Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Busy Day


Where do I start?

Shawn Andrews was placed on IR today. My initial reaction was "wow...is 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.


rick said...

I had a feeling Reid was pissed at Andrews by the way he left practice that day. He confirmed it today. Even the quote he had wishing Shawn well in his recovery sounded like he had just been released. I agree with you that the special treatment is over - he is officially on notice. Maybe this is the wake up call the Big Kid needs to grow up. At the very least, this gives Shawn another year to get his head together and recommit to playing football.
I'm happy Baskett was the WR to get released. Everyone talks about his blocking and his ST play, but he has bad receiving skills. You mentioned the drop in the Jax game but what about the drop in the closing minutes of the NFC Championship game? I like Reggie Brown - he had a decent PS and I think he's a much better receiver than the Hankster. And I think Reggie is good insurance if Curtis isn't around next year.

Joe said...

How do you think McD and Reid will try to keep Cole from wearing down over the course of the year?

Also, I would never lump Roadhouse in with Dirty Dancing and some of the other cheese...Roadhouse was a awesome bad movie.

Stephen said...

From everything I've read from people who know what they're talking about (rather than the armchair doctors who have suddenly popped up all over the place with an opinion on the eagles boards) back spasms are extremely difficult to control and are often a soft tissue problem, not the kind of thing that shows up on an X-ray or MRI. If Shawn's spasms started again we may have decided that this just isn't a problem that is going to go away. It's an unfortunate thing, but people who have dealt with back spasms say they're unpredictable and oftentimes make just walking difficult, much less trying to play football. Not the kind of thing that you can just "play through". It's a shame people are comparing this injury to Runyans tailbone problems etc. and citing that as a reason that Shawn is a "pussy". It's like comparing apples to oranges.

I'm guessing this might be the end of the road for Shawn. People have said that it took them years of conditioning and strengthening their back before the spasms became manageable, and it doesn't help that Shawn is an OL where carrying lots of weight is pretty much mandatory.

While I feel for Shawn I'm extremely disappointed because he was the key guy that was going to take our OL from good to dominant. I mean its not even close the difference in talent between a Winston Justice and a Shawn Andrews, and even Todd Herremans is a step down from Shawn. Fortunately our OL played quite well in the opener so this is a hurdle we can overcome.

tobylove said...

Hanks release reminds me that special teams will win you a roster spot, but it won't guarantee you one. Anyone can be a gunner, doesn't have to be a WR, and great special teamers are journeymen. It's the same as when we let go of Sean Morey. Everyone thought he was more or less a lock.

If Jackson or Curtis gets injured, I'd rather see Brown out there than anyone, even Maclin. Especially in a big game.

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ Toby...

Great way of explaining Hank's situation. I may steal that from you.

RE: Shawn's back

Shawn's back is a legitimate problem. However, there are also legitimate concerns about how bad it truly is. Shawn has done some things in the last 18 or so months that make people around the team question his dedication to the game. Is he using a sore back as an excuse? Is he really hurt and simply can't play?

I can't share all the stories I've heard. I can't verify 100% they are all true. I will say that Shawn is his own worst enemy. The stories about him weren't started for no reason. His words and actions make you question just how committed to playing football he is. Shawn works out. He stays in shape. This isn't a case of laziness. This is about giving yourself 100% to the game of football.

Shawn has this season to decide whether the NFL is in his future. If he is kept around next year he won't be able to miss practices. You either play or you hit the bricks.

Brendan said...

Just going off the preseason and last weeks performance, do you think that Justice is looking like a better player than the Runyan of the last two years? Clearly he doesn't have the experience or refined technique, but does his youth and athleticism make up for that enough to just leave him
out there to learn? I'm excited about him playing right tackle until Herremans returns and potentially giving him the opportunity to win the spot permanently...well at least until we draft a tackle this upcoming offseason.