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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rx for the Eagles, 2007

Everyone in Philadelphia has an opinion on what the Eagles need to do in the off-season to get back to being Super Bowl contenders. With Andy Reid’s canceling of Donovan McNabb’s press conference yesterday, it seems clear to me that little will change. They will continue to coddle McNabb, assume they know more than anyone, draft big lineman and not run, and draft second-tier wide receivers and pass way too much.

So, with no hope that they will do any of the following, here’s my advice to the Birds:

· Trade McNabb, re-sign Jeff Garcia, and draft the quarterback of the future: Why everyone says McNabb was on his way to a MVP-type season is beyond me. He was not even close. The team was 5-5 after the game in which he got hurt after starting 4-1. His passing stats are inflated due to Reid’s absurd play-calling in which the team throws way too much, and McNabb’s fragile psyche is tiresome. Garcia outplayed the guy, and proved he was the leader McNabb can only talk about being.
· Don’t let Reid near the play calling: If there was any doubt about Reid’s inability to react on the sideline, it was punted away on 4th and 15 at the end of the loss in New Orleans. The lack of a run game for most of the year was absurd, and timeout management is always an issue – which is tied to play calling.
· Re=sign Donte' Stallworth and draft a top-flight wide receiver: The Birds took until the end of training camp to realize their receivers were weak at best, and finally traded for Stallworth. A repeat of such stupidity is unacceptable. I’m not sure this team is even capable of drafting a top receiver, but they better find a way.
· Fix the defense: It’s time to accept that our defense isn’t that good. I’m sick of this city canonizing guys that say that right things but have just gotten too old. Brian Dawkins had a good second half of the season, but counting on another Herculean effort is just dumb. Jeremiah Trotter looked like he was standing still against Deuce McAllister. Sean Considine is a joke. The Eagles better draft run-stoppers who they will actually play in their rookie year.

Week in Review:
· After today, 71 days remain until the Phillies opener. Sadly, that is the most positive thing to say about the professional Philly sports teams.
· The Sixers have entered bizarro world. True fans were no doubt encouraged by the trouncing they took in Memphis, the team’s only real competition for the most lottery balls this spring, and discouraged by last night’s upset of the Heat. The good news: Memphis’ best player just returned from injury, and the Heat were playing back-to-back games without Shaquille O’Neal.
· Villanova knocked off nationally ranked Texas today. Maybe the Wildcats will make March some fun.
· In case you missed it, ESPN decided tennis in Australia was more watchable than Stephen A. Smith’s Quite Frankly.

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