Last year, the Philadelphia Soul invited me to cover an open tryout they were holding, Vince Papale style. I thought it’d be fun, so I went. For those of you outside the Philly area, the Philadelphia Soul are an arena league team owned by former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski, and Bon Jovi. The plan was that I was going to embarrass myself by running some drills, and other measurables like the 40, broad jump, high jump, etc. I was expecting the talent there to be somewhere between decent ex-high school and college players, to something out of a scene from the “Invincible” episode on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” I was surprised how intense the competition was, and how many legitimate athletes they had there that could actually play. It felt kind of wrong to make a joke of mixing in with the other guys trying to legitimately make the team (not to mention a living), so I sat out all the drills and only ran my embarrassing 40.
It wasn’t their first open tryout of the sort – they’d had one the previous year as well. I was BS’ing with the PR director for the Soul, and he was telling me that they had a guy at the last tryout that ran something sick like a 4.23. Track star in college or something. They had him run it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t. Then they threw him some passes. He couldn’t catch. Or tackle. He didn’t make the team. Imagine that – guy runs a 4.23, can’t make an Arena League team. That’s all I really have to say about that.
It wasn’t just the dropped passes for DeSean yesterday, either. First, it was the way he dropped them – very reminiscent of a guy that used to play in Philly. But there was a punt that DeSean could have hustled to get under to fair catch, but he just watched as it landed and rolled an additional 10+ yards. Saw another play where Jason Avant caught a pass and was running up field. DeSean saw the catch, put his head down and slowed his route to a jog, never even entertaining the thought of going to block somebody. Zero effort. I’m sure there were instances all day of similar plays, but those two just caught my eye without me even looking for it.
I still don’t know for sure yet if Andy Reid needs to go after this abomination of a season. I’d previously maintained that I’d wait it out until the end of the season to make that call myself, but I’m certainly leaning one way. All diehard Eagles fans are emotional right now, as they should be, and that’s when fans tend to make silly, snap judgments. And that’s what I expect some national know-nothing talking heads to say this morning. That Eagles fans were wrong to chant “Fire Andy” yesterday. That Andy Reid is the best coach in franchise history. That Reid took the team to 5 NFC Championship games. That Eagles fans should just be lucky they’re not the Cleveland Browns. And on and on.
If this were 2010 and the team was 4-7, with Kevin Kolb and the young but exciting Eagles that were expected to go through “growing pains,” they’d have more of a case to criticize the fanbase for calling for Reid’s head. This year is far different. Expectations were lofty, and they weren’t even remotely close to being met. The players have lacked effort. They’ve lacked intelligence. They’ve lacked heart. If the fans want change, I can’t blame them for voicing their opinion. The product the Eagles have put on the field this season has been atrocious. Frankly, I don’t think the boos were loud enough yesterday.
Kudos to Jason Avant, Brian Rolle, and some other guys out there yesterday. They played their asses off in a blowout. I’m sure there were other guys as well, but I didn’t even get to see the last 8 minutes of the 4th quarter because CBS rightfully cut away from a blowout. Former champion Cullen Jenkins seems to get it, too. I’d like to go back to watch that tape just to see what guys kept battling, and which guys quit. Don’t know if I’ll have the time or even the stomach for that. Maybe during the offseason.
Memo to Vince Young: You’re 6’5, 232. Julian Edelman is 5’10, 198. (By the way, I think NFL.com is being generous with those measurements, as in, VY looks like he’s over 232, and Edelman ain’t 198). Plus, you know, Edelman is a wide receiver. Maybe you just put your head down and run him over instead of trying to do a little pee pee dance around him.
Don’t be surprised if the Eagles go out and draft a safety in the 2nd round for the 3rd consecutive year. They do, after all, have (2) 2nd round picks. Last year, Nate Allen was looking like a strong DROY candidate early in the season. Plus, I doubt he’s 100% from the serious knee injury he suffered last year, but holy cow… what a disaster of a game he had yesterday. Oy vey. And that’s not his first one, by the way. Kurt Coleman, meanwhile, isn’t a starting NFL safety, in my opini0n. I like him as a reserve and a good locker room guy, but not much more. I have no idea what Jaiquawn Jarrett is. If the Redskins don’t franchise tag LaRon Landry, the Eagles might want to think about making a run at him. His physicality would be a nice addition to the center field type player that Nate Allen is. Then again, the Eagles are already the dumbest team in the NFL… not sure Landry would really help in that regard. And am I really calling Nate Allen a center fielder? Maybe a center fielder that lost the ball in the sun, and the ball lands 20 feet behind him? OK, now I’ve just taken an initial thought, and gotten out of control with rambling incoherence. See what you do to me, Eagles?
Speaking of draft picks, if the season ended today, the Eagles would pick 9th. The Redskins would pick 7th.
I’ve soured on Jason Babin. Good pass rusher, but 9 freaking penalties this year? Really? Not a smart player.
Not to nitpick one specific play call in a complete and utter shitfest on both sides of the ball, but why is Chad Hall carrying the football… ever? It’s not like LeSean McCoy could have been tired. I mean… he only got 10 carries. But hey, when you can give the ball to a slower player that has zero career broken tackles on 2nd and 15, you kind of have to, right?
Totally fitting that the “Fi-re An-dy” chants began after the 4th and 1 designed rollout play that cuts the field in half and never works.