Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sad Days for Eagles Nation

i gotta admit, this is hurting worse than i thought it would. i'm usually able to react pretty clinically whenever a favorite player departs -- reggie white, seth joyner, allen iverson, charles barkley, steve carlton, eric lindros (i know i'm in the minority) -- but this has been tough to handle.

some more brian dawkins videos:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am shocked no one has comments about this. I see they have Shaun Springs in for a visit. When healthy, he is very good, but that is just about never.

I love how all media in town are suddenly anti-Birds and everyone reporting this story lead with "The Eagles had 33 year old Shawn Springs..." just to compare him to Dawk and make the Birds look bad.

The radio crowd is all irate and fans are outraged, but business is business and there is no loyalty. I personally think a lot of folks have lost jobs after many years and see a lot of Dawk in themselves and feel outraged against all employers, but just a gut sort of guess.


4:34 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I listened to some of the Joe Banner interview with Howard Eskin. As always, Joe sounded perfectly reasonable. He made it clear that the organization valued Brian Dawkins as a football player and as a person. He was up front in saying the Eagles represented their offer as "final," and Dawk had every reason to believe it was what it was. He seemed genuinely sad that Dawk found a better, more aggressive offer from Denver and didn't get back in touch with the Eagles before signing it. He was also honest in saying that the Eagles would not have matched the Denver offer, even if they may have considered some flexibility with their own offer.

I don't see a villian here. The Eagles made a contract offer, Dawk didn't think it represented fair value and found another team that agreed.

I wish life were nicer than it is, but it isn't.

I hope Brian has success in Denver, but I doubt he'll live up to the new contract. Nevertheless, he was a great Eagle, and I will miss seeing him play. It's part of the cycle in sports and life, and another reminder that we all grow older and time moves on.

Dawkins will always be part of the fabric of Philadelphia sports; we'll all get to tell our kids what a great player he was. I loved hearing my dad tell me about Steve Van Buren after I met Steve a couple of years ago.

Ed Wade

7:32 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawk will be Brett Favre part 2 and be out of football by 2010. It is a smart business decision not to overpay him. Life hurts, but when you go from being lead dog to pack dog, you get replaced.


10:32 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Sad, but inevitable. Given the Eagles' track record of letting old players leave, you'd think there wouldn't be much negative chatter about this. Who was the last player to leave here and even be so-so elsewhere? Trotter played better after he returned to Philly than he did for DC. Vincent and Taylor where nothings. Duce was a back-up in PIT. Remember Corey Simon? Bwa-ha-ha.

8:59 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burgess had some, and I stress some, success in Oakland, but I'd hardly call him an elite DE.

They know when to say when. More disheartening is the fact that they got so little for Lito when they misvalued his worth last year. A 5th and a conditional for a former pro-bowl talent seems low to me, but right on after his intentional tank of the 2008 season. Blown opportunity last year to snag a 3 and move on.

The one thing I dislike about letting Tra and Dawk and Runyan go is the message it sends to the league. Maybe every team is as cold with cornerstone players, but I do worry that the Birds are getting a reputation as a cheap team who chisels you your entire career and then kicks you to the curb. makes me worry that players talk and elite free agents won't want to come here. I know they pay and pay well for guys they want-Samuel, Kearse, but the perception needs to be that they are a loyal team with a good direction in order to even attract some of those upper tier guys.

Boring football off season so far. The usual stupid moves by the Skins and a head scratcher by the Pats to the Chiefs, but nothing really interesting ona day to day basis. I expected more on the eve of the no salary cap world.


10:10 AM EST  
Blogger Pete said...

you should come by and participate in this, feel free to promote the blog...

11:12 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, every team IS as cold hearted as the Eagles. Where did Favre play last season? Did Jason Taylor finish up in MIA? How about Seau? Montana? etc, etc, etc. It's not cold hearted when some other team offers more than the player is worth. You admit Dawk isn't worth his contract so why should the Eagles overpay for him? I don't think that sends a bad or wrong message to the league. Not many players are going to accept less money to play for anyone besides maybe NE. It's not like the old days when PHI was such a horrendous organization that we HAD to overpay to get FAs in the door. And to the extent PHI isn't overpaying for poor talent, then there's plenty left over to spend on productive players. That's a GOOD thing in the eyes of potential FAs, not a bad thing.

12:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree on your points Phil, I guess the part that worries me is less the end of career and more the chiseling throughout the career. They are funny that way-they really like to pay just below market for core players and often players will choose to stay. Dawk supposedly did that throughout his career. You wonder if this sets a precedent that it's not worth taking less.

But you are right, the world is not nostalgic. Lose a step/edge and there are lots of guys behind you ready to take your place.


10:27 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Most people forget that all those "below market" deals signed by Westbrook, Sheldon Brown, etc. were done 1-3 years before their original deals were set to expire. So they're getting their cash earlier (without injury risk) than they would have normally. Both the player and the team are making out with that arrangement.

7:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

PFT is saying that 20's move to Denver has caused the biggest uproar ever. Really? Are people really that upset by this? Would they rather have Dawkins getting burned for TD after TD next year?

Tra to Jags. Is Stacey Andrews the answer there?

11:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The average fan is really upset about this move. Those who saw how ineffective Dawk was for most of last year are not upset, but the emotional masses seem to be outweighing the logical facts people right now.

I loved Dawk, but he was getting hurt and burned more frequently that past few years.

I am not sure about deep sixing every veteran this off season. Maybe they have a plan, but it sure looks like a complete overhaul to me. You don't get rid of 2 OT in one season, so piss poor job by someone not having a valid backup at both positions before this purge.

And Ok, since no one else will do it, do you complete the purge and eep six McSoft as well? You cannot do it now, but I personally would've done whatever it took to get Cassel and just admit you're in rebuilding mode. Donny with 2 new OT, an aging RB, and the same old cast of 3 and 4 WR does not make them seem like an elite team to me. Not while the Giants continue to fortify their biggest strength (D line) and the rest of the division is younger and deeper (not better but deeper)

Just one guy ponderin', but bring it on Philip!

Edward, any observations on meaningless Spring training ball yet? Liking the competition to weed out the weeds at 5th starter? Liking the sticks at all? Agreeing that the new LF is a major upgrade over Burrell?


4:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

So it seems like everyone at Scrapplelog is agreed on Dawk.

I kinda agree with replacing both OTs at once, but think it's partially a function of them both staying good longer than expected. Don't forget, Shawn Andrews was drafted 3 years ago to replace one of them and wasn't able to (partly because he was ProBowl caliber inside, partly cause Runyan stayed better longer).

I think you're wrong on 5 though. If you are going to trade him, you're not going to do it a month before the draft since that's when you're going to get value for him. You do it draft day so no one can predict (trade up, etc.) what you'll do with the picks. Why take a flyer on Cassell for all that money, when you've got Kolb all ready experienced in the system? If you're going to replace him, he's the guy. Not someone in the 2009 draft and not someone on another roster. I still think you don't toss out a playoff quality QB for an unknown quantity.

5:01 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Screw it, let's have some fun.

5 to SF for Frank Gore and #10 overall pick and a 3rd or 4th rounder.

5 to MIN for Adrian Petersen and their 1st (22) and 3rd round picks.

5 to CLE for Edwards and 5th overall pick.

As big a fan of 5 as I am, I'd probably be OK with any of those trades.

5:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't get the trade 5 talk at all. If he were 35 years old, maybe, but not now. You have him under contract for two more years and there is no chance you can replace him with something better in the interim.

I guess if you want to get bad now so you can get good again in a couple of years, I could see it, but the team still has too many good players to take this approach in my opinion.

If you really want to dump Don, then let's also dump the good RB, CB & WR, holding on to guys 25 or younger only. That way at least you get the difference making draft picks.

Ed Wade

9:52 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble -

Since you've asked a baseball question, I feel invited to answer.

You'll love watching the Phillies this year. I'm not suggesting they will repeat as champions, because that's a tough trick in baseball, a sport where the better team wins only 60% of the time compared to 85-90% in football, and because the Phils weren't the best team in baseball last year, and won't be this year, either. You'll love watching the Phillies this year because they are a better team than last year.

Forget about wins and losses in Spring Training. Meaningless.

Here's what I like:

1. Moyer isn't dead. He's already hitting his locations, pitching inside, and getting people out. I'm afraid he'll be useless at some point soon, but for whatever reason he seems ready to have another credible season.

2. Myers seems motivated. While I don't like the fact (from a baseball standpoint) that he seems to be drinking again, I love the fact that he's working on a change up and appears to be in the best shape of his career.

3. Happ or Park - pick one. Either is a significant upgrade in the 5 spot from Adam Eaton. Carasco and Kendrick at AAA feels pretty damn good. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

4. Utley is way ahead of schedule and won't miss significant time.

5. Either Giles or Mayberry may make this team and provide a partial solution to the most serious problem this team has - legimate right-hand production. Mayberry may be a bust, but I've stopped underestimating Charlie's ability to teach hitting to folks who are willing to listen.

6. Yes, the new "kid" will be much more productive than the Bat, but I will still miss the Bat, probably because he smokes Marlboros, drinks Budweiser, and (fill in the blanks).

Here's what I don't like:

1. The Mets will be way better this year now that their bullpen doesn't suck.

2. Jason Werth - how can his legs not be ready for spring training? What's going on inside his (pin)head? I'm worried about this guy, and the Phillies are in deep trouble if his bat isn't productive. We NEED his bat in the middle of the order. I think he needs to hit 5th and he's making me nervous.

3. The whole J C Romero thing hurts. I'm afraid Eyre will need to pitch too much early in the season, leaving him vulnerable to what I'll call Chad Durbin syndrome later in the year.

4. Interleague play continues to bug me. The Phils play a killer schedule while some of the other wild card contenders play cupcakes.

Spring training in 2009 exist for only one reason: let the starting pitchers stretch out their arms. Stay healthy, Phils.

Ed Wade

10:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ed, I agree that trading 5 would not be a good thing. I'd be willing to trade him not so much for Bumble's reason (he sucks in big games) because at least he gets us to those big games as injury risk. Yes, he's still in his early 30s, but he's rarely on the field for 16 games a year and rarely close to 80% in the games he does play. Basically he's one of the few players that you can trade and not only get fair value for, but more than fair value considering how few starting caliber QBs there are in the league.

8:02 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

And this Dan Leone guy's a donk. Anybody who says something critical of their employer in public should be fired for stupidity if nothing else.

12:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen on your last point Phil. In this economy especially, show some restraint and respect. hell being out of work 3 months now, I'd love an opportunity to work for a place and absorb some "bad news" like trading an aging fan favorite.


No way the Vikes would ever trade that much. No way. Peterson is a stud! I'd wager Don might draw a 2 from the right team, but it'd have to be the right team. I'd love a swap of a pick (1st, I can dream), Orton (insurance) and a DL or LB from the Bears.


4:26 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Phils. I like a leaner team and more pitching. I do think the entire division got better this off season, but they got better too. Should be a fun ride. You are right, repeating in baseball is an awesome challenge. I just wnat to see them play well, reduce errors, reduce strike outs, and see what happens.


4:29 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree on McNabb being the best they'd get. Cassel is better today. Younger too. I also dispute Kolb. The guy should never play another meaningful NFL snap, he can't play.

Any truth or thoughts on the agenda being pushed by local radio media that Banner is taking a more active role in both financial and football decisions? I think a separation needs to be made there, but I don't see it happening and think it is just bunk to goad listeners into making silly calls.


4:31 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Leone is a jackass, and an insensitive one as well. I wonder what kind of language he uses around the customers? When you publish derisive commments about the hand that feeds in an open forum, you need to think twice about whining about the consequences. Of course, taking personal responsibility for bad behavior isn't a popular choice these days. It's easier to blame the Eagles, George Bush, Barrack Obama or some other symbol of power/oppression.

Does anyone out there realy think the Eagles could deal McNabb for a first or second round pick? Not me. 5 has way more value to the Birds than any other team.

Interesting thought about Cassel, Bumble. No way in hell I'd pay the kind of money he got until he proved he's worth it for more than a season, however. I'm still not sure he isn't simply the product of a great organization. Time will tell, and I wish him well, but he's not worth the long-term gamble in my opinion.

I don't get the whole Eagles hysteria playing out right now. If you believe Eskin (sometimes I actually do), WIP is begging its hosts to go after the Birds and stir the nest. If you still listen, you'll notice each host spinning each detail, contorting facts, to make the Eagles seem like this ruthless beast that cares nothing for its fans.

I don't get it. Can the Birds be a little tone-deaf every once in a while? Sure. But this is a class organization from top to bottom, including Joe Banner who gets treated completely unfairly.

Listening to WIP has become as absurd as listening to either Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter (from the right) or Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman (from the left). Every fact is twisted, and you simply can't believe a thing you hear. Typically, I'm a guy who just likes to be entertained, but right now what's going on is sickening.

The morning crew in particular is out of control.


Ed Wade

7:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ed, I don't listen to talk radio for that very reason (sports or political).

You really don't think they couldn't get at least a 1 from another team for 5? He's consistently been a top 10 QB (7th in passing yards, 8th in TDs last year), while it's virtually impossible to get a top 10 QB anymore. I must be really over-rating him, but I can't see how you WOULDN'T trade at least a 1 to get him if you really needed a QB.

I also don't think we've seen enough of Kolb to make any decisions 1 way or another. Being given a half vs. the best D in the league last year with no notice seems a bit unfair a test.

7:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil -

I don't think you're over-rating McNabb. As you have probably surmised, I think McNabb is an excellent player, a player the Eagles should keep.

You just don't see a lot of 32-year-olds getting traded for first rounders. The shelflife of an NFL player is so short, most teams crave the youth that comes from the draft. Just my impression - I don't follow stuff like this that carefully. Maybe the Birds could find a team that didn't want to pony up the money an unproven first-rounder is apt to get.

I agree with you that Kolb hasn't played enough to allow for a great evaluation of his ultimate ability. You have to admit, however, that he hasn't exactly looked like The Natural in any of the opportunities he has received, including pre-season. I'll be shocked if he is ever as good as McNabb is/was.

I've weaned myself from political talk at this point, but I can't seem to break the sports talk habit. Good for you for leaving this garbage alone.

Ed Wade

7:26 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

montana was 36 when he was traded, but (just for reference) the niners needed to throw in a 3rd round pick in order to get a first round pick from the chiefs.

10:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The talk of the day is would you do Mcnabb for Cutler. I don't think I would. I think Cutler is a puss cake and he hasn't done much to impress me. Don is a way betetr player than him, even if he is a lot older.

I agree Ed, Don is too old to draw a 1. He is still a top 12 QB, but knowing he has only 2-3 years left and the fact that he has not been stellar in the spotlight certainly would make most teams skittish.

BTW Ed, Kendrick is a complete puss cake as well. This guy should never pitch a meaningful inning for the Phils again. He is soft and seems to be a mental midget.



11:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You may be confusing Kendrick's lack of skills and pitch variety with a lack of balls.

Until he develops a second MLB pitch, he's not going to be effective. Hitters have seen enough of his plus sinker to be able to hit it now when they know it's coming.

Rich Dubee confuses the issue by bleating to the press about "body language" on the mound. I'm not saying Dubage is wrong. I wish Kendrick showed a little more composure. I also wish Dubee was more to the point, however, by saying something like "I thought Kyle would be the 5th starter because I assumed he would develop a major-laegue change up over the winter, but that's a lot to ask of a young pitcher and it hasn't happened yet. Good thing he's young and can spend some time developing in the minor league."

You know how I feel about Kendrick. He's a soft tosser who benefitted from timely hitting to win 21 games in his first two years. He has a little moxie. The question is, does he have enough? Time will tell. I sure wouldn't give up on him yet, and there isn't any reason to. The Phils won't need him in the rotation any time soon.

Is he a "puss cake?" He might be, but I don't think that's the reason for his struggles on the mound.

Ed Wade

8:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Cutler's an even bigger baby than 5 ever was. He would fold up under Philly media/fan pressure in about 6 minutes.

Warner and Collins are still going strong (and Favre very recently) into their late 30s. Again, McNabb's injury history probably dents trade value but he is a proven performer.

10:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that this affects my opinion, but it certainly will gain some media attention.

Jeff Laurie made the Billionare's list. And yet, they still needed to up the ticket prices....
ugh, have to pay those tomorrow actually.....

FYI, Flyers are doing ok, but I think have lost a step lately. And that step may have left with Upshall. I think they should have attempted to keep the team chemistry and asked to re-negotiate a couple contracts rather than offload him.

Smells like Bobby Clark had something to do with that trade.....

Instead, we get rid of Upshall, and bring in no defensive help while the rest of the division got better with their trades.

- Joe

12:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe -

The Morning Crew blew pretty hard about the billionaire thing earlier today.

Here's the catch: It's hard not to be a "billionaire" when Forbes counts the team as an asset worth $1.06 billion.

Are the Eagles greedy? Sure they are. Every business is. It's kind of the nature of the beast. We could debate the merits, but at the end of the day, businesses (including those in the entertainment business) exist to make money.

The Eagles will charge what the market will allow. I'm very selective when purchasing tickets (or anything else) and have been for many years. Before I spend hard-earned cash, I always ask the following question: Do I accept the value I receive in return? When the answer is no, I don't complete the transaction voluntarily.

I get the fact that this sucks and I wish you could get your tickets at an affordable price...

Ed Wade

7:11 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble -

I've never hear of "puss cake" before. What does it taste like?

BTW, Werth has a pulled groin. Egad.


7:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mean guy -

I'm not sure we can use Joe Montana as a comp. Have any other really good 32-year-old QB's fetched a 1st or 2nd rounder (I don't have a clue)?

Ed Wade

7:22 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble -

Here's last year's line on a genuine "puss cake" who we all agreed needed to leave Philadelphia:

Gavin Floyd:

206 IP (17-8) 3.84 ERA, 145 SO.

I know he needed to leave, but can you remember my saying he had the ability to succeed?


7:29 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I'm not sure we can use Joe Montana as a comp. Have any other really good 32-year-old QB's fetched a 1st or 2nd rounder (I don't have a clue)?

really good 32-year old QBs rarely get traded. i can't think of one.

kurt warner was probably the last 32-year old (once) good QB who switched teams, but he was considered washed-up when he did. the rams couldn't get anyone to trade for him and ended up cutting him.

warner's thumb has since healed...

10:18 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

BTW, Werth has a pulled groin. Egad.

i don't know about you, but i've been worried about werth all spring. he came into this season waaay too full of himself after his little bit of success last season.

he's a karma smackdown waiting to happen.

10:21 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

He is still a top 12 QB, but knowing he has only 2-3 years left and the fact that he has not been stellar in the spotlight certainly would make most teams skittish.

bumble, i know you have your issues with mcnabb, but there aren't 11 QBs in the league better than him.

here are the top 30 passers from last season

Drew Brees - yes
Jay Cutler - no
Kurt Warner - maybe
Donovan McNabb
Peyton Manning - yes
Aaron Rodgers - no
David Garrard - no
Brett Favre - NO
Matt Cassel - maybe
Jason Campbell - no
Eli Manning - no
Philip Rivers - yes
Chad Pennington - no
Ben Roethlisberger - yes
Kyle Orton - no
Tony Romo - no
Marc Bulger - no
Matt Ryan - maybe
Joe Flacco - no
Tyler Thigpen - no
Kerry Collins - no
Jake Delhomme - no
Matt Schaub - no
Jeff Garcia - no

at worst, he's the 8th best QB in the nfl.

QB is tough to play and no QB is perfect. if you want improvement on the team, i really wish you would focus your attention elsewhere. there are plenty of other positions that are easier to upgrade and need to be upgraded.

to me, it makes no sense to want to see the birds trade mcnabb. cassel was never a realistic trade option, my sense is that he was going to the chiefs no matter what.

mcnabb is more than good enough to win the superbowl if the team around him is better.

ben roethlisberger played the worst game a superbowl QB has played and won a superbowl. if mcnabb was on that team, he would be a superbowl champion. would that change who he is or just how he is perceived?

if the eagles had better players surrounding him during his tenure, the eagles would have won a superbowl already. QBs don't win superbowls by themselves -- even tom brady.

10:41 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

The morning crew in particular is out of control.

it is a little worse than usual, but certainly not out of character for them.

i've said this before, but i believe angelo cataldi is a public menace and has a very negative impact on our city.

10:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMG, I am not implying there are 11 QB better, there are not. He is actually probably a top 6 QB. That said, he has flaws. Take big game short comings out of the mix and he is uber sensitive, which in Philly is a brutal trait. However, he is still an upper tier guy. But for Chrissakes let's not just say it's not his fault he's lost 4 of 5 NFC championship games. Yes he needs better weapons, but he has to make more big plays at the end of those games instead of a pick vs. the Rams, a pick vs. the Bucs, and 4 poorly thrown balls vs. Arizona.

But he is not THE problem. My exercise was purely theoretical. I don't like cutting loose both OT in one off season (Runyan is injured and may not play again). I don't like watching the Giants continue to grow depth and skill on their defense while you really sit back. I do know they'll try to get something done because they cannot use 12 picks (although they failed to do so a few years back and used all 12 picks for minimal return). I am not screaming for trading the farm for Anquan Boldin, I just wnat to see them address glaring needs like FB, blocking TE, OL (I think Jackson is a glaring hole that has not even been discussed), and RB. If they fill those needs wisely, I'll be pretty happy.

I am also not gung ho on making Sean Andrews an OT as he is a dominant OG with speed and strength who can blow out NG and DT and can lead on sweeps and screens and just eliminate would be tacklers. He may be a very talented OT, but he is a stud OG. I'd prefer Herremans and Stacey Andrews at OT, Andrews and Gilles at OG, and a new OC.

Lots of Phils with little tweak injuries. Charlie looks like he is getting pissed at the lack of at bats some people are taking. Championship hangover for a few guys?

Puss cake is my favorite put down big Ed, well maybe my second favorite next to deuche bag.


11:51 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

But for Chrissakes let's not just say it's not his fault he's lost 4 of 5 NFC championship games. Yes he needs better weapons, but he has to make more big plays at the end of those games instead of a pick vs. the Rams, a pick vs. the Bucs, and 4 poorly thrown balls vs. Arizona.

i'm not saying that he's faultless in those losses. i'm saying it's not productive to focus on improving the QB position.

he is what he is. are there better QBs than him? yes, definitely. what's the likelihood of getting a better QB than him in the next 2-3 seasons? less than 5% i'd say.

so the productive thing, imo, would be to think of the QB position as a fixed resource. understand his strengths *and* his limitations and then improve the team around him such that they can win despite the fact that he's not perfect.

if the team was better, not great just better. the eagles would have already won a superbowl despite mcnabb's limitations.

the QB position is the hardest one to play and the hardest one to upgrade. we've gotten good enough play from him to win a superbowl if the team around him had been better.

does that absolve him from responsibility? no, but to keep hammering him is only productive if you sense that he's not trying his best or playing his heart out -- but i think he is.

he hasn't been good enough to take the teammates he's had to the top. ok, definitely true. so given how hard it is to upgrade at QB. let's get him some better teammates!

as a comparison, would you look at ryan howard/chase utley/jimmy rollins differently now if the role players who had such a huge impact on the world series run hadn't come through when they did?

none of them played particularly well in the world series. none of them "led" their team to the title. would we be killing them if their teammates hadn't luckily chipped in when necessary?

12:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I totally agree with TMG on 5. If we all agree that he's a top 8 or top 6 QB, then what's the point of pointing out the flaws of a top quartile player? As such, I vow to not mention or discuss McNabb on this site until June.

And I'm going on a non-Reid commenting during spell for effectively the same reasons. He's a good coach who isn't going anywhere, so what's the point of discussing his short comings?

1:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"none of them played particularly well in the world series. none of them "led" their team to the title. would we be killing them if their teammates hadn't luckily chipped in when necessary?"

I'm totally with you in the McNabb wars, TMG, but this particular analogy doesn't resonate with me. Baseball is a unique game. It takes 50+ games to separate wheat from chaffe. Few fans understand this, so I like to keep pointing it out. It's not uncommon for great players to look mediocre over short spans.

Baseball statistics are incredibly meaningful, but even more incredibly dependent on time. To simplify, great hitters hit the ball hard more frequently than average hitters. Over the course of several hundred at bats this shows up in (slightly) higher batting averages, etc. The advantage translates into a handful of games over the course of the 162-game season. In baseball, star players get you to the playoffs. If they play significantly better than role players during the playoffs, it is a happy coincidence.

That's not to say that some players don't rise and fall with the occasion. They do. Manny likes the spotlight, for example, and seems to play his best ball in the playoffs. The thing you really need to look at, however, is not the result (hits, for example), but rather how frequently a player hits the ball hard.

From my perspective, Howard, Rollins & Utley looked fine this year, as opposed to say Utley last year or Soriano any year. The uninformed fan may have blamed the stars if the bottom of the lineup hadn't produced for the Phils, but the criticism would have been based on a superficial understanding of the game.

The NFL is different. It is a playmakers league. The quarterback is the most important playmaker. While I'll take Don anyday, I think it is more fair for critics to look at his specific performance (passing average, for example) in "big games," than it is to look at Jimmy Rollis' batting average.

I'm probably pointing this out more for Bumble's benefit than yours, just in case Cole Hammels gives up a few runs in his first start....

Just having fun with you, Bumble.

Ed Wade

7:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ed, I would take the exact opposite position. Baseball has 9 starters total, while football has 22 so each player has less influence overall. The pitcher has much more control over the game than a QB since a pitcher can make plays entirely on his own (strike outs), while a QB has to pass the ball. Just because baseball has more games shouldn't impact what individual plays contribute to the total. And if you want to say that a QB is most of the team, then just ask yourself how many games Philly would win with Justice starting at OT.

9:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Well, I guess no amount of wheeling and dealing by the Eagles during the draft will make up for the lack FA movement. The Eagles have lost a lot of "names" this off-season, but no big impact players. Still, I'm a little surprised they haven't made more of an impact (a la Samuels last year).

4:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're a great team Phil. They're all set, no need to upgrade anywhere. Lurie, Banner, and Reid invented football and don't you forget it!


9:07 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, there's only one great team each year. The Eagles are one of the 4 very good teams.

That said, I agree they've been a bit slow so far. Not sure who they should have signed though. Who do you think they should have brought on?

7:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they generally do a good job. I do not understand why they underestimate the need for certain things-a WR who can make a difference (when they throw 65% of the time), veteran leadership, more than 1 RB who can play. I hope they address those areas. I personally would've liked to see them make a run at Canty because he is a good run stopper and their D ends stop the run poorly. It was a double whammy seeing the Giants sign him. That was the only signing they didn't make that would've interested me.


12:25 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Yeah, there really wasn't much out there this year.

Further proof that draft grades are silly:

Just wow.

1:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ed, I would take the exact opposite position. Baseball has 9 starters total, while football has 22 so each player has less influence overall."

With all due respect, Phil, you've missed my point by a margin wide enough to discourage an additional response. Sorry I've created this confusion.

Ed Wade

7:26 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any truth to the story that the Eagles will trade 5 for Peyton Manning?

I really like this trade. Manning is pretty decent, makes a great commercial, and seems like he could hold up to the pressure in Philadelphia.

It might also embolden the Birds to sign Marvin Harrison.

The countdown thr Superbowl is on.

7:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Great googly-moogly. 5 for Peyton makes no sense for either team. Manning holds up well in a small market town like Indy, but would be exposed in Philly to be just like every other QB.

And Harrison is d-u-n done. He's been a #2 WR for several years now, which is what we have an overabundance of these days.

Ed, I guess I took exception to the "playmakers" comment which I think applies to baseball as much so as football. Now you want to call football a QB driven league, then I wouldn't have any problem with that.

8:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, Phil...

Trading 5 for Peyton would make just a little sense for Philadelphia, wouldn't it?

11:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peyton is an interesting case. I actually think he has shown some tendency to choke in big spots in his career and would definitely be under heavy spotlight here. He'd also run a much worse offense than he is accustomed to, so his jibber jabber at the line would not really be a factor. I am not sure he'd be much of an upgrade over McSoft either. It takes apretty unique individual to be able to block it all out and just win football games here. McNabb has for the most part done that.


11:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, I'm not sure PHI's offense is worse than IND's, but it is vastly different. Manning has only ever been in the one system. Who knows? Maybe he's the ultimate system QB. He's also much less mobile than 5 who still runs every now and again.

6:07 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, Bumble.

So now 5 AND Peyton are suspect players in the big spot?

I guess Brady is a little questionable also. After all, he did lose the last big game he playes, and now he's a gimp. What have you done for me lately?

Maybe we can get Batman or Superman to play QB next year??

Probably not, those guys are wimps, hiding behind false identities. Never make it in Philly...

8:22 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love anonymous posts. Way to show you believe in what you wrote. Dude if you want to bust my balls, at least have the fucking stem to sign your name off on it so we can exchange our positions a bit! I'll absolutely defend my stance with anyone, but this whole drive by blog stuff makes me wonder. It seems like we all share opinions pretty freely here, why the hell wouldn't you want to engage on this issue that you obviously stand on the opposite side of the fence? Isn't that what makes this all sort of fun?

My only point was that Manning had been absolutely terrible, TERRIBLE in big spots his entire college AND pro career until 2006 when he mounted a huge comeback vs. the Pats and led the team to a SB win. I am not sure his career has been that different than Don except for one championship season. He is very poised and picks apart certain defenses very well (Birds, surprisingly the Ravens), but he also sucks against certain defenses (Chargers, Cowboys). In the end, he is probably only slightly better, so I'd keep Don, gaping flaws and all.

And I know, I know, I am a jerk for castigating McNabb. I get it. I mean it's not every QB who can lose 4 of 5 NFC championship games, consistently forget how to run the 2 minute drill (i.e. the Super Bowl) and doesn't even know the damned OT rules! But hey, that's as good as we all deserve.


9:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, there are times when I in all seriousness believe we DON'T deserve even that much in a QB. While I don't agree with the media's obsession with Philly fans, stereo types usually start somewhere.

I think anon is just cheesed off we won't rise to his/her rumor bait. The only QB more entrenched in his current role than Peyton is probably Brady so it's pretty silly just on the face of it.

4:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry guys -

Wasn't trying to hide, I just don't always remember to sign my name at the bottom, especially in consecutive posts.

1. I was KIDDING about a potential trade between the Colts & Birds. No way in hell the Colts trade Peyton for anybody, nor should they.

2. I love Donovan and I want the Eagles to keep him for several more years; he's more than good enough to win the SB with the right team around him.

3. As much as I love 5, Peyton is WAY better; he's one of the top 5 QBs to have ever played in my humble opinion. And he makes better commercials than any jock ever.

4. Bumble, you are brutal with respect to evaluating pro players. Where's the caring and sharing guy that I know and love?

Ed Wade
Ed Wade
Ed Wade

5:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I'm brutal. I defended Donovan to detractors for years when he'd play small ina big spot. I used to fend off illogical arguments from passionate, emotional Birds fans daily at McM. I said Don wa sthe best QB they'd ever have and I believe that. However, he just isn't that likeable and he does come up small in the biggest spots.

I'm hard on kendrick? The guy who looks like a 10 year old about to cry every time he throws a bad pitch? Is that really unfair?

I'm hard on Gavin Floyd, the guy who did bite his lip and well up several times on the mound?

I'm hard on people who get paid to be better than they are. I don;t care about sucking, but I cannot stand a pussy and when I see that behavior, I am on it like a piranha on an unfortunate river cow.

Sorry Ed, I have compassion but I like a little more fortitude out of my pro sports teams. I love Runyan. He is not the best OT in the world, but he plays every week and always mans up. That is my kind of guy. Don throwing the race card or whining a bout media treatment or basically throwing his entire D under the bus after the AZ game. What's to be sympathetic about there?

Mike Richards-stud. Danny Briere-overpaid pussy

Allen Iverson-toughest man to ever don a basketball jersey in this town. Glenn "big dog" Robinson-complete pussy

I could go on and on, but you probably see the point I'm making.


8:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, you raise an interesting question: would you rather have a lower performing team stocked with players you love (Dawkins, Runyan) or a much better team with the occassional player you think is a bit weak? Not players you want to actively root against (say Pacman, Irvin, etc.), but just players you feel blah about.

At first blush, I think I'd definitely prefer to have the better performing team. 2 wins might not sound like a lot in football, but that's 2 more weeks of higher spirits than I'd otherwise have. The answer might even change with the sport. Baseball's got so many more opportunities for Ws and Ls that it might be more worth it to have players you enjoy following.

7:41 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love underdogs-I am very biased. i love Chris Coste and yes I acknowledge that he is neither great nor will he make the varsity squad this Spring, but I love someone who plays as hard as he can, seems to be a good man, and just neve rgave up on his dream. I always root for a guy like him. Ditto Dawk and Runyan.

That said, if a guy I don't like can win me a championship, then sign me up. TO would've set new records with Don and I would've even kept him after his 2006 blow up if he could just learn to at least keep to himself because the guy has freakish, God-given talent.

It is a very interesting question young Phillip. I must ponder.


10:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor is that the Giants are heavily interested in swinging a deal for Braylon Edwards. Boy they really do a great job with talent procurement and making good deals. Why can't the Eagles get creative and upgrade obvious areas of need? What have the Birds ever done for Don to get him a WR? And don't say TO because that deal fell in their lap after Don and TO pretty much brokered it.


1:07 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble, you answered your own question. The Eagles let Don convince them to bring in T.O. despite the fact that if you look at how they conduct business as usual, they NEVER would have done. The Eagles won't make that mistake twice. They will follow their equation no matter what from now on. Remember, despite not having won the big game, they have generated HUGE amounts of cash for the owners. Blowing millions and having a media nightmare that destroys your locker room isn't worth it, literally. They simply look at it from a business stand point. Who is the best player for the money that would "fit"? WR is hardest to answer because they're all generally narcissistic asshole divas. So, you get someone you can control.


1:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said Joe. As a fan, very disappointing. I want the best talent, I don't care about lining ownership pockets. Top teams sacrifice a few extra sheckles to win it all. The elite teams have a "win it all attitude", the Birds seem to have a "win it most profitably" attitude. No one is right or wrong, they're both successful models, but one values fans more than the other and it's just frustrating to know we'll never kick it up that necessary extra notch.


3:06 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, I think there are several problems to the question I asked. First, is there's no way to quantify how many Ws you'll give up for Fan Favorite X. I think if you could accurately say that you'll only give up 1 or 2 wins to keep/get say 6 really good "Philly-type" guys then most people (myself included) would probably make that trade.

The second problem is that there's a fine line between "Philly-type" guys playing hard, giving it their all, bleeding green all over the place and those same guys getting torched for 1 long TD per game or giving up a huge sack as you're heading down for a winning drive, etc. Dawk was getting to that point before he turned it around. So there's a quantifiable shelf life to these types of guys and more times than not (many, many, MANY more times), these guys play past that point and tarnish their legacies.

The third problem is how do you go about getting these guys? If you try and get them young, there's a good chance they'll never be the character, Philly type guy. More likely, they won't produce enough to ever get to be a fan favorite. Reno Mahe is the perfect example here. I doubt the Eagles have had a harder working, blue collar type guy on the team since Reid has been in charge, but the fans could never get past a couple muffed punts or so-so RB performance. This guy squatted in small apartment and worked a second job to send $$ back to his wife and kids in HI, but he never got any credit for all that. He gave the Eagles 4 times what Via Sikahema ever did, but only gets derision when he's remembered if he's ever even remembered.

3:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, I don't see that as the issue. Philly's not had an issue paying out large contracts (Samuels, Runyan, McNabb, Kearse, TO) to players they like. Would you rather see them waste money signing washed up talent like the Redskins? not sure how that helps.

3:18 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm hard on kendrick? The guy who looks like a 10 year old about to cry every time he throws a bad pitch? Is that really unfair?

I'm hard on Gavin Floyd, the guy who did bite his lip and well up several times on the mound?"

--Sometimes I want to bite my lip and cry when I try to do my job also. Unfortunately for me, I'm not better than 99.95% of the people in the world who try to peddle industrial hardware.

--Maybe because I have a soon-to-be 10 year old, I'm a little easier on these kids (Kendrick and Floyd) than you are?

--With respect to McNabb, he's an adult and fair game for abuse. He makes mistakes and sometimes isn't the greatest player who ever lived. He's pretty damn good, however, and I'll take him any day.

I get the fact that you expect alot from professional athletes, Bumble, but sometimes I think you lose a little context and perspective.

I bet all the guys you rail about are trying pretty hard. There doesn't seem to be a lot of room in your world for anything short of perfection. You're setting yourself up for a whole ton of letdown.

Maybe I am also, as I just spent a wad of cash to see Third Eye Blind in AC on 5/15. I never took this type of flyer on the Stones after 1972, so you know the type of emotional risk I'm taking...

Ed Wade

10:45 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't expect perfection, I do expect at least 50/50 mix of hits and misses. Don in big games has not performed at that level. He is more 10% hits, 90% misses. Not good enough. Heck I'd've been happy had they been to 3 of 5 SB.

My other point Ed is that sometimes you need to cut bait on guys who don't seem to have "it". Kendrick doesn't have "it", neither does Floyd. They do some good things, but their mental make up is pretty weak and in big spots, those type of guys let you down. Then you get guys like Victorino who seems to elevate his game in big spots.

This isn't about me being a perfectionist. I think sometimes you tie the real world and the sports world too closely together, Ed. They aren't the same. Of course I wouldn't beat on a bunch of 10 year olds for striking out. Of course I didn't and won't beat on a human being for making an error every 5000 times they do a process. This isn't about life, it is about sports. I'm sorry, but I do watch sports for more than the thrill of being amused or entertained. I'd sort of like to see my team rise above odds or just meet expectations in a big spot every now and again. Seeing Steve Jeltz air guitaring to man in the mirror is the kind of funny thing I'd never forget, but it would never outweigh seeing Brad Lidge throw strike three to win the world series. It would never outweigh Chase Utely's fake to first and then throw home to prevent the Rays from taking the lead. I've seen enough air guitar and funny third person references in this town, let's see some championships. Loved seeing Freddie Mitchell say "I just want to thank my hands". Heck I quote it weekly! Sure would've preferred seeing Freddie do something, anything to help the Birds win the SB vs. the Pats.

We may just view sports differently, but I think the Birds have had the talent to win a few SB in the last 10 years and for one reason or another, when the lights got brighter, they didn't get it done. It hasn't been for lack of trying, and I'm sure the players are all nice guys, but that doesn't really matter. At some point people need to get it done. The Phils raised the bar for me big time. Not the best team, just a bunch of guys who stepped up and got it done when they had their shot, a shot most of them will probably never have again. I'd love to see the Eagles take advantage of that shot someday.


10:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yes, no one jeers us when we only perform at 99.5% accuracy/usefulness on our job, but we also don't get paid millions of dollars and get publicly showered with adulation and praise everywhere we go. Sorry, it's part of the deal. The bigger the rewards, the bigger the expectations. It's not all about money, but when you're that much better than most of the world at a skill, you're expected to step up in big spots instead of crying on the mound. If I ever cried after receiving critical feedback, I'd expect to be laughed at, mocked, and immediately fired on the spot for being too soft. Fair or unfair, survival of the fittest does not tolerate guys who whimper and wither in the face of a challenge.


10:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble -

Let me strip this down to its core and get back to my main point.

Forget about Steve Jeltz (assuming that's possible), Kyle Kendrick, and Gavin Floyd.

You seem to feel that Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning somehow don't measure up. You focus on their failures in the "big game."

I'm suggesting that by your standards, it's virtually impossible to be satisfied, and as a result you're setting yourself up for misery.

Competing against complete freaks of nature, the best the world has to offer, both Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning have enjoyed special careers. They are both enormously talented and successful by any reasonable standard.

That's all I'm saying.


7:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do think Peyton is better than McNabb by the way and he has stepped up, but he did have a lot of mis-steps throughout his career before he grabbed the brass ring. I can only hope Don does the same on his 7th or 8th try.

Someone has to step up in a big spot to win the SB. Maybe it is unfair to Don because he is the trigger man and a lot of other people also failed to step up. I will grant that as fair. But bottom line he has not played well in the tiny windows of time in big spots that required him to play well. He was atrocious beyond reproach in the last few minutes of the SB, he was awful in the last drive vs. AZ this year, he was generally bad during the whole Tampa game. Did he do good things those games, absolutely. If he rallies the Birds vs. AZ this year, that would have been the most epic performance of his ever. He did not.

I just don't think I set the bar unrealistically. To just sit back and watch the game and say "gosh these guys really try hard and I bet they're nice guys too, who cares that they choked again" is not realistic. That's not what being a fan is about. It's OK to be disappointed and frustrated with that and expect some alterations, Ed. I still love Don and all of the Birds, but this current crop and coaching staff is NEVER going to win the big one, not ever. Some will argue that what they have is better than most teams and we should stay status quo because they'll have a snowball's shot in hell and I see that side of the argument. I look at the other side and say "OK, we all know this group doesn't have "it", let's keep turning it over and find a group that does" Maybe Don has "it" with the right cats around him. OK Birds brass, do something more aggressive about getting the right cats around him. Go get Gonzalez. Figure out a way to get an impact WR to complement the talented Jackson and Curtis. Get deeper at RB.

It isn't about unrealistic expectations. The organization tells me to have gold standard expectations, so I have them. To me, gold standard means actually winning something, not making the most gold for the owners. Now maybe Pat Gillick had it right when he told the fans to "expect nothing for a few years" prior to trading for Moyer and then they win it all in 2 years. Maybe that is the key. Tell the fans to expect the limestone standard and be pleasantly surprised with copper or even gold.


10:04 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never get that pumped for it, but I am actually excited dofr the draft this year. I really wnat to grab Moreno-Westbrook part 2. I love 2 later first round picks and I think they should grab 4-5 players in the draft to help next year.


9:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, I take you'd advocate staying late in round 1 and grabbing 2 players vs. moving up? Seems like you're no better than 50/50 in round 1 no matter where you pick after 10 or so, so why not up your odds? I'd also like to see them trade their four 5th round picks and 2 6th rounds for a couple more 2s and 3s.

5:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Make that definitely more 2s than 3s, but at least up out of the 5th round where they don't have much luck.

8:51 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

And I think the conclusion from that link is: WE NEED MORE TMG!

8:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yessir. I would not, NOT trade up. There will be plenty of talent where they're picking. I do like trying to move a bunch of later round picks for more 3rds (no one will trade 2nds). I see a few mock drafts that have them taking OT and either RB or TE. I am excited about the prospect of any of that combination.


11:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Would most fans be OK with sitting put and picking best available though? I somehow think WIP would rip the Eagles for that.

3:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WIP is full of morons. I only listen to Anthony and Glen now as they are somewhat sports knowledgeable.

In the interest of conversation, would you trade McNabb for Cutler? Denver gets the better of that deal for the next 2 years, the Birds get the better from 3 years on. Cutler is a whiny little bitch, but he can play more than a little bit. Interesting as there are different short and long term benefits.


5:37 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I'm not sold on his LT benefits. He's not proven that he can win the big game. Definitely not.

9:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that is your argument and reason for not doing the deal, I'd argue that neither has Don. 1 for 6 in big game chances isn't exactly shining in big games.

Cutler is moody and seems somewhat soft, but he has a good arm and is well-schooled in a similar offensive scheme, so the learning curve would be small. He was one of the league passing leaders last year.

I do think the media would devour this guy, however.

On a different note, I think McDaniel is going to be another Pats failure as a head coach a la Crennel and Frodo Mangini. What has this 32 year old actually done to warrant the keys to a franchise besides coach on the Patriots staff, which we all know is driven by Belichek's defensive genius and Brady's field general skills.


9:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I was basically using that for your benefit, Bumble. He throws a lot of picks (18 last year), which isn't what I like to see. Point's moot now with him in Chicago.

And you forgot Weis in South Bend. The more Belicheck's assistants flame out elsewhere, the better he looks cause SOMEONE's winning them all those games.

1:26 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me or did the Bears get bent over hard on this trade? I know they want a franchise QB, but 2 firsts and a third and a QB for a QB that denver could not have possibly kept? Makes no sense.


4:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Got this from PFT:

“Here’s what’s happening, which I think is really interesting to see if this trend plays out: That old trade chart that all the teams used to use, it began to go out the window last year and I think, like the economy, it’s completely out the window,” Mayock said. “So, I think any team in the top 10 that’s looking to get out will listen to any reasonable offer. And more than ever teams are looking to get down to 15 to 25 because you can get the same kind of player at 20 than you can at seven, and you pay one-third the money.”

So how dumb would the Eagles be to trade up? Conversely, how dumb would they have to be not to use one of those 1s and a 3 to get Boldin? You want to talk about a "Philly guy"! Dude breaks his face and is playing 2 weeks later.

8:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT trade by the Birds. Kept 21 and now have 2 bookened young OT. I don't know how good Peters is, but the experts like him so he must be halfway decent. Good day.


11:06 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Peters has had motivation issues in the past. Will he play every down? I sure hope so.

I guess a trade for Boldin with the other 1st round pick is out of the question. Tossing Boldin another $9 million per year would probably be too much money devoted to the offense, right?

7:44 AM EDT  

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