Friday, October 26, 2007

Neither Fish nor Fowl

Well, I suppose that Eagles would be considered fowl, being birds, but they are also "foul" this in stinking up the jizz-oint. Sorry, I digress...

We all know how Big Red has favored passing over the years, usually hitting 65%-70% passing rates. I think this is because Andy is obsessed with passing and believes that it gives him more points and credibility than grinding out a scoring drive on the ground, and partly because our running game has been anemic from time to time, except for the days of the 3-headed munstah that is...say it with me: DUUUUUUUCCCCE!.

So what are we now - a passing team or a running team? or both? It seems that our Pass v. Run stats are starting to level out - we are throwing only 56% of the time this season. I don't think that's by design, but rather by necessity: our passing game is broken, busted, absent. Our WRs can't get separation and McNabb is scrambling for his life back with a porous O-line. Kevin "White Lightning" Curtis is having a fine year with 29 catches for 506 yards and 4 TDs, but what other Eagle receiver is? [ahem, Westbrook doesn't count folks!]

Apparently, with the $109MM salary cap this season, the Birds are only about $8MM under, which to you and me is a lot of money, but puts us in the top 10 for least amount of cap room. To put it in perspective, the Pats are an estimated $29MM under. Would you say they are getting value for their money? You might also say that the Birds are not.

Knowing that however - the fact that we have $8MM in cap room - why didn't we keep Stallworth? He really was not that expensive...and don't argue that it was his "drug" habits that scared Big Red. Given what's going on in Andy's own home with his drug-dealing sons, a little weed shouldn't be enough to scare ol' Andy away. Stallworth's stats are really solid this season: 22 catches for 367 yards and 3TDs...he is even averaging 16.7 yds/catch. These stats would put him as our #2 WR, by a LONG shot.

What do we have to show at this point: Reggie has been kidnapped and placed in a basement on South Street somewhere and replaced by James Thrash (no TDs and averaging only 12.6 yds/catch), and Avant is just as bad, with only 1 TD.

Granted, the 2007 Pats are a dynasty and might end up being the best team in history, but none of our WRs, other than Curtis maybe, could even start there. Having Stallworth would have provided McNabb with some extra deep threats and speed. This is the worst WR corps in football overall and it's killing our Offense. Dare I say that it may be worse than the Pinkston/Thrash/FredEx triumvirate? Yes, yes, I dare.

How did Andy & Co. not see this coming? Every year there is some glaring problem that they overlook, and these mistakes have held us back year after year.

Speaking of overlooking glaring errors, has Winston Justice been cut yet?

P.S. The Birds are winning today [Sunday], but are not running well. Reggie has 7 catches...shut me up!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Heeeeee's Baaaaaaaack!

That is all for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Reid thinks we're running enough. Seriously.

Andy was asked today about whether he thought that in the past few games, it might have been better to run the ball more. His answer was both unsurprising and revealing:

"We're actually running the ball more in the fourth quarter than the league average. Our first half stats are just slightly below the average for the league. So, I think we're doing a good job of running the football enough. We just need [to be] efficient."

Now, even though he's profoundly wrong, there's certainly no surprise that Andy believes that he's "doing a good job of running the football enough."

But what is actually very telling is the fact that Andy responded by quoting to league statistics. Certainly, he anticipated the question. Even though he consistently tries to portray himself as above the media, he made sure to have some sort of explanation ready. And most tellingly, his explanation -- or more accurately his defense -- required him to actually find statistics that could support his flawed position
that he is "running the football enough." No easy task.

So this leads to a troublesome conclusion: That he is in fact aware of the media criticism of his coaching, but instinctively, or just as a matter of practice, rejects it -- even when it's indisputably correct.

His huge ego, the size which even dwarfs his waistline, prevents him from admitting he isn't running the ball enough, because it would be acknowledging that the media is right. Sure, he can admit that he "didn't do a good enough job" after each game, but that's on his terms, and his self-criticism never delves deeper than platitudes. But to admit that the media was correct is something his ego will not allow.

How large is his ego? Can he even accept any advice from his assistant coaches? According to G. Cobb, the assistants are nothing but sycophantic "yes men" anyway (except for Jim Johnson). There can be no question that Reid's pigheaded stubbornness is hurting the team. And now, it's almost as if he's going to keep passing the ball 70% of the time out of spite...

Well, at least I'm looking forward to getting a good draft pick. (Which we'll probably trade to another NFC East team again).

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Kris Jenkins and Andy Reid Have In Common

This is not meant to be a trick question. The answer is the obvious one -- nothing, other than the size of their waistline.

After an embarrassing loss to the Bucks, the Carolina DT came out and spoke the brutal truth: "As a team, collectively, we have no heart, we have no energy, we have no drive. The pride and passion that you have for this game makes you want to win. It's not about the money. It's not about looking the part. It's not about standing on the field so everybody can see you on TV and you look good. It's about pride and passion. If you have those two, if you win or if you lose, you're going to look like a football team".

Now if you ask me, this statement could not illustrate more accurately what is going on with the Eagles. If you ask Andy Reid he'll tell you we're "off by a hair" and he just needs to "do a better job next time"...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Time Mag on How to Cope with a Losing Team

Last Tuesday, Time Magazine actually ran a piece on how sports fans can cope with the heartbreak from their team losing.

Typically -- and ironically -- the article spoke dir
ectly to Mets fans, who have "lived through so much disappointment from this franchise" and how they can deal with their losing the NL East . . . to the Phillies.

Of course, this of course presents the author, a Mets fan, with the irresistible platform to dump on the Phils. Referring to one of the oh-so insightful psychologists he consulted (who probably holds his degree from Hollywood Upstairs Medical College), he wrote:

Luckily, End also recommends a trick any fan can use, something psychologists call "social creativity." Basically, make yourself feel better by comparing your team to one which, historically, has been much worse off than yours. Take the Phillies. They've been around for 125 years, and won just one World Series, in 1980. The Mets have won a couple since their birth in 1962. Philadelphia lost its 10,000th game this season, the most in professional sports. The franchise is also famous for a choke of its own, the 1964 team that lost the pennant after leading by 6 1/2 games with 12 left to play. They may have topped us this time, but thank God the Phillies aren't my team.

That feels a little better. Wann, the Murray State psychologist, also recommends what he calls "retroactive pessimism." "A guy doesn't get a job, and he tells himself, 'Gosh, the field was so competitive,'" he explains. "'There was nothing I could do to control it.' It has nothing to do with the fact that he's lazy and unqualified." You can do the same thing here. The Phillies are a team of destiny. Sure, the Mets didn't play well down the stretch, sure they made 21 errors over the last 17 games. But gosh, give those Phils credit: They went 13-4 in those final games. Really, who could stop them? (Answer: a team that did any better than 5-12 in those same 17 games).

Needless to say, the article was relatively useless fluff, but again seems to reinforce how the national media (especially the NY media) has such a self-centered and shamelessly obvious anti-Philadelphia bias. I'm not even talking about the "social creativity" or "reactive pessimism" non-theories fabricated for the article, but just the fact that fans with a losing team don't matter until they're New York.

Then again -- we don't need no stinkin' coping mechanism. We don't need no psychological comforting. This is Philly. We get psyched up, we play, we lose, we get pissed, but we get over it. Maybe not quickly, and maybe not totally. Hell, maybe not at all in some cases. But the point is that we deal. We can leave the coddling for others.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Nothing to Cheer For

OK, I'm being really negative here, but have you seen our cheerleaders this year? Man, everything's falling apart in Philly.

I live in a glass house, etc., but come on, from the look of these girls, I think they could drill a hole in your tooth and just laugh.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oh, by the way, Herremans had surgery

...Now move along. Nothing to see here. Don't you worry about it. We'll tell you what we think you need to know. When we feel like it.

It was just reported that Herremans underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. And it was successful.

Um, successful in doing what?
Christ, I didn't even know he was hurt. Did I miss something?

Well, let's see... I haven't any articles since the game that mentioned any problems. And in Reid' press conference immediately after the game, Big Red declared, with his trademark eloquence and verbosity: "No new injuries."

I guess in ReidSpeak, that means "No new injuries that I think you need to know about." (Yes, in ReidSpeak you can end sentences with prepositions). Or maybe it just simply means "Screw off." Actually, it seems like almost everything he says to the microphone means "Screw off." I know it must be unpleasant to have to address the media -- especially in this town where we all take our sports seriously -- but they are the link between the head office and the fans. And if I'm not mistaken, without the fans, there would be no NFL, no Eagles, and no multi-million dollar coaching contract.

Putting aside his apparently distaste for the media, this Herremans thing appears to be a little more than just being a little circumspect with doling out information. Now, I'm no doctor, but
in most cases, people don't just suddenly have surgery. I tend to think he might have had something like ... an injury. Isn't that something about which that he's supposed to inform the media? Maybe at least in some sort of unspoken practice, if not by any rule?

I guess my point is that the entire Reid-Lurie-Banner machine operates with an apparent contempt for the fans. They know better. They only need to tell us the bare minimum, because we don't deserve to know more. When something goes wrong, they can just mollify us by sprinkling a few meaningless mea culpas to us like feeding stale breadcrumbs to mangy pigeons...

And Scott Young is Herreman's backup. Great. I think he takes a false start penalty every third snap or so...