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I’m Just Saying – Episode 7

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This week we are all over the NFL like white on rice on a paper plate in a snowstorm. What’s Wrong Witchu Baseball? Top 5 NFL Free Agent Signings ever, plus, of course, twitter shoutouts. It’s extra long and packed with excellence!


Episode 7

The Eagles Off-Season Plan

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"I love it when a plan comes together."

"I love it when a plan comes together."

The Eagles have a plan.
With the signing of  safety Sean Jones from the Cleveland Browns, the Eagles defense just got better on paper. He is younger, faster and a better ballhawk than Brian Dawkins RIGHT NOW. (Calm down. I know Wolverine is the greatest free safety ever to play for the Eagles, great guy, blah blah, yackety schmackety. He was, last year, a situational player who could no longer cover elite recievers. And there are a lot of those in our division. I love him, but he is old and slow. Move on.) The Eagles defense will be solid to great this year. The rest of the off season should, and will, be focused on finishing the offense.
The Eagles have 12, count ’em, 12 draft picks this year. They have needs on the offensive line, tight end, running back and, as usual, wide receiver. Here is how I see them addressing those needs:
OFFENSIVE LINE:  Michael Oher is a left tackle from Ole Miss. The Eagles love him, so much so that they may trade up to get him. Some mock drafts have him being available when the Eagles come up the first time in the first round. If he is there at 21, I will be shocked. This guy is the real deal. Think Tony Mandarich with ability. His technique is flawless. He is angry all the time. He fights like a rabid moose. He is a monster. He is ready to step in and start from day one for the next ten years. I believe he is the guy the Eagles want, and they will do whatever it takes to get him, short of trading the 28th pick this year, which they are saving for a new tight end, or Anquan Boldin.
OFFENSIVE LINE UPDATE: The St Louis Rams released future hall of famer Orlando Pace yesterday. The clamor for him is fairly loud in Eagles nation. If the Eagles sign him, it will be for one year to train Oher how to be an all pro.
TIGHT END: Brandon Pettigrew is a tight end from Oklahoma State. Think Jason Witten with blocking ability. A lot of blocking ability. He is not as fast as Witten (Pettigrew ran a 4.8 40 at the combine), but he is what the Eagles have lacked at TE for a long, long time: a tight end that is not afraid to mix it up. Not since John Spagnola have they had a guy like this. He is not quite as good a receiver as Keith Jackson was, but he will be a significant upgrade LJ”I Got Hands Like Feet, They Stink” Smith. At 24, he is ready to play now. The reason he will be there at 28 is because he was arrested for assaulting a police officer in January of 2008. Now, that is going to scare off a lot of people, but for me, I want that guy on my side on the goal line.
RUNNING BACK: Here is where things start to get interesting. The clamor is loud for Chris “Beanie” Wells out of Ohio State. I have one word: sssssllllloooowwww. My grandmother is faster than him, and she’s dead. Also, he can’t catch a cold, and he, uh, lacks the, uh, football acumen to pick up Andy Reid’s system. The Eagles will select Donald Brown from the University of Connecticut. He fits the system. But he will not be the big pick up. The Chargers have given LaDanian Tomlinson a “last offer.” When he turns it down, because it will be less than what they will be paying Darren Sproles, they will cut him. Then, he will be a perfect fit for the Eagles. Bring in LT. That is the move.
RUNNING BACK UPDATE: The Eagles signed the running back from San Diego today. No, not LT. They signed some guy named Eldra Buckley off the Chargers practice squad. Meanwhile, LT has restructured his contract and is staying with San Diego. I gotta be honest, I don’t really have a feel for what the Birds are gonna do here, except that I am pretty confident that they will not be taking one in the first round.
WIDE RECEIVER: Options are wide open here, believe it or not. They will draft a wideout, maybe Brian Robiskie out of Ohio State. But I stand by my earlier prediction of BraylonEdwards. The Giants are unwilling to part with Mathias Kiwanuka plus draft picks, which is what Cleveland is asking from them. The Eagles have tons of draft picks to trade. They just traded Greg Lewis, an Andy Reid favorite wideout. They have the room to add a wideout. I say it will be Braylon Edwards. Though I wouldn’t complain if it were Anquan Boldin or Torry Holt, who has asked for his release from St. Louis.
WIDE RECEIVER UPDATE: The Anquan Boldin rumors are getting stronger by the day. Peter King of SI says that the Eagles are the most likely team to land Anquan Boldin before July. says that the Cardinals are definitely shopping Boldin. The Giants are not in the mix according to New York Newsday and the Newark Star-Ledger. I hope that is true. Buy your Super Bowl tickets if it is.
That’s the plan. Is it the Eagles plan? Who knows?
But it’s one Hannibal Smith would have loved.

A Dark Day For Philadelphia Sports?

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Weapon X

Weapon X

Wolverine is dead.

OK, that’s a little dramatic. But it sure does feel like a death in the family. Brian Dawkins, the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Eagles, has left as a free agent, signing a 5 year, $17 million contract with the Denver Broncos today. Eagle Nation is sad. John Clark of Philadelphia NBC10 sports called today “one of the worst days in Eagle history.” Difficult to argue. Flashbacks of this front office letting go players like  Jeremiah Trotter, Duce Staley, Hugh Douglas, Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor come to mind. (Reggie White was a different regime.) The fans, this one included, cry and yell, how could they, he can still play, he’s a team leader, we need him. Today the howl is louder than ever before because Dawkins, as great a player as he is, is an even greater person. How, we cry, can an organization that puts so much emphasis on bringing in “good guys,” let go one of the best that has ever played here, a first ballot hall of famer?

Here’s how. You take the emotion out. This is a business. I love Brian Dawkins. But he is 35 years old and his skills are in decline. Yes, his skills have been at an extraordinarily high level for many years, so that when he loses a step, he is still better than a lot of others at his position. But he is not what he once was. The Eagles offered him a two year deal worth about $5 million total. When Denver offered him 5 years $17 million, he has to take that. And the Eagles are right not to match it. Again, take the emotion out. Think like a business person. Successful business people do not overpay unless they absolutely have to. And here, the Eagles did not. It was the right decision, regardless of how well he does in Denver.

Bill Walsh once said that it is better to let go of a player a year too early than a year too late. Is it a year too early on Dawkins? Perhaps. But remember how bad he looked early on last year? Remember how everyone was saying he was done? Remember the T. O. touchdown? Yes, he came on late in the year. He was defensive player of the month of December. But did you notice that after the first several games, he wasn’t on the field every play? Did you notice he never covered the tight end?  Did you notice that they game planned around him? He was going to be a part time player for the Birds this year. The Denver deal is really a 2 year, $10.8 million deal. That makes him the fourth highest paid safety in football. Is he worth it? Take the emotion out. He is not. Yes he is a great leader, just like  Trotter, Staley, Douglas, Vincent and Taylor were. But the team survived, and thrived without them. It will do the same without the Wolverine.

Hey, its not all bad today. I have heard that the Eagles are in trade talks with the Browns for Braylon Edwards. This makes sense on a lot of levels. Obviously, the Eagles need a wide receiver. They are not interested in TJ Houshmanzadeh after his agent lied to them. He told them that TJ was willing to take less money to play in Philly, then proceeded to ask them for more money than anyone else has offered. No TJ in Philly. Anquan Boldin is the sexy name, and the Eagles have been linked to him for over a year. He has two years left on his contract, and the Cardinals have been adamant about not moving him, but they will for a first and a third. Do you see Andy Reid giving up a first and a third for anything, other than a 25 pound ham? I don’t. Ocho Cinco? I’ll pass, thanks. I like Nate Washington, but is he that much better than what the Birds currently have? No. Edwards is coming. He has a year left on his deal. He wants out of Cleveland. (Who doesn’t?) The new regime there has already started cleaning house with the Kellen “I’m a bleeping soldier” Winslow trade. Edwards is coming. Remember, you heard it here first.

Written by CrawleyAndWatts

February 28, 2009 at 8:49 pm