I decided to write about the Eagles OL for SB Nation Philly. I evaluated what happened to the line this year and what could happen going forward. We all agree that this has not been a good season for the OL. That doesn’t mean all the guys stink and we need 10 new bodies. There are some good pieces in place. The Eagles will get back some key pieces when Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and Todd Herremans get healthy. How do they fit in?
As I noted in the article, one of the biggest keys for improved OL play is a new coaching staff. This is not a dig at Howard Mudd. I think he’s done a much better job than people realize. I’ll write up a full column on him. My point is that the Reid/Mornhinweg passing attack puts tremendous pressure on the OL. It doesn’t help them. That is okay when you have a veteran OL with some studs on it. Throwing the ball that much with a band-aid group out there just doesn’t make sense. If you will run the ball regularly (non-QB runs), the line will play much better. To steal a line from some coaching guru…it puts the players in position to succeed.
The Eagles do need some personnel upgrades. This could be in the form of a starter or two. It could simply be depth moves. Depends on what the new coaching staff thinks of the incumbent players and how they should be used. There is logic to using the 1st round pick on an OT, but don’t lock in on that as a definite move.
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A reader asked me to suggest some possible books for Christmas gift ideas since I’ve written about the books I’ve read over the years. Here are some suggestions.
First, here is a list I permanently keep up over at ScoutsNotebook. Lots of great books listed.
Next Man Up – John Feinstein’s book on the 2004 Baltimore Ravens.
The Essential Smart Football – Chris Brown runs the site SmartFootball.com. He put some of his best posts into a book. Must read material.
Where Men Win Glory – Jon Krakauer’s book on Pat Tillman. Talks about football and life. Great book. Be prepared to deal with a lot of feelings. I was very inspired at times and in tears at others.
A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson is a travel writer who decided to tackle the history of the universe. And he did so in an amazing book, possibly the best non-fiction I’ve ever read. This isn’t a bunch of boring facts. He used stories and people to weave together all these events into a single book. Simply amazing.
A book I’ll be reading shortly is War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team. Michael Holley talked to Bill and Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli on how the Pats were built.
You can also support fellow Eagles fans by buying these books:
Dust by Jason Hutt. This is a sci-fi novel. I have yet to read this, but it is on my offseason list of books to conquer.
The Mentally Quiet Athlete. Fred Gratzon shares some secrets on how to improve as a golfer, tennis player, baseball player, etc. Very interesting book. Definitely will change the way you think and look at certain aspects of athletics.
The Bro Code for Parents. Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris’ character from How I Met Your Mother) offers a book on getting pregnant, being pregnant, and raising a child. This was written by Matt Kuhn and is a hilarious book.
If you want to support Eagles writers…
Les Bowen – Philadelphia Eagles: The Complete Illustrated History
Reuben Frank – Game Changers: The Greatest Plays in Philadelphia Eagles History
And a classic… Bringing the Heat – by Mark Bowden. The story of the 1992 Eagles. Brilliant book.
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Saturday features 2 bowl games. David Syvertsen listed his players to watch.
No elite stars, but some good players.