Retro Day

Posted: May 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 34 Comments »

I was going through an old notebook last night and found some interesting things.

FREE AGENT VISITS SCHEDULE FOR 1998

2/13  C Kevin Mawae

2/18  G George Hegamin

2/18  RB Steve Broussard

2/23  WR/ST Billy Davis

???   MLB Kevin Mitchell

2/20  G Aaron Taylor

2/21  DT Dana Stubblefield

2/23  DB Keith Crawford

2/27  TE Marcus Pollard

2/25  G Brian Habib

2/26  G Keith Sims

???  DE Leslie O’Neal

???  WR Thomas Lewis

Is that insane or what?  You have to understand that free agency used to be very different.  Everyone targeted outside players.  Not nearly as many guys re-signed.  Current FA is nothing like the free-for-all of the 1990s.

That said, you can see how crazy Ray Rhodes was.  We pick on Andy Reid and the front office for being too picky, but Ray was the other extreme.  He wanted anybody and everybody.

The Eagles were not a well run organization back then.  The Vet sucked (to outsiders).  The workout facilities were terrible.  There was no reason to want to come to Philly, aside from money.  Free agents used the Eagles to get deals from their current club or other teams.  Very few actually had intentions of coming to town.

Ray Rhodes begged Vikings DT John Randle to come for a visit.  He went to see the Dolphins.  His agent leaked that he was considering talking to the Eagles and then next thing you know…the Vikings pony up and give him a huge deal to stay.

* * * * *

January 22nd 1999 was a pretty amazing day for Andy Reid.

Named Jim Johnson defensive coordinator, Tom Brasher DL coach, Leslie Frazier DB coach, Ron Rivera LB coach, and Steve Spagnuolo defensive assistant/quality control.

What did Big Red have for breakfast that day?

* * * * *

Did you know that in order to claim DT Darwin Walker off waivers from the Cardinals in 2000 we had to cut…DT Kelly Gregg?  Darwin had more sacks 28.5 to 20.5, but Gregg had the longer and more productive career overall.  Gregg was the better run defender by far.  Still, Darwin was a top pass rusher in 2002 and 2003.  If I had a time machine, I’m not sure what I’d tell Tom Modrak to do about this move.

* * * * *

In 2004 the Eagles Safeties were Brian Dawkins, Michael Lewis, JR Reed, and Quintin Mikell.  Wow.

* * * * *

I just re-read some note on Shawn Andrews from his college days.  I’m now depressed.

 * Andrews with big down block of DT.  Reggie Cobbs hits that hole for gain of 61.  Next play is another run to his side.  20-yard TD.

* Andrews got to 2nd level and blocked a DB on the move.  RB ran through there for 53 yards.

* Devastating on down blocks.  Just collapses his guy and opens highways.  Wants to maul defenders.

 Sigh.

* * * * *

There was a time when the Eagles had 5 talented TEs on the roster:

Chad Lewis
Luther Broughton
Jeff Thomasson
Mike Bartrum
Jed Weaver

* * * * *

Was there ever a time when I wrote down each draft pick for an entire draft?  Why yes, of course.  Forgot I used to do that.

* * * * *

One funny thing is to go back and see old pages of notes.  Most names you know and remember pretty well.  Others…I could have taken a lie detector test and told you I’d never heard of the guy.

Back in 2006 I have a list of mid to late RBs that I thought would fit the Eagles.

Cedric Humes – good player from Va Tech…definitely remember him
Dearrius Howard – no idea who this person is
Ryan Gilbert – name is familiar, but I’m drawing a blank
Damien Rhodes – know the name, but can’t place him
Arliss Beach – no idea who this guy is
Jerod Void – no idea who this guy is

* * * * *

I’ve got lots more stuff from the old days.  I’ll find the good nuggets and post more in the future.  It is always fun to look back and see what went right and wrong.

* * * * *

Go Sixers!!!

Let’s beat the stinkin’ Celtics and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.  With our luck so far in the playoffs, I expect Lebron James to announce his retirement if we get to fact the Heat.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

    Im still sad about Andrews. He together with Peters could have given the Eagles the best and most athletic tackle duo.

    • TommyLawlor

      Scary that they were at Arkansas together. Shawn was RT. Peters was the TE and lined up beside him a lot.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

        Is it still okay to wonder what could have happened even tho we last saw Andrews so long ago?

  • mcud

    Wonder if Hegamin still has nightmares about the sled…

    • TommyLawlor

      Ha. He’s one of the few players who actually hates Andy Reid.

      • http://twitter.com/JesusZoidberg Ellis Bergman

        Him and Bill Johnson

  • T_S_O_P

    If Andrews and Peters had played together as bookend tackles, what would have happened if they had both down blocked on the same play? I know it cant be done with metal pendulum ball swings.

    • T_S_O_P

      I have just studied this (sad I know), but it can be done on a Newton’s Cradle and what a play it would have been.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j60mfytFjSA&feature=fvst
      1:10 in

      As well as destroying the DL, the should have been enough force that both Andrews and Peters would have have been thrown into the second level to continue their mayhem.

      • TommyLawlor

        It would have broken the laws of physics and the laws of man.

    • A_T_G

      Although we can only muse fondly, I am pretty sure they would have condensed the defensive linemen into a singularity, creating a black hole at midfield a threatening the fabric of spacetime.

      Oh, how to end the comment…

      This would have been fitting had it occurred at the Vet.

      Eagles fans would have been unimpressed. We had been watching running backs disappear into a black hole at the line of scrimmage for years.

      Interestingly, snowballs and batteries thrown after that event would have traveled in a decaying orbit until they were absorbed into the black hole. In theory, a well aimed D-cell could have hit Santa, the opposing coach and the opposing mascot before disappearing.

      Reportedly, the hole was going to be referred to as “Drafted LBs.”

      Luckily, this occurrence was an impossibility due to relativity, Andrew’s flakiness, and a 70/30 pass/run ratio.

  • T_S_O_P

    On a side note, how many DL do we go with this year?

    Seven are stone cold locks and that doesn’t include Landri (:o)! Also not in that seven are Tapp, Hunt, Dixon and Thorton.

    • TommyLawlor

      10 or 11.

      We’ll keep 5 DE, 5 DTs. Question is if someone else is just too good to cut. This summer could be great for us, but tough on the players on the DL. They could bust their humps and still be cut material.

      Good problem to have.

      • T_S_O_P

        Eleven! My lucky number, but that would be the first time we would have done that wouldn’t it? How many do we dress on game days usually?

  • P_P_K

    Glad to hear you throw some respect to the Sixers. What an exciting young team. We did it in ’82 and we can do it again tonight. If there’s any team in the East who can bring down Miami, it’s the Sixers and their strong D. First, take care of the Celts tonight.

  • T_S_O_P

    Dana Stubblefield would have been a great addition back then and now too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AHVR5EZERRCZSD77DMKWAEEPLA Steve H

    Tommy, I love your retrospective pieces, please more!

    If you’d like to allow us even more access into the hallowed halls of wisdom that is your mind, I’d love love love to hear you break down some old draft notes in the sense of what you thought about the player, what actually happened with the player, and why you think the players career turned out differently (or the same) than you had anticipated. That aspect has always intrigued me, because on draft day people can widely applaud a choice, but 4 years later if the guy busts out people rarely remember what the optimism was at the time of the pick. If you think about it, we could all be sitting here feeling smug about taking Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks, but in reality 4 years from now they could be busted out of the league for all we know. Unwittingly applauding your impending doom, how much more pure could irony get than that?

    If I had a time machine I would have gone back and cut Darwin Walker after the 2005 season. What a joke he was against the run in ’06.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Great post Tommy,

    Really funny to see what you thought of X player, and to see what went wrong and what went right…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

    Damien Rhodes I think went to Syracuse. That’s the only thing I think I remember about any of those guys

  • pjxii

    This is really good stuff, Tommy! Posts like these would be perfect for those slow news days between the OTAs and TC.

  • A_T_G

    That free agent list is scary. How much of that is Rhodes wanting to sign every player available and how much of it is that we really had that many holes? We were looking at free agents for 9 of the 22 starting positions?

    Andrews is the ultimate example of why drafting is never going to be a perfect science. Reid and Co. found a guy who fit the team’s style, was physically dominating, had the measurables and the game tape, was available at the right spot and transferred his talent as a pro. He was a great pick. And a huge disappointment.

    I’ll second the comment that these are fun to read. I would love to see a few guys that you nailed, as stars or busts, and a few oops projections as well.

  • Flyin

    Sixers settled down nicely during the 1st quarter.

    • Flyin

      Damn. Hell of an effort. The extra day of rest and experience put the celtics over the top. 4 out of 5 starters for the Sixers played in there 1st game 7. The other his 2nd.

      Hats off.

  • Kammich

    I ran into Cedric Humes at a Philly Cold Cuts shop in Virginia Beach shortly after Pittsburgh drafted him. you could tell the dude felt like the Big Shit being in his home area after being drafted by an NFL squad. can’t really blame him for that, but “humble” isn’t the word I’d have used to describe his demeanor.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      HA! Philly Cold Cuts. I grew up in VB and would get subs from their all the time. Only problem was the wait. You had to order 45 minutes in advance. Thanks for the trip down memory lane kammich.

      • Kammich

        Hahaha, very cool! Small world. You’re completely right about the wait, its INSANE. A new place just opened up about a block down the road from Philly Cold Cuts(by the Farm Fresh) called “Iggles.” Whole place is decked out in Philly memorabilia and all the dudes are from Philly. ‘Steaks aren’t QUITE as good as Cold Cuts, but the atmosphere is much better.

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Yeah I have been to the Iggles spot and the place is pretty good but not as good as the philly cold cuts place. As for the atmosphere at Philly Cold Cuts, it is kind of ghetto, but damn they make a good sammy. Speaking of which, the next time I go back I will have to get me a sub from philly cold cuts….but I have to plan ahead for that treat. HA! Also further down on Great Neck was Hess’ Philly New York Subs which closed down and is now Northend pizza. They had some good steak subs as well.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AHVR5EZERRCZSD77DMKWAEEPLA Steve H
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ULWVNAZIU3FK37Y6TBCZ72H74 EJ

    Things have certainly changed since January 22nd 1999. Nowadays Reid makes offensive line coaches defensive coordinators.

  • ACViking

    T-LAW (a/k/a “Sheriff)

    When you say “Dana Stubblefield,” I say “Leonard Renfro.” Renfro was the “Harry Jones” of Eagles DTs.

    Then, of course, I have to cuss-out Norman Braman. Because Braman hired Rich Kotite — not once, but TWICE! (OC and then HC.)

    But what’s Stubblefield got to do with this?

    Kotite selected DT Leonard Renfro over DT Stubblefield (All Pro/Pro Bowler) in Rd 1 of the 1992 draft. And anyone who’d seen the 1992 Senior Bowl knew that Stubblefield was a beast.

    So by 1998, when Ray Rhodes was slowly imploding, Stubblefield should have ALREADY been an Eagle.

    Jeez, Kotite was so bad at making draft picks that his best choice in the 4 drafts he ran was 10th Rd’er CB Mark McMillan in 1992. A 10th ROUNDER!!! OMG!!!

    The worst 4 consecutive drafts ever.

    Way worse than the Eagles drafts under Joe Kuharich . . . the guy who picked Harry Jones!!!

    • TommyLawlor

      The drafts of the early 90s were not very good. That’s partially why Ray Rhodes was looking for so much FA help.

  • austinfan

    Kelly Gregg is a good reason you don’t give up on players quickly, drafted in the 6th rd by the Bengals in 1999, he was 5’11 290 lbs in Eagle camp and just wasn’t very good, bulked up to 310 lbs but didn’t get on a NFL field until his 3rd season in 2001 in the Raven organization. Played 8 games, started 1, 7-3 with 1 sack.

    Walker was successful much faster than Gregg, but flatlined where Gregg consistently improved. Walker was more talented, Gregg had “character” – or why intangibles DO matter.

    • tag1555

      Walker’s another example of giving up on a guy too soon, though in the other direction. He was the Cards’ 3rd round pick that year, but they cut him because they felt they liked a couple of other young DTs better. That’s the sign of a dysfunctional organization, when the front office likes a guy enough to spend a high pick on him, then the coaches get rid of him in the preseason before he’s even played a down. Fortunately, the current Eagles’ regime has usually been pretty good about keeping guys around regardless of how they look as rookies, in hopes that the light will go on after a full offseason in the program.

  • D3Keith

    Speaking of retro day, I was up watching TV in the middle of the night last night and A Football Life: Reggie White & Jerome Brown came on. I was giddy to watch it because I DVR’d it when it debuted then somehow recorded over it (and the top 10 Giants-Eagles games special) before I got to watch it.

    My 6-year-old daughter actually woke up in the middle of the night, wobbled out to the living room and seemed interested in it before she fell back asleep, although really she probably was just wondering when the cheerleading was going to start back up, as I had been watching Bring It On directly beforehand. (turns in man card for 1-week suspension)

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/4KQ7PB3WRRTQZC4FB6FXZN4TT4 B C

    Damien Rhodes went to Syracuse. He was a guy who played on a bad team his senior year. He could run and catch the ball.

    http://www.syracuse.com/today/index.ssf/2008/09/damien_rhodes_finds_time_for_h.html