Backing up Jordan is Tracy White. The guy had zero tackles last season and 27 total tackles for his career. This numbers scream for Jordan to stay healthy.

Or maybe I am wrong about the LB position. Maybe Free Safety is the position of doom this season for the Eagles. When a LB gets beat there is still the S to keep the opponent from taking it to the house. When Macho Harris gets beat it's a sure 6 points!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Confidence Builder This Is Not!

I am psyched for the season opener...less than 3 days away. Well I was psyched until I read the following statement from Marty Mornhinweg...

Mornhinweg also acknowledged that he has not gone into a season with as many untested parts as he has this season. The goal for the offense is to “get a little better each game,” he said.

What about the talk about this being the most talented offensive roster since 2004! Not much of a confidence builder...damn you Marty for ruining my Thursday! Oh yeah, the Big Kid was held out of practice today. What happened to "beasting" it up Shawn?!?

Well time for another glass of the green kool-aid. The offense will be fine and Andrews will be a beast again come Sunday!

Gross and Otah Equals Worried

Hell if we fans know the strengths and weaknesses of the Eagles defense there is a pretty good chance that the guys in Carolina earning a paycheck for coaching know them too.

The Eagles need to score quick on Sunday. The Eagles need to build an early lead on the Panthers (Donovan to DeSean...Touchdown!). Doing so means the Panthers will need to abandon the run and instead rely on Delhomme and the passing attack to win the game. I like that game plan better a whole lot better than the one that has Williams and Stewart pounding the ball.

Williams and Stewart are talented, but the key to their success is the massive Tackles that they are running behind. Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah are 2 of the top Tackles in the game (Gross could even be considered the best T in the entire NFL). These 2 giants are sure to wear down the Eagles undersized DEs as the game progresses.

I have no concerns with Patterson and Bunkley stopping runs up the middle. I do have concerns with Cole, Parker, Clemons, and Babin stopping the run on the outside. If the game is close it could be a long day of runs off the edge for the Eagles D. And with questions at LB and S these runs could be big gainers.

Here's hoping Delhomme is airing them out come Sunday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm Talking Playoffs in Week 1

Yes Donovan there are such things as ties. And in this case a tie in records is as ugly as a tie against the Cincinnati Bengals.

A win by the Eagles this Sunday means a head-to-head victory over a team that the Eagles will surely be fighting with for a playoff spot. If 1 playoff spot remains for the Eagles and Panthers this season and each team is sporting identical W-L records the Eagles, if victorious this Sunday, get the nod. Case closed, easy to figure out, no confusing tie breakers.

Look I am as confident as the next Eagles fan about the team this year. I see a record of 11-5 or 12-4. I see an NFC East title and automatic playoff birth. But the Giants are a pretty damn good team themselves so a division title isn't guaranteed. The ticket to the playoffs may have to come via the wild card. And when you start talking wild card you start talking about the entire NFC.

This is why games against the Panthers, Falcons, and even the Saints this season are huge. Each team is possibly playoff caliber. Losses to any of these teams could mean no playoff football in Philadelphia.

Last season's entry into the playoffs most likely used up an eternity of luck for the Eagles franchise. The Eagles need to take care of business on the field this season. Beat the Panthers Sunday (despite it only being Week 1) and the road to the playoffs becomes a bit easier. And yes I'm talking playoffs!

Let's Stick to Football, Please!

I understand that Vick needs to conduct community service to repair his image and show remorse for his horrific acts (I still question how genuine the remorse truly is).

But as a fan I am tired of seeing headlines about the Eagles working with animal rights groups and Vick conducting speeches at local high schools.

I want news on Eagles football. As a fan I only care about what happens between the white lines or off-the-field matters that have an impact on the success of the Eagles (injuries, roster moves, interviews).

But since Vick is an Eagle the off-the-field news will be as heavy as anything that Vick does on the field this season. Here's hoping the McNabb and the offense light it up against the Panthers and Saints. Keep the need for Vick to a minimal.

Are the Eagles Off and Running?

Sunday's opponent is the Panthers. So of course we are hearing non-stop chatter about the dynamic running combo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. After their monster 2008 season the hype is well deserved, but this fan is thinking that the Eagles run game will more more effective come Sunday (what did you expect, I am an Eagles fan!).

My 4 reasons...

  1. The Panthers top run stuffer DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu was lost for the season when he tore his Achilles tendon in early August.
  2. Even with Kemoeatu playing in 2008, the Panthers defense surrendered 120 rushing yards per game.
  3. 3 of the 4 DTs on the Panther roster have 1 year or less NFL experience.
  4. Sure it was only preseason but the Panthers surrendered an average of 134 rushing yards per game (4.5 YPC average).

But this post is probably all for naught since I am counting on pass-happy Reid to run the ball. But maybe, just maybe, the combination of a healthy B-West, rookie stud McCoy, a true FB in Weaver, and a mammoth rebuilt OL will make this season rush-happy Reid. Maybe the pass preference went with the lost 75 pounds!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vick Coming Back? Maybe Soon

Tony Curtis out, Alex Smith in. I do not expect this to be the last shake-up of the current 53 man roster. I am guessing (and it's a confident guess) that another big roster move will be coming later this week (and it's not the resigning of Greg Lewis).

The big move is that the Eagles will cut either WR Reggie Brown or WR Hank Baskett. (Maybe Brown too can find himself a playboy model to cover the bills). I think the Eagles are currently carrying 7 WRs in hopes of landing a trading partner for 1 of these 2 players. Once they realize there are no takers (which I find hard to believe) they will trim down to 6 WRs.

Who gets the extra spot? Michael Vick of course. Yes I am aware that Vick is suspended for the first 2 games. But Vick needs to be practicing with the team during the suspension. See Thursday's game against the Jets as reason #1, 2, 3, etc...

Under the suspension and since the Eagles do not have Vick on the active roster he can only attend meetings. Vick cannot practice with the team until after the Saints game. Not having Vick practice until then just adds to the rust. Not having Vick practice until then just adds to the teams' inability to develop cohesion and chemistry with the teams other offensive pieces.

Though I see Vick as only a gimmick player he is still a valuable weapon. And the weapon needs to be working with the first team offense at practice. We cannot have a repeat of the Jaguars preseason game where rhythm is interrupted and people are complaining about the disruption.

Oh yeah, the Eagles and especially Reid have a lot riding on the Vick project being a success this season. You do not keep Vick away from the team an additional 2 weeks with these high stakes. Chemistry, maybe Reid's job, the credibility of the franchise, the credibility of the owner were all put on the line when Vick inked the contract.

So the move has to be coming.

And here's another thought for about Baskett being the odd man out? I am worried about the health of Curtis. Last year it was the sports hernia, this year it is the knee. If Curtis can't stay healthy I would rather have a WR with starting experience (Brown) lining up opposite DeSean until Maclin is ready to assume the starting spot (which could be a while based on his lengthy camp absence).

And hey, if you need an extra WR later in the season, there's always Lewis! 5 days until kick-off. The madness has only just begun!

Which Is It Andy? Eagles Sign TE Smith

So I guess this is kinda like trading Feeley to the Pats for a back-up TE? Expect Feeley isn't up in New England, well at least not yet.

Today's roster tweak is the Eagles adding TE Alex Smith, formerly of the New England Patriots. I guess the next tweak will be who goes so Smith gets a spot? Will it be Tony Curtis, who recent reports had Reid liking so much after Thursday's performance against the Jets that he didn't trade for a TE?

Or maybe more interesting do the Eagles say goodbye to one of their 7 WRs...Brown or Baskett? I still find it hard to believe that the Eagles can't get at least a low round draft pick for one of these two.

But back to Smith. It terms of a back-up TE the statistics look pretty damn good. In his 4 seasons Smith has averaged 32 receptions, 313 yards, and almost 3 TDs. Numbers that are actually better than starter Celek (though I think a monster season awaits Celek this year) and indicate an athletic, pass catching TE (easing the blow of the Ingram injury).

I like the move. Hopefully the guy can block too!

Update: Eagles have released Tony Curtis.

A Fast Start for McNabb

I had written a post yesterday regarding the importance of the Eagles getting off to a fast start. Keeping with the theme, but drilling down to specifics I think McNabb needs to get off to a fast start.

In terms of challenging McNabb for the #1 QB spot this preseason Vick and Kolb have shown little. Though Kolb may mentally know the Eagles system he still looks hesitant and confused in game action. As his play on Thursday night showed there is too much rust on Vick's QB game to expect him to contribute this season as a pure QB. His value comes on "gimmick" plays.

The best thing that could of happened for McNabb was for Vick to be suspended for the season's first 2 games. If McNabb can get off to a fast start he can squash any cries or controversy that Vick should be given a shot at QB. No more "We want Vick" chants in the Linc. Show everyone again that this isMcNabb's team, McNabb's franchise!

Hopefully a fast start will also cause Reid and Mornhinweg to change their thinking on the number of times that Vick is inserted into the line-up on game day. A fast start will show offensive cohesion and rhythm. Put big points on the board early against the Panthers and Saints. Show the coaches that altering the game plan significantly for Vick will hinder the offense, not help. Keep the Vick plays to 5 snaps or less.

McNabb and the Eagles need a 2-0 start.

Monday, September 7, 2009

In Case You Are Interested...

Courtesy of Bodog....

Odds to win the 2009 Super Bowl XLIV
Philadelphia Eagles 10/1

Odds to win the 2009 NFC Championship
Philadelphia Eagles 9/2

Odds to win the NFC East Division
Philadelphia Eagles 9/5

Regular Season Win Total Over/Under
Over 9.5 -160
Under 9.5 +130

Where will the Philadelphia Eagles finish in the NFC East
1st 9/5
2nd 9/5
3rd 11/4
4th 4/1

Total Passing Yards – Donovan McNabb
Over/Under 3500

Total TD Passes – Donovan McNabb
Over/Under 20.5

Total INT – Donovan McNabb
Over/Under 10.5

Total Rushing & Receiving Yards – Brian Westbrook
Over/Under 1450

Total TD’s – Brian Westbrook
Over/Under 10.5

Total Receiving Yards – DeSean Jackson
Over/Under 975

Total TD’s – DeSean Jackson
Over/Under 4.5

Total INT – Asante Samuel
Over/Under 5.5

Who will have more sacks?
Trent Cole 2/3
Darren Howard 6/5

Starting with the OL and FS

Good news all around for the Eagles and of course us fans. 6 days until the season opener and the Eagles will have 4/5 of their stud offensive line in place and they will have a starting Free Safety that can actually hit!

First the offensive line. I (along with many others) have been quick to worry about and criticize the offensive line this off-season. Well it turns out that, it was only preseason and preseason doesn't count for squat.

When the Eagles take the field against the Panthers this Sunday (football is back!!) the Eagles will have both of their Pro Bowl Tackles in place. Peters may not have shined this preseason but the man must have some talent to earn 2 pro bowl selections. The man is a GIANT and I can't wait for the holes he will be opening for B-West.

As much as I criticized Shawn Andrews this off-season I am ecstatic that my complaining didn't become a reality with Shawn starting the season on the bench. The kid has All-Pro talent and I can't wait to see him and his brother holding down the right side of the line this season.

You need an established veteran at center and the Eagles have that with Jackson. Herremans will be back within the first quarter of the season. At that point look out. The offense has so many weapons this season. The talent all along the OL will pave the way for Pro Bowl seasons from McNabb, B-West, and DeSean.

On to today's news of Macho Harris winning the starting free safety spot over Demps. If you are going to play safety in this league you need to be able to hit. And Harris can hit (take a look at the game film...Demps cannot). Just look at this Harris scouting report...

"Reliable open-field tackler who flashes explosiveness as a hitter. Willing to dirty his jersey against the run. Good lateral agility to elude blockers and will come up aggressively in run support."

True this was a report from college, but regardless these are all qualities I want in a safety. And with a defensive backfield filled with top-notch veterans (Brown, Samuel, and Mikell) I am not worried about starting a rookie (also shows trust in your draft scouting).

Way to rebound from the Feeley move Andy!

Get Off to a Fast Start

As painful as it is to do I think back to last season's NFC Championship game against the Cardinals. Even with missed opportunities by both the offense and defense this fan still believes that had the game been played in Philadelphia the Eagles would have won the game.

Case closed, Arizona would not have traveled to the Linc and left victorious. Just would not have happened. But home field wasn't a reality and instead the Eagles left Arizona with Cardinal celebratory confetti filling the sky.

But on to present day and me (and hopefully all fans) placing a heavy emphasis on the Eagles having home field advantage in the playoffs this season. Playing in the NFC East will make this tough, but the NY Giants managed to accomplish this feat last season.

No more sneaking into the playoffs on the season's final game (thought it was pretty damn sweet to win in Week 17 and also knock out the Cowboys!). The Eagles need to start fast this season. I know easier said than done when you look at recent Eagles' history. In short, early wins have eluded the Eagles in recent seasons.

- 2005: 4-4
- 2006: 4-4
- 2007: 3-5
- 2008: 5-3 (good, but then lost and tied games 9 and 10)

An opening season, road match-up against the Panthers would lead most to think 0-1 out of the gate. But don't forget that the Panthers lost some key defensive players this preseason and the Panthers strong offensive strategy (running) equals the Eagles strong defensive strategy (see Patterson and Bunkley stopping the run).

So this fan is thinking offensive explosion by the Eagles (see Rams game last season) and a 1-0 start. With games against the Saints, Chiefs, Bucs, Raiders, and the G-Men and Cowgirls both at home opening the season with a 6-2 record (or dare I say 7-1) is definitely achievable.

Give yourself some breathing room. In the event of an injury there is some padding to the record. Then regroup for the stretch run and finish by kicking the Cowboys' ass on January 3 (season finale) to clinch home field and keep Dallas home for the playoffs.

6 more days...I can't freaking wait!!

Do The Eagles Have Room for an 8th WR?

Nope! Greg Lewis has been cut!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Honor Jim Johnson

Lost in all the Vick-mania this off-season has been the need to remember and honor the legacy of Jim Johnson. Honor his impact on the Eagles franchise, the entire NFL, and honor the great man he was.

To help show your support I urge you to check out

At the site you can purchase t-shirts honoring Jim Johnson. And the best part of the purcahse is that a portion of the proceeds for each purcahsed shirt will be donated to the Jim Johnson Melanoma Research Fund. Great cause, great T-shirt.

Below are some pictures of shirts you can buy.

Guess The Yards - Win a Book!

If Vick QBing wasn't enough to get the juices flowing for another meaningless preseason game here is a little something extra to add some intrigue.
Guess the number of passing yards Vick throws for tonight and win a singed copy of The Football Fan's Manifesto.
The 3 people with the closest guess will receive a signed copy of the book. Below is a blurb about the book which is written by the guy from Kissing Suzy Kolber...

This book isn’t for the casual fan—it’s not for the guy who watches Monday Night Football only if his girlfriend isn’t engrossed in “The Bachelor” that night. Tunison is the ultimate NFL fan—he has no love for MLB, the NBA or the NHL, and his book is an ode to all things pigskin. Insightful and hilarious chapters include “The Memory of Your Team’s Epic Playoff Loss Will Set the Tone for All Your Future Personal Failures” and “If You Need Don Cheadle to Motivate You for the Playoffs, You Aren’t a Fan.” This book is written by a football addict for others who share his rabid passion.

Email your guesses here. Winners will be contacted via email next week for shipping address.

Is Andy Reid Coming Back?

Tonight the preseason ends (FINALLY!) In a little over 1 week the games start counting and the pressure begins mounting.

We all know the bio. Reid and McNabb are entering their 11th season as coach and QB of the Eagles. Until recently the off-season headlines have focused on the question of McNabb's future with the Eagles. Will the team give #5 an extension? Would the team explore the possibility of a trade? Is it 2 more years and done for McNabb in Philadelphia? All good questions...time will tell.

With all the McNabb (and Vick) talk this off-season Reid's future has gone a bit under discussed. It shouldn't if you look at Reid's current deal. Just 2 years remaining. So with 2 years remaining it is logical to think that this upcoming season would be a show me the money or show me the door season.

A coach of Reid's stature doesn't deserve to go into the 2010 season clinging to a 1 year deal. The question at some point this season will be are the Eagles going to again extend Reid's contract?

Bashers of the Eagles' front office will be quick to say that Reid is the puppet running the Banner and Lurie show. Reid will be here as long as he keeps Lurie a billionaire (the latest report has the Eagles valued at $1.123 billion). But to continue to make money you need to put a winning product on the field (otherwise the Phillies will continue to steal all the Philly fan's love and money).

Sure the Eagles made the NFC Championship Game last season.. But they also needed an Oakland Miracle to simply qualify for the post season after a 9-6-1 record. 9-6-1 equals slightly above average. The past 4 seasons under Reid the Eagles have gone 33-30-1 in the regular season. Again, slightly above average.

Does average warrant a new extension? Will an 11th season without a title finally be enough to convince ownership that Reid can't deliver a title? At some point even the most loyal owners need to realize a change may be necessary.

The 2009 season is a big one for the big guy. The seat may not be hot now, but each loss is sure to crank up that temperature on Reid.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Beard is Back - Well It Should Be

The beard I am growing has nothing to do with the fall weather that we are currently experiencing. Nope, it has everything to do with the current state of the Eagles.

The Andy Reid beard brought us fans so much good fortune last season (well until that NFC Championship Game, but the beard can't be blamed for that one, the Eagles almost always seems to crumble in the NFC Championship game).

So with so many questions already surrounding the 2009-'10 Eagles I thought it's time to start growing the beard. OL, Safety, MLB...the beard has us covered.

McNabb has a problem with to the beard. I can already picture the beard staring in the next Shawn Andrews You Tube video. And if come December the Eagles are tanking, well the Reid beard should have that Santa Claus look and we Philly fans love to show our appreciation to Santa (sorry, couldn't resist and, yes, only kidding!).

I know Andy doesn't read Bleed Eagles Green (though he should) but this fan is hoping for a return of the beard. The success of our season is depending on your facial hair Andy.

Bye, Bye Booker

Second chances. It's been a theme during the Eagles 2009 off-season. I'll spare you another Vick post and instead focus on another Eagle who was given a second chance. Hopefully Vick has better luck then Lorenzo Booker with his second chance.

Chance one was being selected in the 3rd round by the Miami Dolphins. This chance was wasted when he couldn't manage to crack the starting line-up or contribute significantly to a 1-15 Dolphins team. But one man's garbage is another man's 4th round draft pick.

Chance two was being traded to the Eagles for a 4th round draft pick. Chance two was wasted when Booker managed only 53 yards rushing and 11 yards receiving during the 2008 season. Oh yeah, the guy was also benched for 6 games and made Winston Justice look like an All-Pro with his turnstile blocking in the backfield.

I remember attending the Eagles game last Thanksgiving and being so excited with the performance of Kyle Eckel. With each strong carry I dreamed of the permanent deactivation of Booker. Evidently my turkey had too much tryptophan and I was delusional. Booker would unfortunately be returning for the 2009 season.

Insert off-season pick-up Eldra Buckley. See a strong preseason rushing the ball by Buckley. See a strong preseason on special teams by Buckley. See Thursday night, September 3, 2009 being the last game that Booker plays for the Eagles.

It's a guarantee that the Eagles are only keeping 3 RBs on the roster. The versatility of Weaver eliminates any need for a 4th RB. This should all equal Booker being cut when the Eagles trim their roster to 53 players next week.

Bye, bye Booker. Make sure the door hits you hard on the way out. I hear Reno is looking for a business partner out in Utah. And I know a couple hundred thousand fans that would willingly drive you to the airport for the first plane out of Philadelphia!

Is Vick The Future at QB?

Sorry fellow Eagles' fans, here is yet another Michael Vick post. But I need some outside opinion on radio comments I heard from Jeremiah Trotter on Sunday morning.

It's the opinion of Trotter that Michael Vick will be the starting QB for the Eagles in the future. It could happen in 2010 or 2011, but it WILL happen per Trotter. Though the opinion may first seem outlandish, there is some merit to the thought.

Trotter's argument is that the Eagles will go through too much on and off the field controversy to warrant only keeping Vick for one season in a gimmick-type role. Instead the team will take their PR lumps this season, while putting Michael through extensive QB training and then make him the QB of the future.

As stupid as this theory may initially sound I am actually beginning to believe it might not be so far fetched. Throw in the facts that McNabb did not get a contract extension this off-season and the teams' current unwillingness to fully support McNabb's "rhythm" claim and Trotter might be on to something here.

But as is always the case with McNabb he is in total control of the situation. If McNabb can deliver a big 2009 season (e.g. Super Bowl title) the door slams shut on a future with Vick. A Super Bowl title would almost surely mean a contract extension and McNabb finishing his career in midnight green, while Vick hits the trade market.

But if the 2009-'10 season ends in disappointment what keeps the Eagles from moving on from the McNabb era? McNabb, being the better QB, would have greater trade value than Vick. For the Eagles, Vick is 2 years younger than McNabb and will have had a full year learning under Reid, McNabb, and Mornhinweg. Maybe in that year Vick can make a career transition similar to Cunningham (scrambler to pocket passer).

As we have seen already this preseason Vick's presence is going to cause a lot of controversy on and off the field. As the weeks pass the number of questions will only increase. As fans we can only hope the on-the-field excitement for the Eagles out weighs the off-the-field circus this season.

And to end the post, I personally hope that the Ax Man is wrong and McNabb puts up MVP caliber numbers this season and is riding the lead float down Broad Street in February. Vick will then be on the first trade out out of Philadelphia next off-season.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Return of "For Who, For What"

"For who, for what?" Ricky Watters may have coined the phrase, but I am thinking Dan Klecko might want to adopt it as his own.

Cut-downs are fast approaching for NFL teams. And like all teams the Eagles have some difficult decisions to make. One area that has some intrigue is along the defensive line. More specifically who gets the final spot on the DL?

I see Patterson, Bunkley, Abiamiri, Laws, Clemons, Smith, Parker, Howard, and Cole making the final cut. That leaves Jason Babin and Dan Klecko fighting for the last spot.

So a season after moving to FB for the good of the team Klecko may soon find himself out of a job. Prior to becoming the teams' full-time FB last season Klecko was off to an impressive start, notching 2 QB sacks in the seasons first 4 games. But any future padding of the stats was lost when Klecko moved to the offensive side of the ball.

Fast forward to the 2009 season and Klecko is back to playing defense. Unfortunately for Klecko the Eagles took a chance on cast-off Jason Babin this off-season.

When Babin was first signed it looked like nothing more than an extra body for camp. The Eagles would be Babin's fourth team in his short 6 year career. A former first rounder that never delivered first round results.

But a funny thing happened this preseason...Babin actually began playing like a 1st rounder. In 3 preseason game Babin has notched 2 QB sacks and several more QB hurries. These are numbers that earn you a roster spot.

So with Babin excelling Klecko looks to be the odd man out. Sure Babin is a DE and Klecko is a DT, but the ability of both Howard and Abiamiri to play the DT position on passing downs limits the number of true DTs the Eagles need to keep on their roster. Laws should be able to spill both Patterson and Bunkley when necessary.

So in the end putting the team ahead of himself might end up screwing Klecko. For who, for what indeed!

Friday, August 28, 2009

McNabb Being The Leader

One of the greatest criticisms of Donovan McNabb has been his supposed lack of leadership. Sadly, even when McNabb portrays leadership qualities he still gets criticized.

In my opinion I view McNabb voicing and signaling his displeasure over the Vick "trickery" last night and the offense being unable to establish a rhythm as leadership. McNabb realizes the importance of getting HIS offense on track before the regular season rolls around.

Preseason game #3 is a teams last and really only chance in the off season to establish the cohesion and rhythm needed to start the season off with Ws. The constant substitutions and reformation of the offense for Vick prevented the offense from getting these things done last night.

The starters won't be playing next week against the Jets. Will the offense be dynamic, or even good when September 13 rolls around? We really don't know. There have been flashes of good play, but nothing sustained. The offense will go into Carolina with a lot of unanswered questions because the Eagles too got caught up in the Vick circus on Thursday.

McNabb realized the error of the last night's game plan and made his displeasure be known. He stood up for his offense. He acted like a leader last night.

And for the idiot fans who are chanting for Vick the moment McNabb makes a mistake you are clueless. Vick is no where near the QB that #5 is. The statistics prove it. The W-L record proves it. The off-the-field behavior proves it.

And if you are going to continue to question the leadership of McNabb, well don't go looking for leadership in Vick. Vick thought it more important to please the fans last night with a QB scramble instead of following the play called. Good for us fans, but not something you want out of the position designated to lead your team.