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Posted: July 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 26 Comments »

Thanks to everyone for the Penn State post/comments.  I was a bit worried that there might be some over the top opinions, but nothing of the sort.  That was a very good discussion on a tough, troublesome topic.  Feel free to continue offering up opinions.  I’ll check there for the next day or two.  Or post your thoughts in here if you like.

A quick note about Disqus/comments.  I had to do away with the original system due to spamming.  Disqus does a good job of keeping that under control.  Some of you have had issues with Disqus.  Go to the Disqus website and create a profile.  It won’t have anything to do with a Yahoo ID, gmail ID, or Facebook.  Disqus allows you to use those formats for your profile or you can create one that is unique to their site/commenting system.  That’s what I did.

* * * * *

For I decided to write up a post comparing Randall, Donovan, and Mike Vick.  I compared their physical abilities and some other areas.  We really can’t say who is truly best among them until we see Vick play for another 3 or 4 years.

I re-watched some Randall clips in order to write the post.  God, he was an amazing talent.  Randall should have been a special player.  Instead, he was a special talent that only flashed his true potential.  I do wonder how different things might have been if Randall had a coach like Andy Reid that knew how to develop a QB.  Giving Randall to Buddy Ryan is like me an 18-year old opera prodigy and telling me to help her improve her aria for an upcoming performance of Carmen.  “Sing louder.  And more awesome.”  That’s opera coaching 101.

A few people wondered why I left off Jaws.  He’s so different than the other 3 that comparing him just didn’t make sense to me.  Certainly he had a terrific career and is 2nd only to Donovan among Eagles QBs of the Super Bowl era.  Jaws nickname of The Polish Rifle easily would have won him that category if nothing else.  Oh wait…he also had an awesome beard back in the day.  That would have scored serious points.  He had the game, the name, and the look.  Hell, he might be the best of the bunch now that I think about it.

* * * * *

The Browns took WR Josh Gordon in the 2nd round.  Uh, what the hell happened to Tom Heckert?  Am I alone in thinking that move didn’t feel like him at all?  Was that Holmgren or is Heckert starting to feel a bit desperate?

I think that is a major reach.  It did us a favor by keeping Gordon out of Dallas and Washington, a pair of teams that were reportedly interested.

* * * * *

PFT has an update on the Dion Lewis case, if you’re interested.  Until Gil Grissom is swabbing for DNA or Olivia Benson demands a 1-on-1 interview with me, I’m not all that interested.

* * * * *

Michael Vick has a new clothing line.  I saw a quote the other day where he said that every kid dreams of having their own shoe or clothing line.  Boy did he and I have different childhoods.  I dreamed about Eddie Murray, Dr. J, Whoppers, and this girl named Gina from my math class.  She had long black hair and the…I’ll stop there since this is a family site.


26 Comments on “Back to Eagles Talk”

  1. 1 the guy said at 10:58 PM on July 12th, 2012:

    This may be blasphemy, but does Andy Reid really know how to develop a QB?

    The only starting QB we can really put at his feet is McNabb, and it’s pretty easy to make the argument that once his athleticism went away he stopped being a starting-level NFL quarterback.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:36 PM on July 12th, 2012:

    Fair question, but I think so.

    Kevin Kolb did some good things while here. AJ Feeley was a very good backup. Vick is a very different QB than he was in ATL.

    McNabb is the only guy who got the job long term. We’ll see how things go with Vick. And Kolb could have a bounce-back season.

  3. 3 the guy said at 8:01 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    I’m with you on the “we’ll see,” my point was just that right now the reputation doesn’t seem deserved.

    Kolb was a guy he picked and developed, yet let go in favor of an aging ex-convict athletic specimen with potential. AJ Feeley was at best an average starter. And with Vick, we have one good year (except for the end) and one bad year (except for the end).

    I realize McNabb and Vick are the only ones to get significant starting time with the Eagles, but the guys who left didn’t exactly excel either.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Vick become the QB that Reid probably always hoped McNabb would be. I just feel that right now Reid’s reputation is unearned.

  4. 4 Patrick Clausen said at 2:09 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    To be fair, there is a far greater chance of you getting a top QB to develop if you select one in the first round, and high in the first round. Reid only did that once in Philly, and he got himself a great QB, maybe even borderline HoF.

    Since then, Reid always had his QB in place, therefore eliminating his need to develop one. He always took one in the draft, but let be honest, you don’t expect a QB taken later than the 3rd round to be good, you just hope you found Brady.

    When Reid took a QB high, it was Kolb, who never really got to play for us, but he did end up netting us a draft pick pretty similar to the one he was selected with + DRC.

    In the end, how many coaches are great at developing QBs and how many of them just know how to evaluate QBs. Again, Belichick obviously meant a lot for Bradys development, but in the end he was just a special talent. The same goes for every great QB. I remember when the draft guys were going crazy with Aaron Rodgers still on the board. I think the only clear example is Payton and Brees. Sure, Brees was good in San Diego, but he wasn’t “Drew Brees”.

    In the end I think you have to credit Reid with one thing. In all his years here, we have NEVER lacked a QB. Either we had THE GUY on the team(i.e. when we drafted McNabb and Kolb) or we had our starter(Mostly McNabb, now Vick). For how many years have the Dolphins lacked a QB? How about the Browns? The Redskins?

  5. 5 the guy said at 7:56 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    His ability to evaluate a QB, that I can get behind. He seems fairly good at that.

    It just seems somewhere along the line he got the reputation (with fans and the media) for developing QBs, when I can’t really see much (if any) evidence of that.

  6. 6 Mac said at 11:38 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    Evaluating is it’s own special talent.

    How about the talent/skill it takes to put a QB in a position to succeed with play-calling? I think Andy/Marty did a great job with McNabb in that regard.

  7. 7 T_S_O_P said at 2:55 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    He didn’t however throw different OCs, positional coaches and offensive philosophies at McNabb on a yearly basis.

  8. 8 MidnightGreenRider said at 11:45 PM on July 12th, 2012:

    Yeah no idea what Vick was talking about there. As a 13 year old, selling shoes and shirts wasn’t exactly tops on my list.

    Still isn’t.

  9. 9 Cliff said at 12:26 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    Yeah, but Vick can’t exactly be like “Geeze, what have I gotten myself in to? selling shirts? This sucks.”

  10. 10 A_T_G said at 12:38 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    Wait, this is a family site? Shouldn’t we be referring to Fletcher Penis then?

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 10:25 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    You are so close to being banned. If you didn’t buy so many sunglasses, I’d have you thrown out by Morton or my mom.

  12. 12 T_S_O_P said at 2:55 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    God, he was an amazing talent. Randall should have been a special player.
    His 1990 season and his 1998 season were good flashes. How many future QBs did he inspire? That can be aimed at ‘Five’ and Vick too.

    Vick and Cunningham were both the 1st Quarterbacks taken in their respective draft years. despite being picked 36 picks apart.

  13. 13 aerochrome2 said at 9:24 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    Tommy (and others)

    I know this got brought up at some point last year, but would you mind throwing up a quick post so we can organize a FF league with other IB readers?

    I haven;t played in a few years but kind of want to get back in and a site league could be fun.

  14. 14 Dave_King said at 9:24 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    If it happens, I call dibs on a spot.

  15. 15 Mac said at 11:34 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    I believe others have mentioned this in the past. I think it will just take one of us starting it up, because as I understand it, it’s not something Tommy has time to do.

    At any rate, I’m interested in having some fantasy football fun too 🙂

  16. 16 aerochrome2 said at 1:42 PM on July 13th, 2012:

    I would start the league, I just would like a dedicated one line post so we have an area to organize it in. I don’t know what site people prefer or what settings people want to play under, etc. I also don’t want to clog up one of these threads.

  17. 17 Mac said at 2:19 PM on July 13th, 2012:

    I’ve played on and for fantasy football. Personally, I don’t have a preference… but yeah it would be cool to have some separate thread to organize the event!

  18. 18 Kevin_aka_RC said at 9:37 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    Did Heckert have final say here? Because he definitely doesn’t in Cleveland. Well, that or he’s a bad GM.

    We better beat Cleveland in week 1. They’ll have Weeden/Little/Gordon/Massaquoi/Watson/Richardson as their skill positions. That’s terrible.

  19. 19 Dave Scott said at 11:27 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    I don’t know what
    they are thinking in Cleveland. That organization has one of the worst drafting
    records in the last 6 years of any team in the league. I mean you can literally
    count on one hand how many good players they have drafted. Trent Richardson,
    Jabaal Sheard,Joe Haden,Alex Mack, Joe Thomas outside of the first round they are all a bust! Thomasand Haden are without question great players, Mack is good you can get a greatcenter anywhere in the draft. Richardson will be great you just know he will beand Sheard was a very good selection. Beyond that all the other talent on theteam was brought in from another organization………’s almost a team of leftovers.

  20. 20 juggadore said at 11:30 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    eddie murray the kicker or the first baseman? or, um, the rugby player?

  21. 21 Mac said at 11:40 AM on July 13th, 2012:

    Tommy, we all know that had you not started this football blog you’d still be polishing up your scripts for the pilot of your show “I Dream of Gina” as kind of a spin off of “The Wonder Years.”

  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 9:11 PM on July 13th, 2012:

    It would be a show for HBO or Showtime.

  23. 23 Septhinox said at 12:47 PM on July 13th, 2012:

    Rumor has it that Cleveland though Buffalo would take Gordon with their third (which was higher than Cleveland’s) so they went ahead and took him with their second.

  24. 24 ACViking said at 2:33 PM on July 13th, 2012:

    RE: Randall’s Best Year, and Does Belichick Owe a Big Debt to Cunningham


    One observation and one supposition prompted by your QB comparison.

    First, in 1987, in just his third year, Cunningham had a season that may have been better than 1990. In the 12 *real* games that year (strike year), Cunningham completed 54.9% for 2786 yards, 23 TDs and just 12 INTs, plus 505 rushing yards and 3 TDs. Run those numbers out over 16 games and I think you have a better season than 1990.

    Why? Because, despite having Buddy Ryan as the HC, Randall had Mike Quick — the best WR receiver in Eagles’ history save for Tommy McDonald (with Harold Carmichael 3rd behind those two; HOF Pete Pihos was more of TE in the era before the revolutionary that was Paul Brown). [Pete Retzlaff’s not been forgotten, don’t worry.]

    Randall also had WR Kenny Jackson, TE John Spagnola, and RBs Keith Byars and Anthony Toney. All in all, not a bad bunch. Probably better than any group McNabb had until 2008.

    But Quick was the key. Those who saw Cunningham and Quick play together will remember the chemistry they had. Next to Rice and Montanta, there was Quick and Cunningham.

    And next to Rice, Quick was THE best WR receiver in the NFL — particularly for the offense that Buddy Ryan was using (“make 5 plays and we’ll win).

    That leads to my supposition.

    Randall lost Quick in 1988. And Quick never returned to form. HIs loss really hurt Cunningham’s development. And the Eagles, obviously. In 1989, Randall was throwing to WRs Ron Johnson and Chris Carter, who was still a few years away from being the C-Carter who dominated on the Vikings.

    So . . . what’s my point?

    In 1988, the Buddy Ryan drafted Oklahoma TE Keith Jackson with the 13th pick in Rd 1. Like all his 1st rounders, Jackson became an immediate starter.

    With the loss of Quick, Jackson quickly filled the void. Along with another of Buddy’s No. 1 picks: former Ohio State Buckeye and Heisman runner-up as a junior in 1984, RB Keith Byars.

    Cunningham adjusted his game and TWO players — both of whom were in truth TEs — became the Eagles’ dominant receivers. And they gave defenses fits

    TE Jackson caught 81 passes. FB Keith Byars — who, by 1988, was by all accounts at this point a TE wearing a RBs number — caught 72 passes.

    Cunningham and the Eagles offense (which never had a running game) worked around those two.

    In 1989, K-Jax caught 63 passes and Byars snagged 68.

    In 1990, K-Jax caught 51 passes in 14 games (after a Norman Braman-induced holdout that led to Jackson leaving in free agency after the ’91 season). And K-Byars caught 81 passes.

    The Eagles under Cunningham, after losing Quick, resorted to a passing offense that depended on 2 TEs.

    That offense was, for three years, very successful in the regular season.

    CONCLUSION: Randall Cunningham and the Eagles of the late 80’s/early ’90s were actually the first team that relied on, and succeeded with, a 2-TE offense.

    Supposition? Clearly. But the numbers are there.

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 3:08 PM on July 13th, 2012:

    Good stuff, as always. Bill Belichick actually pushed the 2-TE offense while he was a lowly assistant with the Lions in 1976. They had Charlie Sanders as the primary guy and David Hill as the other starter. Prior to this, the 2-TE set was mainly for blocking.

    I also think the Chargers did some 2-TE stuff under Coryell, but can’t say too much about that off hand.

    I’ll read up on RC’s 1987 season. I’ve not paid as much attention.

  26. 26 Mac said at 4:19 PM on July 13th, 2012:

    If I were forced to choose between the 3… I would easily vote Cunningham. But I don’t have elaborate reasons to back it up. The Cunningham I remember was the greatest athlete to ever set foot on a football field. Had he been coached by Brian Billick for his entire career, the guy would have (in my mind) been an immortal. His combination of size, speed, arm strength, accuracy, and evasiveness (and punting ability). Cunningham was the original human highlight reel.

    If I have to pick one of these QBs to win one game… I’m taking Cunningham.