Monday, March 30, 2009
Tra Thomas, LT
Jon Runyan, RT
Correll Buckhalter, RB
Brian Dawkins, FS
Sean Considine, SS
LJ Smith, TE
As I see it, these are the biggest losses from last season. We’ll start with the big fellas. Our aging bookends are now gone… correction, Tra is gone for sure and Jon is still recovering from major surgery will no play on the FA market. The starting RT spot has been address with a long term deal that brought Shawn’s big brother to Philly to create “The Wall of Andrews” on the right side of the line. But who’s the LT? To me, the answer is easy… Todd Herremans. He’s played well there in spot duty and is a natural LT. He may not be the pass blocker that Tra was in his prime, but he’s significantly better as a run blocker and gives you pass protection as solid as the current version of Tra, at least. This does leave questions at LG, but we’ll get into that as we discuss targets. The team seems to believe that McGlynn can be that guy, not to mention that Nick Cole and MJG both played well at RG last year.
Losing Buck is a pretty big loss, but there isn’t too much to say about it, as he was under-utilized here and deserves his opportunity. I expect big things from Buck in Denver. As the starter there, he should put up 1,000 yards without batting an eye. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a top 5 rusher this season.
At safety, we lost a legend and our most productive ST player. In the midst of the Dawkins debacle, no one noticed the departure of Sean “The Human Cape” Considine. Most would likely laugh at my mentioning him as a key loss, but his ST contributions were phenomenal. With Q as a full time player, Sean became a leader on the ST unit. Thankfully, the team didn’t glaze over the key loss, as they brought in Philly native Rashad Baker, who not only made key plays that got the Eagles into the playoffs as a Raider last year but also made his name in the NFL as a willing and able ST guy. He’s likely an upgrade as a backup S, and can hopefully fill Sean’s shoes on the ST unit. The signing of CFL standout Byron Parker could impact how many safeties make the team, to boot.
Dawk played like the Dawk of old down the stretch last year, but we can’t forget that during the first 6 games last year we were all talking about how he’s lost a step. Dawk’s effectiveness last year came playing out of position, as he was a FS only in title. Whenever Dawk played outside of the box, he struggled; the loss to Arizona in the NFCCG is a key example. We all remember Demps falling down and costing a Fitz TD, but no one remembers the several blown coverages by Dawk. This isn’t to shortchange the legend and HOF hopeful that revolutionized the position, it’s just to point out that we didn’t lose the 2004 Brian Dawkins, we lost the 2008 version. Demps is already an upgrade in coverage, not to mention that we brought in the upside of Sean Jones (which could potentially spell out a better safety duo in 2009 than we’ve seen in years).
I listed LJ as a key loss only because he’s been a starter on this team since the departure of Chad Lewis. Eagles fans, Philly media, and national press alike all agree that this is a case of addition by subtraction. Goodbye ole’ stonehands, how we won’t miss ye.
The primary targets in this year’s draft are all on the offensive side of the ball: RB, TE, and OL (not necessarily in that order).
At RB, there are two big name guys that could excel in our system here in Philly. The first, and most obvious, is Knowshon Moreno. If we target him, he’d likely have to be our first pick at #21, if he lasts quite that far. Knowshon is a smaller back than the bruising Chris “Beanie” Wells that many Birds fans seem to be clamoring for, but he’s got great hands, a necessity in our WCO.
The other bigger name at RB is UConn’s Donald Brown. His name is really hot right now, as many scouts really like him. He is ranked anywhere from the 3rd to 6th best RB in the draft. I’d expect him to be a 2nd round talent, but the hype around him could pushy him into the 1st.
If the Eagles don’t go for one of these bigger names, there are a few other ways they could go to address the need at RB. In the first 2 rounds, LeSean McCoy is likely the only other name that fits our offensive schemes fully. Like Brown and Moreno, he has displayed natural hands out of the backfield. McCoy is compared to Maurice Morris (who could be an interesting FA pickup to provide veteran depth) by some scouts, which translates to me as McCoy being a good third down back for the WCO, as Morris has been for the ‘Hawks. Considered a border line 2nd/3rd round player, Rashad Jennings of Liberty has also been mentioned as a good fit for the Eagles by some scouts, and unlike what the team currently has, he is a bit bigger and stronger allowing him to be a bruiser in short yardage situations.
In the later rounds, there are a few intriguing names. Oregon’s Jeremiah Johnson is built like Westbrook, small and stout with tons of elusiveness and deceptive speed. This doesn’t mean that I am comparing his ability to the Wizard of Westbrook’s incredible talent, just his size and style. Johnson is also a very willing pass blocker, which is a need for any RB in our system, especially since Westbrook’s beat-like blocking ability seemed to be in decline a bit last year. Another name that the Eagles could target is Andre Brown of NC State. Brown is considered by some to be the most natural receiver of this RB draft class. He runs hard, but lacks elite speed.
My pick at RB would be Jeremiah Johnson. He’d bring an immediate #2 with good value in the 3rd. He is also versed in kickoff return, which could prove useful in the case that Demps wins a starting job and needs to share or give up KOR duties. I also like Purdue’s Kory Sheets to compete with Booker for the 3rd spot. He’s likely a 5th or 6th rounder and has the tools to be a great fit for our system. He’ll likely need some time to develop, but could contribute as a willing ST player, with experience as a returner and a blocker on kick off return.
At TE, I believe we need to draft two guys. While Celek is all but cemented as the starter, we only have one other TE on the roster and he isn’t a good one. Schobel has been productive during parts of his career, but he can’t be on this team much longer. We saw last year that he really just can’t get it done, especially as a blocker. This means that the Birds need a #2 that can compliment Celek and a true blocking TE that can fill the #3 slot.
The obvious name is Brandon Pettigrew. He’s big and initially made his name as a blocker. He also is a solid route runner with soft hands. I’d welcome the addition, but he’d cost the Eagles the #21 at least. With Celek’s ability as a possession receiver, spending our 1st pick on TE may be excessive.
More likely and more prudent would be Rice’s James Casey, who could be available in the 3rd due to his age (turns 25 at the start of the season). If Casey falls to the mid third round, the Eagles could make a run at him. A gifted athlete, the biggest concern is his ability to block. While some scouts think he possess the tools to be a solid blocker, he lacks the experience.
This leads to the 2nd TE pick , the true blocking TE that the Eagles have not had. Fresno State’s McKenna “Bear” Pascoe is a solid blocker, but is may not be quick enough to contribute as a blocking in the open field. He has decent receiving skills, which adds to his quality as a possible pick with one of our seemingly infinite 5th round selections. Davon Drew of East Carolina and Ryan Purvis of BC are also interesting names in this respect. Even a good blocking FB with some experience as a n H-back could possibly fulfill this role, such as LSU’s Quinn Johnson or even Georgia’s Brannan Southerland (considered by most the best blocking FB).
My targets here, likely obvious by how I laid them out, are Casey and the Bear. I think that Celek and these two young bucks can get it done. Perhaps one year deals to Bubba Franks and another cheap veteran in late free agency could sure up the camp battles.
The offensive line is the last major target area, but where on the line is a debate. There is a great deal of versatility with many guys that play multiple positions. Shawn and Todd were drafted as OTs and both play OG. McGlynn played every spot other than LT in college. Nick Cole knows both OG spots and can play C. Jamaal Jackson is the C, but has some college experience at LG. Chris Patrick is a reserve with some experience at both OT positions, as is the ever unpopular Winston Justice (who only truly deserves a small part of his bad rep). The newly acquired Stacy Andrews has NFL experience at RT and LG and has played very well at both spots. Mike Gibson is another OG/OT reserve that spent the 2008 season on IR. This isn’t to mention MJG, whom may or may not be ready for the season, but has done a reasonably good job at both OG spots.
With this versatility, the best option for our Birds could be at OG, OT, or C, depending on what is available or where they envision their current guys. As far as I see it, Herremans, Andrews, and Andrews are locks. As the roster currently stands, Jackson and McGlynn are likely the favorites, though Nick Cole played extremely well at RG and may be able to make the switch to LG or even push Jackson at C.
My two top targets are the top 2 Centers, Alex Mack and Max Unger. Either would likely win the job over Jackson from the door and would definitely be the starter within a year. Mack is the better of the two, both as a run blocker and a pass blocker, though Unger is more versatile, having played nearly every position on the line during his 4 years as a starter. I’d target Mack with the #28 pick and go after Unger in the 2nd if that doesn’t work out.
Herman Johnson, the mammoth LSU OG, could be a smart 2nd round target. He is 6’7 and over 350 lbs. He’s a first day starter at LG. At his size, it’s hard to believe he ran the 40 in under 5.5 seconds and reportedly has run it at 5.3.
Add Mack, Unger, or Johnson to the competition in the O-Line and expect this line to be better than last year’s line.
Up Next… Other Targets and Mock 7 Round Draft
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
So instead of wasting our time bashing another Reid interview, let's look at what Reid maybe said by not saying anything...
- Over praising Herremans (should of been a Pro Bowler) and Andrews (Reid's eyes had never seen a finer college offensive tackle) means one of these 2 is going to the outside. I don't see Reid trusting a rookie to guard McNabb's blind side.
- Praising of Nick Cole means Reid saw the same things we did last season with Jamaal Jackson (another subpar season). The starting center spot is Coles to lose.
- Reid likes to have 2 or 3 running backs and have one of those backs complement Westbrook. Reid hesitated to play Booker last season so Booker isn't that guy. The Eagles are going to draft a RB and draft him early.
- Reid doesn't care about fan reaction. Well this is obvious otherwise he wouldn't conduct interviews the way he does. His responses insult the intelligence of fans.
- How Reid probably wanted to answer the question, "What would have happened if Kevin Kolb had lit it up in second half [of the Ravens Game]: I would have looked like a genius for drafting him. We could have saved ourselves another 9+ million in cap space with Kolb and not Donovan as our starting QB this season.
- Matt Schobel is a good receiver means the guy can't block a lick.
- Reggie Brown is a starter means nothing more than trying to drive up Browns’ value for any potential trades. Reid benched Reggie last year. In other parts of the interview he implies that Reggie crumbles each and every time he is faced with competition for playing time. Reid knows, we know, that Brown isn’t a staring caliber WR.
- It’s crazy that Banner is constantly criticized by fans means that Reid is again insulting the intelligence of us fans. Banner is criticized because we fans bleed green passion and are obsessed with actually winning a Super Bowl. Banner (though only doing his job) portrays a man instead obsessed with the business side of football. Every player is just a dollar sign in a business plan. Always protect the company bottom line even if it means continually coming up short of a title.
That’s what I heard today…more enjoyable that what was actually said (or not said).
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sure last years' numbers for Scheffler are impressive (40 catches, 645 yards) but with Celek already slotted as the starting TE the Eagles do not need another TE whose specialty is catching but is just a so-so blocker.
For the current make-up of the team I feel that TE Anthony Becht is a better match for the Eagles. The man is a stud blocker. The Eagles need a blocking TE to compliment Celek and that person is Becht.
Scheffler is not a Tony Gonzalez clone. Tony can catch and BLOCK. Scheffler is on the trading block because he can't block. L.J. gave us enough of that last year.
Let the bashing of the this post begin.....
Even with this slightly rosy outlook I still feel the Eagles biggest off-season mistake to date was not pursuing and signing FA center Jason Brown. The Rams paid high (the Eagles too had the money), but they got themselves a player for MANY years to come. Brown was considered by most to be the top interior lineman in free agency. He anchored a line that paved the way for 2,376 rushing yards. Oh yeah, he is only 25 years old...hello future!!
Even with the aging Tackles last season I felt the weak spot of the Eagles' OL was center. Ever since beating out Hank Fraley for the starting center spot, the performance of Jamel Jackson has continued to decline. In my opinion Jackson currently sits as the weak link along this OL. Unfortunately there is no back-up plan to Jackson.
Reid always preaches about how it all starts with dominant lines. Well how dominant would the OL of been with Brown at center and the Andrews brothers manning the tackle spots. Brown could have made this off-season great (even without a Boldin sighting).
My feeling is that the Eagles are going to regret this one.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Well the Eagles got their guy. Reports have the Eagles and Weaver agreeing to a one year deal.
How could you not love this signing with a souting report like this....
Weaver’s abilities as a blocker and a playmaker make him a versatile double-threat force to reckon with. His rare athleticism as a runner and receiver out of the backfield is God-given. But his blocking, which was a major knock against him initially, has improved significantly, due mostly to good old-fashioned hard work. At the end of the season, outgoing head coach Mike Holmgren told one team insider that Weaver had made himself into the best blocker on the team, and the sight of him opening holes with often punishing hits on opposing defenders has become a routine occurrence.
Weaver is uncommonly elusive, with rare footwork for a player at his position, and he has become a consistently effective check-down receiver with the ability to pick up yards after his catches. He also has growing potential as a short-yardage specialist.
Weaver’s uniqueness could be his only weakness, in that he has excelled at a position that has diminished in importance at the pro level. While it appears he has all the makings of a respectable No. 2 running back, he is an unproven commodity in that particular role.
Love this signing!!
So the best reaction to Reid's comments this week is just ignore them.
Reid had a chance to comment on the Dawkins' departure when it first happened. He didn't and any comments now just seem scripted and rehearsed.
I don't want to hear how the Eagles are being smart in Free Agency by not spending their money. The team has the money, spend it to get the few necessary pieces to get your team again over the NFC Championship Game hump. In 2004 you made big free agent splashes and the result was Reid's first and only Super Bowl appearance.
Save us the nonsense about how good the WRs are and that Reggie Clown is starting caliber. You are only trying to talk up the trade market for Brown. And DeSean and Curtis may be speedy, but they disappear in man-to-man coverage. Yes Andy you still need to upgrade the position.
And lastly please refrain my saying lines like "I am who I am. I do what I do" when asked if maybe you need to change your business-like approach with players. Comments like that don't fly in the real world when you talk about job improvement.
Crap, I just wasted my time and your time actually discussing this nonsense.
Charles Barkley and Donte’ Stallworth. Unfortunately we are talking about them for all the wrong reasons this week. Drinking and driving, and in the case of Stallwoth, you can add man slaughter to the list.
The report came out yesterday that Stallworth’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.12 percent when he hit and killed a pedestrian over the weekend. This level is above the legal limit. In short, Stallworth is in a whole lot of trouble.
There are few bigger fans of Barkley than this guy. I loved Charles with the Sixers, was happy to see him win an MVP with the Suns, and still love the humor and insight that he brings to TNT and commercials. But his comments last week regarding drinking and driving some 100 times are inexcusable.
Come on Charles, think before you speak and act (yes we know you aren't a role model). A 3 day jail sentence may seem like a joke to you for drinking and driving, but Stallworth has shown us once again that such actions are no laughing matter.
We love to love our pro athletes. But it is weeks like this that you wish some of them would grow up a bit and realize that they aren't above the law and there are consequences for their actions.
In the case of Stallworth someone else got the worst of those consequences.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I hear the cries for Boldin and Edwards (how could one not?). You can't argue that either player wouldn't be an upgrade for the Eagles at the WR position. Both are too talented to argue otherwise.
But at the same time I bring you back to DeSean (have I mentioned he is my favorite Eagle). The kid exceeded expectations (big time!) as a rookie. The bar is now set high. I think DeSean has no problem clearing the bar in season number two.
I look no further than two other WRs small in size. Steve Smith is 5'9". I look past his rookie season because he started only one game. Year #2 for Smith was his first shot as significant playing time.
2002: 54 receptions, 872 yards, and 3 TDs
2003: 88 receptions, 1110 yards, and 7 TDs
The next example I give you is Santana Moss. Moss is 5'10''. Like Smith I look past his rookie season because he started 0 games. On to year #2.
2002: 30 receptions, 433 yards, 4 TDS
2003: 74 receptions, 1105 yards, 10 TDS
DeSean (5'9'') actually saw time in his rookie season, playing in all 16 games.
2008: 62 receptions, 912 yards, and 2 TDs
Is it unrealistic (playing in a pass heavy offense) to expect DeSean to also see a significant jump in his stats during year #2 of significant playing time? I don't.
1100 yards, 5-6 TDs in 2009-'10 seems like a damn good WR option already on the team (and even better for Banner, he is still working on his cheap rookie contract).
We all know the bio. Reid and McNabb are entering their 11th season as coach and QB of the Eagles.
The off-season headlines have focused on the question of McNabb's future with the Eagles. Will the team give him 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 of course WR) talk this off-season Reid's future has gone undiscussed. 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.
But 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..
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Can B-West stay healthy? Can B-West fight off father time that so often claims RBs when they hit 30? This fan hopes so and hopes that B-West isn't turning into Marshall Faulk (who Westbrook is often compared to) of 2003 and 2004.
If you look at the stats for Faulk you see a trend that Westbrook began to follow last season.
- Faulk 2001 (28 years old): 1382 rushing yards, 765 receiving yards
- Westbrook 2007 (28 years old): 1333 rushing yards, 771 receiving yards
- Faulk 2002 (29 years old): 953 rushing yards, 537 receiving yards
- Westbrook 2008 (29 years old): 936 rushing yards, 402 receiving yards
- Faulk 2003 (30 years old): 818 rushing yards, 290 receiving yards
- Westrbook 2009 (30 years old): ???
- Faulk 2004 (31 years old): 774 rushing yards, 310 receiving yards
- Westbrook 2010 (31 years old): ?!?
Faulk battled knee injuries. Westbrook has battled knee injuries. Will 30 years old also mean that the best of B-West is gone?
I am hoping that because Westbrook had only 7 years of NFL pounding prior to his 30th birthday (compared to 9 years for Faulk) that there is at least 1 if not 2 good years left for #36.
Draft a RB Reid, prolong the career of your only true offensive playmaker!
*New Eagles Blog to Read: 2 Minutes to Midnight Green
Erased from Tuck's mind are the two end of season defeats his G-Men suffered to the Eagles (on their home turf). Instead, we have our first bulletin board material of the season...
"On paper I think the team to beat is definitely us [Giants]."
Good for Justin, supporting the home team. I wonder if he also thinks it's pedal to the metal for his Giants?
Despite their upgrades on Defense, I think it might be a little premature to go anointing yourselves the best.
The Giants still do not have a viable replacement for Plaxico. Gone is the 2 headed running attack of Jacobs and Ward. And Spags is now in St. Louis.
Sure the Giants are good. But at this time have they done enough to consider themselves the favorites over the Eagles?
Monday, March 16, 2009
The latest news has the Patriots making a strong push to acquire Panthers DE Julius Peppers for a high 2nd round pick (Philly fans dream it, the Patriots' FO actually does it!). Another example of this team getting IT. Never be content, always make the big, right move to keep yourself at the top.
In reality you can't argue with the success of the Eagles. Season after season they put an above average, even sometimes great, product on the field. More often then not under Reid / Banner the Eagles are one of the last teams standing.
Unfortunately, unlike the Patriots, the Eagles never make THAT move to be the last team standing. They do business, a little tweaking, like they are the champions.
Up the coast, the Patriots keep showing us why they ARE the gold standard.
Bob Brookover gives us the following fact in today's paper....
Through the Eagles' first 11 games last season, the team converted third-down situations a horrendous 51.1 percent (23 of 45) of the time when they needed 3 yards or fewer. In their final eight games, including the three playoff games, that percentage improved to 71.4 percent (25 of 35).
That improvement reflected the activation of Eckel and the improvement by Klecko at fullback after he had opened the season as a defensive tackle.
I agree 100% that Weaver would be an upgrade over Klecko or Eckel but is it really wise to invest heavily in the FB position? A position of little importance in the Eagles' offensive scheme.
Can the running game be fixed just by the changes that are occurring along the OL? Inserting the Andrews brothers could be answer enough.
I am talking about some Eagles' fans throwing around the idea that the Eagles should pursue a trade for Broncos' disgruntled QB Jay Cutler. The kid wants a trade, the Eagles supposedly aren't redoing McNabb's contract...connecting the dots is easy.
Sure I agree Cutler's age (26), arm strength (there isn't a throw he can't make), and stats (4526 yards, 25 TDs last season) are very appealing. But his attitude (or at least what is being portrayed to the public) makes you instantly forget all the good surrounding Cutler.
Some fans would say the biggest knock against McNabb is that he is too sensitive to criticism. Others even question the leadership of McNabb. Well if you are one of these people Cutler definitely isn't your man. If these recent reports about Cutler are true, the kid will get eaten alive here in Philadelphia.
The kid is throwing a public tantrum over a proposed trade. Reports even have Cutler yelling at his coaches. Not exactly qualities you want in a leader. Not exactly someone you want in a locker room that just recently lost Brian Dawkins.
And what exactly has Cutler won in this league?!? He QB'd his team to an epic late season collapse to miss the playoffs and overall sports a career winning percentage of under .500. Again not stats that will win the hearts of Eagles' fans.
In the end McNabb remains the man for Philadelphia.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Sadly we will never know. But had the beard lived on, no doubt the big guy would of done well in yesterday's Beard and Mustache Championship.
Yep the NFL news is this slow.
Well if we all (including me) exhale, take a step back, and look at the current make-up of the NFC East...well, the Eagles are still sitting pretty.
For starters the Cowboys and Redskins were sitting home during the playoffs so one could easily assume that these 2 teams have the most work to do. Fortunately for the Eagles, they really haven't been doing all that much...
- Gone Are: LB Kevin Burnett, DE Chris Canty, CB Anthony Henry, QB Brad Johnson, CB Adam "Pacman" Jones, WR Terrell Owens, S Roy Williams
- Say Hello To: LB Keith Brooking, QB Jon Kitna, DE Igor Olshansky, S Gerald Sensabaugh, LB Matt Stewart
- Overall: This fans sees Brooking as another Zach Thomas signing, Olshansky and Canty cancelling each other out, and Williams (WR) not being able to duplicate the success of T.O. The Cowboys are no better than last season, possibly a bit worse at this point in the off-season.
- Gone Are: DE Demetric Evans, P Ryan Plackemeier, CB Shawn Springs, DE Jason Taylor, LB Marcus Washington
- Say Hello To: RB Anthony Aldridge, P Zacrey Atterberry, LS Jeremy Cain, G Derrick Dockery, RB Dominique Dorsey, FB Jonathan Evans, DB Michael Grant, DT Albert Haynesworth, P Dirk Johnson, K Dave Raynor, OL Isaiah Ross
- Overall: They may have overpaid for his services but Haynesworth will no doubt improve a top-5 defense. On the flip side the 'Skins have done little to improve an Offense that ranked in the league's bottom third in points per game, total yards per game, and passing yards per game. Their D will make them better, but when you finish in the division basement you need more than just slightly better.
- Gone Are: S James Butler, RB Reuben Droughns, S Sammy Knight, CB Sam Madison, RB Derrick Ward
- Say Hello To: DT Rocky Bernard, LB Michael Boley, S C.C. Brown, DE Chris Canty, TE Lee Vickers
- Overall: Alright, this fan is flat out scared of their Defensive Line. But without Spags leading the D can the overall unit still be dominant? On offense there is still no replacement for Plaxico and Bradshaw will have a difficult time replacing the production of Ward. Unfortunately the Giants are still the class of the division, but the gap between them and the Eagles isn't a big as people think.
As it stands now it would appear that the Eagles will be fighting for a wild card spot. But, hey, as long as you get into the dance anything can happen.
A big trade, a good draft, and a Weaver signing, well, the Eagles could no doubt challenge the G-Men (of all the NFC East teams the Eagles do have the most cap space and draft picks!).
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I just find it funny that the New England Patriots, the true Gold Standard of the NFL, find value in bringing in a veteran receiver (even if the WR is on the down side of his career). In case you missed the news, Joey Galloway signed with the Patriots today.
Would following the Patriots' way be a bad thing for the Eagles? Absolutely not. And Holt would actually be a better pick-up than Galloway.
I continue to see no reason for the Eagles not to sign Holt.
I am of course talking about Irving Fryar. And when you compare Fryar and Holt, the similarities are everywhere (even their physical make-up is similar; 6 ft, 190-200 lbs).
Prior to singing with the Eagles the stats for Fryar showed a receiver maybe in the decline. In 1993 and 1994 Fryar was a Pro Bowler, posting back-to-back 1,000+ yard receiving seasons. The man was at the top of his game. Then in 1995 Fryar's receiving numbers dropped and he failed to make the Pro Bowl. He was also 33.
Unlike the Eagles of today, the Eagles ignored the age factor and signed Fryar. The result was 2 more appearances in the Pro Bowl and back-to-back seasons of 1,000 yards plus receiving. Hmm, maybe age isn't everything.
A quick look at the stats for Holt shows a drop in his receiving numbers in 2008. But prior to last season the man had a string of 5 straight Pro Bowl appearances. And one could even make the argument that last seasons' dip in production was the result of the Rams' offensive make-up and not a rapid decline in his skills.
Does Holt have some Pro Bowl years left in his 32 year old body like Fryar did? I think it is worth a shot...do the Eagles of today feel the same?
I caught the below note in today's Daily News that is sure to make you reach for that "one more" to help drown away these off-season signings (or lack there of)...
Harold Lewis, agent for free-agent fullback Leonard Weaver, texted the following last night, when asked about his client and the Eagles: "Still working on it. Hope it would be in Philly, but I don't write the checks there"
We Eagles' fans know that the man with the checkbook is Banner. Not a good sign...oh well...bottoms up!
Friday, March 13, 2009
We knew it was coming, now it's official. Torry Holt is out there for the taking. Will the Eagles be the ones to take him. I would say no, but there are a few things that maybe make me wanna say yes.
- Holt would come much cheaper than Boldin. You might even be able to get Holt on a 1 or 2 year deal (which the Eagles seem to love of late).
- Signing Holt would let the Eagles get a WR AND hold onto their 2 first rounders (well unless Jason Peters is in the plans)
- A locker room missing a leader like Dawkins could use a veteran that is a Champion.
- You would think that being cut by the Rams would make Holt highly motivated to show that he still has something left.
- Even at 32 Holt is an upgrade over Reggie Brown and even Baskett.
Or on the flip side, and as others are saying, maybe the release of Holt could even help the Eagles in trading for Boldin. The Cardinals trade Boldin and then sign Holt as the replacement.
Holt to the Eagles...let the rumors fly.
Some teams realize this, others teams don't.
In today's news I caught the note that the NY Giants will not be raising the price of tickets for the 2009 season.
Based on records the Giants are putting a better regular season product on the field than the Eagles. Despite this the Eagles still found the need to raise ticket prices this season.
I guess this is how to become a billionaire the Jeff Lurie way.
Wait, no? You would of fooled this fan.
Every day for too many days it is Boldin this and Boldin that. And with every Boldin mention there is of course a tie to our Philadelphia Eagles. Enough already...please!
Sure Boldin is a stud, top WR. But history shows us fans that the Eagles aren't going to pull the trigger. So why set ourselves up for disappointment when Boldin is absent in Lehigh this summer.
If by some miracle Boldin does get traded to the Eagles, well, all the better. But last I checked it was not the WRs that lost the Eagles this last championship game. They were able to get open and put themselves in position to make plays and when accurately thrown to they did. It also wasn't the WRs that were letting up all those points.
The Eagles passing game is fine. The passing game would be better served with a top-flight TE. The passing game would be better served with a running attack that is not injury prone or is able to generate holes up front.
So I guess I too fell into the trap of writing a Boldin post. Sorry, I know we all had enough already.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Signing Becht wouldn't be a glamorous pick-up (i.e. Tony Gonzalez), but it would fill an area of need. The Eagles need a TE that can block. Becht's speciality is blocking. Seems obvious to this fan. Seems even more obvious if the Eagles would also sign FB Weaver.
Signing Becht for no other reason then to get Matt Schobel off the team also works for me!
Just imagine the Eagles not having to throw the ball on short yardage!
Whatever, good for him.
But also know that when we fans bitch and moan about how Banner and Reid need to go, we need to realize that these two jokers are reasons one and two behind Mr. Lurie's abundance of wealth. This also means that these two aren't going any where soon.
Can you blame Lurie? I can't.
If I ran a business and my employees were bringing in boat loads of cash I too would give them unlimited job security. Such is the way of the business world. And as much as we fans hate to admit it the NFL is a business (just ask Brian Dawkins).
So when you hear Lurie and Banner claim it's pedal to the metal or that they are the Gold Standard they are dead on right. They are of course referring to the money side of the game and few teams are better at that game than the Eagles.
Unfortunately for fans there are a lot of teams that are better at securing the championship that is won on the field.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
All kidding aside this move means nothing more than depth at the Safety position and special teams help. But one does have to wonder why the Eagles would sign a guy who the lowly Oakland Raiders didn't want and is known to get beat on the deep ball (a.k.a. what made Considine famous in the hearts of Eagles' fans).
I need a Weaver signing to cheer me up.
By this time we all have read McNabb's comments on his website regarding the departures of Thomas and Dawkins. Unlike others I am not going to over analyze the comments...glad #5 let his feelings be known. My only beef is that I wish McNabb would stop hiding behind the Internet or Internet sources to voice his opinions. Step up to the mic Donovan.
Oh yea, one piece of advice for McNabb, if you truly are unhappy and want out (which I don't believe) just follow the lead of Dan Leone and call the Eagles "Retarted." I am sure they allow the Reid kids access to Facebook in jail to pass it on to daddy. Zing...ouch!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This fan prefers the Andrews brothers manning the tackle spots over the aging Runyan and Thomas. Sure we will miss the leadership of Dawkins, but the numbers show that Sean Jones might be an upgrade at Safety at this point in their respective careers.
Oh yea, zero Eagles' fans care that Considine, Greg Lewis, or Sheppard are history. Certainly not this fan. Buckhalter...maybe...but we never used him properly anyway.
Lastly, without Dawkins how about making DeSean Jackson the new fan favorite. The kid has talent, plays the high-profile position of WR, loves the spotlight, and is just a flat out cool dude. I guarantee you will be seeing a lot more DeSean jerseys down at the Linc next year.
Monday, March 9, 2009
The Eagles bashing has gone national. Usually this fan is all for a good Eagles' management bashing. But in this case (though it may be unpopular to say this) I think that the Eagles were correct in their firing of Dan Leone, the part time stadium employee who posted the following comment on his Facebook page in response to the departure of Dawkins...
“Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . . Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”
Sure Facebook is a social network designed for catching up with and staying in touch with friends. But at the same time it's also a public domain. And when you do a status update on Facebook, well that update can be viewed by all...including your employer!
If I wrote that my company / boss was retarded (and boss if you are reading this, I love you guys!) I would expect to be fired if it was read. Though I must also admit that I am smart enough to not do this (or even accept friend requests from people that I work with).
So yea it sucks that the dude lost his job (especially in this economy), but them the brakes in the real world...not everything in the NFL is fantasy.
The news of the day is that the rumors of Tra Thomas signing with Jacksonville are no longer rumors. Tra has actually signed a deal to suit up for Jacksonville next season.
Who plays LT, the most important position on the line next season for the Eagles? My previous guess was that Shawn Andrews will be the man. I wouldn't trust a rookie to guard McNabb's blind side.
And as G. Cobb points out, we fans recall Reid wanting Tra back next season. So this fan is too wondering if Banner is calling all the shots now?!?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
When the news is quiet, little things get a lot of unnecessary attention. In this case the little thing is a rumor about CB Bryant McFadden being pursued by the Eagles.
If the rumor comes true one would have to assume that the Eagles don't want a repeat of last season and a CB playing who is unhappy with his contract.
Sheldon Brown would be going, going, gone.
But before we all get excited about McFadden for no other reason than it's a free agent signing, let's look at these quick notes / statistics I found comparing Brown and McFadden:
- Sheldon Brown:
Season Totals: 63 attempts, 4.84 YPA, 44.44 Forced INC%, 0 TDs, 1 INT
"Among CBs with at least 40 attempts, Brown was behind only Brandon Flowers, Samari Rolle and Corey Webster with a 4.84 YPA."
Season Totals: 45 attempts, 5.60 YPA, 31.11 Forced INC%, 1 TD, 2 INTs
"There may not have been a CB that benefited more from his teams pass rush than Bryant McFadden. His 5.60 YPA is very impressive, but his forced incompletion percentage is just over 30 and far from impressive. McFadden is an unrestricted free agent and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers let him walk. While I like McFadden and think he is a solid player, his low YPA is slightly misleading."
The reality is that there really is no comparing the two. If the Eagles want to win now then Brown is your man. If the Eagles are committed to this infusion of youth, well McFadden has Brown beat in that category...and only that category.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
They way I see it is that Sean Jones continues his career at Strong Safety. I then see Quintin Mikell making the switch to Free Safety. The numbers show Jones excelling at SS, so why mess with a good thing. Mikell had the opportunity to learn under Dawkins so let him slide to Dawkins' old position.
And from there the defensive backfield shake-up only continues to get interesting.
The latest rumor has the Eagles being one of the final teams to possibly land CB Bryant McFadden (continuing with the Eagles' youth movement). Signing McFadden would prove to be a head scratcher unless there are plans to maybe unload Sheldon Brown (he is unhappy with his contract)...maybe in a draft day trade?
So an area (defensive backfield) that most fans thought was a position of strength sure has seen a lot of movement (and possibly more) this off-season.
Resign Hanson, trade Lito, don't sign Dawkins, sign Jones, maybe slide Mikell over, maybe sign McFadden and trade Brown?!? If only Donovan saw this kind of movement with the offensive personnel!
Friday, March 6, 2009
The more I think about it the more I would actually welcome back T.O. to the Eagles. Honestly as a fan the 2004 season was one of the best.
T.O. was flat out fun. You loved the antics on the field. You loved the swagger he brought to the team. You loved celebrating his many TDs. You loved wearing his jersey or reading the T.O. stories. You loved the fact that the Eagles were the best team in the NFC.
So I admit it, I would welcome him back. He isn't coming back so in the end I guess I will have to just enjoy the memories.
I am liking the news around SS Sean Jones coming in for a visit. The player has youth and if you look at his numbers he seems to be a real ball hawk (how is this guy still available?). As a defense you can never have enough turnovers. Please Banner, do not let this guy leave without a contract!
Big surprise to this fan that the Eagles are still grabbing all the headlines in this city. One would think that after capturing a title that the Phillies would be dominating the Philly sports world as they close in on starting another season. But even in early stages of the off-season the Eagles continue to dominate and again prove the Philly is still a football town first.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The report is that Greg Lewis has been traded to the New England Patriots. No big surprise that the Patriots would have interest in Lewis as he always seemed to play his best against the Pats.
Terms of the deal haven't been announced but this fan is guessing some more draft picks are coming the Eagles way (or knowing Banner a bag of spare change could have been accepted).
Makes you wonder what the Eagles are going to do with all these draft picks? Is a major trade in the works??
UPDATE: Looks like the pick was a 5th rounder.
But before we go pleading for the Eagles to bring back this play maker let me stress this one point...
- Eagles playoff victories with Terrell Owens: ZERO
- Cowboys playoff victories with Terrell Owens: ZERO
As Herm Edwards said, "You play to win the game." Owens may bring the flash, but he ain't bringing no titles.
Despite the fun it would bring, Owens isn't coming back. The Eagles have a better chance of being able to spend that 40+ million dollars of cap money.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Though we continue to clamor for the Eagles to make a move, the reality is that if significant improvements are going to be made (and the Eagles aren't in a rebuilding phase) they are going to come via trade or the draft. The more likely option would be the draft.
Prior to last season a fan would think it would be foolish to think the Eagles would trust a rookie to contribute or that the rookie would actually deliver on the field. Then along came DeSean Jackson to squash all those myths.
Jackson was a stud from the start. He started the season as the #1 WR and finished the season as the #1 offensive threat. A rookie can contribute and contribute BIG in the Eagles offense.
So onto this year's draft. I am sure one of the two first rounders will be used on a OT. The other pick then has to be used on a RB. And the Eagles need to trust that RB to play immediately. B-West is good, but B-West is also too injury prone.
Here's hoping the Eagles strike gold in back-to-back drafts!
If you believe the Michael Smith reports Donovan McNabb isn't the happiest camper right now. #5 wants weapons and he isn't getting them in Philadelphia.
The national reports have a mini-war brewing down in Arizona between the team and it's old, star QB, Kurt Warner. Warner wants more money and is threatening to play for the lowly 49ers.
Andy Reid used a 2nd round draft pick on Kevin Kolb. Reid is in many ways hinging his legacy on the performance of Kolb. If Kolb plays well, the big guy looks like a genius.
Boldin has repeatedly voiced his desire for a new contract from the Cardinals. No new contract means he wants out of Arizona.
So I propose to trade McNabb to Arizona for Boldin. In Arizona McNabb gets to play with the ultimate weapon in Fitzgerald. By targeting Warner the Cardinals have shown their desire for an older, veteran QB who can win now....McNabb.
Warner goes for the money and signs with the 49ers. Boldin comes to Philadelphia and the Eagles reward him with a new lucrative deal from their oodles of salary camp money. Boldin in turn makes Kolb look good. Kolb in turn makes Reid look good.
Makes sense to me. Will never happen, but makes sense. OK, time to go back to reality (sorry to of taken your time).
If you watched the playoffs letting Tra go may not be such a bad move. But if he goes what is the back-up plan for protecting McNabb?
The news on Tra did get me thinking.
I am tired of people defending the Eagles front office and their dealings with players 30+ years of age. The argument from these people is that the Eagles are always spot on with their player evaluations. The players are in decline and are no longer worth the investment.
I ask this simple question to those people...if the Eagles Front Office is doing so well with their player personnel decisions, where is the Lombardi Trophy to cement their claim of being the Gold Standard??
It's true that the ex-Eagles may not play at the highest level on their new teams. But how does one know that had the player of stayed with the Eagles that their veteran leadership could have been the difference in getting the Eagles a title.
So until the Eagles are parading down Broad Street, let's hold off on praising the Front Office.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I was curious as to what the cut-off age was for the youth movement in the defensive backfield. The answer appears to be 34 you are good, 35...take your hall of fame career and get the hell out of here.
The latest news from Eagleville is that CB Shawn Springs is in town for a visit. Big relief as I had thought the Eagles' invites to Free Agents were getting fire walled.
Springs, is it just a visit or is there a contract awaiting his signature? I guess time will tell. I guess time will also tell what this move truly means. Are there plans to move Sheldon to Safety? Are there plans to move Sheldon via trade? Are there doubts over the ability and progress of Jack Ikegwuonu? This fan is curious.
Besides being on the wrong side of 30 the reports say there may be some good football left in the CB. Not great, but probably back-up caliber good. If you ask me I think he played better than former teammate DeAngelo Hall last season.
We fans have been begging for some additional free agent visits and signings. Yea, I didn't think Springs would satisfy the masses. But don't forget, it's still early in the off-season (plenty of time left for the FO to screw things up even more!)
Monday, March 2, 2009
I was driving home from work today and caught some of Jaws interview on 950ESPN. Jaws thinks the Eagles should play Shawn Andrews at LT. One Andrews at RT, the other at LT.
The Eagles let Tra Thomas hit free agency and now there are reports of him visiting Jacksonville. So if Tra goes the Dawkins route, there will soon be a glaring hole at LT. And do you really want a rookie protecting McNabb's blind side? I don't.
So if you agree with the logic of Jaws the OL would feature Andrews and Andrews at that the tackle positions, Todd and Nick as the guards, and the under-achieving Jamaal back at center.
And most importantly, such a line-up wouldn't cost Banner any additional money!
Enough of constantly checking the Internet sites to see if the Eagles landed one of the top free agents. Time to stop believing every rumor I read and getting my hopes up only to be quickly disappointed. It's time for me (and probably a bunch of other Eagles' fans) to face reality...the Eagles are going to do very little this off-season.
Honestly, at this point who is really left in free agency to get excited about? T.J. is off to Seattle and all others are off to any where but Philadelphia. And while we are at it, McNabb isn't going to be traded to Denver for Cutler either.
So time to go back to my dad's old saying (though neither of us truly believe it)...Andy knows best. Such logic also means that is time time to also squash those Derrick Ward rumors. An established RB who can run, catch, block, and would weaken an NFC East opponent...it makes too much sense to happen in Philadelphia.
I swear the Eagles better not go trading either of those first round draft picks!!!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I am thinking that the Eagles Front Office is forgetting that they were only a 9 win team last season. I thinking that the Eagles Front Office is forgetting that without a Oakland miracle that the team misses the playoffs.
I am sitting here getting pissed having to read about the other NFC East teams making multiple moves to bolster their rosters. Last time I checked the NY Giants finished first last season, yet are making off-season moves like they finished last.
The Stacy Andrews signing was a good one (if he is healthy). But if you are keeping score with the other NFC East teams, the Eagles may be losing.
The Redskins nabbed the top defensive player on the market in Haynesworth. The Cowboys inked a starting LB and a decent back-up QB. And the Giants D is now down right lethal with the Bernard, Boley, and Canty signings.
It's still early, so no time for full fledged panic with the Eagles. But to me it again seems like the Eagles aren't making the moves a championship hungry team. Instead they are setting themselves up for another good, but not great season.
But while we mourn the loss of Dawkins I find it sad that the likely departure of Jon Runyan is receiving zero attention from the media and Eagles' fan base.
Runyan was the Eagles' iron man. The big guy played through countless injuries, culminating with a knee injury this past season that basically forced him to play on one leg. Runyan was the anchor, the heart, the OL glue during the gluttony of Championship games appearances.
If B-Dawk represented the emotion of a Philly fan, Runyan surely characterized the hard working attitude of this blue collar town. There were no sick days, no effort less than 100 percent, no public criticizing of teammates or management, and little or no praise for his efforts. Oh yea the big guy played with one hell of a mean streak.
We will miss you Brian AND Jon.