Category Archives: Authors
For Howie Roseman, Jordan Matthews is good mannered problem child. He has the right size, an undisputed work ethic, and he’s the best player of what is a miserable receiving core. He also doesn’t fit anywhere in the modern NFL.
He has size and speed but isn’t trusted on the outside. He can get open in the slot, but can’t reliably catch. What do you do with him?
One path is to resign Matthews next year and hope that his hands improve. After all, he’s the best receiver the Eagles have and they need to build around Wentz.
The other path is to be realistic.
If someone makes a solid offer to #Eagles for backup QB Chase Daniel, I believe they’re open to dealing him. Same for WR Jordan Matthews.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 6, 2017
Roseman gets it. Jordan Matthews is a player that will not get substantially better. Hand-eye coordination is not something that improves at the NFL level so move him now. The fact is none of the receivers are part of the Eagle future. Replacing a misfit part now is worth it even if it means a step back.
There’s also the possibility that the Eagles could trade Matthews and still be better in 2017 than 2016 at wideout. Think about it. The Eagles are connected to free agents, draft prospects, and trade targets at WR. We could see a lineup of DeSean Jackson, Brandin Cooks, prospects X and Y, and Nelson Agholor. That’s a huge step forward WITHOUT Jordan Matthews.
So trade that young man, Howie! Just don’t ask Bryan Colangelo what he’s worth.
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.
I’m developing matching calluses on my palm and forehead. This is Ruben Amaro’s fault. Every time the man speaks these days I face an uncontrollable instinct to bury my face in my hand with increasing haste, as if this could somehow shield me from his wanton disregard for reason.
Thus far, my efforts have been unsuccessful.
Amaro: “Right now, we’re trying to win as many games as possible… At the same time, at some point, we’re going to have to start looking to the future. And once we’re ‘eliminated’ … listen, is it a long shot to get back into this Wild Card race? It is. Numerically it’s not impossible, but right now obviously I’d be foolish to say it’s something that’s probable…. And at some point, we may be looking more at what we have to do for 2015 as far as what’s going on, on the field. But until then, we’ll make the decision when it’s the appropriate time, when it’s time to start to looking to 2015 and beyond. We’re not quite there yet.”
Trying to win as many games as possible. While that might be a nice thing to hear from a player, whose present entertainment value and future paycheck rely entirely upon his immediate performance, this is an impossibly ignorant and disheartening thing to hear from the general manager of a woefully uncompetitive major league baseball team. It has become clear at this point that self-reflection is not Amaro’s strong suit.
Perhaps Amaro, Montgomery, and the rest of the Phillies’ brass would be better served by a lesson that comes not from self examination, but from history. Not baseball history, but Mediterranean.
King Pyrrhus of Epirus was always a warrior. He was not a king that came from the political class. While he was indeed the heir to the title by birth, he was expelled from power four years into his reign, and had to take to the battlefield to regain his throne. So in 281 B.C.E., King Pyrrhus was already an expert battlefield commander when he answered the pleas of the beleagured city of Tarentum, which was under threat of destruction at the hands of Rome. Pyrrhus, sensing an opportunity to expand his kingdom, sailed to Italy with an army.
After early successes in the field, in 279 B.C.E. Pyrrhus turned his troops north towards the city of Asculum. His army numbered around 40,000, and the Romans met him with an equal number. The battle lasted for two days, and at the end of the second day, the Roman forced had been decisively defeated. But Pyrrhus was hardly in a position to celebrate. Although his army had killed twice as many Roman soldiers as it had lost, winning the battle had cost Pyrrhus a strategic defeat.
The Greek historian Plutarch sums up the aftermath: “Pyrrhus said to one who was congratulating him on his victory, ‘If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.’ For he had lost a great part of the forces with which he came, and all his friends and generals except a few; moreover, he had no others whom he could summon from home, and he saw that his allies in Italy were becoming indifferent, while the army of the Romans, as if from a fountain gushing forth indoors, was easily and speedily filled up again.”
This is the event from which we draw the term Pyrrhic Victory: winning the day with grave consequences for the future. Unfortunately for Phillies fans, this is precisely the kind of win that Amaro is referencing above.
The Phillies’ misguided attempts to win today, or indeed during the second half of the 2014 season, have prevented them from making the moves that must be made in order to start building another championship-caliber roster. By holding onto aging, but still productive, talent, the Phillies have already lost out on too many opportunities to get any better in the future. Likewise, they’re pushing themselves further and further away from the highest picks in next year’s draft, which this team sorely needs in order to start replenishing its decimated farm system.
Actually, comparing Pyrrhus to Amaro and Montgomery isn’t very fair to Pyrrhus. At least he realized the cost of glory. He demonstrated an ability to remove himself from his personal pride and see the ultimate consequences. This Phillies management group has repeatedly proven incapable of thinking with such lucidity. Every extra win that this team earns in the waning days of summer could rightly be termed a Phillic victory, and they should be “celebrated” accordingly. It would serve the Phillies – and more importantly, what remains of the Phillies’ fan base – to see that the net result of their current philosophy can only lead to ultimate failure.
In case you’ve missed them, here are some things that we’ve recently discussed during Eagles training camp! They’re the best articles written in the history of all articles ever. Fact.
- Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger and 94WIP host Marc Farzetta were on our podcast. Need we say more?
- Hank explores if it’s reasonable to expect Chip Kelly to improve this season. Stats a-plenty!
- We explain who the hell Allen Barbre is. After all, he’s going to start the first four games.
- Ray discusses which players intrigued him going into the first preseason game.
- This team has some freakishly tall players—as in NBA starting five-sized players.
- The Eagles window to win a Super Bowl is shorter than you think. Believe it.
Football is back on Friday night at 8:oo p.m. Yes, it’s just preseason, but it is football nonetheless and Eagles fans are ready to get a glimpse of their team as the second season under Chip Kelly gets underway.
There are plenty of players to keep an eye on on Friday night, but some stand out more than others.
Here are the five players that I will be keeping the closest eye on when the Eagles take on the Bears in their preseason opener.
5. QB Mark Sanchez: Of course everyone will be watching to see how Nick Foles looks, myself included. However, you can expect to see a lot of fluidity out of Foles who should be familiar with the system and the majority of the weapons he’ll be working with.
Sanchez will get ample snaps on Friday night and the bottom line is that in the NFL you are extremely lucky if your second string quarterback doesn’t have to start a least a few games for you.
Sanchez has not played since he got injured last preseason and it’s time to find out if the Eagles got a steal in snagging him to backup Foles. Reports on him out of camp have been good so it’s time to see what he’s got.
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Yet another trade deadline has passed, and yet again the Phillies did absolutely nothing to alter their course. It’s damned near inexplicable. Not only are they 4 games back from the hapless Mets and 5.5 back from the penniless Marlins, but they also have the league’s second oldest lineup – 31.0 years old – and the third highest payroll in the whole goddamned MLB.
Anybody – I mean really, anybody – can see that this bullshit ain’t gonna get better on its own. Old players are old, and no amount of wishful thinking can make them young again. Sometimes bad players are good, but more often they stay bad. Especially if they are already old. This shit ain’t exactly fucking science.
The period preceding the non-waiver trade deadline is generally the best sellers’ market in the MLB calendar. Unlike the relative mystery of the hot stove, teams know exactly where they are with respect to the league, managers have an excellent idea of their units’ deficiencies, and when contenders make moves, other playoff-bound teams are put under pressure to keep up with the Joneses. The 2014 non-waiver deadline was one of the most active in memory, and a number of marquee players were involved in the deals.
And yet, the Phillies couldn’t pull off a single one. Not one goddamned trade to make this squad better in the future. Nothing to indicate that they have any intention of making it to the World Series again.
Make no mistake, this is a terrible missed opportunity for the future of Philadelphia baseball. But in and of itself, it’s not worth taking personal offense to a quiet deadline. No, what’s truly onerous about the situation is the attitude coming from the man in charge, the grand marshall of this shit parade: Rubén Amaro, Jr.
Amaro: “We were not looking for exorbitant payback, so to speak. We were looking for players that would help us. I think we were very reasonable in the discussions that we had. Frankly, I don’t think the clubs were aggressive enough for the kind of talent we have on our club.” – NJ.com
Let me translate that into human English: “Nobody wanted to sell the farm for the bullshit that I was peddling, so I’m gonna peddle bullshit to my fan base instead.”
I take offense, Rubén. I take offense because you just looked me in the eye and called me a stupid asshole.
Kimmo Timonen, the Flyers long-time top defensemen and man’s man, has been diagnosed with blood clots in his legs and lungs. The Flyers have since signed Michael Del Zotto. A few quick thoughts on the matter with more likely to come in the podcast:
- This doesn’t necessarily mean that his career is over. Yes, this is likely Kimmo’s last hurrah, but given that he’s a stubborn old man that never leaves leaves the ice if injured, I would imagine he tries to come back ASAP if medically possible.
- I didn’t mind the idea of Timonen sticking it out for one more year even though his play has noticeably declined. The Flyers are weak on the blue lines and any knowledge you can squeeze out of him to your younger defenseman would be a plus.
- Perhaps Kimmo could retire and Finnish (yes, bad pun!) the season as an assistant on the bench. His experience and knowledge is useful for the next generation of defenders.
- Michael Del Zotto, who has been signed following the Timonen injury is only 24 years old. He could be such a case.
- However, the fact that a 24 year-old defender is on the market in August is not exactly comforting. A change of scenery certainly hasn’t improved Luke Schenn.
- Can someone build a time machine and get JVR back? I’ll kiss you.
Here’s what we talked about:
- The Hall of Fame and the players you grew up with
- Feminine persuasion involves two female firsts.
- The Eagles offense, training camp, and why Sanchez isn’t such a bad fit.
- TWCNN gives another news update
- Paul George, International brands, and the booming love of players.
What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!
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Rejoice! The doldrums of summer, and the seemingly-endless stream of unsubstantiated speculation about the coming season is mercifully subsiding. Eagles training camp is here, and thus marks the official unofficial start of the 2014 NFL season. Huzzah! Now we have some actual news to read about!
But games that count are still quite a ways away, and something has been bugging me. While perusing the various forms of Philadelphia sports talk-radio over the last couple of weeks (Hey! Have you heard our excellent podcast yet?), I noticed that one of the more persistent topics of
unsubstantiated conjecture debate has been “Are Chip Kelly’s Eagles going to improve or decline in year two?”
The argument generally breaks down into one of two run-on sentences: 1) Chip’s offense has been torn apart in NFL film rooms all offseason, and it’s a college offense anyway, and it was sort of a flukey year, and the defense still sucks, so the Eagles will be worse in 2014, or 2) Chip is a genius, so when opposing teams make adjustments, Chip’ll adjust them right back, the team is used to Chip now, and the defense didn’t get any worse but the offense is gonna get better, so the Eagles will be better than last year.
Frankly, both sides make a somewhat cogent point. What bothers me – what always bothers me – is the lack of context…