All Things Philadelphia Eagles. Minus the Bullshit.

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

OFFICIAL DRAFT RECAP (it's in all caps - that's how official it is)

This draft was unique because not a single team satisfied any of its needs via free agency. Suddenly teams have to worry about addressing more positions than usual. Sometimes they have to reach to make sure they get the guys they want because if they miss on a position in the draft there's no guarantee they satisfy it in free agency. It's crazy but I can see why, and the Eagles aren't the only ones making crazy, reach picks.

I've had one person contend that this was a show of "inexperience" with GM Howie Roseman running the draft rather than former GM Tom Heckert. I really don't think this is a Howie vs. Heckert type of change. Look at last year's draft. You didn’t see this last year so much. I think it's a product of the environment and the Eagles are not the only ones reacting in this way. It's a whole new animal and teams have to adapt. Adapt or risk making critical mistakes. Teams are taking players in some really crazy spots. Carpenter to the Seahawks in the first? Locker to the Titans 8th overall? Granted those were arguably absurd picks no matter how you look at them, but I mean, there might have been a few teams that coveted Carpenter or Locker and were waiting until later to take them. All of a sudden, they're gone! All bets are off, man. You can’t assume that anyone will be available in the round you expect them to be. You've gotta be bold or miss your shot.

Now that I've placated the fans who've been crying in a dark corner since the 3rd round, I'll continue with my recap...

The Patriots are such smug drafters, but Giants got 'em beat

My buddy Goodman and I were chatting when he mentioned that he heard the Patriots are the only team where all of their picks in the first 3 rounds from the past 3 drafts are still on their roster. So I wanted to do a little fact checking and in the process I ended up pulling together some interesting data. The picks included are all from rounds 1-3 from the drafts of 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In Mudd We Trust

With the 23rd pick of the first round of the 2011 NFL draft the Philadelphia Eagles select...

Danny Watkins, guard, Baylor. Did I mention he'll be 27 in November?

I'm tempering my "OMFG" urge to freak out about this pick. If there's someone in this league who can see what an offensive lineman can be in this league, it's Howard Mudd. Jeff Saturday was a discard. Mudd saw what he could be and made him into a Pro Bowler. Mudd knows what he's doing. He's been in and around the NFL the majority of his adult life.

But still. Jimmy Smith was there for the taking. Hell, Prince Amukookaburra was absolutely in striking distance for the Eagles to trade up and nab him.

You can argue that maybe the Eagles couldn't find a willing trade partner that would've allowed them to leapfrog the Giants. But what about Smith? Sure he's got aborted kids and failed drug tests for marijuana and at least one failed drug test for purple drank and he's cocky and when asked about his perceived similarities to top NFL cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha he said, "I like the comparison but I think I have better ball skills." Should character be the end-all and be-all? Teams have taken that risk before. The Eagles took Owens. Dallas signed elite return man Pacman Jones. The Redskins welcomed Haynesworth with open wallets. All these players ended up being crucial team assets for years to come cancers that destroyed locker rooms.

Ah... I see... touche, self. Well played!

I'm just keeping a positive attitude about this. Bring in Asomugha in free agency. That'll make all of this worry about the age of a guard not matter.

But really, what would you rather have? An instant impact offensive lineman who helps keep the window open with Vick's limited time remaining as a top QB for a shot at a Super Bowl in the next 1-2 seasons? Or a young developing offensive lineman with a lot of upside who might finally peak 2-3 seasons from now? Vick gives us a chance in the next 2-3 seasons. You need to protect him now, not later. The more I think about it the more I like the fact that they drafted the most NFL-ready lineman in the draft. We've all felt what it's like to be continually building for the long term, being a playoff contender every year, but only once going to the big dance and never having won it. Do we want more of that or do we want "now" players who can best help us finally get over the hump and get a ring?

Last year there was incessant whining that we needed Julius Peppers because he was a NOW player and who cares how old he is because we need to win NOW and he's super good right NOW. The Eagles bring in a NOW player in the draft and suddenly everyone's all, "We need to be building for the future!" Whatever the Eagles do, the fans' initial reaction will be to assume the Eagles leadership is trying to sabotage the team on purpose. Absurd, I know, but conspiracy theorists abound.

This is the Eagles, not Russia. Relax.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Westbrook Heading Back Eastbrook?

Well well well! Apparently Mr. Westbrook wants to be an Eagle again. Um, like, who doesn't??? SHUT UP LITO!!

"I talk to coach Reid every week or so. We always talk. I would love to be back in Philly. So we'll see how things go," Westbrook stated while speaking with NBC-10 and Comcast Sportsnet on Sunday. "I think they have a very good group of guys on the team as far as every position, but I still think I can help this team win."

The former lifeblood of the Eagles offense added, "I think I can help. It's a special place. [They have] the best fans in the world. I can't deny that. I missed it this last year. I missed it being out in San Francisco."

Of course you did. The 49ers fanbase consists of actual San Franciscans curled up in the fetal position and rocking back and forth muttering, "Go deep to Rice! DEEP TO RICE!" and scattered bandwagoners kicking themselves each January for a choice they made back in middle school that really seemed like a great idea at the time.

If you ask me, and guess what, you just did, I think the possibility of his returning is dependent upon the conditions of the new CBA.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vick to Appear on Oprah... lol jk

Mike Vick was originally scheduled to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show next week. Vick fans everywhere thought to themselves, "Maybe this will help Vick finally regain some acceptance in the public eye?" Vick haters and/or dog lovers everywhere seethed at the notion, steadfast in their belief that the justice system's handling of the situation was insufficient and that Vick should continue to be punished at every turn.

Well, as it would turn out, Vick has made the decision to cancel his appearance on Oprah.

"After careful consideration, I will need to postpone the taping of the Oprah Winfrey interview," Vick said. "I admire and respect Oprah and hope to be able to participate in an interview in the future."

Reports are also surfacing that the Eagles may have had a hand in Vick canceling his scheduled appearance. This seems to be an unconfirmed rumor at best. The Eagles themselves have denied it.

Regardless of whether you love or hate Vick, you might be asking yourself, "Why would Vick or the Eagles not want for him to appear on Oprah? It seems like a pretty reasonable step toward redemption."

Executed carefully and correctly, I do believe that an appearance on Oprah could do wonders for Vick's image. But timing, as they say, is everything.

The 2011 NFL season is currently in limbo. The Collective Bargaining Agreement is due to expire and the work toward a new deal has been about as successful as DeSean Jackson in a Twitter spelling bee.

There may not be any free agency, at least not before the draft. Trades are prohibited. The franchise players have been franchised. What else is going on in the world of the NFL?

Media coverage of the NFL is currently scrambling for content when there virtually is none. Daily "updates" regarding the status of the CBA negotiations grows repetitive and tiresome. The biggest news, really, is what city Shaun Rogers will visit next. Yes, the travel plans of a declining player are pretty much as exciting as it gets.

Now, throw a sit-down between Oprah and Vick into the fray. Suddenly, every sports writer and blogger covering the NFL from Seattle to Miami is going to jump all over this juicy bit of news meat. With little else stealing the spotlight, Vick will be forced to the front page of every sports website, magazine, and blog.

Now this could be a good thing if Vick's appearance goes down beautifully, ne'er a misstep. But there's no guarantee that's what happens. I believe Oprah's intent would be to help Vick earn further forgiveness, but his detractors won't be inclined to budge with some fluff piece. There has to be some pressure put on him.

And not to mention what the press will choose to focus on in recounting his appearance. For example, the chorus of boos the live audience is certain to shower him with as he enters the set.

It's something he should do someday. But he's not there yet. Now's just not a good time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nice Try, Blanco Niño. But Too Bad Your Ass Got Taaaaaaaaagged. OH!

Yes, that's right. Today the Eagles placed the franchise tag on Mike Vick and the transition tag on David Akers.

"What does all this mean?"

Valid question, reader!

The franchise tag essentially places the player it is applied to under contract for one year. The contract of the tagged player is valued at the average salary of the top five players at his position; in this case, the average of the salaries of the top five quarterbacks in the league. Or, a 20% raise. Whichever amount is greater. And in Mikey's case, it'll be the average because he was playing for honey-roasted peanuts last season. And as delicious as that sounds, they're actually pretty bad for you. Sugar is the enemy! Though not to be confused with sugah, which is what my girlfriend gives me fives nights a week year. Be jealous!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I CAN HAS COACHIZ NAO???

The Eagles have now finalized their coaching staff for the 2011 season.

...if there is one.

Changes to coaching staff in bold. New hires in italics.

OFFENSE
Off. Coordinator/Asst. HC: Marty Mornhinweg
Asst. Off. Coordinator: James Urban (formerly QB Coach) (UPDATE: Hired away by Bengals to be their WR coach)
Wide Receivers/Senior Off. Assistant: David Culley (formerly just WR Coach)
Quarterbacks: Doug Pederson (formerly Off. Quality Control Coach)
Running Backs: Ted Williams
Tight Ends: Tom Melvin
Offensive Line: Howard Mudd

DEFENSE
Def. Coordinator: Juan Castillo (formerly OL Coach)
Defensive Line: Jim Washburn
Linebackers: Mike Caldwell (formerly Asst. LB Coach)
Secondary/Safeties: Mike Zordich (formerly Def. Quality Control Coach)
Secondary/Cornerbacks: Johnnie Lynn
Def. Quality Control: Bobby April, Jr.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Spec. Teams Coordinator: Bobby April, Sr.
Spec. Teams Quality Control: Duce Staley (formerly a coaching intern)

The biggest changes have already been covered.

Johnnie Lynn:
Played seven seasons with the Jets back in the 70s and 80s as a cornerback. After that spent time as a secondary coach with the Buccaneers, Giants, Ravens, and most recently the 49ers where he also held the title of "Special Assistant to the Head Coach". I can't help but think of Dwight Schrute when I hear that title. Lynn even had a two-year stint as the Giants' defensive coordinator in 2002-03. He was also secondary coach with the Ravens in 2004 when Ed Reed won NFL defensive POY. He resigned from the 49ers staff late in the 2010 season "for personal reasons". Nothing groundbreaking with this hire, but the Eagles blogosphere was freaking out about Zordich running the secondary so it's nice to see they're pairing him up with someone with plenty of experience.

Bobby April, Jr.:
Bobby April's son. 28 years old, not much experience. I figure dad was able to talk Reid into putting his son on the staff to help him jump start his career.

DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE:
Sweet! Duce is officially a full-time member of the coaching staff now. It was also noted that he'll still continue in his former role of helping to coach the running backs. Shady McCoy has noted on several occasions that Duce was instrumental in his successful development between his rookie season and the 2010 season.