Monday, October 31, 2005


Okay, I think we should all try this, it will help: We just have to try to strip ourselves of any and all expectations for the team. Then we can just watch, and watch for what it is. In a way, it's almost ironic that we, as Philly fans, developed such expectations last year. Seemed like we really tried to bring those expectations into this year, but it also seemed like we were trying too hard and it didn't really feel right. Maybe because of the off-season discontent and pre-season circus, which was sometihng out of the ordinary for an Andy Reid team. (Just like it was to snag T.O. in free agency, but our hopes helped to rosey-up our eyeglasses on that one). Man, we are hungry for something. As The Boss said, still at the end of every hard earned day, people find some reason to believe...

I've been hearing a lot of people -- most notably some of the mouth-breathing dolts who call WIP -- argue that Reid is a terrible coach. Talk about reactionary. That's just plain D-U-M. Now, I am as mad as anyone over what's been happening, and I lay a lot of the blame squarely on Reid's shoulders. I think there have been far too many losses in which we have not just been getting outplayed, but we've been getting outcoached, and dramatically so. (The Tampa Bay NFC CG comes to mind). And it makes me ill to see how stubbord Reid can be, how slow he is to adjust, how our team makes so many stupid mental mistakes (i.e., illegal formation penalties), how long it takes him to call the plays, and of course, our liesurely two minute drill.

Now that said, I still truly believe that Reid is a great coach. Not good, but great. No one can deny how embarassingly awful our entire franchise was before he came. Getting to the NFC championship in four years in a row is an astonishing achievement. To produce a team that hits that level, and for that long, is just simply amazing -- especially in this day and age of the salary cap. Sure, the Pats do it, but who else? Reid's players seem to love him, and he seems to fit well in Philly which ain't an easy place to coach. I think his steadiness in the beginning of 2003 when we were 0-2 and McNabb was getting harshly criticized, really was a factor in keeping the team solid. So I think there have been some overreactions...

Now all that said, he better get his act together, and soon. He deserves a ton of criticism. He needs to do something substantial. This ain't a bump in the road where we just need to stay the course. There are fundamental problems here that need to be fixed.

In the meantime, I'm still an avid fan. But I am trying not to have grandiose expectations beyond the next game. It would be great if they made the playoffs, but I'm not expecting it. Yes, the secret to being an Eagles fan right now is the same as the secret to relationships -- management of expectations. (Of course, in relationships the trick is to lower their expectations not yours, but that's another post altogether).


Eskin reported tonight that the Eagles had "significantly" increased their offer to Westbrook. They are hoping to get the deal done this week.

The initial offer was something like an $8mil signing bonus with $4.1mil or so per year for the first three years. He wanted Lamont Jordan coin, and apparently they're offering something close to it, including a larger signing bonus and closer to $5mill per year.

Thump! (The sound of J Dubs falling off the bandwagon)

8 and 8, at best.

Maybe next year.

Somebody shut that window, it's cold in here

How about that Broncos game boys? Watching Eagles football certainly isn't fun these days - we can't even lose with dignity. I think my comment a few weeks ago about a re-building year is on the mark unfortunately...except I don't think it's Reid's style to really re-build things, he just covers things up instead of spending the money to get what we need. We had a decent run for a Super Bowl title, but the window apparently closed on us recently, or slammed shut I should say. The games we're losing are devastating blowouts and the games we've won have pretty much been lucky wins - not Super Bowl quality football. The same questions still run through my mind every week: why does it take 2 quarters to make adjustments? After the first series, it was apparent Denver wanted to rattle Mcnabb with all out blitzes...ok, then the genius Brad Childress should do what?? yes, that's right, adjust by doing about a dozen different proven methods that high school coaches do: hit the quick slant over and over, go to shot gun over and over, pitch the ball outside to Brook over and over until they stop blitzing. 9 guys in the box means that at least 2 receivers are open EVERY play...would Brady or Manning figure out how to burn a telegraphed 9 man blitz? I'm gonna say yes. But it's beyond the capabilities of our offensive coordinator...other questions run through my mind every week - how can any team, let alone the NFC favorite to return to the SB, not even care about a running game? After winning 2 Super BOwls, the Patriots went out and paid for COREY, do you think they are committed to winning champtionships? Also, what happened to the fire in our players eyes? A handful of players are showing up every week (Sheldon, LJ) but that's not gonna cut it. And what happened to Lito Sheppard? His ghost is haunting us. This team is nothing but a tease right now - they should just pack it in this year, get McNabb healthy, acquire a few key players like a bruising RB and start over next season.

facing reality

I think Les Bowen of the Daily News summed it up the best:

The Eagles are 4-3 this morning, so obviously their season isn't over, but their reign as an elite team just might be. They have been outscored 62-14 in the first quarter this season, 55-0 in the first quarter on the road. Those are not the stats of a Super Bowl contender. Several Eagles, when questioned yesterday about whether this was still a Super Bowl-caliber team, answered that it definitely was. It's really hard to see what they might be basing that feeling on.

There was a time when the Eagles made other teams adjust to what they were doing, but that time has passed. Every week now, it seems, the opponent comes up with something that isn't on any of Reid's charts, and his players spend the early part of the game running into one another and taking penalties, while sports hernia-hampered Donovan McNabb throws footballs at the ground. Yesterday, Denver's wrinkle was an all-out, "no-cover'' blitz, which the Eagles handled with the grace and acumen of a high school JV team playing its first game.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Freddie, 4th and 26 will live in our hearts forever, but...

Yesterday Tom Silverstein wrote "General manager Ted Thompson took a pass on former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell and instead claimed former Packers receiver Andrae Thurman on waivers from the Tennessee Titans." So, FredEx denied in Green Bay huh? Over the last 4 years, how many times did I complain to anyone who would listen that our STARTING receivers couldn't even land a job elsewhere? Yes, that's right, our starting receivers were barely good enough to MAKE another team. Only in Philly would we attempt 4 Super Bowl runs with one of the best Ds and best QB in the game but with no one to throw to. Poor McNabb - such a talented athlete wasting his best years playing for an organization that just is not serious about winning a Super Bowl. He, Dawkins and Trotter are gonna have to do it themselves or not do it at all.


Someboday please tell me we didn't pick up Dallas's and San Fran's trash here? (see the article from What did Todd France do wrong to deserve this? He hit almost every FG he tried...this Cortez guy....ugh. Tell me it's gonna be alright, tell me it's gonna be alright [Paulomon rocks back and forth in the fetal position in the corner of a dark room, crying]

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The One That Got Away

Burgess: Week 7, 7 Sacks


As of this writing, 3919 people have responded to the online poll question as follows.

After six weeks, I'm feeling:

...good. We're 4-3 despite not playing too well.
1102 votes or 28%

...not so good. This is no Super Bowl team.
2817 votes or 72%

Obviously, that's not scientific. But neither is football.

I still don't know where Dubbs found the time to vote 1102 times.

Monday, October 24, 2005

And the NFC DPOW is... Trot

"Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter has been named the NFC's Defensive Player of the Week for his outstanding play against the Chargers, which included 11 total tackles, 2 passes defensed, 3 quarterback hurries, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception."

He also led a defense that held the NFL's best running back to a career-low 7 yards on 17 carries.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Insurmountable ?/.

Okay, here's the problem:

I want to be optimistic. I really, really want to be upbeat about the team. I want to believe that we really can overcome all of the faults we exhibited so far this season. I want to believe that we have what it takes to finally get over the hump. I want to be confident we're going to win.

But at this point, I just don't even know how. I've been a Philadelphia sports fan for my entire life.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bring on 23!

"Moats has worked the last couple of weeks as a kickoff return man, and while nothing is yet etched in stone, he appears to be ready to make his professional debut on Sunday against the Chargers."

At this point, might as well.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

For Old Time's Sake....


Hey, we're famous?

Daniel Rubin from the Inquirer's blog blinq actually cited to our blog...

October 11, 2005

Citing Negadelphia

FanzNegadelphia has made an online dictionary of words found on the fringe of the English language.

Taking its lead from a Daily News article on the Eagles after the Kansas City game earlier this month, the Double-Tongued Word Wrester has added the phrase taken to mean this fair city where the glass is always half empty.

What's the matter with those people? Hadn't they checked out the Negadelphia blog?

Or our own Early Word bird Peter Mucha, who quoted former Eagle linebacker Gary Cobb this way on Jan. 5, 2001:

He often calls the city "Negadelphia," because many fans focus on faults.

Am I missing something?

So the Birds may throw Moats in to return kickoffs, and Westbrook in to return punts. As if this will be the panacea for our ailing special teams play? Please. I didn't study the film like goeagles99, but I don't think it takes that type of analysis to see that our problem isn't our returners as much as our horrible blocking. (And I'm not even just singling out Reno, who seems to miss every block he attempts, if you can even call his wiffs to be attempts). I honestly don't think it's Harbaugh's fault either. Again, I think it goes back to the front office's arrogance in how they deal with personnel. Ike Reese really was a huge asset on ST, and his loss is really hurting more and more. (Remember his great block against the giants that sprung Westy for his TD on the punt return that has been widely credited with "saving our season" a few years ago? And he made blocks like that routinely). They act as if they can just throw any eager player on ST and think it's going to be all right. Well, it doesn't seem like that strategy is working...

And another thing... An article in the Inky today is entitled "Westbrook frustrated with lack of ground game". ( Surprising. I understand that Reid loves to pass and he supposedly considers quick dinks equivalent to a run, but it's getting to be a problem. And if we just rush 12-15 times per game, how is our OL supposed to get in a run-blocking rhythm? It seems to me that we just need to suck it up and start pounding it. Gordon looks like he's really got some potential if we give it to him, we know what Westy can do, and Moats should get a chance. Unfortunately, given that
San Diego's defense is ranked 27th against the pass and 3rd against the run, it doesn't look like this is the week to get our groove back.

It's amazing how surly this bye week has made me, even more than usual. Nothing like a full week to simmer over a humiliating loss to a hated rival to do that to you. Even JDubbs has come back down to Earth.

And what still angers me (and most everyone) is the Birds' silence about Westy's contract situation. Hard to find anyone who agrees with the Eagles on this one. And even though he's a total professional, it's just gotta be distracting. From the Inky article:

He said that his lack of carries wouldn't affect his decision about returning to the Eagles, though... as of right now.

"I think a lot of things will go into that thought process about whether I'll return at the end of season," said Westbrook. "The real truth about the NFL is that there are 32 teams and next year I might be with one of those other 31 teams. That's not to say I don't want to be here. That's just the fact of matter."

Man, this has been a frustrating season so far...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

McDougle Done, D Line Limping

From a college friend of mine ("Tony G"):
"Well, Jerome McDougal is officially done for the year after emergency hernia surgery CAUSED by the gunshot wound surgery. Wow, the guy must feel cursed.
Speaking of cursed, the Eagles D Line looks cursed right now. They are completely ineffective and are my biggest single concern with this team right now since "it all starts up front". No pressure on the quarterback whatsoever and it's leaving the secondary exposed. They have backups in their for much of the game. How much would they like to have Corey Simon and Derrick Burgess starting right now?!!! Don't look now but Derrick Burgess has 5 sacks for the Raiders... 5!!! They may be more than all of the Eagles. He's really turning into the player they thought he was when they drafted him."

Although I don't disagree with Tony G, I'm really surprised by the lack of punch the D line has so far this year. I thought that would be one of our strengths. When we let Simon go, I thought we didn't need him because of the depth we had. Now, after a couple injuries and without guys stepping up, our D is looking weak. We had plenty of money to keep Burgess or Simon, and even Ike Reese, but that complaint of mine is just the same tune I've been singing forever: the Birds are just cheap, not "master cap managers" as everyone touts them to be, and now the players realize that. It's a quiet COUP by the players, I'm telling you. (Note: I actually was happy to see Corey Simon's fat ass leave Philly though, so that's cuts against my complaint....a little).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mark Eckel on Eagles' arrogance

Mark Eckel from the Trenton Times has an article today talking exactly about what I posted last night -- about how the team is becoming a victim of its front office's arrogance:

"Know this - if the Eagles do not get back to and win the Super Bowl this year, which is the only way this season can be deemed successful, it will be the moves of this offseason, and the "we know more than anyone else" attitude that will cost them. "

Monday, October 10, 2005

Re-building Year?

Alright, we haven't been blogging lately so I figured I'd throw out some thoughts for us to chew on. Looking at our schedule when the season began, Poplar and I discussed that the combination of the rough offseason along with a tough schedule and an improved NFC East were going to equate to a 9-7 or 10-6 record at best, and probably a miss on the playoffs (or maybe a wildcard bid). The Birds had a nice run over the last few years, and eventually the other teams catch up or inevitably a team runs out of gas, at least temporarily. Even the Patriots had an off-year a couple years ago after winning a couple Super Bowls. Now, with McNabbs' injuries and a sense that there isn't a lot of fire left when you look at the players' faces, do you guys think McNabb should just go have the surgery and call it a year? I suppose if he can suffer through the season, he'll have ups and downs and we still may have a shot at the playoffs, but he looked like he was in a lot of pain yesterday and was really ineffective. Detmer's not getting us to the playoffs, but maybe it's better than watching our star suffer all season and maybe do something damaging to his body. The Cowboys are a solid team now, but no way are they that good - we were beaten to the point of embarassment in every single aspect of the game. Another thing is that if we are going to win a Super Bowl, we still need some power in our running game - the Brook is the Man, but he can't get the tough yards when you need them. Plus, teams know that we're going to throw 50 times a game and they can key to that. Actually, my opinion is that McNabb should hold out as long as possible in hopes that we can make it to the playoffs somehow, but after yesterday....well, as Joey Lawrence used to say "Whoa."