Monday, September 18, 2006

Game 2 Revisited

reid is going to take a lot of flak over what happened yesterday, and granted there were a few mistakes made (e.g. passing the ball three straight times on a 2nd and 1), but the players lost the game, not big red.

i am hearing people say how he "got conservative" after they got the big lead and "changed his play calling". well, damn that's what you want the coach to do isn't it? isn't that what people have been screaming about for the last two seasons? that he doesn't run the ball even after he gets a big lead?

andy's gameplan was what we have all been asking for. pass to get a big lead, then mash it down their throats and run out the clock. is it big red's fault that the team could not grind out even one or two yards? yes and no. yes because they don't have a big back, but frankly, a big back wouldn't have made a difference. there were no running lanes available. any back would have gotten stuffed. eagles would have won if one or two plays turned out differently (LJ or stallworth catch the damn ball on the last drive, lewis picks up the fumble or any of the other giants fumbles for that matter, westbrook doesn't fumble), but the game was lost because they could not run the ball.

it was a matter of execution. if they run the ball, they win. to andy's credit, he stuck with the run (something that we've all been begging him to do). turns out he was right all along. they can't run the f-ing ball. still.

now, my hope is that he takes this as a lesson and fixes the running game so that it's not such a glaring weakness. my expectation is that the lesson he learns is that he should stop running the ball. sigh.

simon is also right that this is one frigging game. i am still upset about the game, but it is one game. all this talk about being done with reid is ridiculous.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I know I get very emotional and make some outlandish statements, but why is Andy Reid such a sacred cow in this town? Why does everyone drink the Dave Spaddaro/Howard Eskin Kool Aid and treat this man's every decision as infallible? Why is Charlie Manuel blasted again and again and mocked openly for being a terrible in game strategist who talks poorly after games but Andy Reid is simply embraced for doing the exact same things. Let's look at how Reid makes the same mistakes again and again.

1. Never puts any stock in the running game. It's swell to want to run the clock, it's tough to do with a 5'6" 200 lb back like Westbrook or a guy with 2 gimpy knees like Buckhalter. He isn't serious about fixing this glaring deficiency or he would have gotten a guy like Duckett on the cheap to get that 4th and 1. I am tired of watching them miss 2nd and 3rd and 1 because they either have no fiath in their running game and they throw or they have a shitty running game that nets no push. He's done this for years.

2. He is a terrible clock manager-cost them a shot at more points at the end of the first half yesterday because again he couldn't get the play in. How many years do we need to see that same schtick?

3. He doesn't trust his QB. They have played together for 7 years, he should know the guy. He gives him the reins for 3 quarters and the guy no huddles the G men into oblivion. Why change that? Let Donny run clock at the line and audible to seams and gaps like he did while he was throwing for 300 plus yards. Running the ball late doesn't mean you stop doing what you did, it simply menans you turn the reins over to your star player and advise him to run the clock safely. Reid obviously doesn't trust the guy after 7 years.

4. The staunch refusal to put any stock into LB makes them vulnerable at a core position. Wouldn't a nice blitzing OLB have been nice late yesterday? They didn't because they don't really have one of those. I know folks will argue that they do but couldn't blitz because Hanson couldn't be left in one on one to which I respond, "then why keep him? is he really an NFL player?"

I am not backing off. We've seen the best this man has to offer. It isn't good enough. There is no disputing that he has made the same EXACT core mistakes for 7 years now and hasn't learned a damned thing. He is stubborn and arrogant and he needs to start feeling some heat from the fans and the papers. I won't be a leming anymore and say he's great when the truth is he's average. I also will get off Charlie Manuel's jock because at least he has shown in the last few weeks that he can prevent his players from panicking and folding when the going gets tough down the stretch. Watch this week in San Fran. ANother nail biter they could lose because the same old issues will pop their ugly heads up.

I know, I know, here come the "you're wrong about Andy" comments. Nope, ain't buying it.


10:45 AM EDT  
Blogger JB said...

I don;t think Andy is blameless, but his playcalling was not the reason they lost. It was their complete and udder failure to execute anything... which you could blame on him too.

He calls a run and Westbrook fumbles, he calls a pass and it's perfectly thrown only to be dropped 2x. They call a blitz which rushes Manning and forced the Giants into a 50 yard FG attempt to tie the game... only your DE kicks a guy and makes it a 35 yard chip shot...

What playcalling would have prevented any of the stupidity?

11:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy Reid is a Top 5 coach in the NFL. I hate Eskin, but to quote him: "Who would you take instead?"
I give you Bilichik, Cowher, and then? Maybe Holmgren, but he has made exactly one run in the last 10 years.
Maybe Gruden, but his team hasn't been good since the Super Bowl.
Maybe Lewis, but lets see if he can continue this success.

Lets leave Reid alone and have him continue good playoff teams. If this happens he will win the Super Bowl one of these years, just see how long it took Cowher.
The only thing I am afrqid off is that Reid will quit in a year or two and go to a team where they let him do his work.

This years team is really good, I agree mistakes were made this weekend, but they will fix them and in a weird way, I think that losing this game will help them out.

Go Birds - Simon

PS: I will consider Charlie Manuel a coach once he makes the playoff, until then he is just a big muppet.

11:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Bumble

One last thing. I always liked your comments and I think you know a lot about the Birds, the NFL, etc. But I just don't like the reaction of a lot of Eagles fans in general, that after one bad game everything is lost. I remember when they started the season 0-2 a few years back and I went to he New England game, people left in the third quarter, were booing mcnabb, and it was a 10 point game. How about some freaking home field advantage!!!


11:22 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Big Pappy still loves you baby. And yes I'll trudge my larger than average keister back to the TV next week for another spoonful of suffering. I just hate to see them execute 90% of a perfect game plan only to devastate themselves with a terrible 10%. Big red had to step in and do something stronger than he did yesterday to stem that tide. They need to gather wins like gold dubloons in the early season given those potential L staring at them in the second half.

I stand by my rage and disappoint in reid, but I will always center myself with the fact that he is big, he's fat, he's got a mustache.


11:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I've moved a bit back off the ledge after the game. Still very upset they let that game slip away. That said, there were 4 fumbles yesterday (3 by NYG) and we got zero. Fumbles are a 50/50 proposition and going 0-fer is VERY bad luck. They recover the one inside the 5 vs. a touchdown and they never get started. We run the clock out and game's over.

Maybe this isn't a SB team anymore, but it's still a playoff team.

11:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Reid's defense on this site from most of us comes from one thing: history. I have confidence that Reid'll get us to the playoffs and do not have that same confidence in Potential Head Coach #1-5. You want Ray Rhoades back for crying out loud? Is Reid perfect? No. Does he have play and game calling failures? Yes. Who doesn't though? If he posts another 6-10 record with this talent, then yes I will join you in asking for Reid's head. Otherwise, let the man do his job.

Note: I think we're fairly open to Reid criticism on this blog generally, but that doesn't mean we won't disagree with any criticisms you may have.

11:51 AM EDT  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

I hope everyone feels a little bit better after get that out of their systems....I do and I appreciate this site for the consistent reality checks and reign it in a little bit yesterday....I was emotionally killed yesterday. I had to leave the house and was visibly mad at what happened. It actually transcended football as I was actually mad at a TV set. Anyhow, Bumble went to the game and came to my house after the game. He was not as his emotional tirade sounded he was. He was relatively calm and I don't suspect his thoughts were knee jerk. Was he emotional, yes. But I agree with him in that this site has taken a really passive approach to Reid's shortcomings over the past 7 years. Andy Reid is a very good coach. I even posted earlier that I thought that they would have a winning record and be fine out of this. He is very good at a lot of aspects of his job. He does not play the game (no coach does) and the Giants are a tough team. Very tough and could be 2-0, 0-2 and 1-1.

His ultimate weakness I believe is his arrogance. By arrogance I mean stubborness. Bumble is right, they don't have a playmaking LB who can blitz and they don't have a RB who has the skill to get tough yards and grind out a game. Hey, Andy has 2 jobs here not just one. He still has piss poor clock management, too. Why can't we be upset with his performance. Don't we want to win the Super Bowl? Can't Bumble and I both be concerned that he has come up short in big games? I think what draws our ire is that this is a bench mark team to beat....we have them on the ropes we need to deliver the knock out punch. I want to win a Super Bowl at this point. I am sick and tired of being just 2 things in this town....pretty good and shitty. Andy didn't play, but he is responsible. Will they win again, yes. Are they a good team, yes. Are there a lot of NFL coaches out there who I would rather have? Well, off the top of my head no. However, who knows what another coach would do with this personnel. And who knows if the best coach for this team is a NFL Head Coach. Donovan needs some running game support. His receivers need to be money when it counts. His defense can't always force him to play behind. His coach needs to call a good game and play to his strengths. Again, they were pretty good, but I am sick of those 2 words. And the Eagles did lost to Tampa Bay to close the Vet a couple years ago, numbnuts, who posted that!!!!!

12:52 PM EDT  
Anonymous Josh parry, numbnuts said...

And the Eagles did lost to Tampa Bay to close the Vet a couple years ago, numbnuts, who posted that!!!!!

I posted it, and no they did not. The game never happened.



1:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks guys. I do feel a lot better having the other side of the coin to reel me back in. This site is like my support group. First site I check each morning, last I check before I go to bed. Pete you have a good thing going here.

On a different note, can the Phils get a touch of love for sweeping this weekend? That team has owned them for 2 years and they went into their house and took wins. I know there are a lot of games left and they may not make the show either, but I never ever would've thought they'd be alive in late September. With as many gaping holes as they have, somehow they have been toughing out wins. I caleld for a lot of Phillie heads earlier this summer, but I am very pleased with their general direction. I will try to apply that logic to the Birds after the most catastrophic loss for me as a fan ever. yes worse than Tampa, yes worse than Carolina, yes worse than Dallas last year. I work among smug Giants fans every day. I have to hear this until December now.


1:22 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Yesterday was not even close to The Game That Never Happened. Primarily because we're all already partially over it 1 day later (there are still 14 games left in the season), while I was numb for 3+ weeks after TGTNH.

2:03 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

3 weeks? hypothetically speaking, if that game had actually happened, i would still not be over it.

i guarantee that the eagles would have creamed the raiders! gah!

2:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Hypothetically, 3 weeks is where the numbness ended and the searing pain began. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a Mr. Walker and Mr. Daniel here to see me.

2:27 PM EDT  
Anonymous Josh Parry's patella tendon said...

Kears'e knee injury is "severe" per Andy Reid.

No word on how long that translates to him being out.

2:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kearse injury for me is the worst thing that happened this weekend. He looked awesome and they weren't able to pressure Eli as much afterwards.

To Reid:
I have no problems with critizing him. He most certainly makes mistakes, but I remember the Eagles under Ray Rhodes when everybody was happy with a 9-7, 10-6 season to make the playoffs. To Reids credit he changed the expectations so much that everything but a Super Bowl victory is a lost season.

To the Phillys:
Cannot comment on them as everytime I think they might turn it around they lose three straight. That said: Cole Hamels, Utley and Howard are studs.

Simon, for the last time on Big Red

3:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Josh Parry (available to play cornerback) said...

Kearse is out for the year.

3:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Chase Utley isn't a stud until he learns that it's okay to make contact with the ball in September.

Two years in a row. Wow.

4:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous me-was said...

I can't comment on all of this obvious stuff, other than to chime in that Andy needed to waste a timeout to punt. To punt. To punt.

The worst part of the loss was that it made it impossible to enjoy any other football game for the rest of the day (week).

Check that, the worst part of the game was that by needing to endure overtime, we waste the Freak for the season.

You could replay the game 100 or 1000 times and the Eagles would lose it only once.

Egad, this was terrible.

Rant on, Bumble. Shine on you crazy diamond.

10:25 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh. Kearse is my favorite defensive player. Losing him is as devastating for the D as losing McNabb would be for the O. He warranmts attention that McDougle won't. Their team just changed dramatically for the worse and now they have to outscore everyone.

30 hours later and tha stench of that loss hangs with me. I'm still irate and Kearse only makes me more irate.


11:28 PM EDT  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

Me-Was, ironically I saw Roger Waters due Shine on You Crazy Diamond this weekend and it was I noted, Andy's a great coach that has some fundamental flaws that he can't overcome....again, piss poor clock management....the Richkotitian calling a time out to punt...didn't they also call a time out so Don could run right and throw it out of bounds too (Westbrook did get tackled on that play, another atrocious miss for the horrible referees)...let's see if the depth that they have on the D Line pays off...McDougle will at least suit up now.

The stench still lingers....BUT we get the Giants again, it's early in the season and the Eagles didn't get pummelled the entire game. We need to have a big win at San Fran, come home and pummel the pathetic Packers on Monday night and go into the Dallas game 3-1 and have a pick me up, huge win in that game. Again, Don does look good and he will determine the outcome of this team.

9:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Losing Kearse for the season is a serious blow to this team. Honestly, I think we went from having 11-5 potential to being almost knocked out of playoff contention.
okay, okay, i do realize that this is a drastic reaction after only the second game in the season, but we really look like a fragile team here. lito sheppard, rod hood and kearse are out. westbrook has already had knee problems and of couse buckhalter is an injury waiting to happen.
after i get past the fact that we handed the game to the giants on sunday, i'm still really worried about the birds durability.
someone knock some positive sense into me, but is this just foreshadowing of a really painful season to come?


10:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

KO'c, while Kearse is gone for the season, Hood and Sheppard should be back if not this week, then the one after. Depth on D-line means the Freak is the one player of those 3 the Eagles could afford to lose on an extended basis.

And let me reemphasize again, losing 4 punts statistically happens 6% of the time as they're a random 50/50 chance. Recovering even 1 of them most likely keeps the game from OT.

Going into the Giants game, I thought they may have been as good as 2004. I don't think they are anymore. The reason now though isn't talent coaches, but the killer instinct to crush inferior opponents is not there. Didn't have it vs. HOU in game 1 and didn't have it Sunday.

10:53 AM EDT  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

Fellas, time moves on I have digested this more....this team is talented, remember they were thumping the Giants until the 4th quarter....that Lewis fumble was just how the ball bounces, he didn't try to pick it up, he fell on it and he didnt' get it....more upsetting to me was that the defense stopped attacking and the Giants were chipping away at the corners....if Hood and Sheppard come back relatively soon we should be okay, the Defensive Line has depth and again we were pummelling them....all teams are going to have injuries, too.

The things that upset me are:
1. They didn't close the deal
2. Reid mismanaged some of the clock and had some suspect play selection.
3. The offense stopped attacking.
4. The defense stopped attacking.
5. The running game was not able to grind out the clock....and we all know that they didn't have enough talent in the backfield, and or the line gave no holes, it is tough to see, but Westbrook was getting hit in the backfield every time. If they stopped being aggressive, which was not a bad game plan, they needed to grind out the clock. This is a problem that we all knew about.
6. Westbrook had a critical drop.
7. LJ had a critical drop (tough catch though)
8. Stallworth had a critical drop.

Considering all of this, it looks more mental than physical....considering that, it is not as bad as I initially isn't that we don't have the talent, which would be much much more disconcerting.

11:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Corey & Carson said...

I have a funny and thoughtful Phillies blog that I think you will enjoy. Come check it out at

Hope to see you there, and keep spreading the Philly love!

I have other Philly blogs linked on my site, maybe we can exchange.

7:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous me-who said...

This is for Corey and Carson, who run an AWESOME blog:

Dinner with Pat Gillick

A cynic might argue that the company foolish enough to employ me spends lavishly on trinkets to convince its rank and file it cares about us. Guys like me can pick from complimentary sweeties like Phillies tickets, Eagles tickets, Symphony tickets, etc. Name a team or organization in the New York-Philadelphia region and my benevolent employer owns season tickets. What does this mean to the Scrapple audience? You guessed it. Yours truly and the biggest 7-year-old baseball fan in the world had supper on Pat Gillick tonight as the lucky recipient of two passes to Season Ticket Fan Appreciation Night at the Bank.

I promised Pete a fair and balanced report as I tried to resolve the angst generated by what I consider the lamest trade the team has made since I’ve been an adult. I’m counting on Pete to provide a spiffy link to previous posts, but if he doesn’t, lets just say that I think a savvy GM could have procured Phil Hughes and a bright future (as well as salary relief) when he booted Bobby to the Big Apple if he’d shown a little patience and tried to see things not just from his own vantage but from Yankee GM Cashman’s. My goal tonight was to ask Pat Gillick face-to-face why he didn’t get the job done. Pete has argued that the deal wasn’t there to be made. I’ve argued that just because Cashman told the press he wouldn’t have made the trade doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have.


Make no mistake, the Phillies care about their fans (at least the blue blood’s who pay serious cash for premium full-season tickets). I was Thurston Howell III tonight. Talk about getting your ass kissed. I’ve never been called “sir” so many times in a single evening. I’m enormously happy I resisted the urge to change into “play” clothes before attending the event.

Thank you Phillies for letting me eat from your bountiful table and drink from your loving cup. My wallet never left my pocket and I walked away with a full belly (mostly ballpark food, but a big cut above what regular guys like me get at the concession stand). My son loves his new Phillies ball cap and Aaron Rowand jersey (even though Aaron can’t hit).

The view from the field is spectacular. We’ve touched all the bases, “fielded” grounders from short and second, crashed into the outfield walls, warmed up in the bullpen, smashed line drives off the same batting tees that Ryan and Chase use between at-bats. We’ve stood in front of Jimmy Rollins locker, sat in the dugout, and pretended to be Bobby Abreu shrieking with fear in front of the chain-link and have pictures to prove it. Strictly in terms of the Father-Son experience, what a night!

Main Event:

Our invitation included an enticement I couldn’t possible resist: a 30-minute Q & A session with Pat Gillick. Remembering how influential a similar event proved to the direction of the 76ers several years ago (remember Johnny Davis), I anticipated this event like first date.

I knew I’d be disappointed as soon as Scott Palmer grabbed a microphone. He felt it would be helpful to serve as proxy for Philadelphia fans by asking the first questions. Egad. He offered up several Arthur Rhodes fastballs that allowed Pat Gillick and Mike Arbuckle to put a positive spin on every move, every press conference utterance, and every damn thing you could possibly imagine. The ensuing love fest was predictable. The organization is in great hands because Pat Gillick is “the best baseball mind” Mike Arbuckle has ever encountered in his storied career as a “baseball man.” The minor league system is a diamond because Mike Arbuckle has groomed 12 members of the Phillies and Botavia led the league in ERA, and was “instrumental” in signing Ryan Howard. Not less than 5 times, Phillies personnel referred to this session as a “speech” until finally calling it a “Q & A session” when guys like me asked “what are you talking about?”

Finally, after 15 minutes of self-serving, self-promotion, Scott Palmer acknowledged that some fans might also have questions. He suggested this was a good idea (really?), but also warned that fans could not ask questions about specific players employed by organizations other than the Phillies (because this would leave the Phillies susceptible to “tampering” violations, a term I imagine he heard recently on ESPN with regard to the Jets in conjunction with that Patriots WR, Branch). Okay.

Naturally, my hand shot up immediately. I thought I’d get the ball rolling and since I was sitting about 5 feet from Pat (having strategically camped by the podium). Guess what? They didn’t pick me. Conveniently, a “fan” already had a microphone. The question? “Given the recent geo-political changes happening in Cuba, and the likelihood that players from the island may be free to play in the US, are the Phillies actively scouting talent and aware of the names that may become available?” On the surface, this seemed like an intelligent question, until Mike Arbuckle (who already had the mike in hand) rattled off a 5 minute (I timed it) dissertation on Cuban baseball and its players. He was so thorough that I couldn’t help wondering if the “fan” was a plant and he had consulted George Bush on what the appropriate answer might be.

Next question. “Are you disappointed by the play of Pat Burrell?” Shockingly, the “fan” who asked this question already had a mike in hand. For the record, Gillick was amazingly candid. He shit all over the Bat, implying that he was a complete p$ssy who couldn’t handle anything but positive reinforcement and couldn’t produce even when he received it. The Bat is gone next year, make no mistake about it.

The canned “fan” questions continued for 15 minutes. Each came from a plant. Guys like me were completely ignored. I asked several Phillies employees what I needed to do to ask a question, but no one had an answer. The entire Q & A session was rehearsed and planned. What a disappointment!

The Skinny:

Lieberthal is gone. “He won’t be back next season.” The Phillies will sign a new catcher in the off-season. They will not start the season with Coste and Ruiz. Book it.

The club will spend $90 million next year on payroll. This is a fact. Gillick was crystal on this. I’m guessing this means more money for Howard and Utley rather than big name free agents.

The Phillies will bring in a new 3B next year. “David Bell and Abraham Nunez provided great defense for us (really?), but they didn’t give us what we needed at the plate.”

Gillick will go after pitching. The young guys progressed faster than expected (Hammels), but we need more.

Gillick is really sorry he suggested the Phillies couldn’t compete for a title next year. He still believes we won’t, but regrets pissing off the high rollers more than you might think.


Pat Gillick is a lounge lizard. Think back to the parties your parent threw when you were a kid. Remember the uncle who sat in the corner sipping Gin as his eyes glazed. I wouldn’t trust this guy with my team. There is no doubt in my mind that he was overmatched by Cashman and has one foot into retirement already. Pray that Amaro is ready to step in soon.

Mike Arbuckle is scared shitless that his job is in jeopardy.

The Phillies don’t like their fans, but they’re scared of them (or at least scared that they may stop spending money buying tickets, drinks and food).

If anyone out there in Scrappleland has any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


10:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous me-was said...

Just so there is no confusion, I'd like to add that I consider Scrapple an AWESOME blog also and tried hard to post the last trip report directly through Pete last week, but the gods of computer protocal seem to have prevented an email connection.

10:53 PM EDT  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

This is why I love this blog. Accuracy and insight. Ben, I loved this. This was great insight. The Phillies are an old school bunch of bluebloods is what it sounds like....when the Carpenters owned the team I always thought that they were the perfect owners (similar to Steinbrenner)...wealthy families who owned a team and wanted to see the team succeed but didn't count on the team for financial gain because they had income coming in seemed that Ruly Carpenter wanted the Phillies to win the World Series and had more fun being in the owner's box with abunch with his buddies drinking and seeing Mike Schmidt hit one run homers. I just dont' get that impression here.

Gillick has done an okay job with the Phils. They are playing good, but let's see what happens next year when he can de-Head this team even more. I think he is an old school baseball guy who was brought in here to fix the Wade mess both physically and in the eyes of the fans. Once he does something with Burrell, gets a C and 3B we'll see what we have. I think that we do have a decent core and with Pat's history we are going to be at minimum competitive for a while. My question to you, is what was said that gave you those impressions. Example, did Gillick say Bat is gone? I am bringing in a new 3B (I would love to see Rich Aurilla batting behind Howard) and a team leader/dude who can throw out runners/control pitchers better behind the plate?

9:07 AM EDT  

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