Thread: New Coaches
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:46 PM   #17
Brad O.
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You know, Anthony, I agree with almost everything from your last post.
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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
If it wasn't for glaring double standards like this, there would be no need for the "Rooney Rule."
I agree. McCarthy is obviously enjoying some success this season, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was fair or reasonable for the Packers to hire him initially. The worst in recent memory, IMHO, was the 49ers' hire of Dennis Erickson a few years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Take it from someone who has followed schedule trends closely for more than 30 years: An .074 difference is a massive shift in schedule difficulty! It is only marginally less than the difference between the most difficult and least difficult schedules in the whole league in a typical year.
I know that .074 is a pretty big shift, but I think it's a little misleading in this case. The Chargers started 0-1 when they were scheduled against New England, who appears unbeatable. The other teams they've played are 65-68 (.489), which is not a huge jump in difficulty. This is especially true when you consider that the Chargers themselves appear worse this season. Take out their 14-2 mark against last year's opponents and those teams were 115-125 (.479). Subtract 7-4 (this is not including the Patriots) from this year's mark, and opponents are 61-61 (.500), plus one built-in loss. I know .021 isn't nothing, but it doesn't explain 10th to 20th in total defense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
And the state of the AFC West has nothing to do with it, since the Chargers obviously also competed in that division last year; it's the strength of the eight opponents they have/are playing this year that they didn't play last year that has changed.
Last year's AFC West included -- besides a terrific San Diego team -- a wildcard KC (9-7), a playoff contender in Denver (9-7), and the worst team in the NFL (2-14 Oakland). This season, the Chiefs are 4-8, the Broncos are 5-7, and the Raiders, while marginally improved, still suck (4-8).

It's overly simplistic, I think, to attribute that exclusively to the division's scheduling. The 2006 NFC West was miserable, but the AFC North was probably the strongest division in the league, with the 13-3 Ravens, playoff contenders in the Bengals and Steelers, and a Browns team that was at least a little better than its 4-12 record suggests.

This year's NFC North is not miserable, but the Lions, Vikings, and Bears -- all at or below .500 -- are hardly the '78 Steelers. And while the AFC South is terrific, I don't know that it's appreciably better than last year's AFC North.

The problems lie in the AFC West itself. The Raiders are still awful, and that offense requires a total overhaul of its personnel. The Broncos have struggled with injuries and consistency, and I think they miss Al Wilson. Kansas City's offense has simply disappeared. Those things go beyond having to play the Packers and Colts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
A team gets no credit for being a runner-up or a semifinalist; indeed, they are reviled for being a bunch of "choke artists." Personally I think this mind-set sucks, and I've said so, time and again on these boards, particularly when discussing baseball - yet at the same time, I acknowledge that my view (which happens to be essentially the same as yours) is the minority view, and has been for quite some time now (as I recall from that ESPN TV movie, Dale Earnhardt Sr. made his famous quote that "second place is the first loser" in the early 1970s, and Ken Stabler's "If you don't win the big one, the rest ain't worth a damn" quote dates from slightly later than that).
Unfortunately, many people do see things that way. I am not one of them. I'd rather see a team make the playoffs every season, never winning the big one, than win the Super Bowl once and go 5-11 for the next six years. It does seem to be a minority view.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
But you can't deny that the Eagles' front office has been in a perpetual state of denial about the wide receiver position for a very long time
This is the only Eagles-related point I can recall us agreeing on. The team needs to invest in quality receivers and a power running back. Right now too much rests on the shoulders of McNabb and Westbrook, and while those guys are exceedingly talented, they can't do it by themselves.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
McNabb is primarily, if not exclusively, responsible for getting the one decent receiver they have had since that time thrown off the team.
We differ on this point. Terrell Owens was a time bomb, and I don't think his explosion was McNabb's fault. It is worth pointing out that the team was just as successful without Owens -- three straight NFC Championships before he joined the team, and making it to the Super Bowl while he was injured -- as it was during his brief tenure with the team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Despite having more than their share of Pro Bowl offensive linemen, the Eagles went 21 consecutive years - from 1982 through 2002, all inclusive - of allowing more sacks than the league average, and this despite having some of the most mobile QBs in the league during that span. The one common denominator was the constant lack of speed at wide receiver, leading to coverage sacks and increased blitzing by opposing defenses. You'd think that after more than two decades of this, someone would have wised up?
I agree. The lack of talent at the wide receiver position has been and continues to be a major problem for McNabb in particular.

I do think Kevin Curtis shows some promise, and I don't think you've given him enough credit. He's 12th in the NFL with 904 receiving yards and 10th in receiving average (among players with at least 30 receptions) at 16.1. He's 11th in catches for 20 yards or more (12) and 6th in catches for 40 yards or more (4).

.................rec yd....avg.....20+
Curtis
..........904......16.1....12
Berrian
........883......13.8....11
L.Evans
.......689......15.3.....9
Stallworth
....631......15.8....10

I even think Reggie Brown can be a solid third receiver. But they do need a #1 guy. We've seen this year what Tom Brady can do when surrounded by top receiving talent. McNabb has had that opportunity only once, in 2004, and he responded with a career year. I've said many times before, and will now say again, that the Eagles have done McNabb a tremendous disservice by not giving him better personnel to work with. A top receiver and a short-distance finisher at RB could make an enormous positive difference for Philadelphia's offense.
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