Off Topic Saturday

Posted: October 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

Some non-game stuff.

I posted a list of 4-3 LB prospects over at ScoutsNotebook.  The good news – there are some quality guys.  The bad news – many of them are undersized WLB types.

The key to the Eagles LB situation is figuring out what we specifically need and building off that.  To me, it’s MLB.  Put a good player in there and I can live with Fokou/Rolle on the outside.  Move Chaney back to SAM if you want.  I think we need a solid MLB.  I’m not interested in a huge playmaker or great athlete.  I want a tackler.  The guy I like most for us is BC’s Luke Kuechly.  Only a Junior and no guarantees that he comes out.

Many will question what happens with the system and coaching changes.  I think Reid is here in 2012.  I think the Wide 9 is here as well.  Castillo?  Doesn’t seem likely.  Still, plan on LBs that can handle the current system.  And Casey Matthews could be a factor next year.  He will know what the heck he’s doing by then.  Lots of family dinners in his plans for the offseason.

* * * * *

I had a reader email me the other day about something.  Somehow the subject of Donovan and Westy as HOF’ers came up.  I don’t think either guy has a chance.  Donovan is destroying the credibility that it took him a decade to build.  His struggles in WAS were forgivable.  Mike Shanahan came off as a jerk.  This year?  Not so much.  Leslie Frazier has bent over backwards for him.  And Donovan’s attitude toward working on his fundamentals is strikingly different than Tom Brady, who brought in his high school QB guru this summer to work on some things.  Donnie will need a ticket to get into Canton.

Westy’s only sin is getting hurt.  Great player, but RBs need numbers.  Brian doesn’t have them.

I’m sure some will disagree with me.  Make a case and see if you can change my mind.

* * * * *

Anyone watch the seaon finale of Breaking Bad last week?  Spoiler alert if you haven’t…


The scene where Gus walked out of the room, minus half of his face…brilliant.  Amazing.  Disgusting.  Great.  Very cool.  That show is a roller coaster ride of angst and relief.  There are moments of true greatness and that scene was one of them.  Just perfect.

36 Comments on “Off Topic Saturday”

  1. 1 Steve H said at 11:26 AM on October 15th, 2011:

    Donovan was never the same after that 2005 season. Something changed in the guy and he hasn’t been better since.

  2. 2 Steven Dileo said at 3:11 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    His career since the Superbowl:

    groin injury during 05-06
    torn ACL in 06-07
    mediocre coming off injury in 07-08
    up and down, but finished strong in 08-09
    decent, but struggled at the end of 09-10

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 11:30 AM on October 15th, 2011:

    Slow down Tommy, Castillo is gone? Reid respects Castillo and it would take a lot to get him fired after one season. We are not even halfway into his first season and you are canning the guy?

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 11:36 AM on October 15th, 2011:

    I’m not saying you are wrong but it seems early to make that assumption. You would think he gets the benefit of the doubt so long as the defense does not crash and burn the rest of the way.

  5. 5 Jules Andre said at 12:35 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I take it what has happened to the defense so far this year is only considered landing belly up and skidding off the runway? Because if you ask me the defense is getting burned every single week.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 12:15 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    In regard to Juan’s return I said “doesn’t seem likely”. Far from a definitive statement. Left wiggle room just in case he does get things turned around.

    Juan hasn’t shown me enough to think it is likely we’ll get significantly better, but it is possible. And I sure hope he does. I’d love to see him succeed.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 12:35 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Okay, I thought you were writing him off completely. I’m still hopeful they right the ship as well, the second half of last weeks game was promising.

  8. 8 Christopher Miller said at 2:43 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    There have been little stretches of each game where we thought maybe things were turning around. this one just happened to be at the end of a game when the other team was up a lot. I don’t get this sense of entitlement some folks seem to think Juan deserves. He is a great dude, but this is the NFL. It was an absolutely nuts idea making him DC without even experience as a positional coach on the defensive side of the ball at a professional level. I think you could make a case that the DC is the single most important person on game day, and not the area you want someone learning on the job. This is even more the case on our team with a wildly inconsistent offense that likes to rely on unconventional plays and “trickeration” (kill me now if Billick calls one more game for us).

    I feel bad for him because if Reid wanted to give him his wish to move to the defensive side of the ball, the best favor he could have done him was make him the DL coach where his experience would have been most helpful and hired an experienced DC with maybe a different background than JJ so Juan could get exposed to other ideas. Juan would have had some solid players to work with while he continued to grow as a coach. After all his years of loyal service and hard work, what Juan really deserved was a well thought out career development plan that put him in a position to succeed both now and in the future as a DC when he was ready.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 4:12 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    One thing that I haven’t fully understood is where Juan is getting his ideas from. Regardless of if you agree or disagree with what he is doing, it seems to me that this defense is very distinctly different from a JJ-style defense, yet you would think Juan would have been influenced by JJ considering his defense is what we have run throughout Castillo’s time with the Eagles.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 11:52 AM on October 15th, 2011:

    What about Brian Dawkins for HOF?

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 12:16 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Dawk has a legit shot. I think he should get in. Landmark FS.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 1:01 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I’d love to see a guy I rooted for make it in. I’ve only been a fan since ’00 and I agree – no shot with Donovan after this year and the last, and no shot with Westbrook.

    Also, yea, Dawkins probably deserves it or something. He was okay for us.

  13. 13 Corry Henry said at 1:12 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Given that most of the LBs on your list are WIL type ‘backers, and most of the guys you list as possibilities at MIKE are juniors, are there any possible free agent acquisitions that the team could pick up (or players that could be traded for)?

    Offtopic, but what’s your take on Devon Still? Dude seems like a monster DT in the games I’ve watched.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 4:00 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    He does a great job getting off blocks. However I think hiis pad level is a problem. He gets high and gets blown off the ball when he is doubled.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 1:17 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    In the ’06 season, the Eagles played in the Hall of Fame game. I seem to remember Reid took several players to the ceremony (guys he thought had a chance to make it), but I can’t remember all the names. I think it was McNabb, Dawk, Westbrook, and maybe Tra/Runyan?

  16. 16 ike said at 1:59 PM on October 15th, 2011:


    I’m watching the Temple – Buffalo game.

    Bernard Pierce is putting on show. This is the first time I’ve seen him play (I live very far away from Phila).

    He seems to run a bit up-right. But with good vision in the hole and a quick first step, but not 4.4 speed. (I don’t think Shady does, either. And Emmit Smith sure didn’t. But w/ a block or two downfield, 4.55’s good enough.)

    Like I said, I’ve never seen him play before today.

    What’s your evaluation of Pierce at this point — whom I’d expect to declare for the 2012 draft.

    I’d love to see the kid make it in the NFL as something more than a Todd McNair

    Take care . . .

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 2:14 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Covered Bernard a couple weeks back.

  18. 18 Gary said at 2:23 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Just watched the season finale of Breaking Bad last night. Unbelievable. My favorite show of all time. Can’t believe there’s only one season left.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 3:04 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    My sister is flat-out obsessed with this show. I saw the first 4 or 5 episodes way back in season 1 and thought it seemed awesome. But I went out of town and my DVR stopped recording it, and I’ve never caught back up.

    Fortunately, Netflix just put the first 3 seasons on Netflix Instant. I’m gonna start trying to watch an episode or two each night. I need a good television fix now that “Game of Thrones” is over until next April. Thankfully, “The Walking Dead” starts on Sunday.

  20. 20 Gary said at 3:56 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Good idea. I don’t know anyone who watches it who isn’t completely obsessed.

    I’ve never seen an episode of Game of Thrones, though I know a bunch of people who love it and I’m sure I would too. I might try to get into it soon via Netflix. The Walking Dead is the one we’re both familiar with. Can’t wait for the season premiere.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 4:18 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I was reticent to watch “Game of Thrones” because the whole medieval-drama type of thing isn’t really my cup of tea. But it captivated me from episode one, and never let go. I loved it so much that, as soon as the finale ended, I ran out and bought the first book. I’m a couple hundred pages into book 4 right now, and they’re f’n amazing.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 9:51 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Kammich’s post is spot on. The GAme of Thrones shows follow very closely the books which are very long. You should check it out. As for breaking bad….this season had a huge lull in that certain aspects of character relationships didn’t seem to be moving. However the last 5 episodes were off the hook. The final scene was crazy with Gus and the big reveal at the end regarding the valley Lilly. Also AMC is putting out tremendous shows. The walking dead is great. If you haven’t you should read the TPB written by kirkman the creator of this series. I swear that guy wakes up and says I know people like this character but I am still going to kill them off in the next story arc. Read em! You won’t be able to put em down.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 3:10 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    If Roger Craig isn’t in the HoF, I don’t think Westbrook ever had a shot–even if he stayed healthy. The numbers are fairly similar, and they were very similar offensive weapons. 13,100 yards and 73 TDs from scrimmage in 11 years for Craig; 10,275 yards and 71 TDs in 9 years for Westy. The big difference? Craig has 3 rings, and we all know how Canton favors their champions.

    I never thought Donovan had a shot. No eye-opening numbers, no landmark consistency, no rings, no MVPs, etc… very good QB. But its not the “Hall of Very Good.”

    My completely ‘homer’ opinion is that Dawkins should be in. He is one of the few players that would force me to take a road trip to see the HoF induction in person. But its so, so hard for a Safety to get inducted. 900+ tackles, 37 INTs, 35 FFs, 23 sacks, 8 Pro Bowls. And still going. Those are HoF numbers to me. But we’ll see if they’re good enough to escape the Safety stigma.

  24. 24 d m said at 3:18 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    For me, I won’t believe in this team until they put together 60 minutes of quality football against a competitive opponent. I have only seen them play 6, maybe 7, quarters of good football throughout the last four weeks, and in the NFL that simply isn’t good enough.

    If we do lose, then barring a miraculous turnaround (and there is no reason to believe that this team could pull that off right now) I believe the season is over. I don’t know if Juan will be fired though. Even if he did get fired, I am not sure that it will make a big difference. We simply don’t have the personnel at the LB position to run this scheme and consistently be effective.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 8:27 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Your looking for 60 minutes of quality football? So 20 minutes at the end of last week plus the first 40 of this week before the collapse, right?

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 3:23 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Firing Juan at any point DURING this season, makes him the scapegoat. Andy knows his job is on the line, and he’s the first person to point out that the blame should fall on him. Firing Juan would be akin to pointing his finger and saying, “he started it, Mom! Please, Mom, just give me one more yeeeear!” I think Andy has more respect for his peers than to do something like that. I hope so, anyway.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 3:27 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Tommy, I love your stuff. I’ll just say that first and foremost. Being from out of the area allows you to bring a level head and objectivity to a lot of the issues surrounding the Eagles. However, I think being out of the area also hurts your ability to really put your finger on the pulse of the city and the fanbase.

    I don’t see how anything short of a playoff win wil save Reid’s job. We’re all in this year. He got the free agents he wanted. He got the OL coach, the DL coach, and the DC that he wanted. He has final say over the draft that has given us Casey Matthews, Danny Watkins, Trevard Lindley, and a shit ton of other guys who can’t play — at least not yet — at least not at the level that they should be playing at for a team that is “all in”.

    I listen to sports radio religiously. I hear the local guys, as well as the national media. We’re to the point now that even Reid’s biggest supporters have had enough. EVERYONE is tired of the smug press conferences. We’re tired of his cliche`s. We’re tired of the LBs just flat out sucking year in and year out. We’re tired of falling short of expectations. We’re tired of the mismanagement of timeouts. We’re tired of the red zone and short yardage ineptness. Most of all, we’re tired of of listening to him say that he has to do a better job….well, no shit. But he fails to do it.

    I was listening to Brian Billick yesterday and he hit the nail on the head. You’re never going to find a better coach than Andy Reid. But you can find a different coach who is also good. Tony Dungy couldn’t get the Bucs over the hump in Tampa. John Gruden came in and was able to push the right buttons with the guys already in place and win the Super Bowl. I’m tired of the illogical fear from fans who wonder what would happen if Reid left. If we stay the course, we could miss out on the next Sean Payton or Mike McCarthy. We’ve already lost Steve Spagnulo and John Harbaugh. Maybe Andy is to the point now (and I’d argue for the last 3 or 4 years) where he can no longer see the forest through the trees. Maybe a new set of eyes is what this team needs.

    Just one last thing….this is regarding Signgate….Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis have been here for a cup of tea. I believe it was Kelce who went on Twitter and said “those aren’t real fans”. John the Sign Guy is a great, longtime fan. They should have kept their mouths shut and used that sign as motivation to try to not get Vick killed again this week. I hope they realize that if Reid is shown his walking papers at the end of the year, that their play on the field contributed to his dismissal. If I were the guy with the sign, I would have told them, “F— off. I’ll take it down when you win a game.”

    Roman, out.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 4:10 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Kelce apologized for the “real fans” comment. That was dumb on his part.

    I’ll talk more about Reid during the bye week when I’ve got time to put together some thoughts.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 10:33 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    He did, but I don’t accept it. Kelce is ingorant. He’s been here for one win and a lot of punishment on our franchise QB. Hell, most of us have been REAL Eagles fans before he was born — and we’ll still be here when his short career flames out. You would never hear someone like Trent Cole make comments like that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just pissed at Kelce. You hear players make remarks like that all around the league. And it’s usually the guys who haven’t earned their stripes running their mouths because they can’t take the heat that comes with being in the NFL.

    One more thing about Reid….I don’t think he’ll ever get fired. I do envision a scenario where he gracefully steps down, however. And I do believe when that day comes, Reid will finally endear himself to Philadelphia. Even Reid haters don’t want to hate Andy. We’re a passionate fanbase and we’re starved for a Championship, but we’re not blind or heartless. We acknowledge Andy’s vast contribution to the franchise and the city. I think if he were ever to say, “I tried my best and it wasn’t good enough…’s time to move on” that he’ll finally earn the respect that he deserves and it will be a sad, yet refresshing day in Eagles’ history.

  30. 30 ChowderFACE said at 3:52 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Looks like Florio is at it again.. Take it for what its worth

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 4:11 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Just put up a post on that.

  32. 32 Ben Hert said at 4:10 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I’ve always looked at Breaking Bad as kind of an auxiallary show for me while Lost, Dexter, Mad Men all took the lead, but this year showed my that Breaking Bad is my new go to show. Absolutely excellent everything: music, writing, acting…everything was perfect.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 4:29 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    It is a great show. This year might have been the best season yet.

    My only complaint is that at the end of the show I feel like I need to take a valium to settle my nerves. And I don’t even take drugs. Such a tense show.

  34. 34 Matt Hoover said at 5:22 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Until Randall is in, noway they can consider Dmac

  35. 35 Deshawn Bentley said at 6:17 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    So will Jesse find out Walter did in fact poison brock and try to kill him?

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 6:49 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Speaking of Canton, will Reid get in?