Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Andy Reid: QB Genius?

The pending QB controversy (Kolb vs. Vick) got me to thinking. Is Andy Reid a QB genius? I mean how the heck did we end up with 2 quality QB starters in a league where barely half the teams can trot out a viable QB on a week to week basis.

At first blush, it's valid to say Reid lucked into this position. Vick was a quality QB for a number of years in this league so there's no reason to think he wouldn't be. Well, if that was the case then why were the Eagles only team to take a flier on him? You can't tell me it was all a character issue as there's a number of teams out there who collect problem children (ahem, OAK). And there are a number of teams who desperately needed QB help last year. So were 31 head coaches wrong or has Reid improved Vick?

Take a look back over the past 10 years and there always seems to be a competent #2. Is this luck or something more? I decided to look at the stats of all the QBs that have played for Reid and broke them down into Reid Career and Non-Reid Career numbers. For the sake of comparison, I've excluded all non-QBs from this analysis and any QBs who only played for Reid. I've also excluded McNabb as 6 games in WAS is too small of a sample size. I'll fully admit that the sample sizes for all these other guys are also quite limited, but hey. At least we've got some different numbers to debate.

Player Att Comp Yds Comp % Yds/Att TD TD % INT INT %

Non-Reid Career Koy Detmer 181 97 1011 53.6% 5.59 5 2.8% 5 2.8%
Non-Reid Career Doug Pederson 295 167 1486 56.6% 5.04 5 1.7% 10 3.4%
Non-Reid Career A.J. Feeley 346 191 1893 55.2% 5.47 11 3.2% 20 5.8%
Non-Reid Career Jeff Blake 3204 1809 21585 56.5% 6.74 133 4.2% 98 3.1%
Non-Reid Career Mike McMahon 308 135 1709 43.8% 5.55 10 3.2% 13 4.2%
Non-Reid Career Jeff Garcia 3488 2148 24228 61.6% 6.95 151 4.3% 81 2.3%
Non-Reid Career Michael Vick 1730 930 11505 53.8% 6.65 71 4.1% 52 3.0%

Reid Career Koy Detmer 173 87 933 50.3% 5.39 5 2.9% 9 5.2%
Reid Career Doug Pederson 227 119 1276 52.4% 5.62 7 3.1% 9 4.0%
Reid Career A.J. Feeley 309 181 2177 58.6% 7.05 16 5.2% 14 4.5%
Reid Career Jeff Blake 37 18 126 48.6% 3.41 1 2.7% 1 2.7%
Reid Career Mike McMahon 207 94 1158 45.4% 5.59 5 2.4% 8 3.9%
Reid Career Jeff Garcia 188 116 1309 61.7% 6.96 10 5.3% 2 1.1%
Reid Career Michael Vick 109 65 885 59.6% 8.12 7 6.4% 0 0.0%

Reid – Non-Reid Career Koy Detmer

-3.30% -0.19
Reid – Non-Reid Career Doug Pederson

-4.19% 0.58
Reid – Non-Reid Career A.J. Feeley

3.37% 1.57
Reid – Non-Reid Career Jeff Blake

-7.81% -3.33
Reid – Non-Reid Career Mike McMahon

1.58% 0.05
Reid – Non-Reid Career Jeff Garcia

0.12% 0.02
Reid – Non-Reid Career Michael Vick

5.88% 1.47

Of the 7 QBs above, it looks like 3 were clearly better (Feeley, McMahon, Vick), 3 clearly worse (Pederson, Blake, Detmer), and Garcia virtually unchanged. Blake only had 30 more attempts after leaving PHI so you could argue that there wasn't much Reid could teach him at that point. Ditto Garcia. Pederson did better after leaving PHI, so that kinda blows that theory. Feeley and McMahon were playing for really bad teams outside of their PHI career (MIA, DET) so their numbers can be spun the other way. Detmer only hung around as long as he did because he could hold for Akers not so much for his passing acumen.

So the numbers don't seem to point one way or another. My gut tells me though that he does more with less than about anyone else out there. Or maybe it's a system thing.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Time For Some Respect?

I'd call this a very nice win against a team that several pre-game analysts were calling the best team in the NFC. I liked how they jumped out to a decent lead, then never really let the Falcons back into the game.

What I liked:
Kolb looked very good. Decent throws with the INT being his only big mistake.

Play calling from Reid. He did a lot of good things early to keep the pressure of 4. Then going back and faking the end around and going deep to Maclin.

Run defense kept a very good running team from doing much. Part of this may have been getting up 14 points quick, but they still kept running the ball and never got much going.

What I didn't like:
Stop with the penalties for crying out loud. Even Kolb got into the act this week.

Jackson's injury. Losing him for any period of time could really crimp this team.

Inability to kick FGs. Bumble needs to stop saying good things about him.


Monday, October 11, 2010

3-2 Win on the Road

This is such an odd team. Three wins on the road, two losses at home. We now have a 3 way tie for lead in the NFC East and the pre-season Cowboys are not among them.

This thing is so wide open, it should be a really fun season to watch. Especially since this is the Any Given Sunday season of any season in recent memory. No one stands out in the NFC. No one has played a solid 5 games. I don't even think anyone's played a good 4 games. And if anyone has, it's probably been the Lions who are now only 1-4.

People will continue to talk about the QB position mostly as this season goes along, but this defense has got to be the bigger concern. I really like what McCoy's doing and Maclin's having a decent run of games so it doesn't really matter whether Vick or Kolb is in there. This D has got to get better though. They're making Alex Smith look good for crying out loud. Yikes.

P.S. Since the Eagles won, I guess we'll see no traffic on this blog. See y'all after the next loss!


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Really Good Vick Interview

Saw part of this in the airport this morning. Part 2 is very good:



Ya Still Gotta Believe

From my 9/23 post:

"So 70% of the time, Reid manages to get to the playoffs. And only once in those 7 attempts does he go one and done. That's a playoff win 60% of the seasons for those keeping score at home. Anyone care to guess how many playoff wins the Eagles had in the 30 years before Reid took over? The answer is 5. Total. Or 1 playoff win every 6 years. Or half what Reid's has in the last 10 years."

This team is 2-2 and leading the NFC East. Do they need to play better to make the playoffs? Damn straight they do. Are they likely to do so? History says yes they will.

Several comments about the game:
  • Nice to see the standing ovation for 5 (or at least the replays since I missed the 1H)
  • This team's going to need 5 starting caliber QBs by the time this season's over the eay things are going.
  • As poorly as Kolb played, McNabb didn't play any better.
  • The penalties. Oh, the penalties. I swear I'm going to break some expensive electronics if they keep this up.


Records After Bye Weeks

Good stuff from the Dallas Morning News (Reid's 14-0 including play-offs):
Team after the bye week

NFL teams with their post-bye records and current streaks:

Team Record Streak
Philadelphia 17-4 11 wins
Minnesota 17-4 4 wins
Dallas 16-5 5 wins
Denver 15-6 2 losses
Buffalo 14-7 1 loss
Tennessee 13-8 4 wins
Chicago 13-8 1 loss
New England 12-9 6 wins
Indianapolis 12-9 5 wins
Pittsburgh 12-9 2 wins
Green Bay 12-9 1 win
Miami 12-9 1 loss
Kansas City 12-9 3 losses
Atlanta 11-10 1 win
NY Jets 11-10 1 loss
St. Louis 11-10 1 loss
Washington 11-10 2 losses
San Diego 10-10 1 loss
Arizona 10-11 1 win
Baltimore 9-5 2 wins
Tampa Bay 9-12 3 wins
New Orleans 9-12 1 win
Detroit 9-12 2 losses
Oakland 9-12 7 losses
San Francisco 8-13 6 losses
Carolina 7-8 2 wins
Jacksonville 7-8 2 losses
Cleveland 6-10 1 loss
NY Giants 6-15 2 wins
Cincinnati 5-15-1 1 win
Seattle 5-16 3 losses
Houston 2-6 2 losses



Monday, September 27, 2010

Ya Gotta Believe (aka Why No Love? - Part 2)

That was a decent win on the road though the competition wasn't anything to write home about. It was nice to see the defense play lights out like that. Offense could have been a bit more consistent, but there really isn't too much you can criticize about that game. The o-line improved a bit, fewer penalties, and better special teams play all helped out.

I think the important thing is that they didn't look past this game to next week. Now you might say that's an easy thing to do, but it's not. Look no further to our next opponent. WAS lost an ugly game to STL yesterday by letting a rookie QB hang 30 points on them.

I think this is a playoff team. Looking at how the rest of the division has started the season should give us all more hope than before. 10-6 might just win the division. So until the games prove us wrong, I think ya gotta believe.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why No Love?

I think this could be a playoff team no matter who the QB is. I keep coming back to the question: Are they really that much worse than the 11-5 they were last year? It's not like Reid has a history of missing the playoffs. He has a history of not winning the Super Bowl, but you can't say the guy doesn't make it to the post season.

A history lesson:

2009 11-5, playoffs loss in round 1
2008 9-6-1, loss in NFC Championship game (2 wins in post season)
2007 8-8, no playoffs
2006 10-6, loss in 2nd round of playoffs
2005 6-10, no playoffs
2004 13-3, loss in SB (2 wins in post season)
2003 12-4, loss in NFC Championship game (1 wins in post season)
2002 12-4, loss in NFC Championship game (1 wins in post season)
2001 11-5, loss in NFC Championship game (2 wins in post season)
2000 11-5, loss in 2nd round of playoffs
1999 5-11, no playoffs

So 70% of the time, Reid manages to get to the playoffs. And only once in those 7 attempts does he go one and done. That's a playoff win 60% of the seasons for those keeping score at home. Anyone care to guess how many playoff wins the Eagles had in the 30 years before Reid took over? The answer is 5. Total. Or 1 playoff win every 6 years. Or half what Reid's has in the last 10 years.

This is what boggles my mind. I'll give you all the clock management issues, inability to run the ball, yadda-yadda-yadda, etc. But at some point don't you have to look at THAT track record and say, "I don't know how he's going to do it, but Reid's going to figure out a way to get this team to the playoffs."

Given how much crap 5 got over the years, I know you're not going to tell me it was all McNabb all those years and Reid was just along for the ride. Banner's great cap management (front office never won a game)? It must have been Dawk (oops, not on the team last year)?

Akers has been the only other constant over the years so it must have been all those FGs he's kicked. That's the only other logical conclusion you can draw. Personally, that seems a lot more illogical than Reid is a great head coach and deserves the benefit of the doubt.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No QB Controversy Here

Vick in, Kolb out even though he's healthy. Gotta say I'm a little surprised based on everything Reid has said before. This is your guy and he's done after less than a half of football? Seems a bit quick to me.

The flip side is that Vick has been playing well. He's got his burst back. Nice touch on deep balls (i.e. hitting DeSean in stride for his TD). Picking up positive yards when the pocket disintegrates.

I think the more interesting thing is the timing of this announcement. Any other team would've given you the "we'll make a decision by game time", while Reid comes out and says he's making the switch on Tuesday. I guess JAC was going to prepare for Vick anyway s

I think this decision also shows Reid's flexibility. I'm not sure how many other coaches would have made this decision this quickly. Kolb's the QB of the future, Vick's only signed through this year. I think a lot of other head coaches would've stuck with Kolb for a loss or 2 before making the change. Nice to see quick decision here. This shows the team that it's all about the Ws and not about any agendas. This probably does more for team chemistry than anything else.

Now let's see them get another win.


Game 2 Review

This is one of the most frustrating teams I've seen this side of Rich Kotite. Stop with the penalties! Stop with poor kick coverage teams! Stop with the 80 yard rushing TDs!

I was close to breaking stuff during the 1H of this game. My wife had to take my son outside because I was stomping and grunting and making other loud noises that was upsetting him.

A win on the road is always a good thing, but ARGH!!!!!!!!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Thoughts on Game One

i went into game 1 worried that the eagles were going to be on the wrong end of a 31-13 game against the team i thought was the best in the nfc coming into the season. my hope was that they were going to be able to keep it close and show some things and not get blown out in the opener. i wasn't expecting them to win. i wasn't even really hoping they were going to win, i just wanted them to keep it close and show some potential.

these were the some of the specific things i was hoping to see in the game and watching for:

- kolb to show his trademark accuracy while being quick and decisive
- the refashioned d-line to consistently get pressure on rodgers without having to blitz
- stewart bradley to have decent change of direction skills as he recovers from his knee injury
- nate allen to have a good feel for the game and show some inkling that he may one play be half the player dawk was
- jamaal jackson to bring back some stability to the o-line with his ability to call the right protections

what i got was dreck. don't let the 7 point loss fool you. there were some good performances, but the game i watched makes me concerned that it portends bad things for this team in the future. it's only one data point, so i'll reserve judgement until we see some more but yuck! i really didn't like what i saw.

kevin kolb looked exactly like he did in the preseason. afraid to make a mistake and not at all comfortable with being the man. best case is that he's putting way too much pressure on himself and needs to relax and get comfortable. worst case... this isn't an aberration and what we saw last season was a result of playing bad defenses at a time when kolb had nothing to lose. kolb has looked bad all preseason. he's making bad throws and making bad decisions and has been doing it all season. i know it's still early, but he's a huge question mark and it's concerning.

the o-line wasn't playing all that well. i know, it's an obvious statement, but if kolb is going to be the starter. it's a huge... HUGE concern. there were at least 5 times in the first half where kolb was either sacked or forced into a hurried throw that don would easily have been able to avoid. mcnabb was amazing at keeping a play alive and kolb has none of that. zip. less even than eli manning. unless this o-line magically transforms into the second coming of the hogs, i have trouble envisioning how kolb is going to be successful.

this loss was not GAMEPLANNER andy reid's fault. it was COACH andy reid's fault... but i repeat, this loss was not GAMEPLANNER andy reid's fault. he had the perfect gameplan for easing kolb into his first start. almost every play call in the first half involved short routes and easy throws. there were no deep routes. how do i know this? because i kept complaining all first half that there were no deep routes. don't buy the garbage you hear on the radio about andy's poor gameplanning. it was an execution problem --> kolb <-- not a gameplanning problem.

however, COACH andy reid is at much fault for the loss. he is still the same ineffective gameday coach we've come to know over the years. HOW CAN YOU NOT CALL A QB SNEAK THERE?!?!? that fat f*ck is giving me a brain aneurysm with his stubborn refusal to employ the QB sneak. i swear, i can feel it growing in my head every time i see him call a pass or line up the qb in freaking SHOTGUN formation on 4th and inches.

there were a lot of things to be happy after the game -- d-line play, nate allen, michael vick -- but if kolb is the QB i don't see how he's going to be successful without a better offensive line... and if he's not successful there is no way the team will be successful. no matter how good the rest of the team is... QB play is 60% of the game.

vick looked great, but let's see what he does in a full game against a gameplan designed against him. still, with our o-line, vick's elusiveness gives him a better chance to be successful than kolb.

who knows, maybe andy the developer of QBs can turn vick into a legit nfl QB. i just wish that GM andy would hire a real coach to guide the team. to borrow a line from the godfather, we need a war-time consigliere and andy reid is no war-time consigliere.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Moral Victories Don't Count

You want the bright side? Your team loses 4 starters in the first half to a team you're not expected to beat anyways and you only lose by 7 points. Especially considering 1 of those guys is your starting QB. Think about that for a second.

Bumble, now toss in your criticisms (all valid): 1) horrendous penalties, 2) special team breakdowns EVERY time GB touched the ball, and 3) poor play by Kolb in 1H. And they lost by 7 points. They were down 1 score. They didn't get blown out by a team most people see going on to a SB. They didn't get blown out to said potential SB team after losing your starting QB, racking up penalties like they're going out of style, and giving your opponent great field position with cruddy special teams play.

There are no moral victories. This goes down as a loss. But this realistically wasn't a game they were supposed to win. They kept the game within reach and had a shot of pulling off the upset in the 4th quarter. I'm not saying we should feel better about this team after this game, but we certainly feel worse.

More later. . .


Saturday, September 11, 2010

GB at Eagles Preview

Man this is going to be a tough game. Lots of people think GB are going to make the SuperBowl this year (and they may) so a really tough game out of the gate.

Why I think they're going to win:
  • Great talent at the WR position. This rookie Cooper finally gives us a tall guy for the end zone fade routes, which we haven't had in forever.
  • Defense should be better than last year.
  • Team's starting off fairly healthy.
  • Home game.
Why I think they could lose:
  • First game of the year and this team always starts slowly.
  • GB is a top notch opponent that can put up 40 a week.
  • Kolb will probably take a couple months to really hit his groove.
  • O-line has been very injured and hasn't played together yet this year
Basically, I'm cautiously optimistic that they'll steal a game here. Would be happy with them just keeping it close. Would be very disappointed if they get blown out. I think they'll do enough to pull it out though.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

I Could Not Say It Better (But I've Tried)



Wednesday, September 08, 2010

7th Best Team - huh


Another reason why I love FootballOutsiders. These guys always seem to have the Eagles highly rated. And while their ratings may tend to be on the high side, they always seem to end up much closer than anyone thinks going into the season.

Two really interesting things struck me: 1) Special teams are projected to be best in the NFL and 2) all NFC East teams are projected to be in the top half of the league. Going to be a tough, tough year.


Saturday, September 04, 2010

It's on like Donkey Kong

Settle down, people. This blog isn't quite dead yet. But the off season finally is. Woo-hoo! I love my Eagles. I love reading about them. I love reading about football in general. But discussing them before the real games start is just not that appetizing to me. Fake Life (http://scrapplelog.blogspot.com/2009/11/fake-life.html#links) = cool. Fake Fake Life = not cool.

Well, the eternal optimist is back and I see great things for this year. And by great things I'm talking about 9-10 wins and another playoff berth. The naysayers will trot out their normal excuses for why this will be the case and this team will once again prove them wrong. I've never understood all the haters. This team has as much chance to win as any other and more than most.

I'll be back to break down week 1 later on in the week. Hint: it's nice when the other team's entire secondary is out of action.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Preseason Game #1

The first 3 rules in preseason football is that this doesn't count. Especially vs. a team that they're going to play again in September. So any type of analysis that we do is worthless. That said, here's my worthless analysis:

1) Kolb looked OK. There were a couple decisions/plays that he could have done better with, but overall his play didn't cause me any concern.

2) Vick looked very, very good. Nice reads, good throws, quick feet. He looks like a starting QB.

3) Starting defense looked good, but tough to tell whether it was them looking good or JAC looking bad.

4) I liked the Cooper kid though he did end up dropping a ball later in the first half.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Silence is Golden

I've become a big fan of DeSean over the past several years because he's a legit big play WR in this league. I'm becoming a bigger fan by the way he's handling his discomfort with his current contract. Some people may quibble with him not talking to reporters. I don't mind this though. Better to say nothing than to say something wrong. And neither him nor his agent are saying anything wrong right now.

The media these days can twist even the most innocuous of comments into the most profane of statements. Kudos to DeSean for going about this the right way.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

2010 Season Debate

I think there's 2 primary uncertainties facing the Eagles this year: 1) The play of Kolb and 2) The play of the defense as a whole. Both of these are fairly large question marks. Kolb's not played a whole lot and the defense was atrocious last year. OK, maybe they weren't that bad, but they were a decent way below average.

I see this as the lower of 2 issues facing this team. This issue will get most of the play in the media because the QB position is always the out-sized focus and because the McNabb trade. But we've seen a bit of what he can do last year and he was at worst an average QB in his 3 games. 2-1 W-L, 4TDs vs. 3INT, 64% completion record, 7.7 yd/att, 148 yd/game. And this was in limited duty. I think over a full season he's likely to do better than these numbers given he's been running with the ones all off-season. Also, while the fans may not have seen a lot of him before, the coaching staff has seen him every day for 3 years now. Given how highly Reid values the QB position, there's NO WAY he's making this switch unless he's sure Kolb's going to be better than average.

I tried to pick a specific position/area of concern here, but I'm more worried about the whole than the individual positions. Maybe my concern is more about the D Coordinator. It just seems like the positions themselves have decent talent outside of LB, which is probably better than it has been in recent years. If everyone can stay healthy. They seemed to underperform their talent last year. Never able to get the stop they needed. And couldn't force nearly enough FG attempts. They didn't go out and get any real talent this off-season. Their coaching staff is still the same. So it's hard for me to see a big jump in improvement, which I think will be necessary to take some of the pressure of Kolb. While I think he's going to be decent, he'll be a lot better with a better defense.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Eagles tickets are here!

You know the season's about to start when the season tickets finally arrive. I have no idea why it takes them so long to get them mailed since they know about the games for like 6 months. Might be a way to deter counter fitting.

I am very disappointed they went with the fan pictures on the tickets as opposed to player/couch faces. Really? I don't follow the team because of the fans. Put the players' pictures on the tickets. And JJ should definitely have been on one of the tickets for crying out loud! A travesty in my opinion.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Reid vs. Banner


I really liked this article. Not sure it matters who has the juice as long as the team's winning.

I also don't understand why everyone always has to agree with every decision. There's no way that's going to happen. It doesn't happen at work. It doesn't happen at home. There is NO relationship where the parties agree 100% of the time. The test of a strong relationship isn't whether or not there's disagreements, but how those disagreements are handled. As far as I can tell, the Eagles handle them in house and everyone buys into the final decision even if it's not exactly what they wanted. Sounds like a great relationship to me even if Reid and Banner don't pal around outside of the workplace.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


This pretty much sums up my opinion:


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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Back to 2-2

Flyers played a great game last night to tie the series up before heading back to Chicago. Offense is just shredding the Blackhawks for tons of goals. Helps to have the power play clicking like it does. Defense is playing great and Leighton had an OK game. The goal tending is what has me frightened though as I keep expecting Leighton to give up another soft goal.

Well, it's all house money at this point. Just fun to be along for the ride.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

To all those special men and women who have served our country, you are greatly appreciated.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Happy Apologist is a Bandwagon Fan

You heard it here first. I will be the first to admit to jumping on the Flyers bandwagon. I used to really follow hockey, but haven't given it much time over the past 7 or 8 years. Basically, I wait around for the playoffs to start before I even watch a full game.

I think I watched about most of the first series against the Devils, but not every game. I mean come on. This is a team that was coasting to a 4th or 5th seed with 3 weeks left and then . . . BAM! Couldn't win a period let alone a full game. You want to talk about backing into the playoffs? It took them a shootout in their final game in order to make the 7th seed. So I wasn't going to start rooting heavily until they got into the second round.

Which they did. And then promptly lost 3 straight games to the Bruins. Talk about killing your buzz. But I stuck with them and watched the 4th game. Nice. Then I watched them claw back to 3-2. And then the talk started about no one (well, hardly anyone) ever coming back from being down 0-3. So what did they do? Won the third game at home sending things back to Boston.

At this point I'm extremely wary. This is Philadelphia after all. So of course they go down 0-3 in the first. But I'm really not thinking the game's done yet. I think, heck - all they gotta do is get one back before the first intermission. And they do! Then tie it up in the second. And then the win.


You have to admit that is exceptionally cool. So they cruise into the current series with the Habs, go up 2-0, and now lead 3-1. I don't know if they'll be able to finish things off and win the cup, but this (bandwagon) fan can't wait to watch and find out.

Go Flyers!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oswalt Wants Out of Houston


predictably, the head's response was both adversarial and pompous -- oh how i don't miss his gigantic misshapen head on the tv responding to phils issues:

"Roy's contract has a no-trade clause, not a trade-me clause," Wade said. "There is no rule that allows a player in his contract status to demand a trade. So demand, request, hold your breath until you turn blue, it's all the same. It's acknowledged and noted."
no trade clause, not a trade-me clause. that's cleverish there head. ranks up there with your all-timer "schilling is a horse every fifth day... and a horse's ass every other day".

the unfortunate part is that he can turn a phrase (the stuff he doesn't get paid for and the stuff that is inappropriate for his position) better than he can actually build a team.

the good news for the phils is that it looks like there will be more than one ace available at the deadline -- at least cliff lee and now oswalt -- which should drive down the asking price.

the phils gave up low potential but highly rated prospects to get lee and got lower rated prospects with considerably more potential in return when the traded him. i could see them getting either lee or oswalt back at the deadline for less than they received for trading lee... especially to houston where head wade is collecting failed ex-phillies (bourn, myers, michaels, pete happy) in the middle of his project to build the worst team in baseball.

what do you think head? oswalt for anthony gose straight up?


Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's OK to Cheat

Count me among those that think this is the only rational conclusion to draw from the Brian Cushing revote for Defensive Rookie of the Year award. This is very similar to the Shawn Merriman situation a couple years back. Giving an award to someone who cheats tells everyone else that it's OK. There is no other conclusion. It's not a "process" issue. It's not a "masking agent" issue. And it's certainly not a "he never got caught again" issue. It's a "fine to cheat as long as you play very, very good afterward" issue.

I truly hope the NFL gets this fixed before my 4 year old son is old enough to start "learning" from these guys. And the better fix than not giving these guys awards (duh) is to 1) increase the length of suspensions to at least 8 games and more appropriately a year, and 2) fine them above and beyond the lost game checks. Think these guys are going to take steroids if they know their 1st offense will result in a year at home and an extra seven figures going to the NFL? I don't.

Seriously, this is an EASY fix. Can you imagine if football became like baseball? Yikes.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

2006 Eagles Draft Class

2006 - Philadelphia Eagles
Rd Sel # Player Position School
1 14 Brodrick Bunkley DT Florida State
2 39 Winston Justice T USC
3 71 Chris Gocong LB Cal Poly-S.L.O.
4 99 Max Jean-Gilles G Georgia
4 109 Jason Avant WR Michigan
5 147 Jeremy Bloom WR Colorado
5 168 Omar Gaither LB Tennessee
6 204 LaJuan Ramsey DT USC

I think you'd have to call this one extremely decent and rivals the mythical 2002 draft class. Definitely from number of total hits if not superstars.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

2007 Draft Class

Here's the full 2007 draft class:

2007 - Philadelphia Eagles
Rd Sel # Player Position School
2 36 Kevin Kolb QB Houston
2 57 Victor Abiamiri DE Notre Dame
3 87 Stewart Bradley LB Nebraska
3 90 Tony Hunt RB Penn State
5 159 C.J. Gaddis SAF Clemson
5 162 Brent Celek TE Cincinnati
6 201 Rashad Barksdale CB Albany State (NY)
7 236 Nate Ilaoa FB Hawaii

2 Full time starters. Meh? Only starting caliber QB in the class may make up for this entirely.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Why I'm Happy About the Draft

honestly, i don't know if these players the birds drafted are going to be any good and i won't be in any position to be happy or upset about them until after i see them in a real game. however, there is one thing i'm definitely happy about.

if this teo-nesheim ends up being any good, we'll be able to break out the T-O song again. i love that chant!


Non-Iggles QB quote

"I'm going to have one goal and that goal is to earn the respect of my teammates and coaches. That's the only goal I have. It's not to be the starting quarterback right now, it is to earn their respect, because when you earn respect from people, then they begin to like you, and then they believe in you, and then they begin to love you, and then you have a team that is united and cares about each other more than anything else.

"Then you go out there and you play for each other, you play for your coaches and you win championships."

- Tim Tebow

I don't know about you, but this guy makes me want suit up and hit someone.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 Eagles Schedule

2010 Regular Season
Sun. 12 Green Bay 4:15 PM* FOX
Sun. 19 @ Detroit 1 PM FOX
Sun. 26 @ Jacksonville 4:05 PM FOX
Sun. 3 Washington 4:15 PM* FOX
Sun. 10 @ San Francisco 8:20 PM* NBC
Sun. 17 Atlanta 1 PM FOX
Sun. 24 @ Tennessee 1 PM FOX
Sun. 31 Bye Week
Sun. 7 Indianapolis 4:15 PM* CBS
Mon. 15 @ Washington 8:30 PM* ESPN
Sun. 21 New York Giants 8:20 PM*+ NBC
Sun. 28 @ Chicago 1 PM+ FOX
Thurs. 2 Houston 8:20 PM* NFL Network
Sun. 12 @ Dallas 8:20 PM*+ NBC
Sun. 19 @ New York Giants 8:20 PM*+ NBC
Sun. 26 Minnesota 1 PM+ FOX
Sun. 2 Dallas 1 PM+ FOX


Monday, April 12, 2010

This Eagles Fan is Revitalized

still too busy to be a frequent contributor here, but i gotta say, this eagles fan is looking forward to this season and seeing how kolb does over a whole year.

i'm not saying that i think kolb is better than mcnabb.

i'm not saying that i think the eagles will do better with kolb at qb.

i'm not saying that i'm a fan of kolb.

(though any of these are certainly possible)

i'm just saying that from a pure entertainment standpoint, the eagles had gotten a bit stale and changing things up was the best move. may or may not be the right move from a "football" standpoint, but it was the right move to inject a measure of hopefulness and anticipation that was missing with the previous core.

- meanguy


Eagles Draft a QB Very Early

You heard it here first. Or maybe you've heard it elsewhere already, but I'm saying it for the first time here. The Eagles are going to draft a QB in either round 1 or round 2. I know the consensus probably has them going D, D, and more D, but I would be absolutely flabbergasted if they don't pick a QB very, very early.

Reid has a QB driven offense. So while having a big o-line, RBs that can catch the ball out of the backfield, and down field threats at the TE position are great. Priorities 1 through 4 are having a top-notch QB available for each and every 16 games. And given the injury rate to QBs, you have to have a starting caliber QB as your #2 guy.

Now nobody thinks Vick is that guy so the assumption is they'll need to bring in a proven back-up to be that guy this year. I'm not so sure. Vick's not a guy you want starting 8+ games, but he's probably OK for a 3-5 game stretch which is about the worst case scenario. Kolb's not seen much action so there's less risk of him going down. Especially since he doesn't seem to have much injury history. Vick's a good #2 option for this year.

So that gives Reid a chance to draft a project QB and give him a year to learn the system. Then he'll be more than capable to back-up Kolb at that point. Or push him out of the way if he's not the answer. Either way they need a very good option for 2011 and the cheapest, best option is to draft it.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

McNabb to the Redskins

This is a more heart wrenching loss than 36 to me. McNabb has been the best Eagles quarterback that I've ever seen. He's always seemed like a classy guy and I'm disappointed he couldn't finish his career here. I wish him all the best luck. Hopefully, the DC fans will treat him better than Philly ever did. I wonder how long it'll take for most fans to realize what we've just lost?


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eagles Window Is Closed?

It is the perception of some that the door to a SB has been shut for the Eagles. This sounds exactly like several years back after the loss to the Pats. I guess the basis for this is:

1) McNabb will never get them there,
2) There's no great RB on the team,
3) The defense is atrocious.

Setting aside issue #1 which has been debated to death, here is my rebuttal as to why the window is not closed:

1) To win the SB you need a big play threat. That has traditionally come out of the RB position on this team, however DeSean is now that guy.
2) McCoy did a serviceable job as a rookie. There's no reason to think he can't step up in year 2. And frankly, the entire offense is very young and there's no reason to think they can't be better this year. This is after having an explosive offense last year.
3) Given #2, the defense doesn't have to be lights out in order for this team to have a shot. Get them up to average and you keep the window open.
4) Say what you will about this coaching staff, but they always put winners out there.
5) There is no dominant team in the NFC. The Saints were very good last year, but they do not strike me as head and shoulders above the rest of the NFC. If there's no dominant team, then that increases the chances of a good team squeaking in to the SB.

And maybe that's why people are so down about this team. We look back at the dominant teams the Eagles had, garnering the top seed in the playoffs, and we're clearly not looking at the same type of team here. But that does NOT mean the window has slammed shut. Frankly, there's only a handful of teams that have no shot (CLE, STL, DET) and there's many more that can make the playoffs. This is a team that can make the playoffs. This is a team that can win in the playoffs. It's not a given, but it's definitely a possibility. Especially before we've even gotten to the draft.

So don't give up quite yet.


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Bye-Bye BWest

The greatest WOW Eagles player of the past 10 years. He was the definition of the multiple threat out of the backfield. Explosive runner, good hands catching the ball, and excellent at picking up the blitz. There wasn't anything that he couldn't do on the football field.

Looking back over the past 10 years of Eagles football, the 2nd greatest play (4th and 26 being #1 of course) was 36's punt return for a TD against the NYG to single handedly save the season. At the time, he wasn't even their returner anymore, but Reid tossed him back there because he was their best playmaker and boy did he ever make a play.

The most disappointing thing about Westbrook's career is that all his injuries probably took away 1.5-2 seasons of games. Just imagine how much greater he'd have been if he could have stayed on the field. The concussions this past year were just the final straw. I truly hope he has not done any irreparable harm to himself.

And beyond all that, a decent, classy, professional guy as demonstrated by his taking McCoy under his wing this past year.

Brian Westbrook, Eagle Great, you will be missed.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Playoff QB Performance

It strikes me as interesting that the following QBs were unable to win even a single playoff game this year:

Tom Brady
Carson Palmer
Aaron Rodgers

So obviously they all suck. Obviously, they can't win the big game (or in Brady's case anymore). Obviously, it would be quite silly to think that any team led by any of these 3 QBs next year could have even a slim chance of winning a Super Bowl.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Raw Disappointment

Tonight, I am The Unhappy Apologist.


Friday, January 08, 2010

Eagles @ Cowboys Preview II

My preview from last week still stands. Which team shows up? I really think I'm the definition of a fan (aka fanatic), because I think they'll win tomorrow all evidence to the contrary.

I have read/heard nothing since last Sunday's game (see Fake Life post for more on why) so I have no comment on whatever's being said by the talking heads. I can guess though.

Here's what I think:
1) None of us has ever been a part of an NFL team so really have no idea of the mental makeup or what either team is emotionally capable of.
2) OK, the past is a good predictor of the future:
- Reid has won more playoff games than he's lost and never lost his first playoff game.
- Wade Phillips is 0 for 4 in playoff games.
3) I'm going to watch the game and it will probably be 3 of the most painful hours of my life no matter whether the Eagles win or not. I'll enjoy every minute of it. And they'll probably win just to set us up for a bigger gut punch down the line.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Eagles @ Cowboys Post Mortem: Rational Version

This was not a game that they needed to win in order to win the SB. It would have made things a lot easier (and my wallet a lot fatter when I sold my playoff tickets), but wasn't a must win. They've just gotten their OAK game out of their system and can now go on another 4 game win streak.

Good things that came out of this game:

1)The Cowboys now should be over confident for next week's game. Really, how can they be afraid to play this team again?
2)PHI still hasn't showed DAL what they're going to do to beat them. It would be just like Reid to hold back on his game plan in case they lost this game.
3)Eagles positively answered the biggest question facing the team: the offensive line looked pretty decent. And Cole (outside of the one low snap) looked very good. All of the pressure was on the outside, not up the middle. 5 had plenty of time to find the open receivers

There are very good and very bad versions of both the Eagles and the Cowboys. We've just seen the very bad Eagles and the very good Cowboys. There's no reason to think that both will show up next week. Looking at history, there's every reason to think that things will be reversed. Reid's got a much better playoff track record than Phillips (0-4). It's virtually impossible to beat a team 3x in one year and that's what DAL would have to do. And PHI's going to be extra motivated after losing like this. This is a team with high character who will play with a lot of pride next week.


Eagles @ Cowboys Post Mortem: Irrational Version

Unbelievable. This is the game the Cowboys played last year in PHI when they had to win. The defense couldn't stop anyone and the offense couldn't move the ball. Throw in a mediocre at best special teams play and the Eagles were lucky to lose by ? points.

Neither Reid nor McNabb decided to show up. Offensively the execution was poor both by McNabb and his WR. Nothing but missed throws and dropped passes. Several lapses by Reid whether it was timeouts that didn't need to be called or FGs that shouldn't have been kicked.

The defensive game plan was atrocious with limited blitzes in 1H. Tackling was suspect at best. I didn't see anyone flying around out there making plays.

As far as I can tell, the only people who decided to show up where Celek and . . . and . . . I guess the bus drivers who brought them to the game since I know I saw the Eagles on the football field. To lay the blame for this game on any one player (or 4 players) is to slight the entire team dis-effort that was displayed out there. Both coaches as well as players. I'll say it one more time: unbelievable. I never thought I'd see that game played. Close loss? Sure. But a blow-out loss with #2 playoff seed on the line?

Seriously, WTF just happened?!?!


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Eagles @ Cowboys Preview

Win and a home playoff game with a bye. Lose and a road game with no rest. Pretty big swing in outcomes from this game. I disagree with Ed that this is a win the SB vs. 1 and done if they lose type game. With the parity in the NFC playoff field, there's no reason to put too much weight on this one game. No matter what happens, the Eagles still have to win AT LEAST 2 more games just to get to the SB. Let's not make this game out to be more than it is: a potential short cut.

Key to the game: Win the turnover battle. It's really that simple. I think the Eagles talent matches up well with DAL. So if they're evenly matched, then the edge they need is extra possessions.

Best way to get the turnovers is to win the battle of the lines. Defense needs to get pressure on Romo and our line needs to give 5 time. This is what worries me most since our line is in flux with Jackson going down.

Potential negative surprise: Miles Austin. This guy is a game changer. He's Texas DeSean. He beat Philly the last time and he's the guy who is likely to beat them this time. Not their running game, not Witten, nor their D.

Potential positive surprise: Brian Westbrook. We haven't seen the real 36 yet this year. If he decides to show up, then this would give Philly a second big play threat. That would be deadly.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eagles @ Cowboys Pre-preview

As has already been commented, this is a huge game. But not because it's against Dallas. It's all about getting a bye week. I keep expecting PHI to toss up a clunker and I'd almost rather see it this week than the following game which has a LOT more meaning.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Broncos @ Eagles Post Mortem

Tasty sausage here tonight. Lots of reasons to look into the ingredients (penalties, 5's play in 2H, turnovers), but they got the win. That may not seem like much at home against a team 2-6 in their last 8 games, but look at what NO and NYG did today. Winning is not easy in the NFL.

And we still have not seen a complete game from this team. This would be bothering me a lot more if they weren't finding ways to win games. McNabb does just enough to engineer a game winning drive at the end of the game. The defense does just enough to get some crucial holds at the end. And David Akers is money. Remember several years back when everyone one (myself included) thought he was about done?


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dawkins @ Eagles Preview

Er, I mean Broncos at Eagles Preview. That is if they're planning on bringing the rest of the team. They'll need them all to beat the Eagles. Though as we've seen this year it's definitely doable if the bad or average Eagles team shows up.

I hate to keep carping on this, but if the Eagles win the turnover battle, they win this game. This is Keys to the Game 1 through 4. If not, then they'll also need big days from DeSean, McNabb, and McCoy to pull out the win. Doable, but I'd really like to see a complete game from this team before they head into the playoffs where they'll need 4 complete games in order to win a SB.

Speaking of playoffs, the road to the SuperBowl is starting to look a bit easier these days. Not so much because Philly's playing that much better, but that everyone else is playing that much worse. Favre is starting to play like Favre. The Saints are beatable at home. The Cowboys and Giants are even more unpredictable than the Eagles. Virtually the only scary team going into the playoffs are the Packers who just lost a game to a team mired in a 5 game losing streak.

No body has won anything yet though and the players are all saying the right thing. THA is typically optimistic in most things, but I don't think I'm being too homerish thinking maybe this team has a shot.

And last, but not least:



Monday, December 21, 2009

A Little Perspective on Reid

Reid has now made the playoffs in 8 of his 11 seasons. Think about that for a second. He has made the playoffs in 8 of 11 seasons after taking over a team that had the 2nd overall pick in the draft. In 8 out of his 11 seasons, he's had a chance to win a SB in January.

Eight of Eleven?!?! 8 of 11!!!! Who could possibly want another coach?


Sunday, December 20, 2009

49ers @ Eagles Post Mortem

What is this team capable of if they actually play a complete game? Last week they were missing a defense, however they came to play today. This week McNabb decided to make several really, really, really bad decisions and Reid takes a page out of Belichek's playbook (and not the good one).

I have watched a lot of other football teams, but I don't think anyone else looks this bad winning this well? I mean, I'm The Happy Apologist and all, but even I look at this win and say "Huh. I think they left 7 or 10 points on the field there." But they just beat a team competing for a playoff spot by 14 points!?!?! How high is that bar? It's ridiculous. I don't know if anything's good enough for us.

Here's my big takeaway from this game: they're playoff bound! And this team knows how to win. And they've solved the stupid penalties (only 4 offensive holding penalties all year?).


Friday, December 18, 2009

49ers @ Eagles Preview

Both teams coming off huge wins against division foes last weekend. Unfortunately for SF, they have to travel across the country on a short week for a 1pm EST game.

Eagles have the better talent virtually across the board so it's hard to see them losing this game. Which means this is probably going to be a close, hard fought game.

Keys to the game

1) Win the turnover battle
2) Stop Gore from beating them

Really, it should be that simple. Why isn't it ever though?


On Amaro and Halladay

this deserves its own post. ed's captured this in a much more articulate way than i have the time or (more importantly) the talent to produce. one of these days, maybe i'll be smart enough to learn that i need to give bumble the opportunity to vent rather than trying to counter his points. -- meanguy

from "ed wade"

My first reaction to this trade tandem was "egad, this could have been a team for the ages, wish the Phils would go for broke in 2010 with this once-in-a-lifetime core." My rationale was simple. If the Phils win the WS, particularly in a rematch with the Yankees (my 2nd favorite team), I'd be set for life. It wouldn't matter to me if they ever won another title. I love the game so much that I enjoy even the down years. I told Bumble privately that I'd let my son worry about the next championship while I enjoyed shorter lines at Tony Luke's.

A part of me still feels this way. With Halladay and Lee at the top of the rotation, this would have been the best squad since the late 1970's, and perhaps ever (it still might be).

I started to calm down when I learned that the Phils were receiving prospects and $6 million in the deal. Remember, when the first reports came out, the Phils were identified as the team giving prospect to both Toronto and Seattle. Under that scenario, the trade made little sense to me. I saw it as the Phils upgrading their ace while adding payroll and subtracting youth. Their current ace (Lee) wasn't as good as the new one (Halladay), but this didn't seem important as we already knew Lee could beat the Yankees (with a dynamite team behind him). Regardless of how good Halladay could be, he wasn't going to improve on a 4-0 post season.

The problem the Phils had last year was that no pitcher other than Lee was good enough to beat the Yankees. As such, keeping Lee in addition to adding Halladay was necessary to affect a genuine, practical improvement.

This may still be true. I don't have a lot of faith in Cole. This isn't based on the fact that I think he is a cupcake, a quitter, etc. Rather, it is based on the belief that guys who top out at 92 and have only two pitches can't be effective starters in the Bigs over the long haul, no matter how good the second pitch is.

The Phils have a different opinion about Cole. After listening to Amaro, it is obvious that the baseball people in the organization honestly believe he can rebound and reestablish himself as a premiere starter. Assuming this is correct, and with the knowledge that Cole is under the team's control for two more years, the decision to trade Lee makes a lot more sense.

With respect to the Phils being cheap, that's just plain silly. Their payroll will expand to the north side of $140 million. That puts them right there with the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Mets and Dodgers. I'm okay with that. Without a regional cable company like YES, they can't spend the way the #1 market Yankees do. They also can't compete against a team that charges $1500 for dugout seats instead of $60. God bless the Phillies for keeping ticket prices WAY under value. Check out what the other big markets charge for comparable tickets.

Amaro said with complete sincerity that trading Lee was a baseball decision based on the premise that his job is to make sure the team can compete for the championship EVERY year. I'd argue that the willingness to spend $140 million speaks to that commitment. Amaro: "If I can't field a team that can compete for the Championship with $140 million, I'm not doing a good job."

I love Amaro. I love his intelligence, candor, and creativity. If Amaro likes the prospects he received for Lee, I like them. I haven't seen them play, but I have watched Amaro operate. The organization is getting things done right. They’re drafting well and developing prospects that other teams covet. Big-time players want to play in Philadelphia.

Something that has gone unnoticed by many in the "all in" camp: Amaro explained that he needed prospects for two reasons. First, to eventually restock the big team with new, price-favorable young players in the upcoming years (call this cheap if you want, smart if you get it), and second, to have trade bait available in the event THIS team (2010) develops holes it needs to fill to win right now.

In other words, Amaro makes a credible argument that trading Lee may offer greater flexibility to go "all in" this year. What if Lidge gets hurt at the all-star break? What if Rollins breaks his leg? After trading 7 of the organization’s best 10 prospects over six months, Amaro makes a fair point. The lack of additional prospects may hand cuff THIS year's team. I admit, I had not thought enough about this point.

For me, the bottom line is this: We don't have Lee, but we have a better pitcher in Halladay. We have a better third baseman, a better bench, and ironically, a better future.

Does everyone understand how big a coup it was to get Halladay signed for ONLY three years at $60 million? His market value was closer to $150 million for 7 years. Make no mistake, he gave the Phils a big-time gift, and this signing was brilliant, probably Amaro's best moment as a GM. I love Cliff Lee, but if anyone thinks a guy who has made "only" $15 million in his pro career would sign the same deal, he is smoking seriously good weed. Lee clearly wanted to stay in Philly, but I doubt he would have signed such a favorable deal.

The more I think about these moves in tandem, the more see that the Phils hit a home run.

I'm not unhappy at all anymore, even though I wish we had Lee for another year, just like everybody else.

I can't wait for the season to begin. After the last 3-4 phenomenal years, the team is poised for its best year ever. Will they win the World Series? You never know. If the Phils are right and Hamels can be a good #2 starter, I like their chances. If Hamels pitches like last year, they aren't as likely to win the WS as they would have been with Cliff Lee. You never really know what's going to happen, but I'm pretty sure this is a damn good team, and a damn good organization, even without Cliff Lee.

Right now, I'm confident the Phils know what they are doing. I’m a fan, but the guys calling the shots are professionals.

The “Total Package” (Amaro) has made one major mistake as a GM. He followed his heart and gave Jamie Moyer a two-year deal that pays him $8 million this year. Ultimately, this hurts the team’s ability to land late inning relief help. Pray that Chan Ho comes to his senses and returns to the fold. I think Amaro learned something from this mistake. This time, he didn’t follow his heart or popular opinion. He made a bold move based on what his head told him was the smartest decision for the long-term success of the team. After listening to Amaro describe his rationale, I’m “all in” with the General Manager.

Enjoy what you have Philly, and stop worrying about what you don't.

Ed Wade