Posts tagged ‘Philadelphia Eagles’
Word has it that Michael Vick will play the entire first quarter of tonight’s match-up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Let the chaos begin.
Thursday night’s game can easily be compared to a circus. A traveling circus that is, with bearded ladies and family bands. Head coach Andy Reid will play the role of the robust freak show, temporarily demoting the singing bearded lady (although similar in stature). Michael Vick will serve as the Dog Entertainer, screw juggling. And ol’ Donovan McNabb will serve as the crash dummy, the poor man who is along for the ride and gets the worst of the bumps.
With protestors and radical PETA members storming the gates, tonight’s game will be nothing shy of entertaining.
Finally, the drama comes to an end.
Michael Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday, a one-year deal worth $1.6 million. The deal also carries a team option for the second year worth $5.2 million.
Surprised? Certainly. Philly kept their name out of the media’s mouth for the entire ordeal. The latest reports had Vick signing with either Pittsburgh or Carolina, but no word of Philly.
Vick is allowed to play the last two Eagles’ preseason games and I would expect to see him playing a lot in those games. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that Vick can expect full reinstatement by Week 6 of the regular season.
So what does it all mean? No one can really say. I think it’s a great move by the Eagles. Although Vick comes with a larger price tag than expected, he is a perfect weapon for the NFC East for the simple fact that no other team in the division has one. The Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys don’t have that Wildcat-like player that can come in and make plays. Don’t get me wrong, the teams have “weapons” such as Jacobs in New York, Felix Jones in Dallas, and Mr. Nobody in Washington, but it’s not a Vick-like player. With that being said, we have no idea what kind of shape Vick is in. Has he lost a step? Is he weaker? Does he have any football IQ left? Can he play quarterback again? Bringing in Vick also benefits the Eagles because the organization decides Vick’s future after his first season, meaning there is no financial bindings on the team.
Win for Vick. Win for Philly. For now….
Well it didn’t take long for the free agent signings to take off. After just three days on the open market players have me questioning about loyalty, intelligence, and character. Here’s a quick rundown on the recent signings…
- Patriots Trade Cassel and Vrabel to Chiefs for 2nd Rounder – The Cassel trade is receiving a ton of buzz, as it should. Cassel comes in from a high school football field, fills in for All-Pro Tom Brady, and leads a team to an 11-5 record…not too bad. I would have preferred the Chiefs to stick with Tyler Thigpen under new head coach Todd Haley but Cassel should work out fine. Vrabel is an aging linebacker that was on a team trying to get younger at the position. He’ll be a solid contributor to the Chiefs. I think the Chiefs really make out well here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have a good season next year. Grade for the Chiefs : A-
- Eagles Trade Lito Sheppard to Jets for 5th Rounder – Lito Sheppard can play. He wanted out of Philly and the front office knew that. He’s going to come into New York and start immediately. With a new defensive-minded coach in New York (Rex Ryan), Sheppard should do very well in the new system. Not to mention, the Jets gave up nothing! Grade for the Jets : A+
- Brian Dawkins Signs with the Denver Broncos – This was a ‘shocker’ to me. I love Brian Dawkins but, after 13 seasons with Philly, I’m head-scratching about his move to the Rockies. The Broncos are a good team, Denver is beautiful, but are they closer to a Super Bowl than Philly? It seems like he can play forever, but what is Brain Dawkins really bringing to the table for the Broncos? I’m not completely sold on the move that brings in a guy who is older than the head coach for multiple years. Grade for the Broncos : C+
- Keith Brooking Signs with Dallas – The Cowgirls needed a linebacker and they got a good one in Keith Brooking. I think this takes Dallas off the list as a potential home for Ray Lewis, but you never really know with Jerry Jones. The only thing I worry about with Dallas is the direction in terms of front office. Wade Phillips is useless, Jerry is a nut, Jason Garrett seems to have lost his touch, and the defensive coordinator is up in the air. All the while, it’s a solid pickup for Dallas. Grade for Dallas : B
- Fred Taylor Signs with New England – This is probably my favorite signing thus far. It’s almost as if everyone is a “Fred Taylor Hater” and that’s why he is continuously snubbed for being…great. Now he gets to go to a solid team with great coaches and a good shot at a Super Bowl next season. The Pats have shown what they can do with aging running backs, Fred will be no different. This move may actually get me rooting for New England…shhh. Grade for New England : A
- Redskins Sign Derrick Dockery – The Redskins needed help on the offensive line…a lot of it. Dockery returns to D.C. and adds some decent experience but it’s not going to completely fix the problem. But however you look at it, the Redskins needed this. Unlike the Albert Haynesworth signing, the Skins will get what they pay for with Dockery. Grade for the Skins : B-
- Denver Signs Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington – Let’s all remember that Shanahan is no longer the coach in Denver (it still doesn’t sound right) and that may effect a WHOLE LOT. Denver is known for getting the absolute most out of their running backs, but that may all change with McDaniels at the reigns. If the running style stays the same, Buckhalter will shine. He can do it all, somewhat like Brian Westbrook, and he’ll be the main guy for the first time in his career. Arrington never broke through in Arizona but, again, Denver can pull 1,000 yards out of anybody. Grade for Denver : A-
- Cleveland Trades Kellen Winslow to Tampa Bay for picks – Other than character issues, Winslow is a great player. He wasn’t happy and he had some injury issues, all of which hampered him throughout the years. An attitude adjustment, a change of scenery, and a new coach could be exactly what Winslow needs. Grade for Tampa Bay : B-
- Detroit Trades Jon Kitna to Dallas for Anthony Henry – Once again, the Detroit Lions get the better end of Dallas. After taking a ton of draft picks from the Cowboys last season, Detroit goes and dumps an aging and overpaid quarterback on them. The move will save the Lions somewhere around $4 million in cap space and they get a decent player in return. I think that the departure of both Kitna and Dan Orlovsky frees up some space for Matt Stafford in April, unless they’re really comfortable with Culpepper. Grade for Detroit : B+
- Houston Signs Antonio Smith – He played on a Super Bowl team last year and he can obviously draw some attention on the line. He’ll line up opposite Mario Williams and he should be able to DO WORK in that position. This is a smart move by the Houston front office. Smith is a versatile guy that can play in any defensive scheme. Grade for Houston : B+
And that’s just the first few days of free agency. Big names are still up in the air as to where they’ll end up. Does Derrick Brooks retire or go contribute somewhere else? Does Ray Lewis stay put in Baltimore? Can the Cardinals come to terms with Kurt Warner and his “fair market value”? Why is Kurt Warner visiting the 49er’s? Is anyone in the market for Jeff Garcia? Where does Houshmandzadeh end up? Will Marvin Harrison hang it up? And this, folks, is why I enjoy watching athletes sign contracts for millions of dollars while I scrape up my change to try and buy a game ticket.
Note: I did not include signings or trades that I wrote about prior to this post (i.e. Culpepper, Haynesworth, Asomugha, Rosenfels) but you can find those articles by typing ‘NFL’ in the search bar near the top of the site.
Rumors, talk, and more rumors. Marvin Harrison should NOT go to Philadelphia. Why? The last time Marvin Harrison was in the news, he was at a Philadelphia sports bar that he owns and he shot a guy in the hand. Advice, stay away from Philly for a little while Marvin.
I am on the Tennesse bandwagon in terms of landing the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer. First off, the Titans need receiver help and they’ve needed receiver help for quite some time. Second, I hope that the Titans draft a receiver in April and then Marvin could pose as an EXCELLENT teacher for a young guy in the pros. And third, Marvin could contribute to the team immediately. Whether it’s Kerry Collins, Chris Simms, or Vince Young under center, Marvin will help you out tremendously. Because it doesn’t take a Ron Jaworski to realize Marvin Harrison is a more reliable target than Justin Gage or Brandon Jones.
If Tennessee has the money after other signings and they have the opportunity to bring in Marvin for a couple years, DO IT! The glaring weakness in Tennessee is obviously the receiver position, so why not completely address it all in one off-season?
How ’bout another story that’s been overly reported? You got it!
So Donovan McNabb wants some help at the wide receiver position before he signs an extension with the Eagles. But let’s get one thing straight right now, McNabb has two years left on his current contract and all this extension-talk is really just blown smoke. The Eagles do not have to sign McNabb to an extension right now and McNabb isn’t going anywhere if they don’t agree on a new contract by this year’s OTA’s.
Now onto the argument. Does McNabb have a point? Absolutely. McNabb is one hell of a quarterback and he has performed extremely well without having any great receivers. His last great receiver was Terrell Owens and they made it to the Super Bowl. Since then, he’s had a sack of marbles to throw to and yet he still takes the team to NFC Championships. That’s McNabb’s ability people, not luck. Give him a great receiver and the Eagles are automatic Super Bowl contenders…period.
DeSean Jackson is good, he’s your speedster, but you still need that receiver that can dominate an opposing defense. Look at the Super Bowl teams from this past season: Arizona has Fitz and Boldin, Pittsburgh has Ward (and a newly-developed Holmes), and the Eagles had….
McNabb is a stud quarterback in this league but he can’t bring a ring to Philly without having a guy to throw to consistently. Sure, you can start the Tom Brady argument, claiming that Brady won Super Bowls with Troy Brown. But please realize that I will argue that Belichick’s system is fail-proof (see: Matt Cassel). I’m not saying Tom Brady isn’t good, but when a guy that didn’t start a game in college can come in and post a mid-eighties QB rating…that’s a good system.
Some possible receivers that could call Philly their home this off-season in order to help Donovan are:
- T.J. Housh-your-momma – He wants to play in Philly and he is very underrated. I’m afraid he may be a little expensive.
- Anquan Boldin – If Boldin was smart he would stay in Arizona with Fitz, but if he leaves then why not play with McNabb and Westbrook?
- Marvin Harrison – A Syracuse reunion will not be as pleasent as it sounds. Harrison would be coming back to his streets in Philly and he’s too old to be that receiver that Donovan needs.
Give Donovan his guy and let’s see him get that ring. He’s not getting any younger.
There’s nothing like going 0 for 2 on football picks, but I won’t let that keep me down. I’m going to try and even it up with Sunday’s games. Unfortunately for Atlanta, their lack of experience really stood out in their loss to Arizona on Saturday. They couldn’t execute, they dropped passes, and committed three turnovers, all of which will cause any team to lose. And the Chargers held strong even without LT, which I thought would eventually lead to their defeat. Back-up running back Darren Sproles had 328 all-purpose yards and helped his team to victory in overtime. Let me try to shake it off and pick my Sunday winners…
Baltimore @ Miami (1:00pm) – After watching Atlanta and rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, trends would imply that Ravens’ rookie Joe Flacco doesn’t get the win. Miami has done very well this season because they protect the football and base their offense off efficiency. Baltimore has one of the best defenses in the NFL and Ed Reed, alone, could collect some takeaways from the Dolphins. I have been fortunate enough to watch a lot of Ravens’ games and I think this team could do some things in the playoffs. I’ll take the Ravens to win the game based on the defense they bring on the field and their overall physicality.
Philadelphia @ Minnesota (4:30pm) – Does anyone really have faith in a banged up Vikings team with Tavaris Jackson at the healm? Apparently not, the team was on the verge of a blackout because of the weak fan support. But they do have one guy named Adrian Peterson who I think is pretty good. Too bad for AP, he may not be able to beat the #3 Eagles defense by himself. And don’t forget that the Vikings’ defense then has to stop McNabb, Westbrook, DeSean Jackson’s speed, etc. Philly is Philly and I never go into a season thinking they aren’t a threat, and this year is no different. McNabb needs to do big things in order to stay in Philly, there’s no better time to do it. Philly wins the game in the half-empty Metrodome.
So last week wasn’t so good, especially the college half. So what’s the easiest fix? Give it another shot. It seems like you would be fine this week if you picked the home team for every game, but watch out for a few games on Sunday. Pay attention to these:
Arizona @ Washington (-3)
Both teams are coming off some pretty nice wins in Week 2, but this is more of a pick ’em game with the edge going to D.C. because it’s played on their turf. The truth is, Washington’s secondary isn’t all that great. The guys going against that secondary are half past great. That match-up alone could prove the outcome of this game. However, the Skins have a lot of confidence this week and they look to shake up Kurt Warner. Andre Carter and Jason Taylor on the ends will mean trouble against a quarterback, Warner, that is 87-years-old with lead in his shoes. Stick with the Skins, 24 – 21
Tampa Bay @ Chicago (-3)
Again, the favorites are do to the homefield. But the Bears are no slouch this year. I have zero confidence in Kyle Orton, but I think he can control the ball. Not to mention that Matt Forte is showing to be the 2008 version of Adrian Peterson. Tampa Bay has a good defense but Derrick Brooks (future HOF) has a hamstring issue and he won’t have the range that he normally does. With Kyle Orton looking to pass to his backs and tight ends often, Brooks might not be able to hold up with their speed this Sunday. The flip side is that Brian Griese knows the Bears defense from when he used to play in Chicago. This will be more of a defensive battle. Take the Bears, 23 – 20
Cleveland @ Baltimore (-2)
People are already labeling the Browns as “busts” for the season, yet their first two opponents could very well be the same teams that are playing in the Super Bowl. So, lay off. The Browns will smack up the Ravens on their home field in Baltimore. Cleveland might not be a Super Bowl team this year, but they can damn sure beat the Flacco-driven Ravens. Who have the Ravens beat this season? The Bengals (two-person applause). The Browns, however, allowed only ten points last week against the Steelers. Stop looking down on the Browns and realize that they will have no problem beating crappy teams. Browns, 23 – 14
Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia (-3)
I thought Philly’s game last Monday was awesome. Sure they lost, but McNabb looked like himself and that is always exciting. Their defense is never their weak point, but their receivers are. The Steelers, on the other hand, look like a SB contending team. Roethlisberger’s shoulder is banged up, which is not a good thing against someone like Philly. I like both teams, both quarterbacks, both running backs, both defenses, but the Steelers get the edge when it comes to wide receivers. The game will be close, and the Eagles will probably win, but when it comes to betting purposes I would take the upset. Pittsburgh, 20 – 17