Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Monday/Tuesday Links

didn't get to read much news yesterday... so here is all of it today

- les bowen asks the question of the day
So, here's a question to ponder: If McNabb had undergone surgery right then, 8 weeks ago, when the Eagles were 2-1, would the team be any worse than 4-6 today? Wouldn't Terrell Owens, given no reason to speculate in an interview about what the team's record might be with Brett Favre instead of McNabb, still be here? Wouldn't McNabb be just about ready to come back by now? Wouldn't there be a lot more hope than there is today?
boy, did he hit the nail right on the head. if don had gone out instead of playing through his injury (and playing well below his "potential"), then we'd be looking at him as a returning savior instead of a scapegoat. huge strategic blunder by andy and don. playing through it might have been the best *tactical* move in that don at 80% still gave the birds the best chance to win, but it obviously was the worst strategic move they could have made... and not only for the huge PR hit don took but also for the increased risk to aggravating the injury (which also happened, grr). really, really, bad job of management on this one.

- john smallwood's take on the same issue

Now, nearly 9 weeks after McNabb first ignored the surgery option and decided to try to play through the injury, was it worth it? Strictly in terms of the goal of winning Super Bowl XL, I'll stick by what I said when we were told that while McNabb's injury couldn't get any worse, surgery was the only way to fix it.

To keep that short-term dream alive, McNabb was right not to have surgery.

I look at the severity of the injury McNabb tried to play through and understand that that is the primary reason the Eagles' season plummeted. I still believe that when healthy, McNabb is one of the NFL's top three or four quarterbacks. And I certainly know that McNabb's time as a Pro Bowl quarterback and a potential Super Bowl winner are not done only because he's had one subpar, injury-plagued season.But I also know that I don't think with a fan's passion.

I understand, a lot of Eagles fans need someone to blame for their Super Bowl dreams being dashed before they carve their Thanksgiving turkey. Donovan McNabb put off surgery, because he thought he was doing the best thing for his team. I'm sure he never thought it would cause such long-term damage to his reputation.

- hope this is coach speak and not what he really feels
Reid said the Eagles had no regrets about letting McNabb continue to play when they knew the quarterback would eventually need surgery.
- rich hoffman is concerned that this eagles team could mimic the jaws/vermeil team and continue to get worse. not so sure about that because i always thought that marion campbell was a big reason why the birds fell as far as they did. somehow i don't see andy letting it get to that point.

- jack mccaffrey says the eagles are now the worst team in town

- kevin roberts is right in his assessment that don has more to fix than just the sports hernia. i hope he's also right in his opinion that don has more support in the locker room than seems evident on the surface.

But McNabb was a different player this year, making inexplicable decisions as if he was raging at some invisible foe by playing outside himself.

For the first time, someone questioned McNabb in his own locker room. And a room full of teammates began looking at the quarterback kind of sideways, wondering how he was going to handle it.

McNabb has not lost the locker room. But he may have misplaced it a little. Owens got in his head, and McNabb played weird. That will be Owens' legacy with the Eagles -- played great, but tried to fracture the locker room and ruin the quarterback. Keep that sentence; it's recycled from San Francisco and will be used again in Owens' next stop.

McNabb has got to fix that. It's not irreparable; the Eagles players absolutely know that if they are to get to the Super Bowl it will be with McNabb as the quarterback. Do not mistake a no-win answer to a hypothetical question about Owens as a shot at McNabb. The quarterback is still respected in the locker room.

McNabb is the leader of the team. Just ask him; he'll tell you. McNabb says it constantly, more lately than ever before. He says it so often it sounds like he's trying to convince himself of something.

This year, for the first time, people needed convincing.

But McNabb has more support in the locker room than the Owens forces would have you believe. When he comes back and plays well -- and there's no reason to doubt that he will -- he'll be the leader again.

The Eagles have a lot of things to fix next season. If McNabb can get healthy, quarterback won't be one of them.
- bill conlin is dead on in his article about how we treat our superstars in this town
Has our frustration at losing so many big ones reached a point where our meager supply of true stars is disposable?
- AI and c-webb seem to be playing pretty well together... well compared to last season they had nowhere else to go but up. i still don't like how webber is basically a jump shooter with limited post up ability, but his passing is top notch and his rebounding is more than adequate. the sixers pounded the hornets last night in ho-hum fashion.

- interesting tidbit from espn about the beckett to boston deal.
The Marlins, if that deal would have been completed, then would turn around and trade Blalock, who would block Miguel Cabrera's return to third base if Florida kept him. Teams known to be interested in Blalock include the Twins, Phillies and Devil Rays.
- bobby clarke's quote in this "tribute to bill lyon" article made me chuckle.
I like his writing. It is very flowery and very descriptive. He is able to put his own imagination down on paper, so that when you read him, you can visualize the things he sees. He seems like a gentle writer. He doesn't attack people.
i can just see bobby tearing up as he thinks about how poorly the media has treated him.

- i'm glad the lions are going after charles rogers' signing bonus. the nfl should go after turds more often.

- what is it with NFL wideouts? are they all insane?


Blogger The Big Dog said...

My hope is that this year is a Lessons Learned year for the Birds and Birds fans. Is the big payoff worth the long-term disaster...No resoundingly. I just hope that the Eagles finish this year fighting and start the off-season in February. Don needs to get back doing what he does to win. He's not a Marino, he's a Donovan. Throw some stinkers but make up for it with a big run or a broken play thrown down the field. Andy needs to Learn from this year.....it would be incredibly disappointing if some wholesale changes weren't made on some fronts for next year. You can't win in this league if you can't have a balanced attack. I am okay with throwing the ball 60% of the time, but you need to effectively run 40%....80/20 or 90/10 does not work. The offensive line has not performed this year. I am okay with having a starting line of the LT from Saginaw State that they drafted this year, Jackson at C (sorry Honey Buns) and Shawn Andrews at RT. He is a RT, not a guard. They need to establish some Guards that can move and prevent LBs from tackling Westbrook in the backfield. I would try Herremans at G and get someone else, plus an Alex Gibbs or a veteran line coach like Joe Bugel (he isn't leaving Joe Gibbs, though)....Don needs to work on flexiblilty and speed as he needs to come back a little lighter and more mobile and not afraid to run....they need a complementary young back to Westbrook and a FB that can block better. I think that they've learned that their Defensive Line drives this team and that is their weakness now. They need lots of help there. LJ needs a competent complementary TE that can block, there are lots of these kinds of guys around, but not Spach. If this is the best the East can offer, I am not afraid or concerned. With some Lessons Learned and tweaking, I don't see a slip farther than this year and a winner next year, with a better draft slot and a easier schedule. Keep in mind that they play the weak AFC East next year, too.

11:11 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Wholesale changes will never be necessary to this team as long as 5 is healthy and behind center.

Why is the media still talking about TO? Because they're lazy and it's easier writing that article than how Lovie's got the Bears at 7-3.

11:25 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

i tend to agree with phil on this issue. based on past history, i'd say that the ridiculous pass/run ratio was as much a product of the eagles falling way behind early in games as andy's game plan. andy believes in passing to get the lead and running late to protect it. it usually works out to 60/40 and i think that is where he wants to get back to.

i don't think this is the time for wholesale changes. let's see how don is when he is healthy again. no matter what the radio morons say, don is still a top flight QB in this league (top 5 at worst imo) when he is healthy. even with the injury, he was leading the nfl in yards and touchdowns after 4 games *this* season. so what we are talking about is 5 bad games.

i say let's play lots of the young players. westbrook has his contract. there is no reason to have him get more than 10 touches a game. play lamar gordon. let's see mccoy get in there a little. it's a shame considine is hurt. i'd like to see him play.

use this season to rid ourselves of the bad karma and start fresh next year.

4:14 PM EST  

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