Friday, June 26, 2009

Just Some Oddball Thoughts



I was doing some research the other day and came across this revelation: we lost 20 of 23 games between late '97 and early '99. Think about that for a minute. Our beloved Eagles went 3-20 over a period of time. That isn't just bad. That's dreadful.

You have to go back to 1997. We were 6-6-1 and facing the Giants. First place in the division was on the line. Bobby Hoying looked like a franchise QB and there was reason to be happy. Then we lost to the Giants, as well as the final 2 games of the year.

1998 was the most painful year of my Eagles life. We went 3-13 and played some of the worst offense in the last 25 years of the NFL. That season took forever. I watched every minute of every game, but it was like punishment for the most part.

Finally 1999 rolled in. Ray Rhodes was booted out and in came Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb. Hope once again was present in Philly. We lost the first 4 games of the year. That got us to 3-20. I was really depressed at that point. Normally I live for Sundays, but I have to tell you that those were some dark days. We beat the Cowboys the next week and then won the next game. At 2-4 I started plotting how we were going to get into the playoffs. Big Red and Donnie Mac saved me. We've lived a pretty charmed life since 2000.

I know one of these days we'll fall on hard times again. I'm not looking forward to that. As frustrated as I am with the lack of a SB title, I do enjoy the success we've had over the last decade. Sundays are much more fun when you actually win a few games.


I watched some highlights recently of our 2006 Wildcard win over the Giants. The NFL Network was kind enough to show the a short special on the game so I could enjoy seeing Tiki's demise.

One play really caught my attention. Some blitzer came in on a delayed attack. Shawn Andrews was our RG at that time. He unloaded on the guy and sent him flying. Beautiful, in the immortal words of Tony Bruno.

We had solid play from Max and Nick at RG for the last year and a half. We didn't have that kind of impact. Shawn brings that kind of power and nastiness when he's on the field. He can physically dominate you and just as importantly...he wants to physically dominate you.

Max is bigger than Shawn. He doesn't always play like it. Max has the power, but he lacks the killer instinct. He's not soft by any means, but he's too content with just doing what is needed on a play. Nick has a nasty streak, but he's not as physically gifted as the other guys. An offensive line is at its best when the 5 guys all pound on defenders and try to physically overwhelm the D. Watch part of the first Giants and Redskins games. Their blockers beat us and wore us down. That has tremendous physical and psychological value.

Shawn is slated to start at RT this year. I'm looking forward to watching him play and seeing what kind of impact he has. Todd Herremans is developing into a good OL, but Andrews is the one guy we know can manhandle his guy. We're also hoping Jason Peters plays that way for us. We need the line to get back to being more than just okay. We need the guys upfront to not just win some battles, but win them decisively.


I continue to hear good things about rookie runner LeSean McCoy. The coaching staff seems absolutely giddy over him. I'm starting to get really excited to see what McCoy can do on the field.

His nickname is Shady, but I'm not sure I like that. I don't know what I'll end up calling him. As I watch games I talk to the TV a lot. The coaches and players need help and I'm there to give it to them. I'll start yelling something at the TV when the preseason games roll around. Maybe I'll stick with Shady or maybe something original will come out. You never know what odd stuff is rolling around in my head. After all:

Joselio Hanson = MmmBop
Asant Samuel = Sammie
Brian Westbrook = Westy

Some names are simple and obvious. Some get a bit odd.


shlynch said...

It's funny, that 3-20 period is what got me so interested in roster building, and how to do it the right way, under the theory that there has to be a way to never go through that again.

Cliff said...

Not seriously, what's your opinion on Jrue Holiday? Should they have gone Lawson/Maynor?

Stephen said...

Shady reminds me of Eminem, it doesn't really sound like a football realated nickname.

Its tough to come up with good nicknames anymore. We get simple stuff like All Day Adrian Peterson and Smash and Dash and stuff, but think about the nicknames of old, like "The Nigerian Nightmare" Christian Okoye. Now thats a nickname.

I'm no offensive line expert, but even I notice that sometimes Shawn Andrews absolutely destroys people, and I mean its not even a fair fight. I'm curious to see if he has even more success at tackle, because now he'll get to smash on smaller defensive ends now. When he manhandles stout DT's it makes me think he's gonna take a lot of DE's for a ride this year. Pancakes anyone?

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ Cliff...

I'm a very passive basketball fan. I had never heard of Jrue Holiday until last week. Sounds like a good pick, although a developmental player.

I was a huge Sixers fan as a kid. I go back with them to the mid 70s. Dr J and George McInnis were on the team when I became a fan.

I'm just glad the Sixers are back to being competitive. I don't have the time to closely follow them anymore, but I can at least have passive interest in them.

Prem Prakash said...

Me and my Philly sports fans up here in VT talk about our favorite teams in the order of our passion. For me, it is Eagles, Phillies, then 76ers. The other guys have different orders. No one has the Flyers in the top three. Having said that, my all-time favorite Philadelphia athlete is Dr. J. He was such an amazing athlete and class act, and has one of the all-time cool nicknames.

I remember one game when Dawkins got into a fight with a player on the other team. Both benches emptied and guys were going at it pretty good, so much so that the refs stayed back as it looked like they were afraid of getting hit. At one point the camera pans around the court and there is Dr. J, sitting on the sidelines on the floor, cool as ever, waitin' it out.

Something to talk about since I'm home today... my wife didn't want me going to Hank's wedding!

T_S_O_P said...

LeSean La-Liked

Lesean La-Signed