Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pete Barr's Plan to Fix the Birds

If I was GM, here's what I would do and notice it is nothing too drastic:

1. Replace the Offensive Line Coach...Juan Castillo may be a hard worker, but this line is not very good fundamentally. I don't necessarilly think that you need to go out and get free agents here, unless there is a total stud that you target. I think that you don't need to draft them that high either. If you have a good coach, strong lineman with good technique and good feet you should be okay. This should be #1a top priority this off-season. Thomas, Hicks and Honey Buns should really be evaluated.

tend to agree with this. alex gibbs and jim mcnally offensive lines rarely have high draft picks, yet almost always have great lines. mcnally likes to take big tight ends and turn them into tackles because you don't need to have great strength to be a good o-lineman. it does help, but being a good technician who can maintain position and leverage is more important. this is why offensive linemen can play for 18 seasons, but defensive lineman cannot. who the heck has castillo turned into a star?

2. Invest lots of money in the Defensive Line. They are so weak here. No pass rush at all which makes the secondary look very mortal. No one can cover NFL receivers for 7 seconds. I would keep the Freak and move him around more (like the Joker position he played against Minnesota on Monday night last year), Mike Patterson and Rayburn. Everyone else could go. I would look at the FA market as well as high in the draft to upgrade here. This is another position where I would take a good, hard look at the Defensive Line Coach. Priority #1b

i agree with your general statement, but i like our four tackles and i'd like to keep them. i think this is the best set of tackles (especially against the run) the birds have had since jerome, pitts, and golic. each one is hard to block and occupies blockers, freeing trotter up to make plays. we need to upgrade the ends for sure, but i'm not sure we can just dump all of them. personally, i like cole's potential so i'd keep him to see how he develops. i like kalu as a backup. what really had a cascading effect on the line was mcdougle's shooting. if he had met expectations this year, the line might have been pretty good. do you think the birds will bring mcdougle back?

3. Draft a young, complementary back to Westbrook with your #1 pick. You need a guy that hits the hole hard between the tackles. There is a reason that Gordon got cut in Miami.

agree. not sure it will happen, but i'd like to see it. i was excited to hear that the birds were interested in brandon jacobs before the draft and i think they intended to draft him but really liked considine and didn't expect to see him drop to the fourth round. they also drafted moats earlier so it was unlikely that they were going to take two backs in the same draft. speaking of moats. anyone else out there think that westbrooks signing has as much to do with the team being disappointed in moats as anything else?

4. Get a TE either through FA or the draft that can block. You have LJ who can create mismatches on offensive, now you need a guy that can block and help control the line of scrimmage...you need a Dan Campbell, Rick "Doc" Walker TE that complements LJ....Spach is a white dude with dreads for goodness sakes!!! And sucks!!

5. Get FB through FA that can block. It is a shame that Ritchie got hurt. Parry is as uselss as tits on a bull. Doesn't block anyone. This addition definitely improves the running game. Look for a William Henderson, Lorenzo Neal type guy, that can also catch the ball on occasion.

spach cannot play, parry cannot play, mahe cannot play. dump them all. fullback is especially important imo. the running game took a nosedive as soon as ritchie went out last season and hasn't been the same since. you can't have a fullback who sucks at blocking. it is unacceptable.

6. Draft many quick aggressive LBs in the draft. Their LBs are very weak. Bullet is a special teamer and Dhani Jones just gets lost. If any quick linebackers are out there through FA, I would consider that investment.

jj believes that linebackers are the least important players on defense. they drafted mccoy in the second round last draft, so they will probably wait to see if he pans out. i don't mind dhani jones. he's just a guy, but he's an adequate professional linebacker. the biggest problem with the linebackers imo is that they have never replaced emmons' ability to cover tight ends one on one. jones doesn't have the size or speed to cover them effectively. i'd like to see them pick up a 6-4 or 6-5 guy who can jam and run with tight ends (easier said than done i know), and move jones over to the weak side.

7. Convince Donovan to lose 20 pounds and become a leaner, running-type QB. I think that this is where Reid is killing Donovan. You don't need to be a Mike Vick, per se, but Donovan is not accurate enought to be a Brett Favre. I would convince Donovan to look at films of Elway and yes, Culpepper. Both are running threats that create problems for the defense. You want Donovan outside of the pocket. Any defensive coordinator worth his weight in salt will tell you that they want Donovan in the pocket, not outside of it. And throw the freaking ball downfield more!!!

i get frustrated with don's reluctance to run as well, but i'm also mindful that he's fighting years of black quarterback stereotyping. he is very sensitive to that issue, and if you know something about his background you know that it is a major issue for him. a lot of that stereotype is gone now, i know, but don is really one of the main guys who helped break that down. besides, they threw the ball downfield plenty last season and don was very accurate. let's see what he does when he gets healthy and the team gets a running game that the defense has to respect before we go tinkering with 5.

8. TO is a stud. He is a top 5 reciever in this league. Unfortunately he has a mouth that is not attached to his brain. I don't want to get into, but he is gone. So, you need to improve here. For some reason it takes receivers 4 years to pick up this offense. How crazy is that when an average career is 5 years. Really evaluate the reason why receivers can't step into this offense. It may need to be simplified. Look at Green Bay, they run the West Coast, but they always seem to have guys that step in after their studs leave...look at their history....Sterling leaves, in comes Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman...they go and in comes Donald Driver, Robert Ferguson, Antonio Chatman....there is something amiss here....maybe receiver evaluation, receiver coach, but Green Bay is an example that you don't necessarilly have to go out and get a top line receiver to be successful!!!

i think big red finally drafted a keeper at wideout. after na brown, gari scott, freddie mitchell, et al, i'm glad to see someone with reggie brown's ability on the team. he seems like he could be the real deal. there aren't any top receivers on the free agent market and it's unlikely that next season's draft is going to yield an immediate contributor, so i suspect what you see is what you're going to get. reggie brown as flanker and greg lewis as split end with mcmullen (if they choose to resign him) as the third wideout.

And pay up for Michael Lewis!! And tell Joe Banner to shut up and stop making professional football players feel like investments that expire when they reach 30!!

i don't have any problem with the way the eagles conduct business or make tough judgements on older players. name one player the eagles let go due to age who had continued success after the eagles let them go. i can't think of any.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Big Dog said...

Well allow me to retort....

Thanks for the input and I appreciate any and all commentary. I do want to have some pushback on some things....their defensive tackles are hurting them this year...they get little push up the middle....I actually think that they are average at best, more towards the below average side...yes, I do think that the McDougle issue is hurting them and it's a shame...however Trent Cole and Juqua Thomas are too light, IMHO. They may develop, though. ND is a third down guy, not an every down end. I don't get why JJ doesn't value LBs...that makes no sense to me...and I totally agree on the Carlos Emmons comment....I am sick and tired of the comment that McNabb doesn't want to be known as a running QB...let's get real, here....this is the 2000's....speed and elusiveness are extremely valuable commodities....especially considering that that has become the benchmark for people at all positions (40 times, combine numbers) as a matter of fact, I would only draft a QB that can run and throw...personally, I love Vince Young from Texas...I would encourage him to play like he does....if I was drafting a player to build a team around, I would draft him.....why does every QB that can scramble not want to be known like that....Warren Moon wasn't a scrambler, but a great QB....why can't Donovan be an inovator....Elway could KILL you by scrambling...scrambling is Don's strength!!!! I don't agree with this, I'm sorry....also, no one wants to be known as a commodity, I am not questioning the business or the way it is approached, I do know that the players in the room are tired of being thought of as meat!

9:19 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

i think some of the reason the d-tackles are getting little push up the middle this season is because JJ is playing more 2 gap defense. everyone is talking about how trotter is having a great season and it's true, but a big part of the reason for that is blockers aren't getting to him. how many times in the past did simon and walker end up on the same side of the line only to see a back go prancing through the area simon had vacated? you're not seeing a lot of that this season because the tackles are engulfing blockers. there is no way last season's defense could have held LT to a career low in yards.

some black QBs are ok with being a "running" QB, but most of them haven't had to deal with the type of background that don had to. don is very aware of racial issues and is very aware of the fact that black QBs who can run are called "running" QBs while white QBs who can run are called "scrambling" QBs. in the past, "running" was a nice way to saying "dumb." apparently, don has been more sensitive to racial issues than most because he grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood. when his family bought the house don grew up in, someone spray painted the outside of the house, broke windows and doors, broke holes in walls, and pissed on the carpet. a guy like mike vick, who grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood, likely never faced that kind of personal, proactive racism. when college teams were recruiting don, most weren't interested in having him play quarterback because "blacks just don't make good quarterbacks." that's why he ended up at a second rate program like syracuse -- they told him he could play QB. this after a stellar high school career as a QB and after he was rated one of the best prospects in the country coming out. there is a lot of background behind don's desire to shed the running QB image. i wish there wasn't as i think his running is a *huge* weapon and, especially early in his career, was often the difference in a game.

10:06 AM EST  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

I am not a racist by any stretch of the imagination and believe that variety is the spice of life. I appreciate Don's background, but don't care. From a human perspective that is appalling and no one should have to go through that. Being a white, Protestant male I have not really had too much prejudice in my life. If I have a prejudice against anyone, I have a prejudice against assholes. By don't care, I mean that I don't care from a sports perspective.

Don's gift is his athleticism and ability to create. He is also very funny, and not a leader from a Seth Joyner, Brian Dawkins shut up or I will twist your head off and shit down your throat way. This is bold, but if he doesn't scramble, run, create outside the pocket, etc. I don't want him as my QB....he becomes an average passer and I would rather draft a rookie.

11:41 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

that is a bold statement! :)

but i don't think don has ever shyed away from using his legs to keep a play alive. the 70 yard pass to fred-ex last season being the textbook example. he just doesn't want to use his legs to gain yardage if at all possible.

i think it's the injury keeping him in the pocket right now.

11:56 AM EST  

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