Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Sheldon Post

While Sheldon Brown is a dependable and solid cornerback, his current demands are frivolous, at best. At 30 years old, Sheldon has 4 years left on his current contract. Despite playing through thick and thin, he is in no position to be demanding anything from the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are the facts:

1. As stated above, Sheldon is 30 years old.
2. There are 4 years left on his contract.
3. He has never been the top CB on his team since entering the NFL.
4. The Eagles believe that Joselio Hanson can be a legit starter.
5. He received a substantial signing bonus only a few years ago.

It is fair to say that he is a solid contributor to this team; and, he is, undoubtedly, a team guy. It may even be fair to note that he could be paid better, but when a player decides to choose security over a big pay day, that happens. Lito cried and played his way out of town, perhaps Brown will, as well. Hopefully, this is worked out; however, it won’t (and shouldn’t) be through giving him a new deal.

On a final note, much ado has been given to the argument that with the loss of Dawkins, Brown is your only defensive leader on the field and is worth too much to lose now. Quintin Mikell may have a point of contention, as he has now exhibited his leadership ability for years, first as the unofficial ST captain, then a leader on the defense. Stewart Bradley is young, but has developed as a leader very quickly. And, Trent Cole’s on-field prowess and ability to pump up his teammates cannot go unnoticed. This argument is not only weak, but pathetic… as the Birds’ youth movement has stepped up and taken the reigns over the past few years.


In closing, while I love Brown as a player, he has no leg to stand on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bye, Bye Brown

Sheldon Brown continues to voice his displeasure and unhappiness with his contract and the Eagles' response to his contract and trade demands.

His full response can be found on Philly.com

So now Brown is going to have difficulty finding motivation to play and this whole thing isn't about the money.

Way to be a leader Sheldon. Way to drag other players' names into your problem. And if this isn't about the money then why even mention your contract?

Excuse me did I miss when the Eagles won a Super Bowl? Did I miss when Sheldon Brown was named to the Pro Bowl?

Shut-up and play. Bring a title to the city and then talk!

Brown knew the risks when he first signed his contract extension with the Eagles. Brown had the option to play for less money upfront and then potentially get paid more later (if he excelled) or take slightly more money then his full potential is worth and get the guaranteed money and security.

What would of happened had Brown stunk or had gotten injured in year 1? Yep, that signing bonus would not have been going back to the Eagles.

Brown opted for the upfront money and now he must face the consequences. Life is tough when $2 million plus is an unfair consequence.

This fan is so sick of the ME, ME, ME culture that engulfs sports today. I can't believe I am siding with the Front Office..but I am...100%.

Monday, April 20, 2009

And We Thought Lito Left

It's like a damn day time soap opera over there at the Nova Care Complex.

The positive vibes of the Peters' signing were quickly squashed with today's news of CB Sheldon Brown doing his best Lito impression and making his trade demands public. Brown is unhappy with his current contract and wants a new contract.

Last season wasn't Brown the guy telling Lito to honor his signed deal and quit the bitching?!?

Brown is entering the final year of guaranteed money on his contract and will be paid less than back-up CB Hanson this season. So yes, Brown does have reasons to be unhappy.

BUT...when you sign on the dotted line, honor the contract. Brown is one of my favorites so I don't want to see him go, but this fan is tired of players complaining over signed contracts.
Players sign long term deals for security. If you don't want the security then sign a short term deal and negotiate a new deal after 2 years. These millionaire players can't have it both ways!

Would the Eagles dare trade Brown? Is Hanson starting caliber? Jack Ikegwuonu supposedly has some talent but has never played an NFL down.

And unfortunately the Eagles drama continues....

The Rumors - Coming To An End

The day is almost here...thankfully! It's the week leading up to the draft.

Teams are going to be leaking a lot of meaningless rumors to the media this week in hopes of screwing up another teams' draft.

So when Banner refused to rule out the Eagles acquiring Boldin one has to wonder is he serious or is he too just playing the game of "smoke screens."

This time next week we will have a strong idea of what the 2009-'10 Eagles will look like. I love the moves to date. The OL has been revamped, a true FB is on the roster, and Safety depth has been added.

Are the Eagles better than when the ended last season? I say yes.

Have the Eagles done enough to make themselves true Super Bowl contenders? I say not yet...but this Saturday can give them that bump. Maybe a Boldin trade and draft a RB in the 2nd round? Maybe a 1st round RB and a 2nd round TE?

On Saturday we FINALLY get our answers. On Saturday the Boldin rumors will FINALLY come to an end!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Should Just Run

How does the Peters trade become even better? Easy, Reid stays with a balanced offense attack or even favors a running attack.

This might be wishful thinking on my part, but the current make-up of the OL just screams for a the coach to RUN the ball. The starting OL averages 331 pounds and screams 4th quarter dominance.

So the next step is to improve the running game. I still believe there is at least 1 good year left in B-West. Good meaning 1000 yards, with a YPC of 4.5 yards. To elevate the run game to great there has to be a complimentary running back, who if needed can also carry the load.

That running back isn't on the roster or isn't left in free agency. That back is in the draft (less than 1 week to go!). Now it's up to the Eagles to show how much they value improving the RB position.

Do they use their 1st rounder on a RB? If so and if you believe the mock drafts than Moreno and Donald Brown should be available at #21. Wells should be gone, which is fine since his game isn't a match for the Eagles' offense and he also doesn't have the all around game of a Moreno or Brown.

Do the Eagles wait until the 2nd round? At that point the team would be looking at Greene, Coffee, Jennings, or Andre Brown. Each are talented but using a 2nd rounder on them might be a bit of a stretch.

Or do the Eagles take a chance and wait to a later round to address the RB position? At this point you are looking James Davis (Clemson), Mike Goodson (Texas A&M), or Cedric Peerman (Virginia). Each are good backs, but, as you can see, there is a big drop off from the round 1 talent.

So here's hoping that the revamping of the OL this off-season is a sign that the Eagles will HOPEFULLY show a commitment to the running game. If they are committed then pick #21 will be a RB. We do not need any more busts like 3rd rounders Moats or Hunt.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tough Bunch To Please

Eagles fans are sure a tough bunch to please.

I thought for sure that the Peters signing would be greeted with rave reviews. A quality LT is difficult to find in the NFL. And the Eagles just signed themselves maybe the best LT in all of football.

Despite this I hear people questioning the signing or stating that the Eagles are right back to where they ended last season.

Aren't these the same fans who a month or so ago were applauding the Eagles for letting Tra Thomas sign with Jacksonville? Aren't these the same fans who were screaming that Runyan and Tra were both too old, were both in decline, and could no longer generate the leverage to effectively block?

I remember Tra being embarrassed in the NFC Championship game. I remember the Eagles pathetic 3.2 yards per carry average. Sure the sacks allowed may be low but a lot of that credit should go to McNabb's scrambling ability.

Did we also forget the Weaver signing? Again, fans were screaming that the Eagles were idiots for playing a DT at FB. So doesn't signing a Pro Bowl FB register as an upgrade?

The combination of a Pro Bowl FB and a revamped OL also makes both Westbrook and McNabb better.

Westbrook will actually have holes to run through. Mcnabb who had no run game in the playoffs will now have a run game (please Andy run the ball). McNabb, another year older, will be allowed to depend less on his scrambling ability, while having more time in the pocket and more time for his WRs to get separation.

I 100% agree that there is still room for improvement on this Eagles' team. Some of the skill positions need upgrading. A young RB to compliment Westbrook and a TE (who can block and catch) to challenge Brent. Maybe the Eagles also get lucky and get another impact rookie WR.

I am usually one of the first to criticize the Eagles' FO for too often settling for being good, but never great. But at the same time when improvements are made they deserve credit. At this point in the off-season the Eagles have improved from last season.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The McNabb Approval?

Well today's news surly won't make T.O. a happy camper out in Buffalo. I wish Edwards luck finding time to get T.O. the ball with his Pro Bowl LT now in Philadelphia!

The Eagles needed a LT...no problem...in comes a 2 time Pro Bowler. You know it was a great move, I know it was a great move, the coaches know it was a great move, the experts know it was a great move...you get my point.

What I want now is McNabb to break his off-season silence and come out and acknowledge the upgrades that have occurred on his offense. Sure the moves may not be flashy "skill position" additions, but the moves made have a good chance to bring greater benefits. Two franchise changing Tackles and an All Pro FB (you also can't overlook the return of an All-Pro RG).

There is zero doubt that the Eagles offense as it stands now is better than the 2008 version. Oh yeah, there is still a draft. A young, stud RB or TE is just waiting to be added to the offense.

So it's time for the McNabb stamp of approval. No hiding behind a blog entry or Michael Smith at ESPN. McNabb wanted upgrades and he got them.

The Greatness Only Continues

We Philadelphia fans are truly blessed.

We have some of, if not the best announcers in all of sports. I will be down at Citizens Bank Park this evening honoring Harry Kalas. Like many of you, many of my greatest sporting moments have Harry's voice in the background. Even today my ring tone is set to Harry's call of Michael Jacks' 500th home run.

With the unfortunate passing of Kalas the current title of announcing greatness in the city has been passed to Merrill Reese. In short, Reese just has "it."

I kind of relate Reese's "it" to the "it" that Brian Dawkins has. It takes only a few seconds of listening to Reese's voice and then bam, Eagles excitement.

Reese's voice brings confidence to a fan. Reese's voice is filled with genuine passion. How can any true Eagles fan not get pumped listening to his comments or broadcast?

When a Dave Spadaro rambles on and on about how great the Eagles are you quickly become disinterested, view the talk as fake. Reese is the exact opposite. When Reese says the team is good or a player is good you believe him, you have zero doubt. You are instantly psyched, you can't wait for the season or game to begin.

And once the season starts there is no one better calling a game than Reese. Sure Reese might occasionally be a bit of a "homer." But who cares. The man calls the game with Eagles passion. Your emotions are hanging on his every word.

Few things are better than watching the Eagles game on TV, muting a Troy Aikman or Joe Buck, and have Reese call the game for you.

Or on the rare occasion when I had to leave a home game early, I find myself running through the parking lot to put Reese on for the remainder of the game. Passing cars look at my Dad and I like we are crazy as we follow the game on the ride home.

When you think Eagles, it is hard not to think Merrill Reese. I only hope that one day we all get to hear Merrill calling the Eagles Super Bowl Champions.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

TrophieSales.com - Celebrate

Is a high five or pat on the back just not enough anymore? Do you instead want everyone to know that you are the best on the golf course? Do you need something to make that round of 18 a bit more interesting? Well how about golf trophies from trophiesales.com.

A trophy lets everyone you know that you are the best. And since you are the best why not shop from the best at trophiesales.com? Orders can be easily placed on-line. The prices are significantly cheaper then the local sporting goods store. And most importantly the customer service staff is very friendly and knowledgeable.

If you don't believe me just look at their impressive listing of clients and the fact that they have been in business since 1975.In addition to golf trophies, there are many other trophies to celebrate one's accomplishments.

You can show your son or daughter how proud you are of her and her academic accomplishments with academic awards. An award will sure a parents' appreciation and keep the children motivated and keep the grades high for the entire school year.

Or maybe the accomplishment is your son winning the local soccer championship or just making it through a soccer season. Again, trophiesales.com is also your place for soccer trophies. So no matter the feat, trophiesales.com is your place for celebrating.

Great prices, great company, and great products. Heck, they probably deserve their own trophy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Eagles Make It So Easy to Hate Them

Sure we bleed the green, but comments like the ones from Tom Heckert regarding the RB situation just continue to infuriate the fanbase...

"It's still not at a point where we're going to say we have to come out of the first two rounds with a running back. We think that there are good running backs in the third and fourth rounds. There always are. We think there are some guys [in those rounds] that can play and help us. It's not like we're in a panic mode by any stretch."

The common public perception of Heckert is that he is nothing more then a talking puppet that the FO sends out to the media to feed the fans information...even if that information is pointless and maddening.

I honestly hope that Tom is just blowing smoke on this one. Booker is NOT an option as a complimentary back to B-West. His blocking will get McNabb killed and his RB skills are non-existent!

The Eagles need to draft a RB early to compliment Westbrook this year and be the future in the backfield!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Team Needs: Take Two

In my last (lengthy) post, I broke down what I felt were the top needs for our Philadelphia Eagles heading into the draft. I highlighted three positions where players are needed: RB, OL, and TE. In a brief recap, I can just state that the areas I’d focus on in these positions are a #2 RB to replace Buck, interior OL (notably Alex Mack or Max Unger to push at C), and 2 TEs (including a blocking TE).

MORE TEAM NEEDS

In addition to these areas of need, there are other areas that can be improved. We’ll start with everyone’s favorite (supposed) Achilles’ Heel of the Andy Reid era Birds… WR. I can already hear the shouts of “We need a true #1” and the cries of “Anquan” and “Braylon” starting up as I type this. As an avid Eagles Message Board user and a follower of Philly sports radio, I know that this town continues to clamor for a top-flight WR because of how effective Donny was with TO. This is valid, but as far as the draft goes, I don’t see us targeting any first day wideouts.

Our depth at WR is the best it’s been in years. Desean Jackson appears to be a real player and possibility a future top-flight WR. Kevin Curtis is a legit starter on nearly any team in the NFL, with great hands, good speed, and strong work ethic. Hank Baskett played well in his spot duty as a starter and has big play potential. Jason Avant was a 3rd down machine down the stretch last year and is slowly creating a name for himself as a great possession receiver. Reggie Brown has ability, but has been streaky to say the least… we’ll see if he’s here much longer.

Looking at this depth, a true stud like Boldin or Edwards would put this corps into discussion of being one of the best in the league. As I type this, it is by far the best in the NFC East (noting that Toomer and Plax have been cut leaving NY no starters at WR, Dallas has to actually start Patrick Crayton, and Randle El still starts in Washington which certainly says something not-so-good about their WR corps). We are unlikely to add anything other than a 5th WR in the draft, unless a big trade comes down on draft day.

Whereas I don’t agree with the masses that WR is such a need, I do see some other needs to target in this draft, one being at the linebacker position. As a huge fan of Omar Gaither, I want to see him win his job back at WILL, but I don’t see it happening. Since he has shown ability at that position and perhaps even more ability at MIKE, I expect him to be moving on to greener pastures if Jordan remains the WILL this season. That said, drafting a solid WILL is not a bad idea. Jordan seems to be more of an Ike Reese who will lead our ST and be a solid plug and play LB at all three spots, but he’s not a starter in my opinion. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniels get pushed off the roster if a draft pick of FA at SAM can show more potential as a backup while filling his ST role.

The defensive line is solid. The safety position has been addressed with two signings and last year’s draft. Adding a solid CB isn’t a bad idea, you can never have too many good young defensive backs. I think it’s time for me to quit yammering and get to the mock draft.

MOCK DRAFT

I presume that there will be draft day trades, moving the Eagles up and down in position at certain places, perhaps even acquiring a WR or LT Jason Peters. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reggie Brown, Winston Justice, Matt Schobel, or even Juqua Parker or Omar Gaither moved. Despite saying that, I will assume merely that we only use 3 of our 5th rounders and 1 of our 6th rounders, trading the others to get players we are targeting in the other rounds, and select players with our 10 other picks.

1 – Knowshon Moreno, Georgia RB

1 (CAR) – Alex Mack, California C

2 – Chase Coffman, Mizzou TE

3 – Gerald McRath, Southern Miss LB

4 – Xavier Fulton, Illinois OT

5 (NE) – Bear Pascoe, Fresno State TE

5 (CLE) – Jason Williams, Western Illinois LB

5 – Clinton McDonald, Memphis DT

6 – Jose Martinez, UTEP K

7 – Kory Sheets, Purdue RB

As I noted in my first installment, I like Jeremiah Johnson a lot at RB, but if Moreno is on the board at 21, the Birds have to take him. I like taking two linebackers that project to be OLBs because White and Daniels are ST guys that provide little depth on defense. If a LB with more defensive prowess can prove himself on ST, I’m all for it. McRath could be the best WILL prospect in the draft, despite playing inside in college. Williams is a sleeper pick by many and is very fluid in coverage, while also being a fumble forcing machine that likes to pass rush.

As for the numbers of people getting ready to scold me for not going after Pettigrew… Coffman is a much better receiver and scouts think he’ll be a willing blocker. The Bear provides an old school TE that could be best blocker at TE in this draft and can help move the chains while not being a downfield threat.

And, one final note. Yes, I want a kicker in the draft. It’s time to Dave to be truly challenged by someone other than some nobody walk on. If Akers wins, good… a 6th rounder is not that big of a loss.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Competition at Kicker?

Kicker. I've probably bored you already. But this fan is finding it odd that no one is talking about the need to upgrade the K position this off-season. If not upgrade at least the need to bring in some competition. Maybe I am looking at the stats wrong.

Maybe I am thinking too much "glass half empty" than "glass half full." 2008 did show a drastic improvement for Akers in kicks from 40+ yards, as he nailed 10 of 15 attempts. In 2007 Akers connected on only 2 of 10 attempts from a distance of 40+ yards.

So maybe there shouldn't be any concern as Akers enters the 2009-'10 season. But this fan has a difficult time looking past Akers' performance in the NFC Championship Game against Arizona. Akers missed both a crucial field goal (47 yards) and an extra point in the game. The extra point then lead to the Eagles attempting and failing on a 2 point conversation in the 4th quarter. And if last impressions aren't painful enough some "hidden" statistics may be even more worrisome.

NFC Rankings:
- Field Goal %: ranked 13th
- Field Goals Missed: ranked 2nd highest
- Kick Off Average: ranked 9th
- Average Opponents Starting Position after KO: ranked 8th

With so many draft picks maybe the Eagles draft a K in the late rounds of Day 2 (as the FA options are slim)? Or maybe I am wrong and the reason the K position has generated such little buzz this off-season is that everyone is OK with Akers for another season or two.