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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday on the Links

There’s not much “new” to discuss at the moment unless someone wants to get drunk and start a rumor on Facebook. Until then, here’s some good stuff I found this morning on the internet:

Hines Ward took to Facebook to give Eagles fans one more reason to be envious of the Steelers:

To my fans...
by Hines Ward on Monday, February 7, 2011 at 3:14pm

I’m at a total loss for words. I’m honestly emotionally drained. I wanted to win so badly. I left everything out on that field. I’m so disappointed in how we played. I want to apologize to the Steeler Nation for not bringing the 7th one home where it belongs this time. We all know what happened in the game. My mom and others have said that we had a great year if you look at where we started and where we ended up playing in the Super Bowl. I guess so but this game hurts. SORRY we fell short of our goal. But I personally am determined to win it next year. All the more reason for me to come back and do my part.

Philadelphia isn’t the only city creating news on social media. I caught this on this morning:

The clock is ticking on Dwight Howard’s free agency, though perhaps not as loudly as some might believe. Not eligible to become a free agent until the summer of 2012, [Howard] is fed up with the speculation that he’s already got one foot out the door of Amway Center and the Orlando Magic organization. Late Monday afternoon, a fan named Mike Philpot sent Howard the following message via Twitter: “D12 ... be different. Stay in Orlando. You can own this city. See Jordan and Tim Duncan for examples.” Howard issued the following response: “I never said I wanted to leave stop reading the rumors. It’s really stupid. And annoying to be honest. They tryna make something outta nothing I have another yr under my contract before I can sign.”

I’m a little tired of ripping the Eagles, so I’ll let Phil Sheridan do it for me:

This Gruden thing made no sense, yet it went viral in a matter of a couple of hours. It was as if people wanted so badly to believe it, they willingly overlooked the unreliability of the source - Kyle Eckel’s Facebook page? Really? - and the sheer lack of logic behind the whole idea. . . .

All of this wishful thinking says something about Reid and his stewardship of the Eagles. Once again, the Super Bowl has come and gone. Once again, it was another team, another group of fans celebrating a championship. The Eagles’ drought since the 1960 title is at 50 seasons.

Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy stood at the podium for the traditional day-after news conference. This year, he is the font of wisdom, the man with all the answers. Last year, it was Sean Payton, another ex-Eagles assistant. The year before that, it was Mike Tomlin.

The question before the court is whether it is harder or easier to picture Reid at that podium now than it was three or five or 10 years ago.

The trends are not encouraging. Tomlin won a Super Bowl in his second season as a head coach and returned in his fourth. Payton took one of the league's most luckless franchises, the Saints, to a title in his fourth year.

McCarthy is in his fifth season with the Packers. He reached a conference championship game with Brett Favre at quarterback, managed the transition to Aaron Rodgers, and got his team to the mountaintop after a brief step backward. During this postseason, McCarthy and his staff, including venerable defensive coordinator Dom Capers, were 4 for 4 with their game plans. The Packers jumped out to double-digit leads against all four of their opponents, including the Eagles.

More troubling, McCarthy and Payton are from similar coaching backgrounds as Reid. Like Gruden, they are offensive coaches with reputations for staring at tape until their eyes burn, looking for an edge. Like Gruden (and Reid, at first), they balanced their staffs by hiring experienced defensive coordinators and turning that side of the ball over to them.

There is a pattern here. Reid fit that pattern up until 2005. Now, 12 years into his tenure, he does not.

. . . Maybe it will all come together in the next year or so. Every Eagles fan hopes so, but Gruden-mania suggests many of them don't believe so.

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