What If .... the QB the Eagles want to draft isn't available
By Kevin K
I am looking to start a new "concept" of a blog that I am calling "What If". Sure it has most likely been used before and I probably won't be able to keep up with it because of a busy schedule, but hey, it's a blog.
If you haven't been following the Philly Phans Facebook
page lately you probably haven't noticed the Eagles interest in drafting a Quarterback in this years NFL Draft. The Eagles hosted Michigan State's Quarterback Kirk Cousins, Eagles reps were at the private workout of QB Ryan Tannehill, and not to mention the interest in RGIII prior to the Redskins trade for the number 2 overall pick. The Eagles have obviously shown interest in drafting a quarterback of the future in this year's draft.
But the question remains, what if the quarterback the Eagles "want" isn't there? Do they go for the "best available QB"? Or do they do something that no one expects, like pass over a Quarterback in the draft and sign, wait for it (don't be angry), Donovan McNabb?
Think it through here. McNabb has wanted to retire an Eagle in the past, his starting career is over, he is a Reid guy, he knows the playbook in case Vick goes down, and he wants to win a Superbowl.
It makes sense even if it doesn't. Fans, like myself, wouldn't be thrilled with the move, but it would be a filler for a solid backup behind Vick that won't cost much money.
What if the Eagles already made contact with McNabb to be there "just in case"? I have to admit my "what if" today makes zero sense at all for Eagles fans, but would make a whole lot of sense for the Eagles organization. They look to do the unthinkable every season and continue to try to surprise the league and Philadelphia.
So as I said my "what if" for today makes absolutely no sense, and that is why it makes all the sense in the world for the Eagles organization.
Kee’s Korner: Eagles the “best team” the Patriots will play all year
By Kevin K
I really just want to rant today. In case you didn’t know (and I know many of you have the same feeling as I do) I really do not like Patriots Coach Bill Belichick. When I say dislike, I mean really dislike him … I won’t say hate, but it is pretty close.
Now that the “mastermind” came out this week and said that the Eagles are going to be the best team they played all season really grinds my gears. Of course it wouldn’t be like that if the Eagles were playing like the Packers or Steelers. The Eagles are 4-6 and enter Sunday’s game without their “star” QB in Michael Vick, a star WR in either DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin (one will play), and even with a possibility of one of the top CBs in the league out, Nnamdi Asomugha. The Eagles shouldn’t even be considered the best team the Patriots play all year.
Now looking over the Patriots schedule, sure the Eagles (talent-wise) are one of the top four teams the Patriots played this year, but Belichick cannot say this when he has losses to the best team the Patriots played all year in the Steelers. Not to mention a loss against the second best team they played all year in the Giants. Top that off with division rivals Jets and Bills (lost to the Bills).
This isn’t even a trap game for the Patriots as they look ahead to the worst team they will play all year next week in the Colts (who are 0-10).
So the “best looking team” nonsense comes from the Eagles talent that hasn’t been here all year, hasn’t been playing as a team, have been hurt, and are still 4-6!
Belichick’s comments in general are just insane and can only boost the ego of Coach Andy Reid.
Best team this year? Really? Maybe the Eagles can show up and win behind QB Vince Young against the best team the Eagles will play this year, the Patriots.
By Kevin K
This week's game is a game that former Eagles QB and current Cardinals QB, Kevin Kolb, has had circled on his schedule since he received it. The problem is, he won't be playing; not even as a backup. Kevin Kolb has been ruled out Sunday with "turf toe", as the 2-6 Cardinals come in to Philly to face the 3-5 Eagles.
As Nnamdi Asomugha put it earlier this week, don't take this game as an easy win for the Eagles. The Eagles only have one more win than the Cardinals this season. At this point, no team should be taken lightly for the Eagles as they look to turn their season around starting Sunday at 1:00.
One key piece missing for the Eagles is star WR DeSean Jackson. DeSean missed a team meeting on Saturday and will not play versus the Cardinals. DeSean said that his alarm didn't go off which caused him to miss the team meeting. However, former Eagles WR Cris Carter put it best when he said on ESPN, "99% of excuses for missing meetings are true. 100% of them are unacceptable". DeSean is no different.
With that being said, Eagles WRs Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, and Steve Smith have to step up in this game. Avant has had a great season in the slot, with Cooper and Smith basically having quiet seasons, which isn't a good thing. The hype heading into the season was how explosive this offense could be if Steve Smith plays to his ability, as well as others. Right now Steve Smith will get his chance to prove his ability on the field with the Eagles against a very poor defensive team in Arizona.
But as I said, don't count the Cardinals out. Their offense is explosive as well. They have a strong running game lead by Beanie Wells and they still have that Larry Fitzgerald guy catching passes.
This could be a challenge for the Eagles, but really shouldn't be.
"Dream Team" keep sleeping on the job
By Kevin K
The frustration of a bad Eagles season has us all sitting and wondering one this ... how? The Eagles have the talent and the team to do something special, how are they this bad?
There are many answers to that question, and I will take some of them one by one.
Lack of Discipline
Over the last few weeks we have seen the Eagles struggle both offensively and defensively. The Eagles aren't playing to their potential. They keep playing undisciplined football and it is showing. The offensive line has gotten increasingly better as the season has gone on (which was a worry), but the "playmakers" continue to struggle. Eagles WRs seem to be unable to hold the ball correctly, which has continued to cause fumbles (and interceptions - see Jason Avant versus the Bills). You can even look at Michael Vick, who has made the right decision at times, but seems to want to throw the ball more (even in double coverage) than take the sack, run the ball, or throw the ball out of bounds. In five games this season, Vick has 7 interceptions - which is one more than he had last season alone (he played 12 games).
The offense isn't the only side of the ball with a lack of discipline. The defense continues to lose game after game for the Eagles, against the Bills nothing changed. The Eagles defense seemed to get better in the second half, but at that point the Bills were looking to kill the clock and run the ball a majority of the time. The problem for the Eagles came in the final 2 minutes of the game, on a 4th and 1. The announcers say, "I think the Bills are going to look to cause them to jump offside", we are sitting at home watching the game saying "don't jump offside, they are going to run the play clock down", even Juan Castillo knows that they are going to try to have the Eagles jump offside, and what happens? Juqua Parker (formerly Thomas) does exactly what the Bills wanted him to do, jumped offside. This continues to happen to the Eagles so far this season, even during a punt in which an Eagle jumped offside ... undisciplined play is costing the Eagles.
Too Many New Faces
When the Eagles brought in big name free agent after big name free agent, and big name coach after big name coach all Eagles fans, including myself, thought we had something special going on ... we didn't realize that it would hurt the Eagles more than it will help.
The Eagles aren't working as a team right now and it continues to hurt them. This comes from the players to the coaches, it isn't working. You can blame some of this on decision making, you can blame some of this on the Lockout, and your can blame some of this on management.
The fact of the matter is, it is not fun to play for the Eagles right now and all Eagles players realize it, even the newer free agents.
OK so the big thing right now is "Fire Reid" and "Fire Castillo". The problem with that is it is not going to do anything for the Eagles. You bring in a new coach at this point, and the entire scheme changes. It will not help us this season and can only cost more problems - see the Too Many New Faces post.
Am I concerned about how bad the defense has looked under Castillo? Yes. Enter the Lockout problem. At the end of last season the Eagles hired Juan Castillo (former offensive line coach) as their defensive coordinator. During the Lockout, Castillo was unable to work with his defense until Training Camp, which in this case is way too late. Castillo is still working his way around to understanding a defensive scheme.
And of course their is Andy Reid, that continues to look more and more pompous as the season goes on during his press conferences and on the sidelines. The truth of the matter is that Andy is frustrated, and so are we. When you continue to lose the way you are to teams you shouldn't be losing to, it's frustrating. We all understand that, but we see that he has been here since 1999 with nothing to show for it.
I know they will never say this to you, but 2011-2012 has officially become a rebuilding year (not retooling year) for the Eagles. We notice their problems, we notice their errors and mistakes, but so do they. It is officially a season to no longer look forward to, but to build on.
By John Russo
PHI: 1-2, 4th in NFC East
SF: 2-1, 1st in NFC West
Eagles by 9
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, PA)
When: 1:00, FOX
Last time met: Oct. 10, 2010: It was week 5 last year and the Eagles were without quarterback Michael Vick when he was hurt the previous week. Kevin Kolb returned from his week 1 and threw for 253 yards and a touchdown in the win. LeSean McCoy rushed for 92 yards and a TD and Jeremy Maclin added 95 receiving.
Opposing player to watch – TE Vernon Davis: The Eagles cannot cover a TE to save their lives. It will be a test for newly starting weakside backer Bryan Rolle as well as the Eagles awful safeties. Davis has 179 yards on 15 catches but has yet to catch a touchdown pass. That could change this week.
Eagles: Michael Vick is likely to play this Sunday despite a right hand contusion. Though he’s hurt, he’s still a better option than Mike Kafka. Vick also swore this week the only way he’s leaving the game is on a cart because he’s tired of letting his team down. DeSean Jackson has yet to establish an type of consistency while Jeremy Maclin is looking more to be the top receiving option. Maclin has caught a team high 19 passes for a team high 260 yards and two touchdowns. LeSean McCoy has been Philadelphia’s best weapon, gaining 345 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and another 49 receiving.
49ers: Alex Smith has not been lighting up the scoreboard but he’s protecting the football. Though he’s only thrown for 504 yards, he’s completed 69% of his passes and thrown only one interception to his two touchdowns. But he’s been sacked 11 times. San Fran hasn’t had a standout receiver this season. Davis is their leading receiver. Frank Gore has rushed for only 148 yards on the ground, an incredibly slow start for him, who is usually good for 1,000 yards when healthy.
Advantage: The Eagles have more weapons but the success of the offense hinges on Vick’s health. Advantage Philly.
Eagles: They can’t stop the run and they can’t cover tightends. They can’t tackle in the open field either. The Eagles defense is 30th in the league stopping the run and it’s sickening to watch. The only bright spots have been Trent Cole, Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, who have a combined 11 sacks in the first three games.
49ers: Tramaine Brock has two interceptions for the unit, which has five on the season. But their front seven has managed only seven sacks, which could be a good thing for the Eagles weak offensive line. They’ve allowed 17.3 points per game in the first three games.
Advantage: If the Eagles can’t stop the run, it will be a long day for them.
Advantage San Francisco.
Eagles: Out: DE Juqua Parker (ankle). Doubtful: Darryl Tapp (pectoral). Probable: S Nate Allen (knee), WR Steven Smith (knee), QB Michael Vick (hand), WR Jeremy Maclin (hamstring).
49ers: Out: WR Braylon Edwards (knee). Questionable: RB Frank Gore (ankle), S Donte Whitner (hip). Probable: Michael Crabtree (foot).
Prediction: The Eagles need this win more than anything right now in hopes to not fall to 1-3. They still have a better team than San Francisco, and that will go a long way. If they can stop an injured Gore, they will win the game. Eagles win, 33-18.
By Kevin K
Line: Eagles by 9
The Eagles enter Week Three as heavy favorites against rival New York Giants. There has been trash talk back and forth all week, but one thing remains .... backing up your talk.
Giants safety, Antrel Rolle, is the lead in all of this trash talk saying that he has covered DeSean Jackson in the past and will do it again.
And of course there was the constant trash talk over the summer between LeSean McCoy and Osi Umenyoira (who is out today).
The Giants are missing most of their weapons today against the Eagles, including their trash talkers; but this doesn't mean to take them lightly. This is a rivalry game. All teams are coming in heated and ready to go.
The Eagles must learn how to stop the run and the tight end, a true weakness that was exposed against the Falcons a week ago. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a key target for the Giants throughout the game.
The Eagles did make a change to look to stop that this week in changing up the Linebacking core.
The Eagles are very high powered against a depleted Giants team today. Look for Steve Smith to get more involved for the Eagles against his former team.
Against the Line: I would go with the Giants. In this rivalry game, the underdog is 9-2 against the spread.
Game: Take the Eagles in the game overall. This game should be closer than many people think.
By Kevin K
Spread: Eagles by 2.5
Where: Georgia Dome
When: 8:20 on NBC
Eagles (1-0) are coming off of a blowout of the Rams in Week One and head to Atlanta to face the Falcons (0-1) in Week Two of the season.
The Falcons are coming off of a game in which they were blown out by the Bears in Week One, but are a much better team than what they showed in Week One.
Over the past week I have heard how “easy” this game is going to be for the Eagles, but as I sit and think about the game on Sunday I realize how difficult it will be for the Eagles. This is the second straight week for the Eagles playing away in a Dome, as we all know that could change the pace of the game for the Eagles and Falcons.
Led by Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and a powerful offense, the Eagles defense is going to have a challenge this upcoming week against the Falcons. Now the Falcons are a good team, a much better team than they showed last week against the Bears.
Keys: A key to this game for the Eagles is stopping the run and the tight end. The Eagles weakness on defense continues to be their line backing core, and the Falcons know that. They will use this as an advantage on Sunday … especially with their running game, with Michael Turner, and one of the greatest TE’s in the history of the NFL, Tony Gonzalez. The Eagles line-backing core has a challenge this week against a high powered Falcons offense.
Prediction: I expect this game to be closer than many people think. If I am betting against the spread, I would say go with the Falcons; however, I do believe the Eagles will win this game on the final drive. Rookie Kicker Alex Henery is going to have the challenge of stepping up for the Eagles this week.
Superbowl or Bust
By: Carl Naimoli
Like Michael Vick said a week ago after signing his new six year, $100 million contract it’s Super Bowl or bust for the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles. After last year’s disappointing home loss in the wild card round to the Green Bay Packers, the Eagles have their eyes set on one goal: A Championship. Right now many people feel that on paper the Eagles have what it takes to win the franchise’s first every Super Bowl. And now it’s up to this so-called “Dream Team” to win the ultimate prize.
There are plenty of strengths to this team, specifically the offense that led the NFC in scoring and yards per game last year. It all starts with Michael Vick under center. After signing a contract that will keep him in Philadelphia until 2017 he has all the pressure of a championship on his shoulders. If he stays healthy and plays like the MVP caliber quarterback that he was last year he should have no problem leading this team to a long playoff run. Also, with the addition of Vince Young as his backup the Eagles now have a reliable quarterback off the bench in case Vick goes down with an injury like he did last year.
In the backfield the Eagles have added some depth with veteran running back Ronnie Brown from the Miami Dolphins. Brown should be a good spell to starting running back LeSean McCoy who looks to continue his success after a breakout 2010 season. McCoy rushed for over 1,000 yards and led the NFC in yards from scrimmage last year, and at the age of 23 his skills should only improve.
The receiving corps is mostly the same as last year and should be one of the most dynamic in the league. The explosive DeSean Jackson leads this young group of weapons for Michael Vick. Hopefully Jackson’s contract dispute with the Eagles front office doesn’t affect his play on the field too much where he is distracted or not willing to put his body on the line to win.
On the other side of the field is Jeremy Maclin. Maclin is seen by many as a more complete receiver than Jackson because of his ability to catch the ball all over the field and use his body more. There are some questions surrounding him after missing all of the preseason with a lymphoma scare, but now that he is fully healthy and ready to go he should be able to build off of his successful 2010 season.
The Eagles have added more depth at receiver now with the addition of Steve Smith from the Giants who looks like he will be ready for a limited role at the start of the season after having offseason knee surgery. Then with sure-handed Jason Avant and the tall red zone threat Riley Cooper the Eagles have a depth at this position that they’ve never had before.
The biggest question with the offense is with the offensive line. They should be slightly upgraded from last year with their first round draft pick Danny Watkins. Around Watkins there will be some experienced players with pro-bowler Jason Peters (shows you how big a joke the pro bowl is today), Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson and King Dunlap. The only hole there appears to be Dunlap who will be battling with Winston Justice for the right tackle position. If they can keep Michael Vick healthy for an entire season they will far succeed any of my expectations.
Defensively is where the Eagles look to be upgraded from last year, specifically the cornerback position. After trading Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie the Eagles shocked the entire NFL when they signed top free agent Nnamdi Asomugha. Along with a ball hawk in Asante Samuel these talented and experienced corners should be able to hold up the slack for young safeties Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman.
The D-Line has added its fair share of talent as well. They added pro bowl defensive end Jason Babin and the talented defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins from the Packers. The 1-2 punch of Babin and Trent Cole should terrorize opposing quarterbacks on passing downs. Also, with the emergence of Antonio Dixon last year at defensive tackle he fills a good pair with Jenkins, and let’s not forget the veteran Mike Patterson filling in when needed.
The Achilles heel of this defense and probably the team is the linebackers. Rookie 4th round draft pick Casey Matthews has been chosen to lead the defense at middle linebacker. He is joined by two speedy linebackers on the outside with Jamar Chaney and Moise Fokou. Where they excel with speed, they lack with size and experience. Hopefully the rest of the defense can fill in the big hole that is the linebackers.
Finally onto the special teams the Eagles have let go of their all-time leading scorer in David Akers. They have transitioned onto rookie Alex Henery out of Nebraska who I would expect to fill in the void since the Eagles used a 4th round pick on a kicker. At the punter position the Eagles have gotten rid of Sav Rocca and replaced him with undrafted rookie Chas Henry. With a new kicker and punter the Eagles have a new look on special teams but when it comes to returning the ball they can always count on DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin to put fear in the opposing team every time they step back for a return.
The key to this year’s team is how Coach Andy Reid handles all of the talent that has been put in front of him. If Michael Vick can somehow stay healthy and the defense becomes a weapon rather than a liability like it was last year than the Eagles have a great chance to repeat as NFC East champion. And if all the pieces come together the Eagles could have their first parade on Broad Street in franchise history.
Even With a New Deal, Michael Vick Still Has A Lot to Play For
By John Russo
6 years, $100 million.
It’s the day Michael Vick dreamed of when he stepped out of a federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, KA in the May of 2009.
Getting back into the NFL and playing the one sport he loved was what got Vick through 19 months of hell. But there was more to it. He had to pay off the debt that came with his heinous crime. And this past week, he will finally be out of the red, focusing on what he does best.
Many people were skeptical of Vick’s new deal. “This just proves crime does pay.” “Now that he’s rich again, Vick can just laugh at the legal system all the way to the bank.” What more does he have to play for now?”
That last one struck a nerve. A nerve that makes me angry at the do-gooders in this world. The people who are so blind to one man’s freedom, forgetting that no one is perfect.
I am not going to downplay what Vick did. It is indeed disgusting, but also forgivable. The man did 19 months of jail, admitted to being stupid and did everything the world asked of him: pay his debt to society and contribute positively to the prevention of animal cruelty.
Michael Vick is genuinely sorry for what he did and he and is now looking forward to the next step in his freedom: making people forget.
People will eventually forget. They always do. But in order for there to be any sort of forgive-and-forget, Vick has to do something so unbelievable that people will not associate the name “Michael Vick” with dog fighting.
The famous word that Adrian speaks into Rocky’s ear that gets played at almost every Philadelphia sporting event in a late-game situation. Much like Rocky, Vick has taken his fair share of punches and has been knocked down. But Vick has never been knocked out. Not yet.
Vick gets back up because he is fighting for his life on the football field. When he tucks the football and runs with it, he’s not just going for a first down. He’s running towards freedom.
Vick has a lot left to prove to this world. He’s playing on a team that has tasted victory too many times in the past 10 years. He’s playing a city that’s so starved for a championship that they ran their preceding savior out of town.
Philadelphia has no problem with getting behind a black quarterback. Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb both failed to end the 51-year drought. Now the faith of the fans lies on Vick’s feet and left arm.
A majority of the fan base has put the dog fighting behind him. They only see the greener pastures ahead with Vick under center. But there is still a handful that want him to fail; that wished he would still be rotting away in a 10-foot cell.
But Vick isn’t playing for those people. He’s playing for those who supported him, and most importantly, he’s playing for himself.
So when you see Vick receive the shot gun snap from center, look downfield and see DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin blanketed and immediately look for a hole, you’ll see a man running forwards and not back. Because that hole will eventually close and the ghosts of his past will surround him like the opposing defense.
Run, Mike, run.
Eagles extend Vick; Jackson next?
By Kevin K
On Monday, the Eagles announced the signing of 31 year old QB Michael Vick to a 6-year deal, worth $100 million with $40 million guaranteed. The former controversial QB has officially signed on to be the Eagles franchise QB, but in the NFL a 6-year deal is not guaranteed.
I would expect at least 4 years out of Vick, if of course he doesn't get killed along the way by opposing defenses. We know the struggle of the Eagles offensive line the past few seasons, especially on Vick's blindside. The Eagles think that the moving of Todd Herremans to right tackle will only help Vick, and we will see that as the year goes on.
Now Vick has to prove that he is worth the money. He has to go out their and be the MVP and leader he showed he could be a year ago.
With the move, it also clears up a little more cap room for the Eagles to work with to sign WR DeSean Jackson. Jackson is not making anything when it comes to "top WRs" in the NFL. Jackson has done little to nothing so far in the preseason, and has shown that he doesn't really want to get hit or hurt until he gets paid. I expect the Eagles to sign Jackson to an extension next, if not than place the Franchise Tag on him (the Franchise Tag was lifted from Vick after he signed the 6-year deal).