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View from the Philly Pressbox – What Really Happened to the Eagles?

In Philadelphia Eagles on December 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

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WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE EAGLES??

 As we sit here on Sunday morning of week 13 with the Philadelphia Eagles preparing to play the Dallas Cowboys the Eagles are sitting at 3 wins and 8 losses, tied with the Carolina Panthers for the worst record in the NFC. Carolina beat the Birds last week so technically they are in last place. How did a team with such high hopes fall so far, so fast??

 Michael Vick – Vick is not an elite QB in the NFL. Frankly, I wasn’t a big fan when he was running around making plays in Atlanta. Early in the season he turned the ball over game after game that not only kept the offense from scoring but put the defense in bad situations that they couldn’t handle.

 The offensive line – We knew the injury to Jason Peters in the off season was going to be a big loss; I’m just not sure we knew how big. The rash of injuries to Jason Kelce, Danny Watkins and Todd Herremans has been devastating. Those injuries have kept LeSean McCoy from doing anything this season, 750 yards rushing, after his Pro Bowl year in 2011. Obviously, the lack of protection didn’t help Vick either.

 The receivers – DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek have all struggled. They have 45, 41 and 43 catches respectively for 700, 528 and 504 yards. I’m not a huge fan of Jackson to begin with; he’s not an elite receiver especially if he can’t get down the field. Maclin seems to be running cautiously over the middle after getting hit hard a few times. As for Celek, I like the way he plays but every ball that has been off of him has ended up in a defenders hands. Overall, this group has underachieved. Some it could be them; some could be the lack of QB protection and some of it the QB’s themselves.

 Trent Cole and Jason Babin – These two Pro Bowlers have done nothing all season. Babin’s play and attitude got him run out of town. I wouldn’t expect Cole to be around much longer either. You have to able to rush the QB for your defense to be successful. These two combined for 7 sacks.

 The defensive backfield – Oh, where to start? They have all played poorly. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromarti on the corners have been tough to watch. They don’t cover and they don’t tackle either. Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen never seem to be in position to help out from the safety spots. Coleman is second on the team in tackles with 72 and Allen is third with 55. That in itself should tell you something about the defense. All the way up to last weeks loss to Carolina there is still on going miscommunication on who is going to be where among this group.

 Coaching change – The firing of Juan Castillo, more importantly the timing of it was interesting. At the time the Eagles defense wasn’t playing that bad. It was the offense that was struggling and the defense was keeping the team in games. The Todd Bowles move has been a disaster. Now not only is the offense bad, the defense is just as bad.

 The Tale of the Tape – The Eagles have more first downs, 233-209, more rushing yards, 1,420-1,292, and equal passing yards, 2.508-2,509, than their opponents for the season which would lead you to believe they would be having a decent season.

 Here are the key stats:

 The Eagles have scored just 18 TD’s to their opponents 31.

The Eagles have thrown 12 TD passes to their opponents 20.

The Eagles have 18 sacks to their opponents 34.

The Eagles defense has scored 0 TD’s to their opponents 5.

Turnover ratio is -17.

 The future – With the injuries mounting, and a rookie QB cutting his teeth in the NFL the chances of winning many, if any, games this season seems bleak. There will be major personnel changes soon after the season. Many of the old faces will be gone. The Eagles need to determine if Nick Foles is their man moving forward. Andy Reid will likely be gone or moved upstairs. It will be a new beginning for Philadelphia Eagles football in 2013 and it will take time to get back to the top of the NFC.

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DON’T FIRE ANDY REID!!!!

In Philadelphia Eagles on February 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I know that I’m going against popular demand but I’m glad Andy Reid is here and I hope he stays another year until the Eagles win the Super Bowl. So bring on the comments, all haters are welcome, I’m ready for you. Here’s why I say Andy stays. Last season saw:

  • 3 new offensive linemen, Evan Mathis, and 2 rookies, Danny Watkins and Jason Kelce, that got a lot better as the season went on. Todd Herremans is a quality tackle and some say Jason Peters is the best in the game. They also had a new O-Line coach in Howard Mudd.
  • The O-Line development led Shady McCoy to Honolulu after a tremendous season both rushing and receiving.
  • A crazy season of DeSean Jackson antics and average play that will change next season. Jackson can be a great player again but he hurt this team.
  • Brent Celek and Jeremy Mackiln are good solid players. Jason Avant and Riley Cooper are serviceable reserves.
  • Injuries and turnovers to Michael Vick. You can’t help the injuries but Vick will protect the football much better next season.  The Vince Young experiment didn’t work and it hurt this football team. There was a new QB coach in Doug Pederson.

Overall I think this is a good, maybe great offensive football team if they don’t turn the ball over. Not many teams have these weapons!!

  • The defensive line was pretty decent. Jason Babin was a Pro Bowler. Trent Cole is solid and the guys in the middle, Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson did a decent job but some depth is needed up front. Jaqua Parker might have run out of gas but showed spurts.
  • The LB’s got better but need some major help. The Casey Mathews experiment didn’t work out, however he played much better later in the season. The jury’s still out whether he can be a full time player. I’d like to see them pick up a gap filler like London Fletcher a free agent from the Redskins and use the #15 pick in the draft on a LB, preferably Boston College’s Luke Kuechly. That would add some experience and toughness to the group that has to do a better job stopping the run.
  • The DB’s were a mystery. Nnamdi Asomugha was pretty bad. He was pretty a guarantee to get burnt at least once a game for a TD. That won’t happen again this year. Every team in the league couldn’t have been wrong on the guy. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Asanti Samuel, if he’s back, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Jaquawn Jarrett, Josilio Hansen will be better next year.

Again there were an awful lot of new faces on defense. Add to that a new Defensive Coordinator, Juan Castillo, new DL Coach, Jim Washburn, new  LB Coach, Mike Caldwell, new CB Coach, Johnny Lynn, whose been replaced and new Safeties Coach Mike Zordich and not having any offseason practice time to get to know the new players and new coaches hurt this team badly especially early in the year.

  • The Special Teams added a rookie kicker, Alex Henery and a rookie punter, Chaz Henry to go with solid long snapper Jon Dorenbos. I can’t say you can upgrade from David Akers but these guys did a nice job.

 All of these things bring us to Andy Reid. Here are a few facts and figures for you to consider:

  • 5th Winningest Active Coach. Bill Belichick (175 wins – 17 seasons), Mike Shanahan (157-25), Jeff Fisher (142-20), Tom Coughlin (142-16), Reid (126-13).
  • Reid is 2nd among active coaches with 45 more wins than losses. Only Belichick is better with 78.
  • Reid is tied for 1st among active coaches for years taking his teams to the playoffs with Belichick with 9. Remember Belichick has coached for 17 seasons to Reids 13.
  • Reid has also coached the 2nd most playoff games and won the 2nd most playoff games to only Belichick.
  • Reid has been to 5 NFC championship games and 1 Super Bowl as Head Coach of the Eagles.
  • If Reid coached another 13 seasons with the same 126 wins, his 252 wins would rank him 3rd all time behind Don Shula and George Halas and 2 win ahead of Tom Landry. That’s pretty serious company.

 The only thing that is not on this Andy Reid resume is a Super Bowl Championship. The team is set up to make a run at the Super Bowl with the players they have and a possibly a few slight additions and there’s no one better than Andy to take them there.

E-A-G-L-E-S!!!!!

Philly Pressbox Weekly Sports Update – 1/22-28

In Misc Philly Sports on January 29, 2012 at 8:40 am

A quick review of Philly Sports for the week of January 22

  •   We lost Joe Paterno – RIP
  •   We lost Andy Musser – RIP
  •   We said goodbye to Brad Lidge. 2008 was a great season. There’s nothing like being perfect.

We said goodbye to Wilson Valdez. No more 19th inning pitching wins.

Phil Knight –Enough said!!

We found greatness in Penn State, Kenny Jackson, Charlie, Pittman, Jimmy Cefalo, Todd Blackledge, Chris Marrone, Michael Robinson, Michael Mauti, Lauren Perrotti, Jeff Bast, Susan Welch, Kurtis Cleckner and Jay Paterno, Sue Paterno and the Paterno family.

The Phils welcome Juan Pierre. Could he be the leadoff hitter we need?

Congrats to Flyers Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell for making the NHL All Star team. Especially Hartnell making his 1st appearance in his 11th season.

Claude Giroux goes to the All Star break 2nd in the league in points

The Flyers go to the All Star break in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division 3 points behind the Rangers.

The 76ers finished the week 3-1 and lead the Atlantic Division by 4 games.

Congrats to Shady McCoy, Jason Peters and Jason Babin for making the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. A special shout out to former Eagle David Akers for another trip to Honolulu.

Temple (15-5) whipped St. Joe’s (13-9), 78-60 at the Liacouras Center. I wish those games were still at the Palestra.

Drexel is 17-5 and has won 9 in a row.

Penn is 11-9 and has won 3 in a row.

LaSalle is 16-6 and has won 3 in a row.

Villanova lost to Marquette falling to 11-12.

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