The Most Important July 4th Post of All Time

Posted: July 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 29 Comments »

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.

* Do you remember the flare gun incident from 1997? Insane.

* 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.”

_


  • Anders

    I actually think Wolff can have a very good 2nd season, like couple of sacks, a few ints, some force fumble and at least on big hit on a receiver.

    • GEAGLE

      Definitely agree.. We have film of Wolff doing anything we could ever hope to see our safety do….sooner or later he should be able to put it all together and perform at that level consistently.

      He had some nice PBUs playing over the top help(with corner under the WR)..he had that BIGTIME PBU in the endzone man to man on an island against the crafty Veteran Antonio gates(prob my fav wolff play). Blew up a few screens. By October this kid should be flying around All over the place. Second year in the offense should allow him to play fast consistently…

      What’s funny is you constantly see this 5th round pick talking about how he wants to work to be the best safety in the NFL. And typical you would laugh when a young 5th rpumd pick who hasn’t proven anything saw it…but Wolff is NOT your normal 5th round pick…kid is like 2 inches in height from being a first round pick. If you look at his spider chart, he grades out as ELITE in all the athletic categories…he just grades out as average in the physical categories like height. Arm length, hand size….but athletically he easily grades out as. First round pick. Kid works hard, he seems eager to learn from Malcolm, I absolutely expect Wolff to be our long term answer at safety. I just don’t know I when he will get ahold of he spot because I’m also expecting Nate to have his best year.

      I do expect to see us use all 3 safeties in each game, but I don’t know when Wolff will take control of the starting spot from Nate so I don’t know if he will play enough to put up the stats you are talking about
      If Wolff wins the starting job In training camp, then I absolutely can see him put up your numbers.l.but I could also see Nate being sharper and starting in September, but by week 4-6 Wolff flashing so much ability that you can’t keep him off the field. By the end of this year, he should have the starting safety spot on lock, just sure when he get a hold of it.
      .
      I think Nate is useless against the run, and iif we plan on playing 3 safeties, then just start Wolff and bring your 3rd safety in for passing situations,,,I highly doubt Nate will provide more run support then Wolff. I get that the pass is the safeties primary responsibility in this offense but when the other team runs the ball you should still find a way to make an impact..and I trust Wolff much more against a RB than I do Nate

  • GEAGLE

    Tom…shouldn’t you add Shawn Andrews to the list of OL we drafts that didn’t like football? That was one of the knock on Andrews going into the draft, he just didn’t like z game.i forget who it was predicted he wouldn’t have a long career….he was a great OG when he played, but predictably his career didn’t last long. Drives me crazy that we drafted him instead of
    Vince Wilfork. How do you look at Wilfork and not want him on your team? Wilfork would be in midnight green today keeping a Meco and Kendrick free to fly around,,,Wilfork is still playing and it feels like almost a decade since Andrews played for us…made sure his brother raped us as a good bye gift..

    All this happened because Andy was raving about what a road grader he was…YOU DONT RUN THE BALL jackass!! It hurts that a lot of Andy’s players, Iike Reese, Westbrook! trotter, Hollis Tank Thomas, Tre Thomas, Dawki have heard every single one of them admit that there were plenty of games where they were disgusted feeling they would have won if Andy would have just ran the ball .. Such a stupid way and reason to lose games..you would think that if you have 10 years as a coach or player along the way you will endure some painful losses that will feel horrible, and you want to make sure you never felt that way again…out of all those losses in big games, Andy never learned a damn thing … It’s like he was a robot. He was programmed a certain way and no matter what happened, how many times you lose, you weren’t ever going to change anything. You won’t change the good and you won’t change the bad.. When you stick around for to long and don’t evolve, the good even goes bad. For example, you kept burning teams with that shovel passin the redzone during the Duce era and the Westbrook era…by the time Shady came everyone knew you are running that super shovel pass. Yet if Andy was still here, he would still be calling that shovel pass in the redzone after it not working the past 7 years in a row… He exhibited stubbornness and some Braindead decisions you would see from your 93 yr old grandfather

    • TommyLawlor

      More complicated subject.

      • GEAGLE

        Fair.. Happy 4th Tom.

  • Cafone

    The 2nd Amendment guarantees are right to open carry flare guns at Eagles games. Jeffrey Lurie is just another Obama lovin’ socialist trying to take away are freedoms.

    • TommyLawlor

      Ha.

    • GEAGLE

      Have you ever seen ASR play in Rome?
      Linc sucks….studio olympico in Rome is so much cooler. fans setting off red and yellow smoke bombs in the stands when a goal is scored. And They will throw them on the edge of the field….they come around and sell you Coffee with Liqupr in it lol everyone smokes at their seat. Never understood the no smoking outside dynamic..f

      They have like a team national anthem..like a longer version of fly eagles fly that the entire stadium stands up and sings before every game…and there is another “Thank You Rome” anthem that they sing after home wins, and the players will go to the front row of the crowds and sing along….
      ….
      YOU KNOW how fans from opposing teams sit where ever they want at the linc? Well they have a section dedicated to the fans of away teams, and they have like a bullet proof glass dividing the section so you see the home team fans seated in the section next to them to be cursing at the away team fans the entire time, trying to throw stuff at them, you will see idiots trying tp climb over the glass to go fight them. They have police in riot gear that guards that section.. It’s so crazy. The away team fans can’t leave til like an hour after the game for fear that they will get killed, and they are escorted out by Police to their buses like an hour after the games over,….
      ..it’s so wild, real good time going to those games. I always laugh when eagles fans get a bad rap. We are tamed pussy cats compared to soccer fans. I view Romes fans as NUTS, but they are just average soccer fans…their are many more infamous soccer hooligan fans than Romes,,,but even an Average one would seem insane to us…

      I can’t lie whenever I’m at an eagles game I picture how cool it would be to set off green, silver, black and white smoke bombs in the back of the ENDZONE after we score a TD

      • Cafone

        Yeah, that was my first thought. But I have to admit the first time I saw it I thought it was absolutely insane.

        http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/01/21/article-0-1ADBE88000000578-875_634x420.jpg

        On the other hand, they don’t have the same issues with alcohol there. Plenty of Hashish, but that makes for more docile fans overall.

        They are coming to the Linc August 2nd!

        • GEAGLE

          I know vs, Inter I can’t wait…. The first time I sAw it, it was definitely crazy….Yeah they don’t have alcohol problems, but they do have a big problem between Lazio and ASR fans…basically for those that don’t know it’s like having Giant and jets fans in New York, basically hate each other and fist fight every time they run into each other….so stupid. Romans fighting amongst each other over which of Romes team they root for….thank god we don’t have two teams, you know Philadelphians would kill each other lol
          ..Love that pic u posted.. Miss that view live… Of course I got my ASR scarf ready to stand up and sing…
          ..
          Curious to see what it’s going to be like at the Linc when they play… Wonder how many seats will be filled

  • TommyLawlor
  • T_S_O_P

    Randall clearly broke your heart Tommy.

    • TommyLawlor

      Hell hath no fury like an Eagles fan scorned.

      • RobNE

        Tommy I think this is similar to how some of us feel about Reid. Not scorned, but just…it’s complex. He built such a great program and got so close but it always seemed like his blind spots could not be overcome, and now haunt us.

    • Jamie Parker

      Look at Kotite’s drafts and you’ll see what really broke our hearts.

  • Insomniac

    It’s a shame Weaver’s career ended so soon. James Casey wishes he could hold Weaver’s jockstrap.

  • McNabbulousness

    tommy, who do you think you are, larry king? btw that fredex/bartrum tidbit hilarious, yet sad.

    fyi; for my money the best color is red.

    • TommyLawlor

      I didn’t even think about Larry’s old USA Today columns, but that’s a good comparison. Great memory.

  • Baloophi

    Wolff may have a chance at 12 INTs next year: He will face Eli twice.

    Remember, Eli threw 27 INTs last year… the same number of TDs Foles threw.

    I wish the Giants all the worst, but man, what do they do if he puts up another abysmal year? He’s sort of the opposite of Foles in the “draft pedigree” argument – his leash may be infinitely long given both the #1 selection and the Super Bowls.

    • Maggie

      Hmm. San Francisco traded Montana eventually. Of course the Giants don’t have Steve Young on the bench.

      • Baloophi

        True about Young. And since Young was playing because of Montana’s elbow injuries, there were also injury and age concerns.

        Hopefully Nassib doesn’t turn into Steve Young 2.0…

  • Baloophi

    I think the culmination of your Kotite / Kelly conversation is Chip dumping a smoothie on Rich’s jacket. This one:

    • Baloophi

      Incidentally, I think I have that hat buried in a box somewhere in my parents’ basement. (Kotite’s… not Gamble’s)

    • TommyLawlor

      Richie the K’s official uniform.

  • NinjaP

    Hit the PBR a little early Tommy?

  • Raul Estrada

    I’m convinced he’s got DJ on the roster to let the “big people beat up on little people” during practices.