EAGLES 2012 AND BEYOND: CHANGE IS NEEDED

Ok…On this Christmas Day I am writing a post on the Eagles. Before I get to my main blog…I want to take this time out again to Send my condolences and prayers to all of those that were effected by the Newtown Connecticut Tragedy. This is real life and the real important parts of life…To put in perspective while analyzing sports which in the scheme of things is low on the Totem Pole. The Children and Adults who lost their lives that Day are the Real Heroes and will never be Forgotten!
Way back on September 16th, I wrote a piece about how every year us Die Hard Eagles fans anticipate a Super Bowl, no matter how previous seasons have went. I used a lot of past memories and seasons and players that will give any fan goose bumps. Well, of course as we wind down and the Eagles are down to their final game…the season did not go as well as the team as well as the fans had hoped for. With another loss, their record will fall to
4-12 which is the worst record since the 3-13 season…The first season that Andy was the coach. Of course after that season, the Eagles inherited a Top Draft Pick and chose a Franchise Quarterback Donovan McNabb…and the rest is history. This Eagles
Genre enjoyed its best success of any Eagles time period. During the past 14 seasons, the Eagles have made 5 NFC Championships including One SuperBowl appearance in which the Eagles almost beat the favored Patriots. During that game, Donovan McNabb was blamed for choking, the Eagles Defense was blasted for being too soft in the second half when they allowed Corey Dillon to run for 100 yards. Terrell Owens was praised for his effort on basically one leg after almost being lost for the season. Andy Reid was blamed for his poor clock management (an ongoing criticism that is very well documented). And the Eagles 2 Minute Offense was scorned as Donovan threw a last minute interception as the team was driving for a comeback win. Well, sorry to burst everyone’s bubble but that Eagles team was very good but they lost to an even better New England Patriots team. Look at what the Patriots have accomplished in the past 15 years. Tom Brady and Bill Bellichik are sure fire hall of famers. That is not to say that the Eagles could not have won the game, they were leading at half time, but the better team did end up winning in the end. Well ever since that SuperBowl, the Eagles have suffered through some very disappointing seasons as far as their outcomes, making the playoffs but coming up short. The last NFC Championship Run that the team made ended in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals and the reborn Kurt Warner…his last hurrah. Since that loss, Donovan McNabb’s career went south, he was traded and has since retired. The Eagles made a bold move by signing a reformed criminal Michael Vick who really came into his own his first season as the Eagles starting Quarterback. However, since then the Eagles have went totally down hill in every category. Do the Eagles lack talent…Hell No! LeSean McCoy may be the 3rd Best Running Back in the NFL. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are very talented receivers. Trent Cole is a stud Defensive Lineman who has never benefitted from an opposite side star. The Eagles finally got a talented Linebacker in Free Agency. Nick Foles even looked like he could be a star quarterback in this league. However, in my opinion the Eagles real demise occurred when Jim Johnson passed away. When Jim died, a piece of Eagles lure was taken away and has never been replaced. Take a look back to any Eagles past season and you will see that no matter how good or bad that their offense was, the Eagles success went as their Defense went. The Buddy Ryan years…years that Randall Cunningham was lost for the season twice…those teams still had much success due to a Dominant Defense. Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Andre Waters, Clyde Simmons, Mike Golic, Bud Carson, Eric Allen, Seth Joyner, Bill Romanowski…the list goes on and on. The Ray Rhodes years…Troy Vincent, Hugh Douglas, Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Dawkins, And that list goes on and on. The Jim Johnson years…Brian Dawkins, Lito Sheppherd, Sheldon Brown, Hugh Douglas, that list goes on and on. The Eagles Defense now is a far cry less talented than any of those defenses. The Eagles Defense lacks heart and identity. My argument would be that the Eagles suffered a tremendous loss when they lost Johnson as their defensive coordinator. That is when this team took a nose dive. No one can argue that Andy Reid has been one of the top head coaches in the NFL during his span as the Eagles Top Dog. However, during Andy’s good years, the Eagles always had a stellar defense. This Defense is no more. Andy lost one of his sons this year and that is a tremendous tragedy for any parent, to have to bury their child. I think Andy Reid has just run his course. This is time for change and no one will forget the positive influence that Reid has had on this franchise the past 14 Seasons. However, this team has still not win a Super Bowl and mediocrity and just making the playoffs is no longer acceptable. Jeff Lurie must see that the Eagles need to win a Championship to make it to the next level. It is painfully obvious that this team will never win a Championship under Andy Reid. The Eagles must get back to their core element. DEFENSE! DEFENSE! DEFENSE! Their Defense must be the core element that is addressed. Every one is saying they want “Chuckie”, John Gruden or The Top College Offensive minded Coaches. I would argue that this would be a huge
Mistake. This team needs a Defensive Minded Coach. My top choice would be Bill Cowher if he will come out of retirement. How about Rex Ryan, Buddy’s Son. Hey…at this point I would say Brian Dawkins would make a great Head Coach! He has more Heart and knowledge than most former players. No matter who the next choice is for the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeff Lurie must bring in a DEFENSIVE HEAD COACH! They also need a strong Defensive Coordinator. With the way this season is going, they will inherit one of the top picks. It’s time to stop taking Offensive Stars, they need a STUD DEFENSIVE PROSPECT! I would definitely go Defense with their first pick. I would take the Top Defensive player available, no matter what position. This should be Jeff Luries Focus as the Eagles move forward. The 2013 Version of the Eagles must have a total makeover. The only way to build a winner is to rebuild. This team has tried signing top free agents year after year and where has that got them. Namdi Osumuagh may be the most overrated player and he was ridiculously overpaid. The Eagles cut their top sack master after just one season Jason Babin. There have been many other countless mistakes made at the Free Agent Table. Jeff Lurie if you ever read this…Please take heed. You must rebuild from the bottom up. This Defense needs an overhaul. This offense needs a new line…one that can dominate just like the John Runyan years. At this point, Dominique Cromartie would be my only untouchable on Defense. Even Trent Cole (my favorite player) could go as far as I am concerned. DEFENSE has to be the top priority going forward for this team. And no matter who is under center next season, wether it is a free agent quarterback, Nick Foles, or some star drafted QB, the Eagles must get away from the West Coast OFFENSE and use their strength…run the ball! LeSean McCoy may be the most underrated under used Running Back in the NFL. He has more talent than Brian Westbrook and could be the best Back in the NFL if used properly. He needs more touches Lurie!!! Anyways, going forward, this team needs much change. Rebuilding is necessary to get better. No matter what changed are made, the Franchise Philosophy is the biggest area that needs change. Winning a Championship must be this teams TOP PRIORITY!!! Making the playoffs will not cut it any more. The Die Hard Fans are hurting for a Super Bowl. Now do the right thing and get this team back on track. Good luck to this team in the future. Merry Christmas everyone…may God Bless all my fans in 2013! God Bless The Eagles!

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ANOTHER EAGLES/GIANTS EPIC BATTLE

McNabb avoids Michael Strahan rush and passes to Todd Pinkston in corner of end zone TOUCHDOWN….Eagles win in last minute 10-9 at the Meadowlands.
That was 1999. 2003….Eagle’s season in the balance…trailing the Giants 10-7 once again at the Meadowlands…1:34 seconds left on the clock. Brian Westbrook back to field the punt…he…could…go…..all….THE……….
WAY! Touchdown Eagles beat the Giants again in the last minute. 2010….Another wild one at the Meadowlands. Eagles trailing Giants by 31-10 in 4th quarter. They score 3 unanswered touchdowns to tie the score at 31-31. With only 14 seconds Desean Jackson was back to field a punt…a low line drive that he muffs. He then picks it up and scampers through numerous missed tackles for the Game Winning Punt Return! The last Monday Night Football game at the Vet and Brian Dawkins levels Ike Hilliard knocking the ball out and icing the game for the Eagles! Eagles trail Giants 17-16 w/ 2:00 left at the Lincoln! Eagles drive down and kick a FG….19-17, but there is over a minute left for Eli to bring the Giants back down the field. He seems to have a game winning drive in him as they drive down to within 54 yards. Lawrence Tynes for the win….He MISSES!….wait…wait…oh no! Andy Reid called a timeout to ice the kicker. Ok…Lawrence Tynes back again….The kick is up…it’s…..No Good! NO Good! Are u kidding me…what an ending to an epic battle. Everytime these Division Rivals battle it out something always occurs. This was a defensive hold out. The Eagles also backed your statement. Well anyways…Great win for the Birds to go 3-1. They have now won 3 games they should have 1.

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BRIAN DAWKINS, WEEK #4 PICKS/ FANTASY START EMS-SIT EMS

So today, as Brian Dawkins officially retires as an Eagle, it will be an emotional day for anyone that has any connection with the Philadelphia Eagle’s Organization (past or present) wether it be Players, Coaches, Ownership, Fans, and the list continues. Brian Dawkins is a Legend…An Icon in the Philly Sports Realm. Being an Eagle’s fan for my whole life there have been many great players that have donned the Green! Wilbert Montgomery, Mike Quick, Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham, Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Troy Vincent, Keith Byars, Keith Jackson, Ricky Waters, Donovan McNabb, Deuce Staley, Brian Westbrook, Hugh Douglas, Jeremiah Trotter, Terrell Owens, Michael Vick, Deshaun Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Trent Cole…the list could go on forever if you are a die-hard Eagle’s fan. Well…for me Brian Dawkins is my all time favorite Eagle notwithstanding Reggie White. Brian Dawkins is the epitome of the Philadelphia Sports History. He wore his heart on his sleeve 100 percent of the time and then some. He gave his heart and soul to this team and city. He played relentless defense at a position that has become more important every year as the Athletes are getting better and better…especially tight ends who the Safety is generally responsible for covering. When Brian would hit an opponent…there was no question wether he was in the play or not. I rank him right there when it comes to the hardest hitting safety’s in NFL history…right there with Andre Waters, Ronnie Lott, Darren Woodsen and Ed Reed. Brian is also known for his faith off of the field as he is truly a Godly Man. But when he is on the field of battle…there was no player of my time that brought the intensity, the tenacity, and the energy to the field. I can remember years ago when I would sit in the end zone and Dawkins would run onto the field and bring the crowd to an absolute frenzy!!! When this team let Brian Dawkins walk into free agency…I did not want to be a fan anymore. That’s how much this player meant to me…I have a Dawkins shrine in my basement. My sister even named her dog Dawkins. My buddy Kenny also named his dog Dawkins. I would be willing to bet many other Eagle’s fans named their pets after this absolute legend. Also known as WEAPON X…it will be so great to see his number retired in an Eagle’s uniform. I am sure there will be many tears shed as the ceremony takes place tonight in South Philly. What better team to be playing than the New York Giants! Brian…we all Love You and miss your presence on the field, and you will never be forgotten. Your hits galore…the time you crunched Crumpler in that NFC Championship. The hit on Vick in that same game, You raising the NFC Trophy high and proud…your blood sweat and tears in the 2004 Superbowl…countless memories. Brian…no one deserves this more than you. You will never be forgotten.
Ok…now that I got that off my chest…onto my picks.
1) New England @ Buffalo- The Patriots are favored by 3.5 points in this one. The Patriots are in danger of losing 3 in a row which has not happened since 2002! As good as Buffalo is this year…cannot see them beating Tom Brady and Company! Take the Patriots in this one with the points.
2) Carolina @ Falcons- The Falcons are favored by 7 in this one. Look for the Falcons to continue their winning streak, but the Panthers will cover the spread as these games are always close.
3) Minnesota @ Detroit- Detroit is favored by 4.5. The Vikings looked solid last week but look for the upstart offense of the Lions to wreak havoc in this game. Take the Lions with the points.
4) Titans @ Texans- Houston is favored by 11.5 and usually I would say this is a fair line but they are playing the Titans. The Titans have not been great but for some reason they always play the Texans tight. This is my upset of the week…Go with the Titans.
5) Chargers @ Chiefs- The Chiefs are favored at home but only by a point. The Chargers are playing much better so I’m taking them on the road.
6) San Francisco @ NY Jets- The Jets are favored at home by 4 but the 49ers will be hungry after being upset by the Vikings last week. Look for the Niners to win this one easily on the road against the Jets minus Durelle Revis.
7) Seattle @ St. Louis- The Rams are favored by 3 but I am taking the Seahawks on the road in this one. I agree that they lucked out in Green Bay and won on a horrible call…but one cannot deny that they played a very good Green Bay offense to the T! Seattle wins.
8) Bengals @ Jaguars- The Jags are only favored by 1.5 in this one but Cincinnati has been absolutely horrible on the road. Jacksonville has been playing much better. Look for Jones-Drew to tear up the Bengals poor run defense. Jaguars by a Touchdown.
9) Raiders @ Broncos- The Raiders are favored by a Touchdown on the road in Denver where they have owned the Broncos. However, Peyton Manning is still out to prove that Indy made a huge mistake letting Him go. The Broncos win this one by a field goal.
10) Dolphins @ Cardinals- The Dolphins are favored on the road by 4.5 against the Cardinals. Last year I would have said take Miami, but Arizona is turning a lot of heads. They have beat New England and Philly in the past 2 games. Look for the Cardinals to continue their win streak.
11) Saints @ Packers- The Saints are favored by 7.5. This game will be a shootout. I’m taking the Saints due to the law of averages. I cannot see a talented team such as the Saints starting 0-4. Saints win but the Packers cover.
12) Redskins @ Buccaneers- Washington is favored by 2 on the road. My money is on the Bucs with their surprise Defense.
13) Giants @ Eagles- The Eagles are favored by 2.5 @ home, which I think is a stretch. However, The Eagles will win this one and cover the points due to an emotional Brian Dawkins retirement ceremony that will give Home Field Advantage another Meaning!
14) Bears @ Cowboys- Monday night madness in Dallas. Dallas is the better team but I’m taking the Bears on the road and to improve their Monday Night Record.
Ok….
Start Ems/Sit Ems
Start-
QB- Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning.
RB- Maurice Jones Drew, Matt Forte, Arian Foster
WR- Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall.
TE- Brent Celek, Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzalez
K- Henry, Hanson, Crosby
D- Eagles, 49ers, Jaguars

Sit-
QB- Ryan Fitzpatrick, RJ3, Michael Vick
RB- Shonn Jones, Steven Jackson, Demarco Murray
WR- Deshaun Jackson, Wes Welker, Steve Smith
TE- Rob Gronkowski, Jermichah Finley, Jason Witten
K- Nick Folk, Lawrence Tynes, David Buehler
D- Saints, Packers, Lions

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