Game Review – NE 38, PHI 20

Posted: November 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 55 Comments »

There is a great line in the movie Gardens of Stone. James Caan tells a story about his time in Vietnam to some soldiers in a Washington DC bar. Caan mentions seeing a helicopter attacked by a person with a bow and arrow. A soldier laughs and says “How do they expect to shoot down a helicopter with stuff like that?”. Caan responds that the more important point is “How do we expect to beat an enemy who is willing to fight helicopters with a bow and arrow?”. Brilliant.

I couldn’t help but think of that line as I watched Pats WR/RS Julian Edelman tightly covering elite All Pro mega-star and future Hall of Fame WR DeSean Jackson…in the Red Zone. How the heck did the Pats expect Edelman to stick with god’s gift to humanity? He did. Edelman also tackled Vince Young, also in the RZ. Edelman tackled LeSean McCoy on another play. The Pats essentially shot down a helicopter, blew up a tank, and sank our battleship using a bow and arrow. Any surprise that we lost by 18 points?

That game tells you all you need to know about these 2 particular teams, the 2011 Pats and 2011 Eagles. The Pats have been hit hard by injuries on defense, but find a way to overcome obstacles and win. The Eagles make dumb mistakes and find a way to blow games on a weekly basis.

I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. 2005 was a nightmare, but after midseason the injuries piled up at a ridiculous rate. There was a point when Mike McMahon was handing the ball off to Ryan Moats, throwing it to Darnerian McCants, and had rookie Todd Herremans protecting his blind side. We’ve got VY, Jason Peters, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson. That team was 5-6 heading into a prime time game with Seattle. We’re 4-7 heading heading into a prime time game with Seattle. Yikes.

The 2007 Eagles were just mediocre all year. Oddly, that team was 5-6 heading into a game with Seattle, although just a Sunday afternoon tilt.

The 2011 Eagles aren’t all that banged up. The team has more talent than the ’05 or ’07 teams. This group is losing for a whole other set of reasons. It is almost like we’ve got a Super Bowl hangover…minus the part about going to the Super Bowl. As I wrote yesterday, this “team” is way too individualistic. 53 players are supposed to operate as one team, but there are too many “me” guys right now. Also, there are just guys making mistakes that hurt the players around them. That isn’t purposefully selfish, but the results are the same.


The gameplan was to come out and attack the Pats secondary, which was missing starters. I have no complaints with this. We completed a couple of downfield passes and got up 10-0. At that point Shady had 3 carries. The next 4 plays were all passes. That is where I think we screwed up. We should have run Shady a couple of times. The goal is to work the clock (inferior teams always want the game to be shorter) and also get touches for your best player. It also lets the OL be aggressive. Those guys hate pass blocking play after play.

We did have a long, ball control drive late in the half, but even then Shady got just 2 carries. That drive did work as designed…right up until DeSean dropped a TD pass. The score at that point should have been 21-17, with us recapturing some momentum. Instead it was 21-13. Pats went down for a FG to make it 24-13. Ugh.

We needed to be more ball control all game long. The best way to stifle Tom Brady is to keep him on the sideline. Marty and Andy wanted points when they should have balanced that with the idea of us controlling the ball and keeping Brady off the field.

Bill Belichick gets a lot of credit for his famous gameplan vs the 2001 Rams in the Super Bowl. He wanted to take Marshall Faulk out of the game as much as possible. No need for any plan this week. Marty and Andy took Shady out of the game themselves. He finished the game with just 10 carries. He was targeted 7 times in the pass game (4 catches), but some of those were dump passes rather than designed plays. Shady had 32 touches in a blowout win vs Dallas, but just 14 in a loss vs NE. Marty and Andy are really smart guys, but there are times when they make me want to bang my head against a wall.

As frustrated as I was with the gameplan, it should have worked better than it did. DeSean had 3 crucial drops. 2 were TDs. One was a pass that would have gotten us inside the 10. Those drives resulted in 6 points, but could have led to 21 with simple execution. Huge difference.

The officials hurt us twice in the 1st half on offense. They failed to flag the Pats for a facemask on VY that would have led to offsetting penalties and a replay of 2nd/short instead of sack that made it 3rd/long. Worse, the officials failed to call PI on the Pats on a deep ball to DeSean. He was clearly pushed. The ball was picked off. We should have gotten possession at the NE 45. Instead they got it on our side of the field.

The low point of the game was a 4th/1 play in the 3rd Qtr. We called a timeout and then used a play-action pass where VY rolled right. His primary target was Celek. The underneath target was Owen Schmitt. VY overthrew the ball and Celek tried to make a tough grab, but was out of bounds. Horrible call. Spread ’em out and run Vince up the middle. Give the ball to Shady. Throw a short pass to Celek. Throw to Cooper or Avant. Rolling out and aiming for the back corner of the endzone just seems to really complicate things.

* 0 for 6 on 3rd downs in the 1st half.

* 2 for 4 in the Red Zone. At least we didn’t have a RZ turnover (I don’t count turnover on downs as same thing).

YOUNG — Up and down game. 26-48-400. 1 TD, 1 INT. Had some terrific throws. Pass to Cooper on early deep ball was good. Very good throw to Celek, Avant on the left side for nice gains. DeSean dropped 2 TDs from Vince that were very good throws, one of them a bomb that was right on the money. Vince had some poor throws as well. Underthrew a pass on 2nd series. DeSean was able to go down and make the grab. If that ball is on the money, might have been a long TD. Vince made poor throw to Avant on crossing route. Jason made the grab, but couldn’t get RAC yards because he had to reach back for the ball.

I was disappointed with VY’s decision making throughout the game. Seemed to hurry up on 2nd series even though he wasn’t under pressure. Dumped ball to Shady too quickly. Looked like Avant was open on seam route on play where Vince dumped the ball off. Late in the half Vince decided to scramble. Terrible decision. Got a couple of yards, but we lost about 20 seconds. Gotta throw the ball away there. VY made some odd reads in the RZ. Appeared Riley was open on a crossing route once, but VY was looking elsewhere. He ran inside the 10 and tried to fake out Edelman instead of just running over him.

SCHMITT — Quiet game.

MCCOY — 10-31 as runner. 4-30 as receiver. Ran for TD. Dropped a couple of short passes. Had a poor block of blitzer in the 1st half. Didn’t affect play, but needed to make a better block.

DJAX — Not his best game. Had 4 catches and 3 drops. 4-73 as receiver. Should have drawn PI call on play where pass was picked off. Did use his speed to get deep a few times. Only caught one of those passes (44 yds). All 4 catches came in the 1st half. Got benched in the 4th Qtr. Not sure what specifically made Andy mad.  Back to the drops for a second.  On 2 of them, DeSean was worried about hits.  This is concerning.  If we give him big money, will he suddenly not be concerned about hits?  Is this permanent?  What does it say to guys like Avant, who is willing to get the crap knocked out of him, that DeSean is more focused on avoiding contact than catching TDs?  Very troubling.  Todd Pinkston was Public Enemy #1 for such stuff.

COOPER — 3-71 as receiver. Made terrific grab early on. Ran a go route. Slowed down to locate the ball, then sped back up. Reached out and made impressive over-the-shoulder catch. Gain of 58. Put us inside the 10 and set up early TD. Had one semi-drop. Dove to make grab on comeback, but wasn’t able to hang on.

AVANT — Gamer. While DeSean was on the bench, Jason was out there busting his hump in a meaningless 4th Qtr. 8-110-1 overall. Took a huge hit on crossing route. Had the air knocked out of him and was right back in the game. Made couple of tough catches in traffic. Love this guy.

SMITH — Still part of witness protection. Only played a few snaps.

HALL — 1-16 as receiver, 1-2 as runner. Had 5 passes thrown his way, but that was in the 4th Qtr when Vince was desperate and firing all over the place. Chad had a chance for decent gain on his run play, but mis-read the blocks. There was a hole over toward LG. Looked like he could have gotten 5-7 yds. Instead, ran straight and DE crashed down to make the stop.

CELEK — Good game. 5-75 as receiver. Best catch came on PA pass late in the half. Vince rolled right and Celek went down the left side. LB had good coverage. Brent reached over him to make the grab and then fought his way down to the 5 yd line. Brent had very good block on Shady’s long run. Got up on LB in space and gave Shady room to run. Had a poor block on designed cutback run. Brent hit Ninkovich and didn’t make good contact. Brent hit the ground and Shady got stuffed for a loss.

HARBOR — Only had 1 catch, but went for 25 yards. Caught the ball down the middle and then bounced off initial tackler. Up and down as blocker.

OL — The O-line did a solid job in pass pro for most of the night. Once it got to the 4th Qtr and total desperation time, Vince was under some heat. Todd made poor block early, but Kelce moved outside to pick up the rusher and give Vince time to throw. Shady ran right into Kelce’s back on GL play. That looked very unpleasant. Watkins did okay vs Vince Wilfork. Danny lost his balance a couple of times, but Wilfork was pretty quiet. Shady’s TD run had good blocking. Kelce hit Wilfork from the side and sealed him. Mathis got upfield. Peters made a good reach block of the other DT and there was a lane up the middle. Mathis had a key holding call in the 1st Qtr.

Todd was tackle eligible on 4th/1 play. He blocked, then released. He was kind of open, but Vince didn’t look his way at all. Throwing on the move to tackle eligible wouldn’t have been ideal. Of course, neither was the overall play.



* The Pats got the best of us. They came in and ran early, doing just enough to move the chains. They wanted to sustain drives to wear us down up front. Then they used PA passes and had guys running wide open.

* We tried to press, but the Pats used bunch sets and motion to help guys get a clean release.

* The Pats also used their no-huddle attack to keep us off balance and to wear down our DL. Simple, but brilliant.

* Terrible RZ defense. They were 4 of 5.

* We only had 1 sack and no takeaways.

* Pats had 29 1st downs.

DE — Not enough pressure. Things started well, but we couldn’t keep it up. Cole got an early hit on Brady when he beat the LT with good speed rush. Used hard inside move on 3rd down and looked like the LT held him, but there was no call. Still got to Brady, but not in time. Guessed the snap count a couple of times. Got offside call on one of the plays. Jason Babin had 3 tackles, but only got pressure a couple of times. Darryl Tapp had some good moments. He used up and under move to get by the LT and hit Brady on early 3rd down play. Juqua Parker was far too quiet.

DT — Pretty good game, overall. Cullen Jenkins was a force at times. Used swim move to get by LG and then slung Brady to the ground. Got penetration on run play and stopped RB for no gain. Slanted hard to the inside for TFL in the early 2nd Q. Credited with 4 solo stops. Mike Patterson used swim move to get by double team and then he just engulfed Brady for sack. Had 4 total tackles. Derek Landri had a TFL and deflected a pass. He showed good hustle in chasing down a RB to make a tackle. Derek was offside on 3rd/1. There was a very lengthy discussion by the officials that some Eagles thought we were winning, but the call went against us. Trevor Laws had a quiet game.

CHANEY — Up and down game. Had 2 tackles. Credited with PBU. Got off balance while trying to get shot on Welker. Fell down and Brady hit him with the ball. Odd pass, play. Just missed the ball when covering Hernandez on a crossing route. Lit up Hernandez on run play when Aaron tried to block him. Chaney got low and popped him. Aaron was on the ground for a minute before leaving the field. Missed TFL of Vereen in the early 4th. Chaney just missed.

ROLLE — Up and down game. 4 solo tackles, 1 TFL. Had a chance to get BGE in the backfield on GL play, but hesitated for half a second and then wasn’t able to get him. TD. Fought off block of LG for short TFL. Chased down Woodhead on outside run and stopped him for minimal gain. Got burned by Gronk for TD in the 4th. Pats had empty set, but Brian was still slow to turn and run with Gronk. No idea what the hell he was looking at.

COLEMAN — Good game. Led the team with 12 tackles (11 solo). Got a big hit on Gronk in the mid-1st after Rob caught a pass over the middle. Rob was slow to get up and then left the game for a play. Generally was good with tackling. Active in run support. Didn’t make any plays, but also no mistakes.

ALLEN — Awful game. Slow to react to the run on a GL play and the RB scored. If Nate reads that quicker, he’s almost in the gap and should make the stop. Bit on play fake and left Welker open for huge gain. Took poor angle on short throw to Branch on 3rd down and Deion got up the field for big gain. Really struggled in the passing game. Had 6 solo stops and a TFL. Okay vs the run, but was lost out in space. Tom Brady really did a number on him.

ASOMUGHA — Only a role player. Did a good job vs Gronkowski when he did play. Broke up one pass. Chased down receiver and made a tough tackle. Seemed to aggravate his knee injury on that play.

SAMUEL — Very quiet. Didn’t have much action come his way. Did have a couple of plays where he was in the neighborhood. Asante kept a safe distance away. Once it looked like he was actually backing away from a runner. Huh??? It feels like we play 10 on 11 with him sometimes. I really can’t wait until we’re able to trade him. Asante has run his course in Philly.

HANSON — Bad, bad game. Hate to pick on our buddy MmmBop, but Wes Welker wore him out. Made Hanson look bad. Wes is a great slot receiver and has made plenty of guys look bad so I don’t want to make too much of this. Still, it was troubling to see how easy Wes got open vs him. Had 6 tackles.

HUGHES — Started at RCB. Brady/Branch burned him for huge gain on 3rd/long. Brandon had good initial coverage, but Brady moved in the pocket and signaled for Branch to go deep. Hughes got lost for half second and that is all it took. Covered well on some plays, but was a typical young guy learning on the job.

MARSH — Played some in the game. Had tight coverage of WR on play in the Red Zone.


CHAS HENRY — Only averaged 39.8 per punt. 1 inside the 20, no touchbacks.

ALEX HENERY — Hit 43-yd FG on 2nd drive. Good kick. Good depth on 2nd KO. Touchback.

PR — They only punted 3 times. 2 fair catches, 1 downed.

KOR — Dion had 20 yd KOR and 19 yd KOR. Lost 8 yards when Belichick challenged down by contact ruling on one KOR.


* NE missed FG in early 2nd Q. Odd. Henery missed 2 short FGs at The Linc vs SF. ARZ missed easy FG. Now NE.

* Colt Anderson fired off the edge and got very good pressure on FG that was good.


55 Comments on “Game Review – NE 38, PHI 20”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 2:24 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    James Caan is very cool.

    Tommy, you said, “Marty and Andy are really smart guys, but there are times when they make me want to bang my head against a wall.” I agree and I agree. They are smart enough to suceed consistently at a high level in the NFL. But part of being intelligent is knowing that it is human nature to have blind spots in one’s thinking and beliefs. The nature of a blind spot is that one is, obviously, blind to it. Andy and Marty’s stubborn insistence to operate in a certain way, even in spite of results, are blind in certain skill sets and leads me to believe these guys aren’t as smart as they think they are.

    The solution may be for us to cease banging our heads against a wall and have someone bang Andy and Marty’s heads against a wall. I wonder if Washburn is up to it?

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 3:45 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    makes you wonder…if they do script the first X many plays of the game, they are generally pretty good at it. the first two drives on offense put up 10 quick points.
    what happened after that, though? sure, the WRs started dropping passes, but it seemed like they have 0 ability to change their gameplan during the game to adjust to what is working and what is not working…

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 9:10 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I haven’t heard much about the scripting lately. I was taking that to mean that is was something they did for McNabb. Do we know for sure whether or not they still do this?

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 2:48 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    This game, as much as any other in 13 years, answered the question that the media’s been asking: “What is the Eagles’ personality”?

    Answer: Andy Reid chooses NOT to impose his will on other teams. Reid chooses to let other teams impose their will on the Eagles and then out-scheme them.

    I’d like a coach whose attitude was to ACT, not RE-ACT.

    You know did that? The late D.C. Jim Johnson. It didn’t always work. But every week, he had his defense trying to impose its will on the other team.

    Sometimes being the smartest kid in the class doesn’t mean you’ll be a Rhodes Scholar.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 2:49 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Tommy: Any input on the idea of Del Rio as DC? Had the one good year in Carolina when his Defense was ranked 2nd overall, but that coulda been a fluke.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 3:12 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I have to think that any coach who has experience coaching defense beyond the high school level would be an upgrade to Juan. However, I really think this is the year that the Reid regime will end. I know Tommy will disagree with me, but the coaching staff has lost the ability to motivate this team or coach them up. When we see Asante refuse to play the play the way that the coaches have drawn it up–time and time again, DRC just quit on tackles, Desean not showing up to meetings and essentially quitting on plays or perhaps tow coaches breaking out into fisticuffs on the sideline, it is not a jump to say that Reid has lost this team.

    For the record, who would have won that fight had the players not broken it up? I have my money on Washburn. I find Marty to be pudgy and a bit soft. Also, maybe this be the undercard to the Les Bowen vs Jeff McLane bout?

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 3:19 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I remain undecided on Reid. Need to see how the year plays out.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 4:30 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Tommy, you have repeated the comment about needing to see how the year plays out for the last 4 or 5 weeks. Can you at least expand on that? What are you looking for? What would you need to see to make you decide one way or another on Reid? I love you’re site and all the work you do to cover the Eagles, but it seems you have avoided the AR discussion for some time now, or at least only given it brief/indirect coverage.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 9:00 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Deep down in his heart, Tommy knows Reid has to go, but he just can’t come out and say it – it’s like breaking up with your high school sweetheart. Once Reid is gone and say a Bill Cowher shows up, things will be different. I myself can’t wait.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 9:39 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Even if Tommy has a strong argument to keep AR, I want to hear what it is. The reason I come to this site is because Tommy often has a unique view on the Eagles and does a great job of arguing and proving his point. Right now, AR’s future is obviously an important topic considering that the fans were chanting “FIRE ANDY” during the last game. I’m sure once Tommy does break down his thoughts, even if I end up disagreeing, he will have very strong points.

    Either way though, I think below, Tommy mentioned he is busy this week since it is a short week but will get to his “what would I do with this team” article soon.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 4:47 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Your thoughts on Farty Flipingheck? I wish Wash had more Buddy in him? Maybe next time.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 3:47 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    i heard it mentioned somewhere else that was is pretty old versus the relatively young marty. marty also outweighs him by a bit. i think marty could last a lot longer in a battle. assuming wash doesnt get a quick knockout, its martys fight. lol.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 5:03 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Until Mudd comes flying in off the top rope to defend his bff

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 5:11 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Marty would fight for sure. He never runs!

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 5:19 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I lol’ed. Nicely done there.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 9:13 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    That was a thing of beauty.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 3:19 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I think Del Rio would be a candidate, assuming we make a change. He was a LB in the NFL for years. Good trivia bit…Del Rio is the veteran LB Jimmy Johnson cut to make Zach Thomas the starter in Miami.

    Del Rio spent time with the Ravens as a coach and then was the CAR DC. Has been a HC. He knows the NFL inside-out. Can run a defense.

    Jack isn’t a defensive guru, but is a good coach with tons of experience. Could make the argument that he ix exactly what we need.

    He’s got some warts on his record. JAX writers are saying Jack got lazy, complacent in recent years. People from CAR days say he was image obsessed. If true…IF…those aren’t the personality traits we need on this team. Maybe that is just people piling on. I’m sure Jack has a rep around the league. We’ll see what that is and if he does fit.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 2:55 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Scott Caan has almost entirely ruined all the goodwill James built up throughout his acting career.

    We’re in agreement on Asante.

    I am as frustrated now as I was leaving “The Jungle” in Cincy after that tie a few years back. I know we made the playoffs that year, but I’m positive the miracle run isn’t going to happen this year. At the end of that game in Cincy I wanted Marty fired. I once again think it’s time to let Marty walk. He wants to be a HC and his scheme has run it’s course here.

    My feeling on Juan is fire him as DC, but keep him in the organization. He’s a good coach just not a DC.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 2:56 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Reid is like Mike Martz. When he’s on, he’s on and will look like a genius (see the Dallas game). When he’s off, fans are calling for his head. Even Sean Payton gets “cute” in NO, but Drew Brees is so efficient that it works.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 3:21 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Very true. We’re on pace to have the 7th most yards in NFL history. You don’t do that by accident. Still, the lack of points is very frustrating. Also, some critical decisions seem way off (4th/1 play call Sunday).

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 9:20 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I think another difference is Payton knows when to get cute. Last night was a perfect illustration. They aired the discussion of throwing the fade on second down because there was still another down and it was a low risk play. They did, then they went with a high percentage, my guy beats your guy play for the TD on third down.

    We went with the cute, back corner floater on 4th and 1 from the 2. Bang it in there. Get the TD or at least the 1st down, then try a cute play.

  22. 22 Angry Greg said at 3:21 PM on November 29th, 2011:


    Putting the two no-calls for (facemask/PI) aside — the long TD to Branch when Brady had all day to throw.. was Trent Cole not held? It seemed pretty flagarant to me. Maybe he’s already ridden out of the play at that point, maybe not, but it looked like he was basically held from behind, arms up in the air trying to draw some attention from a zebra. I noticied this on a couple of big pass plays.

    I know holding happens on a lot of plays and goes uncalled, but that felt like a really terrible no call as well… at least when I saw it live.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 5:07 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Trent was causing alot of problems for himself with this regard becasue he kept trying to just beat the LT around the edge. He wasn’t trying to counter it with anything else on a consistent basis. If you think about why Freeny is so effective getting around the edge, its because the LT is aware that he could throw the spin at any moment.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 3:36 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I don’t know why this just hit me… our DC was an O-line coach last year, and our OC once decided he would rather defer in OT because of wind direction.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 3:42 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    does anyone else always hope that Dion takes a knee on kickoff returns? he just doesnt have the speed to run it back out. he usually barely makes it back to the 20. why risk injuries for no reward? just take the knee and get the ball as far or farther than you would if you ran it out….

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 6:41 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Most of the time…yes.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 8:26 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    He showed something in preseason that he hasn’t done yet in the season. Jury’s still out on him as far I’m concerned. He’s a rook, he’s got to get better, right? Unless we get someone else…

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 3:54 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Food for thought: MM/AR’s play-calling looks significantly better had DeSean not dropped two TDs. Is that bad play-calling or poor player performance? The Pats secondary is terrible so the Eagles staff wanted to throw, throw, throw. In many ways, which is a microcosm of our terrible season, we stopped ourselves.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 3:58 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    “Back to the drops for a second. On 2 of them, DeSean was worried about hits. This is concerning. If we give him big money, will he suddenly not be concerned about hits? Is this permanent? What does it say to guys like Avant, who is willing to get the crap knocked out of him, that DeSean is more focused on avoiding contact than catching TDs? Very troubling.”

    I fully agree with this comment. Even if he is making “business decisions” with taking risks on those hits, it is very possible that this style of play becomes habit that is hard to escape from. On top of that, we all sort of assume it is just business decisions, but DeSean has been hit hard a few times in his career. He could also just be alligator arming things because he is simply scared regardless of contract status (which is something that wouldn’t likely change even if given a new contract).

    On a separate note, what do you think the difference has been between this year and last year (or any other year honestly) for Asante. Is he just aging and getting slower? He has never been a physical corner, but he is making less plays this year and has been more of a liability than any year in the past. I know we have heard a few times that he is “improvising on plays” and not necessarily doing what he is supposed to, but is that really something new? Haven’t we heard that a few times about Asante? Is he being used differently this year with Castillo than in years past?

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 4:19 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Chad Hall is a poor man’s Reno Mahe.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 5:44 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Maybe the best analysis we’ve seen this year.

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 8:28 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    That’s funny. I was just thinking he’s a poor man’s Danny Amendola or Danny Woodhead.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 4:56 PM on November 29th, 2011:


    Tommy —

    What makes you think that the Eagles can *trade* Asante — especially for anything of value.

    Age and performance questions aside . . . he’s scheduled to make a boat-load of money next year. (Not sure how much. But north of $5MM, right?)

    Asante has a tough contract to move.

    So will the Birds end up w/ a conditional 5th rounder in the 2013 draft?

    (Though it’s just the kind of pick Howie likes.)

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 5:06 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Eagles got offers for Asante last summer. Just draft picks, though, and the team was looking for immediate help. No deal.

    Asante still has value. Some teams are desperate for CB help and can afford to deal with his style of play. The presence of Nnamdi, DRC, and young guys like Marsh/Hughes will allow us to still be okay without him.

    Asante’s value has dropped this year. I would still hope we could get a 3rd rounder for him, but that will depend on how the FA class and draft class look. If lots of CBs available, Asante will bring less. If not much to choose from, we’ll be much better off.

  35. 35 Morton said at 7:08 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    This secondary has been horrific all year, and they will be “okay” with the current crop, huh?

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 4:58 PM on November 29th, 2011:


    You mentioned a few weeks back that you were working on a “King for a Day” column about what you would do with this team.

    Any progress on this? We could all use some insightful thought after this dreadful season?

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 5:07 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Short week. I’m scrambling to get normal stuff covered. Maybe after Thursday’s game I’ll have time to post stuff like that.

  38. 38 Kammich said at 5:39 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    So, the moral of the story is…

    …stop scheduling Seattle in week 13.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 5:45 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I noted during the game that Shady appeared a bit sluggish on the field. Not during gameplay, but when he was recuping from a running play and after blocks. Even during the first few drives. Did you notice this when reviewing the tape (coulda been my imagination)? Any word on whether he was banged up? Could this explain, at least to a certain degree, his limited carries?

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 5:59 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    He apparently injured his toe in the first quarter, but I don’t think that had anything to do with his limited carries. If this was the first time we had seen AR and MM limit their RB’s carries I would look for outside excuses, but frankly, this is a fairly common trend for our offense. When AR gets panicked or the run game early on isn’t great, or they see any openings in the passing game… you name the excuse… our running game has a tendency to disappear.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 12:12 AM on November 30th, 2011:

    Hadn’t heard this. Agreed that this is not the first time RB carries get limited. But does the injured toe not have any effect? Any word on how serious?

  42. 42 Morton said at 7:09 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Can someone explain to me why Brandon Graham is not seeing any snaps? Is it the lingering effects of the medical issue with the knee or do the coaches not like him? He was active for the Bears and Cardinals games but then didn’t see the field in the last two games.

    Same question Re: Phillip Hunt. I think this pass rush can use all of the rotational players they can find. I’d rather see the young guys getting reps now, anyway, to see what they can do and see if they can develop into future starters. I’d definitely rather use Hunt and Graham over Parker in the rotation at this point.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 8:32 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Tommy mentioned that Graham was sat last week due to swelling in the knee, which is pretty common and expected. Hunt is just very raw and as long as we were still holding on hope you would expect to see the vets over him. Now that we are all but mathematically eliminated I agree that he should see some increased reps.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 9:13 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I do hope we see some more out of our younger guys, but it will be interesting to see what AR does. When a crowd starts chanting “FIRE ANDY,” there is really no question whether or not you are on the hot seat. Playing some of the younger guys could mean more lost games which could only make things worse (particularly if guys like Jarrett and Marsh don’t look great). At the same time, the right thing to do in terms of next year would be to see what we have.

  45. 45 James Cimabue said at 8:43 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Graham has been injured, pectoral muscle I think? Not sure about Hunt though.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 8:47 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Website theme alert: when did the message footer become HUGE? I’m talking about the “10 minutes ago – in reply to xxx Like Dislike” thing. Shrink that back down to size please.

    It looks like it is being caused by the font-size: 16px; you have in the “a” definition on line 29 of style.css

    In case it matters, I’m using Google Chrome.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 9:32 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I’m also using Chrome and have no issues. We made some recent changes. Try hitting F5 and see if the page reloads correctly.

    Please let me know if that works.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 9:45 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Maybe it’s just a matter of taste. This is what I’m seeing:

    It’s distracting to have the footer text larger than the text of the message. At 16px, it’s even larger than the header of the message with the poster’s name.

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 11:31 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Doing it to me on Firefox and has been all day

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 1:31 AM on November 30th, 2011:

    We’re looking into it. Will have update on Wednesday AM.

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 11:06 AM on November 30th, 2011:

    Should be fixed. Sorry for the glitch.

  52. 52 Steve H said at 9:09 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Please please don’t let us sign Jack Del Rio. He’s done nothing with his time in Jacksonville, I’ve always felt he was a bottom tier coach. Even when they made the playoffs they felt out of place there. That would be just craptastic if he was our coach. I’d rather endure another 5 years of Andy’s madness than bring in Del Rio.

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 9:31 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Del Rio is being talked about as a Defensive Coordinator candidate, not head coach.

  54. 54 Jonathan said at 9:55 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    I can’t say that I know a whole lot about Del Rio as a DC, but I believe Jax is top 5 in the NFL this year in YPG, Passing YPG, and Scoring defense–all significantly better than the Birds with what would appear to be less talent on paper. Hard to see how that wouldn’t be an upgrade over Castillo.

    Still holding out some hope that Spagnuolo gets axed in StL and comes here. Would seem a natural fit. I still don’t see Reid getting fired unless the team just completely quits on him the last 5 games. More likely gets one chance to turn it around with a new DC. I just don’t see them blowing things up after 1 bad year–too hard for the FO to admit all the acquisitions were mistakes and too easy to blame it on the short offseason, circumstances, etc.

    And honestly, with some good draft decisions (God willing), some personnel adjustments (trading Samuel, resolution on the DeSean situation one way or another), playing a 4th place schedule, and an upgrade at DC, there is potential for a bounce back year.

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 10:28 PM on November 29th, 2011:

    Spags may look hard at the Gmen. Perry Fewell almost leg last year for a HC gig. He may jump ship this year too. Spags would have a tough choice between the Eagles and Gmen. Personally I’d never want to work for coughlin. He has punch appeal written all over his face.