Walrus Droppings: Cleaning Out The Weekly Notebook

November 14, 2012

While we await the Eagles sixth straight loss(*) and work on the next post in our 2012 Eagles Magical Mystery Coaching Tour series, we just wanted to note a few things that happened this week in the land of Walrusdom:

(*)Bitter much?

  • The Eagles brought in – gasp! – an ACTUAL Offensive Lineman, signing Jake Scott, formerly of the Colts and Titans. Scott spent four seasons with Howard Mudd, so we can expect him to step right in and provide new starter Nick Foles with some much needed protection. Unfortunately, he can only play one O-Line spot at a time, so we hope Foles has a good life insurance policy.
  • Offensive Coordinator/Bumbling Idiot Marty Mornhinweg defended the team’s limited use of its only good player, LeSean McCoy… Which is the equivalent of him defending his decision to kick the ball in sudden death overtime. Yeah, that happened. And you wonder why this guy is 5-27 lifetime as a Head Coach.
  • John Boruk of CSN Philly asks, “If Reid Goes, How Do The Eagles Fill His Other Job?” What other job is that, you may be asking… Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Boruk offers six candidates with strong NFL resumes for the job, but in keeping with his track record, Lurie is high on Adam Schwartzberg, a Central High School mathlete and self-described “football watcher.”
  • On 97.5 The Fanatic this week, Brian Baldinger – who we generally enjoy and respect – claimed the Eagles will win this week and score at least 28 points in the process, as the Redskins Defense is one of the worst in the league. Apparently Baldy didn’t watch the Monday Night game against the league’s WORST Defense a few weeks ago. Or maybe the pain in his finger is making him forget that the Eagles have yet to score more than 24 points all season.
  • In this Grantland piece – by The Sportstorialist, Wesley Morris – about the attire of NFL coaches(**), there’s a nice little mention of Andy’s “rusty walrus mustache.” We quite enjoyed that! There’s also this line: “Andy Reid is a coach who looks [like] he just doesn’t care.” We honestly couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

 (**)Journalism at its best, if you ask us.

  • Speaking of Grantland, Bill Barnwell posted a piece yesterday counting down the five worst passes (so far) of the 2012 NFL season…  And NOT ONE was a Michael Vick interception?! That’s really surprising, due to the extremely large sample size Barnwell had to choose from. Hell, even Nick Foles’ ludicrously gift-wrapped pass to Anthony Spencer last week (that was thankfully called back due to Morris Claiborne’s ineptitutde awesomeness) didn’t get a mention! We’re ashamed Barnwell. Very ashamed.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow and, of course, follow us on Twitter as we live tweet the Eagles-Redskins shitshow this Sunday. Can’t wait to finally see RGIII and the terror he will impose on this franchise for the next decade…

Hey, at least we’re not Jets fans!

Walrus Droppings: Adding Insult To Injury

November 6, 2012

While we’re still trying to wrap our heads around what transpired last night in New Orleans and just how bad this Eagles team actually is, let’s take a quick step back.

The other day, we kicked off “The 2012 Eagles Magical Mystery Coaching Tour: The Search For The Next Eagles Head Coach” with a post decrying “retired” NFL coaches. Now, obviously, that was before the Birds dropped a Walrus-sized deuce on the Corporate-Sponsored Superdome carpet, and now there are many more voices chiming in on the “next coach” discussion(*). We’re currently working on part two, which examines current NFL coaches and they’re likelihood of landing in Philadelphia – we’re looking at you Sean Payton… (Unfortunately, you’re turning away and laughing to your friends.) – and will have that for you in the next few days.

(*)Fortunately though, they are heard and respected voices!

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, who was on 97.5 The Fanatic with Mike Missanelli this evening, announced his official endorsement for the next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles… Brian Billick?! Seriously.

At first we were surprised, but as Sal Pal explained it, Billick certainly makes sense from a Jeffrey Lurie standpoint. He’s a known commodity that Lurie can sell to the fans, yet he won’t cost the crazy money a Gruden or a Cowher would. And he can coach Offense and coach veterans (Sal’s words). We’d still REALLY prefer to go another route… Especially the Defensive route. Interestingly enough, Paolantonio doesn’t agree.

However, he did bring up a major focal point of our remaining Eagles Magical Mystery Coaching Tour posts: Will the Eagles go with a pedigreed coach or an unknown youngster? On the surface, you’d have to assume the go with the unknown, because that’s how Lurie saves money and that’s how Roseman saves control. Sal Pal seemed to confirm that, but he also wasn’t ruling out a coach with a Super Bowl on his resume. Hence Brian Billick.

You should really listen to the interview, it’s jam-packed with interesting nuggets of Walrusity!

Roseman-Colored Glasses
Another point that Sal and Mike hit on, and a major bit of news that leaked out today… No matter who the next Head Coach may be, he’ll be hired by Howie Roseman, who signed a four-or-five-year extension over the summer , according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. Uggggggggghhhhhhh.

Look, it’s really not surprising at all. He is The Billionaire’s boy, after all, and the man responsible for pushing out Lurie’s long-time best friend, Joe Banner The Devil. This team is Roseman’s to control. As Reid’s on his way out, Roseman’s on his way up and that means he’ll put his own stamp on the franchise with a Head Coach of his choosing. That’s a terrifying thought.

Hell, we’ve already seen the way this guy drafts… And though it’s still way too early to start passing hard judgements on the 2011 and 2012 draft classes, the returns have not been great so far.

We want a COMPLETE AND TOTAL evisceration of the Eagles front office, not the continuation of this fraudulent bullshit. As we said earlier today, we’d rather Lurie move the team away – assuming we’d get the Cleveland deal – and wait three football-less years than deal with his “people” managing the franchise anymore.

Of course, that’s just nonsense though. Lurie and, unfortunately, Roseman are here to stay. Interestingly enough, Sal Paolantonio pointed out, rather emphatically, that Howie leaked this information today to make himself look good. Sounds about right… Especially when you read this report (again from McLane) claiming that an unidentified member of Andy’s staff and/or an Eagles “decision maker” called the Juan firing a “miscalculation.” You don’t say.

The walls are crumbling around The Walrus… It’s a beautiful thing.

The Eagles Can’t Score… Here’s Why
A whole lot of electronic ink has been spilled over the Eagles’ red zone woes, but we turn your attention to the oft-mentioned Bill Barnwell, of Grantland.com, and his phenomenal analysis of an Eagles Offense that has been historically bad inside the 10-yard line(**). That 99-yard pick-six last night? That was the second 90+ yard interception return touchdown the Eagles have given up all year.

(**)An Offense that has scored the fewest first half points in all of football. Seven total first quarter points!

According to Barnwell:

“Turnovers in the red zone that produce touchdowns for the defense simply don’t happen very frequently. From 2007 to 2011, just 12 of the 214 turnovers (5.6 percent) that came on plays that began inside the opposition’s 10-yard line resulted in return touchdowns for the defense. Through the first nine weeks of the 2012 season, there have been 30 such turnovers, and two have been returned for touchdowns. Guess which offense was on the field for both of them? From 2007 to 2011, only one team (the Giants) had more than one turnover inside the opposition’s 10-yard line result in a touchdown return the other way; they had three in five years. In 2012, the Eagles have had two of those plays happen across a stretch of six games. That’s truly remarkable.”

Truly remarkable, indeed. What else is truly remarkable is the amount of points the Eagles have “left on the field” this season. Read the section of Barnwell’s piece titled “The Cost of Vicking,” and you’ll see that Vick’s plethora of turnovers have cost the Eagles approximately 56 points. Says Barnwell:

“It’s enough to turn the Eagles and their NFC-worst minus-50 point differential into a respectable, above-average team.”

And earlier we said that Vick wasn’t even the team’s biggest problem! Ha!

Ladies and gentleman, your 2012 Philadelphia Eagles! It can only get better… Right?!

Walrus Droppings: Even On Off Days The Eagles Find Ways To Make Us Hate Them More

December 8, 2011

Vick’s Epiphany Is Too Little, Too Late
Yesterday, Michael Vick dropped a sound bite that was insanely infuriating.

The oft-injured Quarterback, who is coming back to the starting lineup after his latest ailment – and just in time… it’s not like we want the Eagles to lose the remaining four games or anything(*) – has finally come to a realization that he needs to better protect himself. By sliding. Welcome to 2010 Mike Vick!

(*)Sarcasm alert!

Look, we love the guy’s heart and toughness, and if you’re an avid reader of this site, you know we hold a special place for players who “leave it all out on the field.” But this is something that we, along with every Eagles fan and Philadelphia sports media member, have been screaming for him to do since he took over as the team’s leader. We specifically recall an interview Vick did with Mike Missanelli, where Mikey Miss pleaded for him to start sliding and Vick declared that he didn’t know how, nor did he want to. It wasn’t his style.

Apparently, breaking multiple ribs and missing multiple games is right up Vick’s alley.

Vick puts himself in harm’s way when he takes off down field. He rarely runs out of bounds, never, ever slides, and somehow absorbs more punishing hits than anyone else in the league – though Roethlisraper is certainly a close second. Vick is a warrior, we get that. But there comes a point where putting your health on the line can be detrimental to the team… and Vick passed that point last season.

Think about it this way: If Vick doesn’t get knocked out of the Falcons game in Week 2, do the Eagles lose? If Vick starts against the Patriots and Seahawks, are those games (embarrassing) losses? We don’t know the answers, but we do know that we like the team’s chances a whole lot more with Vick under center than Kafka or Young.

So while we’re glad that Vick has “learned” his lesson, we would have been much happier if he would have just come to that conclusion a year or two earlier. But, you know, a full 16 games of Vick clearly isn’t as important as a 4-8 record…(**)

(**)Did we mention that we hate this team?

Eagles Claim Another Meaningless “Championship”
If you’re an Eagles season ticket holder, or a sucker member of the official Philadelphia Eagles mailing list, then yesterday you received an email notifying you that the Eagles were named the 2011 Sport Team of the Year.

Now, if you’re like us, the first thought that popped into your brain when reading that was obviously: “What organization honors teams for being the best at being the most disappointing? Did the Razzies start handing out sports awards?” No, they didn’t.

The award was actually given to the Eagles by Beyond Sport, an organization “dedicated to using the power of sports to bring about social change around the world.”(***)

(***)And an organization who’s Web site is unreadable. Seriously guys… dark gray type on a dark maroon background?!

Why did the Eagles receive such a “high” honor? According to the Eagles’ letter:

What this award really does is recognize the many, many contributions of everyone in Eagles Nation to the success of these programs since 1994.

Yes, the Eagles have a superb recycling program. Yes, the Linc is vegetarian friendly. Yes, the Eagles are all about energy conservation, what with the wind turbines that will be installed on top of the Linc(****). Yes, the Eagles raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness and do their part to “Go Green.” It’s all very respectable.

(****)Wasn’t that supposed to happen by now? They weren’t bullshitting us, were they?

What’s not respectable? Shoving their accomplishment in our faces.

Is the letter – signed by The Billionaire, The Devil, The Walrus and, very curiously, The Billionaire’s wife (?!) – supposed to make us feel better? Is it supposed to make us forget about this pathetic excuse for a season? Are we supposed to talk about how good are football team is… at caring about others?

We’re all for Breast Cancer Awareness and being environmentally conscious and being good to others – you know, besides a particular Walrus – but the only environmental thing the Eagles have done all year is save paper by not handing out pink slips to the coaching staff!

Eagles’ management should get a clue. Save your self-serving announcements of non-football related accolades for the offseason. No need to make us even angrier than we are. Because, honestly, the second thought we had about this letter – after “Really?!” – was “shove it up your ass!”

But hey, maybe The Billionaire was right, the Eagles’ organization really is the gold standard… at everything OTHER THAN FOOTBALL.

Walrus Droppings: Taking Umbrage With PFT’s Reid Assessment

November 30, 2011

If you’re like us – and we like to think you are – you’re likely a daily reader of the tremendous work of ProFootballTalk.com, a site/source we reference quite often.

Today though, the face of PFT, Mike Florio, wrote a piece titled “Signs Point, For Now, To Reid Staying Put.”

While we’re far from surprised by the title and angle of the piece – we don’t realistically see The Walrus being fired after this season – we do take umbrage with some of the points Florio makes… even though they are credible. Here’s an excerpt:

The fact remains that Reid is a very good coach. He has proven to be one of the best quarterbacks coaches in league history, as evidenced by the reality that quarterbacks play better with Reid than they do with anyone else. From Mike Vick to Kevin Kolb to Donovan McNabb to Vince Young (with limited time in the system) to A.J. Feeley to Jeff Garcia to Koy Detmer to Mike McMahon, Reid has shown on a consistent basis that he can coach up quarterbacks. Since quarterback remains the most important position on the field, that ability should not be underestimated.

Then there’s the fact that Reid would quickly find himself on the wish list for pretty much any team that fires its coach. As Howard Eskin of NBC 10 and WIP radio pointed out on Monday’s PFT Live, Reid could be a perfect fit for the Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers. If the Vikings, who once hired Reid’s right-hand man, decide to move on from Leslie Frazier in an effort to get a new stadium built, why not give the keys to Reid?

Then there are the Redskins, who may be more inclined to move on from Mike Shanahan if the man who has beaten the Redskins 16 of 25 times since Dan Snyder bought the team becomes available.

Regardless, someone will want to hire Reid. And the fear that he could go somewhere else and finish the job he started in Philly could be the factor that prompts owner Jeffrey Lurie to let Reid keep trying to finish the job where he started it.

Nobody – even us here at Fire The Walrus – would ever deny that Reid is a good coach – possibly the best in franchise history – and a savant when it comes to coaching up QBs.(*)

(*)This is not blasphemy, we promise. These are simply facts, regardless of how you feel about The Walrus.

With that being said, here is the part of the story that Florio, as an unbiased observer, totally misses…

We are more than ready to let him try to finish the job somewhere else and have someone different come in here to try to finish the job he started. There just simply comes a time when a coach – whether good, bad or otherwise – wears out his welcome, and that time came for Reid at least three years ago (and likely way before that). Andy Reid, no matter how good of a coach he may actually be, is not the end-all-be-all of Head Coaches. The Billionaire pulled him out of complete obscurity (remember, he was the Packers’ Quarterbacks Coach and never even held the position of Offensive Coordinator), so who’s to say it couldn’t happen again.(**)

(**)Though, in a perfect world, The Billionaire would sell the franchise and take his money-driven desires back to Hollywood where he belongs began. But alas, we do not live in such a world.

Eagles fans simply need a change… from the top down. We’ve watched what Andy’s capable of for 13+ years, and though we would never say he CAN’T win a Super Bowl, we’ve long ago run out of faith that it will happen in our city.

We’ve said it before and we’ll keep repeating it: The Colts needed a change at coach to get over the hump. So did the Bucs with Dungy, and we’d say he’s a pretty damn good coach (who also finished the job elsewhere). Thirteen years of the same abysmal playcalling, horrendous clock mangement and arrogant press conferences is more than enough. It’s time to make a change.

If Andy wins a ring somewhere else, so be it. Will we be pissed/annoyed/suicidal? Probably. But It’s just not gonna happen here, so he may as well take his “talents” elsewhere.

And as for his work with the Quarterback position… it really is a testament to what Andy Reid truly is: a Quarterbacks coach. Maybe a good Offensive Coordinator. What he’s not is someone who deserves to run the whole show… unless he has a Defensive Coordinator as talented as Jim Johnson was – you know, the real reason the Andy Reid-Eagles sustained success for so long.

So Fire The Walrus… no matter how well he coaches QBs or how likely it is for him to win else where. We just want to be done with him.

Walrus Droppings: Ugly Wins, Uglier Trades

October 20, 2011

A win is a win is a win… right?

We’ve been in a good mood this week, primarily due to the fact that we didn’t wake up Monday morning to a 1-5 Eagles team. Are we happy with the way the Birds played? Of course not! The second 30 minutes versus the Redskins was not an easy thing to watch – what with the Eagles doing everything in their power to give that game away.

Would they have won if Rex Grossman didn’t revert back to Rex Grossman? Could they have held on to their lead if Vinnie Young had to finish out the afternoon? Probably not. And that says a lot.

But we’re not going to pile on the team (or The Walrus) for ekeing out a win, particularly a division win, that they desperately needed. As ugly and stressful as it was, they won, and even an ugly win can spark the turnaround for a season.

And we fully expect the team to go on a small winning streak, get their record above .500, and trick the media – more national than local – into thinking Andy Reid is good at his job. It’s a yearly October-November tradition in Philadelphia!

As for the Ronnie Brown-Jerome Harrison non-trade? Who cares. Midseadon trades in the NFL – particularly meaningless trades for back-up Running Backs that get negated due to failed physicals – don’t tend to work out(*). Though we won’t lie… We were very exited with the prospect of Asante Samuel taking his “talents” elsewhere.

(*)Just ask Raiders fans…

Oh well. Maybe The Walrus should have put a little more thought into his free agency free-for-all – rather then treat free agency like his own personal Golden Corral buffet.

Walrus Droppings: Let the Scorn Rain Down Upon Thee

October 11, 2011

Earlier today, we retweeted a link and posted it to Facebook, but it is certainly worth another shout-out… Pro Football Talk’s Gregg Rosenthal put together a great round-up of the wrath Andy Reid is incurring from local media members.

All the usual Philly.com suspects are included: Les Bowen, John Smallwood, Bob Ford, Jeff McLane… So, what does this all mean? Why do we care that PFT is listing a rundown of articles asking if Andy Reid’s time is up?  Because the horde of voices calling for The Walrus’s head is growing. Growing exponentially!

You can see it locally on Philly.com and CSN Philly – where both Rueben Frank and Ray Didinger are jumping into the fray – across the nation on ESPN and PFT, and all over Facebook and Twitter. It took mass free agent signings, media-made hype and a back-up Quarterback making the pronouncement of a “Dream Team,” but we’re finally here: The football world sees the truth behind the mustache!

Andy Reid is not a genius. Andy Reid is not a God. Andy Reid is not the only coach who ever lived(*). No… he’s an overmatched, underprepared human being marine mammal. And his reputation doesn’t water like it used to(**).

(*)And Andy Reid certainly didn’t conjure up the game of football in his head.

(**)Obvious stomach joke here.

Look, we’ll reiterate it once more, for all the new members of Fire The Walrus nation: For a time, Andy Reid was a good coach – we still believe Jim Johnson had more than a lot to do with his success – but no matter how you feel about Reid, he is, in fact, the most successful coach the Eagles franchise has ever had. But his reign peaked in 2004, and it’s been on a downward slope ever since.

Sure, the team made a miraculous run to the NFC Championship Game in 2008, but the NFC was garbage that year, and the one true skill Andy has as a leader – keeping his guys from quitting on him – probably saved them from a disastrous season. And guess what… none of those players are here anymore. With so many new names and faces on the roster, we’d find it hard to believe that any of the new additions will buckle down and go to war for Reid – particularly following such a terrible start.

McNabb and Dawkins and Trotter believed in the coach and the system, and that went a long way to their success on the field. But are guys like Jason Babin or Cullen Jenkins or Nnamdi Asomugha really encouraged by what they’ve seen so far? Can they possibly care enough about the system that they’ll kill themselves to please Reid? Not likely… especially when you consider that Babin and Jenkins are basically playing on one-year contracts. And don’t overlook the fact that none of those guys has taken the opportunity to become a vocal clubhouse leader.

So now, people – outside of Eagles fans – are starting to finally take notice(***). The spotlight has firmly been on Andy since he acquired Asomugha and all of his other big name-small impact offseason additions, and the light is starting to shine brighter. It’s no longer just bloggers and the voices of radio personalities, like Mike Missanelli. The anti-Andy Reid movement is gaining legs!

(***)Ironically, a similar thing is happening with our dear old friend Donny Drama. Eagles’ fans knew he’s been playing with a fork sticking out of his back since 2007. Why’d it take the rest of the world four years to catch up?

The time is growing near. We can feel it. It won’t be mid-season, but The Walrus will be fired.

At least there’s something to look forward to in Philly sports this winter…