Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More on Trot


I mentioned the other day that I thought the initial workout of Jeremiah Trotter was very odd, almost a stab in the dark. ProFootballTalk was speculating that it was done as a favor to him. That made sense because of Trot's close relationship with Andy Reid. I questioned how serious the workout was because the Eagles did it on a Thursday, which isn't normal. Standard operating procedure for workouts is Monday or Tuesday.

The Eagles did work out Trot again this week, even bringing out an offensive player for him to cover. I was told by a source that the workout was great. Trot looked like the guy we remember from 2004-05 when he played at a Pro Bowl level.

I can't confirm why the initial workout in fact took place. Regardless, Trot got the Eagles attention. They took him more seriously the next time around and by his own admission he was even better ("2 or 3 times better") in that second workout.

All I can say is wow. This is some crazy stuff. I laughed at the notion of Trot coming back last week. Now I'm hearing that he looked great? How the heck did that happen? I guess getting rested and healthy did his legs a lot of good. Maybe Sean Payton quit sticking pins in the Trot voodoo doll he had made back in '06. Whatever, something worked. Trot weighed in at 257 pounds, which is solid for him. Trot's value lies in his power. You want him in the 260 range. He also has to be able to run well, which he apparently did.

Welcome back, Axeman.


* I have no idea what to make of Dallas. They were shut out for a half by the Panthers? Then the Cowboys got hot and dominated the 2nd half. Still, they only had 14 points late in the game and CAR was right there to steal the game. Dallas could not shut down Byron Leftwich and the Bucs, but they put the clamps on Steve Smith, Deangelo Williams, and Jake the Snake? Weird, very weird.

* WAS lost to the Lions. I watched parts of the game and loved it. WAS struggled in that meeting last year before pulling away to win. The Skins have a real bad habit of playing to the competition. I don't know what to make of that team. Too talented to dismiss, but too dysfunctional to praise as a good team.

* The Giants just keep rolling along. They are good. They shut out Tampa. I'm so jealous. We haven't had a shutout since 1996. Bill Clinton was still in his first term as President. The internet was something only computer geeks had any understanding of. Brett Favre hadn't won the SB or retired. Jennifer Love Hewitt had a limitless future. Ahh, the good old days.

* I know I'm not the only Eagles fan to wonder what it would be like to have Rex Ryan as our coach. Buddy's hiring in 1986 is the reason I'm an Eagles fan (along with Spadaro's sexiness of course). Ryan has gone to the Jets and put them atop the AFC East. They're 3-0 and playing good football. Rex is a good coach, but he also walked into a great situation. The team fit him perfectly. They've got a good foundation on defense. They have a good set of RBs, a good OL, a solid possession receiver, and a playmaking TE. Give Rex a lot of credit for using his players well, but understand that he didn't have to rebuild the team like some coaches who are brought in to completely clean up a mess (see KC for example).

Darrelle Revis is an elite CB. He has great cover skills and his hips are so fluid that it'll blow you away at times. His presence is a key component of that whole defense. Bart Scott and David Harris are terrific ILBs. They make the middle of the D tough. The guy up front that is special is Shaun Ellis. He plays DE, DT, and goes to NT in the Nickel/Dime units. He split double teams a few times vs TEN to pressure Kerry Collins. His presence up front has a lot of impact.

The Jets are getting pressure right now, but that's it. They have 4 sacks and 4 INTs in 3 games. We topped both totals in the season opener. The pressure hasn't led to plays, but it has disrupted offenses. People are not moving the ball against them very well at all. They have the #3 defense in the league. I'm impressed by what I've seen, but they do need a big time pass rusher to emerge.

So how would Rex do in Philly? Hard to say. He'd like most of our defense. We don't have the kind of shutdown type corner that he loves, but I think he and Trent Cole would be a marriage made in heaven. The offense would have to be completely rebuilt. That would be both good and bad. I think the weird part would be re-adjusting to a coach that speaks his mind. I'm used to Reidspeak. I'd freak out the first time Rex told Tony Romo we're coming to get him.

* MIN might be 3-0, but I was not impressed on Sunday. Favre took an absolute beating. No way he lasts 16 weeks with that kind of punishment. The Vikings offense is still dysfunctional. They outplayed SF for much of the game, but had no points to show for it.

* I'm feeling better each week with my pick of Tampa as the league's worst team. Raheem Morris is the wrong guy for this team. Young coaches need to take over established teams. Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin were very young when they got the Steelers job. Both guys took over teams that had a lot of pieces in place. They didn't have to reinvent the wheel. They could go in and coach up the guys. Each man had great success. Immediate success.

Morris is a guy I've liked for several years. I saw him coaching at the Senior Bowl and he was great with the players. They responded to his coaching and him as a person. He was a teacher and a leader. That's what you want in a coach. The problem is that he's only been a positional coach to this point. Andy Reid got away with that kind of move, but he was 41 when the Eagles hired him. Andy had worked for 5 colleges and the Packers for almost 20 years prior to getting the gig in Philly. He might not have been a coordinator, but he'd been around enough teams and coaches to know what he was doing.

Morris learned under Monte Kiffin, but was only a full positional coach (DBs) for 2 years at the NFL level. Prior to that he was the assistant DBs coach. He was the DC for Kansas State for a year as well. This just isn't the kind of experience you want in a guy taking over a team in the middle of rebuilding. I guess the Bucs don't feel like they are rebuilding and that is probably why we see things differently.

I wish Morris well, but he and the Bucs need a few years to get that ship really headed in the right direction. Finding DBs that can tackle would be a great start.

* The NFC West is a real mess. The Cards are once again a Jekyll and Hyde team. One week they look good. The next week they look highly dysfunctional. Did you guys see Warner take the 28-yard sack on Sunday? What the heck was RT Levi Brown thinking? He saw some phantom blitzer and let the LDE come free and chase Kurt all over the field.

SEA has some good moments, but injuries are a problem for them. I also wonder about the character of that team. TJ Houshmandzadeh needs to just shut up and play.

The Rams are bad, but they know it and understand they are rebuilding. Coach Spags is using this year to teach his guys and find players for the future. Danny Amendola is their RS now. He had a 43-yard KOR on Sunday. Good for him.

San Fran is 2-1, but hardly a juggernaut. They have trouble moving the ball and scoring points. Seeing them block the FG before the half and run it back for a TD was eerie. They did the same thing to us last year and turned a potential 20-9 lead into a 17-16 game. Thankfully we won. Former Eagles Mike Lewis and Takeo Spikes are still starting for the SF defense (13th overall).

* The Saints look like the real deal. They played poorly vs the Bills and still won in a blowout. They still make STs an adventure too often, but the offense is great and the defense has gotten better. Be careful about the hype the Gregggg Williams is getting right now. The Bills offense was dreadful more than the Saints were good.

* I have yet to closely watch a Falcons game. They are 2-1. They do some good things, but I also think they are finding out that going from 1-year surprise team to outright good team is a tough task. The Falcons got everyone's attention last year. No more surprises.

* Don't give up on the Titans just yet. They are 0-3, but I still like a lot of what I see from that team. They played just well enough to lose close at PIT, to HOU, and at the Jets. It isn't like they are struggling to be competitive. Little things are killing them. We'll see if Jeff Fisher can correct those mistakes and get the team back on track.

* The Steelers do have me worried. They still play BAL twice. They have to play MIN, SD, and GB. And since they are the defending champs you can bet they'll get the best that scrub teams like DET, CLE, KC, and OAK have to offer. Starting 1-2 isn't the end of the world, but it does get your attention. They play the Chargers this week. A 1-3 start would start to put some heat on the team.

* What do we make of the 3-0 Broncos? I'm glad to see Kyle Orton and Coach Josh McDaniels off to a good start. McDaniels had to go in and get rid of the turd festival that Mike Shanahan had left in place. That may sound harsh, but Shanny is the guy who drafted Maurice Clarrett in the 3rd round, remember. Denver is winning ugly and isn't a good team, but they are doing the little things right. That puts them in a position to win. And you can bet the players will pay more attention to McDaniels with each W he puts up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts


A few days back I was highly skeptical of the Jeremiah Trotter reports. We knew he worked out for the team, but that had to be something weird. Couldn't be a legitimate workout of a guy who sat out last year. And yet it was.

The Eagles are going to sign Trot this week. He will not come in to be the starting MLB right off the bat. He hasn't played since December of 2007. He's bound to be a bit rusty. LB is one of those spots where you can shake off the rust in a hurry, though.

The Eagles aren't happy with Omar Gaither's overall performance. He covers well. He is blitzing better than in the past. The problem is physical run defense. Omar must do a better job of defeating blocks and getting to the ball. He was good vs KC, but getting off the blocks of Mike Goff is nothing compared to dealing with Chris Snee or Leonard Davis. We must be able to match the physicality of Dallas and the Giants. The Cowboys prefer to run draws and outside, but their OL is still big and strong. Washington normally gives us fits with their ball-control, pounding attack. A hesitant MLB would get us killed in those matchups.

Look at the situation. Omar covers well and is good enough to play against a some teams that like to run the ball. Tampa and Oakland are next up on the schedule. They are the kind of teams Gaither should be able to handle. Plus both are struggling right now. If we build any kind of lead they'll have to throw the ball. This gives Trot the bye week and a couple of games to get back into game shape. Washington is the next team after that.

Against the Skins I could see Sean McDermott platooning his guys at MLB. Trot plays in most base sets and early downs. Gaither is there in passing situations. Clearly, this isn't an ideal scenario. Teams will look to run vs Omar and throw vs Trot. McDermott will have to pick and choose when to play each guy. Situations and matchups will really dictate things.

We have 6 meetings with NFC East opponents. We must be physical in the middle to win those games. Should the offense build a good lead in any of them we can sit Trot down and give all the snaps to Omar. Should we be in a slugfest, Trot will have to stay in and we'll have to adjust coverages accordingly.

Games against SD, DEN, CHI, ATL, and SF are trickier. All of them can run the ball, but they don't all have the kind of big, nasty OLs that can dominate you. Those are games where Omar may play a lot. If he struggles vs the run we simply insert Trot and then deal with the counter measures from the offense.

The X-factor in all of this is Trot's health. He says that his legs are much better than they were in '06. I hope so. My grandads' legs were in better shape. And both of those gentlemen died in the 1990s. Trot had some surgery last year and he's been out of football for about 20 months. That kind of rest has to help. How much? I guess we'll see.

The Eagles would not add him if he didn't look okay at his workouts. The Eagles cut Trot in the summer of 2007 because they didn't think he could get the job done. Hugh Douglas was cut in 2005 for the same reason. The Eagles are not sentimental with veterans.

This is a strange story. I never thought the Axeman would return. He looked so bad in the playoff loss at New Orleans that it was painful to watch or talk about. He lost some weight to get in great shape for '07, but his legs were still a mess. Now he's on the way back.


My postgame write-up is posted. Most of the info you've already read, but I added some comments about ESPN and their Kevin Kolb coverage. Check it out.



RE: Maclin as RS

Sometimes the more you know the less you know. Last year I said that DeSean would have a lot more impact at RS than WR. Rookies just don't come in here and make a big splash. Oops. This year I predicted the same for Maclin. Jeremy was a great returner in college. He should be naturally good at that in the NFL. His WR skills needed a ton of work. Now we're almost in October and he's getting better and better at WR, but is still a question mark as the RS. Weird.

Jeremy has got to be decisive and sure on STs. He drops back and he's looking the ball in very methodically. That's too rigid. You have to settle under the ball and then catch it. Get too mechanical and you'll drop the thing. He's also guilty of looking for a wide open running area. Those were available at Mizzou and sometimes in the preseason. They aren't normally available in the regular season. Brian Mitchell needs to teach him. You focus on beating the first defender and getting 10 yards. If you break it long, great. Don't force every PR/KOR to be perfect or you'll be ineffective.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Game Review is Posted


This was certainly more enjoyable than last week's DGR.


This is an interesting Eagles team. We played a good team in the opener and got the best of them, largely due to turnovers. Some people will rip me for calling CAR good, but they were at that point. They may wind up lousy, but were highly thought of heading into the year.

The next week we played another good team, the Saints. This time mistakes killed us and the scoreboard was heavily in their favor.

Sunday we played a bad team and whipped them. We're breaking in a new OL. Our backup QB has played 9 of 12 quarters this year. We missed Westy for basically the last game and a half. Kevin Curtis has been slowed by injury. We're breaking in a new FS. We're on the #3 MLB.

And yet, we're 5th in defense, 7th in offense. We're 2-1. This really is a very talented team. I hope they stay reasonably healthy. The sky really is the limit for this group. We've got some real tough tests ahead, but you also have to remember that Andy's teams normally are at their best in November and December. That's always a reassuring thought.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quick Thoughts - Win Over KC


Good game. We won 34-14 and the score really doesn't tell the story. We are the more talented team and played like it. That's a good sign. Winning is important above all else, but how you do it is pretty darn important.

The offense piled up 420 yards and 34 points. Remember when the offense used to really struggle when Westy missed a game? Things have come a long way when we can have this kind of success with a new QB, rookie RB, rebuilt OL, and young receivers. Crazy.

We threw the ball well. Kevin Kolb played even better than last week. He wasn't flawless, but had a darn good game (24-34-327, 2 TDs in the air and 1 on the ground). The OL played much better and consistently gave him time to throw.

The running game needs work. Shady ran for 84 yards and a TD in his first start. I loved the burst he showed. It makes a difference when a runner can get to and through a hole in the blink of an eye. The blocking was up and down. I need to study the tape before saying too much.

DeSean Jackson (6-149-1)and Brent Celek (8-104-1) were great. They moved the chains as well as giving us big plays. Kolb showed good rapport with both receivers. That bodes well for the future. I think Celek may need the bye week more than any Eagle. He took a pounding today. After watching LJ Smith for the last few years it is a friggin pleasure to have a TE that catches everything and fights for 1st downs.

DeSean looks like he's on his way to being an elite type of WR. He got in the endzone 4 times last year. 2 came on receptions, 1 on a PR, and 1 on the ground. 16 games and 4 TDs. This year he has 3 scores in 3 games. Huge. Big plays are good, but TDs are great. D-Jax is off to a great start.

The defense was lights out. KC had 0 yards at the end of the 1st Qtr. They finished with 196. It seemed like many of those came on draw plays on 3rd/long. The Chiefs scored 2 TDs. We helped on both. The offense turned the ball over on downs near midfield to set up the first score. The other TD came after Jeff Garcia bobbled the snap late in the game.

Sean McDermott had an aggressive gameplan. He loaded up guys at the LOS and we blitzed on a regular basis. We only finished with 3 sacks, but Cassel was under a lot of pressure. We only forced one turnover. That was disapppointing. Chris Gocong got Larry Johnson to fumble and Q Mikell fell on it.

There are some things I wasn't happy with, but I'll get to them in the review. We're now 2-1. We have the bye week to get healthy and then some winnable games in the near future. Things are pretty good.

RE: Q Demps

Someone asked about him. He is banged up. That's why he missed the last 2 games. He'll have a chance to get back on the field when we take on Tampa in a couple of weeks. He needs to impress on STs and as a role player to have a chance to win his starting job back.

Gameday - KC


Big news for gameday.

Brian Westbrook is out. McNabb and Curtis will also miss the game. The other inactives are Herremans, McGlynn, Demps, and Dimitri Patterson.

The Chiefs will be without star WR Dwayne Bowe. The only other player of note that will sit for them is LB Derrick Johnon, but we knew about that.

I'm happy that Curtis is out. He hasn't looked right in the first couple of weeks. I want to rest him as well as get a look at Jeremy Maclin. We need to see what we've got.

I have mixed feelings about Westy missing the game. I certainly am excited to see how LeSean McCoy handles the starting role. The flip side is that I hate to be without a key player like Westy with a backup QB starting. Kolb could use as many weapons as possible. McCoy has the physical ability to handle the job. We'll see how he does with the little things. And Shady...hold on to the ball. NO FUMBLES!!!

Jeff Garcia is active. That means we can play all 3 QBs if needed without anyone having to leave the game. Normally the 3rd guy can play, but that means the starter isn't allowed to come back in.


I'm already tired of hearing about Mike Vick and it isn't even noon on the day of his debut. Yikes.

The idiots at ESPN are at it again. Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson think Vick should be starting and can't understand why Kolb will be out there. Cris Carter tried to explain the importance of bringing Vick back slowly, but those guys don't want to hear it. Ugh. Chris Berman is the only guy who truly understands the whole situation. The world is upside down when the host of the show is the one who actually gives the best analysis. The former players just babble empty rhetoric as forcefully as they can. Awesome job, dudes.

Vick isn't ready to start. My goal for him today is to run for a couple of first downs and to help us execute the Wildcat well. I'd love for us to break a big play out of it, but we'll see how that goes. The conditions are rainy. Ball security could be tricky so I hope Andy and Marty keep that in mind when they call today's gimmicks.


I'll be really disappointed if the Chiefs score much today. They don't have a good offense and they're without their top playmaker (Bowe). This is a game where our defense should dominate.

Let's go win this game and get to 2-1.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Stuff


There isn't a lot of buzz for this game. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. I'd like us to be business-like and win this game, but at the same time I don't want us to sleep walk through this game. We did that last year at Cincinnati and we all remember how that turned out (right Donovan?).

The injury situation will affect both teams. KC will be without LB Derrick Johnson. WR Dwaayne Bowe is questionable, but I'm betting he plays. I do prefer him gimpy rather than full speed.

The Eagles should have Westy and DeSean on the field. Sounds like Kevin Curtis will miss the game. That's fine with me. He's not been impressive this year and I want to see what Jeremy Maclin can do. We'll also get a chance to see Reggie Brown play.


Rewind to July. The Eagles had arguably the best MLB depth in the NFL. Stewart Bradley looked like a Pro Bowl candidate. Behind him was 2nd year man Joe Mays who had a great Training Camp and preseason as a rookie. Plus, there was Omar Gaither who could slide inside if things went disastrous.

Well, things went disastrous. Disco Stew tore his ACL (allegedly). Joe Mays decided to have a full-fledged Sophomore slump. That led to Omar moving back to the middle. And he's reminding us why we moved him back to WLB after 2007.

The Eagles are not happy with Omar's run defense. He isn't working through trash to get to the ball. He isn't fighting to get off blocks. He's not making plays when he does get near the ball carrier. Gaither has been solid as a pass defender. There are no complaints with him in that area.

Gaither knows that the Eagles gave Jeremiah Trotter a workout this week. Gaither has certainly heard plenty of criticism of his run defense in film sessions. He knows this game is big for him. He's got to play well or he could very easily lose his job. Omar wasn't happy when he got benched last year. He wasn't happy when Joe Mays took over as the starting MLB. Remember the old saying "be careful what you ask for"? Omar wanted a starting gig. He's a free agent at the end of the year and wanted to show NFL teams that he deserves a starting job and contract. Omar got that opportunity this year and hasn't taken advantage of it. I'm very interested to see how he responds to this situation.

As for Trot...I've asked a few people around the team and no one is sure what to make of that workout. Trot was too slow back in 2006. I find it hard to believe the team would seriously consider him for a LB spot. ProFootballTalk reported that the workout was a favor to Trot. He wanted to show what he could do and the team obliged him. Most player workouts happen on Monday or Tuesday so that the player can be added to the roster if the team liked what they saw. This workout took place on Thursday. That would tie in to the thought that the workout wasn't a serious look from the team.

The flip side of that notion is that the Eagles have the bye week coming up. They could add a player and spend the next week getting him up to speed to be ready for the October 11th game with Tampa.

Trotter is 32 years old. He started for us in 2006 and then spent 2007 for Tampa as a backup and STs player. He completely sat out last year. Could he run better now because he's rested and healthy? That is possible, but not likely.

What else could happen at MLB? Joe Mays was hurt the last few weeks. They could give him a shot and see if he's ready for the job now. The Eagles really liked Mays. He was a major disappointment this summer.

Some people have asked about Derrick Brooks. No way. He was a great WLB, but Derrick isn't the kind of guy we want in the middle. He's smaller than Gaither. Derrick isn't mean to fight OL between the tackles. He's meant to play in space and run to the ball.

I'm not sure who else is on the market that might be of interest. There probably isn't much to choose from. The Eagles could definitely look to make a trade. Watch to see which teams drop to 0-3 this week. Those teams know the season is headed in the wrong direction and might be open to a deal. The tricky thing is that we're not looking for a long term MLB. Stew should be ready for 2010. We need someone for the next 13 weeks.


The Eagles tried to honor the memory of Jim Johnson last week in the home opener. The defense then went out and gave up 41 points and more than 400 yards. Back in 2005 the team honored the memory of Reggie White in a Monday night game vs Seattle. We had a nightmare game and lost 42-0.

Can we please never "honor" anyone else? If Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb, and a bus full of school children dressed in Eagles jerseys are picked up by a tornado and carried to an active volcano and thrown in I think the appropriate thing to do is simply ignore it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Strategy and Matchups - KC


The defense is front and center this week. Let's face it, we're playing a Chiefs offense that has 3 TDs in 2 games. We should be able to shut these guys down. And that's what good defenses do...they bully around teams they are better than. I want to see Sean McDermott turn the guys loose and let them attack.

Trent Cole and the D-line need to spend a lot of time in the backfield. The Chiefs have some talented OL, but we should be able to get pressure. We better get pressure, blitz or not. I'm sure KC knows we'll come out aggressive and they'll be planning to use screen passes and draw plays. We have to focus on getting to the QB, but do need to play under control as well. Last week we had DL and LBs that were overaggressive and it cost us.

Bunk and Patt need to do a better job of controlling the middle of the line. I like our interior guys vs their interior blockers. We must clog the running lanes and control the LOS. We did a great job of that in the opener, but not last week.

One player with some pressure on him is MLB Omar Gaither. The team isn't exactly thrilled with what they've seen from him so far. He has 7 solo tackles in 2 games. Gaither isn't learning a new scheme or position. He knows MLB. He knows the defense. NO was able to run on us way too easily last week. Gaither certainly isn't the only guy at fault, but he needs to pick up his play this week.

I'd like to see us be more aggressive with our coverage. KC likes to throw a lot of short stuff. Why give them underneath routes for free if that is what they want. Mix in some press coverage and challenge their receivers.


Sounds like Kevin Kolb will get start #2. Kevin showed his potential last week, but needs to play better this time out. He understands what it is like to start now. He needs to build on his good start. The key for him is eliminating the turnovers and getting us into the endzone when we get the ball deep. Kicking FGs might be good enough to win this time out, but you never want to have that mentality if you can help it.

Mike Vick
will make his Eagles debut. Yay. Andy gets another toy. I'd prefer we ran more of a conventional offense, but Big Red wants more Wildcat and that's what we'll see. Vick will run the Wildcat and have a chance to make some plays. I expect him to see about 10-12 snaps in the game. We need him to get some experience and to adjust to the speed of the game. Regular season football is another notch up from the preseason. At the same time, you do have to make sure Kolb and the base offense run smoothly. I thought the offense did a pretty good job last week of getting correctly lined up in the exotic packages. The plays were well executed, even if they didn't fully work out each time.

Temper your expectations with Vick. He was very rusty in the preseason. I'm sure he'll have some plays that work great, but there will be some bumps in the road. He's been out of football for a while and is working his way back. He also is on a new team and playing a new role. As The Joker says in Tim Burton's 1989 version of Batman, "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs."

The big news is that Kevin Curtis isn't practicing on Friday. He is now doubtful for Sunday. Andy says that Jeremy Maclin will start in his place if Kevin does miss the game. Reggie Brown will be active. Interesting news. Curtis hasn't stood out at all in the first couple of games. If he does sit, I'm happy to see Maclin get a chance to show us what he can do. If Maclin really struggles we know that Reggie is the guy to go with in the future. The flip side is that Maclin could show us that's he's quietly learned the offense and adjusted to pro football and is ready to contribute.

Westy's ankle should be good to go and he will start. Shady should also get plenty of work. Hold on to the ball, rookie. That's an order. I mentioned the other day that Westy struggled some last week. He looked terrific in the 1st half. It was the 2nd half where his ankle bothered him that he looked slow. Brian had 4 carries for only 7 yards. He showed no wiggle or burst. We'll find out pretty quickly on Sunday if we're getting 1st half Westy or the old guy from the 2nd half.

The OL will be a repeat from last week, Peters-Cole-JJ-Max-Winston. They need to play better this time out. They will face a 3-4 defense for the first time this year, which will pose a challenge. The 3-4 counts on linebackers to rush the passer and get most of the pressure. The offense isn't sure which linebackers are going to rush. That means that the blockers need to study the defensive front prior to each snap and try to figure out which guys will attack. The offensive linemen need to each see the same things and communicate well to make sure no blitzers go unblocked. This is why teams love continuity up front. The more guys play together the more likely they are to think alike and communicate well.

I haven't said a lot about the Wildcat and the various things we may see. Vick's presence makes that package limitless. Rather than speculate on exactly what we'll see I'm just keeping an open mind. Last week I saw an NFL team do some very strange things. This week could be even crazier. All I can do is take my old friend Shrub's sage advice and "Hide 'n watch".


Hold on to the ball, Hobbs. That's an order.

DeSean, don't catch punts inside the 5. That's an order.

Yo blockers...please find someone to block on KOs and please quit blocking in the back on punts. I know you guys get little credit and plenty of blame. I know what you do is a thankless job. I'd say I feel sorry for you, but me and most of the world would love to have thankless jobs with 6-figure paychecks. Do the dirty work, guys. Hobbs and DeSean need good, clean blocks.


* Limit turnovers. This is Football 101 obviously, but it is important against a team like KC that struggles to score points and come up with big plays. Make them go the long field.

* Run well. I'd prefer a conventional running attack, but in the end it doesn't matter if the yards come from Vick, Maclin, Westy, Shady, or Steve Van Buren. Just run the ball effectively. I want yards and 1st downs. Touchdowns are also welcome.

* Pressure. We must hit Cassel early and often. We need sacks, hurried throws, and poor QB play from him.

* Front lines. We need to control the LOS on both offense and defense. We're better up front and need to play like it. Last week the Saints won the LOS battle and it allowed them to win (along with Brees and his band of evil-doers). Nick Cole was terrific in the opener, but not so much last week. Nick, if you ever want a full-time starting gig you must be consistently good.

* Kolb. Kevin did a lot of really good things last week. We need more of that, but he's got to eliminate the mistakes. He has thrown several pick-6's in his young career. Good tackling hurt him on 2 of the returns, but Kevin has to be better with the ball. The Chiefs have game tape on him and will have some ideas of how to attack him. Kevin has to play better than last week.

* Familiarity. Todd Haley runs the KC offense. Clancy Pendergast runs the defense. Both came from Arizona. They know our team and our systems. They know how to beat us. We also know what they like to do, but we don't have as good a feel for them because they're with a new team. This could be an x-factor in the game.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Know Your Enemy - KC


The Chiefs were a good team for a long time. Coach Dick Vermeil and GM Carl Peterson built a strong OL and had a really dynamic offense. Priest Holmes was the star tailback and then he got hurt and Larry Johnson took his place. Trent Green was the star QB. Slowly but surely the pieces that led the Chiefs to all this success faded away. Holmes injury ended his career. Vermeil retired, this time for real. Green's career as a starter was ended by concussions. And finally Peterson left.

The backbone of all this was a great OL, the best in the NFL. LT Willie Roaf is gone. G Will Shields is gone. C Casey Wiegmann is gone. The only guy left is G Brian Waters, now 32 and the old man up front.

The Chiefs decided to really rebuild this offseason. The process started under Peterson, but he and Herm Edwards still had a tough time fully embracing youth, mainly because a youth movement means losing games. Enter GM Scott Pioli and new coach Todd Haley. These guys want to build an organization and a team together. They understand that 2009 is just a step in that process.

There are some good pieces in place. It is hard to judge too much on what has happened this year. The offensive players are learning a new system and the defensive players are adjusting to a completely new scheme, the 3-4. Here are some thoughts on some of the players:

* Matt Cassel --- Big QB. More athletic than you expect. Has a good arm. Mainly threw short passes vs OAK. Only deep completion was a 29-yard TD pass to Dwayne Bowe. The rest of his throws were short and intermediate plays where the receivers were expected to get RAC yards. Did throw a couple of INTs. Cassel missed the opener with a bum knee, but he seems to be okay at this point.

* Larry Johnson --- Finished with 24 carries for 78 yards. Also caught 3 passes for 41 yards, including one for 22. Still talented player. He had a ton of success being a workhorse runner behind a very good OL. Larry doesn't have the same kind of blocking now. He did get 24 carries and there were times you could see the old LJ. He's big, but has speed to go with his power.

* Branden Albert --- Haley has been hard on Branden since arriving in KC. I assume this is more of a ploy to push him to be a great player than any real dissatisfaction with him. Albert had a good rookie season at LT and looks solid on tape. He's a better run blocker than pass blocker, but he can handle himself in pass pro.

* Dwayne Bowe --- Very good young receiver. Another player that Haley has been trying to push the buttons of. Bowe leads the team with 9 catches and 2 TDs. He has an excellent combo of size and speed. Good hands. Good downfield receiver.

* Bobby Wade --- Signed after he was dumped by the Vikings. Quality veteran who is more quick than fast. Has good RAC skills. Similar to James Thrash in that he's not an ideal starter, but is a serviceable player.

* TE --- Sean Ryan is starting. Limited player has 2 catches. More of a backup type. Brad Cottam is the guy they want on the field, but he missed last week's game.

* OL --- Brian Waters is the LG. He's still a good player. Rudy Niswanger is in his 2nd year as a starter at C. Pig Goff is the RG. He was a good run blocker for the Chargers for several years. Older guy. The RT is Ike Ndukwe. He played G at NW and has been with 5 NFL teams. He's new to starting at RT.

* Tamba Hali --- Former PSU great has been up and down in the NFL. He is now playing LB. He's got a sack and FF so far this year. Hali lacks ideal athletic ability, but he has a very good motor. Too early to know if he can handle the shift to LB.

* Tank Tyler --- Moved from DT to NT. Has the build to handle that job. Tied for the team lead in solo tackles with 11. That's impressive for a NT. Shows good hustle.

* LB --- Mike Vrabel is starting for them and trying to be a leader. I don't know how much he's got left in the tank as a player. Derrick Johnson is the most talented guy, but they've got him coming off the bench. He had an impressive sack last week when blitzing up the middle. Demorrio Williams is an odd fit at ILB, but he's doing his best.

* Mike Brown --- The old Bears DB headed a bit further to the West. Leads the team in tackles. Smart player and excellent leader.

* Brandon Flowers --- Very good young CB. Lacks the ideal size/speed combo, but Flowers can cover. Physical player and excellent tackler. Has a couple of PBUs this year. Can really stick with his man, especially on short patterns. Had an excellent pass break-up on a slant last week.

* Brandon Carr --- Good young CB. He's bigger than Flowers. Has 5 tackles and a couple of PBUs so far this year. Started all 16 games as a rookie last year and picked off 2 passes.


In some ways looking at KC is like looking at the 1999 Eagles. We had a franchise QB and LT. We had a veteran RB. We had a pair of good CBs. There are some differences. We had Dawk and Hugh. They've got Dwayne Bowe. Still, the point is that the Chiefs aren't a talentless team. They have a lot of young guys adjusting to the new systems and new coaching staff, as well as trying to develop as players.

Don't look at this game as some cakewalk. Rebuilding teams are very hard to predict. Washington won the NFC East that year. We beat them 35-28 and lost 20-17. We almost beat the 9-7 Dolphins (lost 16-13). We beat the Pats (who were 7-6 at the time). Pete Carroll was the coach, by the way. Just because KC was bad last year and has issues this year doesn't mean they'll be an easy game. Not at all. The Ravens beat them 38-24 in the opener. That score looks okay, but the game was tied at 24 with 5 minutes left to play. And the Chiefs didn't even have their starting QB. Don't overlook this team. They aren't likely to win, but they will play hard and the games they do pull out this year will be the ones where the opponent makes too many mistakes and Chiefs are able to capitalize on them.


* KC's Gamebook from last week

* KC's stats page

* KC's depth chart


* The team cut TE Rob Myers from the Practice Squad so they could sign TE Martin Rucker. I can't say I'm a huge fan of this move. Rucker was a super-productive pass catcher at Missouri and has some athletic ability, but always looked a bit stiff. I really liked what we saw from Myers in the one preseason game and was hoping he'd develop into a solid backup TE. Rucker has more potential, but I've just never been a big fan of his.

* Big Red made some statement about not being sure if Mike Vick would play on Sunday. C'mon Andy. That statement borders on ludicrous. I know teams don't want to show their hands, but that's just silly. Alien beings doing research on Neptune know that Vick will play.

I'll be writing plenty on Vick, the Wilcat, and everything else tomorrow when we discuss strategy and matchups.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

KC Coming Up


I haven't started really looking into the Chiefs yet so I'll limit my comments about them. KC was bad last year and is still pretty young, which leads you to believe they'll struggle this season.

The Eagles are clearly the better team, but without McNabb no game is certain. I feel pretty confident we will win this game, but nothing is a lock in the NFL anymore.

It sounds like Kevin Kolb will start again, which is the right decision. Jeff Garcia wouldn't have made much of a difference last week. And Michael Vick isn't ready to be a starting QB again. He needs work.

Westy is battling an ankle issue, but Andy said it isn't very swollen and that Brian should play on Sunday. That's certainly good news.


Danny Amendola was signed off our Practice Squad by the Rams. Good for Danny, bad for us. I hoped to keep him til next year when he could push for a roster spot. He gives the Rams offense a quick, elusive guy with RS skills. Hopefully things work well for him. I liked Amendola.

We signed former Penn State star Jordan Norwood to take his place on the PS. Norwwod is small (5'11, 175), but has great hands. He can really pluck the ball. He's got okay quickness, but lacks the speed to ever be anything more than a role player in the NFL, if that. Norwood is probably here more for practice than to be developed for the future. His dad is the Defensive Coordinator at Baylor.


DAL --- Anyone checked out the Dallas defense this year? They are in 30th place, allowing 439 yards per game. That includes going to Tampa and hosting the Giants. I can't wait to see what Drew Brees does to those guys.

I hate Tony Romo. He's clearly the devil. Or worse. But I don't get all the criticism that some people throw at him. Mike Florio (PFT) continually bashes him for not working harder to be great. I like Florio most of the time, but this is an odd comment. I've never seen anything that would lead me to believe that Romo isn't working hard enough. I think a legit criticism of him is that he improvises too much. That works great in the regular season, but you can ask Randall Cunningham about how well that works in December and January. This isn't a case of Tony not working, but rather becoming overly reliant on "making plays".

WAS --- They just beat the Rams 9-7. Huh? What is up with Washington? That team has Chris Cooley, Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle-El, and Clinton Portis. They scored 17 in the opener, but only 9 vs the Rams. Now comes the news that RG Randy Thomas is done for the year. Not a great start for Washington. I expected them to be a last place team, but a good one (8-8 or so).

NYG --- They are 2-0 and both wins came inside the division. Impressive start. The Gmen gave up 251 rushing yards to the Cowboys on Sunday night and that is a serious concern. WR Mario Manningham is off to a great start, but the Giants did go 0-5 in the RZ on Sunday night. They still miss Plaxico. Their best DL is Justin Tuck, not Osi Umenyiora. Unfortunately Tuck hurt his shoulder when he was tripped by a Dallas OL and fell. The Giants need Tuck on that defense. He makes everyone around him better.

GB --- The Packers have a lot of talent, but their OL is really struggling. The RT got lit up in the opener and then LT Chad Clifton struggled on Sunday vs Cincy. Bengals DE Antwan Odom had 5 sacks. Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings only works if the guys have time to connect. I don't have a good feel for how their conversion to the 3-4 is going yet.

MIN --- Adrian Peterson continues to be kinda decent. That guy is something else. WLB Chad Greenway had a pair of INTs on Sunday. The Vikings have led the NFL in run defense for 3 straight years, but only sit 15th after 2 weeks. Teams are now running at them and challenging the Williams Wall. Anyone else wonder if there is a StarCaps effect going on?

TAMPA --- The Bucs are a mess. Their starting secondary was bad, but they've now lost a couple of guys to injury. Coach Raheem Morris is mad at DE Gaines Adams for not playing up to his potential. The good news is that Cadillac Williams is healthy and playing pretty well. I'm picking Tampa to be the worst team in the league.

ATL --- I figure we already know what's going on in CAR and NO. The Falcons are 2-0. Matt Ryan is still kinda decent. Tony Gonzalez leads the team in receptions and has 2 TDs. Free agent LB Mike Peterson is playing really well. The bad news is that rookie DT Peria Jerry got hurt and is done for the year. ATL's run defense could continue to be a problem.

ARZ --- They came East this week and beat the heck out of JAX. That surprised us all a bit. The Cards just haven't fared well when heading our direction. Young DL Calais Campbell is starting to make some plays, on defense and STs.

SEA --- I thought they would bounce back this year after a dismal 2008. So far they are 1-1, but plenty has gone wrong. LB Leroy Hill is out until November with an injury. QB Matt Hasselbeck got hurt on Sunday. LT Walter Jones isn't healthy. C Chris Spencer is banged up. WR TJ Houshmandzadeh has proven to only be a possession receiver, which we all knew. He's got 10-110 with no TD and a long play of 22 yards after a couple of games. This team needed some good karma so they could get off to a good start under new coach Jim Mora (don't call me Junior). Next up is the Bears and then a trip to Indy. The Seahawks better hope some things start breaking their way.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More On The Wildcat


I want to talk some more about the Wildcat. I covered it in the Game Review, but there was a lot of other material to get to.

The Wildcat came from the University of Arkansas. Coach Houston Nutt had 2 of the best players in the country, but both were RBs. How do you get them on the field at the same time? You do it by having one play QB. Hello, Wildcat.

RB Darren McFadden and RB Felix Jones put up great numbers in the 2007 season. The Razorbacks finished 4th in the nation in rushing. McFadden went for 1830 yards and 16 TDs. Jones "only" ran for 1162 yards and 11 TDs. He did average just under 9 yards per carry. 9 !!! What made the Wildcat even more dangerous is that McFadden was 6 of 11 for 123 yards and 4 TDs as a passer. That QB rating has gotten be around 130 or so.

The Miami Dolphins hired David Lee off of Arkansas's staff after the year. He and some other coaches decided to try the Wildcat last year at the NFL level. Miami had Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown in the backfield. They didn't have a strong passing game or good QB at the time. (Chad Pennington was picked up late) The Dolphins figured they would be smart to use Brown and Williams together and would need to create some big plays due to their lack of offensive firepower. Hello, Wildcat.

The Eagles mixed in some Wildcat last year. They let DeSean Jackson take some direct snaps. He ran for a TD vs the Giants. He had pretty good success as a runner. He tried to throw a pass vs CLE, but it was picked off in the endzone.

This offseason the Eagles added LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin. Both ran the Wildcat at their schools. Both are versatile offensive weapons. Then we signed Mike Vick. He is the ultimate Wildcat player. We all knew that the Wildcat would be a regular part of the offense in 2009.

I don't mind us using it if done correctly. The Wildcat is not really supposed to be all that tricky. It is basically a numbers game. The point is to have more blockers on offense and less defenders to deal with. The QB lines up out wide. A CB goes with him. That leaves 10 other players on each side. One Safety has to line up deep. That leaves 9 defenders in or around the box to deal with as many as 9 blockers. If every player gets a good block, the runner can come up with a good gain. In a way, that is simple power football.

It gets trickier when you have the Wildcat QB mix in option plays. Now the defense has to read the play and fight off blockers. You can make that even more complicated by bringing a player in motion to fake to or hand off to.

There is a lot of window dressing to make the WC seem complicated, but it remains a running attack at its heart. Most teams build the attack to feature N-S running. That requires guys with burst and/or strength. It isn't meant to go E-W. That allows the defense to flow to the ball. The offense is meant to attack upfield to try and find a good seam.

Andy ran quite a bit of WC plays on Sunday. Some I liked, others were too gimmicky. Here are notes on some of the plays:

* Snap to Westy and him running - good.

* DeSean running outside on 3rd/short - good.

* Handoff to Westy on End Around - good.

* Double Reverse and pitch to Kolb for pass attempt - not good. Too tricky.

* Unbalanced line to the left. Westy takes snap, fakes handoff to guy in motion. Westy runs to the right side for a gain of 16 - great design, execution

* Westy pass to Weaver - good play, but was that the time to use it?

I hope a lot of you saw the MNF game between MIA and Indy. The Dolphins ran for 239 yards. They controlled the game. I loved watching their power rushing attack. Unfortunately you also saw the downside of that offense. They couldn't score enough. Miami lost 27-23 despite having the ball for almost 46 minutes in the game. They ran 85 offensive snaps.

We don't need to be the Dolphins. We do need to learn from them. They use the Wildcat wisely. They use it to give the offense a boost and confuse the defense just a bit. They don't overly complicate things. The point isn't to completely trick the defense. They want to slow defenders enough that simple plays lead to good gains.

We are much more into trying to outsmart the other team. Andy does this in the base offense so it isn't a surprise that he does it in the WC as well. I have a feeling this will drive me crazy. Brown had 24 carries last night. Ricky had 19. That is a total of 43. Take away WC plays and they still combine for 30 or so carries. Our RBs totaled 18 carries with the WC. I know we trailed. We still need to get the ball to Westy and McCoy as the foundation of the offense.

Westy ran very well in the 1st half on Sunday, but was not even effective after halftime. He hurt his ankle and looked slow. We need to use McCoy more on WC plays, but really pound a couple of things in his head: 1 - hold onto the ball, 2 - run upfield. LeSean has a great burst. He can eat up yards in a hurry. That is perfect for the WC. He has a tendency to like to go wide. That is much more hit and miss. I'd also like us to give the ball to Weaver in the WC. He's strong enough to break some arm tackles and pound on defenders. We need to mix in a physical runner.

Andy also needs to realize that running out of the base offense helps the blockers to get in a good flow. Do that and the WC plays become that much more effective. You wear down the defense and suddenly the WC can spring a player for a good gain. We traded base runs for WC runs. We need to trade pass plays for WC runs.

I can't judge too much based on one game. The Saints offense did make us change our approach to Sunday's game. Hopefully this week we'll have a lead and we can see Andy do a lot more running, WC or base. As for Vick...I don't know what to expect from him. I'm guessing he plays about 10 snaps and has 4 or 5 runs. I'm sure he'll throw a pass as well.

Kolb will be the starting QB, but Vick and the Wildcat will be part of the attack. Let's hope we get some impact from it and that Big Red keeps the ball on the ground a bit more this time out. Instead of yelling "Pound the rock, Andy" in a fiery voice I guess I need to politely hint, "Say Andrew, why don't we mix in one of those non-passing plays that you swear exist in your playbook".


Monday, September 21, 2009

Game Review is Posted


Here's a link:


It is also on the EMB.

I probably covered a lot of the issues that were being talked about in the comments discussion. Here are a couple of other responses:

RE: Kolb not playing well?

I think he did play well. He threw 2 picks in the last 3 minutes of the game. Prior to that he had moved the ball pretty well and been safe with the ball. Kolb also had poor field position on most of the drives he started. We had 2 that began at the 40 or better. The Saints had 5 drives like that. The defense is the group that really let us down.

No one is putting Kevin in the Hall of Fame or anything like that. He had some issues and has to play better, but I don't think any reasonable person could blame yesterday's loss on him.

RE: Coaching

Early season football is full of mistakes. Did you notice the Giants red zone struggles? How about the Packers losing at home to the Bengals? There were blown coverages all over the place yesterday. I saw a lot of basic mistakes in the games I watched parts of.

That doesn't excuse the Eagles problems. We must get better. These mistakes are fixable and must be addressed. I just think that you have to understand all 32 teams are rough around the edges right now. The Titans are 0-2. The Steelers can't score. The Ravens are allowing 25 points a game. The Giants only had 12 yards rushing in the 1st half last night. And so on. If these problems are here in the next week or two then we do have a serious problem. The first couple of games are always a period of adjustment and learning for the players and the coaches.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saints Denied!!! (50 points, that is)



Bad game. Sloppy game. We all wondered if Kevin Kolb and the offense would be good enough for us to win. We figured the defense would be beaten by Brees and the Saints, but would keep things under control. STs pointed in our favor based on the opening week.

That's why they play the games.

Kolb throws for 391 yards and a pair of TDs. The defense gives up 440 yards and 41 points. The STs has costly penalties over and over and a fumbled KOR leads to an easy TD for New Orleans.

Give the Saints a lot of credit. They made big play after big play. Brees was terrific, as usual. I hated our defensive strategy. We tried to rely on the front four to bring pressure most of the time. The Saints blocked well and Brees had enough time to pick us apart.

Kolb played well. He looked like an NFL QB. He was poised in the pocket, ran the offense, and threw the ball well. Any questions about his arm strength should be over now. He did have 3 INTs. One came on the final play and was simply a case of him heaving the ball downfield. The other 2 were costly, but they were typical of a young QB. Adjusting to the speed of the game and dealing with veteran defenders isn't something that you get without experience.

We ran a lot of gimmicky stuff. I wasn't sure if that was the Philadelphia Eagles or I was watching someone like Cal Poly or Navy. Some of the Wildcat and trick stuff was well done and smart. You need any edge possible when playing a backup QB. I thought Andy overdid it, though.

The biggest problem we had was the Red Zone. Kolb struggled down there. The playcalling was too creative. God forbid we line up in the I-formation and try to run behind the big OL. Instead we did all kinds of stuff. Even when we ran it was based on tricks. If you don't run the ball in a conventional set up it takes away using play-action passes. I thought Kevin was handcuffed by this.

I'm not down on the team or coaching staff. This was going to be a tough game no matter what. I was disappointed with the performance, but I mostly saw mistakes based on execution, not a lack of talent or coaching. Those kinds of mistakes are fixable.


* Brent Celek had a great game.

* Winston Justice seemed to play pretty well.

* Akeem Jordan had another INT. I have to look up the last time we had a LB with multiple picks in a whole season, let alone 2 games.

* DeSean Jackson showed how valuable he is. He had 4-104 and a TD. He ran the Wildcat for us a few times.

Link to the gamebook:

Gameday - NO


* Are you ready for the beginning of the Kevin Kolb era? He will be starting today. We've talked about it enough. Now we have to see what Kevin can do.

* Gregg Williams is the Saints Defensive Coordinator. He kept things somewhat simple vs DET. I'm sure he saved some tricks for us. Gregg was very good running the defense in both TEN and WAS. He had very good players at both spots. He doesn't have that same kind of talent now. It will be interesting to see what kind of success he'll have this year. He and Big Red have squared off plenty of times.

* Quintin Mikell is going to be a key figure today. If you remember the 2006 game vs NO that was when Michael Lewis blew a coverage assignment late in the game and it cost him his job. Mikell is an aggressive run defender, but he must be cautious not to vacate his area too quickly. A good play fake could lead to a big pass play.

* The starting RG will be Max Jean-Gilles. The team wants to mix in Stacy Andrews. This doesn't shock me. Stacy didn't look great last week. I wrote during the offseason that I had concerns about whether he'd be ready for the beginning of the season. Stacy tore his ACL in late December. Trying to come back from that as well as adjusting to a new team and new blocking techniques was asking a lot. Stacy didn't get as many reps as needed in the preseason. I have no problem with the Eagles playing both Max and Stacy at RG.


LB Joe Mays
WR Reggie Brown
WR Brandon Gibson
S Quintin Demps
OG Todd Herremans
QB Michael Vick
OL Mike McGlynn
QB Donovan McNabb

Interesting to see that DE Jason Babin is active. We need all the pass rushers we can get today.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Strategy and Matchups - NO


Who dat? Who dat? Who dat, gonna beat dem Saints?

Kevin freaking Kolb, that's who.

Listen up, my bayou brethren. You think having McNabb on the sidelines is a good thing. Au contraire. Kolb is a lethal weapon, poised to explode on the NFL scene and announce his mega-awesomeness. He's been pulling the rope-a-dope in his backup appearances to this point. He's lulled you to sleep and now you're about to get a face full of corn on the Kolb. Game time is pain time and your beloved Saints will be hurting all day long on Sunday.

How's that for early season smack talk?


The center of attention is going to be Kevin Kolb. How will he do in his first career start? All joking aside, we have no idea. I do think the situation sets up nicely for him. The Saints D isn't on par with the Giants, Ravens, or anyone like that.

We need to protect him first and foremost. I re-watched the Saints opener and they didn't get a ton of pressure on Matt Stafford. Their only sack came from MLB Jonathan Vilma on a blitz. The Saints didn't blitz DBs very much from what I saw. They mainly brought LBs. Our OL should be able to handle their OL. We should be able to mostly control their blitz. The Saints LBs are solid players, but none of them are dynamic rushers.

Big Red better let us run the ball this week. We need to feed the ball to Westy, McCoy, and Weaver. A good running game is crucial to success for a backup QB. Our OL did a good job on run plays last week, especially as the day wore on. I expect that to continue this week.

Regular readers know I love the play called Flip 90. It works well against the Saints. Detroit ran it twice in the first 18 minutes of the game and it got them a good gain and a TD. We ran it the last time we played New Orleans in '07 and it worked well. I hope we run that to Shady this week. He's got the speed to get outside and turn that into a big play. The New Orleans LBs are N-S guys. They can attack downhill, but lack the speed to get outside as quickly as most teams would prefer.

We must stretch the field in the passing game. Kolb was 7 of 11 for 23 yards last week. That kind of attack won't cut it. Wouldn't surprise me to see us go deep in the first series. Even if we don't hit on a homerun ball, we need to complete passes in the intermediate area (11-20 yds). If we play small ball the Saints will just load 8 men into the box and stifle us. DeSean Jackson tweaked his groin the other day (don't try that at home). We need his vertical speed. We need him to give us a big play, whether a long pass or a short one where he uses his RAC skills. We need D-Jax to get loose.


Pressure. We must bring the heat if we want to slow down Brees and the Saints. We need this to come from the starting DL, the pass rush specialists, and any blitzers who attack.

You can't have a standard gameplan. Brees is a master at short passes. He can 3-step drop you to death. We'll need to play a lot of D-linemen to keep the guys fresh. We need Bunk and Patt to push the pocket. We need the ends to get pressure off the edge.

Trent Cole vs Jermon Bushrod is a matchup that definitely tilts our way. Bushrod also is battling an ankle injury. I'm sure New Orleans will give him plenty of help when they do want to throw downfield. That means the other guys will have 1-on-1 battles a lot of the time. Those players must win and hit Brees.

I don't care how many sacks we get. The point is to bring pressure to keep him from getting in a rhythm and finding his comfort zone. Drew doesn't have a great arm. If he has guys at his feet that could affect some of his passes.

Drew will force some downfield throws. He did this several times against the Lions. They picked one pass. Others were unchallenged. We need the corners to cover tightly and play the ball when it comes their way. This could be Asante Samuel's week to shine.

Macho Harris will have a lot of pressure on him. The Saints will test us vertically. They have some fast receivers. Macho has to stay deep and play the ball when he gets the chance. The last time we beat NO Dawk was hurt early in the game and JR Reed was the FS. We did a solid job on them. Macho can handle this.

Who were the linebackers the last time we played the Saints? Chris Gocong, Omar Gaither, and Akeem Jordan were the starting trio. These guys know how hard it is to play against the Saints offense. If you go back to the two losses we had to them in 2006 it was lack of speed at linebacker that really killed us (Trotter was brutal). That was better in the 2007 game and is good now. Gaither didn’t face a lot of running plays up the middle last week since Carolina likes to run to the edges so much. This week will be different. The Saints will attack the middle. Patterson and Bunkley need to control the blockers and clog the lanes. Gaither needs to get to the ball and tackle well. The most pleasant surprise last week was Jordan becoming more of a playmaker. He got his first career interception and sack. I’d love to see him build off of that. Make more plays.

Sean McDermott was masterful in the season opener. He'll have his hands full with Sean Payton and Drew Brees. Those guys are a supreme challenge. I trust that McDermott will stay aggressive. I think he'll have a couple of new wrinkles to show the Saints. The big key is execution. Guys have to make plays when they get a chance.


This game won't be won by scheme. This game will be about controlling the LOS and protecting the QB. We can win those battles. Kolb doesn't have to outplay Brees. We've got a strong enough team to carry a young QB making his first start. It would help if Kevin made some plays.

We started slow last week and then started to play with an edge. I hope the blowout didn't cause us to lose that edge. The goal line stand at the end was good. You never know if momentum can carry from one week to the next. I guess we'll see on Sunday. Getting off to a 2-0 start would be huge. Both teams are NFC opponents, as well as probably solid teams.

This is only a Week 2 matchup, but the game could tell us a lot about each team. Can the Eagles win without McNabb? Can the defense shut down a great offense? Is this finally a team that will play at a high level each week? The Saints need to show their defense has improved and that they can win on the road against a good team. Last year's signature road win came at KC. Not good.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Know Your Enemy - NO


Let's take a quick look at the 1-0 Saints. They won their opener by picking on the helpless Detroit Lions. Final score was 45-27.

The Saints feature a great offense led by QB Drew Brees. The mastermind of the attack is Coach Sean Payton. He is my favorite playcaller in the whole league and has some really good weapons to work with.

Brees has gone from underrated player to just off the radar of the Brady/Manning area. That's a very impressive leap. Drew deserves all the praise that he gets. He isn't the biggest or most athletic guy. He lacks an explosive arm. He's special because he's very smart, very accurate, moves around well, and has great vision. He can "throw guys open". Michael Vick needs to be looking directly at an open player to think of him as open. Drew knows there are certain places he can throw the ball where his guy can go get it. You call this luck the first 50 times it happens, but we're now on year 4. This ain't luck.

The offense is built on a power run game, but features a lot of passing. Last week the Saints had 35 run plays and 34 passes. That came with their top RB hurt and the explosive Reggie Bush not running well. Coach Payton loves balance. He really puts pressure on the defense to cover the whole field and every player. NO will throw downfield. They throw out wide. They run up the middle and off the edge. They are so effective because all this is done in the flow of the offense and they have the players to execute such a dynamic attack.

The backfield has Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, and Bush as the main weapons. Thomas is the best pure runner. Bush is the exploisve weapon. Bell is the healthiest guy. He is a N-S runner with some wiggle.

The receivers are a mixture. Marques Colston is big and physical. He's normally very productive. Devery Henderson is the speedy big play guy. Lance Moore is a better version of Jason Avant. Robert Meachem is a young guy still trying to find his place. And they've got some jerk at TE named Jeremy Shockey. I seem to recall playing him at some point in the past.

There has been some shuffling on the OL. LT Jammal Brown has dealt with a hip injury and is out for about 6 weeks. His backup is Jermon Bushrod (Towson). He's a young guy with potential, but Bushrod is battling a bad ankle himself. The best blocker is RG Jahri Evans. He can open holes for the runners or protect Brees. The rest of the line is solid, but unspectacular (C. Nicks - LG, J. Goodwin - C, J. Stinchcomb - RT).


The defense is a base 4-3. Except when they run a 3-4. I watched the season opener and was surprised to see them dabbling in the 3-4. NO hasn't had a top defense in a while. They finished 23rd last year and 26th the year before. At least they're consistent, right?

The big problem recently was the secondary. NO just gave up too many big pass plays. They've worked on that area quite a bit, but we still don't know how the moves will pay off. We need to give them 6 or 8 games before we can really see a pattern develop, good or bad.

Let's go back to the front of the D. The best interior lineman is Sedrick Ellis. He had 4 sacks last year. Athletic guy with a good motor. Kendrick Clancy does a lot of the dirty work. Will Smith is the most talented DE. At his best, Will is a disruptive player, whether attacking off the edge or up the middle. He only had 3 sacks last year. Charles Grant and Bobby McCray are the other DEs. McCray had 6 sacks last year to lead the team.

The LBs are solid. MLB Jonathan Vilma is the best of the bunch. He has good range and is an outstanding tackler. He had the team's only sack last week. Scott Fujita and Scott Shanle are okay on the outside.

Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter are the CBs. Roman Harper and Darren Sharper are the Safeties. Greer has quietly developed into a good player. Porter is young and has a lot of talent. He is banged up right now. Sharper is 150 years old and slow, but he still has great hands and a nose for the ball.


PK John Carney is older than Sharper. The P is Thomas Marstead. Bush is the PR and has explosive potential. Meachem is the KOR.


* The Saints have the 2nd oldest team in the league (only WAS is older)
* They have finished 8-8 and 7-9 the last couple of years.
* Top draft pick DB Malcolm Jenkins is mainly playing on STs right now.


Here is the gamebook:


I did tape the game and re-watch part of it. The Lions played hard, but clearly weren't close to the Saints in terms of talent or organization. That will only come with time.

OFFENSE --- Typical Saints, they did a little of everything. They lined Bush up at WR and threw to him. They ran a Flea Flicker. They threw a screen pass to the FB. They fed backup RB Mike Bell 28 carries for 143 yards. Brees threw 6 TD passes. The Lions got little pressure. With a clean pocket Brees is very tough. He did force some downfield passes into coverage. We could pick a pass or two if Drew does the same thing this week.

DEFENSE --- Played both 4-3 and 3-4. Blitzed the LBs a decent amount. They came off the edge and up the middle. I thought DE Bobby McCray looked good on some pass plays. He knows how to get to the QB. LB Scott Shanle had some quality tackles and played well. He finished with 5 tackles, TFL, and an INT. Darren Sharper picked off 2 passes. I didn't get a good feel for the secondary because of how erratic rookie QB Matt Stafford was.

STs --- The Saints were dreadful. Check out these major mistakes:

* Bush fumbled on a punt return
* Bush later muffed a punt
* NO gave up 43 yd PR
* NO gave up 87 yd KOR
* DET blocked a Saints FG

That looks like a bad month, not just a bad game. Philly fans would go to Ted Daisher's house, pick him up, and carry him to the state line if the Eagles had a game like that.

I'll cover strategy and matchups on Friday.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Stuff


I was going to post some info on the Saints today, but didn't get around to studying last week's game yet. I'll do that on Thursday.

The topic du jour is still Kevin Kolb starting on Sunday. has a good interview with Kevin. He says some real interesting stuff. Check it out:

- Link -

I still get questions about whether Jeff Garcia should start over Kolb. No. You need to start Kevin. He's been here. He knows the playbook. He only missed a couple of weeks this summer. Other than that he's worked hard for this opportunity. If he struggles in the 1st half you can consider changing to Garcia. We really need to see exactly how he plays before we have that discussion. If Kevin looks hopeless, then I'm fine with the move. If he's just a bit rough around the edges, I stick with him.

One of the points I've made is that we need to see Kevin play to find out where he's at. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that winning the Saints game isn't important and that the focus is on playing Kevin. Not at all.

I think Kevin is a talented player. I think he'll have good blocking and good weapons to work with. He's at home. He's got a good defense on his side. Kevin doesn't have to be a star for us to win this week. I think he can play well enough for us to win. I think the risk of playing him is worth it. I do fully understand that he could struggle mightily and cost us the game. If I thought that we had little to no shot of winning because of him, I would not play Kevin. I know some fans do feel that he kills our chance of winning. That's fine. We'll have to wait for Sunday to see what happens.


Apparently the Eagles declined to pick up an option on Brian Westbrook's contract and he will now be a free agent after the 2010 season. He will turn 32 on 9/2/2011. At that point you have to wonder what kind of future Westy has. What kind of value does he have? I think the Eagles are smart to let him test the market if he likes. Hopefully Shady will show us enough that he can be the starter at that point. I'd love to keep Brian around as part of the mix. He can run, catch, and return kicks. Even if he's no longer a workhorse runner he has value. Or maybe some crazy owner will give him a big deal for past glory.

Brian Mitchell was a terrific role player for us and Westy has a lot more natural talent than B-Mitch. I could see Westy being a really good player for a while, especially if you get him back on punt returns. I'm just not sure how much longer he'll be a starting RB.


RE: Any worries about Trent Cole wearing down?

I think we have a deep enough DL that we'll be okay. You want Trent on the field for 45 or so snaps a game. He does play hard, though, and you do need to make sure he's not doing too much. Sean will watch him closely. Trent is our best player in the front seven. You have to balance keeping him fresh with keeping him on the field.

RE: Justice vs recent Runyan

Jon was still far more physical. Winston is far more athletic. It is hard for me to compare the two guys in depth because Justice only has the one game of significant playing time. Consistency is the hallmark of good players. Winston hasn't shown anything in that area. A good game on Sunday would give him 2 in a row and make him and me feel better.

Winston had some good moments in the opener, but I'm still waiting for the one block or set of blocks that gets me excited. Just going off memory I know Jon had some great blocks in the ATL game last year that paved the way for Westy. Justice has nothing like that so far.

RE: Roadhouse

I'm told it is a great "bad movie". I don't mean to disparage it. Here is a great review of it:

- Link -

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Busy Day


Where do I start?

Shawn Andrews was placed on IR today. My initial reaction was " that the end for him?". Let's talk a bit about this move.

The Eagles needed to free up a spot for the return of QB Jeff Garcia. I figured the team would cut one of the fringe guys (Antonio Dixon maybe). Instead they made a bold decision and put the Big Kid out to pasture for the year.

10 days ago Shawn was our projected starter at RT. Now his career as an Eagle is very much up in the air. I know some people want him cut right now. I think the Eagles will keep him around and deal with next year when this season is done. I can guarantee you there will be no more special treatment.

If Andrews comes back next season he will have to fight for anything and everything. Miss a day of practice? Cut him. Back flares up? Cut him. The Eagles may just figure that he's not worth dealing with at all and let him go in February.

The sad part of this is that Shawn had the potential to develop into a Hall of Fame player. He could have been the best G of his generation or possibly a star OT. Now I'm willing to bet that his NFL career ended last September in the 1st half of the loss at Dallas. What a waste.


The answer for now is Winston Justice, but that is a temporary fix. We have Todd Herremans coming back from an injury in a week or two. I think Andy will move Todd out to the right side.

The goal is to get the 5 best players together on the line. Nick Cole was solid last year at G. He played well in the opener at LG. I don't know about Juan Castillo, but I'd grade Nick higher than Justice. Since Todd can take over either spot I'd rather have him at RT.

Todd would love to play OT anyway. The move could be a preview of the future. There still is the possibility of Stacy Andrews moving there. I doubt that happens this year. Stacy is coming off the torn ACL and is adjusting to a new offense and style of blocking. He's played G the last few months. Just leave him there for now. Next year? I'd prefer Todd at OT, but Stacy certainly has the size and skill set to be a good RT.

I know many people think the team should go sign Jon Runyan. Don't count on that. I get the feeling that Big Jon would want to play. I'm not sure that he'd be one of our 5 best OL. The real key with him is how he looked in his workout. I'm guessing he didn't blow anyone away since he hasn't yet signed with anyone.


The Eagles released WR Hank Baskett today in order to activate Michael Vick. This move came as a surprise.

We had a glut of receivers. Something had to give. Why Hank? He was expendable, to quote John J. Rambo. Hank was a good blocker. He played on STs. But he never developed a special talent at WR. That made him a fringe player and someone that wasn't assured of a roster spot.

The dropped endzone pass vs JAX didn't help his cause. Hank had potential as a big target, but he didn't prove to be gifted at catching the fade. He didn't get a lot of chances. That meant that every drop or catch would be magnified.

The other x-factor with Hank is that he's scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the year. The Eagles may not have felt he was part of the future.

Why activate Vick a week early? There is no definite answer. My best guess is that they simply wanted to get Vick extra reps. He looked very raw in the preseason. Mike needs all the work he can get. I do not think he'll start at QB anytime soon (if at all this year). Vick showed that he's got a long way to go as a passer. He was slow to make reads. He didn't see the field well. He waited for players to come open instead of anticipating routes.

Every practice rep will help him get better, whether as a normal QB or just a Wildcat QB. Football isn't one of those things you can just do with little prep. There is a right way and a wrong way to do just about everything. Players need a lot of time to make certain movements habitual. This is true for rookies who are learning the NFL way and for veterans who are trying to unlearn bad habits. Everyone needs work. Mike just needs a lot more at this point.

Tuesday Thoughts


I finished the 4th quarter. Here are some thoughts from that:

* Jordan had a subtle, but powerful hit on Muhammad that put him on the ground and in pain. Originally I thought Q was the hitter.

* Trent Cole came free up the middle on another play and just missed a sack.

* We lined up with 5 DL on one pass play, but not all rushed.

* Cole bull-rushed Gross late in the game and pushed him right to the QB. That flushed the passer and let Darren get his 2nd sack.

* Juqua had TFL on 4th/GL run at end of game.

* McCoy is fun to watch. He's gonna be pretty good when he figures things out.


Trent Cole played a great, great game. He was disruptive all game long. He hustled all over the field. He was around the QB throughout the game. I bet Jake Delhomme and Jordan Gross will have nightmares about #58.

I was re-checking the 1st quarter so I could comment about a defensive adjustment and noticed a play I missed the other night.

CAR is in a 2-TE set. They have Dante Rosario over Cole. Dante is lovely young man. He's got many fine attributes. But blocking isn't one of them.

At the snap Trent fires off the ball and knocks Dante onto his backside. Trent then turns and grabs the RB as he tries to run by. Coaches should show that tape to young DEs on how to attack TEs when they line up over you. Rosario isn't that much smaller than Trent, but he looked like a HS kid the way he was floored. Wow, just wow.

I love Trent Cole.


Adding Jeff Garcia was smart. He has been a starter in the WCO for more than a decade. Jeff can jump right on the field and quickly know what he's doing. He also seems a little iffy about playing. That tells me he is more likely to be fine with sitting if that's all he ends up doing. Jeff = good insurance policy. And he's not high maintenance.

If Donovan does sit and we play a backup I think it will be Kevin. However, I'm sure AR won't leave Kevin in there if he's stinking up the joint. If Kevin is playing okay and we're losing, he stays. If we're winning, he stays. If he's really struggling and we're losing I could easily see Big Red putting Garcia in there to see if he can jump start the offense.

I think Reid knows we've got a chance to be a SB team this year and has made his decisions accordingly (Babin over Smith, Patterson over Jack, etc). AR has shown a win-now mode more than in the past.


Izzy the other day asked about a comment from Omar. What changes did the defense make to slow them down after the first series. CAR attacked the edges well on the opening drive.

After that we seemed to have the DEs focus more on playing outside in. We also brought up guys to the LOS at times. Mikell flew up to the edge a time or two. We mostly played our LBs inside, meaning that all 3 were off the ball and between the DEs. This look is often called Double Eagle by offensive teams.



You can see where that look puts pressure on the DEs to stay wide. Early on it seemed like our guys were crashing hard to the inside, as if we expected CAR to focus on inside running.

We did at times play a LB on the LOS. That helps with keeping things funneled to the inside.




I used a line from Red Dawn yesterday. I didn't know Patrick Swayze had died at the time.

Red Dawn
had special meaning to the kids of my generation. It might seem a bit cheesey to some people these days, but I was inspired by it. No way any Russian SOBs were gonna take me or my friends out. That movie allowed kids like me to live out the fantasy of fighting the evil invaders. To the movie's credit, it sure doesn't glorify things. We obviously paid less attention to the parts where the kids don't fare so well. We focused on the good stuff.

Swayze played Jed Eckert, the head honcho. He was great in the role. He'll always be Jed to me. I didn't watch a movie of his made after that until I saw Point Break last year. I hated the thought of Swayze looking like a goofball in Dirty Dancing, Roadhouse, or Ghost. He made a bunch of movies, but I wouldn't watch any of them. I wasn't about to bring dishonor to the memory of Jed Eckert. I finally caved to see Point Break and what that was all about. Don't count on me watching the other stuff anytime soon.

Swayze's best acting came in an episode of MASH when he played a soldier that had Leukemia. That's one of the better episodes of the show.

RIP, Jed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Let's Talk About QB


The Eagles signed Jeff Garcia this afternoon. AJ Feeley reportedly turned down the Eagles so he could go sign with the Panthers. We still have Kevin Kolb in place. And Donovan hasn't ruled out playing this week.

What will happen? What should happen?

Let's talk about Kolb. I know a lot of fans are down on him. I am a fan of his, but I certainly understand some of the criticism. I've gotten several questions about whether I'd prefer Kevin or AJ as the QB this week. I'm sure that would be amended to Kevin or Jeff at this point. Many fans just don't trust Kevin.

I want Kolb to start on Sunday. He got in the game this week. He got a feel for game speed. Let him practice all week with the starters. Let's put Kevin in the best position to succeed. We can then judge what he does against the Saints in a fair way.

Seeing a guy come in for mop-up duty or to play part of a game isn't always the best way to get a read on a player's future. Starting QBs get practice reps. They play regularly. These things are important.

Frankly, we need to see where Kevin is. A poor showing vs the Saints could tell us that he isn't meant to be an NFL starter. That could permanently put him on the bench. A so-so game would be open to interpretation. Fans would cherry-pick the good stuff, while critics would harp on his faults. A good showing would give us all hope that he's got a future in the league.

AJ Feeley has shown that he is an effective spot starter, but that he's really meant to be a backup. Nothing wrong with that. Backups are important. We have no idea about Kevin. Jeff Garcia has shown that he can be a good starter. Tampa was 6-6 with him as a starter last year. And they weren't exactly loaded with elite players.

I know Eagles fans love AJ. I get that. He was 4-1 for us back in 2002. He came back in 2006 and played most of the game vs ATL at the end of the year and led us to a win. He started 2 games in 2007 and we could have won both (NE, SEA). AJ is fun to watch and makes things exciting. The last time he won a game where he was the actual starter was December of 2004. Miami beat the Browns. Let's keep AJ in perspective. Very good backup, but there is no guarantee he would lead us to a win.

Kolb hasn't done anything in his Eagles career that fans can get excited about. All anyone thinks about is the Ed Reed INT debacle. Some people have an open mind, but many fans have hated Kolb since the day he was picked. How do you spend pick #36 on a QB with McNabb in place? That's their mentality and they won't accept him unless he does something great. The problem is that they don't want him to get on the field to have a chance to show what he can do.

I can't stress enough the importance of having a week of preparation. Kevin started for 4 years in HS. He started all 4 years at Houston. Being a backup QB feels completely unnatural to him. Let's give him a week of practice. Let's see what he can do. I have kept an open mind with Kolb. If he does go out and suck, we can at least know that is what happened with no excuses. I'm tired of the uncertainty with him.

The Saints present an interesting challenge because they have such a good offense. We can't go into this game expecting to keep the score low and win. We'll need 24 points. The offense has to show up. The good news is that the Saints don't have a juggernaut defense.

It doesn't sound like McNabb can make the injury worse by playing, but I'd rather him rest up and be ready for the rest of the season. Donnie is a tough guy. He'll try to make something happen and could take another big hit. Let him heal and play Kevin. That's the smart thing to do.

We've got enough weapons on offense that Kevin should be able to be effective. Hand the ball to Westy, Shady, or even D-Jax. Throw short passes to Celek. Throw deeper balls to Curtis. Get the ball to Avant in the middle of the field. The weapons are in place. Let's see what Kevin can do. As the one kid says to Patrick Swayze in Red Dawn, "We need to know".


AJ Feeley going to the Panthers makes sense. He can step in there as the #2. Jake Delhomme has a shaky hold on the QB job. That could meant that AJ would get a chance to start for them at some point. All players want to play. I totally understand his choice of going to Carolina. I hope he plays for them and does well, unless we face them again of course.

Game Review is Posted


It was a pleasure to check out this game. Here's the DGR:

* Link *

I was very impressed with McDermott and the defense. The OL stood out more on tape than I expected. Lots of stuff to be happy about.

I don't have any updates on Donovan's situation. No real new info is leaking out quite yet. I'm gonna put together a post on him for a bit later. I need to do some research and thinking for that.


Dawk led Denver with 11 tackles yesterday. Buck ran for 46 yds. Lito had a pick for the Jets. Remember, we want him to do well. The better Lito plays, the more likely we are to get a good pick.


Did anyone watch the GB/CHI game? The Packers RT was atrocious. He made Winston Justice look like a HOF'er. Runyan ought to be calling the Packers up. Watch BUF tonight on MNF. The Bills have some interest in Jon.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quick Post Game Thoughts


Great defensive showing. We had 5 sacks and 7 takeaways. We forced Jake to the bench and then knocked Josh McCown out of the game. We got big plays from every level of the defense. Very exciting stuff. Sean McDermott called a great game and better get a game ball.

You can see the potential this group has. We can rush the passer. We can cover. We can play the run. One big difference today was the LBs making plays. That is what we lacked last year. Great start.

The offense was pretty good. We ran the ball well and executed in the Red Zone. That's all that was needed. There are some definite issues to work on. The big story is Donovan's health. Andy just said that he's got a fractured rib. Andy won't rule him out for next week, but Donnie sure looked to be in a lot of pain as he walked around.

Kevin Kolb had a bad day today. He didn't look ready to play and was sloppy. The playcalling didn't help him and the blocking was sloppy, but Kevin wasn't good. I'm a fan of his. I've liked him for years. Kevin gave his critics plenty of ammo with that showing.

Westy and Shady did look good. Brian had some pep in his step. LeSean is fast. He gets to the edge in a hurry.

Peanut showed just what a dynamic guy he can be. He didn't do much as a receiver, but his runs and PR TD had a big impact on the game. He is a weapon.

Special Teams was all over the place. Too many mistakes. They'll get worked on. You have to remember that this group didn't play together on STs in the preseason. Today was their first live showing. I did love DeSean's TD and Akers 48-yard FG. You like it when STs can deliver impact plays.

I'm gonna watch some football and then get started on the Game Review. Fun day.