Saturday, January 09, 2010

Raw Disappointment

Tonight, I am The Unhappy Apologist.

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32 Comments:

Blogger David said...

There is no shame in losing to a markedly better team and that is what they did. I need to calm down and rationally look at who should be resigned and who should be shown the door, but many many changes need to occur to improve.

Bumble

11:43 PM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

Bumble, I don't know that "many, many" changes need to be made. This team did manage to get into the playoffs after all.

Do changes need to be made? Yes. But this team was handicapped all year long by a LB corp decimated by injuries. Who knows how things would have turned out if Bradley et al hadn't gone down?

2:14 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

I'd look to upgrade almost every position.

LT-over rated but decent enough to stay on. Forget the pro bowl as those are name recognition games, he was average for most of the year. I'd bet he can be better and he showed a few flashes, but speed rushers kill him.

LG-I like Herremans, he can play T or G and he doesn't get bullied around

C-Jackson-who knows if he'll play again and they cannot go into the season with Cole

RG-Cole needs help with everyone. Too tiny for the NFL. Maybe an Andrews steps up, but I wouldn't hold my breath

RT-Justice-weak. Gets pushed around by decent DE. They should upgrade here

TE-Celek-stud, elite TE for years to come

FB-Weaver-stud. Resign him tomorrow

RB-Westbrook, McCoy. Brian is done, Lesean lacks that elite speed. They need another impact player here via the draft

WR-Jackson-good but showed he can be physically dominated by elite CB as he was the last 3 weeks. What seemed like a no brainer contract redo now has doubts given hsi disappearance over the last month. 4 yard TD aside, he did zippo in the last 3 games against great competition at CB. He needs to shut his mouth and work harder to become that elite WR who cannot be contained by anyone. he is that good.

WR-Maclin. Needs to hit the weight room and catch more balls that hit him in the hands, but promising

WR-Avant. Stud. Catches everything. Not sure why they go entire games not throwing to him

WR-Brown-should've been cut 3 years ago. Not sure why he's still here

QB-McSadpuppydog. On his better days (2nd Giants game), he is a great player. On his average days, he can still make plays. On his bad days, he is absolutely horrible. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer great days, many average days, and too frequent bad days at this point. I saw all I needed to see the last two weeks. Move along to Kolb. keep Vick as the back-up and try to get some sort of value for Donovan. Not sure how many takers there'd be for an 11 year vet who fluctuates madly all year and always comes up small in big spots.

So 2 new OL, a new QB, another RB weapon. That is all doable via free agency, in house, and draft.

D to follow.

Bumble

2:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By trading McNabb and cutting Westbrook, would the Eagles free up enough cap space to do something significant with FA? Don's had a wonderful career here, but his best isn't enough. Don't know how good Kolb can be, but I think it's time to find out. Hate to see Don go, but I think the Eagles need to turn the page for a variety of reasons.

Hard to predicate an O line resurgence on the Andrews sisters, isn't it?

What happened to Sheldon Brown? Is he just hurt?

I'm pretty confident Reid can turn this around quickly, but I think he'll need to turn over 25% of the roster (probably not uncommon in football, I'm guessing). Should be an interesting off season.

Wonder if NE wants to dump Tom Brady.

4:09 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Part 2-The D

This is where the Birds need to make wholesale changes. One off season won't get it done.

First of all, I would change to a 3-4 and completely rethink the philosophy of not drafting LB. Tema srunning the 3-4 tend to manufacture better pressure and need fewer big men up front which seem to be in high demand.

DE-I am not a huge Trent Cole guy. He struggles badly vs. the run and tends to get eaten alive by halfway decent OT-see the last 3 weeks. I'd try to trade him while he still has some value from meaningless pro bowls made or I would convert to the 3-4 which would enable him to play less head up on LT.

Parker is a weird guy. He shows brilliant flashes and then he just disappears. Generates very little pass rush but plays the run well. I'd keep him.

Abiamiri-another Notre Dame dud drfat. Cut and move on.

Howard-old but flexible and can play inside as well. I'd keep for the right price.

DT-Patterson. Not an elite guy and he put too much weight on this off season. Needs to lose 20 pounds and play lighter and faster.

Bunkley-looks like Tarzan, often plays like Jane. I'd call him a near bust given the fact that he has not made one big play in his 4 years. I expect a guy drafted in his slot to be an impact player and he's not. If they could unload him, may be worth while as he is not a 3-4 nose and Patterson could be.

Laws-another Notre Dame bust. Stop drafting from there.

LB-this is where they have their biggest mess. In reality they need to blow this whole thing up and start over. I'd get at least 2 free agents and draft some high LB as well. Their lack of LB really got exposed this year and teams will keep doing that.

Bradley-I have doubts he'll ever play again. Tough to come back from major knee injuries in both knees. Shame because he has talent and toughness, although he does get tied up too easily.

Gocong. A wise man once said, "If you need an LB, draft a guy who plays LB, not a DE". This experiemnt failed badly. Can't cover anyone, doesn't ever make impact plays. Cut and move on.

Jordan-another average to below average NFL LB. Too small to get out of the mush. Probably a special teams player who should only remain in that role and as a spot LB.

Gaither. I actually like him, but the coaches don't, so not sure what he has. he's no worse than Jordan, but not an impact player and easy to upgrade.

CB-Don't be fooled or sentimental, they have huge problems here.

Brown-tough guy, played good soldier, but do NOT be fooled into giving him a contract based on what he was in 2003. He cannot cover anyone. Dallas picked on him all night. If you have a solid 1, then he's OK, but he isn't because...

Samuel-terrible fundamentals. Funny, another case of 1 stat making you a pro bowl player. Yes he can pick off passes..sometimes except when they hit him between the twos. Last night Dallas just toyed with him all night and took advantage of his bad habits in both pass and run game. He is not worth the huge cap hit he costs. I suspected when Belichek let an "elite" CB go, there had to be a problem.

Safety-Slow, unphysical, and poor coverage. they've got them in spades. None of their safeties is any good. They should deep six all of them and start over.


Bumble

7:28 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

K-Akers. Good year. I buried him before, but maybe he can still hit that 40-44ish range consistently. Forget kickoffs into the end zone, but he never had that.

P-Rocca is terrible. Too inconsistent and never hits a huge punt in a huge spot.

KR-Lots of people who can do it, no one who does it very well. Need to find that person. He may already be on the roster.

PR-Jackson is great, I just wish he would sometimes stop the dancing and looking for 6 and plunge forward for 8 vs. backward for -6.

So in reality, I am saying they need 2 new DL, 3 new LB, and 3-4 new secondary. Not gonna happen in one year. However, they need to address a lot of areas here to stay competitive.

Just one guy's thoughts.

Bumble

7:28 PM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

Bumble, so their biggest position concern is LB and you want them to switch to a scheme that makes them play an EXTRA man there? Where's the IronyPolice when you need them?

I'm not a talent guy so can't really comment on your position grades. I would say the OL was playing pretty well together before Jackson went out so maybe they're not as far away here as you think.

7:40 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

LB is their weakest position. i am saying that I would convert to the 3-4 and go get the guys who can run it. That system allows for extra DB when needed and better blitz schemes, which seems like their preference. I am just saying that maybe the 3-4 would be a better overall defense for where they seem to want to go. Maybe not. But yes, they lack the LB to convert right now.

10:52 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They got schooled by a better team. Better athletes, better scheme, better game plan. I'm in agreement with Bumble about wholesale changes need to be made. With the rebuilding that needs to take place, no sense doing that with Don here, let Kolb get in and really show what he's capable of. We saw flashed against KC and NO this year. Bwest is done and it pains me to say that bc he's one of my favorite players, but he can't run anymore and has no burst. We finally have some stud rcvrs and FB, but no halfback - Im not sold on McCoy. Defense....bad, bad, bad. Yes they made the playoffs, but if you look at the teams they beat this year to compile their 11 wins, you'll see that the schedule definitely worked in their favor. When you get your a** handed to you in consecutive weeks by a division rival in the 2 biggest games of the season (and yes, week 16 was monumentally important) it's evident that you're not good enough. AR is Lurie's boy, so he goes nowhere, but I see Don's run as being over here. Does Favre retire after this season ? Maybe Don ends up in Minnesota for a another run at the big one, a la Randle in the 90's ?? Interesting offseason for sure. Buckle in fella's, there is some spectacular football coming up in the next few weeks.

Captain

1:23 PM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

I would be willing to bet anyone here any amount of money they choose that McNabb will be back for another year. If they were convinced that Kolb was the guy, then he'd ALREADY be the guy. This is not a team that lets contracts dictate what they do (see Kearse, Simon, Sheppard, etc).

6:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil, is Kolb signed for next season or do the Birds have to make a decision on him?

Ed

7:29 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Phil,

Not to quibble, but every example you listed was a guy who should've been released at least a year earlier than he was and was held only because his contract that mattered (signing bonus) was not paid off. I argue the exact opposite point-they let contracts dictate everything. DO it on their terms (2 years in so they can lock you into a long term positive deal for them that underpays you), you're in. Do it on your terms (see if you can get fair market value), then you're dead and gone as soon as your signing bonus is off the books.

The question for me is, do they do the right thing and re-sign Weaver?

Ed-Kolb has one year left on his deal, so they can keep him.

Bumble

8:27 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil, I don't think they knew if Kolb was the guy before the season, and with the quality rcvrs they have and retooled offensive line, it looked like they night have a shot after making the NFC chamionship last year, so why not take a shot with Mc5. They had no way of knowing Bwest would miss the whole season, that the offensive line would tank, that Bradley would get injured and the defensive secondary would be awful - so you take a shot with the devil you know because on paper he gives you your best chance to win and if everything else holds up maybe they do.
Now that you know what you know, it's clear that now is the time to make that change. You saw Kolb perform pretty well in consecutive games and he needs to play to improve. You need to rebuild your 0-line (again), you have several glaring defensive deficiencies that need to be filled, it's unknown if LeSean is an adequate replacement for BWest, but you definitely need an impact player back there. Why would you keep Mc5 as your QB on this team ?? You're not going to the superbowl next year, and at his age you don't want McNabb as your QB in 2 years anyway. Kolb gets next year to learn and grow. Then in 2011, he is the leader of a team with 2 rounds of offseason acquisitions to fill deficiencies and they build from there. I'm OK with them having McNabb for this past season, I understand why they did it and it made sense to take the shot. Now they have been surpassed by the cowboys and they need to significantly retool - Mc5 is not your QB going forward.

Captain

1:17 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

That was a very sound argument. As I listen to talk radio this week, even Don's ardent supporters indicate that now would be a logical time to turn the page due to the reasons you gave. At 34, he is old. He may have 2-3 years left, but he won't be playing until he is 40. You're stuck with a tough decision as both he and Kolb and Vick are on their last year and you cannot go into 2011 with no QB so you need to extend one. You cannot extend Don and Kolb, makes zero financial sense. If you extend Don, then Kolb is gone and you're left with an aging QB ona relatively young and talented team. If you extend Kolb, then you are moving on from Don. However, Don holds a lot of cards as he won't accept a trade (sign an extension) with just anyone. It would have to be what he deems a good situation (i.e. Vikings after Favre retires yet again after getting hammered by Dallas this weekend). This is a sticky wicket.

I personally would do whatever it took to trade Don and extend Kolb. Two games (one of which he turned the ball over a bunch at bad times, one against one of the 3 worst teams in the league) don't convince me he is the answer, so you also need to sign an able back-up. That is why I would keep Vick. I know that dog lovers hate that thought and I will admit he is not an elite QB, but he has a hose and can still run a bit and has won games in the NFL, including playoff games. I'm sorry, I take that chance.

Or you bring in someone who is a seasoned veteran who gets clipped in a rebuilding/salary cap move and could mentor Kolb or step in-a la Matt Hasselbeck.

Bumble

8:25 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Can we lay a concept out and see if there are any takers?

Reid gets a lot of undeserved praise for his drafts. I will admit that he has some nice young bucks right now, but he has done an absolutely terrible job of retooling O line and D line when he needed to do so.

Laws sucks. A mid second rounder has to be a hit. HAS to be! I know TMG disagrees here, but that was a costly bust.

Justice is only average. They extended him to try and convince the fanbase that they're right, but they aren't. he can't play against good guys. he is not an upgrade over Runyan and he will be a liability against speed rushers his entire career. Miss.

Stacey Andrews may be hurt and recovering from a knee issue, but then why overpay him like you did to deactivate him most weeks. He must be lazy or soft like his brother. HUGE miss.

Peters may be an all pro, but my eyes tell me he is no elite LT. The league must be thin at that position. I won't call this a bust, but this guy is no stud.

Clemons-BUST! Guy makes one play a year.

Abiamiri-I'm still waiting for his potential to come through because after 4 seasons, he is more bust than good.

Otah is a great pick...oh wait, they traded that pick away.

Anthony Spencer is a blossoming stud...oh wait, traded that one too.

This guy supposedly believes in building from his lines outward. Then why do his lines suck so badly? His O line is so bad they got stuffed three times this year on 4th and less than 6 inches despite being one of the fattest groups in the league. His D line got pushed around so badly by Dallas they appeared to be on wheels. These aren't good lines. That fact is the biggest reason-not Don's continual choking, not B Wes's iminent retirement, not Andy's bull headed refusal to establish a running game, not the secondary and linebacking gaping flaws-that they are not advancing this weekend. They got gang raped two weekends in a row by Dallas in the trenches. When your entire lines get mowed down like that, you need to take hard looks at the guys acquiring and coaching that talent.

Just one guy's rants. I am now at peace with everything else-the ass whupping, the small QB play, the atrocious game planning in all game phases. What will chap my ass all off season, especially as an ex lineman, are the posse of creme puffs we trot out on both lines. problems like that don't get fixed overnight, so we could be in for some tough roads.

Bumble

8:35 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just one guy's rants. I am now at peace with everything else-the ass whupping, the small QB play, the atrocious game planning in all game phases. What will chap my ass all off season, especially as an ex lineman, are the posse of creme puffs we trot out on both lines. problems like that don't get fixed overnight, so we could be in for some tough roads.

i agree. time to move him and take a risk on kolb.

i won't miss his whining and his fake joking around whenever things were going haywire, but the bottom line is that he was the best QB we've seen in an eagles uni and it will be tough for kolb to match his production.

i'm hoping for the best -- there are analysts who are very high on him.

can we get a first for mcnabb?

sorry i wasn't around to commiserate with the rest of you, i was out of town. well maybe that's a good thing, i didn't get to experience the citywide funk that usually occurs after a loss...

-- meanguy

8:43 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reid gets a lot of undeserved praise for his drafts. I will admit that he has some nice young bucks right now, but he has done an absolutely terrible job of retooling O line and D line when he needed to do so.

i don't think you can base an assessment on picking and choosing our teams busts and another team's hits. based on what i saw the last time i took a comprehensive look, (couple of years ago, i know), reid fared pretty well compared to the rest of the league. for every trevor laws, there is a desean jackson.

the best drafting team in my analysis was the colts, and they got a productive player in the second round only 50% of the time.

i'm not defending reid blindly. i'm on record as saying i hate his draft philosophy of ignoring size (something that was plainly a factor in the two losses to dallas). i'm just saying that if you're looking at the overall picture, he's pretty darn good at picking productive players -- far better than most.

incidentally, the dallas fans and press were labeling spencer a bust this time last year.

-- meanguy

9:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the eagles know that there would be a fan revolt if they kept mcnabb for another season.

i also think the eagles are too smart to be killing mcnabb and decreasing his trade value. they have to posture like they're going to keep him to maximize the return.

i think if favre plays the same retire game this offseason, that's where mcnabb is headed. there are teams that would love to have him though -- buffalo, cleveland, tampa, skins, jags, raiders come to mind. i wouldn't be surprised to see oakland give up a first to get him. al davis loves the long ball and mcnabb is top 2-3 long ball throwers in the league.

-- meanguy

9:09 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

TMG-I didn't have to pick and choose. It took no thought whatsoever. All I did was look at his last few drafts and free agent signings as well as moves he didn't make that every expert thought he should have to reach my conclusion. It was not a stretch to accumulate this list. the vast bulk of guys he has chosen have under achieved and that is not the recipt for long term success.

Don't think of Laws as the second round. A more accurate comparison would be first plus second round. They traded away a first and Laws was their first pick in 2008. One would think a team is going to hit on early picks in round one and two.

I think Don can draw a second, but this unsure era of potential labor strife will proclude many teams form plunking down major money or picks for a guy on his last few years. he would be a good fit for a team like Minnesota or Carolina or Arizona-teams that have a great foundation and may be a QB away. He would be a wasted pick for those wasteland teams like Tampa, St. Louis, Oakland, Buffalo.

Skins is interesting. I'd actually swap him and Campbell. i think Campbell would be good in one system and I think Reid does a nice job teaching QB fundamentals. Campbell could be a young Don. Yes I am serious.

Bumble

8:03 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

TMG-I didn't have to pick and choose. It took no thought whatsoever. All I did was look at his last few drafts and free agent signings as well as moves he didn't make that every expert thought he should have to reach my conclusion.

can you elaborate on that? i think if you really take a comprehensive look at his entire drafts you'll find that he's done a fine job. looking at a small sample of players is picking and choosing.

the vast bulk of guys he has chosen have under achieved and that is not the recipt for long term success.

take a serious look at his drafts and moves and do the homework and compare comprehensively with what is actually going on. that statement just doesn't compute.

reid stinks as a GM + reid stinks as a coack + reid stinks as a talent evaluator + mcnabb stinks as a QB = playoffs year after year.

take a step back and think about it. if he stinks, what is the rest of the league doing?

8:18 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

by fine job, i'm not implying that he's infallible. or that i even agree with his philosophy (i don't).

by fine job, i mean that by every objective measure he has been a very successful coach and a very successful GM. (seriously, think about it. how many teams have completely rebuilt on the fly with only a blip of a downturn)? not many.

where i think reid fails is in the entertainment department. his teams are not exciting to watch and he builds around finesse players. (note: exciting teams are not the same as having a team with some exciting players).

i hate his lack of emphasis on size.

but to call him a bad talent evaluator? i just don't see any broad justification for that.

9:03 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

regarding the trade that got spencer to the cowboys, i think domo has a fair take on the deal.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/81438652.html?cmpid=15585797

10:22 PM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

TMG nails it. Reid and 5 can't be too bad to keep making the playoffs every year. Sorry, 4 of every 5 years. Someone's doing something very right here.

6:35 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

That is not wehat I said! I didn't say across the board he's an awful drafter. In fact I said

I will admit that he has some nice young bucks right now, but he has done an absolutely terrible job of retooling O line and D line when he needed to do so.

He is doing a terrible job in the trenches. Elsewhere he's made a few nice picks, but in FA and drafts, he isn't getting impact linemen that can move piles and stand stout on D. This is not all encompassing, just along the OL and DL.

Please take a look at what he's done there the past few years and refute me. And don't give the "well other teams don't hit 17.9% of the time" arguments. I don't care about other teams. The teams that are doing well are hitting. So please refute that he's done a bad job on the lines.

Bumble

10:25 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is clear by the posts I've written here over the years that I have a high opinion of Donovan (although I'm firmly in the "move on" camp now),

Having watched Don and Randall for a decade each as an adult, there is no doubt in my mind that Randall was the better player. He threw the ball better, he ran the ball better, and his brand of goofiness and immaturity was far more endearing.

Forget the records, forget the stats. My point is simply this: given the same set of circumstances, surrounding players, coaches, competition, etc, the Birds would have been better with Randall.

And Ping, I'm happy to infer that you now see entertainment is a key incredient in the pro football experience.

Thanks for the fun this season, guys. I feel like I learn something every time I check in. See you next fall after baseball season. Six weeks to go, so it's an exciting time for me.

9:42 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Hopefully the Phils do something in these next six weeks to plug that leaky pitching staff. Bullpen looks bad and they downgraded in starting rotation. I am still way down on them for that terrible Cliff Lee move. He had jumped into the role of my favorite player and I will never forgive them for dropping him for nothing. It's a personal thing that I just can't get past. I might boycott them entirely.

Bumble

9:10 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

It's like the Phils are kicking me in the balls. Did they really give Joe Blanton $8M a year today? Really? When Lee would've cost $9M?

I am furious about what could have been.

Bumble

11:10 PM EST  
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