Tagged with "Michael"
Monday Moaning 9-26-11
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NCAA Cleveland Jim Thome Cleveland Browns Michael Vick The Beeze New EnglandPatriots Notre Dame Cleveland Indians Brian Robiskie


  Well, that's the best thing I've seen all weekend!

Seriously, the past week pretty much sucked...Wednesday night the Little Beeze started getting sick...Fever, cough, congestion...We kept him away from the baby, and our oldest daughter...Because if she gets sick, she gets it ten times worse then anyone else...Luckily, they were okay...Unfortunately, Thursday night I started feeling like shit...Then the wife came home with a piece of metal stuck in her tire...

I pulled it out and put the donut on...I figured I'd get the tire fixed Friday...Friday morning I woke up feeling awful, with my wife telling me her tire was flat...WTF!...So I got the kids up and ready in a hurry...Took the wife to work dropped the oldest at school, and the sick boy, and the baby at the sitters...Then I dropped the tire at shop...Onto work...

Saturday morning came, and I was rocking a 102 degree fever and I had a double to work...I called my boss to see if there was a way out, but he didn't answer...He did work a long Friday shift and probably washed all the pain away with a 12-pack of Miller High Life...So I loaded up on Day-Quil and vitamins and went in...Thankfully he came in a couple hours later, got some one to cover the night shift, and sent me home...

I got home, poured some cough syrup down my throat, got in bed, and turned on the TV...Notre Dame was at Pitt...I was barley paying attention, when Tommy Rees threw another of his many interceptions this season...I rolled over and fell asleep in disgust...I woke up around 5:30PM had some soup, talked to the wife and kids a bit, and then I laid down with the baby for another nap...It wasn't until after 9:00PM when I found out the Irish won an ugly game...I'm glad they won, and I'm really happy to see the defense nutting up again...But it's time to get Tommy Rees out of there...The turnovers are a killer, and he's not built for this offense...

And let's be honest...The Irish have two losses, they aren't going anywhere...Yeah, if they keep winning, they land in a good bowl game, but this team isn't going to make the noise that we hoped...So let's get the kids in there...I prefer Crist over Rees, but Andrew Hendrix is build for Kelly's spread offense...And freshman Everett Golson has a strong arm and is a great runner...He is what Kelly recruited for this offense...So let's see what they can do...

Because of all the sleep I got during the afternoon and evening, I caught most of the Arizona State vs. USC game...I loved the way ASU played, and seeing USC lose is always good...

Now to Sunday...I did a lot of sleeping in the morning...Then just hung out with the kids...Did a bunch of make up school work with the Little Beeze...And then there was the Browns game...They didn't have Hillis, just their best player...Apparently he was sick too...

So I just heard a local TV anchor tease the Browns coverage saying, "The Browns get a huge win over the Dolphins!" (in that douche tv voice) Ummm ass-hat, they came from behind, in the last minute, to beat a horrible Dolphins team 17-16...That's not a huge win! They squeaked it out...They got lucky...They should be happy their defense played well...Although, again it was the Dolphins...And Colt McCoy looked like crap all day, until that final drive...And can some one please tell me how and why Brian Robiskie is on this team...How did he start the season as one of the two top WR's? Just for all you stat-hounds out there who are wondering why I am dumping on him...Dude has zero receptions...Please get the fuck off the field!

The Patriots lost to the Bills...Holy fucking shit Batman! The Pats showed they are one dimensional...They better learn how to run the ball or more teams are going to upset them like the Bills did...

Oh, and did you see Michael Vick pissing and moaning because, as he says, “Everybody saw the game, I’m on the ground constantly. All the time. Every time I throw the ball, in all my highlights and just watching film in general, every time I throw the ball, I’m on the ground, getting hit in the head, and I don’t know why I don’t get the 15-yard flags like everybody else do. But I’m not going to complain about it, just making everybody aware and hopefully somebody will take notice. The ref has to do his job and I’m not blaming the referees by any stretch. I’m just saying everybody on the field should do their job.”

So after he complains, he says, he's not going to complain...Never mind that you and the Eagles complained about this last year too, including sending video to the league to review....After he calls out the refs, he says he's not blaming the refs...Either that concussion was worse then we thought, or this fucking guy is an idiot!

Is Vick treated unfairly? Is Vick treated unfairly because he is such a running threat? Is Vick treated unfairly because the refs are dog lovers...I don't know if any of those are true...I'm just confident that Vick is being a bitch because he knows he's fragile...Fucking guy has always gotten hurt, and will continue to...

The last thing I'm going write about is Jim Thome and the Cleveland Indians...The Indians announced Friday that they would be putting up a statue of Thome, at the spot where he hit the longest home run in the history of Jacobs Field...I don't call it Progressive Field....I have to say, I'm not real excited about this, unlike many other Cleveland Indians fans...I refer back to THIS!

Yes, Thome was a huge part of a great period of Indians Baseball...And yes, I would say his numbers earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame...But I'm just not sold on the statue thing...The Bob Feller statue we have makes sense to me...Jordan in Chicago...Orr in Boston...Those make sense...But a statue for a guy who hasn't even retired yet??? Who left the team after saying he'd stay??? I just can't get behind it...And gashes, I don't think honesty makes me less of a fan...

And if Cleveland Rocks so much, read this...THIS!

Proposed ordinance 347-11 in the city of Cleveland, states in no uncertain terms that any entertainment venue; that's bars, restaurants, taverns, concert halls, coffee houses, etc. in a local retail district (which is pretty much all of them) may have not have live entertainment beyond unamplified acoustic instruments, or any other entertainment that exceeds the volume of unamplified acoustic instruments.

Doesn't sound like rockin' to me assholes!

Have a week...

Later, The Beeze.

Irish Shu's 2011 Notre Dame Football Preview...JUST IN TIME!
Category: NCAA
Tags: College Football Notre Dame Little League World Series Brian Kelly Declan Sullivan Manti Te'o Harrison Smith Dayne Crist Michael Floyd

Yep, it's that time!  Irish Shu is ready to rock on fall Saturdays with the arrival of college football and I now offer my annual preview of my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish...but first, a brief digression:

Those who know me best know that I couldn't care less about baseball...but if it involves a team of 12- and 13-year-old boys from my home state of Montana kicking ass in the Little League World Series, you bet I'm gonna give a shit!  With that in mind, I offer a belated CONGRATULATIONS to the boys from Billings for giving us the greatest-ever showing for any team from the Big Sky state!  They not only qualified for the LLWS, they beat the teams from South Dakota, Louisiana and then the eventual series champ from California before the Cali team came back in the losers bracket to win a revenge game against them in the National Championship.  Way to go, boys!!!  You may not have won it all, but you sure done us proud!  Thank you.

…Onto the business at hand now.

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly now enters his 2nd year at the helm of the Irish.  Last year certainly had it’s trials for him:  new team, new schedule, and a new system.  Season-ending Injuries to key personnel such as quarterback Dayne Crist, running back Armando Allen Jr. and tight end Kyle Rudolph didn’t help, nor did the death of student videographer Declan Sullivan in a scissor lift accident during practice…but Kelly managed to right the ship after the tragedy and guide the team to a 4-win finish to the season, including a Sun Bowl win against Miami – a team which, as we know, is having some pretty severe problems of it’s own these days.  I think Kelly has the team going the right way for a great year.  They’ve had a year to get acclimated to his system and his staff and there was an upswing of momentum after the Tulsa loss which followed the Sullivan tragedy.  The biggest factor in that upswing was the defense – the unit really came into it’s own and held the last 4 opponents to just 39 points (just under 10 points per game), including only 3 to a Utah team that averaged 33 points per game and finished its season with 10 wins and that was no fluke...speaking of which:

Defense:  Loaded.  8 starters return on the unit that, as I said, really improved as last season evolved.  The one you hear about most is linebacker Manti Te’o who had 133 tackles last year….but you cannot overlook 5th year senior safety Harrison Smith who was a particularly solid player, as well.  Smith is a hard hitter, a sure tackler, and he saved the Irish at USC last year with a game winning interception and then picked off 3 more passes against Miami in the Sun Bowl.  The Irish are lucky he came back and was granted one more year, because they’ll need him back there.  His fellow secondary starters are good and have experience, but there is not much depth behind them which is what the critics are picking-on.  The remaining linebackers and the D-line are a plus, as well…it would take some space for me to list all the good players in those areas (and my pal, the Beeze already named a bunch of them in his preview) but suffice it to say there are a bunch of them.  They are good, big, strong, fast, and they have depth.

Offense:  Pretty loaded, as well.  They return 9 starters including the quarterback and pretty-much all of the receivers.  It’s very encouraging to me that the Irish have 2 quarterbacks with a good amount of starting experience returning…and as I’ve said in a previous blog, I don’t remember the last time the Irish had THAT going for them.  Dayne Crist won-out as the starter ahead of Tommy Rees despite cries from the public that Rees was 4-0 as the starter and Crist was 4-5 before he got injured…but those numbers are deceiving.  Not that Rees wasn’t good, but it was the improving Irish D that was the difference in his wins.  Statistically, Rees did have the slightly-higher completion percentage of 61% to Crist’s 59% but Crist threw fewer interceptions in 9 games (7) than Rees threw in 4 (8).  Also, Crist is overall more athletic and, as the more experienced senior, is a better leader.  The receivers are one of the best groups in the nation.  Michael Floyd is the leader and will finish his senior year as the BEST receiver Notre Dame has ever had…provided he stays healthy and avoids the booze.  Despite a somewhat injury-plagued career, Floyd has 171 catches for 2,539 yards and 28 touchdowns.  He needs only 9 more catches to break Jeff Samardzija’s record for most career catches and only 169 more yards to break Golden Tate’s record for career yards.  Playing along with him will be speedy T.J. Jones and Tight End Tyler Eifert, who was a pleasant surprise after Rudolph went down with his hamstring injury.  The Irish did lose a couple O-Linemen to graduation, but the ones they have coming back got a good amount of playing time last year and are seasoned.  The weak spot?  Running back.  Gone from last year are Allen and power back Robert Hughes.  Back this year are Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray.  Both Wood and Gray got in a few snaps last year but don’t have a ton of experience.  There are only a couple underclassmen behind them, though return specialist Theo Riddick, a converted receiver, is an option to go back to the backfield if injuries warrant it.  My feeling is that IF Wood can stay healthy; the moment is his to seize.  Behind that O-line he could break out and do surprisingly well.

Special teams:  The Irish were very good last year and could do even better this year.  Lou Groza Award semifinalist David Ruffer is back after going 18 for 19 in field goals last year.  Frosh Kyle Brindza will lend another strong leg for punting and kickoff duties, and the return specialist, Riddick, is the fastest man on the team and is poised for a breakout year.

With that, let us now get to my game-by-game predictions in the traditional poetic form.

Ahem:

9/3 vs. South Florida:

Lou’s son Skip is back in town.  In the Big East, Bulls contend.  BJ Daniels is a good QB, but won’t win in South Bend.

Irish win…but it may be close.  This is a tough team to have to open against.

9/10 at Michigan:

The first night game in the Big House.  Retro unis, too.  Denard Robinson is prepped to run, but coach Brady Hoke’s too new.

Irish win.

9/17 vs. Michigan State:

Kirk Cousins is back once more.  He’s made it tough, indeed!  The problem is, he’s all Sparty now has….and he’s NOT all they need.

Irish win.

9/24 at Pitt:

Wannstedt, Baldwin, and Lewis are gone, but they still have Tino Sunseri.  Todd Graham takes over a rebuilding program…of the Irish, I’d be leery (or “Larry”, depending on how you pronounce the kid’s name.  I can’t tell).

Anyway, Irish win.

10/1 at Purdue:

Purdue just ain’t been the same since Joe Tiller left the place.  Danny Hope sure ain’t no Joe….but he’s got to save some face.

He won’t – Irish win.

10/8 vs. Air Force:

The reigning Commander-in-chief winner is awesome with the run.  ND is due for a snakebite, hate to say it, but this is the one.

Falcons win…hope I’m wrong, though.

10/22 vs. USC:

The Irish will have had a bye, and time to heal from the Air Force loss.  SC is not what they once were, and ND will be the boss.

Irish win.

10/29 vs. Navy:

Like Air Force, Navy loves to run.  The Middies have owned us of late.  But Irish will learn from the AF loss, and thus clean the Navy plate.

Irish win.

11/5 at Wake Forest:

The Deacons are table-scrap-feeders in the not-powerful ACC.  They’ve already lost game 1 to Syracuse…do you REALLY think they’ll beat ND?

Me neither.  Irish Win.  This one won’t even be close.

11/12 vs. Maryland @ FedEx Field in Landover, MD

The Terps are good and are near home, but the ACC won’t have prepared ‘em.  ND will have jelled and want the win more than Randy Edsall will have repaired ‘em.

Irish win.

11/19 vs. Boston College:

Montel Harris, the ‘Eags bright spot, is already on injured reserve.  ND was once BC’s lil bitch, but now the Irish do have the nerve.

Irish win.

11/26 at Stanford:

The Season finale’ at Palo Alto will see the Irish vie for a BCS bid.  They’ll face Heisman Finalist Andrew Luck, and he’s one helluva kid.

Cardinal win…again, would LOVE it if I’m wrong.

And then…

The Irish snag a BCS Bowl – and board a flight to battle.  They’ll save their best for their last game, and the opponent, they will rattle.

Irish win.

So, overall I have them winning about 10 (11 if they win the bowl game) and will get a BCS bowl ONLY if they win the 10…they could get bit by one other team such as Michigan State or USC, but I don’t think they’ll lose to both.  I say 9 wins at worst despite this year’s schedule being a bit tougher than last years’.

Other predictions:

Montana Grizzlies:  Nate Montana’s with the Griz…alas, he’s the 3rd string..  The starting QB’s looking pretty good.  Big Sky?  They might win the thing.

Nebraska:  New year, new league for the Huskers - who are now in the Big 10.  They won 10 games last year in the Big 12; they may win 10 again.

Colorado State: the now's not good, beloved Rams, 2 players arrested to start.  Boise State is now a Mountain West foe – for much wins, you’ll need more than heart.

WELCOME BACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!  It’s about damn time!  WOO-HOO!!!


 

Deep Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL; Michael Vick Texas High School Football

 

Hello gabbers, and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I know that some of you are digging out from the damage done by Irene. Thankfully, the damage was not nearly as bad as forecasters had predicted. I wish that my job allowed me as much margin for error as the weather guys...The Austin weather guys have a much easier job this time of year. It is either hot or hotter. As hot as this summer has been, I glance to the west and realize that Harvey and his neighbors have it worse. At least this year Arizona has some good baseball to take their mind off of the heat.

There are still a few good baseball races left to entertain us...the DBacks are trying to run away from the sagging Giants. The Rangers appear to have a comfortable lead over the Angels and the Tigers are trying to hold off the surging White Sox...but the sporting world's  attention has been drawn to football. Tell me that you have not watched a bit of preseason football or have read to prepare for your drafts...yes indeed, football season is here.

 

 

 

 

I read today that Michael Vick has signed a 6 year contract for 100 million dollars. How does this make you feel? We have always been a nation that embraces comebacks. If ever there is a guy that has reinvented himself, it is Michael Vick. I know that the proof is in the long term pudding, but considering that this guy was signed last year as the 3rd string  QB...the contract he signed this week is pretty damn amazing. Do you remember Kevin Kolb? I know that I do. I drafted him on more than one fantasy team last year. I was lucky enough to grab Vick in two of my leagues when Kolb went down; the other one I was not so lucky. I read an article about Vick in ESPN the Magazine yesterday and was intrigued by the transformation that Vick went through to become a more polished NFL QB. After each practice last summer, Vick worked with Eagles QB coach Marty Mornhinweg. Because Vick arrived from prison 2 steps slower, he was forced to embrace the pocket. After practice was over, Vick worked on his footwork...over and over again. You may have seen these drills...cones are set up and the QB has to work through the cones then fire to a target. Slowly but surely, Vick became better. The article shows Vick's numbers from his last year at Atlanta and last year by quarter. In each quarter, he was at least 10% more accurate. As Vick's athleticism came back, the finished product was pretty damn good. I sense that prison changed Vick in many ways...let's hope that he does not forget what he learned behind bars.

 

 



 

 

Ben prepares to fire...

 

Last Friday was the first game for my son's Westwood HS football team. The Warriors of Westwood faced one of their old rivals from Cedar Park. Cedar Park put a whoopin on Westwood last year on their way to a heartbreaking loss in the 4A state finals. This was a really good team that had 5 D1 OL prospects. Thankfully four of them are playing on Saturdays now, but there was still one big ugly and a returning stud at QB. Cedar Park is a power football team. They really run the old single wing attack and last Friday saw their Sr. QB rush 33 times for 225 yards. Brian Hogan is the Timberwolves QB and he was his slipperly, silding self last Friday. Not exceptionally big or fast, he has a talent for evading tacklers. It is a good thing that he does not pass well as the two interceptions he threw probably resulted in a Warrior victory. As I have previously mentioned, Westwood has a stud QB of their own. The Cedar Park Timberwolves defense was determined to not allow Ben any running room. They did indeed contain the QB run, but as they found out, we also have a pretty good running back and receiver this year. I have included several videos of last Friday night. The Final score was 21 to 13 and was a great start to a promising season. My son played on each special team and played most of the 4th quarter as an inside linebacker. He is #35 in the videos.

 

 

Blake brings down the elusive Brian Hogan.

 

Those Friday night wins feel so good...

 

 

 

 

 

Westwood begins the season with flair...

 

 

 

 

 

Cedar Park's troubles began early...I missed this, but of course it was on you tube...

 

 

 

 

Opening kick off...

 

 

 

 

What will give area defensive coordinators sleepless nights...Ben to Dez.

 

 

 

 

 

Another completion to Dez...

 

 

 

 

The back breaker...after Cedar Park scored to make it 14 to 13 (missed the extra point) We were trying to run out the clock. LeDeans Anderson had a better idea. This kid moved to Austin from out of state at the end of last year...welcome to Texas LeDeans!

 

 

 

 

 

Blake makes a nice tackle (had to include this).

 

 

 

 

Can anyone explain why the flute section is sitting down? I am sorry to say that I have a difficult time with much of what the high school bands do these days. I guess I am a traditionalist...

 

 

 

Here is the after game celebration...we call this the 5th quarter.

 

 

After reading this today, I could not help but mention. It has become common for many folks to train in CPR and to learn things like the Heimlich maneuver. It is such a simple thing, thankfully this vendor knew what he was doing:

Hot Dog Story Link

 

That's all I have for this week...but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey to ponder:

 

There should be a detective show called "Johnny Monkey," because every week you could have a bad guy say "I ain't gonna get caught by no MONKEY," but then he would, and I don't think I'd ever get tired of that.  

 

I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway. 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...

Michael Floyd is back...should he be?
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NCAA Football Michael Floyd Notre Dame

It was announced this week that Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly has reinstated his best receiver in Michael Floyd and allowed him back on the team after suspending him in March for getting a DUI - his third alcohol-related charge since joining the team in the summer of 2008.

Several days later, Irish Shu is STILL trying to sort-out how he feels about it.

Hey, I know that numbers don't lie.  He's the best receiver The Irish have right now.  I know it.  you know it.  Coach K knows it.  IF Floyd keeps his nose clean and stays healthy Notre Dame will have an impressive season and Floyd will break a few more Irish receiving records than he already has.

Hey, I know that college students and student athletes drink and party.  That's what they do.  Floyd made a very human mistake and got caught doing what is typical for people his age in college...for the third time since he entered college.

Hey, I also know that I'm not the coach, I'm not the receiver, I'm not a teammate and I don't live in South Bend.  I know the newspaper facts and not much else.

That said, I question the coaches' logic on why he chose to allow Floyd back on the team rather than suspend him for a game or 2, at least, and set an example for Floyd's teammates by doing so.

Kelly's explanation?

“It wasn’t just my own personal evaluation,” Kelly said of the decision to restore Floyd back to the ND roster on Wednesday. “Having been in (head coaching) for 21 years, it was my gut feeling whether to take a chance on a young man, because you can’t save everybody.

“I’ve had scenarios where young men just don’t learn, and it’s unfortunate. But it is what it is. I really felt with Mike that he had made a life-changing decision. So that was a gut feeling on my part. And then there were other observations from people who were a lot closer to him on a more consistent basis. All of this, in its totality, led me to the decision that I made reinstating him.”

"It's so individual, I don't think there's one pattern, as it relates to discipline. Michael had to make a decision on his own ... to change his life. I didn't believe suspending him for a game or two was going to make a difference."

Hmmm...

I think I'm still out on this one.

It's a 2-edged sword; on one hand I feel like a standard is not being upheld here...on the other hand I admit that as a die-hard Irish fan, I probably won't mind that Michael's back on the team once ND has handily won the first few games with him shredding opposing defenses should it pan-out that way.

My other thought is that Kelly's really sticking his neck on the line for Floyd by doing this.  It's his ass if Floyd blows it again.

Well, that and I'm still REALLY chomping at the bit for college football to start, already!

Any thoughts?

Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Plans Brighten Under Nnamdi Asomugha
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Philadelphia Eagles Nnamdi Asomugha Michael Vick Vince Young Kevin Kolb Asante Samuels Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Jason Babin Jeff Lurie




It has been since 1960 since the City of Brotherly Love won a NFL title. Lives of many Eagles fan have come and gone since Hall of Famers Chuck Bednarik and Jim Taylor crashed to the turf in the Eagles 17-13 championship victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Bednarik, the greatest defensive player in Eagles history, laid on top of the Packers fullback seven yards short of the end zone as time expired. It was the only time Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi lost a postseason game with the Packers.

Hard times soon befell the franchise after that win. They were generally in the basement of their division yearly until Dick Vermeil arrived in 1976. The Eagles had had just one winning season from 1961 up until that point.

After a few years of molding his team with the players he wanted, Vermeil led Philadelphia to Super Bowl XV. Though the Eagles lost that game, and Vermeil soon retired due to exhaustion and burn-out, a winning culture was reborn with the Eagles.

Since then, the Eagles have mostly fielded competitive teams. "Gang Green" was a famous defense led by Hall of Famer Reggie White in the 1980's. Yet the teams of that day could not quite reach the title game.

One of the biggest moments in Eagles history came in 1994, where Jeffrey Lurie bought the team for $195 million. Lurie had the team worth over a billion dollars by 2007 due to his excellent leadership.

One of Lurie's best characteristics is how he lets his team speak for him, instead of seeking the limelight like so many other NFL owners do. He is not afraid to take chances on players with shaky pasts, yet these players do not seem to get in trouble once they sign a contract with the Eagles.

I had the pleasure of seeing Lurie in action firsthand before the 2009 season. I had written an article lamenting the exclusion of Eagles legend Al Wistert from the Eagles Honor Roll. Lurie's office contacted me, asked me for Wistert's facts, then had him inducted into the Honor Roll in just six months.

Not only was I happy for the then-88-year old Wistert, who I had interviewed, but I saw an owner with real love for his team and the history it has.

To put things in better perspective, Norm Braman was the man who created the Eagles Honor Roll. The former Eagles owner from 1985 - 1994 had even written a letter to the Pro Football Hall of Fame calling for Wistert's induction. Yet even Braman failed to induct the first Eagle to ever have his jersey retired, let alone the fact Wistert invented stand-up blocking in the NFL.

Lurie has helmed an Eagles franchise that has seemingly been on the brink of a title almost every year since he bought the team. He is obviously loyal, sticking with head coach Andy Reid since 1999. Joe Banner has been the president of the Eagles since 1995. Howie Roseman, now the general manager, has been with Philadelphia since 2000, replacing Tom Heckert. Heckert held the position from 2001 to 2009.

These men help Lurie bring in better talent than many teams in the NFL. Players who helped the Eagles win the NFL East six times since 2001. Philadelphia reached Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004, but lost 24-21.

Lurie has always had his eye on a title and this season will be a prime example of that. Philadelphia has been quiet since the players strike ended in words, but enormous in actions.

After quickly signing their draft picks, along with a slew of undrafted free agent rookies, the team fleeced the Arizona Cardinals in a trade. They dealt promising quarterback Kevin Kolb, who was destined to be a backup this year, for Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick next year.

They then replaced Kolb with two-time Pro Bowler Vince Young. While Kolb has an upside, he is just one year younger than Young and has a losing record as a starter. Young, who will backup Michael Vick this year, has won 30 of his 47 starts in the NFL.

If that wasn't enough, Philadelphia surprised everyone a few by signing Nnamdi Asomugha to a contract when most "experts" expected the Dallas Cowboys or New York Jets to do so.

Asomugha was perhaps the best player to hit the free agent market in the last decade. He now gets to pair up with Rodgers-Cromartie at cornerback, which does not bode well for the rest of the league.

Asante Samuel is four-time Pro Bowler entering his prime. Unlike Rodgers-Cromartie, he is not entering the last year of his contract. It seems highly unlikely the Eagles will retain all three Pro Bowl cornerbacks this season, so Samuel should command a good return in a trade.

With an explosive offense that just got better by signing speedy wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins and veteran tight end Donald Lee, the team showed in 2010 it can pile up points in a hurry. Yet the one remaining Eagles weakness has dogged Reid most of his time in Philadelphia.

For all the skilled players Reid has led, the Eagles seem annually weak in the trenches on both sides of the football. Undersized defensive linemen that can be run on, and offensive linemen who can't seem to get that extra push on short-yardage plays.

Eagles fans have often gone crazy seeing a passing play called on a 3rd or 4th and one, but that was all Philadelphia could do with the personnel they had. What makes this more baffling is that Reid has coached the offensive line as an assistant in the past, and he even played along the offensive line while in college.

While Trent Cole is a force as a pass rusher along the defensive line, the rest of the group is an assortment of guys who can be run on. Philadelphia brought back Jason Babin, who played with them in 2009, to try to help out.

Babin was a bit of a journeyman since being drafted in 2004. Yet he had his finest year in 2010 after collecting 12.5 sacks and a Pro Bowl nod for the Tennessee Titans. He came to Philadelphia after former Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn took a job with the Eagles earlier this year. Washburn is one of the most respected defensive line coaches in the NFL.

Linebacker could use some bodies as well, so the Eagles drafted three of them and signed another off the undrafted free agent pool. These guys are expected to help the defensive line have opponents seeing the ghost of late great Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.

When opponents are forced to pass, they will have a difficult time finding a man to throw to not wearing an Eagles jersey. Juan Castillo is the teams new defensive coordinator, but has been with the team since 1995 coaching the offensive line and tight ends, as well as being an offensive assistant.

The Eagles will dial up the blitz and send seven or eight guys at the opposing quarterback because of their excellent secondary. Philadelphia fans hope the impact of these blitzes are as effective as the times that Johnson or Buddy Ryan drew them up in the past.

The Eagles 2011 schedule is no cake walk, which is typical in the tough NFC East, but they will face many teams that rely on the pass to generate offense. The month of November may be an interesting time for the team.

After hosting the Chicago Bears on Monday night, they will face Kolb in Arizona before going to New York and facing their long-time rival Giants. They then host a New England Patriots team most pundits expect to be very good this year. How Philadelphia comes out of that month could dictate the rest of their story in the 2011 season.

The joke amongst many other football fans is that the Eagles battle cry was "Wait until next year!" With the aggressive and sound leadership of Lurie and Reid, the 2011 season just may be that year where the Eagles put a trophy on their mantle next to that 1960 title.  

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