Sunday Stuff

Posted: January 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 67 Comments »

Today, this site is NinersBlitz.  We need our heroic brothers by the Bay to step up and beat the evil Giants.  The thought of them going to another Super Bowl would eat at my soul.  And there’s not much of that left.  I don’t care how it happens (shootout, blowout, or lucky call by the refs), I just need SF to prevail today so that I can relax while watching the Super Bowl.

Please Football Gods, please.

* * * * *

Here’s a story about Ryan Grigson’s hiring in Indy.  There’s a few quotes from Howie.  Nothing of serious interest, but it is a slow news day.  There is also some stuff on D’Qwell Jackson.  He could be a target in free agency to solve the MLB situation.

* * * * *

I didn’t get a chance to study the Shrine Game yet.  Just watched it live.  There are a few guys who could be of interest to the Eagles.

DE Kyle Wilber is a guy that looked really quick/fast off the ball.  Mike Mayock likes him at OLB, but Jim Washburn might want to keep him at DE.  Goes 6’3, 249.  Mid-round guy.

DT Akiem Hicks, the kid who played up in Canada, had some good moments.  He is huge – 6’5, 324.  Has some athletic ability.  Raw, but another guy Washburn could be interested in.

OL Ryan Miller played G at Colorado, but saw some time at OT yesterday.  Looked better than I expected.  He’s big, but athletic and Howard Mudd could be interested in him as a RT.

CBs Charles Brown and Shaun Prater had some good plays.  Both guys could be interesting slot candidates.  Prater is smaller, but a better cover guy.  Brown is 209 pounds, but he will hit.  I also wonder about him as a Safety.

LB Tank Carder played MLB in the game.  He played pretty well.  If we do go sign a FA, drafting Carder in the middle rounds could be smart.  He’s a good tackler.  I think he’s faster than Matthews, but I’m not sure of that.  Tank didn’t have a great Senior year, but TCU has put out some good LBs.  Daryl Washington and David Hawthorne are both starting ILBs that came from there.

I’ll cover the game later on.

* * * * *

Joe Paterno died this morning.  As a long time PSU fan, this is really sad news.  From the moment the scandal hit, it seemed like he went from being 85 to 185.  He aged more in a couple of months than he did the last 5 years.

I’m going to miss yelling at him for all the dumb calls he made.  Sure, Joe had his 409 wins and 2 National Titles, but if he would have listened to me, he’d have never lost a game ever.  How can a man who coached for 46 years think he knows more than me?

I’ll miss you, JoePa.

* * * * *

I’m heading to Mobile now for the Senior Bowl.  The posting schedule will be different, but I’ll get up stuff as best I can.

67 Comments on “Sunday Stuff”

  1. 1 Sjampen said at 12:33 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Its sad that most people will only remember Joe P for the 1 % of his life that put him in an impossible situation.

  2. 2 James Coe said at 12:41 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    It’s worse that some of us that don’t follow the college game have only even HEARD of him for that reason…

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 4:54 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I don’t think over time we’ll remember him that way. History doesn’t mainly remember Bear Bryant as a racist or Kobe Bryant as a rapist. Time has a way of healing many wounds, and although few scandals have ever approached this level, Sandusky is the monster here. JoePa will be appropriately dinged for not doing more, but in the end that’s his crime, and the good he did over time will balance that in a lot of people’s minds.

    Shoot, we should all know how time heals certain wounds for certain people in certain contexts, since we closely watch Mike Vick.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 12:46 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Would not mind targeting D’Qwell at MLB at all. Hes a ackling machine. I would target Ronell Lewis in the 2nd, if he makes it to the 2nd, for our SAM. I also like Tommy’s recommendation on Boykin for our other second. Michael Floyd with our first. Tag and trade desean.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 8:04 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Yeah I like D’Qwell a lot. Seems like there are a couple pro personnel options, and I’d always endorse bringing in someone who we *know* can play in the NFL. If we do it at linebacker in March, it would really increase our flexibility early in April’s draft.

  6. 6 Eric Weaver said at 1:04 PM on January 22nd, 2012:


    Have you watched any tape of A.J. Hawk over the years? What’s wrong with him? Does he not fit ILB in a 3-4? Has the light just never gone on in the pros?

  7. 7 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:42 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Does Coby Fleener have a Jimmy Graham type potential? If so, should we pick him with one of our 2nd’s to form our own super-TE-duo? I love Celek, but I am a huge fan of the way the Patriots utilize two TE’s. I want the same!

    Would it make any sense to select WR Floyd at 15 if the FO wants to keep both DeSean and Maclin? Is it possible to keep 3 outside-receivers occupied?

  8. 8 James Coe said at 2:06 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    You could mix them up a bit for the first season or two while Floyd learns the system and then trade one of Jackson or Maclin in the offseason.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 4:32 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Dwayne Allen and Orson Charles are the much more dynamic options at TE this year. I like Fleener I just see him as the exact same guy as Celek. Remember Clay Harbor came from a small school and still hasn’t had the first offseason with coaches to help him develop.

  10. 10 Kammich said at 4:48 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Yep, Allen and Charles are definitely more dynamic, but they’re also pretty much glorified H-Backs. Fleener is a well-rounded, “pro offense” type of TE. I like him a lot, but I don’t think he’d bring a ton to our offense.

    I’m anxious to see how many teams start to draft wildly at the Tight End position in an attempt to duplicate what New England has. Spoiler: its not going to work. Just ask Baltimore, who drafted 2 tight ends of their own in that very same draft, with picks directly after New England’s. Drafting speedy athletes at TE doesn’t mean you’re gonna get Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. New England got Gronkowski and Hernandez by… well… drafting Gronkowski and Hernandez.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 2:35 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Oh boy do I pray that the giants will lose. That’s why I am rooting for the evil pats to win because I think they have the best chance of beating Eli should NY reach the super bowl..

  12. 12 James Coe said at 3:07 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I’m rooting for the Pats because I’d love to see their O against the 9ers D; that could make for a great SB

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 3:29 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Ugh, honestly, having lived in New England, the Pats may be among my top two most hated teams (Dallas being #1). Another Giants superbowl would be incredibly hard to enjoy for me, and I may have to root for… you know what, I can’t even say it. Go Ravens and 9ers!!!

  14. 14 Kammich said at 4:41 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I’m rooting for a Harbowl. Obviously, I hate the Giants with every fiber of my being. And I’m not the world’s biggest Pats fan after that, you know, whole Super Bowl run-in we had with them a few years back.

    Conversely, I have absolutely nothing against either the 49ers or Ravens. In fact, there are quite a few players I like on each team. I mean, come on, Baltimore’s backfield battery is a QB from Delaware and an RB from Rutgers. Coached by our old special teams guru. Whats not to like, there?

    Plus, I just think the brother vs brother angle could be a very compelling story. Pats/49ers would probably make for the best possible game, but I’m rooting for Ravens/Niners.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 4:59 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Good point re Flacco and Rice and John H. Audubon represent!

    I really enjoy Ed Reed and Ray Lewis too. Respect their games immensely. Even when teams I hate win it all, there are guys who I like to see be champions. I didn’t have any emotion for the Mavericks last year, but it was hard to be mad at seeing Jason Kidd and Dirk and Shawn Marion and guys who put in the work over their careers finally win it all.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 4:56 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Those are my two, for roughly the same reasons: I can stand the Ravens (maybe even like them) and 49ers. The other teams … ugh. I’ve seen enough. Spread the wealth.

    Also because the Giants are that good. Winning the division after all their injuries and having Victor Cruz should have been enough for them. But noooooooooooooo they want to win the damn SB too.

    Only one way to stop this nightmare: Super-sound defense. Here we go.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 4:57 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Giants *aren’t* that good. They’re playing well. They’re playing with heart. But no damn way do they need to win another underdog Super Bowl. With Eli and under Coughlin no less. Hail naw.

  18. 18 Liam Garrett said at 4:20 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    The Raiders are still interviewing other candidates for their head coach opening, but the rumors are that Marty really impressed them.

  19. 19 Kammich said at 4:46 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I’m not really sure what Reggie McKenzie is up to out there in Oakland. Interviewing the likes of Marty and Mike Tice… what, Dennis Erickson wasn’t available?

    I’d be happy for Marty if he gets another gig. I think he’s a good coordinator, and I think its unfair to judge his ability as a head coach solely upon his time in a fractured Detroit environment. But there are a ton of young, hungry coordinators out there… and instead McKenzie is pressing hard after people like Marty and Tice.


  20. 20 Cliff Hall said at 6:27 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Yeah, one thing I can’t stand about the NFL is the coaching carousel. Teams tend to hire guys that have just been around a while regardless of their history. Marty M. seems like the kind of guy who is just a better coordinator than HC, but that won’t stop NFL teams from trying him out again.

    This mentality is particularly bad in the NBA. You see the same crappy coaches get hired over and over and over again. How long did it take Tom Thibodeau to get a job? You had teams hiring freaking Eddie Jordan multiple times.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 6:41 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Flip Saunders has coached for 2/3 of the league.

  22. 22 Kammich said at 7:04 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Has Flip Saunders ever coached Flip Murray? If not, someone needs to make this happen.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 8:12 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Very true, although there are probably better examples than Eddie Jordan (who at least won a little bit with the Wizards) and Flip Saunders (who won in Minnesota despite them not really surrounding KG with great teams).

    In the NFL, it seems like certain franchises cough*Bills*cough only go with safe, retread hires. I mean I wasn’t blown away by Mike Mularkey getting another HC gig, but then again I wasn’t blown away when the Dolphins picked Joe Philbin either.

    Did anybody see the article where it profiled the last 10 SB winning coaches … and they’d all been head coach unsuccessfully once before, been in the NFL at least 11 years but were in their 40s when they got their second job, etc. Of all the top assistants in the NFL, only Marty fit the profile.

    There’s no real formula that works. Sometimes a young guy gets it done in his first job (Tomlin, John Harbaugh) or doesn’t (Raheem Morris, Rod Marinelli). Sometimes hot coordinators work out (Jim Schwartz) or don’t (Spagnuolo, Todd Haley). Sometimes poaching a college coach is dumb (Petrino, Saban) or genius (Harbaugh). Mike Smith and Tony Sparano were basically the same hire.

    Norv Turner keeps getting HC jobs although he’s the poster child for good coordinator bad head man. Who knows?

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 10:10 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I’m a little confused. Payton, Cowher, Billick, Tomlin and McCarthy were all first time head coaches when they won the SB.

  25. 25 Steve H said at 4:45 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Fun game so far, Ravens D is getting some key stops.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 5:12 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Holding teams to field goals is always huge. Eagles fans know this … mannn.

  27. 27 Steve H said at 5:21 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    whew, I get the feeling this pats ravens game is going to go down to the wire. Always great to have a good game when its 2 teams you don’t have a rooting interest in.

  28. 28 Kammich said at 6:11 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Welcome to Norwood territory, Cundiff.

    Damn. That is crushing. And I’m not even a Ravens fan.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 6:11 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    If I’m John Harbaugh . . . I’d give Evans his pink slip at 9am tomorrow morning.


  30. 30 Steve H said at 6:12 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Woooooooooooooooooooooooow, what an end. Evans shoulda had it over with the catch then Cundiff misses the field goal? Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

  31. 31 Steve H said at 6:14 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Man, that was unbelievable. Patriots escaped that one by a hair.

  32. 32 Steve H said at 6:18 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Wow. I can’t get over that ending. The Ravens had that game literally in their hands. If Lee Evans holds onto the ball he turns Joe Flacco into a hero.

    What a great game though, couldn’t ask for much more from an AFC championship game.

  33. 33 James Coe said at 6:29 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Baldinger thinks it was a legit catch and that the ball came out after. I would’ve thought they would at least review it.

  34. 34 Steve H said at 7:00 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    watching the replay I thought it was the right call, he didn’t have possession at least so far as I understand the rule but the way the NFL is with the rules these days who knows.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 6:21 PM on January 22nd, 2012:


  36. 36 Anonymous said at 6:28 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t caught anyone mentioning that David Akers is having a strong year for the 49ers. I’m hoping he kicks a fg in the closing seconds and we get to see Caughlin make that face.

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 8:14 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    It’s been brought up a lot, less so as Henery went on to have a great year after costing us the SF game. Not sure it was bad for either team. Akers might be better for a few years, but if Henery is our guy for 10, then it was a brilliant move.

    Akers could do us one last solid by sinking the Giants though. Most def.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 9:45 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I know it’s been talked about before, I meant in relationship to this game. He was a fine kicker and a class act all those years with the Eagles. Got to be impressed, though, with Henery’s rookie year.

    David just tied the game. One more and Coughlin spits up his guts.

  39. 39 Kammich said at 7:02 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    VERNON G. DAVIS! Bless you, my child!

  40. 40 vday said at 7:04 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Tommy what do you think of Devon Wylie as a possible return special, 4.2-4.3 40, returned some long kicks for 6 against Nebraska and Boise State

  41. 41 Morton said at 7:41 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Looks like the Giants will be winning their second Super Bowl in 5 years and their fourth Super Bowl of all time while the Eagles still have exactly NONE.

    How can you still be an Eagles fan if this happens? How can you stand watching Eli “Flutter ball” Manning win two Super Bowls while your team still hasn’t won one?

  42. 42 Steve H said at 7:54 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I guess I’m just not as angry and bitter as you are Morton.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 8:20 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    You could at least wait for them to win the championship game first. They lead the 49ers 10-7 at the half. … of the NFC Championship Game. How do you have them winning the SB already? Lol, take your meds.

    I don’t think any Eagles fan would disagree that the Giants even going to the Super Bowl is bad news for us. Then again, the Giants were essentially a sometimes-good, sometimes-crappy team that overachieved and overcame a lot to be 9-7 … and just so happened to parlay that into a division title and playoff spot, and then so far has taken advantage of its playoff opportunities.

    But let’s not act like the Giants organization is consistently dominating. Six weeks ago they were ready to ax their defensive coordinator and perhaps HC.

    If only our hot stretches were as well timed as theirs …

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 8:27 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Go be a giants fan then. I know you must be walking around pitching a tent watching your man crush bowman. I know this board wouldn’t miss a best without your repeat posts.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 10:16 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Watch a lot of football? There’s this team you might’ve heard of, they’re called the New England Patriots. You might want to look into them.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 8:58 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Watching the 4 semi-finalists, I just don’t see the Eagles being on the same level as any of them. Even the Giants.

    Juan as the DC next year is another gamble, in my opinion

  47. 47 James Coe said at 9:03 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Really? I’ve been watching the games thinking “The Eagles could beat any of these teams”

  48. 48 Matthew Butch said at 9:42 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking too.

  49. 49 Joe Taylor said at 11:03 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Maybe. You gotta remember that our 4 game winning streak were against weaker teams. Jets proved to be a bad team. Dolphins had a 2nd string QB, and a general weak offense. Cowboys didn’t have Romo. Redskins are the Redskins.

    We lost to the Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals, and the Bills. We should have beat every single one of those teams. The only team that proved to be good by seasons end were the 9ers…But they didn’t know it back then and we had a 20 point lead. The Seahawks and Cardinals looked better by the end of the season but there’s no reason we should lose to either team. Michael Vick being hurt or not. We have an elite defense on paper and they didn’t play elite.

    Look at the Giants LBs. They have Chase BLACKBURN at their MLB. They have Kiwi at LB too. He used to be a DL..That’s how banged up at LB they are. Boley is solid.

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 9:25 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Eagles match up well with the Giants and can play with them anytime right now. They had the Niners in their game this year. Don’t think they can play with the Pats, though.

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 10:17 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    We split with the Giants and, if Alex Henery doesn’t botch two FGs, we beat the Giants. How can you think we’re not on the same level as any of them?

  52. 52 Joe Taylor said at 11:05 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    You cannot blame it one Henery. You can blame it on Maclin fumbling…You can blame it on Ronnie Brown…You HAVE to blame it on the DEFENSE. We have a 20 point lead vs the 49ers in a home game. They were not close to being explosive back then. You HAVE to blame it on the OFFENSE. You gotta a TD in the second half…You cannot NOT score in the 4th.

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 11:26 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I picked Henery because it’s the easiest and, yes, the whole team collapsed, but, come on, let’s not let him off the hook. He cost the Eagles the playoffs. Odds are, if we kept Akers, and nothing else on the roster changed, we make the playoffs. I don’t see how that’s really disputable.

    Hey, hoping the kid has a great career, and he bounced back well from that game, but let’s not ignore this fact.

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 11:38 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    That’s absolutely ridiculous and short sighted….He cost the Eagles the playofss??? That’s a joke right. Blown 4th quarter leads, being ridiculously outscored in the 4th quarter, vicks injuries late in games, WAY too many offensive turnovers, Maclins fumble at the end of that game, Maclins dropped pass vs the Falcons, Juqua Parker jumping offsides when everyone knew the Bills wouldn’t snap the ball, losing to the Cardinals…..and you choose to blame a rookie kicker for the playoffs, since we lost the 4TH GAME OF THE SEASON…a game in whch AKERS also missed 2 field goals???

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 12:44 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    True or false: if Henery makes one of those two FGs, that most NFL kickers make, the Eagles win that game? TRUE
    True or false: the Eagles missed the playoffs by a game? TRUE

    If Henery is replaced by a higher quality kicker, and nothing else changes, the Eagles make the playoffs. Please, tell me how I’m wrong.

    Obviously, Henery was not AS at fault as, say, Captain Turnover, our injury-prone QB. That’s why I never said that.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 1:06 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    You obviously missed the part where AKERS MISSED 2 FG’s IN THE SAME GAME!

    “Odds are, if we kept Akers, and nothing else on the roster changed, we make the playoffs. I don’t see how that’s really disputable.”

    No, you’re completely wrong! If Akers makes both kicks, and Henery makes both kicks, the Eagles still lose the game. There, got it? All things being equal, Henery didn’t lose the game for the Eagles. There’s way too many other bigger factors for the Eagles not making the playoffs. Saying it’s Henery’s fault is by far the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. You’re saying the Eagles season was over because of a game in week 4, does that make sense to you?

  57. 57 ChowderFACE said at 9:25 PM on January 22nd, 2012:


    I am sure you have been asked this question but what do you think of a player like Michael Brockers DT from LSU. I have not seen him play all that much but i think he has the type of body that Washburn would love in the middle. What are your thoughts?

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 9:51 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    One of the biggest things I’ve noticed about SF these past two games is how active their Safeties are. Not only are these guys very good in run support, they they seem to be at the right place at the right time in coverage as well. They are always knocking some WRs head off or breaking up a pass at the last minute. Curt, and especially Nate, this past year, are not nearly as active as SF’s duo.

    I know by the end of the year the numbers on defense weren’t that bad at all, actually pretty good sans red-zone %s, but I think they still need some reliable defenders covering the middle of the field given how dangerous TEs and timing offenses are becoming.

  59. 59 Steve H said at 10:37 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Wow, I don’t know who this Kyle Wilson guy is but I’ll bet he wants to dig a hole and not come out for a week right now.

    Both winning teams today escaped with a win more than anything.

  60. 60 Mac said at 10:53 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    A true showdown of two teams who lucked their way through their respective title games. UGH might boycott the SB again this year.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 10:42 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Uhhhhhhg. I bet I know who the least popular Raven and Niner is for the next 9 months. I loath the Giants and the Patriots. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch. Rooting for some sort of natural disaster double forfeit scenario with no loss of life. C’mon over night sink hole…..

  62. 62 Matthew Butch said at 10:42 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    God hates us. Its the only explanation.

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 10:56 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Eagles apocalypse

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 10:43 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    Also, why don’t teams ever choke away big playoff games to us? We always get some crap team’s best game ever.

  65. 65 Joe Taylor said at 11:14 PM on January 22nd, 2012:

    I’m just as disappointed as everyone else here. But you gotta give credit where credit is due. The Giants draft well. They lost Terrell Thomas and Jonathan Goff, and their nickel corner Bruce Johnson. They also lost a lot of role players, or depth players. They lost Prince for a good part of the season. They lost their second round pick DT Marvin Austin.

    BUT they still win. They have Kiwi playing LB when he’s really a DE. They picked Blackburn off the street during the season. He used to be a back up LB. They have a banged up OL for the most part.

    It just shows how important it is to have PASS RUSHERS. They literally barely made the playoffs but got hot at the right time. That’s all it takes, is confidence.

    Congrats to them overcoming injuries, and overcoming the horrible second half of their season and still finding a way to make to the playoffs and to get hot at the right time. Congrats to them having a stable of Pass Rushers that they have because of their drafting. And lastly congrats to Victor Cruz who has really been a beast this season and during the playoffs..

    WITH THAT BEING SAID, I WANNA BARF..But everything I said is the truth.

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 2:13 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    If this year teaches anything, it is unless there is a truly dominant team, getting to and winning a SB is less about brilliant coaching than a few lucky breaks going your way. I mean, two 49ers collides, a sure interception is missed, Kyle Williams then touches the punt, and Eli hits a TD covered by the replacement CB after Brown is knocked out of the game. Now, tell me Coughlin planned all that?

    The point is simple, you have to get into the playoffs, and if your QB can make plays (no he doesn’t have to be elite, just talented enough to have a hot streak), and your defense is aggressive and brings pressure, then you have a shot. It could have easily have been Ravens – 49ers, Alex Smith v Flacco.

    The key is building a solid team that can win 10 or 11 games, get you at least one home game if not a bye week, and set you up for a playoff run. Then you have to get lucky and get the calls (what if Hood gets called for PI in 2008?).

    Can the Eagles win it all in 2012? Sure, they could have won it in 2011 if they hadn’t gone 1-4 to start the season and allowed the Giants to win the division.

    1) Vick has to stay healthy, and play like the last four games, not like 2010, that’s asking too much, just don’t turn the ball over, make the routine plays and don’t try to do too much. Run when you need to, but throw the ball away or slide instead of taking hits. Those last four games he was on a pace to exceed 4000 yards, 28-12, that’s good enough.

    2) The rest of the offense is fine, the OL should be improved (I’d be shocked if Mathis doesn’t return), as we’ve seen in the playoffs, DeSean isn’t a key player, a big sure handed WR would be more valuable in the tough games. More balance is needed (more in the short passing game than the run/pass ratio), but the players are there to implement balance.

    3) The defense needs better LBs, but it has the press CBs and the DL that can force mistakes in big games. Improvement by young safeties and better LBs will help pass defense against underneath throws, a key to stopping teams on 3rd down.

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 10:41 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    If Rod Hood got called for PI, then I think the game would have ended in an Eagles loss on a different play. I don’t think that team had it in them in 2008. Even though it seemed fluky at the time, the Cardinals took the Steelers to the wire, and deserved to be in that game. For me, 2004 seemed like a year that could have gone the Eagles way with just one or two bounces.

    I think issues 1 and 2 will be tough based on the history of how much burden Andy puts on the QB position to win games, and the general playcalling and gameplanning he puts together.

    We’ve seen him adjust at times, most memorably during the Garcia playoff push, but we’ve also seen him continue to just go pass heavy, even when it’s obvious the QB left his “A” game in the locker room–along with his “B”, “C”, and “D” games–like in the loss to Arizona, this year. I’m not sure Reid wants to run an offense where the QB just has to make routine plays and manage the game competently. I’m also not sure he’s ever going to understand he shouldn’t be out there taking hits. Remember that play he made on Polamalu in the preseason, where he tackled him like a missile? Certainly showed his toughness and competitiveness, but you have to be a little more savvy than that as the franchise.

    Another issue is the offensive scheme. Since Desean has been the #1 reciever, I feel the Eagles have really transitioned into a boom or bust vertical offense more than any WCO I’m familiar with. Sure, they still work in screen plays, but it seems the philosophy is to push the ball downfield, which should open up the intermediate stuff. I liked Celek’s reemergence as a passcatcher, but I almost felt that was more or less a function of the improved OLine play–which allowed him out on those routes–and McCoy’s rushing dominance. I’m not sure Vick is great at the anticipation throws you’d need for a move the chains, short pass WCO, which, IMO is why they struggle pretty consistently in the redzone. It’s like they are playing a different game when everything tightens up, and it’s a game they don’t have much practice at. For what it’s worth, I think Maclin can be a good receiver in that kind of offense.