Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday Links

still catching up on reading, some interesting links of note:

- the "football scientist" (need espn insider) chats about who he thought were the three best QBs last season according to his metrics
Nick (Orlando): KC - in light of your most recent article, can you tell us who your top five QBs were from last year, according to your metrics?

SportsNation KC Joyner: Nick, I would say that the three best QBs from a metrics standpoint last year were: Romo, Brady and McNabb. After that it starts to get a bit crowded.

Travis(WI): Really???? No Manning or Palmer in the top 3...that's hard to believe. Especially Manning!

SportsNation KC
Joyner: Peyton's metrics weren't quite as good as usual last year. That's not to say he had a bad year, as I was actually more impressed with him in 2006 than I was in any other season. There was less talent around him and he still found a way to make it work.
- gcobb has several training camp notes: kolb update, d-line update, spikes update

- tim colishaw of the dallas morning news says the cowboys should expect a surge in sack production under wade phillips

- found this blog entry by rick gosselin interesting not for what he wrote (eagles d getting bigger in 2007) but for the in-fighting by cowboys fans in the comments

- i haven't noticed this as a phenomenon before since i haven't known many people that nearly died, but i am noticing a common theme in interviews with jerome mcdougle and ben roethlisberger, sort of a "eh, whatever, once you almost die it puts things into perspective and nothing really matters. i'll be ok no matter what happens". the near death experience seems to have taken an edge off them or something.

- wilmington news journal seems to think mcnabb's looking pretty good already

Labels:

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see TMG posting again and thank goodness football season is almost upon us. It's been a long, slow, shitty 2007 (for a # of reasons)and we finally have something to look forward to. This is a comment I attached several weeks ago to one of the older posts tha nobody probably saw - just wanted your opinions on the subject.

Anonymous said...
Since TMG is not leaving us any new posts to write on, I hope somebody sees this. Heard some interesting commentary on the Jodi Mac show today. He was asking "...if Mc5 has another couple solid years in an Eagle uniform and surpasses all Jaworski's passing records (Td's, yards, completion % and wins or passer rating..." (I can't remember the last one). Should the eagles retire his #. Then asked the same question about B-Dawk, who he described as a potential hall of famer -- I agree with the potential hall of famer and agree that the Eagles should retire dawk's #, it's a no-brainer to me. This guy currently represents the heart and soul of Eagles football and what the fans of Eagledom expect from their beloved team.
Mc5 represents an interesting conundrum to me on this issue. While I think he's a top 5 QB and wouldn't want anyone other than the obvious in his place (Brady, Manning). I don't even consider retiring Mc5's # unless he brings us a couple super bowl victories in the coming seasons (and definitely more than 1 to merit # retirement), even if he does surpass the Jaws records. Another Jodi Mac stmnt that I disagreed with, was that fans opinion doesn't matter when it comes to # retirement -- BULLSH** !!!!! I think fan opinion should maybe be the #1 requirement for # retirement. If you are so beloved in your city, for whatever reason, heart, toughness or whatever other criteria the FANS loved you for -- then it is the ultimate sign of respect from the city, team AND fans, that nobody else on that team will ever wear that #. I don't even think statistical excellence should be the # 1 determination - this should be the one area where fan admiration and love should determine the outcome. You have the league hall of fames, some cities have their own halls, and that's where the sportswriters and all the other so-called "experts" can make the decision. # retirement should be for, and by, the fans. Look at the Eagles whose #'s are retired -- Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Chuck Bednarek. All well deserved, but I think more beloved by the fans, and very representative of the toughness and heart expected from Eagles fans than maybe some other players with better "stats". Only SB wins will bring Mc5 the love and admiration that I think are required for # retirement. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
Thoughts, gentlemen ?????????

Captain.

9:55 PM EDT

8:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I don't think either are or should be retired. Not because they aren't/weren't very good players, but because Lurie and the NFL have raised the bar for retiring #s to an incredibly high level. It's a level much higher than merely being good enough to get into Canton. Look at the list of retired #s for a team that's been around for 75 years. That's 1 every 25 and since White's # just went up so they've got 23 more years until the next one gets retired.

I think Brown's # demonstrates that's it's not just stats that get a # retired and while fans have a large say, it is a team decision above even a fan decision.

Given the dearth of Super Bowl wins, 5 only needs 1 to go along with all the Eagles records for his # to be retired.

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I don't think either are or should be retired. Not because they aren't/weren't very good players, but because Lurie and the NFL have raised the bar for retiring #s to an incredibly high level. It's a level much higher than merely being good enough to get into Canton.

phil makes a good point. nfl rosters have 53 men and there are only 100 numbers (if you count 00). you have to be judicious about retiring numbers.

what you're looking at in terms of criteria is this:

- transcendent player (e.g. one of if not the best ever at your position... reggie white) - definite retired number

- sure hall of famer (e.g. best player at your position for your generation... steve van buren) - likely retired number

- hall of famer (e.g. top 2-3 at your position for your generation... brian dawkins) - unlikely retired number

- memorial (e.g. tragic death of a star in his prime... jerome brown) - possible retired number if player is beloved

9:54 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I don't even consider retiring Mc5's # unless he brings us a couple super bowl victories in the coming seasons (and definitely more than 1 to merit # retirement), even if he does surpass the Jaws records.

why should superbowl victories (a team achievement) be tied to the issue of retiring an individual player's number?

Another Jodi Mac stmnt that I disagreed with, was that fans opinion doesn't matter when it comes to # retirement -- BULLSH** !!!!! I think fan opinion should maybe be the #1 requirement for # retirement.

i tend to agree with jody mac. why should the fans have anything to do with number retirement? imo, the act of retiring a player's number is about honoring someone for what they did on the field -- that the retiree's play was so good for so long that they want to preserve the memory of that player by not allowing anyone else to wear that number for that franchise. it should be play on the field that dictates, not personality.

All well deserved, but I think more beloved by the fans, and very representative of the toughness and heart expected from Eagles fans than maybe some other players with better "stats". Only SB wins will bring Mc5 the love and admiration that I think are required for # retirement. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

the reason people don't "love" mcnabb is because of his personality (or lack of it), which is sad... and unfortunately i'm guilty as guilty as the rest of you. what's sad about that is we are choosing to make style more important than substance. by all rights, mcnabb deserves to be loved in this town. he's probably the best QB the franchise ever had (since van brocklin played most his career with the rams), but because he can be a little sensitive and a little awkward at times, people haven't developed an emotional connection with the guy. it's sad really. i'd like to love him like i love b-dawk, but i don't. i admire him for his play on the field and i like that he seems to be a "good guy", but mostly i feel sorry for him because he probably deserves more love than we give him.

there's no getting around it though, it's just human nature. the latest research is showing that most people make buying decisions emotionally rather than logically. they choose "logical" reasons that fit their predetermined emotional direction. that's why it's important for salesmen to spend so much time schmoozing. building that emotional connection with their customers makes it difficult for the customers to make the decision to leave.

i guess it's his own fault though. he should have paid more attention to winning us over early in his career.

10:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, I knew I would get some response if I re-posted when there was some activity.

-- Excellent point, TMG, and extremely well put. "Transcendent" is an excellent term to use when discussing this issue. Only "transcendent" players deserve # retirement. Then we can get right down to arguing about who is transcendent and not. What fun that will be.

-- You guys are both right about the actual #'s issue. 53 of 100 in use, some crazy NFL rules regarding position vs # range, so you have to be judicious about your selections as a franchise. I didn't get to hear the whole show that day, but I think I remember JM bringing that up as I was getting out of the car.

--Why should superbowl victories (a team achievement) be tied to the issue of retiring an individual player's number?
Because, in McNabb's case, I think it's very important. He hasn't rewritten the record books, as Marino and Manning did. He hasn't won 3 of 5, like Brady. Therefore, he needs to lead "his team" (That's Mc5's and the Eagles terminology, not mine) to victories in the big game if I'm going to consider him for the level of respect we're discussing here. Look at Elway -- great career, but as great a quarterback as he was -- he wasn't elevated to "tanscendent" status in many people's opinion until after the 2nd super bowl win -- because it was he, not Terrell Davis, who won the 2nd one. I don't want to get into a whole Elway vs McNabb thing here, this is just MY feeling on what Mc5 should accomplish to become "great" or "transendent".


-- I think most sports fans (or all of us, at least), are smart enough to realize that you need to be a transcendent player to have your # retired, and it's not just "personality" that get's it done. Look at the Phillies # retirees that played in our generation. Mike Scnmidt and Steve Carlton. Schmidt was not appreciated as much during his time as a player due to his aloofness and difficulty relating to fans -- yet we never hesitated to give him his credit as the best 3rd baseman to ever play in this town and one of the best ever to play the game. He relaxed a little bit and was able to relate better to people late in his career and after his retirement, but it was his performance that got his # retired. Carlton's an even bigger show that it's performance that counts -- he didn't talk to the media at all until the very end of his career. Then he opened his mouth and everybody realized he was a wierdo, and then we couldn't get him to shut up, but it was his performace that got his # retired. Was he a transcendent player during his generation - Yes. Did he have an emotional connection to fans while he was here ? Not really. We loved his performance. Some of his records are quite impressive (4 Cy Youngs, the 1972 stats on a horrendous team), but we loved his performance and what he did for us and therefore nobody will ever wear #32 for Phillies again.

Oh, did I mention that they WON THE WORLD SERIES IN 1980 !!!!!!!!!!
Maybe that has something to do with it.


This discussion might all be moot anyway. For all we know, the top brass on these teams could be sitting in there offices saying, "Will our fans ever accept another player wearing this # again" as part of their selection criteria. Then again, maybe not.
As Eagles fans, we LOVED ( and still do love) Jaws, but he wasn't close to transcendent enough to merit # retirement, although Bobby Hoying did make an absolute mockery of that # in his time here.

-- TMG's view on Mc5. I'm right there with you. My feelings for him basically mirror yours, but I'll tell you this.....If he leaves town without winning me a super bowl, you can put his # on the backup QB, kicker, punter whoever you want because it doesn't merit retirement. But his career to this point hasn't been transcendant anyway, so what's the point anyway, other than giving me something to ramble about at damn close to 1 AM.
I know I got way off the track of whatever my original point was going to be, but it's late and I'm tired. I'm just happy to be discussing football again. Good Night !!!!

Captain

1:06 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I almst hate to say it, but I think the Cowboys have the right approach to number "retirement" in their Ring of Honor. It sets the team's memorable players apart from the rest, but doesn't take the number out of circulation. While the Linc doesn't have a place near the field for something like this, they've got tons of room near concessions/head house plaza/etc. to make something like this happen.

And y'all are going to look back 2 or 3 QBs after McNabb leaves the Eagles and realize how really special he is. Especially considering the talent level at WR and TE that he's had to play with.

I really don't know where everyone gets that 5 doesn't have a personality. He seems to joke around a lot off the field and seems pretty passionate on it. He's gutted through some very serious injuries (like when he broke his leg and still passed for 3 or 4 TDs) so while he might be a little brittle, it's not like he's a pussy. What QBs out there have better personalities? Please give me some examples.

1:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a pretty damn good idea Phil. It's not like you HAVE to take the # out of circulation to honor a player. The whole reason I bought it up was just because Jodi Mac mentioned it and I wanted to see what the scrapple guys would have to say.
My issue with McNabb's personality is that he doesn't seem to have one. Very stoic, never says anything controversial or stirs it up at all, which can be a good thing, but a LITTLE emotion never hurt anybody. Passion ?? He may have it, but I've never seen it demonstrated on the field. I don't recall him ever showing any emotion on the field - either getting fired up himself, or trying to fire other guys up. Look at the playoff game when Garcia flipped the ball at the Giants player after running for a first down (he got creamed a play or 2 earlier I think). Granted, it cost us 15 yards and wasn't the smartest play at the time, but at least it showed a little fire. I've never seen that from Donovan.
He reminds me a little of Eric Lindros, supposed the be the big man on campus and leader of the team, but seems to only want to be "one of the guys" (at least Lindros would get pissed off and beat the hell out of somebody sometimes). I have no problem with Don's ability. I think he IS special, lot's of ability, not a pussy. I wouldn't want antbody else here other than the obvious 2 (Manning, Brady).

Captain

11:31 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

mike schmidt and steve carlton would have had their numbers retired with or without the 1980 world series win. i'm ok with the notion of QBs "winning" superbowls, but you certainly have a luck factor involved. marino never played on a team with any defense. peyton manning played a mediocre superbowl last year but his team still won. mcnabb ended up playing against a dynasty patriots team with penn state's offensive line.

9:44 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I almst hate to say it, but I think the Cowboys have the right approach to number "retirement" in their Ring of Honor.

the eagles do both. they retire numbers and have a much larger honor roll.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Eagles_Honor_Roll

And y'all are going to look back 2 or 3 QBs after McNabb leaves the Eagles and realize how really special he is. Especially considering the talent level at WR and TE that he's had to play with.

i'm the first guy to defend mcnabb's play on the field. he's much better than he gets credit for, especially when (as you mention) you factor in the offensive talent around him compared to his peers. bottom line is he's the best QB to play for this franchise.

I really don't know where everyone gets that 5 doesn't have a personality.

let me clarify where i'm coming from as there are two aspects to this.

1) i don't like his loosey-goosey on-field persona. eagles down by 10 in the 4th quarter? what me worry. i'll be joking and dancing around on the sideline. throw a bad pass in a critical spot? i'll smile and point and clap my hands. he doesn't display a sense of urgency at times when a sense of urgency would be appropriate.

2) i don't like how he holds us at arms length and gives us his mr. numb persona off the field. i don't begrudge him a private life, but he chooses not to share what i understand to be a terrific personality with us (eagles fans). it's hard to develop an emotional attachment to someone who's giving you the blank stare all the time.

9:55 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Both valid points though it sounds more like you don't like his style so much as the fact he doesn't have a personality. You'd rather he was more hot headed on the field (rather than joking and being on an even keel) and more controversial off it (less toeing the company line).

10:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Here's the full Honor Roll (also says they've retired 7 #s so far).

http://museum.philadelphiaeagles.com/assets/default/HONOR_ROLL_06.pdf

Guess the issue here then is they need to increase the visibility of this.

10:20 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Both valid points though it sounds more like you don't like his style so much as the fact he doesn't have a personality. You'd rather he was more hot headed on the field (rather than joking and being on an even keel) and more controversial off it (less toeing the company line).

sort of. regarding the first point, i don't want him to be more hot headed per se, just give more of an indication that he cares. whether that's a quiet intensity or getting fired up or whatever. he just looks like he doesn't care most of the time.

regarding the second point, again, i don't care what he's saying (controversial or not), i just want to get a sense of genuineness from him. i don't get that. there's a certain numb and calculated essence to all of his off-field communication and interaction. i don't care what he's saying, i just want to get a sense that it's coming from his heart and not the little PR guy that's living inside his brain.

10:44 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bottom line is he's the best QB to play for this franchise."

Maybe if you read the statistics and value playoff wins at the top of the scale.

If you simply loved to watch football, Randall was better...

Ed Wade

10:57 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Maybe if you read the statistics and value playoff wins at the top of the scale.

i'm basing my assessment on how well he plays the position of QB. randall was the better athlete, i don't think there was any doubt about that, but he didn't understand how to play the position of quarterback. he didn't understand how to read defenses. he didn't understand how to run an offense. in randall's defense, he didn't receive much coaching and much of what he did receive was not very good, but the results are the results. imo randall has it over mcnabb stylistically but in no factor that leads to wins and losses.

If you simply loved to watch football, Randall was better...

randall was more entertaining, not better.

11:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Most of Randall's best years as a QB were also not spent in Philly.

11:36 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Most of Randall's best years as a QB were also not spent in Philly.

i don't think that's true, phil. randall only had one year as a starter outside of eagles green. he played a few years with the vikings, but only had that one year when they went 15-1. after that it was mop up duty on the cowboys and ravens.

12:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so there is no mistaking my position on this: If I were a (football) GM, I'd take Donovan over Randall in a flash. If I were a fan, plunking down cash for a fun Sunday afternoon, I'd take Randall in a heartbeat.

More to the point: I'd take either of these guys. I simply don't understand the fact that many Eagles fans seem not to embrace Donovan. From my perspective, there is a million reasons to love him, even though I enjoyed watching Randall play more.

Ed Wade

10:28 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMG nails it right here. THIS is why I have a hard time really embracing Mc5.

regarding the second point, again, i don't care what he's saying (controversial or not), i just want to get a sense of genuineness from him. i don't get that. there's a certain numb and calculated essence to all of his off-field communication and interaction. i don't care what he's saying, i just want to get a sense that it's coming from his heart and not the little PR guy that's living inside his brain.

That's it, right there. What he says doesn't appear to come from the heart. Maybe it does, but it doesn't feel that way to me when I watch him. The percieved lack of urgency on the field irks me, too.

Captain

11:24 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

hey head wade, one of these days (and in your honor) i'm going to write a post about my contention that richie ashburn was the greatest defensive centerfielder ever so we can continue our old debate.

9:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ping,

I never saw Whitey play, so I doubt I'll have anything constructive to write relative to an appraisal of his performance.

As you know, my opinion of him is based purely on listening to people who DID get to see him play. It's uncanny how frequently those people describe him as a "nice little player."

I'm sure your appraisal will be hugely supported by satistics from the likes of Bill James. God bless. If Derrick Jeter can be the least effective defensive player in the league relative to the statistics of his peers at other positions, I guess anything is possible.

In the meantime, I'll continue to base my own perceptions on the observations I accumulate watching way too many innings of baseball.

If you are moved to do anything in my honor, I hope it will be to continuieto providing first-rate football commentary. With respect to football, I learn a lot from you, and I'm actually getting pumped for the start of another Eagle's season. After the Phillies break my heart, I'll tune in here more frequently.

I'm hoping you will also chime in with college football prognostication. What can we expect from Penn State and Rutgers this year?

Ed Wade

10:47 PM EDT  

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