Thursday, August 31, 2006

Which Came first - the Chicken or the O-Line?

Hmm, my discussion today seem to focus a bit on what is more important skills positions (defined as RB, WR, LB, DB) or foundation positions (the O and D line)... The QB is, in my aestimation, a special case, definitely a skill position, but unique in that the QB is central to the entire team... In the case of the Eagles - does the fact that they have health questions at RB and talent questions at OLB negate their chances for a good season? I say no, other feels its a significant impediment.

So the argument boiled down to the classic chicken and egg argument (the best way I can think to describe it)...some argue that lineplay merely has to be adequate enough to allow the talented guy to make plays...I.E. Linebackers are crucial, they need to be the playmakers, flowing through the holes created by the line and sealing the corners etc... Same thing on Offense, good backs are crucial as they are the ones who make the difference between the a 3-4 yd gain and 6-7 yd gain, since (I am elaborating here) holes are small in the pros and even the best O-lines don't routinely blast the D out of the way.

For me, it all begins in the trenches, and that is why I am so stoked about the Eagles season this year. Andy Reid and Co. really bolstered both lines this year (IMHO). 1st rd pick Broderick Bunkley is a BEAST, and Darren Howard looks rejuvenated.

My focus on line play complements the fact that football is a TEAM game...once you get past QB you can find all kinds of examples of winning, but it is the TEAM that ultimately will win the games - re: the Patriots, I think they have had a lot of good players, but certainly not as talented as say the Colts roster (top to bottom in say 04-05)...but who won the SB those years...(grr, why did I remind myself of that)?

Take the Steelers last year, plenty of backs were better than the on-his-last-wheels Bus, but his character, and a quality TEAM (which started with Alan Faneca and Co.) playing hard-nose football and getting hot at the perfect time led them to the championship...On D, it wasn't just Joey Porter who made them great, it was Kimo V.O. and Aaron Smith being so disruptive in the trenches that allowed Porter and Foote and Co do THEIR jobs...

I may factor-in the O and D lines a little more than most, but I don't think its a matter of right and wrong...For the Eagles though, I think AR clearly is a line if you place high value on positions like WR, RB and OLB , you're in for pretty much chronic disappointment as an Eagles fan.

The Eagles Big Back Quandry

Lots of speculation about the Eagles need for a big running back. I cannot say I totally disagree, but I am probably a little less pessimistic than most because I think that IF Buckhalter returns to form (admittedly that is a pretty GD big IF) that they do have the 220lb back, is Buck a 250+ load-carrying pile-driver...uh no...but they again WHO IS that might be available...

I know the 'Skins picked up TJ Duckett who was probably the best big guy out there (and that ain't saying much), but for all his size TJ should be pounding folks, but he gets brought down too easily...somehow Warrick Dunn is tougher to bring down that can a guess that big be a "finesse" back? Same thing goes for Ron Dayne - who is rumored to be in Mike Shanahan's doghouse and possible on his way out in Denver...Let me say that name again RON DAYNE...does that ring a bell Eagles fans ? It should, Dayne is the player I wanted Jim Fassel to put into the backfield when the GYNts were in short yardage situations against the Eagles. Maybe he was tough at some point in his career (though I kinda doubt, he has great blocking at W) but Dayne couldn't bust through the pep-rally banner at a Wisconsin homecoming let alone take on LaVar Arrington, Antonio Pierce, or Bobby Carpenter in the hole on fourth and 1 if playing for the Eagles. Come on, by now we should know that Dayne is a total bust...He had two respectable years for the GYNts...end of story.

Who else is there? Someone mentioned Lee Suggs, and about 6 weeks ago I might have taken a flier on the guy...history of being banged up, but he is pretty's the problem with that - he just failed a physical with the RB-desperate NY Jets, so scratch him off the list...

BTW - Suggs is listed at 213 lbs...Buckhalter is listed at 217 lbs, so why would be in a hurry to replace one injury-prone big back with another who has no experience is our style offense?

Last night Glen Macnow on local sportsradio mentioned the best possibility: Eric Shelton, an early 2005 pick is rumored to have fallen out of favor in Carolina. He's a 6'1" 250 bruiser that hasn't been able to crack the Panthers rather deep RB corps...could be good news for us, because for years teams would pluck up the players we just couldn't find a way to squeeze onto our 53-man roster, so if they got a glut of talent, there are a whole lot worse teams than Carolina from which to try and snag a hidden we really someone who the frickin' Browns don't want?

So there it is, I am not saying Shelton is the guy, or even that he's going to available, (though he does NOT even appear on Carolina's on-line depth chart). I like Buckhalter...I would LOVE to see him return to form....but we'll see what Andy Reid and Tom Heckert do...they've shown a willingness to go out and get guys they think can help the team...

Favorite Anti-NFC Taunts

I just had to repost from the Eagles forum on

These are my current curses to use against opposing NFC East teams...

Jujoboys brought up a great name for New York (commonly called the Gints or Gnats) - but how about the GYNts. One week of the month there are going to be p.o.'d and pummel the team they play. The other 3 weeks they just lay down and get screwed.

Currently I am partial to calling Washington the Foreskins...not many folks out here in Hawaii have heard that before, but I gather from various other message boards that its pretty common, anyone got anything better?

As for Dallas and ME-O...there are plenty of things I love to slam them with...brokeback (yeah I know its not PC to use that, but its funny to see macho fans react to that)...cowgurls, cowpokes

I just got up and its 530 AM gimme a chance to think about something good to write...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

In Defense of Mahe

Let me preface this by saying I am not a particular fan of Reno Mahe, but I am a partially surprised at the level of vitriol directed towards Mahe this summer...This is not in response to any recent attack but something I thought about in the shower just now. Coming in light of the premier of Invincible, the story of the Eagles most memorable underdog, Vince Papale, I find it somewhat odd that the hard-working Mahe hasn't found a little more love from the fans...I mean don't we pride ourselves on support the guys who "bring their lunch-pail" to work?

Look this is not to say that the "haters" are overlooking a hidden gem of talent...there are plenty of folks who are more talented...but Reno's got heart...and lets be honest the man works his ass off to contribute to the team we love...

Moreover, it is my firm belief that every team needs its Reno (ok, so other teams versions might be faster or bigger)...but all team that are successful (including the Eagles) have to have that every guy, the few players who provide depth at multiple positions, lets face it, teams can only keep 53 players, and can only dress, what 45? That is approximately 1 back-up for every starter (a little less once you factor in kickers). Reno runs, swings out of the backfield, lines up at flanker, returns punts and kicks and covers on special teams...he doesn't do any of it spectacularly well, but he knows the Eagles system, and the coaches know what to expect when they put him in...

Now think of the current situation, a few RBs were brought in (Davis [now on IR] and Bruce Perry [still on roster]) to challenge for Mahe's roster far, I haven't seen anyone be able to do all the little things that would bump Reno off the team. Is there another RB out there on another team with more talent that might get cut and be available next week...almost assuredly, but I would wager that the Eagles front office will not bring in someone marginally better than Mahe because the newcomer would be hard-pressed to duplicate Reno's versatility. A decent back, sure...and then its so long Reno, thanks for all the fish...(don't get the reference? go here)

What do you all think?

Going "On the Record" - Micc's AFC Prediction

Since I went out on a limb with the NFC, I figured I take a couple minutes today and address the Eagles potential opponents in Superbowl XLI...(ok that goes a little far, but if you cannot dream at this time of year, when CAN you?)

My take on the AFC
AFC East: Unlike their NFC counterpart the AFC East is a division of sharp contrasts, premier organizations and laughingstocks
1. New England Patriots - god I am sick of seeing this team at the top, but I gotta admit the Pats looked sharp in the pre-season, they seem to pull good performances out of players who were mediocre with other teams...I mean Brady torched Washington vaunted D with Bam Childress, Troy Brown, Ben Watson and Reche frickin' Caldewell....fer crying out loud...
2. Miami Dolphins - I thought long and hard about shaking up the East and putting Miami first, and I think if Culpepper is fully recovered the team could squeeze another season out of long-in-the-tooth defense and very easily challenge the Patriots for the division. Part of me actually hopes this will happen, if only to balance out the karma, I just wouldn't bet the farm on it
4. Buffalo Bills and NY Jets - Hey what happened to #3, lets face it, this division has a huge gap in it and neither the Jets and Bills deserve being rated a #3: both have underachieved for years. Can either team challenge for the division, hell no...Can Marv Levy restore the Bills to glory? Doubtful...Can Belichick protege Mangini turn around the Jets? Maybe, not this year, but the Jets should be pointed in the right direction this year

AFC North: Unlike the NFC, the North division in the AFC is a powerhouse!
1. Cincinnati Bengals - wow, going against the World Champs??!! Am I nuts, no...I just watched Carson Palmer appear in mid-season form a couple of days ago, and the historically tepid Bengals looked superb...But consider last year, The Bengals took the division from the Steelers, it had been Pittsburgh's for years, and Cincy snatched it. What they couldn't do, as a young team was overcome the loss of Palmer in the playoffs. Cautionary note: the felony/misdemeanor count against this team is the highest I've seen in a long time...get that crap under control Marvin or else distractions may subtract from what should be very good season for lower Ohio.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers - I haven't seen much from Big Ben this preseason...he looks OK after his June asphalt face-plant, but the I dunno, something about the team is a little off. The D will be solid as ever, so the let-Ben-manage-the-game, keep-it-close-with-D strategy should see the Steelers in the hunt come late-December
3. Baltimore Ravens - Ravens fans owe Tennessee a big one...Baltimore got a proven leader and winning QB, Steve McNair, who fell right their lap after the Titans decided that after years of taking one for the team (yearly renegotiations of McNair's contract to make up for poor cap management in other areas of the team) made him deserving of a claymore-sized knife between the shoulder blades...Reunited with Derrick Mason, the Ravens are going to be a threat this year...after years of QB incompetence (Boller, Banks, etc, etc) the Ravens finally have a field general as tough as they come, that should scare the rest of the AFC North
4. Cleveland Browns - Romeo Crennel does have the Browns pointed in the right direction...but the Browns don't have it...Charlie Frye, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are a great young nucleus, but they are at least a season away from serious competition

AFC South - Kinda similar to the AFC East, 1 contender, 1 good team, two pretenders
1. Indianapolis Colts - The only question for me - how does the "O" do without its Edge? They look decent so far, and the Colts don't have much competition in this divison because I think the Jaguars may have actually taken a step back this year
2. Jacksonville Jaguars - ok so Byron Leftwich is more experienced but what receivers does he have beyond Matt Jones? Jimmy Smith screwed the team by retiring AFTER the draft (a draft during which the Jags did not select a WR, hmmm, might they have drafted one had they known Jimmy wasn't going to be around...) The Jags D should be pretty stiff, but unless Coach Del Rio lights a fire under this team they don't have enough to overtake the Colts...
3. Tennessee Titans - Looks like they are starting to emerge from salary-cap hell, but jettisoning McNair the way they did was totally classless, no wonder Tennessee remains Vols-country...I also think the owner royally screwed up by forcing the team to draft Vince Young...I mean you have an instant starter sitting there on the board in Matt Leinart, who ran to perfection the same exact Offense the Titans run (they hired USC's Norm Chow the year before fer crying' out loud!)...and they go with the "athletic" option...I think the owner, being a Houston-homer, wanted to rub it in his former town's collective face by selecting their golden-boy Vince...So why did the Titans just sign Kerry Collins? What the hell can he teach Vince Young? How to stand still?
4. Houston Texans - A laughingstock since entering the league, the Tex-assns are going to be kicking themselves for years for passing up on Reggie Bush...its going to be a classic blunder...DE are necessary to win, but unless he is Reggie White reincarnated, #1 overall Mario Williams is almost destined to be overshadowed by a game-breaker like Bush....DE don't handle the "rock" and the comparisons are inevitable...Why didn't they take Bush, because they "had" a franchise back..Dominack Davis....what's he done this preseason....nothing but sit out injured....another faux pas from Houston...oh bought fixing the Offensive Line!

AFC West: Three challengers and the Raiders
1. Kansas City Chiefs - I have my doubts about Herm Edwards, but I am tired of selecting the Broncos and KC is close, very close to Denver...what I like...LJ, Gonzo, Trent Green...what I don't like: loss of Roaf and Richardson raises questions about whether LJ will run rampant over the NFL again...if Ty Law, Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali can kick the D up a notch the Chiefs should be able to supplant Denver
1a. Denver Broncos - Mike Shanahan is prepping his pixie dust to create his next unknown-to-thousand-yard-rusher...Mike Bell....whodat? Exactly...of course, having a dirty, cheatin' O-Line helps, but the Broncos have gotten away with it for years, so why stop now? The key for Denver, can they get another season from their Cleveland re-treads on the D-line, and will Javon Walker be the stud he was in Green Bay, if so, Denver should be right there with the Chiefs in Dec
2. San Diego Chargers - Sure they got LT and Gates, but who is playing WR and they are going to depend on unproven QB Philip Rivers to carry them to the promised land? Brees' injury gave the GM the green-light to dump him, but Brees was the Chargers real hope to lead them to Miami in Feb. With Rivers...they have no shot
4. Oakland Raiders - Art Shell comes back after 12 years and the Raiders shackle him with Aaron Brooks - a career loser with the Saints...HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...going to be another long year for football in the Bay Area. Now they sign Jeff George? 'nuff said...

So who are my playoffs teams: Indy, Pats and Cincy return....KC, Miami are new entries, and the Steelers just edge the Ravens for another

So Long TP/KD, and thanks for the fish

Ok, first post today is going to cover the most recent news: The Eagles released WR Tood Pinkston and career back-up QB Koy Detmer and brought back one-time back-up QB AJ Feeley (whose "15 minutes" came a few seasons ago when he went 4-1 subbing for an injured McNabb/Detmer combo)...

A few interesting notes:
- any Phans remember the "controversy" that year about who should be the starter? Some folks actually wanted Feeley to replace McNabb
- isn't it kinda weird that AJ can now throw passes to the man the Eagles drafted with the pick they received from Miami when we traded Feeley?
- I think this settles the "who is holding for Akers" question...Koy's only role the last couple of years was holding for Akers' he will not be missed...
- a lot of folks like to trash Pinkston, but will not do that here. I agree that he was a total disappointment, but he took a lot of sh*t from people and comported himself with class...he was never a distraction, never a me-first kinda guy, I wish him the best, but I am not at all sad to see "alligator body" depart (yeah I am listening to Glen Macnow rips him apart on 610 and my happiness with his departure is beginning to grow).

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Going "On the Record" - Micc's NFC Breakdown

Ok folks, guess it put up time, since I've been spending so much time talkin' football...

Here is how I see the NFC breaking down.

NFC East:
1. Philadelphia Eagles- pure homer pick, I bleed green, just deal with it. McNabb is back and looks like a man on he makes any sort of connection with Stallworth early on, watch out...
2. Dallas Cowboys - Parcells got himself a pretty good D, should be in games even if they have trouble keeping Bledsoe upright...the X-factor - how much damage can America's Hamstring (he who shall not be named) do?
3. NY Giants - Return plenty of offensive talent, but they were exposed as frauds in the playoffs last year...not terribly impressed by the defensive acquisitions, Madison is over-the-hill...X-factor - a team that utilizes a roving Arrington well will field a good D
4. Washington Redskins - they may have finished strong, but I think this is a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians for the 'Skins, I mean how many associate/asst head coaches can you have...did the Skins O really need Al Saunders to change everything up? Factor in a washed-up QB and a banged up Portis, and there is reason to worry in D.C.

NFC North:
1. Chicago Bears - my wife would kill me if I picked against her team, but to be honest, the only reason I am going with "DA Bears" is that they don't have any true competition in this division...its theirs for the taking, if they don't its their own damn fault.
2. Minnesota Vikings - Childress is following the Andy Reid formula: first year, sign massive, nasty free-agent offensive lineman and instill a sense of order and tenacity into the club...what was Reid's record the first year...oh 5-11...Vikes are better than that, but they are not ready to vault into NFC contention
3. Detroit Lions - Rod Marinelli's tough guy act will wear this team out by mid-season, factor in a bunch of underachievers and the WORST front office management in the league, and I just don't see the Lions going very far. I like the Kitna pick-up....other than that.....
4. Green Bay Packers - If you thought last year was tough on Favre...another off-season of doing nothing to address O-line woes is going to equal just one this for the cheesehead faithful - more pain for the Hall of Fame gunslinger....

NFC South:
1. Carolina Panthers - John Fox is a proven winner and his players run through walls for him...Factor in a team that is returning all its playmakers and the Panthers should be tough again this year
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - the D is slipping after years waiting for the offense to catch-up with it...I like Simms, I think he's going to be a fine leader for the Bucs (even though I don't like the Bucs)...Note to Gruden: the season is 16 games long, don't grind the wheels off your Cadillac so quickly this year - no need to try and cram all his carries into the first half the season...
3. Atlanta Falcons - here goes - Vick is average, face it Falcons fans, he is not going to morph into an Elway or Brady or Manning...does he need to? To lead the Falcons to a championship he does...he is the epitome of a running know all that yap about the Falcons being the NFL's premier rushing team...its bull...Vick was 25% of their running game, he outrushed Duckett fer cryin' out loud....You think the team playing in Miami in February this year is going to have a QB with 2,400 yds, 15 TDs, 13 INTs and be the second leading rusher on the team (with 600 rushing yards)? Think again, quit fooling yourselves...
4. New Orleans Saints - gets a nod for being smart/lucky enough to snag Reggie Bush...y'all got yourself the real deal down there, have fun rubbing that in Tex-ass fans faces for years to come....just not this year....

NFC West:
1. St Louis Rams...Les Mouflons (Yes I read TMQ) are probably not the brightest pick in the world, but here's why - I refuse to pick against the Superbowl hangover/Madden curse double-whammy....I am playing the odds that somehow/some-way Seattle/Shaun Alexander will fall victim to this odd "Football Gods" punishment for coming so close and not winning. Oh why would I pick the Rams....hmmm....Scott Linehan likes to run the ball, and he's got a stud RB in Steven Jackson, plus he's got Bulger and Torry Holt....they better put up points cause overall I am not thrilled with the D, though Haslett should make them competitive...
2. Seattle Seahawks - ok ok, I cannot drop them down that far can I? Seattle returns much of its Superbowl Squad, but then again, so did the Eagles...the difference for the Sea-hags this year will be injuries, avoid them and a return engagement in Jan is a definite possibility because the NFC West is pretty weak as divisions go...
3. Arizona Cardinals - ah, why didn't I go with the Cards to supplant the soon-to-be-curse-ridden 'Hawks...because I don't trust them...I love the Leinart and E. James pick-ups...but I would like them a whole lot MORE if the Cardinals had an O-Line to protect/open up holes...Edge is going to miss Jeff Saturday and Tarik Glenn real quick come opening day when he's got to start dodging DTs as soon as takes the hand-off from Warner....there ain't no 1,500-yard rushers in the desert will learn...
4. San Francisco 49ers - I don't know what to say about the Niners...Do they have anyone left on the team that anyone recognizes? I cannot name one starter on Offensive (the QB's name is Smith I believe, I want to say Aaron, but I know Aaron Rodgers is rotting behind Favre and I am not sure they are both named Aaron...I know I know it a Google-world, why expose your ignorance to the world, just go look it up...It illustrates my point...when your most recognizable name on your "O" is draft pick TE Vernon Davis....that a bad thing....oh yeah, a little birdie tells me that picked up Larry Allen, could be a good if only the Niners had a running back...

These are my NFC Playoff Teams: Philly, Dallas, Chicago, Carolina, St. Louis and Seattle...that's an appropriate amount of turn-over, cause every year it seems like half the teams that may the dance in January weren't there the year before...I know alot of folks think two teams will come from the NFC South, but I dunno....a lot of will disagree with this but you know what, that the fun part....

Pinkston Trade? and Other NFL Ruminations

Well the news from ESPN is that the Eagles are granted Todd Pinkston's agent to seek a trade. Now this isn't the Deion Branch deal (in which the Pats what Branch to realize their prior offers were pretty good)...I didn't consider a potential trade yesterday because it seems odd to me why any team would pull the trigger when just the simple act of giving the agent the go-ahead would seem to indicate that Pinkston no longer figures into the Eagles plan (i.e. why trade when he could be cut in a week??)

Still a trade is a possibility (not a good one mind you, but a possibility); though I doubt the Eagles will get much in return...a conditional mid-rounder is about the most I expect, still maybe something to replace the conditional pick we just shipped to N.O.

What else is going on in the NFL?
Carson Palmer looked pretty damn good yesterday and Favre looks OLD, old and lost...
oh yeah, I should get my thoughts on the NFL rankings on the record...look for another post soon...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Analyzing the Eagles WR position

Hey all, I don't mean to make this a dedicated Eagles Blog but it what I want to talk about today so deal with it.

What does the acquisition of WR Donte Stallworth mean for the Eagles WR position in general, and for slow-recovering WR Todd Pinkston (oh he that was annointed with the nickname "Stink-ston" by Michael Irvin). This is the depth chart after the move: Starters: 1) Reggie Brown 2) Stallworth (he's an instant starter for us, I only put Reggie first cause he knows the terminology of the offense)...then comes the logjam: undrafted rookie 3) Hank Baskett, free-agent addition 4)Jabar Gaffney, two draft picks 5) Jason Avant and 6) Jeremy Bloom (4th and 5th rd respectively), and holdovers 7) Greg Lewis and 8) Todd Pinkston 9) Darnerian McCants....there are a few "camp bodies" hanging around but for my purposes those are the nine guys...the problem...the Eagles will carry at MOST six wide receivers...who'se got a secure job: the first two: Reggie Brown is coming along and Stallworth gives the team a much needed speedy deep threat. Bloom will probably go on the IR (may PUP list) because nagging hamstring injuries have kept the team from really taking a good look at that relieves some of the pressure....

As for the rest: here are my thoughts
- Baskett, the undrafted rookie "phenom" has been a camp wonder who has seen limited game action but has made a couple of really impressive grabs during the live games...last two games, not so much, and I think a lot of hype around Baskett has revolved around fans reaching for something hopeful in a bleak wideout picture...that said, you don't flash that much without giving the coaches a reason to keep you around....prediction: he makes the final roster.

- Jason Avant - the 4th round WR out of Michigan, the Eagles didn't spend a 4th round pick to cut the guy in his first camp...he's made a couple of decent catches over the middle...prediction: he makes the final roster based on draft position and potential (for the record that's 4 of 6 possible spots)

- Jabar Gaffney - a free-agent acquisition, he signed a 1 year offer so the Eagles are not beholden to him in any meaningful way...brought in to be the #3 slot receiver, he's supposedly a decent route runner with over-the-middle toughness....and he did manage to catch 70 passes from Houston QB David Carr last year (when Carr wasn't getting flattened thanks to his turnstile O-line)....prediction: he makes the final roster unless someone REALLY shows something in the 5th and Final preseason game that absolutely forces the team to make him expendable) - thats 5 of 6 roster spots

- Bloom - Like I said, the Eagles haven't seen enough of him to put on the 53-man roster...but he's got some promise, enough to try and stash him on the IR if possible

That leaves the holdovers: Lewis, Pinkston and McCants....If I had my pick: I'd take Greg Lewis...not just because he caught a 61-yd TD against the Steelers, its more than that...he may have regressed last year, but that's because he's a #4 (#3 guy max) for an NFL team...a sneaky fast guy that you slip out there and try and play against the opposing defenses #4 cornerback or a safety. He did fine in that modest role two years ago (the presence of T.O. helped too)...
As for McCants, he is a possibility IF the decision is made purely with regards to special teams, McCants has shown some decent ability on ST, especially as a gunner, he got size and speed...a #6 WR probably won't be seeing the field too McCants is a potential keeper (but a decided longshot)...

who does that leave out in the cold, Pinkston...sorry dude, but you just have not shown enough in camp or the preseason games to justify replacing another WR on this roster...He says he feels fine, but he has shown next to nothing (other than being on the field) in game action.

So if I was making the decisions: G-Lew would get the 6th and final spot...but then again, I am not making the decisions, stay tuned....

How is America's Hamstring Doing Today?

Cowboys fans are still defending T.O.
Have they learned nothing from the damage done to the psyche of the Eagles fans?
Now the Cowboys are fining Owens for infractions BEFORE the season ever starts...hee hee

And in EAGLES news, the Eagles traded LB Mark Simoneau to the Saints for WR Donte Stallworth...that is excellent news.... here is why...Simoneau was a back-up LB, a valuable player to be sure, as the Eagles are not exactly overwhelmed by LB talent on the roster...but they traded in effect a special teamer for a starting he a true #1 WR, who knows, could he start on most teams in the NFL: he better than any WR on the Eagles roster: trading a non-starter for a starter no matter the depth issue is a huge positive in this humble commentator's opinion. Here's the Eagles starting LBs: McCoy, Trotter and D. Jones, with ex-Eagle, ex-Chief, and now Eagle-again Shawn Barber being the primary replacement on passing downs. Simoneau was our #5 LB and we get a starting WR? Done deal. Ok he is free agent next season, so we got a guy motivated to perform with a history of making big plays. I like it. I didn't expect it, and this was a truly pleasant surprise to come home to.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Woohoo - 3 hits!

What a pitiful milestone. 3 hits...guess I better get more entertaining...
I just spent all Sunday morning cleaning the house, we are showing it to a prospective renter at 1430...of course the boys feel left out, and I am beat right now.

Looks like Invincible tackled the competition an scored a TD at the Box Office this weekend (yeah yeah yeah, I here ya groaning at the bad puns). I watched quite a bit of preseason football this weekend thanks to the NFL channel, which rebroadcasts a ton of Th & Fr games over the weekend, which is pretty cool.

In other good news the Fox News crew (Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig) were released today, which is pretty cool.

Tomorrow should be pretty busy as well. I gotta go to work, then leave early and pick up my passport, go see our financial advisor at 10, and then the movers are coming at 11:30. Of course, I am taking the rest of the week off so I guess that's not too bad...(yeah I here ya cryin' for me)...oh boo hoo, gotta work a whole half day this week...

I'll yak more later.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Eagles Friday is a HIT!

Friday was a good day to be an Eagles fan. The first teamers did pretty well against the Steelers in a 16-7 win at the Linc. OK OK its pre-season, and I know the teams all play vanilla and the games are meaningless, but this week is usually the tune-up for the regular season, and the starters look ready.

As for Invincible, it was almost EXACTLY what I expected, a great feel-good sports movie. If you're a football fan, you'll love the movie. My prediction wasn't quite accurate though, looks like Vince Papale's life was swirling down the crapper in 1976 when coach Vermeil announced the open tryouts for the team. Other than that, getting prodded to seize the opportunity, the hard knocks, the need for inspiration (which comes from multiple sources, but most notably from his father, and a rejuvenating, muddy, "tank-lot" game in the rain with his buds from the old neighborhood) and the strategic feat to lead the team to an improbably win were all right on the money....what can I say...I've seen Disney sports movies before. While the movie did dramatize Papale's game winning play, they do a nice job at the end of the movie (before the credits roll) of showing Vince in action...and show the audience that he did in fact score a special teams TD against the Giants.

The movie does have some warts, like some of the stadium scenes are obviously F/x...the Vet is long gone, and the exterior Vet shots are EXCELLENT, but when they get to the interior shots and the backgrounds behind the live actors can be a bit, um, off... The movie does a good job with wardrobe and music to set the scene and recreate the feel of 70s. The most glaring error is a simple one...during the tryout, some of the Eagles fans break out in a modified Eagles fight song...sorry Disney, to my knowledge the Eagles Fight Song came into existence just a few seasons to be fair they don't sing the actual song, and I did NOT mind the nod to the fans, it just felt out of place...

The movie did an decent job of capturing the atmosphere of the Vet at the 700-level bleachers. For anyone who think Hollywood may have embellished someone who worked for Spectaguard and who did preseason assignments up there (before I wormed my way to a much better viewing position on the lower level) if anything they toned it down, way down...

Acting - Mark Wahlberg as a South Philly guy...ok, this is maybe the biggest obstacle for the movie to overcome, and, when you actually SEE Papale at the end of the movie, they obviously could have chosen someone a bit more, uh, ethnically comparable to Papale. Nor does Marky do a Philly accent very well....ok...if I wanted to, I could rip this aspect of the movie...but I don't want to...Wahlberg is likeable, while he does not exactly fit the role, the studio obviously wanted someone of even modest Hollywood recognition with which to try and have a decent draw and Wahlberg is sufficient for those purposes.

I give the movie Five (5) Cheesesteaks (with a soft pretzel on the side) for being a decent feel-good movie in general (not too cheesy, adequate acting, generally realistic) and a GREAT Eagles movie... say it with me E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Sudan offers U.N. a reach-around while Iran Screws it

Ok so get this folks, Sudan has threatened to fight any UN force deployed to protect non-Muslims in Darfur.

What the heck is going on here? We already have Iran thumbing their nose at the UN, and I am so confident that UN peacekeepers will be able to disarm Hezbollah in southern Lebanon...HA HA HA...ok but seriously...why does anyone in Europe other than the Brits and the Poles have any backbone? Basically my read on the Sudanese situation it that they are po'd that the international community finally took note of their slaughter of non-Muslims...its a classic "convert-or-die" situation that has been imposed on Christian and animists in South and Western Sudan....hmmm, don't like Sharia law...convert...oh, don't want to bow five times a day...leave...oh..this is your homeland too? No its not...we told you to leave...don't want to? DIE....

That about sums up the situation. Nice tolerance they are showing over there. So Khartoum is ticked that they cannot exterminate the infidels...aaawww....and has challenged the UN saying they will fight the colonialists, and al-Qa'ida is saying they'll answer the call to fight Westerners if we go in there to protect innocent lives. oh that's rich...that's lovely....

Now all we need is for North Korea to join in the "screw the UN gangbang"....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Its going to be an Eagles Friday!

I took tomorrow off, so I can make on a pledge not to work a complete week for the entire rest of my tenure with JICPAC..oops, I mean the P-JIOC. Besides not having to work, the day is shaping up to be a pretty good one. The Eagles-Steelers game will be on ESPN tomorrow afternoon Hawaii Time, so I will get to watch the game in HD, and then, when Christina gets back from the Chiefs' chariot-races we are going to go see the new Eagles movie - Invincible...

Now I deliberately avoid "professional" movie reviewers because a) its completely subjective and b) I so often disagree with them...(too many people fawning over movies that "supposed" to be good, because their either artsy or foreign and too much frowning over regular movies...

So here is my prediction about Invincible: It will be good, heart-warming and probably a bit too contrived. It is after-all a Disney-produced sports movie...and I figure it this way, I've seen The Rookie, and Miracle, and few other true-story inspired flicks...he'll be a doin' his thing, not terribly unhappy with his life, then get smacked with an opportunity, have to be pushed a little, they be looked down on, maybe have some creeping self doubt, a friend will give him a much needed boost, and he'll perform some strategic feat to lift his team to an improbable victory...Wanna bet me?

Look, Vince Papale was the epitome of Philly underdog and he made good on a fantasy that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of area Philly guys have dreamed about...being that over-the-hill, weekend athlete who somehow makes it big; and he did during the Rocky heyday.

You know what, even though I think I know whats coming, I probably will enjoy the hell out of it cause its the E-A-G-L-E-S bay-bee. I'll give you my review after I see it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are some judges pro-terrorist?

Ok folks,

Another pet peeve I have - people who don't realize that the war on terrorism is actually for real and that its being fought to preserve our way of life that other mofo'ers want to in point...the federal judge who must've decided she needed to make a splash cause she found that the NSA's "warrantless wire tapping" program was unconstitutional...OK OK, I know it nots the greatest thing in the world, and pre 9/11 I would've been very skeptical about the need for such a program...but its the people who deliberately misrepresent what this program does/is intended to do (whether its for personal political gain or because they simply hate President Bush) that just piss me off.

So let me explain what the NSA "wire-tapping" (I use quotes because it does not involve the actual tapping of wires) program is NOT - it is NOT used to monitor Sally Soccermom's cell phones calls to the beauty parlor, or Little Miss Mary's phone sex with her boyfriend after her parents think she's gone to sleep. It does NOT listen to actual conversations. Lets assess some facts, there probably are hundreds of millions, if a billion cell phones calls made each day...The National Security Agency would have to employ an astronomical number of citizen to "wiretap" all those U.S. callers.

So what the heck IS the program all about. Well as I understand it (and I get this from a variety of sources, Fox, CNN, NYT, WP) - the program uses computers to monitor what telephone numbers here in the good ole U.S. of A. are calling other numbers. This is mainly to foreign numbers, but the big controversy is that is also includes inter-US calls...oh the Humanity...whatever will I do....some computer bank knows that I called HR Block from my home phone, or that I called mom's house using my cell....actually the computer servers do not make such detailed distinctions..they know that (808)-xxx-xxxx dialed (610)-xxx-xxxx at such and such time on such and such day....that is IT, one is listening to me say Love ya mom, or whisper naughty somethings to the wife, or make an appointment to get my taxes prepared. These servers sift through the billions of numbers calling other numbers and use complex algorithms to identify patterns, like a groups of numbers all dialing, say PAKISTAN, or in specific investigations, which numbers are dialing known terror-associated numbers....Wow what controversy....what an infringement on my rights as an know who wants to infringe my friggin' rights...some bile-spewing radical puke who thinks al-Qa'ida and UBL spout the word of the one true God and that all Westerners need to die.

Tell you what, if my government can use its vast resources to track the patterns of these motherf**kers communications and neutralize the threat (hopefully with extreme prejudice), then I say "what the hell ya waiting for?" Get those computers fired up and the algorithm-creating mathemeticians some hot java and wet bl*wjob (or a cunning linguist as the case may be). We need to keep them happy and alert.

But of course, somehow this judge thinks that somehow it is not the government's job to protect its citizens...alright alright, I know that not exactly what she is saying, "they" need to do it CONSTITUTIONALLY, is the whine, arguing that there's the FISA court, or that Bush is abusing his power by circumventing FISA, etc etc

The way I see it -- and I think that anyone who has been on jury duty will agree with me -- the bureaucratic red-tape involved in a judicial proceeding can be mind-boggling. Do I want our cops and FBI agents trying to navigate a maze of legal-ese bullcrap when they are trying to determine if Usama al Kaboomi's calls home to Blowthewestthef*ckup-istan are innocuous calls to mama or terror-related? That answer is very easy, NO. Hell NO.

Moreover, IF I were to accept the Bush is abusing his power argument (which I am not sold on), exactly what is the nature or motivation behind the abuse? When an elected official "abuses" power, I envision some form of unwarranted gain, personal, familial, financial or otherwise....hmmm...maybe its just me, but I don't see exactly what benefit President Bush is deriving from this so-called "abuse"....look if you wanna argue Halliburton and Big Oil Bush connections wrt Iraq, no problem, but don't come to me with this NSA malarkey and play politics about how it reveals the dastardly nature of the Bush administration.

If its abuse of power to protect American lives and safeguard our way of life...then the President needs to buck up, make the tough decisions and do it. That is what he was elected for, and what he gets paid to do. So unless your in his shoes, with the weight of the hundreds of millions of peoples lives and livelihoods (in this country and throughout the world mind you) on your shoulders, don't be bringin' that sh*t to me.

Could the Duce be on Loose at the Linc once again?

Hey hey everyone,

I finally got sick of the retardo-blog at MySpace, so I figured I'd try out this place.
I will be using this space to rant and rave, review movies, and allow folks to stay in touch with me (or rant back, whatever the case may be)

But tonight's subject, my very first, will be a topic that is near and dear to my heart - the EAGLES!

The title should give it away. Rumor is floating that Duce Staley, or "Il Duce" as I call him, may be the odd man out in a running back logjam in reporter said (rumor mill churning and that's what it should be taken as) that Pittsburgh is quietly shopping Duce to see if they can get anything for him before they cut him. This could be great news for the Eagles!

Lets take a quick look at the Eagles RB status:
1) Brian Westbrook, our only gamebreaker at the skill positions is currently rehabbing a foot injury (what else is new?). Look I love the WB, but I think he gets 18-20 touches/game - MAX. 10-12 rushes (maybe a little more if he's kickin' ass) and 8-10 passes (maybe a few less if he's running wild).
The question being who is going to be around to pick up the slack in the running game. I mean the Eagles need to get into the 25-35 rushes/game to be able to get some balance in the offense and keep defenses honest.
Here are the options:
2) Ryan Moats - a WB clone, he flashed some gamebreaker runs last year behind an offensive line that was decimated by injuries. I think the hope is, slide WB out to Wideout and still have the explosive speed back in the backfield....combine with LJ at TE and its a matchup nightmare for opposing Defense Coordinators. The problem: the mofo has shown a troubling tendency to fumble this preseason...gotta get that straight my man, or else you gonna be a "shoulda been" back in this league.
3) Reno Mahe - HA HA HA HA HA HA...ok ok, I shouldn't laugh, the man works super hard at every aspect of the game, and it the ultimate team man...but puh-lease, don't quote me the "he was the NFC's leading punt returner last year" stat....He is serviceable at BEST, but he is NOT the answer, at ANY position....lets be honest, Reggie Bush's left big toe is more talented...But I am done knocking the man, he is an underappreciated gem on this team, but he should be touching the ball a couple of time per/game MAX...anything more, and the Eagles are in trouble, period.
4) Bruce Perry - ok another hard worker who has decided this preseason is like Christmas, and he's gifting footballs to the defense. Look he was ok to fair during the garbage time at the end of last year. Again, there has got to be some better out there.
5) Correl "General" Buckhalter - the feel good story this year for the offense. The man who was part of the Eagles NFL-shredding three-headed running back attack in 2003 is trying to come back from two consecutive years lost to knee injuries. Look, I love the guy, and hope he makes the team, but can the Eagles really go into the season feeling confident in having a lone "big" back that last played meaning football nearly 3 years ago?

The answer was made clear when the Eagles invited Stephen Davis in for a visit to the NovaCare complex - NO. What was puzzling to me was why they let Davis leave without a contract. I gotta admit that normally when the Eagles are interested in a guy and bring him in, he does NOT leave without signing his name to some-thing. I was quietly happy that the Eagles were finally going to address what is an obvious need in the backfield....then nothing...

Fast forward to today and the rumblings that Duce may not be long for Pittsburgh. Even though Andy Reid played dumb at his press conference today, I think the reason they let Davis walk out the door was because of the potential that Duce will be available before the start of the regular season. I mean, it makes sense to bring back Duce....yeah yeah, I know, he won't be the same stalwart that was running roughshod over folks at the Vet from 2000-03, but he knows the Offense, and you gotta think he would meld right back into the clubhouse.

Bring back Duce, Bring back Duce! (of course, is he sucks, it'll be "idiots, what the hell were you thinking!")
But that's the name of the game, take some risks, bringing back contributors is getting to be something of a tradition with this club (hmmm, Trotter, Hugh D., Chad Lewis, Shawn Barber...

Final footnote - Is it just me or does SS Brian Dawkins look better than ever this year?