Sunday, June 16, 2013

NFL Network--by Brian

3 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Eagles Will Not Win the NFC East

The NFL Network, late last week, teased an upcoming segment entitled, “3 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Eagles Will Not Win the NFC East.”  Despite piquing my interest, my attention deficit disorder kicked in and by the end of the commercial break I had already moved on to other things.  I’m guessing it probably had something to do with Adam Richman and an oversized burrito.  The suspense has been killing me ever since as I have been playing my own lists over and over in my head.

How about?
1.     Jason Pierre-Paul
2.     Justin Tuck
3.     Mathias Kiwanuka

Too Giants-centric and besides Tuck’s neck is so bad he is one hit away from having to put deer antler spray in his Subway footlong.  And last week brought news that JPP had just undergone back surgery.  Nice work from JPP not waiting until the last minute.  Was Dr. Robert Watkins not available from January to May?  At least it might explain why Pierre-Paul’s 2012 season was so underwhelming.  No word yet from Dr. Watkins as to whether it had anything to do with JPP’s trademark standing back flips.  Can someone please warn David Wilson? 

I might have gone with…
1.     Hakeem Nicks
2.     Victor Cruz
3.     Ruben Randle

 …but Cruz isn’t signed and Nicks refused to show up for OTA’s, which in Coughlin’s world are about as voluntary as a colonoscopy after 40.  Will the Giants commit $16-$20 million to two stud wide receivers?  Probably, but was it me or did Cruz look a little skittish at times last year?  86 receptions and 10 touchdowns is nothing to sneeze at but I keep thinking that the Victor Cruz dream that we have all been living is too good to be true.  The upside for this guy is still All Pro. The downside?  He never lives up to his performance in 2011, screws himself over the contract and ends up dating a Kardashian.

Getting closer…
1.     Michael Vick
2.     Nick Foles
3.     Matt Barkley

Or maybe it just has something to do with the Eagles being completely dysfunctional.  Where do I start?  Shady McCoy hit a girl and stranded her on the New Jersey Turnpike, answering the question of whom Shady is going to bitch slap now that Osi is in Atlanta.  In an unrelated story, the Eagles brass had to inform McCoy that his future starting quarterback is named Matt Barkley, not Mark Barkley.  Shady might want to get that right especially given that Trent Dilfer has already anointed Barkley as the next Eli Manning.  I knew Eli Manning.  He was a friend of mine.  And Matt Barkley, you’re no Eli Manning.  About the only thing that you have in common with Manning is that your college mascot is the only one in the NCAA that even rivals the offensiveness of Colonel Reb.  Apparently, the Southern Cal mascot is named for the horse of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  Even Ole Miss had the good sense to replace Colonel Reb with a black bear. 

If McCoy’s antics aren’t enough, MeSean Jackson got accused of owing his agent $400,000 in unpaid loans and Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks got hit with 5 years probation.  And in my personal favorite story, Evan Mathis got photographed pissing on the Internal Revenue Service building, an ironic gesture for a man that attended a state university and will play the 2013 season in a building funded by taxpayer dollars.  I mean look, nobody likes paying taxes although I will admit that interstate highways and drones and national parks are pretty cool. What’s Mathis’ beef with the IRS?  Has he harbored long-time ill will or is he more upset with the recent passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act?  Maybe it is the Obamacare surcharge? Either way somebody find that man some tax shelters.       

One final thought before concluding with the 3 real reasons that the Eagles won’t win the NFC East.  With the 19th pick in the NFL draft the New York Giants selected offensive lineman Justin Pugh, Syracuse.  The Giants blogosphere hated it.  Something about the man having 32-inch arms. I haven’t seen the size of a man’s arms discussed this much since Mark McGwire grew acne on the back of his post-pubescent 37 year old arms.  Now I don’t know enough to venture a guess as to whether his pterodactyl arms will prevent him from blocking NFL lineman but I will suggest that Pugh stay away from Banana Republic.  Don’t’ waste your time.  I have 32-inch arms.  There’s nothing there for a man with 32-inch arms. Why do the powers that be at Gap, Inc. assume that all men have 35-inch arms?  The neck fits beautifully.  The arms?  Not so much.   

But we digress.  As for the three real reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles will not win the NFC East…

1.     Eli Manning
2.     RG3
3.     Tony Romo

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Totally 100% Informed Draft Post

We are 12 days away from one of my favorite days of the year--the NFL Draft. I remember the good old days when the draft started on a glorious Saturday in late April. You know how there are certain events that ALWAYS seem to take place in  unbelievable weather? In college there was this thing called Springfest (I think that's what it was called--it's been a long time since I was in college...fuck...) which was basically a big outdoor campus party where the only thing that flowed more freely than the kegs of Busch Light were the sundresses.  For 4 straight years we looked forward to that one amazing day where we could count on getting hammered and staring at girls on an absolutely perfect North Carolina spring afternoon.

Anyway, NFL draft Saturdays became those days for me after college. The boys would be over just before noon to catch Kiper's last mock before the real thing, and I'd fire up the grill just as Paul Tagliabue walked up to the stage to start the proceedings.  The Busch Light became Bud Light, then Yuengling Light (Lager Light for you natives and/or Dutch Daulton fans). The only thing missing was the girls in sundresses...but at least we had Suzy Kolber.

Unfortunately, the NFL decided a couple of years ago to go ahead and ruin everyone's fun and start the draft on a Thursday night. So now the boys will be over just before 7 to catch Leon Sandcastle's last can't-miss insights before the draft starts, and we'll have pizza instead of burgers. But at least the beer will be better (I'm thinking Goose Island this year--the Honker's Ale and 312 Urban Wheat are both winners). And there will be at least one girl, though sadly she roots for that black and yellow team across the state.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on this draft from an Eagles perspective...with the caveat that I have a real job and therefore no time to delve into details on these college players. And I don't watch college football because, really, what's the point?  So--in true Eagles fan fashion--I'll mostly be talking out of my ass. Just pretend you're listening to WIP, most likely the morning show.

As it stands, the Eagles have 9 picks overall (one each in the first 5 rounds and FOUR in the 7th round). We all know they won't draft 9 guys since they wheel and deal pretty much every year. Fortunately--because they were so terrible last year--they won't pick lower than 5th in any of the first five rounds. Needless to say this is a franchise-altering draft.

So what do they need? Before free agency the answer was "everything" (except maybe a RB...oh and a kicker, right Alex Henery?). Now I would say "most everything" but of course the hole at QB sticks out like Andy Reid's unitard-covered gut on the sideline (sorry, I couldn't resist). Is Geno Smith the answer? I have no earthly idea. I just recently found out he wasn't Italian. The guy from Florida State? The guy from Syracuse? Nick Foles? Dennis Dixon? Shane Falco? Paul Crewe (the Burt Reynolds version NOT the Sandler version)? The scary thing about the QBs in this draft is I don't think anyone knows.  

Like I said--they're pretty much set at RB. The receiver corps is interesting--Maclin and Jackson are the projected starters with guys like Avant, Riley Cooper, Benn etc. rounding out the group. The problem is their good receivers aren't big and their big receivers aren't good. Tavon Austin is intriguing just from a playmaking standpoint (Percy Harvin without the migraines?) but I think he's shorter than me. Cousin Mike--is he shorter than you?

They could probably use a TE though I think they are prepared to go into the season with Celek and Casey...but this is becoming a 2 tight end league so don't be surprised if they pick a TE relatively high.

Offensive line is the second major issue on offense and I expect them to strongly consider one of the three "franchise" guys at the top of the draft (Joeckel, Fisher and Johnson).  

On defense, they really do need everything. I don't think there's a position on defense that can't be shored up. So bring me your Dion Jordans, your Dee Milliners, your Sharif Floyds...just stay away from Manti Te'o. By the way, I enjoyed watching his girlfriend play center for the Sixers this season.    

Anyway, I'm just hoping this draft is like last year's other words, TAKE THE BEST PLAYERS AVAILABLE. This team was 4-12 last year so really there's need everywhere. Howie seemed to learn that last year and the 2012 draft looks like a winner so far.

So let's sit back this Thursday and see what transpires. My iPhone weather app is calling for sunny, clear skies with a high of 64.  Sounds pretty, pretty...pretty good. doesn't matter. I can still always count on you, NFL draft.

P.S. Shout out to my blog partner Brian and his Michigan squad who returned the Maize and Blue to their hoops glory days. Great great's hoping we can get a Michigan-Duke rematch in next year's title game...with similar results as 1992

Saturday, April 13, 2013

View from a Romo Apologist--by Adam

It took some time to update the status of America's team but besides widening the doorways and constructing wheel chair ramps around Valley Ranch for Monte Kiffin's return, there wasn't much to comment on until Jerry Jones decided to reward Tony Romo with the largest contract in Dallas Cowboy history. Many 'boys haters are salivating at the opportunity to trash Cowboy fans from Long Island all the way to the paradise island of Maui (and yes I do have a buddy who is a cowboy fan living in Hawaii). Jerry Jones continues to reward players with huge guaranteed money contracts and Tony Romo is the latest to benefit from his philanthropy.  Six years and $108 million dollars is the number with approximately $55 million guaranteed. As an opportunist I say good for Romo; as a Cowboy fan I say oh no not again plus about sixteen different curse words in 3 different languages.  Underachieving retired QB Donovan McNabb even called the deal out on Twitter:  "Tony Romo 6yr 55 million dollar extension. Wow, really with one playoff win. You got to be kidding me." This is the epitome of what many NFL fans are thinking.  Romo was named "most overrated player in the NFL" according to NFL player polls.  As I scratch my balding and flaky scalp and try to make sense of this, I can only come up with one conclusion--desperation. 

Think about the short term plan. The 2013-14 Cowboys have a win- now philosophy.  Based on the current makeup of the team with many high powered key position players such as Witten, Ware, Romo, Ratliff and Spencer in their prime, the team has to play to its strengths. If Romo didn't receive a new contract and flew the coop after this year, where would the team be? How could they survive without grooming a QB to replace Romo over the past 2-3 years? The answer is they couldn't and would be in complete disarray. When you cut through the dark clouds of disappointment over the past 18 years it becomes very clear what they need to do to have a 6th Lombardi in their trophy case. 

Lets breakdown a few simple points on how this team CAN win now and review the secret ingredients for success from the past few Super Bowl winners.  Considering the teams that came out on top over the past 5 years, the Cowboys have a chance.  Let's face it--between favorable playoff match ups and getting hot at the right time, there are probably 5 or 6 teams every year who can win it all. It's so close that one or two plays in the playoffs can seal the fate either way for a good NFL team.  Going into every season there are approximately 20 teams that can go 7-9  to 10 - 6. Look at last year's run by the Ravens. They lost 4 out of their last 5 regular season games. First round of the playoffs they crushed Indy. Next they go into Denver and get their feathers plucked for 3 quarters. But on that cold wintry evening one of the coolest QBs of all time decided to choke it away for the Broncos and add insult to injury; one of the coolest CBs of all time gave up two huge I mean HUGE TD throws to set up the Ravens for a triumph in double OT.  Look at the Patriots fortune in 2007 and 2012. Take your pick--Asante Samuel and Wes Welker had to catch relatively easy passes/INTs to lockdown their title as Super Bowl Champs but they blew it just as badly as Peyton and Champ. Pittsburgh's 100 yard INT of Kurt Warner by James Harrison is another example. Kurt Warner is one of the most accurate passers the NFL has ever seen.  But that play turned the game around. The Giants were a 5 seed when they won in 2007 and in 2012 they were only one of three teams to win the Super bowl with a 9-7 record. It's only a handful of plays that make all the difference. That's what makes this current NFL product so interesting to watch.  You just never know what's going to happen until the last football is hiked year to year.  

The Cowboys first priority is to stay healthy.  Staying healthy in the NFL is like trying to eat Matzah during Passover while touring a sour dough pretzel factory.  Aint happening.  So they need to try and minimize the number of injuries to their key players.  Five defensive starters out for the year for the 2012-2013 season was tough.  Second, where their defense goes they go. If they stay somewhat healthy can the Cowboys be ranked in the top ten in total defense?  If Monte has a little magic left in his 73 year old mind then they have a chance. Switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 will be a challenge but can be an opportunity for All Pro Linebacker Demarcus Ware to concentrate on rushing the QB more efficiently.  Again--look at the Ravens, Giants and Steelers defensive units. They were the real MVPs of those Super Bowl teams and should have received all the kudos--not Flacco, Ben or  Peyton's little brother.  Third, consistent play from Tony Romo. Is that too tall an order? It might be but I can't put the full blame on his shoulders for all the bad fortune this team has experienced over the past 6 years. He happens to be in the spot light as the QB of this famed franchise and it's easy for haters to pile on him if he isn't perfect. Romo's regular season numbers are staggering and are the key to this 108 million dollar contract. He has plenty of big play history under his belt in the regular season but the mishaps and lack of playoff production makes him not only the "goat" of the team but also the NFL.  For those who live by the philosophy of "what have you done for me lately", Tony's legacy has already been sealed in your minds. He is an undrafted Eastern Illinois University Quarterback who just received over $100 million dollars so he has to be doing something well. There are QBs that have won rings with much less ability. Romo has some top notch regular season performances but we all know that crunch time and playoff appearances make or break a player's career. Romo is closer to the big dance than you think. Now if he can only do it over a 19 or 20 game stretch and win a Super Bowl, Romo will not only be added to the prestigious Cowboy Ring of Honor but he might even receive a call from a very famous area code in Ohio inviting him to a celebration in his honor. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Hate You Kenny--by Brian

Maybe the Eagles are learning.  The “dream team” free agent signings of Nnamdi Asomugha, Vince Young, Ronnie Brown, and Steve Smith didn’t amount to much in the win column.  Newly signed Giant Cullen Jenkins admitted this week that the frenzy around the 2011 free agent signings made it hard on the team.  Heh, Heh...I said hard on.  Anyway, this year’s Eagles’ free agent class--while short on name power--provides much needed depth at reasonable prices.  Even the Giants fans are getting a little worried that the Eagles might be figuring out the right recipe for success.  Thank god they don’t have a quarterback.  But even if they know the secret, let’s just promise to not let Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder in on it.

I’ve never really gotten too worked up about the free agent signing period.  For most of my adult life Giants’ free agent signings were generally castoffs that were on their last legs by the time they arrived in New York.  For every Kareem McKenzie or Plaxico Burress signing, the Giants shot themselves in the foot (thigh?) with aged superstars like Dorsey Levens, Carlos Emmons, Brian Mitchell, and LaVar Arrington.  Those first three names just made me a little bit more concerned about the Jenkins signing.  Maybe we should keep the Eagles stink out of the Giants locker room.    

It has also been pretty rare that the Giants have lost players in free agency that have come back to bite them in the ass.  You’ll be hard pressed to find a Giants fan clamoring for the days when players like Gibril Wilson or Steve Smith or Kevin Boss donned Giants blue.  Sure, the loss of Barry Cofield a few years back stings now that the artist formerly known as Chris Canty has moved on.  And I personally wasn’t thrilled to see The Black Unicorn move on to greener pastures (where is it exactly that a unicorn frolics?) but ever since Shockey left, the Giants have done just fine with a “next man up” mentality to the tight end position.  Maybe Osi ends up on a team that can put him to good use as a situational pass rusher but I for one won’t miss seeing backs like Alfred Morris or Shady McCoy run right around his end.    

As for Kenny Phillips, I read somewhere that he is going to learn to hate the Giants.  Well then, with deference to Eric Cartman, I hate you Kenny.  I wish you about as much luck in Philadelphia as your friend Steve Smith had.  You were a real good Giant who never lived up to full potential because of injury.  We’ll always have Super Bowl 46.  I’m sure the Eagles’ doctors were well aware of the degenerative condition that is eating away at your knee.  I can’t imagine that a gaping hole in your knee is the reason why 30 other teams failed to offer you any more than the veteran minimum.

The Giants haven’t made much of a splash in this year’s free agent signing period.  Jerry Reese learned a long time ago to let teams let Washington and Dallas win in March.  The players have come cheap and have provided needed depth.  I personally was surprised by the Dan Connor signing.  I would have thought that after he won the lottery in the last season of Roseanne, he would have hung 'em up by now.  And if the Giants really wanted a slow, plodding two-down linebacker who will be a substitute math teacher by the start of the 2014 season, why not just keep Chase Blackburn?  I would say that at least Blackburn knows Perry Fewell’s system but that would require Fewell to have a system. 

I’m moderately enthused by the Brandon Myers signing.  Sure he can’t block but he did catch 79 balls last year.  And he is a dead ringer for Carson Palmer so he has that going for him which is nice.  Speaking of Palmer, I can only imagine how giddy Louis Murphy was to find out that he will now be receiving the ball from Eli Manning rather than from JaMarcus Russell or Bruce Gradkowski or Palmer’s corpse or more recently from Cam Newton.  I’m indifferent on this signing.  Murphy’s numbers have generally rivaled those of Domenick Hixon and he is likely to be behind Nicks, Cruz, and Randel on the depth chart. 

I’ll admit that this hasn’t been my favorite offseason.  It is never fun to see champions like Ahmad Bradshaw or Michael Boley or (I suspect) Osi Umenyiora leave the Giants family.  But I understand.  There’s a saying on Giants blogs, “In Reese We Trust.”  He deserves it.  Two Super Bowls in five years.  I’ll keep telling myself that.    

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Free Agency

Sorry for the long delay but we are BACK baby.

Obviously a lot has happened since our last post, mostly Eagle-related. First there was the Vick resigning--I know this got a lot of Eagles fans fired up but I am going to withhold judgement until I know what they're actually planning to do with him. There are like 7 QBs on the roster right now so who knows what it all means. As a brand new coach I don't think Kelly can go into a season with a 2nd year enigma and a bunch of journeymen. At least Vick is a veteran who theoretically has the (albeit declining) skill set that we think Kelly wants/needs.

The Eagles and Giants also exchanged sloppy seconds, with media darling Cullen Jenkins (seriously--all the Eagles beat writers kept tweeting about when he left was what a good interview he was) going to the G-men and former U safety Kenny Philips coming down the turnpike to try to fill the giant cleats left by Weapon X aka Wolverine aka B-Dawk aka future (hopefully) Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins. I keep reading how Philips is a "game-changer" when healthy; honestly, if he's barely competent that'll be a HUGE upgrade over the past few seasons. I will never defend DRC or Nnamdi, but they were made to look even worse by probably the most atrocious safety play the NFL has seen in decades.

Kurt Coleman getting burned

Philips was part of a (semi) bargain shopping spree the Eagles went on right as free agency began that my wife would be proud of. It's as if Howie Roseman got the NFL equivalent of the 40% off Gap coupon she keeps raving about and went to town. But unlike past years, there seems to be a method to the madness. Suddenly, it seems that they have realized that depth and special teams actually matter. As a result, the national media has almost universally praised what they've done so far (see this Bill Barnwell piece for a good example).

Let's start at CB where they picked up Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams. Fletcher is a bit of an unknown, to the point where many of the beat writers and talking heads on Twitter initially called him Fletcher Bradley. This naturally got me excited because I was thrilled about having two guys named Fletcher on the same team. But alas, it was not to be. Word is he's a good cover guy who lost his job in St. Louis due to injury. He should definitely get a shot to start. Williams was a starter on the Ravens team that just won it all. He is apparently a hothead who gets burned a lot. But he makes plays and hopefully can add a little fire to a defense where it seems like EVERYONE ate lunch in their cars alone the past few seasons.

They also added ex-Niner Isaac Sopoaga, a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle.  Always good to have a Samoan on your team. Always. Good signing.

At safety, they brought in the aforementioned Philips and former Patriot Patrick Chung, whom I was shocked to learn is not Asian (well his father was half Chinese, half Jamaican which is pretty sweet actually). Chung is a big hitter who Chip Kelly should know well since he played his college ball at Oregon. Again--we are looking for basic competence here. Nate Allen should be on high notice.

The two most interesting signings, in my mind, are both ex-Texans. Conor Barwin is yet another University of Cincinnati guy (along with Celek and Trent Cole) who figures as an OLB in the 3-4 the Eagles are obviously going to play. James Casey--who is described as a fullback/halfback/tight end--has been described as the Eagles version of Aaron Hernandez. His versatility should fit well into the mad genius offensive schemes Kelly will likely install. He is not Asian either.

The most recent move was a trade for a big WR who is apparently a great special teams player. Arrelious Benn was acquired for a 6th round pick this year and a conditional pick next year. In other words, they got him for nothing. Even if his impact is only on special teams, this is another low-risk, at least medium-reward move. They also got a 7th round pick back in the deal.

As I've said before, this year is 100% honeymoon for me. As long as Chip Kelly doesn't drop his pants and take a dump on the 50 yard line, I'm down with whatever he wants to do. (Actually if he did that at the Meadowlands or in Dallas that would be awesome). But I will say, so far I like the direction in which the front office is going so far. Team-friendly contracts for guys that fill holes and add depth--I think most smart football people would agree that this is a big part of the way to take a 4-12 team and make them a contender again.

The biggest part, of course, is the draft. Until next time...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chip Kelly--What's at Steak (By Brian)

Mr. Chip Kelly,

Welcome to Philadelphia.  Your hire hasn’t left much of the NFC East (Kelly) green with envy.  The consensus seems to be that your offense is gimmicky and that your heart isn’t really in it.  If that’s so I really couldn’t blame you.  It’s hard to believe that a few million dollars more would be enough to leave A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors for a cold, anguished city whose biggest claim to fame happened over 235 years ago. 

Still if you’re planning to stick around a little longer than some of your college-to-pro predecessors like Petrino and Saban, maybe you can take off the Nike cross trainers, put down the organic fruits and vegetable and partake in the local cuisine.  A couple of cheese steaks won’t kill you.  And even if you put on a few pounds I’m sure that the Eagles still have lying around a few of those oversized unitards that Andy Reid used to don on the sidelines.

Admittedly I might not be the best guy to give you advice on where to get the best sliced rib eye with whiz.  I’ve only been to four of the local establishments.  But I am as good a guy as any to give you some clarity on what awaits you in the NFC East.  For brevity’s sake, let’s try to kill both of these two birds with one stone.

Geno’s: Dallas Cowboys

Founded in the 1960’s, it reached meteoric heights in a relatively short period of time, rendering much older competition to scramble to compete.  Don’t let the past fool you.  Today they are living on reputation alone.  For all the flashy lights and the extreme bravado, they haven’t been relevant in a couple of decades.  The out-of-towners love it.  The locals know better.

Pat’s King of Steak’s: Washington Redskins

Founded in the 1930’s, it has served as the natural rival to its competitor above.  Unfortunately it has become as big of a relic of another time (much like the logo on the Redskins helmet although at least a Pat’s cheese steak isn’t an absolute affront to our nation’s native citizens).  The so-called experts are predicting a comeback.  The locals will believe it when they see it.

Jim’s: New York Giants

Founded decades ago, the place has been packed since at least the FDR administration.  The fans are believers and are willing to stand in line for hours in the harshest of weather to partake.  Still, reviews are all over the place.  The country has at times viewed it as elite but the locals find it to be too inconsistent.   

Tony Luke’s: Philadelphia Eagles

Housed, ironically, on East Oregon Avenue, Tony Luke’s is “The real taste of South Philly.”  The staff and patrons might be unfriendly but they have more or less owned the competition for the past decade, even as they struggle to win national recognition.  But while the talent is undeniable it continues to search for an identity.  Is this a cheese steak restaurant or a roast pork place?  The locals are begging for an answer.        

That is where you come in.  I wish you all the best in Philadelphia.  I’d advise you to take some antacid now and look to rent, not buy.    

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Talking Myself into Chip

My first post for this blog dealt with the Eagles coaching search. Here's what I wrote about Chip Kelly: 

"They are interviewing Chip Kelly as we speak but it looks (hopefully) like he’s going to Cleveland. They can have him...he may be the next Jimmy Johnson but we need more of a sure thing. Also, there aren’t any Tennessee Tech’s on the schedule in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Oregon actually played them this year--I looked it up)."

The first thing to remember when reading this blog is that I don't know anything (this also extends to the NBA draft--ask my cousin Mike about Acie Law IV. I also may or may not have wanted Ty Lawson over Jrue Holiday, who is now already my third favorite Sixer of all time and climbing quickly).  Now--I am an intelligent, thoughtful Eagles fan and I watch all the games but just like the vast majority of the talking heads on TV I will likely be wrong more than I'm right. By a large margin. 

That holds true now as much as it did before the Kelly hire. But--and this is important--before they hired him I had done zero research on him and held many of the same misconceptions that others did regarding his body of work. His offensive philosophy is actually based on creating mismatches and not just throwing the ball all over the field. His offenses at Oregon were consistently among the national leaders in rushing. He does have experience on the defensive side of the ball (as defensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins; I'm not totally sure this counts as I actually had no idea they had a football team). 

Apparently they do.

But most of all, what I've read about Chip Kelly is that he adapts. This is something I have not seen an Eagles coach do since Bill Clinton was president. One writer mentioned how--if a team was playing their safeties deep--he would make them pay by running the ball. What a concept! Whereas the previous coach (I have decided his name will never again be mentioned in this blog) would continue to throw and throw and throw some more if that's what his pre-game scouting called for. The only thing he adjusted over 14 years here was his pant size.

Anyway, people have been asking me what I think of the Chip Kelly hire and this is how I sum it up for them: so far, I like what I've read and I like how he comes off. But we won't truly know until we see what this team looks like on the field. 

In the interim I will watch and see what happens and withhold judgement until next September. I won't question the Pat Shurmur hire even though he was a disciple of the West Coast Offense for 8 years under the Coach That Shall Not Be Named. I won't assume Kelly's offense is a gimmick and I won't worry about whether he can successfully transition from a cushy Oregon situation where he was the undisputed king into the bubbling cauldron of psychosis, paranoia and Whiz (capital and lower case) in which Eagles nation eternally stews. Because the last few years have been so utterly miserable; because I won't have to hear anyone clearing their throat or taking full responsibility anymore; because I won't have to watch a rookie or backup QB throw 55 passes while the All-Pro running back practices blitz pickup because "we saw some things on tape that made us believe we could throw on these guys". For these reasons and many, MANY more, Chip Kelly has my unconditional support for now. 

P.S. I am still reeling that the head coach of this reeking turd of a team as well as ALL THREE OF HIS COORDINATORS (including special teams coach Bobby April) got the same jobs with other NFL teams. Did these teams actually watch the Eagles play this year? They regularly and spectacularly failed in all three facets of the game. The team CLEARLY quit despite what the head coach and his apologists on TV and talk radio would have you believe. And still, all of them got hired mere weeks after this disgrace of a season mercifully ended. The only one I would even consider is Bowles because I think he got a raw deal with the Washburn fiasco. Hell I'd hire Juan Castillo to coach my offensive line before I'd hire any of these guys. The NFL is so dumb sometimes.