Author Archives: Vince Quinn
When reflecting on yesterday’s game I can’t help but think that this was the best possible outcome for the Birds. The first-half thrashing by Jacksonville was a fitting calibration for the team and fans alike as we move from the inflated expectations of the offseason into the reality of the NFL.
Some of the major points of emphasis?
1. Nick Foles is by no means a god. He was miserable and then he got worse before balancing out in the second half. Errant throws, holding on to the ball, and underwhelming with his deep power. This kid still has a lot to work on. He’s by no means a star.
2. The secondary is still a major point of concern. Cary Williams specifically was awful as he was regularly torched by an undrafted rookie wide receiver. Malcolm Jenkins also bit on a screen that led to a touchdown. Then you consider that the team’s best defensive playmaker in Brandon Boykin was sidelined because of personnel packages and my confidence wanes. They have a lot to prove this year.
The wait is finally over. All of the preseason news about nothing, the trash talking about you inevitably miserable fantasy team, the Sundays spent being productive come to a screeching halt at 1pm. Rejoice! You’ve lived to see another Sunday of NFL football!
Through the rest of the season I’ll make sure to provide what to watch for for the Eagles, but for now I’d like to make a season overview.
My predictions of the Eagles, the division, and beyond:
- Assuming the team stays healthy, the Eagles go as far as its defensive line. They’re the true X-factor.
- Eagles go 10-6 carried mostly by a weak division.
- Sproles runs the ball more than you think. Perhaps three to five times a game.
- Mychal Kendricks makes no such leap that people have suggested. He stays middling.
- The Giants will be the second best team in the division with an 8-8 record.
- Dallas has 6 wins this season. Jason Garrett is finally put out of his misery and allowed to find a real job.
- Nick Foles proves to be stable (not amazing, but solid). He’ll be extended for $14 million a year for four years.
- Also, the Eagles had 98 passing plays and 24 rushing plays of 20 yards or more last year. That number drops quite a bit.
- Washington goes 7-9, DeSean makes a middling impact (~950 yards, 6 TDs) and he makes news being an asshole.
- The Packers lack of defense leaves them as an average team. Chicago takes the NFC North.
- Carolina falls off of a cliff. 12-4? Never again. In fact, they don’t make the playoffs.
- Why? Three NFC West teams make it in.
- The Saints go to the NFC title game. Last season no longer matters, San Fran is creeping downhill.
- Ray Rice has a pretty solid season. The team won’t but Rice gets over 1,400 total yards despite the suspension.
- Riley Cooper is benched for Matthews heading into the Arizona game, which follows a bye.
- The guy you kill yourself for skipping over in fantasy football? Knowshon Moreno
- The guy you totally overdrafted? Andre Ellington
- I’m in seven fantasy leagues this year. I will win at least two. Yeah, I said it.
- This entire season is nothing but waiting for Denver and Seattle to meet again. Just being honest.
- Even if Denver wins the Super Bowl this year, Peyton Manning comes back next season. He can’t step away.
- The Houston Texans will be a playoff team this year and Chip Kelly’s name will be entwined with Bill O’Brien for the forseeable future.
Agree? disagree? Let me know!
The only reason that a new rule was created is related directly to the fact that Ray Rice is a star player that was caught in the act on film. If it had not been for that video this case, while disappointing, would have been just another day in the NFL. Since 2008 there have now been 14 different instances of players getting arrested for domestic violence, though not all were charged.
When you consider that the NFL stepped in at all it’s a bit of an anomaly. Out of those 14 who were charged, the NFL issued two suspensions: AJ Jefferson was suspended four games in 2013 and LeRoy Hill was suspended for one game and lost an additional game check in 2008. Otherwise, all players involved in domestic disputes were punished by their teams. This usually resulted in a release and nothing more. However, in one extreme instance in 2012 the Vikings suspended cornerback Chris Cook indefinitely (ultimately 10 games) for his gruesome domestic attack that left his girlfriend bloodied and in the hospital.
In other words, the system wasn’t broken. In a case by case approach teams—specifically the Ravens—should have handled the issue themselves without the NFL’s direct involvement. Teams have always done so in an appropriate manner. Instead, desperate to maintain an artificially clean image, the league office stepped in.
“I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.” These were the words from commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday as he issued the new policy. Don’t believe it.
Goodell is a man who doesn’t make brash decisions. Before issuing Rice’s two-game suspension he consulted with the Ravens organization, Rice and his fiancee (now wife) Janay, members of the league office, and likely the police as well. He knew every element of this case and decided that two games was fair given the circumstances. Is it truly reasonable to believe that Goodell, the straight-laced, image conscious, disciplinarian, would find himself to be that gravely wrong on his decision? C’mon man! This is nothing but a PR move, don’t buy into it.
**(Hey so remember when I said that I was stepping away from the Cooler? That was apparently a lie.)
Have you ever seen baby turtles hatch from a nest? It’s frantic free for all. Hundreds of minute-old turtles scramble for their lives on the beach as seagulls swoop down from above and eat them whole. It’s a truly mesmerizing and horrific scene found in nature. The same happens with NFL quarterbacks. There are countless young players from robust programs with their own pages of the record books that are indiscriminately swallowed whole and crapped out onto your car. The benching of Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Johnny Manziel is a welcoming reminder of that fact.
Why? All three quarterbacks were taken in the first round and none of them will be starting on opening day. Many fans will see this news as a disappointment on the player’s part or a poor managerial decision by the coaching staff, which is grossly unfair. Just because it has become the norm for teams to trot out rookie QB’s doesn’t mean that it’s right. The main argument from the angry masses:
“He’s a first round pick!”
I hate this complaint. It’s short-sighted and misguided and generally makes me want to slap you in the face (it’s more rewarding than a punch!). Let me explain by stating a few simple things:
- College football and professional football and not the same game. Out of the 11 Heisman winners prior to Manziel in 2012, seven of them have been duds at the NFL level. The other four (Carson Palmer, Mark Ingram, Cam Newton, and Robert Griffin III) have had varying degrees of success. Success in college does not directly translate to the pros. the same even goes for coaches.
- First round picks in all sports are based on potential, not immediate impact. Sure, I could use a Thunderstone to evolve my Pikachu at level 5, but my Raichu is not going to be nearly as badass, nahmean? Some top talents need time to develop. Remember Drew Brees in San Diego?
- Human error exists. This last fact more or less covers the idea that some players get selected in the first round that have no business doing so. These players were misjudged by often desperate and/or simply bad teams and were then unfairly classified. For examples, consult your local Raiders fan!
With that argument dead and buried, let’s move on to the next major complaint:
“He should get the experience!”
This is slap-worthy as well because the phrase by default means that sitting on the bench is not a means of gaining experience. However, there is value in waiting and watching and learning. The idea of “the game slowing down” is often mentioned by players who are looking to make the leap. The adjustments within the system come naturally, allowing them to play without hesitation. Also, when you consider that a rookie QB has four to five months before the season starts and the majority of that time is spent in shorts against no pressure, it’s reasonable to believe that some aren’t ready to play, no?
So while Bortles, Manziel, and Bridgewater are first round picks and starting experience would be nice, it’s important to understand that sometimes the best way for a turtle to reach the ocean is to zig-zag rather than run a straight line.
So as you may have heard recently Ray, Turtle and I have been given the opportunity to try a podcast with a big company. While I’m really excited for the opportunity it hurts to say that the Wooder Cooler is now officially on hiatus. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to check in on the Philly sports thoughts of myself and our staff over the past two plus years. You’re–as they said back in the day–“the bomb”.
For all of the people that have made this thing happen: Hank, Ray Boyd, Ransom, Nick, Bill, Pete and Ray McCreavy…thank you. I’m still holding out hope for a drunk podcast.
So much love and kisses that it would probably weird you out even if we were married,
This week we’re having a live show!
Look for the link to the show through our social media accounts on Sunday around 3:15 and then listen to us live and CALL IN to our podcast! We’ll be doing the show through blog talk radio. Assuming everything goes well we’ll try to do more of these in the future and other related ideas (Callers only show, live Q and A with a guest) So crack a beer, relax in your living room and enjoy the show this Sunday!
If there’s a question you’d like to have us discuss but can’t make the show leave a comment and we’ll make sure we get to it!
Every team in sports has a window and—in the case of the Eagles—their window to win a title closes after the next two seasons. I understand that on the surface this is not a popular opinion, so allow me to explain before the tar boils and the feathers are plucked.
When a team’s window is discussed in the realm of the NFL the most common thing associated with how much time they have left is based on the age of the quarterback. The Cowboys, for example, are considered to have a few years left because Tony Romo is 33 years old (feel free to giggle). Therefore, the Eagles would have a huge window to win because Nick Foles is only 25 years old. This is wrong.
Yes, it’s been two years of The Wooder Cooler clogging up your Facebook and Twitter feeds and no one has fought me over it yet so I’ll take that as a good sign. I’d like to thank the people who comment on our posts, listen to our podcast, and make us a regular part of your day to day. You guys are the best (and I’ll probably hug you).
This site has taken some major strides in our second year…we did some work with an ESPN affiliate, both myself and Ray have begun putting our sports writing on CBSPhilly.com, and we’re doing Around the Cooler from a professional radio studio. It’s been wild and exhausting and endlessly enjoyable.
I’ve also fooled around with some things this year whether it be guest writers or podcast segments and anything in between. Like all experiments, some flopped and some were a great success. So while the site hasn’t gone through many major changes in the last few months and I want it to be clear that I’m by no means satisfied with where we are. There’s always a way to get better and I’m open to any avenue that allows us to do that so expect bolder moves over the next year. #TogetherWeBuild
Allen Barbre is a local man of mystery. A career journeyman and reserve, Barbre’s name has regularly bubbled up when discussing the Eagles season because he’ll replace the (probably) suspended Lane Johnson. What’s strange is that Barbre’s move to a starting role is a forgone conclusion, yet he played only 82 snaps for the Eagles last season. So who the hell is he? Let me explain.
Barbre first came into the league in 2007. A four year starter at Missouri Southern, Barbre was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round with the 119th overall selection. A tackle by trade, Barbre was a little small for his position at 6’4″, 310 pounds and never received much playing time until the 2009 season in which he started seven games. Given that the Packers let Barbre walk as a free agent after that season, it’s fair to say that he didn’t impress.
In 2010, Barbre had a brief stint with Miami, but ultimately caught on with the Seattle Seahawks. In that time Barbre remained in a back-up role, making seven appearances for the Seahawks before being released on October 1st, 2012.
This is where things really get interesting.
In a fantastic piece by Sheil Kapadia over at Eagles 24/7, he breaks down one of the foundational running plays in the Eagles playbook: the inside zone.
Here’s a quick bit of the article:
“It’s something we work on every day,” said offensive tackle Lane Johnson. “It’s always gonna be our bread and butter.”
Johnson estimated that 40 to 45 percent of practice time for the offensive linemen is rooted in perfecting principles associated with the inside zone. Kelce doesn’t think that’s an exaggeration.
“I would say yeah, we really spend a lot of time on our double-team blocking with our offensive line coach and trying to make sure that our offensive line is working together,” he said. “That’s not really exclusive to that play in particular. We do that on a lot of different plays. But that play, especially against a four-down defense, there’s a lot of the double teams that come around and everything. It’d be hard to put a number on it. But we definitely spend a lot of time on it.”
This isn’t close to the full depth of insight that Kapadia provides so make sure to check out the whole article here!