Tag Archives: wentz

Tempered Expectations and Why God Isn’t Dead

 

You can best understand me if we start on Saturday night. I attended a Christmas party with friends, one thing lead to another, and all of a sudden I was the drunkest guy in the zip code. Being as that was, I left my phone at said party and had to drive back on Sunday morning. Someone thought it was a good idea to get a brunch crew together and soon I was once again one of tri-state area’s biggest disappointments.

You say “I don’t give a shit about any of this” and I say it’s important because I blacked the hell out and forgot anything even tangentially related to the Eagles game. That being true, I could still feel in my balls that something wasn’t right. This feeling was given credence after I woke up on a couch at 11pm, ordered an Uber after I found my car parked in, and had my driver offhandedly mention that our sweet sweet boy “busted his got damn leg”. Memories flooded back into my skull like I was a vet back in a Vietnamese jungle surrounded by Charlie.

Here’s the reality: the best we can hope for Wentz is that he makes a full physical and psychological recovery before next September. I think I can speak for most of the fan base when I say that he’s almost permanently won us over with his play and personality. Who knows how many washed up Delco football players were ready to offer up their ACL to this guy. For better or worse, he’s our messiah. It’s totally subjective, but football fans can feel in their gut whether they’re watching a good or great team. On a 3rd and 12 when he impossibly slips a collapsed pocket and zips the ball through coverage, you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Wentz was that difference. It’s undeniable that the kid has the kind of magic in him that makes an impact on every drive and can animate a whole team.

Some among us are choosing to forget this because “Big Dick” Foles has had some truly special moments as an NFL quarterback. This has led a lot of fans to act like he’s going to be the second coming of 2006 Jeff Garcia with a full head of hair and without the erectile dysfunction. The four stages of Philly fandom are apathy, a glimmer of hope, belief in the possibility of something special happening, and then soul-crushing failure. That’s what that kind of unwarranted optimism sets us up for and there’s a good reason that Foles couldn’t beat out Trevor Siemian or Brett Hundley for a job. I’ve been quoted saying as saying other not so great stuff about Nick Foles in midnight green, but here we are.

 

I’m forgetting I ever said any of that, and you’re forgetting about the four stages of fandom that always end up with you face down at Mummers mumbling “maybe next year”. I often say “believe in something”, and it’s one of those phrases I use just for the sake of making words with my mouth. I never think it means anything, but I remember in times like these that it does. A French songwriter who I don’t care to Google once said that she had two loves, her country and Paris. My two loves are this city and these fucking birds. The playoffs are next month. Time to dig in and believe in something.

Written by John Renzi

Angry Andy: The Eagles Officially Suck

It’s the beginning of finals season and the only thing that could’ve made this week sweet was to squeak out a win against a terrible team. I don’t know why I got my hopes up. This team sucks. There’s no way else to put it. This game was an utter embarrassment. I pride myself on watching the game in its entirety and this was one of those times where that task was almost impossible to stomach. Even Merrill Reese couldn’t save me from the pile of dog dirt that this team has become over the past couple of games.

I am not going to highlight specific faults of execution as in previous articles, as there would be so many instances that we could be here for hours. One play for me in specific stood out as a representation of the game as a whole. Carson Wentz was running for a first down and as the play was developing, Vontaze Burfict was barreling towards the sideline attempting to make a hit.  Zach Ertz had an opportunity to block Burfict and keep Carson out of danger, but he chose instead to step aside letting him rush freely.

I am livid. This is absolutely inexcusable. This is classless and gutless on Ertz’s part. How can you hang your quarterback out to dry like that? What a coward. Wentz was outside the pocket and vulnerable, with the potential to be hit by arguably the dirtiest player in the league, and Ertz did nothing to prevent it. I don’t care how many catches Ertz had, Dawkins should be dragging him by the jock to the locker room for a much deserved tongue lashing. But hey, maybe that’s what this “team” is. A bunch of young guys who only care about themselves and don’t go the extra mile to win games. Where do these attitudes come from? As the famous quote from Remember the Titans goes, “Attitude is a reflection of leadership.”

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What Will Philly Sports Look Like in 2020?

The Phillies won a title in 2008. For most of us it feels like a lifetime ago. Following that, we as Philly fans have not had much to hang our hats on. The Phillies made another trip to the World Series in 2009 but were beaten by the Yankees in 6 games. From there the roster got better but the team’s playoff stays got shorter which ultimately led to rebuilding. The Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010 but were disposed of in 6 games by a much more talented Chicago Blackhawks team. The Eagles had a stretch of dominance in the early 2000’s but could never put it together in capturing a Super Bowl Title. Their most recent appearance was in 2004 where they lost a heartbreaker to the cheating ass Patriots 24-21. The Sixers haven’t been a contender since the Iverson days and even then Kobe and Shaq ran the league.

When will it finally be our time? When will Philadelphia get its chance to be a winning sports city? The word “rebuilding” is a dreaded one, especially in a place where patient fans are few and far between. But with all four teams rebuilding at the same time we could be looking at the Golden Age of Philly sports a few years down the line. That is if all goes as planned.


Eagles

First, let’s take a look at the Eagles. This has always been a football town and always will be. I’ve often said that if the Eagles were to win a Super Bowl I don’t know if the city would survive the parade. It would be absolute bedlam.

The NFL is the toughest league to sustain success in. Players have shorter shelf lives and injuries are much more common, it’s all part of the physicality that is the sport itself. Most times it takes a transcendent player like Tom Brady or a viscous defense like the 2000 Ravens to win a title. Sometimes it takes a lot of luck, a la the 2008 and 2012 Giants. Competition is so fierce that it is extremely rare to see a team make it to the Super Bowl two years in a row, let alone repeat as champions. So I’ll be totally clear even though it hurts me to do so. I think the Eagles have the worst chance of bringing a title to Philly in the next few years due to the league they play in and the young talent and assets they currently possess.

Roster

Here we look at guys on the current roster that should be major contributors come 2020 along with their current age.

QB: Carson Wentz (23)

RB: Wendell Smallwood (22)

WR: Jordan Matthews (23), Nelson Agholor (23)

TE: Zach Ertz (25)

OL: Lane Johnson (26), Brandon Brooks (26), Isaac Seumalo (22)

DL: Fletcher Cox (25), Bennie Logan (26)

LB: Mychal Kendricks (25), Jordan Hicks (24),

SEC: Rodney McLeod (26), Eric Rowe (23), Jalen Mills (22), JaCorey Sheperd (23)

K: Cody Parkey (24)

Basically if you aren’t on this list I don’t think you’re good enough to really be a contributor or you’ll be too old by 2020 to be one. There were a couple guys who were borderline like Vinny Curry who is 27 and Reuben Randle who is 25. If I questioned you I left you off. There are also some stretches on the list like Nelson Agholor, Wendell Smallwood, Jalen Mills and JaCorey Sheperd but they made it simply because of their age and that they were either a high pick or have gotten high praise in the media. Agholor is a huge question mark but we spent a first rounder on him so I’m hoping he figures it out. We don’t know what to expect out of the other three guys, but from what I’ve heard out of camp they seem like they can play.

The Eagles aren’t in necessarily great shape in terms of youth. It basically all falls on the shoulders of Carson Wentz. If you have an elite QB you’ll succeed and if you don’t you better hope you have an incredible defense.

Aside from Wentz I like Ertz, Matthews, Brooks and Johnson on offense. Ertz is one of the youngest starting tight ends in the league and seems to be getting better each year. Matthews had a down year in 2015 but I think he can be a really good number two receiver option on a good team. This obviously means we’re missing a number one receiver. I don’t think Agholor is that guy. He hasn’t shown me anything on the field to make me think he’s going to be a player and now he’s gotten in trouble off the field. Hopefully he can be a contributing option on the outside as Matthews can play the slot.  Johnson should be our left tackle of the future and Brandon Brooks can help to sure up the line. It would be great if Seumalo can turn into a player as well. I like Smallwood but don’t think he’s an every down back. Think of him as a Darren Sproles type player.

So basically the offense will need a legitimate number one receiver, a workhorse running back and offensive line depth if they want to be a title team.

Defensively it all revolves around Fletcher Cox and he better be great after the boatload of money we threw his way. Having Bennie Logan beside him sures up the interior defensive line for the future but we’ll need pass rushers as there isn’t an elite option on the team that will be here to contribute in the future. At linebacker I like Hicks and Kendricks a lot, I just worry about injuries. They both seem to be fragile and that could prove to be costly down the road. If they can both stay healthy, though, look for them to be difference makers on defense for years to come. Secondary wise we’re pretty iffy. Eric Rowe could be a solid corner but I doubt he’ll ever be an elite shut down guy. Aside from him the only young guy on the roster is JaCorey Sheperd. He was having a good camp in 2014 but then went down with a season ending injury. Hopefully he can come back strong and turn into a real player which would be great since we got him in the 6th round of the draft. McLeod is a stud at safety that we should look to hold onto for the long term. Mills seems to be legit and a steal as a 7th round draft pick. He can play safety and a little bit of corner which could make him a staple in our future defenses especially in an age where versatility is so valuable.

So the defense will need pass rushers, a number one corner and linebacker depth to be successful in the future.

Non-Roster Assets

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Sam Bradford Takes an L and Howard Eskin has no Soul

Sam Bradford held a press conference today.

When I was a young boy, I shot a hockey ball right through my giant living room window. Now I knew how disgruntled my father was going to be when he found out I was ripping slappers in the driveway instead of the street, but I did it anyway knowing the possibility of shattering windows. The worst case scenario played out, and I wasn’t able to get traded to another family. I had to face my pissed off father.

Today, Sam Bradford had to face his father (the Philly media) for the living room window he broke. He knew this was going to be rough, and was probably well prepared by now to bullshit his way through this one. Howard Eskin was there to make sure the obligatory window breaking questions were asked. Why didn’t you want to compete, Sam? Why didn’t you tell Tom Condon you wanted to play in Philly, Sam?

Sam’s response:

Bradford Crying

Now, Sam didn’t really have any leverage coming into this interview. He knew he made a mistake by letting Tom Condon run the show and request out, and now knows he’s got a lot of trust to earn back. Overall, I will say I liked what came out of Sam’s mouth for the most part. Sam brought up a good point that kind of put me in his shoes for a minute. He talked about how most of this trade request interest came from Tom Condon’s advisement. If Tom Condon is telling Sam that it was in his best interest to request a trade, it’s sort of understandable to listen and comply with Mr. Condon. Especially since Tom Condon has been a much better agent than Sam has been Quarterback. Ultimately, I agree with Howard Eskin in the sense that Sam should have manned up and made it clear he was staying here right from the start, but all of this is done and Sam will be an Eagles quarterback next year. I’m ready to give him another chance. When it’s all said and done, Sam Bradford’s success will be the reason we have a chance at the NFC East title this year.

Written by Mike Cloran

Image Source – Tim Hawk, NJ.com

What to do with Sam Bradford

Apparently Sam Bradford wants out.

I think this guy needs to shut his mouth and play football. He has made a career of getting paid for mediocre performance. What makes him think hes entitled to this starting job long term? When he signed the two year deal back in March it was obvious that the team didn’t trust him as the franchise quarterback. Why is he surprised now?

So the real question is; what should the Eagles do?

Here is the contract.

Bradford has a cap hit of $12.5 million this season and the Eagles would save just $1.5 million in cap space because of a dead money value of $11 million (his signing bonus) if they trade him before June 1st. If they trade him after June 1st the dead money value would be 5.5 million because his prorated signing bonus would be moved to the 2017 number. This scenario would save $7 million on the cap. Next year the cap hit rises to $22.5 million with a $5.5 million dead money value. The Eagles would save $17 million in cap space if they traded him after this season. In this scenario, I’d think a team would restructure his deal instead of paying him at that ridiculous cap number.

So basically Bradford’s contract was set up exactly for this scenario. They get him at a good rate for this year, see how he plays then go from there. If he plays extremely well, then they tear up the deal and give him a long-term extension. If they decide that Wentz is ready to play (the more likely scenario) they deal him in 2017 for whatever they can get. The second year of this deal was never going to happen in it’s current form.

The only way they should trade him before the 2016 season is if somebody knocks their socks off with an offer. How desperate are Denver and the Jets? If they throw a second rounder at you then go for it. Otherwise you stick Bradford under center, let him earn himself a deal elsewhere and groom Wentz to be the long-term guy.

I understand why Bradford is pissed, I would be too. They signed a backup who knows the system to a hefty contract then mortgaged their future to draft an FCS guy at his position. With that being said, Joe Montana had his successor drafted while he was still playing, same with Brett Favre and John Elway. Sam Bradford isn’t even close to being in the same conversation as those guys. For someone who has never had a winning season or played in a playoff game he has a lot of nerve.

Written by Eric Quinn

Image Source: Julio Cortez – AP

Drafting a QB in The Top 5 is Far From a Guarantee

The Eagles traded the ship to move up to number two for what they hope is their next franchise quarterback. Let’s take a look at the history of teams taking QBs in the draft over the last 10 years. Top 5 picks haven’t been as successful as you’d think.

2006

Top 5 QBs: Vince Young (3)

Other Notable QBs: Jay Cutler (11)

2007

Top 5 QBs: JaMarcus Russell (1)

Other Notable QBs: Drew Stanton (43) is probably the best of this weak QB class

2008

Top 5 QBs: Matt Ryan (3)

Other Notable QBs: Joe Flacco (18)

2009

Top 5 QBs: Matt Stafford (1), Mark Sanchez (5)

Other Notable QBs: None

2010

Top 5 QBs: Sam Bradford (1)

Other Notable QBs: None

2011

Top 5 QBs: Cam Newton (1)

Other Notable QBs: Andy Dalton (35), Colin Kaepernick (36)

2012

Top 5 QBs: Andrew Luck (1), Robert Griffin III (2)

Other Notable QBs: Ryan Tannehill (8), Brock Osweiler (57), Russell Wilson (75), Kirk Cousins (102)

2013

Top 5 QBs: None, EJ Manuel first off the board at 16

Other Notable QBs: None

2014

Top 5 QBs: Blake Bortles (3)

Other Notable QBs: Teddy Bridgewater (32), Derek Carr (36)

2015

Top 5 QBs: Jameis Winston (1), Marcus Mariota (2)

Other Notable QBs: None


So let’s analyze.

How many of these top 5 QBs taken were the best quarterback in their draft class? 5 of 9 (excluding 2013). Keep in mind this includes Sam Bradford being the best in his weak class.

I’ll rank all of these QBs 1-10 based on who’d I’d want on my team if they were starting at day 1 of their career.

  1. Andrew Luck
  2. Cam Newton
  3. Russell Wilson
  4. Joe Flacco
  5. Jameis Winston
  6. Derek Carr
  7. Marcus Mariota
  8. Matt Ryan
  9. Blake Bortles
  10. Andy Dalton

How many of these guys were top 5 picks? 6 of 10

So basically there is a 60% shot you’re getting your franchise quarterback in the top 5. Obviously this is just a sample but you get the idea.

The real question is, of all the QBs drafted in the top 5 in the last 10 drafts (above), how many of them would you trade two 1sts, a 2nd, a 3rd and a 4th for? If you ask me, it would only be Luck, Cam, Winston and Mariota. So in my opinion, only 33% of top 5 QBs taken in the last ten drafts are worth the haul the Eagles gave up. Not to mention that the Eagles chances of snagging a franchise guy is cut in half with the Rams taking a QB in front of them. There is rarely a scenario where there are two franchise guys taken in the top 5 of the draft. Winston and Mariota could be but it’s too early to tell. It has only happened once since 1972 and that was in 2004 with Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers.

Basically, it as an extreme reach for Goff and Wentz to go 1,2 and even more baffling that the Eagles and Rams mortgaged so much to get there. Only time will tell.

Written by Eric Quinn

 

Big Balls Howie Snags 2nd Overall Pick

Howie is goin balls to the wall this off-season trying to rebuild this team and I must say he’s doing a pretty good job.

Yes, the Eagles gave up a lot to get to two, but you need a franchise quarterback to win in this league and they think they can get one there. This team does not find themselves in the top 10 very often so this was the perfect scenario for them to make the move.

Wentz will have the opportunity to sit for a year behind Bradford and Daniel and get coached up by Pederson and Reich. Then we can deal Sam for a pick or just cut him for almost no cap hit following this season. When 2017 rolls around, Wentz gets the keys to the kingdom and Daniel is his backup.

The fact that we have a lot of money invested in Bradford and Daniel means nothing. Bradford is basically on a one year deal. Wentz will be on a rookie deal which, due to the rookie wage scale, is not as substantial as you’d think. Hopefully by the time Daniel’s deal is up, Wentz has earned one of those monster franchise QB contracts.

The way all of this panned out really made it seem like Howie had the longest view in the room. It is all a perfect storm. But it comes down to one thing. Is Wentz the real deal? Only time will tell.

Written by Eric Quinn

Image Source: Philadelphia Eagles

Signs Point to Eagles Moving to Two

Some reports have come out today that seem to indicate the Eagles are the most likely suitor to trade with the Browns for the second overall pick.

There’s two sides here. Either you’re all in for this or you’re all out. I haven’t seen much in between.

The argument for it is that the Eagles don’t land in the top 10 very often. This might be their best chance to move up and get a franchise quarterback. Some people think both Wentz and Goff can be that, I personally would only make the move for Wentz. If you make the deal, you give the guy a year or two under Bradford/Daniel and Pederson/Reich to learn. I do like that idea better than throwing a rookie into the fire right away.

The argument against it is that the Eagles have too many holes to be giving up draft picks. They could use a RB, receivers, lineman and corners. If they give away early round picks in the next two drafts then they’d struggle to fill out their roster with the lack of choices. The other argument is that Goff and Wentz aren’t franchise guys. Goff is undersized and has the dreaded small hands. Wentz seems to have it all but he played against much lower level competition at North Dakota State.

For me, the decision comes down to one thing. How much would they have to give up to get to two?

Let us know your thoughts. Leave a reply.

Written by Eric Quinn

Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson Spoke to the Media Today. What They Said and What it Actually Means.

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of press conferences. The questions asked are usually terrible and the person answering them almost always gives the politically correct answer. So let’s take a look at what Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson said today and what it actually means if you read between the lines.


Doug Pederson said he’s okay with Fletcher Cox not being at off-season workouts and that he doesn’t expect him to attend them at all. He also said that he has not spoken to Fletcher about why he isn’t there.

What it means: While the workouts are optional it is a bit of a red flag that Fletcher Cox isn’t there. Howard Eskin reported that Cox is not returning phone calls from anyone in the organization. If I was Fletcher Cox I’d be pissed off. He’s the best player on the defense and they went on a spending spree that he wasn’t included in.

Doug Pederson said Carson Wentz has everything you would want in a QB at this level. He also said Goff is undersized at QB which isn’t a big deal because so was Pederson when he came out. Lastly, he stated that Wentz and Goff are even but Wentz is bigger and more athletic. He also said Paxton Lynch is for a team that wants to develop a QB.

What it means: They prefer Wentz over Goff. Pederson was a career backup and compared himself to Goff. No thanks, Doug. We don’t want to trade up for a career backup. The Lynch comment basically means they have no interest in him.

Howie Roseman said that Ezekiel Elliott is a complete back and that what he does with the ball in his hands is rare. He then said if you are going to take a RB at 8 then that player better be a difference maker.

What it means: They don’t really want to go running back here but if that’s what they end up doing he’ll justify it by mentioning these comments and saying that Zeke fits that bill.

Doug Pederson said that Tunsil is the best tackle in the draft.

What it means: Nothing, everyone already knew that. Some reporter probably asked a stupid question to warrant that response.

Doug Pederson said that Jeffrey Lurie offered his opinions on the quarterbacks in the draft and that Lurie “studies that position”.

What it means: If Jeffrey Lurie is involved in the drafting of a quarterback then they will most likely take the wrong one. Does anyone actually believe that Jeffrey Lurie watches tape of quarterbacks? Gtfo.

Doug Pederson said that the Eagles have to “trust the process”.

What it means: Sam Hinkie is helping them with the draft.

Additional notes from the presser:

Pederson has rearranged the locker room so positional players are together. Chip had it set up randomly (which surprises me with all his sports science stuff).

Pederson will be cutting out the music at practice.

Written by Eric Quinn

Image Source: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

How Does the Rams-Titans Deal Impact the Eagles?

If the Eagles were indeed as in love with Carson Wentz as they said, then Chip Kelly is still managing to screw them months after his departure. This morning, The Los Angeles Rams traded up in the draft to nab the first pick from the Tennessee Titans. The second round pick Chip sent to the Rams in exchange for Bradford last year was used in the deal.

How does this impact the Eagles’ draft plans?

1. The obvious one is that they don’t get Carson Wentz now.

In my opinion, this isn’t a bad thing. While he does look like the real deal, this team has way too many holes to fill to be giving up a massive haul of draft picks like the Rams just did to get a 1-AA QB. They have Bradford and Daniel under contract for the next few years so I would rather see them take a developmental QB later in the draft and let him sit under them.

2. They’re probably looking at more options at 8 now.

With this trade, any team who really wants a QB will have to trade up to 2 to get Goff. I don’t see the Eagles doing that. This could really shake up the draft. It also means that at least two of the following players will be available at 8: Myles Jack, Joey Bosa, Vernon Hargreaves, Ezekiel Elliott and Ronnie Stanley. Apparently the Birds are in love with Elliott but I’d personally rather see them go O-Line or defense.

3. They could move the 8th pick to a team hoping to get Paxton Lynch.

We all know teams in the NFL are desperate for a quarterback. With the top two now off the board earlier than originally expected it means teams later in the draft might have to move up to get one. The Eagles have a ton of holes and they’re already lacking a 2nd round pick. It wouldn’t hurt to move back a few slots and pick up some extra choices later in the draft.

Written by Eric Quinn