Thursday, March 19, 2009

Couple of Things

New article is up. I wrote about the draft.

LJ Smith

The day I talk about his lack of suitors the jerk has the nerve to go and agree to a deal. He still needs to pass a physical, but he should officially sign with the Ravens today or tomorrow.

Interesting note...he only signed a one year, $1.5M deal. This will be LJ's third straight season in a contract year. He basically blew the last two. Will the third time be a charm? Consider that he's the backup TE on a running team and there is a chance LJ will never get that big deal he so badly coveted.

Answering Some Questions

RE: James Casey

He is a terrific receiver. Has very good hands and just plucks the ball naturally. His blocking doesn't really exist at this point. He seems like the kind of guy who would mix it up if needed, but at 6'3, 240 he lacks the ideal build to be much of a blocker. I prefer Travis Beckum. He's got similar size, but played at Wisconsin. Everybody in Madison blocks if they want to play.

I could see Reid loving Casey as a potential weapon. I just prefer Beckum. I see both guys going in the 3rd, but Casey might sneak into the late 2nd.

RE: trade for Cutler

Won't happen. The Broncos don't want McNabb. McDaniels either wants Cutler or another young QB to groom. McNabb is a proven vet who is set in his ways. I can't see Josh wanting any part of that. Egos are too inflated. Heck, Cutler's ego is a big part of the problem now.


I doubt Bey gets to pick 21. I think he first comes into play with JAX at pick 8, but more realistically will go in the 10-20 range. NYJ and Bears both need WRs.

@ Izzy ...

I'll write up a post about the defense and talk about some of those issues. They deserve more than a quick answer.


izzylangfan said...


Thanks I look forward to your discussion of the defense. As a true Eagles junkie I promise you I have already received more of an Eagles fix that I have received anywhere else. Also you Fandemonium column on the Eagles website is consistently the best article on the site.

So while you are conjuring up some articles on defense let me give you something to think about on offense. What I'll do is to tell you the way I'm thinking so you can let me know where I may have gone astray.

So the idea of the West Coast offense is to introduce the short pass as a major weapon and as a short yardage alternative to the run. So a well balanced offense should be a third run, a third long pass and a third short pass. That way the offense is 2/3 run or run like pass and 1/3 long pass i.e use the short pass to set up the long one. When Reid is interviewed after a game where he ran 40% of the time he always says something about how the game just dictated a different strategy ( from 50/50) and that he'll try to run more next time. He never says --Daa it's the West Coast Offense we actually ran too much. I think he is just setting up the opponents as much as he can to expect more running.

In Andy Reid's version of the WCO he actually runs more than thirty percent and uses the long pass more than most. And even the short passes are in the 10 to 15 yard range very often. These passes are not so easy to complete as the quick look in, the step back on the wing, and the screen pass which seem to me to be real substitutes for the run. Thus, he is forsaking the short pass. It seems to me he gets into trouble this way because if he tries 20 passes he is likely to go incomplete, incomplete on first and second down and get the Eagles into a third down hole. This seems to happen all too often.

Even though the eagles pass more than 50% of the time the opposing defenses always seem too ready to stop the run. It baffles me that if we are going to give the ball to the fullback once every other game how he still gets caught in the backfield.

Westbrook is best in open space. So when he runs it is a good idea to send him to the outside where he is more likely to find the open space he can really do something with. It seems in past years the Eagles did this. But in 2008 he ran up the middle almost exclusively particularly in the second half of the season. I figured that this was due to his knee problems but after reading your columns on the poor run blocking of the tackles I'm wondering if this wasn't the reason. But if we do have to run up the middle why didn't we use Buck more - he wasn't hurt and to me seemed to hit the hole much faster than Westbrook. It seems sometimes that the Eagles run play calling is stuck in the mud.

Finally, I am baffled by the criticism heaped on McNabb. He is a beautiful quarterback and makes throws that few can make and has a pretty good completion percentage. His weaknesses are inconsistency throughout the game too often with bad starts and inexplicably he does not seem to have great accuracy on the short pass. Maybe that is why the play calling is away from the short pass. When McNabb was younger he could make more plays with his legs and could better get away with his weaknesses. Now he can use his legs to avoid the sack but his explosion to get past the line of scrimmage is somewhat missing. He needs to improve elsewhere to compensate for his loss of speed and agility. This will give him the wherewithal to make more big plays and have to ability to stage a comeback when the Eagles are down late. Nonetheless, overall I think McNabb is a borderline hall of famer. If he could learn to throw the short pass more accurately and hit the receiver in stride he goes to the hall of fame on the first ballot.

T_S_O_P said...

I'm a bit disappointed that you mention Jason Williams in your article and not censored like last year. This better be a case of double bluff.

mcud77 said...

I think DHB could be in play at #7 to Oakland.

Al Davis loves him some 40 times, and DHB had one of the best. I could imagine a scenario where the Raiders covet DHB's measurables over Maclin's, and certainly over Crabtree's, who didn't even run.

I may be way off base though.

orangecrush007 said...

Oh Man you think Heyward Bey is going that early? I fell in love with him. 6'2" 215 4.3....oh man...

No chance he is there at 21? Would the Eagles move up for him?

ZackISM said...


Who do you think is a better fit for our offense? I have only really seen highlighs of Casey (and his Combine), but he's a natural receiver, and my knowledge of the Eagles is they tend to value players that can catch (at skill positions) over players that can block. So is it that you think Beckum fits us better, or much like any number of fans (myself included) you want to see Reid and Co. change the plan a little and get a blocker?

And while I know I'm going to get laughed at....Any thoughts/inerest in Matt Jones? I know it's not our "typically" area of interes - guys with off field problems, but he is 6'6, can jump, can run (when he's able to fight off the line), and had his best season, in only 13 games last year -- worth a flyer?