Monday, January 11, 2010

My RX for the Eagles

First and foremost, let's begin with a simple statement: the Eagles' collapse at the end of the 2009 season is UNACCEPTABLE. Changes MUST OCCUR. The Defense devolved into something pitiful, so let's start there:

In my fantasy of how to recombobulate the Sean McDermott's defense, I would make some basic moves: I would get Brian Dawkins back from the Broncos. I don't care what you say about Denver's own defense implosion that Dawk appeared helpless to stave off in 2009, the Eagles CLEARLY lacked a "spark" in the backfield...."Macho" Harris looks like he has some talent -- IF he can whip that lump of shit between his ears he calls a brain into some resembling a smart football player (TOO MANY RETARDED plays by Harris this year...not in the missed assignment category, but in the dumbfuck penalty dept.) Quintin Demps and Sean Jones would be thanked for their faithful service and allowed to find employment elsewhere, I hear Detroit might need some DBs. I would resign Sheldon Brown. Not to an extravagant contract mind you, but a solid pay-raise. The man is a WARRIOR, plays hurt and plays well - the closest thing we had to Dawk on the D. A lot of people have a problem with Asante Samuel's tackling ability (or lack thereof). In general: I don't. The man is world-class 'bout coming up with the some schemes that play to his ability to free-lance...

As for the Linebackers: I can only say this for 2010: Welcome back Stewart Bradley...I don't think the detrimental effects of Bradley's absence from the line-up this year can be over-stated. The Eagles D went from a having a sideline-to-sideline, three-down MLB would could cover opposing TEs to having, well, let's be a honest, a cobbled together mish-mash of smaller guys used to playing Weakside LB (the WILL position in the Eagles D) and Jeremiah Trotter, who, god bless him, did his best to provide the Eagles D a spark this year. With a healthy Bradley back in the middle, Witherspoon at WILL (yeah, I'd keep him), the Eagles would only have to a find a decent SAM (strongside backer)....the way Gocong disappeared from the D I would be surprised if the Eagles felt he was the long-term answer. Moise Fokou needs seasoning and was clearly overmatched by circumstances this year....HEY HOW ABOUT THIS FOR YA: DRAFT ONE!!!

I think the Eagles have fewer problems along the D-Line....I could be wrong...Aside from Trent Cole, the group played solid, but Clemons clearly isn't a gangbuster and Parker is alright....still the Eagles DL can be effective with the rotation they have....I see the Eagles tapping the draft for another DL this offseason...

Special Teams: Bye bye Sav....Rocca was way too inconsistent this year. Sometimes uncorking punts that looked like kickoffs....other times I think Timmy from Southpark could've done a better job. Akers was solid to great all year. Stay in shape and the Kicking is solid so long as we give Akers time to develop chemistry with a new holder. AND NO, Akers' preference and rapport with Sav would not save him in my world, sorry Dave.

As for the Offense....I am concerned about the O-Line...the loss of stalwart Center Jamaal Jackson so late in the season means he probably won't really be ready to play and be back to his old self for next season. Look at Free Agent pick-up Andrews, ACL tear in December 2008, not really back in the swing much at all this year. Peters will round into shape and I think Stacy Andrews secures the RG position next training camp...Ultimately health will determine the cohesion of the unit, much like this year...Shaky early with Herremanns out, Peaked down the stretch and helped the Eagles to build an impressive win-streak in Nov/Dec, then essentially collapsed with the injury to the C Jackson. The Eagles almost always choose a OL in the draft, and personally I think they HAVE to look at the top-rated Centers....

WR - Easy-peasy here. Jackson and Maclin will form a deadly tandem next year, Avant has the slot position locked down...the only way Brown makes the team is if for salary cap considerations. Like Curtis...still both will compete in training camp and be looking to bounce back from forgettable 2009s...Unfortunately for them, I just don't see it happening.

TE - A healthy Celek, with a nice extension, sweet...I'd really like to see the Eagles pick-up a more blocking-oriented TE, but I doubt they will. HOWEVER, if it were MY TEAM, I would be tracking down one of those dudes who blocks like an extra OL...

RBs - I'd sign Weaver, because he gives the Eagles offense a big-back dimension that simply was not there prior to his arrival. Lesean McCoy will only be better with a year in the system under his belt. There is a lot of scuttlebutt about whether the clusterfuck in Dallas was Brian Westbrook's last game in a Philly uniform. My prescription would have him stay with the Birds. The Eagles need leadership. Yes, they need production, but I give Westy 2010. Let him get fully healthy in the offseason and see if the team can coax a revival year out of him. Its a real shame to think this, because it seems like just yesterday that Brian was this electrifying, spectacular play-maker....Not sure if the old Westbrook will ever be back but I give him a shot after an injury-derailed season.

QB - This is where the axe falls. My Rx calls for the beginning of the Kevin Kolb Era. Its time...Looks at Green Bay, Rodgers was marooned behind Brett Favre, but he flourished this year. 2010 is the last year of Kolb's contract. He played in 2 games this year, and set an all-time NFL record by being the first QB to ever throw for 300+ yards in his first two NFL starts. For me, its time to see what the man can do. Will he make more mistakes? Sure he will. He'll only have 2 games worth of experience...but I tell you what. The man can throw the rock, and he appears to have the accuracy with his throws that will make him a better match for Andy Reid's Offense that the strong-armed, relatively slow release, sometimes touchless throws that plague McNabb and send the offense into fits and starts. I mean, every Eagles watcher is familiar with McNabb's gopher-balls, were he just absolutely drills a laser shot into the turf at the feet of an otherwise wide-open receiver. I didn't get to see the beginning of the Eagles clusterfuck playoff game against Dallas, but from what I've read, McNabb began the most important game of the season is customary form, badly missing on pass after pass. Seriously, how the FUCK does that happen?

After these two consecutive debacles in Dallas, which turned a promising season in utter ashes in the span of 7 days, McNabb said "Blame me, I take full responsibility." OK Dude, much as I love ya, and think you are the best QB in franchise history, I am willing to take you up on the offer. Someone's head gotta roll for this shit, and you just put yours in the guillotine. Personally I am sick of athletes and politicians who offer up the "I'm responsible" claim after something goes wrong, sometimes horribly wrong, and then expect no repercussions. Fine, you responsible. You're FIRED.

Is the Eagles' problem larger than McNabb? Yes. Would trading him "improve the team" for 2010? Not necessarily, but I tell you what, much as I appreciate what McNabb has done for the team, I've had my fill of passes thrown in the dirt. 11-year veteran QBs do NOT wither and blow away like 5 did to end this season. How can the Eagles truly, I mean TRULY, expect to get over the hump with Donovan? This year was his chance to show what he could do with new, faster weapons...the answer is play pretty well, and at times spectacularly....but all these improved weapons did not change the rollercoaster, streaky nature of the Eagles O with McNabb at the helm.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Eagles Off-Season So Far

The new just came out that the Eagles signed former Seahawks FB Leonard Weaver to a 1-year "show me" contract. It appears the Eagles finally addressed a roster spot that has sorely lacking and woefully unproductive for the Eagles Offense...they've lacked a real blocking FB since Jon Ritchie, and the guys that have assumed the role, has mostly sucked...(That said, I thought Kyle Eckel did a good job in the second half of last year, and I was more than willing to give the guy a crack at the full-time gig after a full off-season of preparation).

So the Birds have added an OL (Andrews - brother of Shawn), a couple of safeties (take assume the roster spot vacated by Brian Dawkins and Sean Considine.... notice I didn't say replace...Dawk's departure leaves a void no FA can fill), and now a FB.

The thing is - nearly every Eagles player who has become a free agent this year has left the team. The lone exception was Joselio Hanson, but he signed a long-term deal before the FA period started. Everyone else who has tested the waters has flown the nest. And the Eagles has essential made NO attempt to keep any of them. It is quite understandable in the case of Sean Considine and LJ Smith...they've been ready to walk the Green Mile out the door for a couple of years now. And I think the Birds have decided an injection of youth is necessary at the OT position. They did not pursue long-time stalwart LT Tra Thomas at all. The possibility of resigning bookend RT Jon Runyan remains, though it seems quite remote given his ongoing recovery from microfracture knee surgery. If I was a betting man - Runyan will not be back. If the Eagles are willing to let Dawkins go, then you can tell they simply are not going to place much emphasis on locker-room leadership, etc.

And I think that is the thing that burns most of us fans. Letting Dawkins even GET to FREE AGENCY, when the team is literally awash in cap room. Would it really have hurt the bottom line that much to give the guy a decent offer prior to the FA period and preventing his departure from ever even having a chance of occurring? Would it really have been so bad to give the fans that one exception -- that ONE STINKING example of how there is more than just a straight bottom-line to this business that is the NFL, but which has grown to become part of the psyche of all Philly fans? I mean, for Chrissakes, even the Phillies went out this off-season and kept the team together....

Of course I will want the Birds to win, but I want them to win with DAWK, not without him. And the Broncos?? Fuck, the Broncos aren't going anywhere. B-Dawk is going to squander away the last few years of his playing career being part of some "building process" in Denver, instead of trying to get over the hump with the Eagles. That sucks...

Monday, March 09, 2009

To Kill an American

Not sure if this a true, I haven't verified it on, but you know what, whether it really was written by a Australian Dentist or not: IT IS TRUE

Written by an Australian Dentist:

To Kill an American
You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is . So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!)

'An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish , Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian , or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence , which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. The national symbol of America , The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11 , 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo , and Stalin , and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself . Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

B-Dawk has flown the coop to Denver

My all-time favorite Eagles player is no longer an Eagle.

It hasn't quite sunk in yet. I'm a bit mad, a bit out-raged, and more than a little bit saddened.

Brian Dawkins WAS the Eagles. He was the epitome of what a football player should be and how they should conduct themselves both on AND off the field.

It would be a lot easier to take if Dawk was retiring, but the idea that he's still going to keep playing, just elsewhere, is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.

Do I begrudge the Eagles for letting him go? Yep, sure do. Do I hate the fact that money ruled the day and the business-side of the NFL reared its often ugly head? Yep, sure do. Do I think the Eagles are going to regret letting him go? Yep, sure do. Will I still keep rooting for the Birds? Yep, sure will.

Look I recognize that Dawk was more of situational player at this point in his career. I do. Its not like this D is losing a player in his prime, when Brian Dawkins was the predecessor to today's greats like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. Fuck, Dawkins, under JJ's guidance, re-invented what it meant to be a safety in the NFL. Does that mean the Eagles D won't be able to recover? No, it sure doesn't. The primary thing the Eagles must find with his departure is leadership and passion. There are few leaders with Dawkins charisma and presence in the NFL. That's why he's worth the money. Not the stats. Still, as uncomfortable as I was in 2007 and early 2008 watching Dawkins play, but just not quite be the same "B-Dawk", I was ecstatic to see his resurgence and gutsy play for the most of 2008. As a few of the writers said, its primarily because JJ decided to modify Dawkins role, and use him closer to the line, more of a Rodney Harrison run-support guy. Brian could still make some plays in the D-backfield, but even a staunch supporter like me knows, deep down, as much as I hate to admit it. He is no longer a sideline to sideline guided missile. He's an adequate pass defender these days, not the roving play-making machine that we all grew to love.

All that said. Given the Eagles cap room. I'd have paid him. and I think that is far and away the majority sentiment for Philly fans. Its one thing if you don't have the space and have to make tough choices and let folks get away. Its another to be sitting on big pile of room, and not commit the $$$ to keep perhaps the greatest defensive player to ever don an Eagles uniform, and if he's not, then Reggie White is, and Brian Dawkins is #2.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sony's Piece of Shit

I almost pissed myself laughing at this

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Local Detroit Super Bowl Coverage Blasts Millen

Peep this:
Think the local NBC station in Detroit is still miffed as Matt Millen gross mishandling of the Lions organization during his "worst GM ever" tenure there?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sapp Criticizing McNabb is like....

perhaps the most classic case of the "pot calling the kettle black" can be found in Warren Sapp criticizing McNabb for not being in good enough shape.

Sapp, shut your trap and stop embarrassing your own fat ass

Monday, January 26, 2009

Husband Store

Husband Store

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs
She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'
So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.
'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.
She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.
'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'
Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.
T he second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer .
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wrapping up a Season as the Eagles Drop the NFC Championship

First off, I'd like to thank the Eagles for giving us fans a few extra weeks of football when we all thought the season would over shortly after Christmas. If was a fun couple of weeks of playoff football, and way more uplifting than say another season of failure in Dallas, bitter disappointment in NY or god-forbid record-for-the-ages amount of futility in Detroit.

That said, the Eagles 2008 season can be summed up in two words: missed opportunities.

From the personnel miscues before the season ever started: NOT bringing in a big back, keeping the worthless LJ Smith around at TE (and paying him a megabucks 1year franchise amount - oh boy!), not finding a Fullback, and not having a decent blocking TE on the roster...hmmm, see a theme there? The Eagles biggest problems were in the running game this year, and an off-season that saw the Birds to next to nothing (or worse, consider the 4th rd pick for Lorenzo Booker deal with Miami) to address it came back to haunt them.

For every right move: bringing in Asante Samuel to shore up the defensive backfield, the picks of Quintin Demps and Desean Jackson who made instant contributions as rookies, a rarity in Andy Reid era, the Eagles had one of the debilitating counter-moves mentioned above. So instead of moves that put the Eagles over the top for the season, we fans got treated to a roller coaster ride of efficiency and futility.

That is was the Eagles Defense -- rock solid all season and truly exceptional down the stretch and into the post-season -- who gave up the NFC Championship last Sunday after Donovan McNabb engineered one of the greatest comebacks in NFC Championship game history is a story-line that has been (and will be) largely submerged by the McNabb-Reid era failure in 4 of the 5 NFC Championship games.

Does the Eagles offense need more weapons? Probably. Addressing the running game would go a long way to helping McNabb, and I do by the way believe he will be back in an Eagles uniform next year. I hope Andy Reid promotes someone within the organization to help with his front office duties, in order to let him concentrate more on the coaching aspect of things.

Offseason predictions:
Free agent wise: Dawkins in back, no question, as well as at least one of the Eagles veteran tackles. The Birds would be wise to get some youth at the position, and I think that as always the Birds will look to the draft for that. If Shawn Andrews returns from a season lost to depression and back pain, then the Birds will have options at Guard - Slot Herremans out to a OT spot, have MJG return from a broken ankle and may assume the other guard spot (or at least have a stiff competition with Nick Cole who filled in pretty well behind him).

Might the Eagles go for FA wide receiver? Perhaps...I am not sure who will be coming free this year, but that other Bengals WR (not Ocho Cinco, TJ who's-your-momma) could be available. Would the Cardinals part with a disgruntled Anquan Boldin? (who will be even more disgruntled if the Cards don't reward him with a new contract after he busted his ass to return to the team from essentially, a broken face) I don't know, and I don't want to guess. I don't see a huge free agent splash like last year. The Eagles FO likely sees a need to tweak the roster rather than overhaul the roster. So long as the tweaks mean more contributions from the both 1/3 and less instances of supposed contributors like Reggie Brown, Greg Lewis and/or Lorenzo Booker being deactivated...then I am ok with it.

Is Kyle Eckel the answer at FB? He could be, if the Eagles actually committed to getting a FB onto the field. I hope the Eagles concentrate of getting some actual contribution from the position next year.

As for the defense. It is a much easier scenario. The D-Line should remain strong. Expect the Birds to add another DL in the draft, but the 8-man rotation worked pretty well. FA addition Chris Clemons went from bust to bustin-ass in the second half of the season and should (keyword there) pick right up next year. Expect more from him as he enters his second year in the defense. (I guarantee there will be an article during training camp that mentions how much the D has slowed down for Clemons in his 2nd year under Jim Johnson).

At LB I can see the Eagles keep searching for depth. I mean, Gocong, Bradley and Jordan pretty much entrenched themselves as a solid 3-some of backstoppers. Omar Gaither (OG) provides decent depth in case of injury, but who else was on the roster at LB??? The guys who were seemed to be primarily ST guys and never really saw the field at LB. I guess that's a good thing though, mean few injuries and generally good play from the starters.

The DB present some interesting scenarios. Joselio Hanson went from afterthought to pretty goddamn solid nickel CB this year. The Birds should be able to keep him around. Lito is gone. Dunno how or when, but he needs a change of scenery, plain and simple. Its best for all parties involved if he's gone by the draft. The two "Q's" (Demps and Mikell) performed pretty well on the back-line. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sean Considine depart or get beat out for a position in training camp....he's could hang around for ST purposes and as injury insurance however. He is probably on the last year of his rookie contract, which means he's still relatively cheap. (I do not believe he was ever offered an extension). One question: remember that injured CB the Birds drafted last year Jake Iwannagohome (or whatever the fuck his name was, I'm too lazy to look in my own archive). Guys would've been a highly touted CB out of OU if not for the injury that cost him last year if I am not mistaken. I'm pretty sure yet another developmental CB or S is in the draft equation as well.

Oh, and in case you forgot...there is no question about Dawk. One of the greatest Eagles to ever put on the uniform deserves to come back. His leadership is irreplacable. Expect to see the missile numbered "20" flying around the Linc again next year.