Big Al, Plax, and Kafka

Posted: May 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: , , | 17 Comments »

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank god almighty, I’m free at last!”

I think we all remember exactly where we were when we heard Carlito Brigante shout those words on the courthouse steps at the beginning of Carlito’s Way.  The man saying them today is Albert Haynesworth, hero to the masses and great guy all  around.  He had been caught up in some bogus charges of road rage.  I had some people look into it and they confirmed that Big Al is “1 million percent innocent”.  That’s like a record or something.

I’m glad he wasn’t punished by the law.  Big Al has suffered enough.  The man has been a victim for years and years.  Will we ever forget the horror of seeing Andre Gurode attack Big Al’s foot with his face?  Gurode couldn’t be stopped.  I’m just glad Big Al got out of there okay.

Now we need the Skins to cut Big Al loose so that he can come to Philly.  I’m sure he’d be the victim of some trouble here.  Poor guy is just always a target.  I’m not sure why.  He’s the NFL version of St. Francis of Assisi.  Maybe he’s too nice.

* * * * *

Lots more talk over the weekend about Plaxico Burress coming to Philly.  I remain confused on this idea.  I have nothing against Plax being an Eagle.  I’m just not sure how he fits in.  Would he be willing to come here as a 30 catch guy and Red Zone specialist?  If so, I guess I’m open.  Even then, things aren’t crystal clear.   Let’s look at receiver stats for 2010:

DeSean Jackson — 47-1056 – 22.5 – 6 TDs
Jeremy Maclin —— 70 – 964 – 13.8 – 10 TDs
Jason Avant ——- 51 – 573 – 11.2 – 1 TD
Riley Cooper ——- 7 – 116 – 16.6 – 1 TD
Brent Celek ——– 42 – 511 – 12.2 – 4 TDs
Clay Harbor ——– 9 – 72 – 8.0 – 1 TD
LeSean McCoy —– 78 – 592 – 7.6 – 2 TDs
Owen Schmitt —— 19 – 136 – 7.2 – 1 TD

So where do we find 30-40 catches in that group? Or do we think we’ll throw an extra 50 or 60 passes?  I’d like DeSean to get more catches (although part of that is on him simply catching the ball better).  Celek had a down year with only 42 grabs.  Clay Harbor and Riley Cooper are young guys I’d like to get more involved in the offense.

Shady did catch 78 passes.  Only about 1/3 of those were by design.  He caught a lot of checkdowns.  You can’t count on taking those throws away from him.

Avant would be the big loser, most likely.  He’s not such a weapon that we must get him 50 catches, but he is a really valuable 3rd down receiver.  Plax could help on some plays, but I’m not sure we’ll find as many passes to come his way as he’d ideally like.

You would think a team that only has one good WR would make a strong push for Plax.  He could possibly be an impact player for the Chiefs or a team like that.  Will Plax buy into being a role player or will he expect to be a starter type?  Mike Vick bought into the fact he had bottomed out and had to change his ways.  Plax might not have the same attitude.

I’m going to remain skeptical of the reports, but there is some real logic to the thinking.  Plax is a big time Red Zone weapon and that is an area where we’ve struggled for years.  He wouldn’t solve the situation, but would be a weapon down there.  He also might turn out to be an important role player that you got at a bargain price, as well as at a point in his career when he’s highly motivated.

Can’t wait to see what happens with this situation.

* * * * *

Mike Kafka says he’s ready to be the backup QB this year.  I disagree.  Andy Reid says Kafka is ready.  I still disagree.  I think Kafka needs another year of preparation.

A.J. Feeley started 5 games in his 2nd year and led us to a 4-1 record.  However…that 2002 team had a great defense, very good STs, and top 5 running game.  Feeley was charged with not losing games.  We have a whole different situation right now.  The offense carries the team.  We must score points to be effective.  The defense is a complete mystery.  The running game is effective, but is partially successful because of the passing attack.  And STs…that’s a bit of an unknown right now.

I think Reid knows Kafka’s not ready.  Big Red is just saying that to be supportive of his guy, but to also keep people from asking him a million questions about what we’ll do for a backup QB.

I still have high hopes for Kafka in 2012 and beyond, but I don’t see him as someone I’d be comfortable running the team at this point.  I am interested to see what kind of progress he’s made since last summer.  Let’s hope we have preseason games so we can get a look at Kafka.


  • http://Website Thunderlips

    Albert: Yes, please
    Plax: No, thank you
    #2 QB: Does Garcia still have a pulse? #7 is taken, but I’m fine with him wearing #5.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    I think Garcia is an emergency type candidate. Matt Hasselbeck would be the first choice I’m sure, but there will be some other decent vets to choose from.

    We’re looking for a 1-year guy. Just someone to fill in as needed in 2011. Kafka is the long term answer.

  • http://Website Anders

    what about Mark Bulger if we cant get Hasselbeck as backup?

    For some crazy reason, I would love the Eagles to get Haynesworth. I even liked him when the Redskins signed him, but I knew back then that we wouldnt cash out like we did with Samuel

  • http://Website Harold

    This is the same team that envisioned Ellis Hobbs as a starter despite the fact he couldn’t get on the feild the year before.

  • http://Website Geraldino

    No way the Eagles sign BOTH Plaxico and Big Al

  • http://Website Dan in Philly

    I’m assuming if the Birds sign Plex, Avant goes, though I don’t know the contract issues which might be involved. It’s hard to see Plex at this point being a big upgrade over Avant, but what do I know?

    I don’t see the Birds signing either, but I think Big Al is more likely.

  • http://Website izzylangfan

    Plax is not really needed by the Eagles. Beware of taking a player just because he plays well against you.

    Haynewsorth’s sins in violating the coaches wishes are too great. There is no way he can really be trusted.

    The one reject that intrigues me is Vince Young. If Kafka can really be a number two then we could take a chance in developing Young ala Vick and get some real value for him down the road. Having said this, however, I agree with Tommy. It seems unlikely that Kafka is really ready and Reid has to (as much as possible) keep the rest of the league in the dark as to what his trade and free agency strategy might be.

  • http://Website Midnight Greenville

    I would stay away from Plax. I’ll take our current group of receivers. I’ll take McNabb as our #2. Not sure he will get another starting gig and who better to come in after a shortened offseason with probably reduced training camp?

  • http://Website Colin

    Tommy,
    I think instead of looking at it from the perspective of # of completions it’d be better if we look where Plax would help situationally.

    BGN listed some red-zone stats (further pilfered from Adam Caplan) showing on 65 targets we only completed ~19% of the passes in the Red Zone. I would think we could carve out 15-20 of those for Plax and then also use him situationally between the 20′s.

    I think that Cooper would probably be the biggest loser, as I doubt AR would take Avant out of the slot duties and definitely not on 3rd down. But as much as I’d like to see what Cooper can do I also would like someone to push him, it’ll be his second season and I would think with his knowledge of the offense he at least wouldn’t be at much of a disadvantage to a much older player who’s been away from Football for 2+ years.

    Of course all of this would be dependent on him accepting the specialist role along with an incentive laden contract, but if he is I’m beginning to feel more comfortable with the idea the more I think about it.

  • http://Website Dhani

    Jason Avant is 28 years old. Plaxico is 34. I don’t think Andy will sign Plaxico and have him replace Avant. We have only have 4 locks to make the roster: DeSean, Maclin, Avant, Cooper. We usually carry 5-6 WRs. In 09′ we kept 7.

  • http://Website ATG

    1. I think if you were a print journalist you would be fielding some angry letters-to-the-editor. Luckily this readership appreciates sarcasm.

    2. “Or do we think we’ll throw an extra 50 or 60 passes?” I could actually hear Andy and Marty smiling around their cheesesteaks when I read that.

    3. A 34-year old wideout who will need a year to get his legs under him would have to come awful cheap. How nice is it not to be desperate at WR, finally.

    4. No way McNabb comes here as a backup, right? It would be too weird. If he is not given a starting job, he will at least want a situation where he hopes to steal it away. But, boy, if he was willing to hold the clipboard and be a coach in uniform, that would be an ideal situation.

  • http://Website Surge21

    “Will we ever forget the horror of seeing Andre Gurode attack Big Al’s foot with his face?”

    Hilarious. Keep ‘em coming Mr. Lawlor.

  • http://Website ATG

    Not to bog things down with the technical stuff, but does anyone else get some weird formatting thing where the players’ names in the comments show up in the font, and size, of the comment numbering? Everyone’s name is giant and almost invisible.

  • http://Website MikeC

    Just for clarity sake here, the case against Fat Albert was dismissed because he and the other party “reached an agreement.” Which is to say, Daniel Snyder’s money is making more people happy than ever. Good on him but let’s not pain the picture, as tongue-in-cheek as it may be, that Fat Albert is innocent. He’s just rich, but I think we all already knew that.

    I have to agree with ATG comment 1 but, then again, Tommy’s not doing print journalism here. Long live the Bloggers!

  • http://Website Chris

    @ATG

    No, I’m not having that problem.

  • http://Website wellhelloitsdan

    I think the birds should resign Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, and Dan Klecko. Then, when other team’s defenses are having success stopping Vick and Co, we can plug those guys in and do some old-school clobberin.

    Instead of the Wildcat, they could call it the OldCat ;)

  • http://Website BleedingGreena

    I would love to see plax and Al both get picked up b y the birds. If that happened we would be totally set at DL and WR. Also why not pick up Portis as well, then we would have 2 players that use to torch our team twice a yr.