Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Friday, April 1, 2011

EAGLES RUMORMILL: Team passes on huge offer for Kolb!

Prices climbing at Linc!

Most would agree that the Linc is a significant upgrade over the Vet but that said, so are the prices. And guess what, despite the league’s labor issues and an economy in which everything is going up except middle class wages, the Eagles plan to bump up ticket prices by nearly 10% across the board and concessions may climb even higher. And as if that wasn’t enough tailgaters using grills will have to buy a day pass for $20 in order to fire up their Colemans.

The NFL can be so out of touch with reality but the sad news is, while this will undoubtedly fan the fire already burning for fans, when the dust settles, they’ll be back, shelling out the Benjamins and they’ll do it happily. And don’t think for a second that the league doesn’t know it. That’s just the way it is…

Cam Newton is a tough player to call and project as a professional. He’s clearly a risky pick yet his athleticism is intoxicating for most scouts and coaches who would love to shape his off-the-chart raw skills. But then there are those character issues to deal with…

Adding to those issues is a recent rumor that has surfaced that may send the former Auburn Tiger tumbling down draft boards in a manner similar to Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn on draft day and consequently make him a less risky pick in the 20’s than he would be in the top 5.

So what’s the rumor you ask?

We’re hearing that Newton was extremely upset with the play calling during the waning moments of the BCS Championship Game in Phoenix against the Oregon Ducks. Auburn eventually won the game 22-19 on a last second 19 yard field goal. Newton wanted desperately to score the touchdown. Why? Cecil Newton, Cam’s Dad, is said to have placed a mid 6 figure wager on Auburn to cover the 3 ½ point line. Those close to the situation are referring to it as the new Newton’s Theory of Relativity.

Closer to home, things publicly have been very quiet but behind the scenes there are a few storms brewing and the first begins with Head Coach Andy Reid. Much to the surprise of close observers of the team, there is a strange performance clause in Reid’s contract that states that if the Eagles’ skipper isn’t below 300 pounds by the time he turns fifty-three, his contract will be shortened by 1 season. That would mean 2012 is Reid’s last.

Now the language does give Reid a chance at redemption. If he fails to make weight by his birthday (which has come and gone on March 19) but gets to 290 pounds by the first day of training camp, the contract remains in force. The labor issues could help Reid if camp is delayed and at his current weight of 347 pounds, ball coach will need every available day to shed the 57 El-Bees.

There’s no denying that DeSean Jackson is one of it not the single most explosive player in the league. However, his take home day doesn’t reflect that and D-Jax is demanding that the Eagles change his position in the financial pecking order before the 2011 season starts otherwise, expect a holdout. Word is that Jackson is extremely frugal (despite the public persona that suggests he isn’t) and has safely invested most of what he’s earned during his 3 seasons as an Eagle. That suggests he’s prepared to sit out as long as it takes for the Birds to amend and extend Jackson’s contract. The starting point for discussion is the 7 year, $78 million contract that Andre Johnson signed in 2010 and D-Jax wants $25 million of that in guaranteed payola.

Speaking of a big pay day, Michael Vick is due his, whether it’s in the form of a $17 million franchise tag or a long term deal that includes guaranteed money in the $30 million range. From what we hear the Eagles will opt for the franchise tag and there are those around the league who believe that there are still few at the top of the Birds’ food chain who haven’t fully bought into the rehabilitated Vick.

However a source close to 24x7 who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the team is not concerned about Vick’s character. They are more worried that he’s lost his zest for the game due to nagging injuries and that he really doesn’t enjoy playing is Philadelphia because the cold weather exacerbates those injury concerns. When it all shakes out look for the Eagles to stick to the one year franchise deal and keep Kevin Kolb around. This might help explain why Andy Reid turned down a trade offer from Minnesota for Kolb that included a No. 1 and No. 2 in 2011 and another 2 in 2012.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Mike Vick is Risky Business

Americans have a high tolerance for screw ups.

And that tolerance is matched by a complementary willingness to forgive.

Take Charlie Sheen for instance, an over-the-top narcissist who believes that a home rich with mind altering substances, pornography and adult film stars is a modern day dwelling for nurturing loving family values.

We all know that is whack but let this fruit loop go public with an apology or even a disingenuous act of kindness and most would be willing to let bygones be bygones IF in some way the forgiveness yielded a gain of some sort for everyone.

Right now the NFL has a war on its hands and the combatants are the players and the owners. Both seem rather piggish to me and neither side appears very trustworthy and the mounting spin doctoring has left a bad taste in the mouths of those who both sides depend on most – the fans.

But no worries – the fans will eventually forgive once there’s a labor truce or better still, full blown peace. They’ll soon forget the outlandish things they said about selling their season tickets; never watching another game; burning their officially licensed jerseys; etc, etc…

They will forget about the billionaires and the millionaires wanting more while the average Joe lives paycheck to paycheck as soon as their team takes the field.
That’s just the way it is…

It’s no different in Philadelphia and if you want proof you need to look no further than Michael Vick.

Philadelphians have rarely if ever been accused of holding back their feelings. And I’m sure dog lovers throughout the City of Brotherly Love campaigned for Vick to be treated in a manner not too dissimilar from the heinous ways in which he treated dozens and dozens of defenseless animals.

But when Vick was allowed to return to the NFL after serving his time in a Federal Penitentiary, the city of Philadelphia welcomed another brother with loving arms – for the most part.

As time went by and Vick showed remorse as a former serial dog murderer, more and more would get behind him and stand in the line of forgiveness. And as Vick’s accomplishments on the field grew while wearing the Eagles’ colors, that line lengthened exponentially.

Vick jerseys were coming off the sales rack almost as quickly as they went on.

After a near MVP season, fans decided that the southpaw’s laser arm and warp speed feet were worthy of a Pro Bowl and they made Vick the second highest vote getter in the balloting.

To me that spells forgiveness.

But has he earned it? A man who willingly and repeatedly electrocuted, drowned and hung dogs that were no longer useful to his dog fighting purpose and profitability – a man who let’s face it, has everything to gain by showing remorsefulness, has he really earned your forgiveness?

To the sports fans of Philly I ask, “Would Vick have earned your forgiveness as a member of the Dallas Cowboys?”

What if he had stunk up the field as Kevin Kolb’s relief pitcher?

Now I get that a man who does the time needs some time to show his remorse and with Vick, so far so good. And now that he’s earned the status of a franchised quarterback it gets really interesting for both Vick personally and for the Eagles organizationally.

How will Vick respond to his most recent successes?

The dog fighting rap aside, as heinous as it is, isn’t the only time that Vick has shown thug qualities. He hasn’t exactly been a man of exemplary character off the field when flashing the middle digit to the fans of Atlanta; carrying a water bottle through Miami’s airport that could have served as a nice prop in the Pineapple Express; and let’s not forget the legendary Ron Mexico incident.

Success on the field, acceptance from the fans and a fat new franchise quarterback check will undoubtedly test the level of Vick’s remorsefulness from this point forward.

On the field, Eagles’ fans loved what they saw from Vick and how could they not? His quarterback rating on the season was 100.2 and that doesn’t even factor in his 676 yards rushing and 9 TD’s. All tolled Vick produced 30 scores in his 12 regular season starts.

Yet it can’t be overlooked that Vick faded towards the end of the season. Sacks were more regular and so too were turnovers. In his last two starts (both losses) including the Wild Card loss to the Packers, Vick went down 9 times, produced just four scores and gave the ball away four times. His quarterback rating during those games was a very pedestrian 76.7.

Did opponents begin to figure Vick out?

Did they create a blueprint for beating the Vick-led Eagles?

Once again time will tell when it comes to Vick but lingering questions both on and off the field could leave the Eagles in a bind. Do they give him a big contract once the CBA issues are resolved or do they let the $16 million + franchise price tag ride?

This is really a tough call for the Eagles front office because they are one slip up from the Vick posse and one trade of Kevin Kolb away from a potentially disastrous 2011 season.

The Eagles would be wise to hang on to their insurance policy.

And like a good neighbor, Kevin Kolb is there.

Let’s hope the Eagles don’t screw this one up because this time the fans might not be so forgiving.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


How sweet it is to get a little redemption after last season’s embarrassing 0-3 showing against the cowgirls? The Eagles defense was a little concerning for me and I’ll get to that but let’s start with Dallas’ complete inability to cover DeSean Jackson and stop LeSean McCoy.

DeSean Jackson’s 210 yard receiving performance had those rednecks on their heels all night. During one of my every other Saturday guest appearances on ESPN Radio South Jersey 97.3’s The Tyrone Johnson Show, Tyrone asked me how the Eagles could get DeSean Jackson back involved with this offense.

I had told him Dallas’ secondary is weak and the Eagles would go deep to DeSean on the first play of the game. Well for those of you who listened in and heard that, WALA! Two hundred ten yards later, 91 of which was delivered on one explosive play in the 4th quarter capped off what in my opinion was a beautiful display of show boating to rub salt in an already open wound.

For all intents and purposes the game was over after DeSean took the Nestea plunge into the Cowboys end zone.

The 91 yard scamper wasn’t without its challenges since Jackson is nursing an ankle injury. After the game DeSean was asked about the ankle and said that it was at 60% during the big touchdown run.

Yet another middle finger pointed straight at Dallas and I love every second of it.

Take LeSean McCoys 149 yards rushing, half of which were on the Birds’ final four minute clock killing drive and the cowgirls had lost all control over that game.

LeSean McCoy has really impressed me this season with the way he has turned himself into an every down back with the ability to hit the hole hard and fast. He really seems to be the engine that makes this team go.

Just when the offense seemed to be starting to flat line in the second half Shady broke a 56 yard run that reignited this offense into the machine they have been all season. Much like the 50 yard touchdown run he had against the Giants three weeks ago.

This type of production out of the second year back shows how much he has matured over his short time in the NFL and has no problem filling the large shoes Brian Westbrook has left behind. Michael Vick has to be thrilled to know that he has a nail driver like Shady McCoy that can carve up a Dallas defense and eat up the clock.

With all the stuff Michael Vick has to smile about right now I’m sure it’s nice to have a distraction from the lack attention he’s getting from not only the referee’s but also the league.

Last night DeMarcus Ware hit him helmet-to-helmet from his blind which sandwiched him into another helmet-to-helmet hit from his other side. What happened after the play? Nothing! Any fines handed out today? Nope! Of course Mr. Goodell was working today levying a fine to the Jets’ Sal Alosi. Let’s hope he was just too busy with how stupid Sal Alosi is for tripping Miami Dolphins player Nolan Carroll from the sideline.

We haven’t gotten there yet but Sal you definitely earned an honorable mention, C’mon SON!

If Roger Goodell doesn’t fine DeMarcus Ware for that hit and Anthony Spencer for the late hit also on Michael Vick tossing him into his own bench after he had already stepped out of bounds which also went without a penalty being called, Eagles24x7 is going to organize a trip to Goodell’s office so we can all collectively scream C’mon SON! and fart into his coffee!

Both of those plays were a disgrace! The NFL has turned this defenseless player call into a pathetic and highly inconsistent witch hunt. It is pretty clear that the league employs a collection of lame ass empty suit Goodell suck-ups who cannot be objective about Vick and his checkered past.

So there you have it Eagles fans, my “Ed Lover C’mon SON!” of The Week goes to the NFL’s front office and referee’s.

Get your heads out of your asses and start paying attention to what’s happening on the field. You’re being paid a handsome salary to call these games in an honest and fair matter and you morons are about as objective as that Philadelphia hating retard Chris Chase.

C’mon SON! Do your job!

Finally let me touch on the defense quickly because it is an area of concern…

Now they did enough to win but I’m sick of teams making John Kitna look good. He’s a hair away from having an AARP card accompanying his NFL players card and that hair is about the only one he has left. Someone get in there and embarrass him the last week of the season please. He’s a backup who only had a starting job in Detroit because it was Detroit and they couldn’t buy a winning season.

The Eagles losing Stewart Bradley for potentially the season and Brandon Graham definitely for the season certainly won’t help to the addition of the numerous injuries this team has suffered. Sean McDermont must find a way to not only tighten up this red zone defense which is the NFL’s worst but also do a better job of getting off the field on third down.

I’m not saying the defense did a bad job but this is Dallas.

I want to see a blood bath massacre!

Good enough against the Cowboys, well just isn’t good enough for me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Redskins taken to woodshed!

Monday Night Football, the rematch of McNabb vs. Vick had a severely different outcome than their first meeting this season which was richly fulfilling on a few different fronts.

First, it’s always nice to smash a division rival in the mouth especially in the McNabb Bowl. Second, our boys in midnight green are now tied for first place in the division with the Ginas one week before the Eagles play them Sunday night. And lastly, our good Eagle hating friend Chris Chase is also a Washington fan and attended that massacre on Monday night – BEAUTIFUL!

Of course he had to make an excuse for his Redskin faithful saying “I’d rather be blown out like that then lose a close game because at least I won’t care tomorrow”.
C’mon Chris, C’mon SON!

You didn’t care one day after the Eagles broke record after record in an embarrassing melt down performance by your group of losers? You know damn well your skin was crawling from the second DeSean Jackson went all 88 yards on the very first play of them game and still is you poser!

Can we talk about these numbers?

Jerome Harrison, 11 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown. DeSean Jackson, 2 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Honorable receiving mentions: Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and LeSean McCoy all had over 50 yards and a touchdown. Finally, our MVP candidate Michael Vick. Michael Vick’s mind blowing night was hands down the best and most electrifying solo performance I have ever seen in my life to date: 20/28 for 333 yards, 4 touchdowns, 80 yards rushing on 8 carries and 2 touchdowns on the ground and still ZERO INTERCEPTIONS.

Absolutely unheard of! Michael Vick is playing out of his mind right now and is going to be a problem for every single defense in this league. Which brings me to this Sunday…Time to strap in and buckle your seat belts because we are in for a big time game against the Giants.

Last season this would have been a landslide victory but this is a new year. I’ll be honest, preseason the Giants were without question my favorite to come in last in the division. But with the resurgence of New York’s defense and Hakeem Nicks emerging into a literal monster I am certainly foot-in-mouth singing a different tune.

The Eagles and the Giants are very similar in several areas except one. Anyone want to guess what that one exception is?

This would be an evenly matched game considering the two young, explosive receiving corps; a talented running back capable of breaking a big run; and a fast defense that is developing chemistry with ball hawk tendencies.

Obviously the line here is the theme of this story. Michael Vick will outplay Fredo Manning 100 times out of 100. That being said my prediction for Sunday night is no surprise. Michael Vick leads the Birds offense to outscore the Giants 38-27. Take it to the bank Eagles fans, Eagles and the over!

Finally, I have my “Ed Lover C’mon SON! Of The Week”:

This is definitely my most obscure “C’mon SON!” yet and the truth be told, I just don’t have anyone else to give it to after Monday night’s OUTSTANDING performance.
So with that said, this week’s “C’mon SON!” goes to me, myself and I.

Last week in fantasy for some stupid reason I started the Chiefs defense against Denver who ended up scoring me minus ten points and I ended up losing by nine points overall. Had they just scored zero points I would have won by a point so Pete Visalli, “C’mon SON!”

Why do you even have the Chiefs defense on your team dummy?!?!

Monday, November 8, 2010




Michael Vick’s performance on Sunday vs. the Colts is significant of a Quarterback undergoing a positive transformation. From my perspective, it was never about Vick being a run-first or pass-first Quarterback, but rather the path to Vick’s NFL success was/is a perfect marriage of Vick’s abilities and an Offensive system, strategy, and play-calling rhythm that help him to find efficiency and greatness – all while keeping him injury-free. Withholding judgment re: the injury piece of the puzzle, the Eagles and Vick in 2010 are moving toward the best Vick can be.

At a minimum, credit Vick for this: whatever he was able to accomplish vs. the Colts in the passing game, he did so despite limited receiving options. The Eagles regularly used 6-man protection, with the fourth receiver often briefly checking for protection help before releasing. The Colts made this scenario more difficult for Vick by rushing only four defenders on nearly all pass plays and playing a mix of zone/man/combination coverages in the secondary.

Vick is clearly at his best in the pass game when sprinting to his left or taking very deep drops. Marty Mornhinweg/Andy Reid appear to believe this and vs. the Colts called plays that put Vick in a position to place defenders in a bind and/or were designed to give Vick ample time to make choices.

What Vick lacks in polished throwing mechanics and footwork is, at least partially, made up for through his superior arm strength. There are clearly some things Vick could do to become a more technically sound passer, but the need for that is somewhat masked by the velocity and tightness of so many of the balls he threw vs. the Colts.

The deep pass to DeSean Jackson on 3rd& 7 from the Eagles’ 4 yard line during the 1st Quarter was thrown to a two-deep shell, with underneath man coverage – and was thrown perfectly. Michael Vick is not yet elite by NFL standards, but is becoming a different Quarterback. He is developing an appreciation for angles in the passing game, acknowledging the value of protecting himself physically, and gaining a clearer understanding of the pro game and his place in it.


Vick has shown a much-improved ability to see the whole field, and did on one occasion complete an intermediate-level pass after recognizing 7 defenders near the LOS, pre-snap. Work remains in this area for Vick, however, as he also demonstrated a willingness to “give up” on crossing routes early when he had decent protection - see 3rd& Goal midway through the 2nd quarter - choosing instead to run the ball.

An area for continued improvement for Vick will be his tendency to lock in on an intended target too long after deciding to throw the ball. The good news is that this is a different issue from those Quarterbacks that insist on waiting too long for their favorite WR to get open. Vick simply needs to trust his decisions and throw the ball sooner. Vick and the Eagles almost paid for his failure to do so on 2 & 10 with 10 minutes left in the 4th Quarter, when the quarterback locked on to Jeremy Maclin and misfired badly on a ball almost intercepted by Colts’ LB Philip Wheeler.


Physically, Vick looked the best he has since his return to the NFL, in terms of running ability – his legs were live. His ability to escape pressure allowed him to avoid sacks.Vick demonstrated the maturation that he has experienced when, on the Eagles’ first possession of the 2nd Quarter (3rd& 9 from the Eagles’ 33), he recognized (pre-snap, I believe) 7 Colts defenders at the LOS with two deep Safeties. After allowing a pass rush pocket to develop, Vick stepped up and ran left-to-right through the vacated LB-depth area and out of bounds for a 24 yard gain. Mission accomplished: 1st down gained, Quarterback untouched and healthy, and the seed planted in the minds of the Indianapolis secondary that they must help in run support, as Vick is still a threat to take off at any moment.

Also worth mentioning vs. the Colts was Vick’s reaction to the only full blitz action he saw all day. On 3rd& 4 at the 50 yard line late in the 3rd Quarter, the Colts showed a 7-man pass rush vs. a 7-man protection scheme. Vick dropped and quickly saw a huge running lane to his left, which he attacked for a 32 yard gain.


This is Vick’s most pressing area in which he can improve. He showed some flashes of great precision (see his TD pass), but was also inconsistent. The quarterback floated several balls, and was simply off-target on a couple of others, including a stay/stop route to DeSean Jackson on 2nd& G from the Colts’ 7 midway through the 2nd Quarter. The Eagles had the play blocked on the edge, but because of the throw’s location (low) Jackson had to reverse field, resulting in a loss of 7 yards.


Overall, a pretty solid area for Vick vs. the Colts. Vick was wise in not forcing balls against a defense that routinely dropped 7 defenders in coverage. The quarterback had a couple of throwaway balls and escaped pressure via the run on several plays.

Vick’s only error in decision-making with game-changing implications was the near-interception thrown to Gary Brackett on a screen pass on the last play of the 3rd Quarter.


-Despite the added pass protection on Sunday, Vick too often was flushed from the pocket and forced to make plays on the run or throw the ball away.
-Vick is such a threat to run the ball, he would be wise to carry out backside fakes after handing the ball off in the run game. His presence alone away from a play can slow down pursuit by backside LB’s and Safeties.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"THE" Philadelphia Eagles Phone App is here!!!

We are so pleased to introduce to you our free Philadelphia Eagles Fan Zone phone app for Droid users. Our goal in creating this app with the very capable guidance from our web developer D3 Corp was to provide Eagles fans with a portable tool that will allow them to stay in touch with the Eagles at all times. We also designed it to help our customers promote their businesses in a state-of-the-art way.

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Eagles Blogs/Commentary: These buttons provide you with access to our award winning, Eagles-centric original content. We cover the Eagles from A to Z and offer insight into X’s & O’s, insider information and the latest news. Oh and if you are looking for propaganda you won’t find it here. You will get the straight skinny!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One that got away, way away...

This game was there for the taking. It was in their mitts. Cruising along at 16-7 midway through the third quarter, the Eagles were on the Titans 3 yard line and ready to pop in another touchdown when suddenly the game changed for the worse.

Instead of holding a 23-7 advantage over the Titans and keeping momentum squarely with the boys in green, it happened. A bad exchange between Kevin Kolb and LeSean McCoy caused by penetration from the Titans Jason Jones and the Titans not only recovered the football but gained a shot in the arm they surely needed.

From there on out, it was an unmitigated disaster.

The Titans went on to outscore the Eagles 30-3 as the Birds had zero answers for the Titans offense the rest of the way. The Titans went on to a 37-19 victory. This was one that got away.

Goodbye 5-2 record before the bye.

Goodbye any chance Andy Reid had of finally beating Jeff Fisher, who now is 4-0 lifetime versus Reid.

For what it's worth, the Eagles under Reid just can't seem to beat tough AFC opponents, especially on the road. The Titans on the other had have now won 12 straight against the NFC, after pounding the Eagles in the fourth quarter for 27 points.

Reid of course offered up what we all were thinking in his post game press conference.

"You can't give good teams an opportunity to survive when you have their back against the wall, and we did that."

And while the fumbled exchange was certainly the turning point in this devastating loss, it wasn't the main reason the Birds are headed into the bye at 4-3. In fact, if you look inside the game, you'll find three examples that seem to rear their heads in each and every loss under Reid; penalties, turnovers, and red zone efficiency.

Once again penalties stopped the Eagles in their tracks. In all ten penalties for 100yards either contributed to stalled drives or momentum changes, including three more holding calls.

Kicker David Akers had a solid bounce back day, banging four field goals but what the Eagles needed were touchdowns, especially inside the 20. The Birds were 1 for 4 in the red zone and again failed to convert their opportunities while knocking on their opponent’s door.

And lastly, the Eagles committed four turnovers which Tennessee converted into 24 points. The Eagles meanwhile turned two Titans miscues into zero points.

Not exactly a recipe for winning, but one for disaster.

And oh by the way, the Eagles secondary had one of their worst performances of the season, allowing Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt to morph into Jerry Rice , torching them for 225 yards and three scores.

"You have to eliminate mistakes and overcome mistakes, and these are things we will learn from." Reid said.

They'd better.

It doesn't get any easier for the Birds. After the bye, the Eagles welcome Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, another AFC foe Reid is winless against in his 12year tenure in Philadelphia.

Enjoy the bye.