Thursday, October 26, 2006

Into the Minds of the Powers that Be

Sometimes I'm inspired by hearing the press conferences but more often it just confuses me. The Birds' Website has quotes from the coaches and players made during the various press conferences held that week. The mindset of a lot of these guys, well, I just don't get...Taking a step back, we're talking about the NFL here, a professional sports league where the players are being highly compensated to play this game with precision and discipline and in the end, attain the goal of winning the Super Bowl. In general, statements from players (not only on the Eagles) often indicate a failure of these athletes to transition mentally from college where they were playing for free or often just for fun to the pros where it became their profession. Their jobs are to be cogs in the machine, a machine that wins games for their club. It's probably just me being too critical, but...come on, do these guys want to win a Super Bowl or not?

Anyway, here is a look into the minds of the People in Charge from this week:

Andy Reid:
"On how you can't practice not kicking a flag and how you get that message across on the practice field: 'You have to keep your composure. [DE] Jerome [McDougle] probably said it the best, he blew it. He got caught up in the moment and that's what happens. You learn from it and move on.'

"On whether there are repercussions for such incidents: 'Yeah, I talked to him.'"

Oh boy, he TALKED to him. Do you think McDougle will ever forget that tounge lashing? I think, I would've hated to be McDougle, being talked to and all. Wow, with the Birds, the consequences for contributing to blowing the game are pretty serious, huh? get TALKED TO.

From Donovan:

"On whether after looking at the film he saw if WRs Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett were open on the play at the end of the first half where he threw to TE L.J. Smith and didn't get in the end zone: 'On that particular play, L.J. ran past the linebacker, so there was nothing but him and Ronde, who was supposed to be guarding Hank Baskett in the corner route at that particular time, but he made a great play and they were able to converge on L.J. Looking back on it now, I should have just thrown the ball out of bounds, but in that situation you have to have the confidence in your guys to be able to make that play to get in the end zone. It just didn't work, but maybe it will next time.'"

Please tell me I didn't read that correctly..."next time" it might work, does he mean another toss to LJ in front of the goal line might work? That's a play that you have to assume will never work that's why it's strategy from Pop Warner to the pros to never throw it. Having confidence in your guys has nothing to do with it. He should have just stopped at "I should have just thrown the ball out of bounds." I hope someone told him that.

"On the fact that the decision making on offense has been heavily criticized and how he feels about it: 'I personally don't care. I get criticized for everything, so it doesn't matter to me. I play the game to try and help my team win. There are going to be plays in the game that people are going to question. There are going to be plays that people are going to enjoy, but you take away three interceptions, it puts us in a position to come out with points and score points. You make mistakes, but you have to be able to bounce back from it. I regret throwing the interceptions, but there's nothing that I can do now but learn from it and move on.'"

Hearing DMac make statements like "I get criticized for everything" makes me think that playing in the COBL is weighing on him, which is understandable. It hasn't been easier for him so far. Maybe all of that laughing and joking on the sidelines is just a cover - the pressure in big games has been evident on his face. I mean, I didn't see anyone else throwing up during last week's game. Not even Gradkowski.

From Dawkins:

"On how they avoid the mentality of thinking that it just isn't our year': 'That goes straight from up top, start with the coaches to the leaders and then it filters on down. That's why we go out and continue to practice the way we are going to practice today. We're going to come into this thing and have a good time in practice, work hard, and prepare ourselves to win games.

'We've already talked about paying attention to detail, and that is something we always talk about. But, also, we just talk about controlling those things that you can control and don't worry about those other things. As far as any calls that don't go your way, you can't worry about that. The only thing that you can control is your play. Our play has been inconsistent and that is something we have to get better at.'"

As usual, Dawkins gets it right. The focus needs to be on the attention to detail, working hard and controlling their play. In any week, the opposing team may just outplay you or be a better team, but if you concentrate on getting the little things right, eventually things will go your way, or at least, you will play the best you can play. The Birds are getting a lot of the big things right at this point (#1 offense in the league, big plays, etc), but they keep messing up the little things and that's why they're losing. It's time for them to act like professionals, not ex-college athletes just winging it.


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