Okay, I lied.
Rather than try to mix in the Eagles and July 4th with some kind of “Chip Kelly is Thomas Jefferson, Bill Davis is John Adams and Dave Fipp is Crazy Eyes Madison”, I am going to ignore the 4th and just write some really random stuff.
* It is a good thing Fred Barnett was from Arkansas. Arkansas Fred was a very cool nickname. North Dakota Fred would have been pretty weird. And Canada? Can you imagine Manitoba Fred or Quebec Fred? Definitely not cool.
* Imagine it is January 2011. I tell you the Eagles starting QB would post the 3rd highest QB rating in NFL history and his backups would be Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez. Barkley was coming off his Sophomore season at USC where he threw 26 TDs. Sanchez had just led the Jets to an 11-5 record and their 2nd consecutive AFC title game. Life would seem pretty frickin’ amazing, huh? How quickly things change.
* Jon Runyan and Sheldon Brown combined to miss a grand total of 0 games in their Eagles careers. None. That kind of durability is nothing short of amazing.
* Freddie Mitchell finished his career with a grand total of 5 TD catches. LS/TE Mike Bartrum had 6.
* Correll Buckhalter had an interesting, amazing career. He was in the league for 10 seasons, but missed 3 due to injury. Buck was out for all of 2002, 2004 and 2005. When he didn’t suffer a major injury, Buck was pretty durable. He only missed 9 games in seasons in which he did take the field. That’s pretty impressive for a RB who had good size and ran between the tackles more than a few times.
It would really be interesting to see what kind of an affect Buck had on the Super Bowl team of 2004. With him out, Dorsey Levens was the key backup. Levens and Westbrook combined for 271 carries, a total that is incredibly low when you consider that the team had big leads in almost half the games during the season.
Buck’s presence might have made Andy Reid a bit more willing to run. Not too much, but more than the team did. And the inability to run the ball hurt that team in the Super Bowl in a big way. Levens only got one touch. Maybe Buck would have been mixed into the gameplan a bit more.
* In the last 5 years he was an Eagle, Randall Cunningham won a total of just 23 games. That was due to injuries, inconsistency and ineptitude.
* As much fun as the spread offense is, I do miss the days of having a Fullback. I loved watching Kevin Turner as a lead blocker. He was also a really good receiver. Jon Ritchie wasn’t here long, but was another terrific FB. Leonard Weaver wasn’t as good of a blocker as those two, but he was a much better runner. It really is a shame that he suffered the devastating injury in 2010. It would have been fun to see more of him.
* Every time I hear/read about concussion issues, I think about Jason Short. He is one of the most fearless, aggressive football players I have ever seen. He was reckless with his body. It was fun to watch, most of the time. There were a few moments even back then when you wondered if he understood he was a human. I hope Jason is doing okay in his post-football life.
* The Eagles drafted a pair of O-linemen in the 1st round who didn’t really like football all that much (Bernard Williams and Danny Watkins). This better never happen again. Ever.
* How freaky good was Nick Foles last year? He finished with a QB rating of 119.2. In Randall Cunningham’s final year with the Eagles he didn’t come within 55 points of that (61.5). The year before, when RC started 14 games and had some great moments, he didn’t come within 40 points (74.4). QB play was very different back then so you wouldn’t expect him to be close, but not coming within 40 or 50 points is kinda crazy.
* Foles started 6 games in 2012 and then 10 last year when he put up the gaudy numbers. Earl Wolff started 6 games as a rookie last year. For him to have an equivalent type of season as Foles, Wolff would need to pick off 12 passes this year. That would tie him for the 3rd most in NFL history in a season. Foles just had the 3rd highest QB rating in NFL history. I realize that QB rating and total INTs are different types of stats, but you should get the overall point.
* 2 players who played SAM for the Eagles are Bill Romanowski and Dhani Jones. Could there be more polar opposite people on the planet?
* I would love to give Chip Kelly some truth serum and ask about Damaris Johnson. Is he just not that good? Does Chip hate his size? Why are we keeping him around? I thought Johnson could thrive in this offense and had good expectations for him last year. Boy was I wrong. But Johnson is still here, which would lead you to believe Kelly thinks he has some value.
* Speaking of Kelly…you know he loves football coaches and the history of the game. You wonder what he would say if he had a 1-on-1 meeting with Rich Kotite.
“So coach, tell me what it was like to get to work with Randall. That must have been good and bad.”
“Chip, he was the most gifted player you can imagine, but he had no work ethic and didn’t listen. He made me look like a genius when things worked, but he drove me crazy all the time. So much wasted potential.”
“I know. It still boggles my mind that you benched him for Bubby Brister.”
“Yeah, Bubby had some talent, but wasn’t anywhere close to Randall. At least Bubby was reliable and would listen. It had to be done.”
“I hear ya coach…but Bubby Brister?”
“He was more talented that people remember.”
“I guess. But why was he on your team in the first place?”
“Listen, Chip…you may think you’ve got all the answers, but I had tougher circumstances than you.”
“Yeah, it must have been tough coaching Reggie White, Seth Joyner and Byron Evans.”
“Watch it, newboy. And let’s remember which one of us beat the Saints in the playoffs. And that was a road game.”
“Anybody could beat Bobby friggin’ Hebert. I lost to Drew Brees.”
“Talk to me when you win a playoff game.”
“I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t I talk to you after I win a few playoff games and maybe even a title.”