Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:00 am
Edited on: February 6, 2011 12:02 am
As an Eagles fan, my first reaction to Michael Vick's return to the NFL was this:
I hope he doesn't screw it up. And I hope he signs with a first-class organization that will stress his off the field comeback just as much as his one on the field.
When Michael Vick signed with the Eagles, my initial reaction was: Why didn't I include my own Philadelphia Eagles as a first class organization? Big city, blue collar, overly loyal fans and a front office and coaching staff that put almost zero pressure on him.
Basically, exactly what Vick needed to succeed. Don't worry about on the field, just worry about off the field. Anything on the field is gravy.
Donovan McNabb endorsed his signing (and got run out of town), Andy Reid went out of his way to create an awful, ineffectve "Wildcat" package for him, he started two years as a backup quarterback and ended the year almost beating the NFC Champion in the playoffs, and all Vick has done is everything on and off the field to earn the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Why? Because very few athletes can take three years off and return to their primes.
Am I an fan of Michael Vick... of course, he's on my football team. But I had hoped for his return to greatness long before he signed a contract with the Eagles. Why? Because I believe in second chances for people. I believe that people make mistakes and learn from them, both on and off the field. And because if Vick had signed with most teams, the emphasis would have been his on field preformance, instead of his off field one.
And the only thing that solidified my opinion, was Vick's visits to three New Haven, CT area school in late November to talk about his experiences in jail and about dogfighting. Not because I'm and Connecticut resident or an Eagles fan, but because I wonder how many teams would have let Vick spend an entire day away from the field talking about his past transgressions.
Seriously, how many teams would let a starting player, star athlete spend 24-hours or more away from the practice field. Forget Vick's histroy, I mean any athlete in today's sports, where money does most of the talking, how many would feel obligated to spend an entire day talking to kids about a serious topic in today's world. (DeSean's Jackson appearance on "The View" with Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson would rank up there as well.)
I know Vick has a history. What he admitted to in court and why he served his jail time are reprehensible to most people. I'm not asking you to forgive him. I don't know if I've forgiven him. Quite frankly I don't care what you think of Vick as a person. But if you can't respect what he did this year, both on and off the football field, as a person and a professional athlete...than I don't know what to say.
Because if you can go out and do your job for five months, say all the right things to the media, do all the right things off the field and still preform at the highest level while being drilled every other dropback on the field, that I don't know what else you can do to win this award.
No, Vick didn't comeback from an injury like 2009 winner Tom Brady or 2010-11 finalist Wes Welker. He came back from something probably much worse.
And he came with flying colors. On and off the field. And to ask him to do any more, in my opinion is unfair.
And like it or not, Michael Vick won this award. And it wasn't even close.
Posted on: April 5, 2010 11:50 am
Well, I hope you’re happy Eagles fans. For those of you who wanted Donovan McNabb run out of Philadelphia in favor of Kevin Kolb, you got your wish. McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins for two draft picks late Sunday night. But the city won't ever shut up. They're too self-centered and expressive for thier own good. Once again, I have to separate myself from the rest of city and say that I am only an Eagles fan, not a Philadelphia fan. It seems everyday I'm thankful for that.
And I don’t want to hear a peep out of any of you who ever thought for a second that Kolb over McNabb was a good idea. Not a word about trading McNabb inside the division, not a word about what they got for him, nothing. You not allowed to gripe when McNabb comes into The Linc to open the 2010 season as a Redskin and kills the Eagles. You’re not allowed to complain when the Skins are in the playoffs and the Birds are not. You're definitely not allowed to complain in three years when Kolb is a bust and the Eagles are still rebuilding.
Because at some point, you wanted this to happen – McNabb traded, Kolb to start for the Eagles. And you're crowing about it right now on sports radio stations, about how happy you are that McNabb is gone. How happy will you be in a few months?
If you wanted McNabb gone, but are angry that he got traded to the Skins, well that's too darn bad. You got the main objective – McNabb out, Kolb in. You can’t have it both ways here people. The Eagles made a business decision that a very outspoken number of you wanted. And now, some of you are mad because the Eagles felt a little loyal to their franchise QB and didn’t want to exile him to Oakland or Buffalo. Tough cookies.
I on the other hand, as a long standing McNabb defender from the common, irrational Philadelphia fan, I get to do all the bashing I want. I get to bash the Eagles’ front office for having three QBs with contracts expiring at the same time. I get to bash the Eagles for putting themselves into a situation of trading McNabb within the division. I get to bash the Eagles if this backfires and they are 6-10 next year (and the year after that) and last in the division. I get to bash the city and the "diehard" faithful Eagle fans for driving this decision on the radio and message boards.
If you wanted Kolb as the starter, you get to keep your mouth shut. Just keep scrolling down, the bashing will end soon. Right after the fans stop calling the radio stations to bash McNabb. Right after this city realizes that it has been bashing arguably the greatest Eagle of the last decade. Right after Philly realizes it's been as unclassy as possible to Donovan McNabb for the last 11 years. Oh, wait, that means it will never end. I hope that the same people that call into the radio stations today aren't the same people who are bashing Kolb in 5 months.
Look, the Eagles’ front office has decided to get younger. There’s nothing wrong with that. Except now you have a team almost devoid of veteran leadership on both ends of the ball. Not having Brian Dawkins last year (and Jim Johnson, too) killed the Eagles on the defensive end of the ball. That and Stewart Bradley getting hurt in the preseason. Now the Eagles “veterans” consist of CB Asante Samuel and DE Trent Cole on defense and OL Todd Herremans and Jason Peters on offense, and two of those guys have only been Eagles for one season.
But the Eagles front office has decided to, in my opinion, sacrifice this season in a pseudo-rebuilding year to get their young guys, mainly Kolb and RB LeSean McCoy, a full season under their belts as starters. If they make the playoffs or a run at the division, great, if not, well, the Eagles have a new core of great young players on the current roster, the 2010 draft and the 2011 draft and free agency as well. This is good news. I will like this more if Kolb has a solid 2010 season. If he struggles and the Birds are a sub-.500 team, I will not care and continue ripping the Eagles for trading McNabb.
Now the Eagles draft plans change drastically. They’ll need to draft a QB at some point in the first few rounds, after they move up to the middle of the first round to assure themselves USC safety Taylor Mays (or farther up to get Tennessee safety Eric Berry) who will start immediately at FS to replace the aforementioned Dawkins. I would also expect to see the usual depth picks at both O and D-line as well as linebacker. And no, the Eagles should not draft Tim Tebow to replace Mike Vick at the “Spread Eagle” Wildcat formation.
As for Kevin Kolb, he has a lot to live up to. He does have the support of the Philly faithful, something McNabb didn’t have on Day 1 and never really had throughout his career. Now, because I’m still a little bitter about this whole situation, here’s what I’d do with Kolb. Sign him to a 2-year deal worth $5,555,555.55 / year. Just for the irony. Then, Kolb has to win 10 games in 2010 and he can’t lose to the Skins at home or to Dallas at all, meaning the worst record he can have inside the division is 3-3 and by the way, losing to the Giants twice isn’t acceptable either. He must make and win a playoff game in his first year, which would put him ahead of Tony Romo, who didn’t win a playoff game until last year. If he does this, I will refrain from expressing my opinions of Kolb and the Eagles’ front office on a regular basis. If he does not, well it’s open season.
Now, my three Donovan McNabb jerseys are well, kinda useless. I need to pick a new jersey. FB Leonard Weaver has a new deal and my favorite number – 43. DeSean Jackson appears now to be the new face of the Eagles franchise, plus my dad hates his guts (he’s a Giants fan who refers to Jackson only as “Number Ten”). Quintin Mikell is my favorite defensive player, and hopefully he gets a capable player to play next to him at safety next year. David Akers would be a good choice, but who knows when the Eagles will decide to move him too.
As for the Skins, well this means Jason Campbell is out. Funny, an under-appreciated QB from Philly replaces an under-appreciated QB in DC. And that’s a shame because Campbell was another class act who did his job, kept his mouth shut, and really overachieved with the Skins for several years with a team that under Dan Snyder, has more holes than Swiss cheese. But at least Campbell isn’t working for Snyder anymore. McNabb now leads an offense that isn’t great at the offensive line, but does have a better running game than Philly and a defense that has been performing pretty well in recent years.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Donovan McNabb for his 11-year career as a Philadelphia Eagle. You were never fully appreciated by the city and more people focused on your faults rather than your successes. Your last two games against Dallas weren’t your fault since your O-line was a mess after C Jamal Jackson went down with an injury. Your legacy (and Andy Reid’s) should be bringing the Eagles out of mediocrity into a perennial NFC contender and as one of the best QB’s in Eagles history. My cynical side wants you to crush the Birds twice next year, but if your defense ends up blowing the games, that’s fine too. You’ve been a class act for all 11 years, overcoming draft day boos, injuries, T.O. and a host of opposing defenders who wanted to smash your brains in. I hope that the uproar of you going to DC is enough to realize that this city did love you, even if they didn’t always express it. I hope that one day you enter the Eagles’ Ring of Honor and maybe Canton and always enter the city of Philadelphia with that chip on your shoulder.
You stay classy 5.
Posted on: January 12, 2010 10:51 am
And neither can their fans. If I hear one more dim-witted, irrational Philadelphia fan call for Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb's head, my head probably will explode. I love Philadelphia. I love the Eagles. I can never be considered a true Philadelphia fan due to my humble, eclectic upbringing. And I thank myself for that everyday so that I can be avoided being lumped into the true Philadelphia fans.
I get it. The city as a sports fan wears its heart on its sleeve. You express yourselves in colorful manners and voice your opinions without thinking. If Eagles fans had their way, Reid and McNabb would have been left behind years ago and our franchise would have been mired in mediocrity by now. But the fans don't see it that way. They're emotional right now. The Cowboys just beat them for the second and third times this season and ousted the Eagles from the playoffs. We're a little pissed right now, even myself. The difference is, I can still think with a clear head.
Case and point, Donovan McNabb is a Top 10 NFL QB in my opinion. Mike Vick or Kevin Kolb will probably not step in and be a Top 10 QB in the NFL. They can be good, efficient, maybe even win a game or two on their own, but they won't be a Top 10 QB. Not next year. The Eagles have no QB controversy unless you believe the stuff that ESPN pumps at you. Andy Reid should have never needed to address this issue unless the media brought it up (and they did this to drive the city of Philadelphia and Eagles fans crazy. On purpose. I can't prove it, but they've been doing it for years.) and he ended the matter quickly. In the words of the infamous Lovie Smith, "Donovan is our quarterback."
McNabb said something after the Week 17 loss to Dallas. He said "We showed our youth today." He did not take a shot at his young playmakers, but rather merely expressed that young teams will have bad games. Every skill position player for the Eagles (counting McCoy at RB) is 25 or younger. Think about that for a second, most of the Eagles core offensive skill players are entering their prime. This is a good thing. The Eagles are getting younger at O-line as well. Losing C Jamal Jackson really hurt this team during those last two games against Dallas and put McNabb into a survival mode in the pocket. Again, not the end of the world and I hope that Jackson is back for the start of next year because he is a fantastic player.
Secondly, the Eagles defense is also young for the most part. MLB Stewart Bradley was lost for the season in training camp and the Eagles as a unit never had any real cohesion for the entire season with all of the injuries and different lineups. Losing DC Jim Johnson didn't help either. Macho Harris replaced Sean Considine as the Eagles safety I open wonder aloud "WTF is he doing?" on a regular basis. The Eagles also seemed to be lacking a defensive leader. Why Brian Dawkins played this year in Denver is beyond me, he would solve my FS problem and leadership at the same time, and that hurt this team on the field and in the locker room, terrible decision by the Eagles front office (first time I've said that in years and we knew this at the beginning of the season).
Eagles fans, this young team is only going to get better. If you want to call for Ried and Donovan's head again, be my guest. You're entiled to do that. But think for a second of who is going to replace those two and if it's really an upgrade. Sure, Andy Reid doesn't run the ball consistently. I know, I wrote him a whole letter before the Chicago and he didn't do it in either of the two Dallas games. Maybe I should have wrote him again. Probably would not have changed the fact that the Eagles makeshift O-line couldn't stop Dallas' 3-4 scheme even with Jackson calling audibles for the O-line.
The last thing the Eagles should do right now is can McNabb. If you want to debate Westbrook, which would also be another dumb idea, fine. I'll hear that with an open mind. I'll take the debates of which back-up to have next year, Kolb or Vick or both. But I will not listen to the dumbfounded idea that Donovan McNabb should be sent packing.
Because he's going to get us to another Super Bowl. Andy Reid is going to coach it. And they're going to win it. Might be three or four years down the road with two more heartbreaking NFC Championship Game losses, but they're going to do it.
And if you give up on them now, you're throwing it all away because an 11-5 team lost a road playoff game.
And that would be a shame.
Posted on: December 22, 2009 1:28 pm
Dallas 24 - New Orleans 17
That is why they play the games and don't listen to all of the talking heads on TV and the sports talk show host on the radio or actually read a online blogs from an idiot user on CBS. Because no one, including me, gave Dallas a chance to beat the Saints on Saturday Night. And then they did it.
Was it a must-win game for Dallas? No, but it was pretty close in my opinion knowing their playoff tiebreakers. The Cowboys were swept by the Giants this season, meaning if they finished tied with the G-Men, they're playing golf in January while the Giants travel on the road for a Divisional Playoff game. It is even more likely now that the Eagles-Cowboys Week 17 game will not only decide the NFC East, but the playoff fate for Dallas and the New York Football Giants.
And speaking of those Giants, did you see that beatdown they put on the Redskins last night? Sure the Redskins looked lost and Jim Zorn probably lost his job last night if he hadn't already secured a pink slip, but that was the Giants team that I remember from years past and earlier this September. I wrote in my breakdown last Saturday that Eli wasn't playing all that well, and I was very wrong. User TuckYou correctly pointed out that Eli is having one of his best statistical season, which he is. But I was stuck on a three game stretch in late October-Early November where the Giants lost three in a row (four total the next week to SD, but Eli was good in that game) to New Orleans, Arizona and Philly. Eli threw 6 INTs to 3 TDs in that stretch and completed around 50% of his passes. Most of the Giants wins, Eli has been completeing 60% or better and perhaps I focused too much on his injury and the Giants dismal defense, which by the way showed up big against Washington.
The Eagles took care of business against the 49ers last Sunday and still control their destiny for the playoffs. They have clinched a berth and also have a shot at the #2 seed in the NFC after the Vikings didn't show up against Carolina. More on the Vikes in a minute. But the Eagles desperately need to get healthy. Brain Westbrook is eyeing a return soon and would help take the pressure off rookie McCoy and fullback Weaver in the running game. WR Maclin also missed last Sunday's game and QB Mike Vick left the game with a thigh bruise. The Eagles need to be operating on all cylinders going into the playoffs, especially if the Eagles D continues to be gashed through the air. The Eagles are on a 5-game winning streak and have won 9 games straight in December. If the Vikings lose a game and the Eagles finished tied in overall record with them, they would have the tiebreaker based on conference record.
So how did last week's games affect the rest of the season? Well, it puts a lot of emphasis on the Week 17 games for the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants. But we can't look ahead just yet. Week 16 is still on the slate and for all of this to come down to the final week, each of the three East contenders need to take care of business this weekend too. Brian Dawkins makes his return to The Linc as the Broncos come to Philly. Both teams are in the hunt for the playoffs and while the Eagles have clinched a berth, they aren't resting on their laurels and niether will Denver in the muddled AFC Wild Card race. The Cowboys head to Washington to play the suddenly inept Redskins. Normally I trust the 'Skins to show up for their rivalry game like they did in a Week 11 loss, 7-6. But after last weeks preformance and the Cowboys thrashing of the Saints, there are only two potential outcomes here: blowout win or letdown game for Dallas. The Giants welcome Carolina, led by QB Matt Moore, to the Meadowlands. Carolina has looked better of late, beating the Vikes last week, but there are still questions about the Panthers. The Giants will have to be wary about this game and not let the Panthers' Steve Smith run through their secondary.
But the real fun begins Week 17, because if all goes well and the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants all win, well there's going to be a lot of scoreboard watching on Sunday. As of now, these games are slated for 1 PM EST, but that might change with the NBC Flex Sunday Night game. First, New York heads to Minnesota to play the Vikes. New York needs the game to still have a shot at the playoffs and the Vikings need it to hold on to the 2nd seed in the NFC and a first round bye. Minnesota also plays Chicago on MNF this week. Then the Eagles and Cowboys meet in Dallas to, in all likelyhood, decide the NFC East Divisional crown. The last time these two met it was a sluggish affair and I expect more of a shootout style in a couple of weeks. The Eagles secondary has been gashed through the air and two of the best young receivers in the game, DeSean Jackson and Miles Austin, will be on display with their big-play talents. Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo should both put on passing clinics and the defense will need to make plays to decide this game.
Overall, it's going to be a fun couple of weeks to end the season.
Posted on: December 19, 2009 4:09 pm
With only a few weeks left in the NFL's regular season there are only a few interesting races left in the NFL. The AFC East, AFC Wild Card and the NFC East, whose 2nd place finisher will likely grab the final wild card spot and 6th seed in the NFC playoffs. So, here's a brief breakdown on the four NFC East teams and a suprising pick for which team might have the most impact the final three games.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4, 1st NFC East)
It's nice to see my Eagles back in first place, but there is still work to be done. The Eagles remaining three games are tough, but the first two are in Philly as the Eagles welcome the 49ers and the Broncos to Lincoln Financial the next two weeks before closing the year in Dallas. The Eagles will likely be favored in all three games, but all are tough outs. The 49ers have the offensive firepower to expose the weak Eagles defense, especially in the secondary. Crabtree and Davis could have big games for San Fran especially if the Eagles blitz packages aren't getting to the QB. The Eagles will be missing several key offensive weapons in Jeremy Maclin and Brian Westbrook, but Kevin Curtis and LeSean McCoy are likely to fill in. IF the Eagles can get healthy before the playoffs and continue to use Mike Vick effective, this will be a dangerous playoff team, and I think they're in, it's just a matter of where. I think the Eagles can win all three of their final games, but they really need the defense, linebackers and safties especially to step up. The Eagles are in control of their own destiny, win out and you win the division, and the Eagles usually play well late in the season, unlike...
2. Dallas Cowboys (8-5, 2nd NFC East)
Everyone's talking about how Dallas can't win in December. But have you seen their schedule this year? Three divisional games, two of which on the road, plus San Diego (best AFC team not named Indy) and New Orleans (best NFL team not named Indy). Seriously, that's brutal. And don't blame Mr. Jessica Simpson either, Romo's been pretty good all year. 5 TD's, 0 INTs this month too. I don't know who to blame really. All five of their losses have come against good teams, and I'm counting the Giants as good. Their early season loss to big Blue was when the Giants were beating everyone and their second loss was on the road. I don't see them beating the Saints, which means they have to beat Washington in DC and then the Eagles to close the season. They need to play well against the Saints to have a chance, even if they lose. And remember, the Skins outplayed them in the 7-6 Dallas win earlier this year and the Skins aren't an easy out, despite their putrid record.
3. New York Giants (7-6, 3rd NFC East)
The Giants are in a good spot here. They own the tiebreaker against the Cowboys and will know before their Monday Night game where they stand. It's a must win game for the Giants against the 'Skins because a win will either tie or keep pace with the Cowboys depending on their result with the Saints. I've been a firm believer that Eli Manning's foot injury has been more serious because his play has really suffered. Also, the Giants defense is so banged up, especially in the secondary that it is tough to judge this team with any accuracy. The one good news, they get a bad Carolina team at home, easiest game on the remaining slate for any of the playoff hunting NFC East teams (Washington doesn't count, divisional opponent, rivalry, etc.) I think they have a good chance to earn the final spot, and their final game at Minnesota could be a walkover if the Vikings rest players.
4. Washington Redskins (4-9, 4th NFC East)
Well, they canned Vinny Cerrato as GM or VP of Personnel or whatever his title is. Shame that 'Skins fans can't can their owner, who's been killing this franchise for years. Mr. Snyder, when was the last time your team had a surplus of draft picks? Oh that's right never...and you wonder why this team is never deep on the depth chart. In spite of all this, and the calling of Zorn's head too, this team fights, it always has. Jason Campbell has been effective at QB and the defense is stout as usually. There will be a lot of changes in the offseason to this team, but this team still has an important role to play in this season. They have a huge chance to play spoiler here for either New York or Dallas. If they beat either team, guaranteed that team doesn't make the playoffs. More so for Dallas since the Giants have the head-to-head tiebreaker. It's a shame that Washington is missing so many weapons in Cooley, Portis and Betts because they're not far away from being a good team. But they need to shake this losing mentality, and that means winning despite a terrible front office.
If you put a gun to my head right now, I say that the Eagles win the division and the Giants get the final playoff spot. I won't give records or scenarios, but that's what I'm thinking. The Giants beating Atlanta was huge in the playoff race as they are sitting alone at "#7" in the NFC Playoffs. I think they have a lot of tiebreakers and a favorable schedule and they are getting healthy. Dallas will miss out and probably can Wade Phillips and the 'Skins will likely can Zorn too, which is a shame since I like both coaches and blame the front offices for most of the problems each team has. My predictions will likey set up another Eagles-Giants game in the Divisional Playoffs, something that I'm not looking forward too.
But then again, neither are the all of the Giants fans I know here in CT. Enjoy the football and the snow on the East Coast everyone and have a safe and happy holiday season.
Posted on: November 17, 2009 11:44 am
Edited on: November 17, 2009 2:49 pm
Andy, really, the city of Philadelphia loves you. We really do. But you're killing us. You're not running the ball enough. You need to establish the run, which establishes the play action that you can use in the redzone.
We can accept some of these losses (New Orleans, San Diego) because they're pretty good teams at home. We can not accept losses at home to divisional opponents (Dallas) and losses to bad teams (Oakland). Still, there's a lot of football left to be played and you haven't lost out on the playoffs yet. And you have a playoff team that will be feared in January, and everyone knows it.
You say you got outschemed against the Chargers last Sunday. I believe it. You could have been in that game in the 1st half if you could punch it in from the San Diego 5. Now, I know that Brian Westbrook went down again and that's becoming a problem now. But we don't have a true third running back (Weaver is still a fullback and I love seeing him get carries. Keep doing it.), and our number two RB is rookie McCoy. There has to be a third guy that gets involved when Westbrook is out. Elrda Buckley has had a total of 4 carries all year. And Westbrook has missed several games. He did well in the preseason. I saw him play and he's solid. You have to get him involved to take some pressure of McCoy, especially when Westbrook is out.
Here's some stats for you too Andy. YOu ran the ball only 14 times against Oakland, in a close game, and lost. In that game, you averaged more yards per rush (4.8) than per pass (4.2). Against San Diego you only ran the ball 13 times the fewest total of rushes in any loss this season. And don't give me this we were down early garbage. I can't remember the last time the Eagles established the run in a game. Ever. Do you know what play-action can do to some of these defenses with the WR's you have Andy? You stopped running the ball and your WR's stop making big plays. (Kudos to Jason Avant's career day. He wanted that game and played great as a 3rd WR/slot man. You now have another guy that defenses have to cover.)
Also, I love that the Eagles are willing to give Mike Vick a second chance. Really, I think it's great. I wanted to see him go to a strong organization and stay out of trouble. He's doing that and I couldn't be happier for him. Now, throw away every "Spread Eagle"/Wildcat play you have. Right now. If you were serious about it, he'd be in 10 times a game, not a token apperance here or there. Every time he comes in, it kills a drive it seems. I'm sorry Vick, really I am, I was excited to see what you could do, but Andy isn't using you properly, which means he shouldn't use you at all.
So Coach Reid. I have a proposition for you. This is what you are going to do. You're going to run the ball 30 times this weekend against Chicago on Sunday Night. McCoy should get 15-20 carries, not touches, carries. Weaver and Buckley can split the other 10 and maybe give Jackson an end-around or something. McNabb should be running it upfield too, he's still pretty quick. Keep the Bears on their toes. This is not-neogotiable. You're going to do it, and you're going to beat the Bears.
Posted on: September 21, 2009 11:55 am
Kevin Noonan thinks that the Eagles are only pretenders now. And that the Saints are one of the NFC's best teams. Let's settle down Kevin, the Saints have blown out the 0-43 Detroit Lions and a McNabb-less Eagles team that was done in by the worst 5-minutes of football I've seen in Philly in a long time. Don't believe me? Let's roll the footage...
2Q/1:59 - Saints punt it away to Eagles WR/PR DeSean Jackson. Jackson fields the punt at the 3, instead of letting in bounce into the endzone for a touchback. To his credit, Jackson did get a nice return on the play, but it didn't count because...
1:43 - A zebra threw a yellow sock on the field. Actually, it was more like 8, but whatever. Block in the back, Kolb and the Eagles are backed up again thanks to another ST penalty. This was the only time I thought Kolb played poorly, backed up inside his 10, and that could also be due to the conservative play-calling as well.
0:43 - After an Eagles punt, Drew Brees hits Colston for the second time today and the Saints lead 17-10.
0:03 - Kolb leads the Eagles down the field and David Akers tacks on a FG before the half. 17-13 Saints. Kudos to Kolb for running a great hurry-up offense today as well. He also did it late in the game before throwing an INT to Darren Sharper that he took 97-yds to the house, but the game was well over anyway.
3Q/14:53 - Ellis Hobbs fumbles the opening kickoff...Drew Brees and the Saints get another short field...
13:39 - And the FB Heath Evans takes it to the house with some nice footwork along the sidelines. Andy Reid challenges on the premise that a big man can't do that, and he's proven wrong. Big men do have nice moves, just not Reid. 24-13 Saints.
12:59 - Kolb throws his first INT of the game, to LB Shanley, who stepped in front of an out route to Jackson. And the Saints have another short field...
11:39 - RB Mike Bell takes it in and the rout is on. 31-13 Saints.
That was a 5 minute, 20 second stretch in which the Saints outscored the Eagles 21-3. You don't come back from that, even with that much time left.
For the record, Kevin Kolb did very well in his first NFL start. Yes he threw three picks (two very late, one on the last play), but he also looked great in the hurry up offense, threw for almost 400 yards and the offense moved the ball for the most part. When the offense struggled, it was because their special teams backed them up inside their own red zone. Then the Eagles (and the coaches) played very tentitavely and wound up losing the field position battle all day with New Orleans. Drew Brees knows what to do with a short football field, and the Eagles gave him plenty of chances all game.
If you want to find a culprit for this loss, look no farther than the Eagles special teams unit. You can't put too much blame on the defense (althought Jim Johnson can't be happy right now) for not holding the Saints to some FG's instead of TD's.
And to Kevin Kolb, I owe you an apology. I have never been a big fan of yours during your brief stay in Philly. Until yesterday, I didn't think that you were a capable NFL quarterback. But yesterday you have earn my respect and hopefully more fans just like me.
So rest easy Kevin. The city of Philadelphia can not call for your head today on the message boards, or on radio stations. But that doesn't mean they won't try.
Posted on: April 27, 2009 1:00 am
Edited on: April 27, 2009 4:35 pm
I'm going to try and not turn this into an Eagles recap, and I'm probably going to fail miserably so just a fair warning before I continue. I tried to follow the draft for the NFC East, especially on Day 1. But as I start with Dallas, there's an immeadiate problem...
...umm, they didn't make a pick on the first Day. In fact, the only pick they had turned into a complete fiasco when they "passed" the pick before trading it away. Not a good start for the Cowboys in my opinion but they did have 12 picks on Day 2, and focused on defense and offensive skill positions. It's hard for me to grade players on Day 2 because I just don't know the best 200 players in college football. I do like their pickup of Texas A&M QB Stephen McGee, who is one player I did get to see a few times. Should be a solid backup behind Tony Romo.
NEW YORK Giants
I'm not going to lie (and I'm not hating) but I don't like the Giants draft for two reasons. They drafted two WRs with thier first four picks (which I always think is a draft no-no) and their first-round selection Hakeem Nicks from North Carolina is not a player I was in love with. I am not copying Pete Prisco by the way ( I mentioned this in my previous entry), but I've seen Nicks play and theres enough there to dislike. I love OL William Beatty from UConn in the 2nd round and QB Rhett Bomar in the 5th.
Edit (4/27): A friend of mine pointed out that the Giants have to replace Plaxico Burress and that drafting two WR's isn't a bad idea. This is a fantastic point that I overlooked. I still don't like Nicks, but I understand the Giants need at the position. They were awful late last season after Plaxico was suspended for the remainder of the season. Therefore, I'm upping the Giants grade from a C to a...
The Redskins are usually a team that doesn't value the draft as much as other teams (Dan Synder loves free agents for some reason). But this year, they made an impact with the few picks they did have and it started right at the top with the 'Skins landing Brian Orakpo at No. 13 overall. They have to wonder a little bit how he fell that far, but they aren't going to complain. Again, with only 6 picks (2 in the first 3 rounds) it's hard to give them any reasonable grade, but stealing Orakpo is worth this grade alone.
Ah, let the homer comments begin. The Eagles had a fantastic first day, landing offensive weapons in WR Jeremy Maclin and RB LeSean McCoy. However, they didn't have any 4th round picks and traded their only 3rd rounder for a 2010 pick, which is something the Eagles and the New England Patriots do quite often. This year, I thought the Eagles had a few needs on defense and one was addressed by aquiring Patriots CB Ellis Hobbs for two 5th-round picks. I was looking for the Eagles to take a safety at some point, but they took another CB in Victor Harris from VA Tech in the 5th round as well. The Eagles did pick up a TE in the 5th round by taking Cornelius Ingram who I've heard good things about. I expected a little more on the defensive side of the ball, but I can't be disappointed as an Eagles fan right now.
Dallas/Oakland - It's Jerry Jones and Al Davis, I don't ask questions anymore.
Denver - I'm sorry Bronco fans (breaking out the Pitino voice) but John Elway isn't walking through that door. Terrell Davis isn't walking through that door. I have no idea what this organization has been doing for the entire off-season, but I think it started by firing former coach Mike Shanahan and it's only gotten worse. The Broncos franchise QB is in Chicago, they have 10 starting running backs after drafting Knowshon Moreno from Georgia at 12 overall and they don't have a 1st round pick next year to boot. This team and organization is a mess right now and 2009 isn't looking all that good in my opinion. Why did Brian Dawkins have to come to this mess...
This is an unofficial stat because I was just browsing, but on Day 1, these were the schools that had the most players selected: Southern Cal (5), Ohio State (4) and UConn (4). Yeah, that's right University of Connecticut can play football now too and the NFL is noticing. Also, Miami (OH) had just as many players selected in the 2009 Draft as Miami (FL) with one selection each. I would go into my rant on how Miami (FL) [and BC] tried to kill Big East football, but I won't this entry is too long already.
Overall, this was another fantastic draft. EPSN does a great job with this event (and the Combine, Pro Days, etc.) that it almost is getting as much hype as the Super Bowl. I will never get tired of Chris Berman doing play-by-play on the draft picks highlight reels. I will never get tired of Kiper and McShay arguing, ever. I will get tired of trying to figure out every trade the Eagles pull off every year because no one reports it very well, and they trade often, leading to much cursing and refreshing of websites.
But something that will never get old: the New York heavy crowd chanting "USA!" in a tribute to the armed forces between rounds at the Draft.