Thursday, May 21, 2009

Around the League

Since things are somewhat quiet on the Eagles front, my article covers league-wide topics.


Back To Previous Drafts


There was no single player I coveted for the Eagles in the 1st round. I really liked the thought of drafting Chris Chambers, the WR from Wisconsin. I thought he had the kind of speed and athletic ability that our offense needed. The Giants had exposed our offense in the 2000 playoffs as really lacking playmakers. While I liked Chambers, I wasn't "in love" with him. He just seemed like the best fit of the guys available in that area. The one player I didn't want was Freddie Mitchell. He had good ability, but he wasn't my cup of tea. I wish my opinion had been dead wrong.

My favorite player in the whole draft was a DE from Ole Miss named Derrick Burgess. I just knew this guy was going to be a hell of a pro player. I was absolutely ecstatic when the Eagles took him with the first pick of the 3rd round. That was heaven on Earth for me. His time in Philly was odd, but he has proven to be a good DE.

Two other guys I really liked were DE DeLawrence Grant and FS James Boyd. Grant was your typical undersized Oregon State defender with a great motor. He played like his life depended on every snap. Okay pro, but nothing special. Boyd was a big time hitter at Penn State. He cleaned plenty of clocks. Outstanding run defender. All he lacked was speed and cover skills. Are those important in the NFL? He was a STer for a few years, but didn't last long.

WR Chad Johnson of Oregon State made me nervous, but I thought his teammate TJ Houshmandzadeh was underrated. Chad had a play in the Fiesta Bowl that year just like DeSean did vs Dallas in the MNF game. Chad dropped the ball before crossing the goal line. There was no replay back then and it was called a TD. That and his odd background made me wonder if he could handle the business of the NFL. TJ was a very good player at OSU, but simply lacked the speed to be more than a mid-to-late pick. I was surprised to see him last as late as the 7th round.



Cliff said...

I'm loving these looks back in time. I think your observations really put the whole draft process in perspective. Players we love coming out of college don't always - hell, rarely - produce great NFL careers.

Mike Vick is a good example of this for me. I'm a Hokie and from Vick's hometown (Newport News, not "Hampton" like ESPN/NFL Network are saying) so I've watched Vick's entire career - high school and college. I knew Vick's limitations in college and going in to the NFL, but I didn't care. Of course, we know how his career has turned out. His QB career was on the downward slope BEFORE the dog fighting charges, unfortunately.

Anyway, Tommy, what have you learned over the years as your scouting skills have developed? Do you feel like you're more accurate on players now?

Stephen said...

Tommy I wish I could share your sentiments on Madden, unfortunately I didn't get to start listening to him call games till around the new millenium or so, but anymore I can't stand him as much as I cant stand Kornheiser. He can't go a quarter, much less a game without professing his Brett Favre love, even though Brett isn't playing that night, and I can't stand how he completely misscalls some plays and doesnt bother to correct himself. I.E. "look at this (goes to instant replay) see how number 64 pancakes his man and opens up the hole? thats just good solid football right there and good offensive line coaching" when on the instant replay it shows 64 falling down at the start of the play and some other player actually opening the hole. He would do that 2 or 3 times a broadcast and it would drive me nuts.

I always felt like I was watching someone who was past his expiration date, but I have read a couple of his books and I like them, and I'm sure he used to be much better at calling the games than he used to.

izzylangfan said...

John Madden was the best announcer in football from the first day he broadcast an NFL game. He had great enthusiasm and conveyed a pure joy for the game that was contagious. In addition he was funny and could teach the average viewer a lot about football. He talked about things no one else did like bad bodies and the big uglies. He trusted his partner Pat Summerall and trusted his players when he was a coach. You could see what a funny, friendly, joyful guy he was.

Pat Summerall was highly under rated, Madden got all the credit. But before Madden came on the sceen Pat Summerall and ex Eagle Tom Brookshire were the best broadcasting team, and that was for a reason. Brookshire was the over agressive Type A announcer and Pat was the unassuming guy who filled in all the gaps. In total Pat ha a run of thirty or forty years as part of the best broadcasting team in football.

Also when Madden left Pat to go to Monday Night and then Sunday Night Football he started going down hill. Now the talk was of Turducken - they even had pictures. That is not football. In the last years Madden started emulating the pomposity of Al Michaels and there was an undercurrent of " we're the best broadcasters around". But Madden had lost some of his punch and freshness. His originally was gone. I would now much rather watch Troy Aikman (can you believe that hated Cowboy has become an excellent announcer) and Chris Collinsworth who has moved to Sunday night for 2009.

Madden became so bad I only watched Sunday night to root for the Eagles to win or other NFC East team to lose.