Walrus Droppings: Dog Days of Lehigh

Talk of the Town
The Billionaire’s Yearly Ego-Stroke
Jeffrey Lurie graced the world with his presence at Training Camp last week to give his yearly boldface lie state of the team address to the media. Good news: His words didn’t spark a million message board posts/sports talk-caller rants! Bad news: We tend to agree with most of what he says.

Vick’s Donovan Impression
Michael Vick sat down with Mike Missanelli and 9.75 The Fanatic to discuss, among other things, his contract status and Rob Ryan’s comments(*). Is it just us, or has Michael Vick perfected Donovan McNabb’s “appear congenial and humorous while actually toeing the company line and saying nothing” interview response?

(*)Quick note on Rob Ryan: Who cares what he said… He’s a Ryan. He’s got a big mouth. That’s what they do (and that’s why we love them).

Speaking of Number Five…

Donny Drama Does What Donny Drama Does Best:
Be Dramatic

Dear Donovan McNabb:

At one point in your career, we empathized with you. We were sympathetic when you were attacked by Rush Limbaugh, and (mostly) stood by your side during the whole T.O. debacle. We even blamed your receivers when Ricky Manning, Jr. raped you during the 2003 NFC Championship Game. But now that you’re gone, and the midnight green-colored glasses no longer apply, we realize, you’re the common drama denominator.

You are now twice-removed from the Eagles and yet, you can’t seem to take them out of your mouth. This is what you said last week to CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge (via profootballtalk.com):

“I was there for 11 years, and the biggest thing we brought in was T.O. Now they’re getting the so-called ‘Dream Team.’ It’s amazing, but I look back on my career and what they’re doing now . . . that’s great; that’s excellent. But you’re seeing another side. You’re seeing Andy [Reid] taking that chance. It’s not just taking that chance on one guy. They’re taking a chance on a bunch of guys. And they’re spending money. That’s amazing.”

Sure, who can blame you for being irked that the Eagles never fully went “all in” during your tenure here – even though the 2002 and 2004 teams were more than good enough to win it all(**) – but you’re a Minnesota Viking now and should only be concerned with the Minnesota Vikings.

(**)But, let’s not forget… both of those playoff runs ended with a McNabb interception.

For all of your efforts to be “the company guy” and the consummate professional who always says the right things, you sure are the king of making not-so-subtle, yet veiled comments about your former team. And ever since you left for Washington, you’ve done nothing but show your true colors: jealous, envious and melodramatic.

It wasn’t that we never loved you Donovan, you just needed something to cry about. If you feel the need to carry around that big ugly chip on shoulder from draft day – more than 12 years ago now! – and think that the Eagles did you wrong for all those years, well, so be it. You give off the aura of a lover scorned… but you sound more like an ungrateful, spiteful spinster.

Have fun in Minnesota, Donny Drama! We can’t wait until Chris Ponder rightfully takes your job.

With loathing,
Eagles Fans

The Desean Debate
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell – whose football analysis we’ve really come to enjoy – breaks down Desean Jackson’s efficiency catching the ball (spoiler alert: it’s subpar). Barnwell makes a pretty good statistical case for why the Eagles shouldn’t invest huge dollars in Jackson – primarily focusing on his catch rate and his percentage of dropped balls – but Desean’s importance to the Eagles offense goes far beyond numbers.

Without Jackson on the field, the Bird’s offense isn’t nearly as dynamic. Desean’s ability to stretch the field – even with the occasional drop – is what makes the Eagles offense go. Even as a decoy, if Desean is on the field, the defense must account for him and a receiving corps of (a hopefully healthy) Maclin, Avant and Cooper doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of Defensive Coordinators.

In all of our years of watching football, very few Wide Receivers have stood out for getting behind defenders the way that Desean Jackson does. His speed and double move are second-to-none and his game is more Iverson than Rice. He might not be technically sound and he might be undersized, but he is a warrior and will do whatever it takes to get into the end zone.

And THAT’S why he deserves to be paid.

Rookies Galore!
It appears that the Birds are VERY high on some of their youngest talent. Reuben Frank had glowing words for first-round pick, Danny Watkins (“All-rookie team in 2011. Pro Bowl by 2013.”), and third-round Cornerback, Cutis Marsh (“Kind of like a young Bobby Taylor. Tall, rangy, athletic and very smart.”). Frank goes on to praise Jaiquwan Jarrett, who could be a big hitter, but is hurt by the lack of mini-camp/training camp time. Center Jason Kelce is another rook to keep an eye on, as he is pushing Jamaal Jackson for the starting spot.

Frank on new Eagles Kicker, Alex Henery: “Huge leg. Can kick the thing a mile. They don’t always seem to go straight. Keep a close eye on the rookie kicker Thursday night. Andy Reid would love to give him a nice challenging 47-yarder. See where he’s at. The kid scares me a bit.”

And finally, Casey Matthews appears to possess that legendary “Matthews-family Football Gene” and, as of now, is not Fredo Matthews! Currently locked-in as the starting Middle Linebacker – at least for now – Matthews could finally be that missing piece in the middle the Eagles have sorely lacked since Jeremiah Trotter left (the first time).

Ray Diddy Whets the Lombardi Appetite
As if you’re not already jacked up enough for the season to start(***), Ray Diddy gets the juices flowing by comparing the 2011 Eagles with the 1994 San Francisco 49ers.

(***)And if you’re not, why the hell are you reading this?

It’s super early to start putting this team up there with past Super Bowl winners… but boy, are the similarities striking – right down to signing a game-changing Cornerback in free agency and the rookie kicker. Bizarre, and hope-inspiring, stuff.

Oh and one more thing before we get out of here… THERE’S AN EAGLES FOOTBALL GAME TOMORROW!!! Sure it’s preseason, but its football!

Rejoice Fire The Walrus Nation!

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