Tag Archive | "Andy Reid"

Time’s Yours Podcast: Number 5 Will Always Love You!

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On today’s Time’s Yours, Spike Lee and Chris talk about Donovan’s return, Big Red’s Triumph, the two point conversion and contemplate giving it all up.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisJohnsonJr.

Follow Lee on Twitter @LeeRussakoff

Follow Spike on Twitter @SpikeEskin.

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Your Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs, Big Charlie’s Shirts

While Eagles fans grew tired of Big Red several years ago, Kansas City Chiefs fans are by and large, very happy to have him.

Nothing makes Reid look better than Romeo Crennel.

In any case, my friends over at Big Charlie’s in South Philly and Philly Screen have a brand new Reid-centric Chiefs shirt available that I figured I’d share with you. The shirt was designed by Joseph Pekula, you can find out more about him HERE.

You can buy them at the BIG CHARLIE’S ONLINE STORE.

While you’re at it, visit the fine folks at Big Charlie’s Saloon at 11th and McKean (right near Snyder). You don’t have to be a Chiefs fan. The beer is cheap and the people are nice. That’s not their official motto, it’s just the truth.

photo 1

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Photoshop With Matt Mac: Andy Reid’s Titanic

Brilliant, @_mattmac. Just brilliant.

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Conroy: Eagles Missing Key Ingredient For Success, Trust

Michael Conroy is a freelance sportswriter and Flyers fan, and a guest writer for Spike Eskin Dot Com. You can find him on Twitter @MichaelConroyPM.

Too many football fans fall into the trap of overvaluing a team’s talent. While stacking your team with gifted athletes can certainly give you an edge, it isn’t ability alone that ultimately wins out in the National Football League, it’s trust.

The NFL is truly a spectacular mess right now. Across the sport, bad teams are competing with good teams with stunning consistency. Still, if you’re watching closely, there is a winning formula to be deciphered.

Winning teams like Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta all have one thing in common. The players on the field and in those locker rooms, the coaches and even the owners, trust each other, and it shows. Whether it’s in a winning effort or not, those teams are on the same page. They sacrifice for each other, learn from mistakes and, for better or worse, shoulder the responsibility together. After identifying trust as the essential ingredient in this winning formula, it becomes much easier to see why a talented team like the Philadelphia Eagles has struggled so mightily.

Since the “Dream Team” was assembled, the Philadelphia Eagles have had a nervous energy about them. The team introduced new coaches on the offensive and defensive lines and promoted offensive line coach, Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator in a whirlwind of change.

From day one, it was clear that Castillo was going to be fighting an uphill battle. For a fresh crop of young defensive players, the coach may have been well received, but for a highly skilled, highly touted group of free agent stars, the move was met with skepticism. It seemed like Nnamdi Asomugha immediately recognized the limitations of his new coach. A free agent star cornerback determined to succeed in a big market would remember such limitations if ever things were to go wrong. This attitude had, without a doubt, spread throughout the Eagles’ locker room.

The defense could never wholeheartedly trust their coach. They had a built-in excuse for failure and it showed on game day.

Jim Washburn’s presence only compounded the issue when he assumed a militaristic command of the defensive line. From the outset, Washburn seemed to alienate his squad, separating the defensive line almost entirely from the rest of the defense. Irresponsibly, Jim Washburn made the defensive line a separate entity, effectively absolving them of responsibility for the failings of their teammates.

Howard Mudd began his tenure with the Eagles on a positive note. His new blocking schemes seemed to be a revelation for the Eagles’ running game. Recently, Mudd’s contributions have eroded with the talent on the offensive line. A major free agent commitment and first-round selection are flailing in their coach’s system. Why should those players believe that Mudd has their best interests in mind? He is a proprietor of the only offensive scheme in which they have ever failed to succeed.

Perhaps the most volatile element of the Philadelphia Eagles is the starting quarterback position. Michael Vick has struggled for the better part of his last 22 games as an Eagle. He can’t trust his offensive line to protect him and he can’t trust his receivers to make plays. Now it seems he has lost the ability to trust what he has depended on since the first time he picked up a football; his own ability. Losing a step, just a single step, can destroy the confidence of a mobile quarterback. It was evident with Mcnabb and now it’s evident with Vick.

Despite their personal failings to date, Washburn, Mudd, Vick and Castillo represent something far more important. They represent the decisions of the head coach; one who had previously looked infallible in the eyes of his subordinates. Andy Reid’s decisions in 2011 tested the trust of the entire organization in it’s Head Coach. Last week, that trust was completely destroyed.

When Reid fired Castillo, he sent a message to every member of his organization that he is capable of mis-evaluating as important a position as defensive coordinator. If he’s capable of making such a big mistake, the players and coaches in the locker room have to assume Reid is capable of making mistakes elsewhere. Did he make a mistake with the O-line coach? Did he make a mistake with the gameplan? Has he made a mistake at quarterback? These are all questions that will plague the least-entrenched members of the Philadelphia Eagles organization if the losses keep coming.

For years, the Philadelphia media has anticipated this situation. Andy Reid is finally at a crossroads. Whatever credibility, respect, or trust had previously been handed to the coach of 13+ years has been spent. Reid may have a couple of games to prove to his players and coaches that he can make the right decisions; the right decisions for his players, for the coaches he’s hired and for the organization. For 13 years, Andy Reid has been taking full responsibility. For 13 years, he’s admitted he needs to do a better job. If he really can, now is the time. This may be Andy’s last chance.

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Photoshop With Matt Mac: Andy Reid, Dark Knight To Joker

All images courtesy of @_mattmac.

Well after last season, I felt this way:

But now, sadly, it’s more like this:

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Conroy: The Eagles Cannot Win The Super Bowl

Michael Conroy is a freelance sportswriter and Flyers fan, and a guest writer for Spike Eskin Dot Com. You can find him on Twitter @MichaelConroyPM.

It’s a common belief that, no matter the magnitude, one loss only counts as one loss. For the Eagles, yesterday’s debacle in Arizona counts as a lot, lot more. Through the first two weeks of the 2012 season, the Eagles had overcome seemingly unsustainable misfortune, stumbling clumsily to a hollow 2-0 record. After Michael Vick led the way to a go-ahead touchdown on the final drive against Baltimore, Philadelphia fans were inspired to believe that, beneath the disorganization, carelessness and chaos, a Super Bowl contender laid dormant. After 3 weeks, the sample size is now large enough to draw some conclusions that would point to the contrary.

Conclusion #1

Michael Vick is no longer a starting caliber NFL quarterback.

It’s been the source of a sense of dread that most Eagles fans have felt but explained away for over a year now, watching Michael Vick lead this offense. The entertaining highlights and reputation that accompany a player like Vick have gone a long way to mask a disturbing trend that has surfaced during his tenure with Philly. This most glaring fact that Eagles fans must come to terms with is that Michael Vick is no longer a good player.

This honestly isn’t an arguable fact (it’s not a fact, it’s an opinion, and it is arguable, -spike) but for those who choose to disregard what their eyes are telling them, consider this: Michael Vick is currently the 29th rated quarterback in the NFL. He is rated behind Blaine Gabbert, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jake Locker, all of whom are considered to be the biggest reason their respective teams are not a threat to win a super bowl. Additionally, Michael Vick has led the league in turnovers since the start of the 2011 season.

This is important because the biggest difference between a starting quarterback and his potential replacement is his tendency to turn the ball over. It is absolutely reasonable to assume that Nick Foles, Trent Edwards, or even Mike Kafka could give the Eagles more efficient quarterback play. Thus, a strong argument can be made that Michael Vick is no longer above his replacement level.

Conclusion #2

We have seen the best Andy Reid has to offer.

When a band releases their first “Greatest Hits” album, it’s pretty much a lock that their best work is behind them. In 2004, Andy Reid released his last platinum record. We saw the most successful manifestation of his “plan” for the Eagles and it just wasn’t good enough. That’s not to say that Andy Reid cannot be successful or even show some glimpses of the brilliance he once possessed, but to expect a return to that level on a consistent basis is unrealistic at this point.

With that in mind, one question looms over Philadelphia. What are the Eagles doing? On one hand, you have a coach whose sole focus should be on finishing with a record “substantially better” than 8-8. Thus, the notion of benching the irresponsible Michael Vick in lieu of an unproven commodity like Nick Foles is inert. Andy Reid has no choice in the matter. Making a change at quarterback is tantamount to handing in his resignation.

On the other hand, you have a quarterback who is rapidly declining in an offense that demands more from him than ever before. As the season drags on, this volatile situation is going to become toxic. While the coach is trying desperately to salvage the present and the quarterback struggles to hold onto his past, fans will begin to realize that what matters most is the team’s future; a future that does not include either.

Conclusion #3

The Philadelphia Eagles CANNOT win the Super Bowl.

On the last snap of the first half, Sunday, Michael Vick rolled to the right, straight into oncoming pressure, and was strip-sacked from behind. The ball was picked up by the Cardinals and returned, with zero seconds remaining on the clock, for a game breaking touchdown. This is damning in a few respects. For one, this is a play the Eagles have seen many times at the goal line in since 2010. A similar defensive play call was employed just last week when Vick almost fumbled his team to their first loss of the season.

To think that, not only has the team made no discernible progress in dealing with this situation, but they seem to have gotten worse is nonsensical. Whether this is a failure of the coaches to make adjustments or the quarterback’s limited understanding of opposing defenses, the results on the field speak for themselves.

Another troubling part of this play was the fact that Vick held the ball until the clock ran out. At the 1-yard line, with a deafening crowd, when the best weapon on your team is a running back, the only justification for throwing the football is keeping the possibility of a field goal open. When Vick held the ball so long, he ensured that the only advantage to keeping it out of Lesean Mccoy’s hands was eliminated. This is the type of lazy, sloppy, irresponsible behavior has spread through the team like a fungus in recent years.

This brings a larger point to light. In a league where the talent has become so evenly distributed; where parity is rampant, what separates good teams from championship teams is their attention to detail, preparation, in-game adjustments and situational football. The Eagles have proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they are lacking in all of these areas.

Regardless of the outcome, the Eagles have entered every single one of their first three games unprepared. The offense has been maddeningly slow to adjust to opposing defensive schemes. The Eagles do not pay attention to detail, they do not play situational football, how can they be legitimate super bowl contenders?

While many will be hiding behind the hackneyed drivel that is “it’s just one game,” I urge you to understand something. When you claim that the Eagles can contend for a super bowl, you are arguing against all available evidence. There is nothing that the Philadelphia Eagles have shown to indicate that they are capable of being as consistent and efficient as a world champion needs to be.

Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” This may be the 19th time in three seasons that this Eagles team has shown us who they are. Can we please, at long last, believe them?

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The Degenerate: Week 1 picks; Meet the Super Bowl Champs…

So, last year was a mess. 8-8. Andy and the crew salvaged the season with a 4 game winning streak at the end , but no playoffs. And you know, the Eagles didn’t deserve the postseason anyway. But this is a new year, new attitude, new everything.

Well, except the players, they’re pretty much the same as last year. Mike Vick, Lesean McCoy and Desean Jackson could be one of the top offensive trios in the league. The defense is solid, and I’m more comfortable with Juan Castillo as DC this season (but one bad defensive game and he’s back on the hot seat). To say I’m pretty optimistic about this season is an understatement, as you’ll see below I have high hopes for the Eagles in 2012-13…

(Click to embiggen)

I mean, it’s really as simple as that. 11-5, easy peezy. You might be able to swap the Ravens win and the Steelers loss, and we could grab another win somewhere else. I’m looking at 11-5, 12-4 if things break right (and Vick stays healthy). Yeah, I’m an optimistic kind of guy. And every year my heart gets smashed into a million pieces.

And yeah, this is pretty pointless, but here is my lame attempt at picking the division winners, wildcards teams and Super Bowl champions.

Super Bowl or Bust

NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles
NFC South – New Orleans Saints
NFC North – Green Bay Packers
NFC West – Seattle Seahawks

NFC Wildcard #1 – Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wildcard #2 – San Francisco 49ers
(yes, I know I left out the Falcons and Giants. 49ers should win the West, but I like Russell Wilson, so I’m picking Seattle.)

AFC East – New England Patriots
AFC South – Houston Texans
AFC North – Baltimore Ravens
AFC West – Oakland Raiders

AFC Wildcard #1 – Denver Broncos
AFC Wildcard #2 – Buffalo Bills
(Yeah, no Steelers, or Chargers, or Jets. And I’m really sticking my neck out with the Raiders. But the AFC West is a crapshoot, why not take a longshot?)

NFC Championship: Eagles over Packers
AFC Championship: Texans over Patriots

Super Bowl:
Eagles over Texans (yup, I went there).

So there you are, your Eagles will be the 2012-13 Super Bowl Champions. Get your hotel reservations for New Orleans now.

Onto the Week 1 pick, which coincidentally also involves the Eagles…

Bet #1: (a.k.a the “You saw my Super Bowl pick, of course I’m picking the Eagles” bet): Eagles -9.5 over Browns

Hi Brandon Weeden, welcome to hell.

I’ve been eyeing this game since the schedule came out. Our first step on the road a Super Bowl title. Let’s be honest, the Browns aren’t that good. They ended last season with the 25th rated offense, and they are opening the season with a rookie QB (Brandon Weeden) and a rookie RB (Trent Richardson? Um, ok.

The Eagles defense is licking their lips to get a hold of the youngsters on Sunday. They led the league in sacks last season with 50 and should be able to put plenty of  pressure on Weeden all day. Trent Richardson isn’t even 100%, so he may be limited on Sunday. I like the Eagles defense to smother the young Browns offense.

On the other side of the ball the Browns actually have a decent pass defense. 2nd overall last year, only giving up 185 passing yard per game. But their rush defense isn’t so hot. 29th out of 32, 147 yards per game. So it should be a good mix of Shady on the ground this week.

The Eagles ended last season winning 4 straight by an average of 20 points. I just think this is a game where the Eagles are the better team and it will show on Sunday.

I’ll say the Eagles start their season with a big 31-13 win at the Dog Pound.

The Line: Eagles -9.5, O/U 43.5
The Pick: Eagles -9.5
Game trends (via Covers.com): Browns are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 season openers; Browns are 2-8-2 ATS in their last 12 home games.

I also was leaning towards picking Houston Texans -12.5 over Miami but I laid off once I heard Arian Foster was a gametime decision. I can’t lay that number without knowing if the #1 RB is going to play. It probably won';t make a difference, but it’s a long season so no need to force a pick here.

Good luck this week. Let’s try to bounce back off of the Giants loss on Wednesday.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Twitter:
Email: fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted in Eagles, Fun Stuff, National Sports, The Degenerate's PicksComments (1)

Photoshop With Matt Mac: Andy Reid Goes To The Grammy Awards

What if Adele and Andy Reid had a baby? Besides of course, it being hungry all the time, what would it look like? This. Gross, @_mattmac, accurate, but gross.

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Andy Reid, The Dark Knight (#TeamAndy)

“Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight. “

-Lt. James Gordon in The Dark Knight

(Post is below the amazing work by @_mattmac)

I think today set a vitriol record for Twitter in Philadelphia. The moment that Jeff Lurie began speaking, and it became pretty obvious that Andy Reid was staying on as coach, the hate hit record levels.

Let’s put it this way; if this was Ghostbusters II, and the slime beneath the city reacted to negative emotions like it did in the movie, we’d all be slave to Vigo the Carpathian by now.

Some of the hate was understandable for sure. I mean, Lurie’s speech gave every indication that he would make a change, except you knew he wouldn’t. And a lot of that “I just want something different” feeling is valid, even if not necessarily football prudent.

But then I thought about Andy Reid. You know, the guy without the rhetoric surrounding him. This guy’s a good coach. You know what else, this guy works really hard. And a lot of this year’s bad ideas weren’t his fault. And you know, I kind of feel bad that everyone hates him so much, and I kind of like the guy. And though I’ve never really picked a side in the Andy Reid debate that I can’t come back from, I feel like I was pushed to choose a team. And I did. I’m on Team Andy. Even though I know he can take it, much like Batman can, I’ve still got his back.

I’m fully behind Andy Reid. I want to see him win a Super Bowl to shut everyone (maybe you) up. I want him to step up to that podium at the end of the Super Bowl parade, walk up to the mic, take a long pause, clear his throat one final time, grab his crotch and throw the mic down and give everyone the finger. Time’s yours, Philly.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the reasoning behind keeping him is sound. This isn’t just about choosing sides for the hell of it. If you’re keeping this team together for another run, I think you’ve got a better shot with him than anyone else. I think there is truth to what Lurie said about the importance of actually getting into the playoffs, and then seeing what happens. The players didn’t give up on him. He’s even figured out how to challenge plays!

I actually don’t think the fact that he’s never won the Super Bowl means that he won’t win the Super Bowl. I know the logic doesn’t apply perfectly, but every coach who wins the Super Bowl for the first time has never won the Super Bowl before. A play goes differently here or there in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Eagles win and everything is different. Except that it isn’t. He’d still be the same Andy.

But sound reasoning isn’t why I’m cheering for Andy Reid. It’s because Andy is now the underdog. This is now a story about a person to me, and not just a football coach and football games. I want Andy Reid the person to overcome adversity, defeat the odds, and win it all. I want him to die a hero. Well, I don’t want him to die, but get the picture.

I don’t expect too many people to join me, but you’re welcome to join Team Andy. It might even be more fun next year, to cheer for someone to succeed instead of just waiting for him to fail.

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” 

– Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight

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