Eagles Diary 1/5/2014

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Saints 26 Eagles 24

Alas, the season is no more. It doesn’t really feel any better that we went into last night’s playoff game playing with house money…any better than it was all “gravy” from here on out. The Eagles lost a winnable game.

The one thing that feels a little different about this loss, though, is the lack of bitterness. I started writing posts in October, but by then the team had dropped a couple straight and had slipped to 3-5. As is often the case, I grew a bit disheartened.

But that was before Nick Foles confounded everyone and became (for this season at least) one of the league’s best passers. Before the defense began tightening up a bit. Before the Eagles went on their 7-1 season ending run. Before Shady McCoy won the rushing title. They went from one of the clown cars of the NFC Least to a team no one wanted to tangle with in the playoffs. The last two months have gone from surprising to exhilarating.

An unfortunate, but perfectly natural, byproduct of this success is raised expectations. And those expectations ran pretty high these past couple weeks, especially when they beat Dallass in Dallass in what was essentially an NFC East playoff game. As much as you reel yourself in and say that the season has been a success even without a playoff victory, that last lose hit’s you cold and hard.

But a bit of perspective. Chip Kelly arrived from Oregon and brought with him a radical new way of game planning, calling and preparation. I’m not going to say he brought a new offense with him because, as my brother said recently, he changes things up game to game. Like a certain coach in the New England area who it would be a massive stretch in these early days to compare Kelly with. The defense switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and struggled mightily at the start of the year. And while yesterday hurts, one can’t help come away from 2013-2014 thinking that a pretty good foundation has been laid.

A little about the game itself. The Eagles certainly left points on the board and misfired on a couple key plays (which, during playoff time, is more than enough to lose you a game). What was missing, though…what I kept waiting for…was the huge gaffe. The big mistake not ready for prime time teams who find themselves in the playoffs usually make. The Saints simply ran the ball down the Eagles’ throats. The Saints executed their game plan and the Eagles were unable to stop it.

But the thing was close and the Eagles did not roll over when they went down by two scores. I’m not really one for proclaiming moral victory, but for a young team in a new system with new coaches playing above expectations, I’ll take one here.

The off season will be interesting. I’d like the University of Texas to name a new coach soon and would really like that new coach not to be named Chip Kelly. I haven’t heard anything about the who might get the Texas job which makes me afraid they are targeting Kelly. But that’s what worries me. For a high profile coaching slot to go that long without being filled..and absolutely no chatter about it. Is Austin waiting for Kelly to exit the playoffs? Don’t know. I’m 90% sure that Chip Kelly is with the the Eagles for a long time. But that 10%….

The rest of the NFL now has a book on Chip Kelly and Nick Foles and will adjust accordingly. I can’t wait to see how the Eagles adjust to those adjustments. I’m hoping the Eagles firm up the defense during free agency and the draft. Sometimes I still can’t believe the team got as far as it did with who we’ve got at safety.

The rest of the playoffs…the Olympics…winter and springtime with NASCAR and then we’re back in the hunt. We lost, yes, but it was a good time and it’s soooo good to be excited about Eagles football again.

Eagles Diary 9/30/2013

Broncos 52 Eagles 3o

At the end of Platoon, our boys find themselves near the border with Cambodia, hunkered down in fox holes, surrounded by thousands of NVA. We see Dale Dye on the radio, listening live as a company of American soldiers sent out earlier to do some recon is cut to pieces.

Charlie Sheen and Corey Glover are sitting alone in their hole that night, peering into the dark jungle. Suddenly a flare trips and a figure comes running toward them, arms in the air,  pleading for them not to shoot. Charlie Sheen’s Taylor rightly identifies the guy as a bloodied, battered survivor of the company that was destroyed earlier.

The survivor staggers up to the fox hole and falls into it. He  is hysterical and starts screaming,

 They wiped us out, man! We didn’t have a chance! Where’s the CP?!
You guys get outta here!
They’re right on my ass! They ain’t stopping for shit!

To my friends in the NFC East..Peyton Manning’s coming….and he ain’t stopping for shit……

 

Eagles Diary 9/26/2013

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Chiefs 26 Eagles 16

I promised promised promised myself this year I would write one of these after every game, no matter how deflated I was after a loss. It’s always tough, because I don’t want to think about it, yet at the same time can’t stop thinking about it.

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Eagles Diary 9/18/2013

Chargers 33 Eagles 30

Every fan base in the NFL has its own unique pathology. It usually revolves around the word “optimism”. The Redskins fan’s optimism has no grounding in reality. The size of a Cowboys fan’s optimism is in direct proportion to the size of the bandwagon he’s riding on, which usually empties around Thanksgiving.

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Eagles Diary 9/10/2013

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Eagles 33 Redskins 27

I spent a good part of the winter mourning Andy Reid. While the Eagles had enjoyed the greatest period of success in franchise history during the tenure of the rotund one, ultimately that decade plus was frustrating and somewhat exhausting.

A bold move, I thought, hiring Chip Kelly. In the back of my mind, throughout the draft, OTAs, camp and preseason, the one thing I thought was “Please, don’t let this guy be another Steve Spurrier.”

The old excitement returned this weekend. By the time 5:00 rolled around yesterday at work, I was too excited to get anything done and thankful for a 6:55 kickoff against the Redskins.

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Eagles Dairy – 1/17/2013

 

Chip-KellyAnd so it is Chip Kelly.

Well, that’s a good Irish name, to start with. When I heard that he was to become the next Eagles head coach, I first wondered whether we were going to get the visionary who advises such august NFL personages as Bill Belichick or Steve Spurrier.  I had a front row seat to the Ole Ball Coach Show. Spurrier claimed he could make the Run ‘n Gun work anywhere and expectations in Washington were high after, in his debut season, Spurrier set the preseason scoring record. Alas, regular season football beckoned, and Spurrier could not answer the call.
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Eagles Diary – 1/4/2013

arAnd so it ends. Last Monday, December 31st, Andy Reid was fired after fourteen years as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. The season began with the death of Garrett Reid and the whole endeavor had a very funereal feel to it. Really, the only enjoyable moment I had was Nick Fole’s last minute pass to beat Tampa.
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Eagles Diary – 9/14/2011

Eagles 31 Rams 13

In an earlier blog, I made the observation that the season would live and die on the offensive line and the young linebacker corps. So when the Rams defense bum rushed the Eagles on their first offensive series and Steven Jackson blew through the Eagles defense for a 47 yard TD on the Ram’s first offensive series, I was, to say the least worried.
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Eagles Diary – 9/9/2011


I must admit…I thought last night would never arrive. I say that in the literal, not the figurative sense. Once the lockout began in early March, I swung between anger and despondence. On one hand we had guys making millions of dollars a year playing a game complaining that they were victims of modern-day slavery. On the other, owners who commute to and from practice fields in private helicopters crying “poor”. I prepared myself for the possibility of no football this fall by simply ignoring all NFL related news for most of the summer. In the event that the two sides in the dispute couldn’t figure out how to divide a 9 billion dollar pie and keep the NFL juggernaut rolling, I’d simply stop caring.
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