$5000.00 Fine for Kolb Necessary?

        The Nonsensical Fines League strikes again!!!!  In a league which once fined Micheal Vick, then playing with the Falcons, $15,000 for socks that weren’t right because his out side socks fell down.  The fact of the matter was Vick had two pairs of socks on the team socks and one’s underneath for his own comfort.  The team socks fell down or were slouched by Vick himself, neither of which is important.  He was fined because his socks weren’t pulled up.  It’s understandable that Brandon Merriweather was fined, he probably should be suspended.  The fact that James Harrison was fined is ridiculous.  Both of his hits were when a player had the ball or about to get that ball and jar it loose.  The was no leading with the helmet, he used his shoulders and arms to hit the runner to dislodge the ball.  The hit that T.J. Ward put on Jordan Shipley should not have been a fine either!  How can you throw a flag and fine someone when a player has the ball in his hands and you hit them to make it an incomplete pass.  The Dunta Robinson hit on Desean Jackson in no way should have warranted a fine or even a flag.  Dunta barely even hit him with his helmet.  It was 95 percent shoulder pad, but because Desean weighs 160 pounds and got the whip lash of a tractor trailer hitting a moped was the reason a flag was thrown.  Merriweather’s hit differs from Ward’s because even though they hit the receivers in the same fashion but Heap had already drop the ball while Shipley would have scored a touchdown.  The most egregious of all the fines is Kevin Kolb.  $5000 isn’t a lot of money to a NFL player but why does a QB get fined for a horse collar.  I understand the penalty in the game, which is almost absurd, but it’s understandable.  Fines should only be administered when a player shows intent to injure someone or if a player is completely negligent to the rules.  Kolb wasn’t trying to injure he was just trying to save a touchdown.  Its bad enough the NFL has taken touchdown celebrations out of the game.  Many of which are very creative and non-malicious in nature.  So if the NFL wants a bunch of two hand touch robots to play football so be it. 

         Players can’t be told to change the intensity of the game.  A player has been trained to destroy the opponent since they were six years old.  With coaches saying to kids destroy him, destroy the enemy.  Then when the player gets a penalty, the coaches play it off to the refs that it was all the player and he can’t control one rogue player.  So do we have to start coaching differently when players are young or does the NFL just keep living with this hypocrisy.  Former players are coming out in protest, mostly because current players who protest will probably be fined as well.  A few players have already spoken out against it.  Channing Crowder of the Miami Dolphins has already said “As long as we wear helmets I’ll use mine to hit”.  Not caring about a fine Crodwer thinks that the NFL is making players think twice before doing things.  When you start to  think or if you go half speed that’s usually when you get hurt.  You can’t blame a player for not wanting to change especially when you’re a defender and taught to react and attack.  James Harrison’s unnecessary fines had him mulling over retirement, whether it was real or not we will probably never know but do you blame him for taking a stance against the powers that be.

Who are the Eagles Really????

The Philadelphia Eagles are a marvel in this short start of the NFL season.  With a 4 and 2 record, they seem to be in control of the season.  There are other questions that arise though.  Is it all smoke and mirrors?  Is the NFC really a true litmus test?  Is the Eagles defense and special teams just young and need time to gel?  I remember when Jim Johnson first got here with Andy Reid, Troy Vincent being interviewed and saying that “it would take 6 weeks for the Eagles to learn this scheme, but after that teams should be worried.”  Could this be a case of a young talented defense, new defensive coordinator, running his best imitation of a Jim Johnson’s blitzing scheme?  Or is it a case of parody in the NFL?  Another few questions are is King Dunlap a better left tackle then Jason Peters, right now?  Who should be the Quarterback, Mike Vick or Kevin Kolb?  Will the injuries that have already happen haunt this team for the rest of the season?  Lastly is this team a serious contender or is it just a case of mistaken identity.  With a team that is more skitzofrenic then Russell Crowe in a “Beautiful Mind”.  There is plenty of promise, but is it a team for the future or is it a team to win now?  King Dunlap was given more help then Jason Peters was, but in all fairness Jason Peters is a season veteran with a huge price tag.  Dunlap is basically a rookie playing out there and all the misdirection, potential screen pass set ups, end arounds and trick plays really worked to his advantage.  Another thing that was a helper for him is Abraham is a good size defensive end.  Smaller, faster defensive ends are going to be trouble for Dunlap.  All in all I will take a struggling rookie type who doesn’t jump off sides three times a game and doesn’t get a holding call in a key situation in the game.  Now as far as things go with the starting quarterback, I have no clue.  But if Vick comes back in as the starter it could ruin Kolb.  Just when it had seemed that Kolb beat the naysayers by throwing the long ball.  All he can do is check down?  No!  This issue with Vick showing up at 12:15 might be a glaring one in the future.  This is purely speculation, but my perception is that Vick was miffed he couldn’t play against his old team and that is why he was late.  Again that is just my opinion.  To answer the last question, injuries effect every team in football and if Peyton Manning goes down the Colts are done and likewise for any team.  So I ask you this who are the 2010 Philadelphia Eagles?  Only time will tell…..

Vick now the man for the Eagles – for a week at least

What should we expect from Michael Vick?

This has been a question asked by Eagles fans since Michael Vick was first acquired by the team last preseason. The question has had different values of significance placed during that time. Last year, fans wondered if Vick would, or should even see the field at all. With Donovan McNabb set as the starter and Kevin Kolb as the backup, fans didn’t have to expect much from Vick.

Now with McNabb in Washington and Kolb trying to get the cobwebs out of his head, it is Vick who will take the field for the first time as the starting quarterback since 2006.

Just like his place in the QB pecking order, the expectations have now been raised for Vick — largely due to his 18-for-24 175 yards passing, 103 yards rushing performance in a half of football against the Packers.

Many fans were quick to dismiss Vick’s performance, pointing to the notion that the Packers had not game planed for Vick and if they had the results would not have been close to the same.

That could be true. However assuming that is a slight to Vick, who does have three Pro Bowl appearances to his credit. Dog fighting ring aside, the man does know how to play the position, even if he does it unconventionally.

So what can be expected of Vick?

Personally I expect to see Vick perform well, if not eye-poping against the Lions. For all of the hype about   Detroit being a team on the rise the Lions are still a mess defensively — well outside of Big Ndamukong Suh. That man is simply a beast. The rest of the defense is bellow average and I think Vick will again be able to use both his arms and legs to move the chains.

My guess — 65 percent passing, 210 yards and another 75 on the ground in an Eagles win.

You don’t have to like or respect Vick, but as an Eagles fan who wants to see their team win, you do need to root for him — at least this week, because the ball will be in his hands.

Kolb, Bradley fail concussion tests

Kevin Kolb failed his concussion test on Wednesday making it look increasingly likely that Michael Vick will get the start at QB this Sunday at Detroit.

ESPN has a full report here:

Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb and linebacker Stewart Bradley did not pass concussion testing Wednesday. Coach Andy Reid, however, said both players have “made progress” since Monday.

Reid said quarterback Michael Vick will run the offense in practice Wednesday and Thursday and “we’ll take Friday as it comes.”

Reid had said Monday that both Kolb and Bradley would not practice before Friday. However, Reid did not rule out either player for Sunday’s game at Detroit.

Bradley sustained a concussion when he collided with Ernie Sims during Philadelphia’s 27-20 loss to Green Bay on Sunday. Yet somehow, the Eagles’ middle linebacker returned for a few plays before he was pulled for the rest of the game.

Again with the Eagles already facing heat regarding the way they initially handled Bradley’s concussion on Sunday, I would be very surprised to see either player activated against the Lions.

Reflections on Eagles Week 1 loss

Now that the Eagles opener against the Green Bay Packers has come and gone it’s time to reflect on what was Sunday and what could be in the future. The Eagles did a few things right and a few more things wrong in a 27-20 loss that leaves the team still searching for answers at several key positions.

Kolb struggles: After starting his career with back-to-back 300-yard passing games last season expectations were high for Kevin Kolb — maybe a little too high. Like many young quarterbacks, Kolb had his struggles on Sunday, passing for just 24 yards after having his day come to an end before halftime due to a concussion. Injury aside, Kolb looked shaky on his first game since Donovan McNabb was traded to the Redskins, going 5-for-10 and finishing with a QB rating of 56.2. The Eagles are saying there is a chance the Kolb could play this Sunday against Detroit, but with the NFL now more cautious about head injuries I would be surprised to see him active.

Vick Impresses: Sure it was against a defense that wasn’t expecting to see him for more than a few gadget plays, but it is undeniable that Vick sparked the Eagles offense. For all of the criticism that Vick has taken since arriving in Philadelphia last preseason — and rightly so — he reminded fans why he was a three-time pro bowler at the position.

With the offensive line struggling, Vick improvised his way to 103 yard rushing on 11 attempts. He also was quite accurate with the football, finishing 16-for-24 for 175 yards. No matter what way you shake it, 275 total yards for a QB in just over half of a football game is a great day.

We may also get to find out what Vick can do against a defense that game plans for him this week if Kolb can’t go.

Still no running game: I’m not sure how the Eagles are going to find out what they have in LeSean McCoy if they don’t give him an opportunity to run the football. McCoy got just seven carries on Sunday. He did factor in the passing game, as expected, with six catches and 47 yards, but the Eagles looked very one dimensional, especially in the first half. Reid has never been one to focus on the run, but for a team in transition finding out if McCoy is the right guy for the job should be a priority. It would be nice to see what McCoy could do with 15-plus carries but that doesn’t seem like a reality with this coaching staff in place.

Defensive aggression: Don’t let the fact that the Packers score 27 points fool you; the Eagles defense played well Sunday. The Bird racked up three sacks and pressured Aaron Rodgers early and often. Had the offense done a little more with the football the defense may not have worn down in the second half. I liked what I saw in terms of blitzes in this game and it was good to see Juqua Parker make a couple of big plays.

The Packers are expected to be one of the best offensive teams in the league so it is hard to scrutinize this unit too much. Holding Rodgers to 188 yards passing is something many defenses would be envious of.

Detroit will be no walk in the park: Do I expect the Eagles to win on Sunday? Yes. Do I think it will be easy? No.

The Lions look much improved from their two win 2009-10 season and would have beat the Bears if not for a controversial late call on what have been a game-winning touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson before the ball came lose from his hand on the way down.

Even if Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford can not go, which looks very likely given his shoulder injury, I don’t expect the Lions to go down easy. This will be the team’s home opener and the team is sure to be fuming after the way Sunday’s game ended.

The good news for the Eagles is that Detroit still looks very vulnerable through the air as Jay Cutler torched the Lions’ secondary for 372 yards. If Cutler can do that with only one interception, Vick or Kolb should be able to do the same.

Look for the Lions to hang in the game, but an aggressive Eagles defense to take advantage of backup QB Sean Hill and put this one away in the second half.

Overall: The Eagles have the look of a .500 squad right now. They have some pieces to be a plyoff contender but with question marks at key positions a lot will have to go right for that to happen.

Beating Detroit would be a good start.

How Will The Eagles Do In 2010

Ok, summer is over, the Eagles have made cuts and it’s time to start thinking about football.  Not just any old football but EAGLES Football!  I’m talking…



Time to put away the “Honey Do” list.  This weekend will start a new era for the eagles.  Will it be as successful as the last ten years?  (Yes I know don’t even go there but it was successful) Or will we slide down and mill around the NFC East basement?  So with that quick blurb we ask…

How will the NLCS Go?

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Are the Eagles suddenly booring?

Many Eagles fans have been excited about the ongoing training camp do to the fact that the team that will take the field on Sundays starting in September will be vastly different than the ones that have proceeded it for the better part of a decade. We don’t know if it will be better, but right now the word “different” also stands for “hope.”

Then there are those who are not so excited about training camp. Without McNabb shooting off his mouth or Sheldon Brown looking for a bigger check, this preseason has been more about actual football and less about drama. To me that’s a good thing, yet  some people just need their taste of daily drama.

Philadalphia Inquirer writer John Gonzalez is one of those people. He misses the old Eagles already. Check out his take on the current group compared to that of years ago.

Here is an extended clip from Gonzalez’s piece, which can be read in entirety here.

The Eagles’ locker room was once stocked with oversized personalities willing to yammer in front of a television camera until the battery lost its charge. If Lito Sheppard wasn’t grumbling about his contract, there was always the possibility Sheldon Brown might pop off and say something of note. They’re gone now. So are Shawn Andrews and Terrell Owens, Freddie Mitchell and Hugh Douglas and others. And though it was time to move on as far as football goes, those of us who enjoy a solid sideshow will miss Donovan McNabb’s often ridiculous one-man Party of Five.

Compared with some of the guys who once served under Andy Reid, the current crop of Eagles is about as entertaining as Michael Strahan’s short-lived show on Fox. Who is going to hold the driveway workout/news conference? Who’s going to catch a locker room beat down courtesy of the team’s ambassador? Who’s going to get his Michael Phelps on or thank his hands for being so great or rock an air guitar at the worst possible moment?

Who’s going to give us something to talk/complain/laugh about?

Maybe most of what happened in the past was detrimental to the team, but it was also entertaining. If the Eagles have any shot of continuing the town’s best Off-Broadway production for a 12th-straight season under Reid, only one man can make it happen – and he’s not talking.

DeSean Jackson has gone into the sort of disciplined communication blackout usually reserved for covert military missions or the morning after a one-night stand. The once outspoken wide receiver hasn’t said much during training camp. On the day he arrived, Jackson said he had nothing to say (how very Meta of him). And on Monday, he told The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane that he’d “talk with y’all closer to the regular season.” It didn’t seem possible, but the preseason just became even more unbearable

So how do you feel. Is this preseason an exciting one for you because of the uncertainty surrounding the changes or is it just a little too bland for your taste?

Full Training Camp now underway

The veterans are all in. Eagles Training Camp has officially begun.

As the Birds usher in a new era with the likes of Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Sheldon Brown no longer on the roster, this camp has a feel unlike any other in the last decade. For the first time there is a bit of uncertainty as to what to expect from this team. Will the youth movement result in the Eagles taking a step forward or back? Is Kevin Kolb the real deal at QB? What can we expect from the Eagle’s defense in Sean McDermott’s second season?

Over the next few weeks phillysportsblogs.com will examine those questions and many more.

But for today, here is a look at some highlights from last season as football fans get pumped up for their favorite time of year.

Mixed Messages

The Philadelphia Eagles released a statement Saturday saying that they are not considering releasing quarterback Michael Vick at this time. The questions surrounded the star because he is in the midst of an investigation of a shooting. After signing with the Eagles following his two years in prison, Vick had seemingly stayed out of trouble, until June 25th.

On the eve of his 30th birthday, a former defendant on Vick’s dog fighting case was shot outside Vick’s restaurant, where he was out celebrating. Vick insists that he was long gone from the restaurant by the time of the shooing, but questions still remain.

This latest incident just adds to the controversy that surrounds Vick. The former Virginia Tech star, who was previously imprisoned for his famous involvement in a dog fighting ring, was given a second chance by the Eagles, but he does not seem to be making the best of his situation. While it is understandable that he can not have control over everything that goes on around him, it would be in his best interest to try to stay under the radar as much as possible.

It seems that Vick has put the Eagles in a difficult position. With the release of Donovan McNabb this off-season, the team showed they are committed to quarterback Kevin Kolb, with Vick backing him up. Now the team will have to decide whether Vick is worth the risk.

Eagles give Kevin Kolb extension

Not that there was any question that Kevin Kolb was the Eagles leading man after the team traded Donovan McNabb to Washington earlier this month, but Philadelphia reinforced the point today signing Kolb to a one-year contract extension.

The deal gives Kolb a guaranteed contract of $12.26 million over the next two years.

This was a move expected by many. When the team trades away a player like McNabb it has throw some dollars to the new QB and that’s exactly what they did. Another smart thing about this deal is that it doesn’t cripple the team should Kolb not pan out as planned.

Read the complete details on philly.com.

Looking at the best possible scenario

Why the Washington Redskins?

Why trade a Pro Bowl quarterback to a team that plays in the same division?

These types of things just don’t happen.

Actually it has. And Eagles fans can only hope that the result repeats itself.

On April 21, 2002 A Prowl Bowl quarterback was shipped out of his longtime home to a struggling team in the same division. That quarterback was Drew Bledsoe. The reason he was replaced was, of course, Tom Brady.

Brady had become the city’s Golden Boy overnight as he led the team to a Super Bowl after replacing the injured Bledsoe in Week 3 of that season. The Patriots had two valuable quarterbacks and one of them had to go.

People think of this move as a no-brainer because of what Brady has done over the last decade, but it was by no means an easy decision.

In 2001 the Patriots awarded Bledsoe the richest contract in NFL history – 10 years $103 million. In nine seasons with the Patriots, Bledsoe rewrote the team’s record books, setting the franchise’s career passing records with 4,518 attempts, 2,544 completions and 29,657 yards while starting 123 of 124 games. He also had 166 touchdowns. He was the reasons fans showed up to games.

But the team had to make a decision – and there was no way Brady was the one who was going to go.

While happy about the title their team had just won, Patriots fans were apprehensive about sending a quarterback with Bledsoe’s resume to a divisional rival. When the Bills whipped them by 30 points in the season opener, and Bledsoe became an MVP candidate at the seasons midway point, fans really started to wonder if their management had made a terrible mistake.

It didn’t take long for Patriots fans to settle down. Brady led New England to two more Super Bowl wins, while Bledsoe never got the Bills to the playoffs and later fizzled in his final years with the Cowboys. The decision was the right one on every level.

Eagles fans can only hope for similar results.

The stories are not exactly the same. Brady won a title prompting the need to make a move, while Kolb simply won a pair of games. But much of the story is similar. For a decade Bledsoe was the Patriots; For a decade McNabb was the Eagles. Most people believed that while getting older Bledsoe still had plenty left in the tank; People feel the way about McNabb. The thought of Patriots fans seeing Bledsoe in a Bills uniform twice a year was hard to swallow; McNabb wearing a Redskins jersey makes people around here sick.

All fans can do right now is hope that management made the right decision here.

And hope that somehow, someway, the Kolb-McNabb decision turns out like the Brady-Bledsoe choice did.

That’s not too much to ask is it?

Donovan McNabb traded to Redskins

This time it’s not an April’s Fools joke.

According to espn.com, the Eagles have reached a deal to trade quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Redskins. That’s right, he’s staying in the NFC East.

Bellow is an excerpt:

The Philadelphia Eagles have reached agreement on a blockbuster intra-division trade that will send perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins according to multiple sources close to the situation.

The two sides still must finalize language, but McNabb is now headed to Washington. Sources said the deal involved the Redskins’ second-round pick in the 2010 draft and either a third- or fourth-round pick next year, depending on several factors.

The move means the Redskins now have a new starting quarterback and the Eagles have a new one as well in Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick is now in line as the team’s backup.

Read the whole story here:

The timing of the news is surreal as we are just hours away from the Phillies opening up their 2010 season. Boy is the city is going to be buzzing. Philly Sports Blogs will have much more reaction to McNabb going to a divisional rival once the story is officaly confirmed.

For now?

Wow. Just wow.

Loud writer has lost touch with city

To be quite honest I’m surprised it took this long to bring my next guest into the woodshed.

He’s loud, obnoxious, and quite often out of touch with the Philadelphia fans he writes for.

Welcome Stephen A. Smith.

Smith made a name for himself nationally once he joined ESPN but has been known for his hate-spewed ramblings in Philadelphia for much longer.

Today Smith offered this observation on the whole Donovan McNabb trade drama:

McNabb should have demanded a trade by now. Who cares if it’s to the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, or one of 13 other teams, by my count, that could desperately use McNabb’s services this season? With the Eagles having adopted their new and improved turncoat mentality, the biggest mistake McNabb appears to have made does not involve interceptions or NFC championship/Super Bowl losses.

His biggest mistake was not demanding a trade years ago.

The treatment McNabb has received year after year has been disgraceful. What has taken place this off-season has surpassed betrayal. And for what, exactly? One quarterback (Michael Vick) who’s still shaking off the rust of prison, and the other (Kolb) a bit rusty from riding the pine for three seasons.

You can read the story in it entirety here: Just be warned, you might have a headache before you are done.

He references the Eagles likely future quarterback as Kevin (Corn on the) Kolb. Really Smith? What are you seven?

He then goes back into the well about McNabb only having two quality receivers in his whole career of any quality in T.O. and DeSeasn Jackson. Seriously, how does that well have any water left?

It’s fine to argue that the Eagles would be making a mistake by trading McNabb, some people still feel that way. But in typical Smith fashion he offers nothing to explain why trading McNabb would hurt the franchise.

Of course when the trade does go down and if Kolb becomes a star overnight Smith will be the first one in line to tell you how he saw this coming a mile away.

He will do it in a loud, brash manner. That’s just his style.

Hey any chance that when McNabb gets traded, Smith can be thrown in the deal?

Reid says Eagles entertaining offers for all three quarterbacks

Andy Reid has finally come out and admitted what everyone in Philadelphia already knew: The Eagles are entertaining trade offers for all three of their quarterbacks.

You can read the report on espn.go.com

While the news is not a surprise, the fact that it came from Reid is. The Eagles’ coach has been steadfast in his statement that Donovan McNabb will be the team’s starting quarterback next season and they would like to keep all three of their signal callers.

The national media has not bought that for a second though, linking McNabb, Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb to different locations during the offseason. Someone is going somewhere.

Of course tightlipped Andy was not about to go into any further details on any possible deals, as the article states.

“This is the truth: Our three quarterbacks are Philadelphia Eagles,” Reid said Tuesday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “People are entertaining us with offers. Nothing’s been done, but we’re evaluating all of them. That’s the truth. There’s not a lot really going on other than entertaining.”

So while we may not know more about the future of the Eagles quarterback position today than we did yesterday, at least Reid has come out and admitted the obvious.

For him, that’s a big step.

It’s the offseason of Donovan McNabb

In Philadelphia every offseason is about Donovan McNabb.

Only this time, Philadelphia is not alone.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio says that the drama around McNabb is the story off the offseason. Bellow is an excerpt:

Philadelphia is the only team in the NFL with all three quarterbacks on its roster going into the final year of their contracts. Teams are calling, wondering who’s available, who’s not and what the Eagles would want in any potential trade.

The Eagles’ front office is listening. But here’s the kicker: The Eagles, according to multiple league sources, have so far told teams that both McNabb and his primary backup, Kevin Kolb, are not available.

Now, does that mean the Eagles won’t trade McNabb? Definitely not. Most league insiders believe the Eagles are just posturing right now, trying to determine the market and how to proceed. If the team says publicly or privately McNabb is on the trading block, its bargaining position would tank.

 You can read the complete article here.

The word sources has been thrown everywhere lately and none of it has been verified. On the same day a source  told a Buffalo newspaper that McNabb would be open to a trade to the Bills, and a source told ESPN that he would not be open to a trade to Buffalo.

Sometimes I think sources are pulled from the thin air.

It seems set in stone that at least one member of the Eagles’ quarterback trio and maybe a second will be traded. Who that is and where he/they end up is anyone’s guess right now. The speculation will be endless and the Eagles front office has to be loving every second of it. The more their quarterbacks are pumped up, the more the Eagles can ask for in a trade. The trading game is all about having leverage and with three quarterbacks that teams believe can be starters, the Eagles are holding all of the bargaining chips.

Among the teams that have talked to the Eagles, according to multiple sources, are the Denver broncos, Cleveland Browns, St. Luis Rams and Buffalo Bills.