Saturday, September 30, 2006

DB Situation: Walking but Limping; Some Spontaneous Parcells Bashing

DBs: The Birds' website is reporting that BDawk and Lito should be back to play on Monday, which is great news. I tend to think Lito is rushing it with that sprained ankle and all. I'd rather have him sit out another week than risk missing the Dallas game. And Dawk had a concussion - he's back?! Anyway, our secondary is BEAT UP right now...and our pass D is definitely terrible right now. The run D is making up for it which is good. Michael Lewis and Sheldon, we need you boys right now.

As usual, Reid was completely unhelpful at the press conference on Saturday - why does he even hold these? His responses are always devoid of anything useful....
"We need to get better at that."
"I need to keep on eye on that situation."
His response to concerns about the team's personnel to fill in for our injury-riddled secondary, including the hip injury that Considine is suffering: "We'd be OK," said Reid. "We have guys that can come in - just like we did last week when we played San Francisco."

Oh we do? Which "guys" are those exactly? Andy never gives any specifics or color on any issues - he just needs to stop granting interviews. Yeh, we have 4 guys available to play DB - hope they don't get tired during the game.

EARLY COWBOYS BASHING: Well, since we have big D coming to town in a week might as well bash them a little too:

Speaking of unhelpful coaches, Parcells is another coach who needs to hang up the press conference thing - except for a different reason than Andy....Not sure if anyone has caught one of his little tirades from his bully pulpit, but he apparently lives for the occasion to attack a reporter who wants more information about his decision-making process. People want to know what is going through coaches minds in making certain decisions involving the football team - Parcells takes any probing question as a personal affront to his manhood and takes the opportunityto beat down the reporter asking the question - what a schmuck. I can't figure out why Parcells is still coaching actually...he seems to derive zero joy from it. He seems to loathe the players, barely tolerates management, and crumbles into fits during games and practices, and just looks miserable being out there. Does he need the money to feed a gambling problem? Anywho...

And of course T.O.'s latest foray into national news was interesting...attempted suicide this time... or an accidental overdose of pain drugs. You decide. Pretty funny story to me - not because of what happened to "Terrell", but rather everyone's reactions to it in the media and in the public. People seemed to be almost wishing it to be true so they'd have something juicy to talk about...ESPN and the NFL Network devoted entire nights to the subject. CRAZY. I know we're supposed to despise T.O. in Philly, but I feel bad for him for a lot of reasons - Not only did he have a tough childhood (yeh, I read his book!), but I think it's probably difficult to reconcile problems you have before you're famous with the attention lavished upon you by millions of people because of your special talents. Not everyone is ready for that. As T.O. even said in his interview of Sept 12, he's a human any way you look at it so all of this turmoil can wear on you over time...even if he created a lot of the turmoil himself, it has to wear you out eventually. You can actually see it in his eyes - he just looks sad.

In any case, I still want him to play on Oct 8th - BDawk has something special waiting for him, I know it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Week 3: Just Finish the Job, Big Red

First off - How nice was it to come out swinging after getting punched in the gut last weekend? The Offense is rolling strong now and the Defense is solid, except for some slack in the secondary, which is understandable considering the injuries. McNabb was super sharp; The Brook finally put up the numbers he's able to; and Reggie hit 100 yards. I don't really have too many concerns about our individual players right now, which is even surprising to me; having said that, here's what's bothering me this week:

*Receivers: You folks need to catch balls that you get both hands on, almost always. Then, hold on to the damn thing. Glew has some skilz, but he's trapped inside a boy's body and needs to strengthen up so he doesn't keep coughing it up. Reggie blew McNabb's 300 yard game and TD stats by dropping 2 easy catches in the 4th quarter.

*Defensive backs: The DBs overall had a good effort in Lito's absence, but Hood seemed injured a lot of the game and was unable to keep up with Bryant. Hopefully, Lito will be back soon and Hood will have time to rest, so that problem seems solvable.

**Some Sloppy Coaching (??): I think this is a fair comment, but Big Red usually produces masterful Game Plans, but has a tough time adjusting during games and is frequently unable to finish a team off. Not quite sure why this is, but when the Birds go into hiberation, it has to be coaching. It's one of the following:
1) the players aren't motivated to keep the momentum up,
2) they're tired from poor conditioning or substitutions, or
3) coaches aren't adjusting and changing our player positioning and strategies.

All of these are pretty much coaching issues.

Big Red has never won a game in OT (right?), and we all know about our "stellar" 2-minute drills, also evidenced by NFC Championship games, the Super Bowl. I think Reid must be a genius with Game Plans and studying film, but he doesn't seem to react quickly during the progress of games. A team often runs roughshod over us for a quarter or two or sometimes a whole game (Pittsburgh comes to mind), without much change occurring. And Reid's cool demeanor is a plus most of the time (who wants a Parcells-esque coach flipping out all game?), but at times a coach needs to flip out...sometimes a player needs a boot up his a$$. Anyway, I like Andy, but just think this is something that needs to be addressed.

So, although we beat up on the Niners and are obviously a much better team, the scoreboard reflected a closer game than it really was...and it could have been a much closer game - The Patterson 98-yard rumble was key (it was a 14 point swing really). When teams are down for the count, Reid has to find a way to finish them off.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I feel like I got kicked in the stomach

With a steel-toed boot.

Size 40.

But hey, let's look on the bright sid--

Just kidding. We don't do that. (Even if there were one).

What the hell were the Eagles thinking? Trotter admitted that even going into halftime, he didn't think there was any chance that the giants could win the game. Apparently, they all thought that way, because they sure played like it in the fourth quearter. As much as they echo the words of their PR coaches "we take it one game at a time..." they were undoubtedly looking ahead. Probably not to next Sunday, but to that night's social engagements.

It was thoroughly embarassing. And to have played so well for the majority of the game makes it even worse. I was actually wondering if that fact we played well for three quarters made it better because we could say that we did some positive things, but no. It makes it much, much worse. We could have - should have -- won that game. To let a lead like that slip is more consistent with character problems than skill shortcomings.

Sure, we can easily point to Cole's boneheaded penalty, which Hugh Douglass descibed as "he kicked him in the hoo-hoo" -- which Cole did right in front of the ref. Or we can point to the questionable decision giving Shiancoe the reception that Dawkins caught for him (or the decision not to review it, while earlier deciding to review a giants reception even after they ran another down to spike it). Or Big Red's mental block with anything to do with time management. Or Big Red's decision to go for it on 4th and 1 -- and to run off tackle when we knew they were stuffing the line and that we had trouble running between the tackles all game. Or many of Reid's calls, actually. I even thought the all-out blitz on the last play was unwise, leaving just man coverage on Plaxico, since he could easily get under and out-jump any of our CBs, which is what he did. But still, I think it really was a total team effort to pack it in and just stop playing. And to just give them the momentum and never even try to regroup to take it back.

Hell, according to Rhea Hughes on WIP, after the game even Spadaro was furious at the Eagles.

And now Kearse suppsedly has a "severe knee injury"? Just typical. And even more typical that it happened in an overtime that we never should've been in in the first place, on a hot day when everyone's bodies were totally depleted by that point. So much for depth.

At least we're back in familiar territory...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

NFL Total Access (Hollywood)

How many of you'se would rather hear the announcers during a MNF football broadcast actually talk about football, and stop with the Hollywood suck-fest?

I can see doing this around week 15, maybe during a Raiders-Titans-type game, but people, it's WEEK 1 OF THE 2006 SEASON! Get these guys a telestrator, a turducken, something! Because if this is the best they can offer us in week 1, just THINK how tired this act is gonna be midway through the season.

Grave acts of terrorism were perpetrated on the NFL viewing public when they trotted out the likes of:

(a) Tom Cruise (and his love-slave Katie, who always appears to me to be silently screaming through her eyes.) Seriously, I used to like this guy, he actually made some cool movies back in the day. And I really don't care that he's the most condescending cult member on the face of the planet, Theta be damned! But can someone puh-lease slap that smile off his face? Why, why, why does he at all times have to have that smarmy look like a post-Rapture Republican voter from Mississippi that just got touched on the arm by D Cheney? Leave him behind! And frankly - ladies, maybe you can help me out here - but don't the hair plugs and teeth caps look a little beat these days? I just don't know. Bleech those suckers or something. Maybe HD is just *too* detailed. Sure doesn't do ol' Suzie Kolber any justice...

(b) Jamie Foxx - I like you, Steamin' Willie B, but not right now. Remember, "on any given Sunday, you're either gonna win, or you're gonna lose." But on Monday, you're monopolizing my TV time that I would rather spend scounting out the Deadskins. Go make some more great movies, bro. Go on, git!

And last, but certainly not least:

(c) The friggin Governator? Arnie's act is just plain tired. And this is coming from someone who still has the Terminator and Conan theme songs on his iPod workout mix, not to mention the special edition DVDs - CROM! Yeah, you're gonna get 5 football teams in your state. Right. Go learn some English, pal, and maybe juice up again - cos right now the Polish Rifle would wipe the floor with you!

Seriously, the only good that came out of that mess was seeing Dan Snyder almost lop off TomKat's hair plugs with his overly-enthusiastic "no catch" signal. Gotta love Tivo!

On a side note: Did anyone else notice that Jermaine Wiggins sounds (and kinda looks) just like Turtle from Entourage? "Thanks, Vince! Come on, Drama! Come on, Drama!!!"


Seems like I'm not the only one who's had enough of this mess on MNF.

Contrary To Pupular Belief, Pre-Game Prayers For Victory Only 50% Effective

Despite pre-game prayers for victory by all 32 NFL teams this weekend, only 16 teams (50%) won their respective games.

Once again, the 50% victory rate held true. Not counting ties, the 50% victory rate has remained steady since the inception of the sport.

It remains unclear why the 50% victory rate is not altered by pre-game prayers. A team of crack Harvard statisticians could not proffer a reliable theory as to why this number is unaffected by prayer.

When asked for comment, Jesus replied "I took the over on the road teams!"

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lito Out 4-6 Weeks; Area Youth Suffers Sprained Ankle (Again)

You know, we never did find out who stole Lito Sheppard's jersey all of last year. And this year we didn't have a chance to see if that impostor returned #26 to its rightful owner because the dude wearing it was carted off the field before the season barely began. In any case, our Pro Bowl CB is out with a significant ankle, it begins again. You know how long those ankles take to heal (all season). [I saw Lito at Camp last year...he looks like he's 16 by the way. Kind of reminds me of that Frosted Mini-wheats commercial back in the day where the kid is wearing adult clothing. But Lito can still bring the wood when he's not injured.]

Anyway, Dexter Wynn is back to fill the missing CB spot. I'm not sure whether that is bad for us or a "dare to be great" situation for Dexter. He may only be returning kicks at this point, so I think that's OK for us. Rod Hood is a solid 5th guy, but Lito is definitely going to be missed this weekend when the Blue Men come to the COBL. Hood and Sheldon hopefully will be "heightening" this week because the Blue Men have tall WRs - Plaxico and Shockey could have a field day. All in all, I feel good about Sheldon and Hood rising to the occasion. They're ready for a great game - any thoughts on the match-ups?

PS - Bruce Perry got cut to make room for Dexter.

Ankles: What is it with these things anyway? Is it the turf, lousy trainers who don't tape properly or just weak anatomy? It would seem to me with as advanced as this sport is, ankle sprains wouldn't be as common as they are...knees I understand - they're bigger, in the line of impact, and can't have a lot of tape around them... but ankles, come on..tape those things tight!

Hey cowpunks, Gnats, and Deadskins!

Nice games, losers!

Your sub-par ballclubs provided me much entertainment this weekend!

For at least 1 Week, all is right with the world again:

Check ya next week...

Oh, and Gnats? We'll see you Sunday at the Linc.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Week One: Solid Win over Texans

Despite a 1st Quarter where the Birds looked uncomfortable at best to be out on the field, Reid and the coaching staff got the team back on track halfway through the 2nd Quarter and never looked back. Here are some of the things that stood out to me:

*Running Game - From what I saw today, I have to do a mea culpa on any criticism I've had about this aspect of the offense (at least from what I saw in this game). Not only did The Brook and Buck do some crafty running and the O-line do a fantastic job opening the holes, but more importantly, Big Red did a great job DESIGNING the run plays. Several misdirection plays showed some creativity and played to McNabb's athleticism - haven't seen this run scheme in a long time, and it was effective and fun to watch. What a relief to see something new...missing Brad Childress? nahhh. Are you Nega-heads sold yet or should we still be worried (other than your normal worrying, Popstar)? The solid run game also set up the play action passes, which leads me to my next note...

*Donte Stallworth and the WRs - After one game, I'm convinced he's the real deal. He showed amazing hands and put up big numbers without really knowing the offense yet. The fake by McNabb on Stallworth's TD was soooo sweet - wow, I'm impressed with the execution and the creativity of this type of play. I was disappointed not to see more production from Reggie and nothing from Baskett, although one of the things the Texans did well was cover our WRs, which leads me to my next note...

*The O-line - Another impressive aspect today was our O-Line. The holes were big and the pass protection was great. McNabb put up great numbers and had ALL day to pass. I was wondering why he couldn't seem to find open WRs...any thoughts on that? Was it just the coverage or are we reckoning back to the days of yore when Pinky and Thrash were blanketed? The WRs are going to have to do a better job getting some separation because they were frequently covered like rugs and McNabb had to force the ball at times, one of which led to an interception and another almost led to one.

*Defensive Backs - They improved in the second half, but looked God-awful in the first half. The D-line was stopping the run, and started getting to Carr later in the game. Carr looked like an All-star at times during the game and it seemed to be from some blown coverages by the secondary. Anyway, I hope we're not flip-flopping problems from last year to this year - good line, bad DBs. I'm sure JJ will work to correct the problems soon enough...but what happened to Lito today - Recurring injury with the ankle?

All in all, great game plan by Reid, and McNabb looked sharp too - he did everything he was supposed to do today. We usually get a slow start each year, so this is a promising win and not much, if anything here to complain about. What say ye?

The Injury Game...Just what is going on with my favorite Injured Eagle?

It’s a matter of when not if…..but when Buckhalter (or insert your favorite injury riddled Eagle) is lying in a hump in the middle of the field, and the athletic trainers, docs, and a few coaches go running out to see what is going on, questions will pop up in everyone’s heads. “OH shit, is it the same knee?”, “Is he done for the season?”, “I knew he wouldn’t last a season, he is worthless”. Ok, that last one wasn’t a question, but I had to throw that one in there because that is probably what most of us will say. But for the few out there that will actually question the status of his injury and have questions about all of the other injuries that may happen during the year, I posted this article on my blog. So check it out to get a better "view" of the injury game.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Expert" picks for the weekend

As of this moment, the spread is anywhere from 3 1/2 to 6 points, believe it or not.

So Peter King has the Iggles dishing out the largest thrashing of the week, beating the Texans 31 to 10. . . . Of course, King also predicted that the Steelers-Dolfins game would be a "[g]reat, geat game." (Yes, he used two "great"s for emphasis). He actually concluded that "[i]f you don't like this game . . . you don't like football." Seriously.

On CBS Sportsline, Prisco thinks the Texans will pull off an upset and beat us 21-20 (but interestingly, on the chart of all six of Sportsline's experts' picks, Prisco supposedly picks the Texans to beat a four-point spread. Conspiracy theories anyone?) Harmon just thinks we'll push and win by 24-20. As for the others picking with the four-point spread, Judge and Bromberg have the Eagles covering, but Davis and Richard think the Texans will beat it.

The consensus pick of the ten editors at Pro Football Weekly is that the Eagles will cover a 3 1/2 point spread, and this is considered one of the three "best bets" of the week. (Although I have found that some of the editors' records for their "best bet" selections are actually worse than their other picks, and even under .500. Still, for what it's worth, I think the consensus selections are often better than most).

And ALL of the ESPN "experts" picked the Eagles to win. What's most suprising about this is that Hodge is one of them. Sure, they aren't picking against a spread, but that never stopped Merrill's Hodge-kins Disease (thanks for the term, J-Dubbs) from contaminating his already superficial -- and often bizarre -- reasoning.

Monday, September 04, 2006

FINAL ROSTER - Thoughts?

I'm glad we got trade value out of Fraley and Parry.

I'm a little concerned about the green-ness of the backup o-line. Love the depth on the d-line!

Lbs.... as usual, we're set at Mike, but weak on the outside. Expect lots of screen passes and sweeps, and tackles by the safeties and corners. We're used to that...

I think Brown & Stallworth, LJ & Westy, and GLew (slot) will actually cause some serious concern for d-coordinators. If 5 beets the blitz expect big #s. If he doesn't, expect more bruised sternums...

Glad Tank, Sampy, and Gasperon made the PS.

That's all I got.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Running Backs - ok, YOU tell Me

Ok, if everyone is so comfortable with our running game, let's postulate on the Running Back/Fullback situation some more: What's the final roster look like? Remember to show your work or it doesn't count.

"Hoge-kin's Disease"

Noun. A mental disorder characterized by frequent, turrets-like utterances of ignorant, authoritative statements about football, made without any factual basis, research, or reasoned analysis of any kind.

Named after Merrill Hoge, one-time Pittsburgh Steelers fullback, appaernt sufferer of many concussions, and now ESPN "analyst" and full-time moron. Renowned for being a huge Eagles hater, and picking against them even in the face of near-guaranteed Eagles victory.

Once picked against the Eagles to even make the playoffs when they were almost a mathematical certainly to make the playofs that year; he was, of course, wrong.

Only known cure: the victim must shut his/her yapper until they learn some football.

First known victim is pictured below. (Note the elongated brow and soul-less eyes.)