Saturday, May 21, 2011

News from the Nest- May 21

The current labor situation in the NFL continues to drag on with no immediate end in sight, despite the fact that both sides; league owners and player representatives returned to bargaining table this week with the help of a Federal Mediation Team. It is highly doubtful that anything meaningful will emerge from this latest round of talks as both sides are anxiously awaiting the outcome of June 3 hearing by the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals on the owners’ appeal of US District Judge Susan Nelson’s decision to grant an injunction to lift the lockout. Both sides are anticipating a resolution in their favor so the current mediation talks are only taking place because they were court ordered.

Many of the players around the league have started organizing their own team workouts and the good news from Eagles’ camp is that quarterback Michael Vick has taken the initiative to organize some workouts in Philadelphia starting this week. Reports are that Vick is hoping to have about 15 players join him including some from the defensive secondary in order to run some one-on-one passing drills. As of today, Vick has yet to find a facility to hold them at, given the fact they are currently locked out of the Eagles’ practice facilities at the Linc.

Much has been made about the future of Philly backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, which continues to point to a trip out West to join the Arizona Cardinals, but what about the future of former QB Donovan McNabb? It is highly doubtful he will be back in Washington after last season’s fall-out with Head Coach Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle, who is the team’s offensive coordinator. McNabb’s numbers last season were not the greatest, but neither were the ones for the team he played for. Once again, he finds himself embroiled in the middle of a controversy that was none of his doing.

For as good as a player as McNabb has been over the course of his 12 year career, he still struggles to get the respect that he rightfully deserves. I was in full agreement last season when Andy Reid decided to go in a different direction by naming Kevin Kolb as a starter. McNabb took the Eagles as far as he was going to and it was time for a clean break for all the parties involved. Shanahan’s Mickey Mouse move of replacing McNabb as the starter with Rex Grossman at the end of last season made absolutely no sense other than to signal that his style of play did not fit the Redskins’ offensive scheme, so they decided to look toward the future.

Some of the teams that have been mentioned as the next stop in Donovan’s illustrious career are Minnesota and Miami. My only hope is that he lands with a team that has a legitimate shot at competing for a Super Bowl as that is the only piece of hardware that is missing from his resume. He still has enough ability to be a starter in the league and a trip to Indianapolis next February may be the only way he finally joins the elite company of a player such as John Elway, whose career was finally validated by a Super Bowl win.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why trade Kolb at all?

One of the biggest stories this offseason has been what the Eagles will do with backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. He is entering the final year of his current contract and has already expressed an interest in being traded in an effort to be a starter in the NFL.

Kolb had the starting role with the Birds locked up until he went down with a concussion against Green Bay on opening day. That opened the door for Michael Vick, who stole the show with a couple of amazing performances while Kolb was on the mend.

The following is a link to an article on with my take on the whole situation.

Why trade Kolb at all?

News from the Nest

The following is a link to my new weekly feature on, 'News from the Nest'. This week's article takes a look at the Eagles' recent draft and which of the newest Birds are primed to make the biggest impact in 2011.

News from the Nest-May 9

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Handicapping Early NFL Week 1 Lines

The NFL labor situation still looks pretty bleak and it is highly doubtful we will get a look at the Eagles' recent draft picks in any OTA's or mini-camps in the near future, but with a ton of optimism that the regular season will start as scheduled, I put together a look at the current lines for Week 1.

Philly will be on the road against St. Louis as a 4 1/2-point favorite with the 'over/under' set at 45. This game should actually be a good early test for the Birds as the Rams are definitely an up and coming team after doubling their win total from the previous three seasons combined with six victories in 2010. They were one win away from winning the NFC West and are expected to compete with San Francisco for this year's division title.

The following is a link to my article on Doc's Sports that takes a look as some of the key matchups scheduled for opening day weekend, which hopefully will take place starting on Thursday, September 8.

Handicapping Early NFL Week 1 Lines

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eagles Draft Recap

Here is the complete list of players selected by Philadelphia in the recent NFL draft as provided by

Rd 1, Pick 23 (23)

Watkins, Danny OL

Rd 2, Pick 22 (54)

Jarrett, Jaiquawn DB

Rd 3, Pick 26 (90)

Marsh, Curtis DB

Rd 4, Pick 19 (116)

Matthews, Casey LB

Rd 4, Pick 23 (120)

Henery, Alex K

Rd 5, Pick 18 (149)

Lewis, Dion RB

Rd 5, Pick 30 (161)

Vandervelde, Julian OL

Rd 6, Pick 26 (191)

Kelce, Jason OL

Rd 6, Pick 28 (193)

Rolle, Brian LB

Rd 7, Pick 34 (237)

Lloyd, Greg LB

Rd 7, Pick 37 (240)

Havili, Stanley RB

All in all, it was a very utilitarian draft by Andy Reid as he appeared to employ the strategy of 'best player available'. He did a good job addressing needs on the offensive line and the defensive secondary as well as adding some depth to the special teams by taking a few skill players in the later rounds. It will be interesting to see what happens with fourth round pick Alex Henery, who will try and replace longtime Eagle David Akers as the team's new kicker.

From here everything remains on hold until the court system figures out whether or not the current owner's lockout is legal. Hopefully the whole mess will be resolved sooner than later so the Birds can fill a few more holes through free agency.