Wednesday, April 21, 2010

hello again

I know, I know. I've disappointed all of you. I get it. I had a slightly more important paper to write the last couple of weeks. Since I've been gone, the Flyers have thrashed the Devils, the Phils got hot and then got cold, the Birds made some HUGE moves, and the Sixers...well lets just pretend they don't exist. Because they don't.

First, its good to see the Flyers do well. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge hockey fan. But I do enjoy hopping on the bandwagon from time to time. Plus, I do keep up with the Flyboys for the most part. Tonight's game was very fun to watch. The Flyers completely dismantled the Devils in a game that I believe had 8 powerplays for each team. That's a lot. Especially in playoff hockey. But hey whatever, I'll take a 4-1 thrashing of King Brodeur any day.

Second, the Phils were doing their thing for a while there. Obviously, Halladay has been absolutely unstoppable. I know that a lot of people didnt get to watch him pitch much because he was stuck up in Toronto for all those years, but hopefully by now you all realize just how good this guy is. Like one of the best of all time good. And without a doubt the best pitcher the Phillies have seen since Steve Carlton. Don't give me any Curt Schilling talk he was "average" when he played for the Phils, it wasnt until we shipped him to Arizona that he actually became dominant. So bottom line, expect more of the same from the Doc. More importantly though, the back end of the bullpen is mighty, mighty scary right now. Not to mention the fact Jamie Moyer is still pitching in the major leagues. Old man river has given up 5 runs in back to back starts and only because our offense tee'd off on Nats pitching did he escape with victories. Kendrick was looking equally as bad until tonight's game (in which Ryan Madson did his best Brad Lidge impression) throwing 8 innings of shut-out ball. Hopefully this is a sign that Kendrick is settling down, at least until big bad Blanton is back.

Third, the Birds. Soooo much to say about the Birds, but its 1:30 in the morning and I should be studying for finals so I'll save an in depth look until the next time I get around to it. Bottomline, McNabb trade was fine. Don't really care that he's in the division. If you are worried that he will burn us because he's so "hyped", pop in the tape of a little game back in 2004 against the Patriots. Yea, pretty sure that was a bigger game then any regular season contest he'll play against Philly in the next couple of years, and how'd that turn out for Donny? More importantly, how'd that turn out for us? Exactly, so be happy they pulled the trigger and got a high 2nd round pick which is money in this years deep NFL draft. Also, getting Ernie Sims for a 5th rounder was a steal. I don't care what any of these experts say, contract year or not, he's already the best LB on our roster. I'm a big Stewart Bradley fan, but I'm not ready to label him a Pro Bowler especially coming off an ACL tear. They call Sims undersized, but he will be on the weakside where speed is the key anyways. Oh, and hes 235 lbs, that's really not too small. In fact, that is as big, if not bigger, then both Moises Fokou and Akeem Jordan. So anyways, extremely excited for the draft, the Birds have a bunch of picks in the first 3 rounds and it should be interesting to see how they go about it under a new GM. My guess is, in this order, D-Back D-Line O-Line. And don't be surprised if they pick a running back in there somewhere too, maybe towards the later rounds. I have my eye on that dude Hardesty from Tennessee but I have a feeling he might be gone by the time we get around it.

And yes, I'm purposely leaving out talking about the Sixers. That is until they cut/trade Lou Williams, Sam Dalembert, Elton Brand, Willie Green, and Jason Kapono. Yes, all of them.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Brown and Gocong deal

As you all well know, Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong were shipped off to Cleveland on Friday. I've heard some mixed feelings about the deal up to this point, but if you take a closer look, I think the Eagles came out on top.

It's no secret that Sheldon Brown wanted to restructure his contract. It was something that was talked about all year long, and something that wasn't going to go away this year. It is also no secret that the Eagles don't exactly have a history of granting 31 year old players this wish. Its hard for me to say because Sheldon was one of my favorite Eagles, but I have to agree with this as a pure business decision.

This is how I look at the deal as a whole. The Eagles received a 4th Rd pick (#105 overall) and a 5th Rd pick (#137 overall) for Sheldon. From what I have heard/read, no one was willing to give anything higher then a 4th rounder for him, which sounds logical considering he is on the wrong side of 30 and had a season in which he was slowed by a reoccurring injury. Still, Cleveland is getting one of the more underrated and physical corners in the league and will absolutely be an upgrade for their defense. To compare, the Eagles picked up Ellis Hobbs last year for two 5th Rd picks in last years draft and he was a starter on that undefeated Patriots team that choked against the Giants.

Now, here is where you are probably asking yourself, who the F is Alex Hall? Great question. I'll admit, I never heard of the dude before Friday. But I did a little research and it looks like Hall might have been one of those guys the Eagles were targeting in the late rounds of the 2008 Draft (where he went to Cleveland in the 7th Rd). Hall went to St. Augustine, a small Division II school in Raleigh, North Carolina. He wasn't highly recruited coming out of high school and actually came into St. Augustine as a 6'5 195 lb defensive lineman. But, after a few years, Hall established himself as one of the best athletes in Division II football, ending his career with 26 sacks. He also grew into that 6'5 frame, entering his senior season at 250 lbs. Despite the small school, scouts took notice of his ability (4.74 40 yd dash). He was athletic enough for the Browns to play him standing up at the 3-4 OLB, but the Eagles will undoubtedly use him as a situational pass rusher off the edge in the 4-3. Personally, I'm ok with giving Hall a chance to work in our system especially if it only cost us the underachieving Chris Gocong. We spent a 3rd rd pick on Gocong, hoping to add a little extra to our pass rush, but he never lived up to his college measurables, only registering 4 sacks in 4 years. He was supplanted in the starting lineup by Moises Fokou last season and it didnt look as though he was going to win that spot back any time soon.

So basically, this is par for the course when considering Andy Reid's pick-hoarding approach to the draft. Though, it does solidify that we desperately need to address the secondary this April. As of now, it looks like the secondary will consist of Asante Samuel, Ellis Hobbs, Quintin Mikell, and Marlin Jackson. Also, I suggest everyone pay tribute to Sheldon and take a look at his hits on Reggie Bush and Stephen Jackson. God knows we'll miss that when watching Asante "attempt" to tackle anybody.