Thursday, July 31, 2008

RUNYAN wasn't ripping Andrews

The headline writers at some papers went a little nuts accusing Jon Runyan of being critical of Shawn Andrews' "holdout." But really Runyan was simply stating the obvious - staying away from training camp wasn't doing him or the team any good as the offensive line works on chemistry. One blog went nuts on the "holdout" thing, speculating the matter is contract related. It isn't. Andrews, in the opinion of another players thinks he's good enough to compete without going through the grind of training camp.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

HOWARD: Abiamiri has 9-10 week injury

Eagles veteran Darren Howard says he had almost exactly the same injury sustained recently by fellow defensive end Victor Abiamiri, who had surgery to stabalize his dislocated left wrist. Howard also had a couple of pins inserted, like Abiamiri, and had damage to a ligament. Howard says it was a 9-to-10 week injury.

All of that said Howard played eight games the season of his injury, which occurred in the opener, and compiled 5 sacks. "I know what he's going through," said Howard, adding that in his comeback from the injury "I played pretty good the last part of the season."

Eagles Camp ... or the Jersey Shore

It costs me me about $65 to fill my gas tank, too, so when it comes to day trips it really pays to pick your spots.

There's been a lot of talk about why fans aren't flocking to Lehigh as in years past but it'spretty obvious. Eagles fans are tired of Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, and their 10-year marriage. There's just not a lot of excitement and energy as in years past. But if you appreciate football you can watch some pretty cool drills - the linemen battles are the best - and you even get to see some real tackling. Is it worth the time and the money compared to say, the Jersey Shore?

Eagles training camp at Lehigh University or the Jersey Shore?

Training camp: Hot, humid, buggy. The Shore: Hot, breezy, bugs only when you get the bay breeze. Training camp: Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Lito Sheppard, Andy Reid and injuries. Jersey Shore: Bikinis, bikini bodies, suntans and sunburns. Training camp: Park here (free), not there, walk here, not there, sit here not there, cheer this, not that, feel the sweat run into places you forgot you had. And sorry but you literally have to win the lottery to stand in line for an autograph. Jersey Shore: Buy a beach badge, pay for parking, go for a swim, a walk, a walk-and-talk and read, read, read amid the pounding of the waves. Training camp: Buy cheap gas ($3.78 gallon) on the 1-hour, 20-minute ride home. Jersey Shore: Buy cheaper gas ($3.74/gallon) on the 2-hour, 10-minute drive home.

Training camp or the Jersey Shore? For my money, for a day, you can't go wrong with training camp. But if I'm bringing company it's not even close - the Shore.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Andy Reid

It should be entertaining to see who's on board with the latest Eagles spin, explained Saturday by Joe Banner. In short, the Eagles are this years New York Giants - unhappy players, underwhelming draft and low expectations.

I'll spot you the minimal expectations even if Donovan McNabb thinks a lot of people are picking the Eagles to win the NFC championship this year. I'll even give you a lame-duck coach in Andy Reid, just as Tom Coughlin appeared to be entering 2007, and a quarterback in McNabb thought of very much like Eli Manning; i.e. what has he won lately? But I won't give you the playoffs just yet, much less the Super Bowl because almost everyone knows the Eagles still don't have enough offensive punch.

And, of course, there's McNabb. He's still an above average quarterback. He's just not the guy physically or emotionally that led the Eagles to the Super Bowl.
Eli Manning played al of last season including the playoffs despite hurting his throwing arm in the opener. McNabb hasn't been able to play a complete season since the Super Bowl year. The only real question now is how much more pain he can take. He hits 32 years old in November and already has a suspect throwing shoulder.

Friday, July 25, 2008


It must have been Brett Favre - using the Packers property cellphone he called the Vikings with - who called the Eagles to see if they would be interested in trading for him. He must have disguised his voice.

Seriously now, Fave was behnd that call. He's fond of Andy Reid, the Eagles' head coach. And Favre isn't as scattered as he sometimes seems. He knows Reid is at a crossroads. Just the idea Favre and the Packers called to see if the Eagles would be interested in obtaining a veteran quarterback that not only can win but stay healthy tells you how the Philly quarterback situation is regarded around the league.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The Green Bay Packers have asked the Eagles if they would be interested in securing the services of quarterback Brett Favre according to

Then again, the original late Wednesday report stated it was the Eagles that had sent out a "feeler" to the Packers with respect to Favre before making the correction.

Though the Eagles couldn't immediately be reached for comment (they have better things to do after a long day of training camp) the dots don't really connect.

Unless, that is, Andy Reid, who coached Favre, is in the kind of panic mode where he thinks in order to save his job he has to make the playoffs and No. 4 is the only guy he thinks can get the job done. I would agree the playoffs are the only way Reid sticks around until his contract expires after 2010 but I'm not so sure the Eagles now have enough firepower to reach the postseason even with Favre.

Maybe the Pack did call. Maybe they were thinking about about putting together an exotic multi-team deal where the Iggs would get a franchise wide receiver.

But Favre for Donovan McNabb straight up? Might as well keep McNabb, who would positively freak out if such a deal ever happened.

Kevin Kolb is the Eagles' future. As tough as it will be replacing McNabb, who has taken the Eagles to the Super Bowl, it would probably be even more difficult having the kid follow the legend.

Kolb is MVP of early training camp

The first few days of training camp are easier said than done.

That said, the most impressive performer among rookies and select veterans at insect-populated Lehigh U. is second-year quarterback Kevin Kolb.

And it isn't close.

It's not a question of if the guy is ready to take the next step but when he will take it.

You can see the killer mentality in the footwork, th throws and his remarkable ability to correct mistakes. You never see him mess up the same play twice.

Even Andy Reid agrees.

"I think he’s well ahead of where he was last year," Reid said. "He’s worked very hard at that. He basically spent the whole offseason (in Philadelphia) going over film and techniques and all of those things. And the actual reps he got during the minicamps I think were important. And he’s tough on himself. He’s a coaches kid. Hes been raised where he expects perfection from himself. Last year he was swimming. This year he expects a lot of himself as do the players and the coaches around him."

Of course, Donovan McNabb still is the man. And he's looked good, bad and ugly at times in this early phase of camp although in all fairness, he's basically only warming his arm up.

Then again, if McNabb doesn't stay healthy he could find himself watching the game on the sideline with A.J. Feeley.

Forget all that spin about Kolb battling Feeley for the No. 2 job. It's Kolb who's one play away from being the Eagles quarterback.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

LB's will be miked for defensive signals

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson isn't a big fan of the helmet transmitters teams will use this season to call their defenses.

But Johnson is going to take his best shot at the league's knee-jerk reaction to the cheating scandal in which Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots were fined a total of $750,000 for taping the defensive signals of the New York Jets.

Johnson will be on one end of the headset the NFL voted to use this season. Only one defensive player can be on the other end during a game.

Linebacker Omar Gaither or Stewart Bradley will wear the transmitter velcroed into their helmets, according to Johnson, basically because with the linemen rotating and the secondary in flux, they're the two most likely defenders to be on the field.

"They've got to make most of the calls and make the adjustments," Johnson said, "And you've always got to pick a guy that's not going to be in there all the time. Not that (Brian) Dawkins is not going to be in there all the time but he's never been a signal caller and I'm not going to make a guy a signal caller just because we've got a headset."

Monday, July 21, 2008


Work two days and get the third one off.

But don't confuse it with make the playoffs one year and take two off which is what the Eagles have done the past three years.

At any rate Andy Reid calls his spanking new idea announced Monday his 30-plus club.
The plan is to keep fresh the over-30 generation of players - Brian Dawkins, Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan, among others - during what's supposed to be a grueling training camp at Lehigh University.

"They’re going to work two days and then they’ll have the morning practice off on the third day," said Reid, whose afternoon camp practices are rarely demanding. "We’ll do that throughout camp. Now, you take into consideration that I have two quarterbacks that are 30 and a punter and a kicker that are 30, so the rule will be bent a little bit with those guys. But for the other crew there will be a little different schedule."

Reid said he hatched the idea on his own and that his players "didn’t argue.”

Hmm. Those slow starts plaguing the Eagles at the beginning of the season ... must be the too-tough training camps.

We'll see,

Shoulder is "Killing" McNabb

Even when the subject is an injury, Donovan McNabb has a pretty good sense of humor.

Asked how the sore shoulder felt that shut him down for most of the offseason team activities, the quarterback shook his head Monday before responding, "It's killing me."

McNabb threw pain free in Arizona according to his publicist, Rich Burg.

Just the same the Eagles will keep an eye on the situation meaning second-year quarterback Kevin Kolb will continue to receive a chunk of the first-team repetitions at practices.

"We’ll monitor it," Andy Reid said. "He has been throwing out in Arizona and seems to be feeling pretty good. We’ll have to keep a close eye on that and make sure that we limit his throws to see exactly where he is.”