Thread: New Coaches
View Single Post
Old 12-09-2007, 04:20 AM   #18
Anthony's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8,378
Anthony is on a distinguished road

Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
You know, Anthony, I agree with almost everything from your last post.

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.

But unless the Packers' front office had clairvoyant powers 18 months ago - and the Eagles' front office had those same powers back in 1999 - you have to admit that it doesn't look good when McCarthy - up to that point a proven failure as an offensive coordinator, and Reid - who as of the spring of 1999 had never been so much as a high-school-level coordinator in his entire life - got hired as head coaches, while Sherm Lewis then - who was Reid's immediate boss in Green Bay since he was their offensive coordinator - and Ted Cottrell more recently, were passed up.

It is rather obvious that Dr. King's dream is a long way from becoming a reality.

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.

Whether or not it accounts for the decline in statistical rankings may be one thing, but over the last five years the two or three teams that have taken the biggest jump in strength of schedule from one year to the next, based on the standings of "the season before" (the subject of the annual chart that I post here within a few days after the end of the regular season) have all had nightmare seasons the following year. San Diego's rise - also taken by Baltimore and the Jets - was "only" .047, when .060 to .070 is more frequent; but doesn't that only serve to strengthen the theory, given the havoc that .047 increase is wreaking on all three teams?

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.

But if you're the owner of a team you have to go after the 18-to-34 demographic - not the 55-to-84 demographic - since that's where your customers are, and that's where the money is (when was the last time you saw a septuagenarian wearing a brand new LaDainian Tomlinson replica jersey?). Yet Jeffrey Lurie is clearly not doing this: So long as all of the Eagles' home games aren't at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon, the fans aren't coming to the stadium wearing bags over their heads (or not showing up at all), and the announcers aren't J.C. Pearson and Matt Vasgersian, he's satisfied.

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.

Here you actually go a bit further than I do. Right now, on the Eagles Message Board - where I am registered under the all-too-appropriate screen name "Bill Slowsky" - there are these knuckleheads suggesting that the Eagles go after Chad Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or Roy Williams in a trade, even if it means giving up two first-round draft picks. And this might surprise you, but I'm dead-set against such foolishness - mainly because I remember the Mike McCormack Follies of the 1970s, and how it cost Dick Vermeil at the absolute least one Super Bowl championship, and quite possibly an outright dynasty.

But my problem with the Eagles front office regarding the wide receiver situation is this: While they are perfectly willing to invest middle-round draft picks (Billy McMullen, Jason Avant) and certainly mid-priced if not higher, free-agent money (Jabar Gaffney, Kevin Curtis) on possession receivers, they have not shown the same willingness to do it for speed receivers (why didn't they draft Yamon Figurs this past year, or pursue even someone like Andre Davis in free agency?). It's patently obvious that they don't think that having speed at wide receiver is important, despite 30 years' worth of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

As for the power back thing, they did draft Tony Hunt in the third round this year - a move I openly applauded. But he's not even being activated on game day most of the time despite having no injuries to speak of, and that's puzzling. Maybe if he had been in there the Eagles would have scored a touchdown on that final drive in the first half last Sunday against Seattle.

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.

Well how come that time bomb hasn't exploded in the face of Wade Phillips - who, as a white Southern, "Bubba" type, one figures would be very negatively predisposed to someone like T.O.?

And what about Donte' Stallworth, who wasn't anything even close to a "time bomb"? Had McNabb not been selfish and inconsiderate by nature and offered to restructure his obscenely bloated contract (the way Tom Brady stepped forward voluntarily and did a couple of years back), Stallworth would still be an Eagle, and McNabb would have been sacked at least 15 fewer times - and very possibly would not have gotten injured in the Miami game - and they would likely be 8-4 right now instead of 5-7.

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+

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.

You can reel off all the stats you want about Kevin Curtis. The truth is that defensive backs - and defensive coordinators - around the league have absolutely no respect for Curtis: Hence the aggressive, bump-and-run coverage at the line of scrimmage one has seen in essentially every Eagles game this year, when they were not employing this strategy last season when Stallworth was there - and before he got injured, McNabb was having an even better season in 2006 than he had in 2004, in that he was averaging 14.71 yards per completion, which was not only far and away the highest such figure in 2006, but would have been the highest average any NFL team had hung up in an entire season in more than a decade.

And Reggie Brown is a total no-hoper. Bernard Berrian would represent a massive upgrade - let's see them try that bump-and-run garbage with Berrian's 4.25 in there instead of Brown's 4.55.

Last edited by Anthony; 12-09-2007 at 04:44 AM.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote