Eagles, PSU Stuff

Posted: July 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 30 Comments »

The Eagles worked out 4 Punters today:  Brad Maynard, Jason Baker, Matt McBriar, and Chris Bryan.  The first 3 guys are NFL veterans with good track records.  Age and/or injuries have caught up to them.  Bryan’s background is Australian Rules Football.  The goal is to sign someone who can push Chas Henry at Lehigh.  McBriar is my favorite of the group, but an injury to his plant foot is what has him on the street at this point.  Not sure if that situation has improved enough for him to win a camp spot.

Chas Henry finished the season well.  In his last 5 games, Henry averaged 44.3 yards per punt.  For the season, he was at 42.9.  In that stretch he had 8 punts go inside the 20.  For the rest of the year he had just 11.  I’m leaving net punting out of this since during that 5 game stretch, Colt Anderson was gone.  He was the best at flying down the field and smother PRs.  Without him, I’m sure the numbers were down.

The interesting angle here is that Sav Rocca always got worse late in the year.  Henry seemed to get better.  While that’s encouraging, he wasn’t so good that you don’t challenge him.  The Eagles are being smart by bringing in quality veterans to challenge him.  You’d love Henry to win the job, but he does need legit competition.

Reuben Frank stopped working on his tan and abs long enough to let us know that McBriar had the best workout and is the guy he’d expect to see signed.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama is up and running with his Training Camp stuff.  The morning report has some great news…Fletcher Cox is better than the trash can that was trying to block him!!!  Did I tell you Fletch was good?

Next up, Jimmy has some good nuggets from Howard Mudd.

Jimmy will be going to all but a handful of TC practices.  He’ll offer us great insight.  Help him out if you can with a TC donation.  The button is over on the right hand side of his site.  Jimmy’s coverage from Lehigh will be an invaluable resource for those of us outside the Philly area.

* * * * *

The Penn State punishment came down today.  I’m ambivalent about the situation, mostly just glad to have things out in the open.  The punishment is severe.  It will really hurt the PSU program for the next 4 to 6 years, at least.

The good angle to this is that the fans, players, and coaches who are there for the next few years will be there for the right reasons.  PSU had become too much about Paterno.  The football program will now be more a part of the university.  Players won’t come to compete in BCS games or for Big Ten titles (4-year ban on both).  They’ll come because they wanted to go to PSU and be part of the program.

Does PSU ever bounce back from this and get to being an elite program again?  Only time will tell.  There are going to be some dark days ahead, but I’m genuinely curious about how the program can come through it.  Sometimes hitting a reset button like this can be a good thing for a program.  Other times there is permanent devastation.

I sure hope Bill O’Brien is one hell of a coach.

Here are some columns on the punishment that offer interesting perspectives:

Sara Ganim, the great Patriot-News reporter

Stewart Mandel, SI.com

Spencer Hall, Everyday Should Be Saturday

I could write tons more on the subject, but I just don’t feel like doing so.  This case has stirred up a lot of mixed emotions in me.  I have a hard time figuring out what is the truly best response to an unprecedented situation.  At least now we know what the punishment is and can move on.

The biggest hope is that the publicity from this whole scandal and the money generated will do some good.  Covering up child sex abuse should never have happened in the past.  Let’s hope the PSU disaster will cause the next person who sees something to speak up right away and not stop until justice is done.  As for the $73 million charities will be getting…I’m not sure how that works.  Maybe it will provide therapy or counseling for victims who need it.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it does some actual good.  Money can’t solve all problems, but it can help in many cases.

I apologize to the non-PSU fans for having to put up with this stuff, but as a lifelong PSU fan I feel like I have to say something.  I think I’m done with the subject until the actual college season.  I certainly hope so, anyway.


30 Comments on “Eagles, PSU Stuff”

  1. 1 phillyfan1978 said at 2:45 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    There will be plenty of people debating whether or not the severity of this punishment is appropriate. I won’t get into that. I will say that one part of the punishment seems flat out wrong. They vacated all of the wins from 1998 to 2011. There was an incident with Sandusky in 1998, but it was properly reported and investigated. The Freeh report says that the PSU handled it properly. It was in 2001 that Spanier/Shultz/Curley/Paterno failed (and failed miserably). So, to me, it doesn’t make any sense to strip wins from 1998 to 2000. I don’t really care so much about the wins. What bothers me is that the people levying a massive penalty don’t even seem to have a full grasp on the details of the case. That is disconcerting.

  2. 2 P_P_K said at 2:56 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    My hunch is the vacating of the wins was to punish Paterno by stripping him of the most wins.

    It will take PSU a decade to recover from this. I hope it takes a lot, lot less time for the kids to recover.

  3. 3 Mac said at 4:00 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Well said.

  4. 4 ian_no_2 said at 2:47 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Mat McBriar is the punter I’d want for a Dream Team. A Dynasty suggests a longer tenure, but it can start out with him and scout the colleges for punters that belong on a Dynasty.

  5. 5 ian_no_2 said at 2:52 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    also, QBs that sign one-year contracts prefer to be on Dream Teams. QBs with lucrative but non-guaranteed long term contracts prefer to be on Dynasties.

  6. 6 ian_no_2 said at 2:53 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    I’m not Mike Florio btw

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 3:07 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Are we sure? 🙂

  8. 8 ian_no_2 said at 3:44 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Seriously, I like that Vick is working so hard, is confident, and showing leadership. I have reason to hope he will improve on 2011.

  9. 9 rage114 said at 3:17 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Penalty was harsh but not too harsh. That is about what it should be.
    I also find it rather despicable that the Paterno family is still fighting this and using words like “great coach and educator” in thier press releases. It shows that they really don’t get it at all.

  10. 10 Mac said at 4:03 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Not sure if it’s 100% true, but as the story goes the Buffalo Wing was invented at The Anchor Bar up in Buffalo NY. Had the opportunity to eat there on Thursday, and yes, the wings were amazing.

    Glad to hear that Fletch will be unstoppable this year, considering the fact that most of our opponents can save cap space by replacing their interior O-line with uniformed garbage cans.

  11. 11 Gary said at 12:32 AM on July 24th, 2012:

    I go to school in Buffalo (about 10 minutes from The Anchor Bar) and I go there all the time. So good. Try Duff’s next time you’re there too; some say it’s better, though I disagree. And yes, the chicken wing was invented at The Anchor Bar, as the story goes..

  12. 12 Mac said at 9:42 AM on July 24th, 2012:

    Not sure when I’ll get back up there, but thanks for the tip!

  13. 13 ACViking said at 4:16 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    RE: Joe Paterno’s Flirtation with the Eagles

    In the winter of 1976, before Leonard Tose hired 39 year-old UCLA head coach and former Rams Assistant Dick Vermeil . . . Tose was trying to lure Penn State’s 50 year-old Joe Paterno to the Eagles.

    the story.

    Paterno’s 7th ranked ’75 Penn State team was coming off a tough 13-6 loss in the 1976 Sugar Bowl to 3rd ranked Alabama and Bear Bryant. (Those same teams would again meet 3 years later in Sugar Bowl but this time for the National Championship — with the Nitany Lions again falling short by a TD, 14-7, on a great 4th Q goal-line stand by the Crimson Tide’s DT Marty Lyons and MLB Barry Krause, stopping FB Matt Suhey and then HB Mike Guman on back-to-back runs from inside the 1 yard line.)

    In the ’76 Rose Bowl, meanwhile, Vermeil was pulling off one of the greatest upsets in New Year’s Day College Bowl history — leading his 11th ranked UCLA Bruins — behind QB John Sciarra, HB Wendell Tyler, and WR Wally Henry — to a shocking 23-10 victory over No. 1 ranked Ohio State and Coach Woody Hayes. (Earlier that season, OSU visited the LA Coliseum for a nationally televised Saturday night game against UCLA, and winning 41-20 in a game where the score did not reflect the Buckeye’s dominance. OSU was loaded, with future NFL players: 2-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin and his brother Ray; OLB Bob Brudzinski of “Miami Killer B’s Fame”; Safety Tim Fox; huge FB Pete Johnson, who had his own goal-line problems in the 1982 Super Bowl; LB Aaron Brown; All Pro punter and former Eagles Tom Skladany; OT Chris Ward; and disappointing 1st-overall pick MLB Tom Cusineau.)

    Vermeil was a great choice. He turned the Eagles into winners.

    Hard to say what Joe Paterno could have done. He was a man who knew his limitations — sadly, as it turned out.

  14. 14 Ben Hert said at 7:25 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    You never cease to amaze me with your knowledge and insight. Thanks for all your contributions. Don’t ever stop.

  15. 15 Chris said at 4:43 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Hey Tommy,

    With the Eagles set to see how Shiancoe is tomorrow could you envision us having Celek and Shiancoe as the main TE’s with Harbor as a situational blocker on the goal line instead of Havili?

    I know you have said and it is common knowledge that Havili is much better as a receiver out of backfield than a traditional blocker so if Harbor were able to pick it up would he be a better option in the limited times we use a FB than Havili blocking for McCoy?

  16. 16 teltschikfakeout88 said at 4:50 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Onto to the PSU thing. The penalty is severe with 10 initial scholly’s (going from 85 to 75) being eliminated with 20 scholly’s in total to be eliminated meaning that for four years they should be down to 65 scholly players. That is brutal but not the death penalty. It appears that O’Brien is stuck as he has an incentive laden contract and cannot get out early without forfeting his previous pay. For PSU fans this is something that will make it very hard to come back from however if there is a brand that can survive 8 to 10 years of mediocrity, PSU would be one of them. Someone big time coach will be willing to take on the job of bringing PSU back if O’Brien is not the guy for the job. Also, it appears that players can transfer and play immediately and not count against the new teams 85 man limit, so I heard.

  17. 17 ACViking said at 5:50 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    RE: Vacating PSU’s Wins

    Anyone remember who lost to the 1971 UCLA Bruins in the Men’s Final Four Championship Game by just 6 points? And who was the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player?

    According to the NCAA the answer is “Vacated” and “Vacated.”

    But anyone following the game back then knows the answer is Villanova and Howard “Geezer” Porter (who beat Penn in the East Regional Final by a staggering 90-47 — after losing twice to the Quakers during the Big 5 season).

    Hell, even the NCAA keeps a list of these “phantom” games in its official record book (at pp. 48-49).

    The NCAA’s football record book will now have line after line listing season after season of PSU’s wins and losses from 1998-2011. That part of the NCAA’s sanctions, because its own record book will very likely list the PSU’s results for the vacated seasons, will look ridiculous.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 6:10 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    I have always found vacated wins a ridiculous thing…unless it involves a Final Four game in MBB or key bowl game in CFB. The record book can say PSU didn’t win from 1998-2011, but I know what I saw with my eyes. PSU dominated the likes of Indiana State, Illinois State, and misc MAC teams. Heck, they occasionally even beat good teams.

    I agree with the commenter above that this was strictly done as a way to punish Joe Paterno. Joe made his bed, so I can’t exactly feel sorry for him.

  19. 19 ACViking said at 6:16 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    Why do vacated games make sense in the MBB Final 4 or Bowl games?

    Seems that’s exactly when — because a player signed with an agent a what amounts to a few days too early (as in Porter’s case) — that vacatur makes no sense.

    Especially now . . . when the NCAA makes 10s of millions of dollars off games like those.

    Are we supposed to forget those games — and all the great commercials — ever happened?

    It’s not as thought we’re talking about — oh, I don’t know — filming the other team’s defensive signals to cheat during the game itself.

    Not defending JoePa rep here. But whatever he did, it did not help his team win games by cheating, for example.

    What am I missing . . . besides a sense of humor?

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 10:39 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    I simply mean that vacated games don’t mean anything to fans. I think Ohio State had to vacate some games from recent years. I watched them beat us so it doesn’t matter what the NCAA says…I know what really happened.

    If a title or title game appearance is taken away, that affects bragging rights for fans/players. It has some significance. The NCAA telling me that PSU’s 1999 midseason win over Miami doesn’t count means nothing to me. Taking away a BCS title game win would be very different. PSU doesn’t have any of those to lose so the vacated wins are a supremely hollow gesture to me.

  21. 21 iskar36 said at 3:23 AM on July 24th, 2012:

    I kind of think that’s the point. Of all the penalties PSU received, the vacated wins might be the one that makes the most sense if you are on the side arguing that all the people involved are no longer there. and the people who were not involved end up being the ones punished. By vacating wins, particularly regular season wins, I don’t think you change anyone’s memories. The only real thing that is changed, and the only person that is significantly affected by it, is Joe Paterno. It strips him of the title as winningest coach. For any other player/coach involved with PSU, as you said, it really is a hollow gesture that should have minimal affect.

  22. 22 Mac said at 9:41 AM on July 24th, 2012:

    If Ohio State and Penn State both vacate a game does the win go to Notre Dame or Michigan?

  23. 23 iskar36 said at 8:45 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    The way I see it, as PPK mentioned, the vacated wins is all about punishing Paterno. I think it doesn’t affect anyone’s memories and really doesn’t play a major role in anyone’s legacy other than Paterno’s. For Paterno though, it cements these events as part of his legacy and ensures that it will forever be part of the discussion of Joe Paterno.

  24. 24 P_P_K said at 6:12 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    I was wondering how the vacated wins would appear in the record books.

  25. 25 Eric Weaver said at 6:51 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    I was never a Paterno fan. However, I’ve been a life-long Penn State fan. So, yeah, I’m bias in a way. I thought the fine and the vacated wins were acceptable. I’m not a fan at all about the bowl ban or the 20 scholarships per year loss.

    Frankly, people threw out the comparison to USC and SMU. Entirely different issues. What happened at Penn St gave the team no athletic advantage. It just seems so silly to punish the current team. I’m very glad, however, that the death penalty was not imposed. Going beyond football, I hope the NCAA realized that killing the football program would impact the State College community enormously in financial terms.

    I do think this will impact the team in upwards of 10 years. Whether it becomes a place that can regain pre-2000s glory? I don’t know if it’ll ever be that way. Maybe if O’Brien pulls off miracles in the next couple of years with a rag-tag bunch or somehow Nick Saban or Urban Meyer walk through the doors. At any rate, it’s just hard to sell the team, or any northern team anymore beyond them simply being “competitive”. Colin Cowherd says it best, when you have a choice between bikinis and warm weather or parkas and snow, regardless of tradition, a kid is going to choose the former. Paterno also had an advantage back in the day in that he horded players because there were no scholarship restrictions. The one benefit O’Brien still has is that PA is still in the top 6 or 7 states that produces football talent. Part of the problem the last 20 years was Paterno lost touch of his NJ/NY roots and could no longer recruit those players. Hopefully O’Brien can, and maybe tap into a little of the New England players. All he has to do is recruit well in PA, NJ, NY, OH, MI and New England, and then steal a player or two each from CA, TX and FL and he’ll have an above average team.

  26. 26 miked718 said at 2:19 PM on July 24th, 2012:

    I am not a Penn State fan and don’t know too much about the details of past seasons. But having a DC like Sandusky at a school known for defense (Linebacker U right?) seems like quite a competitive advantage.

  27. 27 Ben Hert said at 7:32 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    I had an OT…topic, that has been bugging me for awhile. We hear all the time about Vick needing to be better at making the right decision as to when and when not to break from the pocket. To me, this seems to be a kind of Catch-22, as it seems people want Vick to stay in the pocket and throw the ball away when he gets pressured or doesn’t have any options to pass to. Yet, that completely negates what makes Vick such a unique QB. When is the exact right situation to make a break for it, and when is the right time to throw it away or take the hit in the pocket?

    For me, I think it has more to do with Vick having less than average QB vision, and not being able to see all the receivers on the field at once. I think this lack of vision causes him to miss open receivers, and hence feel pressure to run the ball instead of waiting for something to develop.

    I’d love to hear peoples thoughts on what they think on this subject, as its been something I’ve wondered about for awhile.

  28. 28 ian_no_2 said at 9:59 PM on July 23rd, 2012:

    I agree that his running is a major asset. I remember when the Eagles lost to Webb two years ago, how frustrating it is when the other QB turns a sack into a long run. Get ready for RG3 making you throw stuff around the room that way. But there’s something to be said for coaching Vick up like they did in 2010, getting him to run less in the first few quarters and early season, and perhaps turning on the wheels in the two minute drill or in key late season games.

  29. 29 ICDogg said at 2:36 AM on July 24th, 2012:

    I think when you speak in terms of getting rid of the ball faster, it’s not the type of situations you’re thinking of. It’s the whole idea of not going for the home run constantly. Doing more of the high percentage dink and dunk stuff, where he can get the ball off more quickly without anyone getting near him.

    If he does that, he creates more issues for opposing defenses. His ability to run has to be respected greatly, even if he’s not doing it as often. His ability to throw the long bomb also has to be respected, a lot. And no one in their right mind ever sends less than 4 guys rushing Vick, because he just kills defenses that rush 3. (He does that already.)

  30. 30 Jamie Parker said at 7:46 AM on July 24th, 2012:

    To me if feels like they’re punishing the kids because the kids were punished. I’m a huge Michigan fan and I’ve never been a Penn St fan, even before they entered the BIg Ten. I don’t feel badly for the players on that team, I feel anger. I feel the NCAA decided to turn the current team into collateral damage. Sandusky will spend the rest of his life in prison and Paterno is dead. Why make the sickness linger? Help the actual victims, don’t create more victims.