Pretty Cocky in Philly

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    This is from
    Posted on Fri, Jul. 23, 2004

    Paul Domowitch | Leading questions, Pat answers

    SEEMS LIKE only yesterday that Tom Brady was leading the Patriots to their second Super Bowl title in 3 years.

    Seems like only yesterday that Joe Gibbs was in a NASCAR pit, Terrell Owens was in San Francisco and Kurt Warner, well, Kurt Warner didn't know where he was.

    Seems like only yesterday that Jake Delhomme was being compared to Brett Favre and Jeff Lurie was comparing Mickey Mouse to Pablo Escobar.

    With the opening of NFL training camps just days away, I'm sure you have questions, and boy, do I have answers.

    Question: What teams figure to be the Eagles' biggest NFC roadblocks as far as getting to Jacksonville?

    Answer: If I had to pick two right now, I'd say Carolina and Seattle.

    Anybody who thinks the Panthers were a flash in the pan last year is fooling himself. Coach John Fox has built a stingy defense that features the league's best front four.

    Offensively, Delhomme displayed some Favresque qualities last season, though Fox will continue to emphasize ball control with his effective one-two running punch of Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster.

    In Seattle, Mike Holmgren has his best team since taking over the Seahawks. His patience with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck paid off last year as the Seahawks finished fourth in the NFC in points scored and sixth in the NFL in total offense. But the key for the Seahawks to leap over the Rams in the NFC West and make a Super Bowl run will be their Ray Rhodes-coached defense. They got Rhodes some needed help in the offseason, signing defensive end Grant Wistrom and cornerback Bobby Taylor and using their first two draft picks on defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs and linebacker-turned-strong safety Michael Boulware, which should make them significantly better.

    Q: Who do you like in the AFC?

    A: The Patriots, New England, and, oh, yeah, the Patriots. The Colts and Chiefs both have WMD offenses but come up Super Bowl short on the other side of the ball. If the Chiefs think they can bring their defense up to code simply by getting a new coordinator, they are sadly mistaken. Meanwhile, the Pats only have gotten better since winning their second Super Bowl title in 3 years. With the return to health of linebacker Rosevelt Colvin and the addition of first-round defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, master strategist Bill Belichick has added to his deep supply of versatile front-seven weapons. His signing of cornerbacks Jeff Burris and Terrell Buckley has further bulked up the league's deepest secondary. And then there was the trade for running back Corey Dillon. He'll turn 30 in October but still is a significant step up from the Pats' leading rusher of a year ago, Antowain Smith.

    Q: Is there anybody in the NFC East who can stop the Eagles from winning their fourth straight division title?

    A: I don't think so. While GM Ernie Accorsi refuses to admit it, the Giants are rebuilding and will be lucky to match last season's total of four wins. The Cowboys are coming off a 10-win season, but the only quarterback on their roster with a proven NFL track record is Vinny Testaverde, and he's almost eligible for AARP membership. Everybody in D.C. is jumping for joy over the return of Gibbs. But he has 12 years of rust to peel off. And while the 'Skins made some nice offseason pickups (running back Clinton Portis, quarterback Mark Brunell, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, linebacker Marcus Washington, first-round safety Sean Taylor), they still have some significant holes. To get Portis, they had to trade away one of the league's top corners, Champ Bailey. The man they overpaid to replace him, Shawn Springs, isn't in his class. And it remains to be seen whether the other corner, Fred Smoot, has the stuff to be a No. 1 corner. There also are lingering questions about the offensive and defensive lines, as well as the wisdom of bringing in a 34-year-old middle linebacker (Mike Barrow). They'll probably win eight or nine games. Might even sneak into the playoffs. But unseat the Eagles? Don't think so.

    Q: Who will be the Giants' starting quarterback this season - Warner or Eli Manning?

    A: Warner likely will open the season as the starter. But the frequently injured ex-Ram could be announcing his retirement as early as Week 2, considering the shaky state of the Giants' offensive line.

    Q: How are the Giants' players responding to their new drill-sergeant head coach, Tom Coughlin?

    A: Word is, Coughlin already has found it necessary to hire a food-taster and someone to start his car for him.

    Q: How are things going between Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells in Dallas?

    A: Surprisingly well. When Jones hired Parcells last year, I gave the marriage 6 months. But the hands-on owner finally realized his way wasn't working and has, for the most part, stayed out of Tuna's way.

    Parcells is supposed to be a tough-guy coach who strikes fear in the hearts of his players. Yet, last month, one of his wide receivers, Antonio Bryant, got into an on-field argument with him and threw his jersey in Tuna's face. If an Eagle did that to Andy Reid, he'd be pushing a blocking sled up the Schuylkill Expressway. But Bryant received no punishment and still is on the team. What's up with that?

    Grab a Cowboys depth chart and look at the collection of stiffs who would be vying for the No. 3 wide receiver job behind Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson if Parcells told Bryant to take a hike. That's what's up with that. To paraphrase Confucius, it's much easier to be a hard-*** with the George Hegamins of the world than it is with the Jon Runyans.
    Q: Will ex-Eagle A.J. Feeley win the starting quarterback job in Miami?

    A: The fact that the Dolphins gave the Eagles a second-round pick for Feeley tells you all you need to know about their lack of enthusiasm for going another year with Jay Fiedler as their starter. Over the last 3 years, the inconsistent Fiedler has thrown just four more touchdown passes than interceptions, even though the Fish have averaged 10 wins per season in those 3 years. Feeley still is an unfinished product. He threw just 168 regular-season passes in his 3 years in Philly. But he has a stronger arm and better accuracy than Fiedler. While he often was tentative in the Dolphins' offseason camps, the starting job will be his to lose in the preseason.

    Q: What was the best offseason coaching hire?

    A: The Falcons' first-year head coach, Jim Mora, understands the critical importance of keeping his franchise quarterback, Mike Vick, in one piece this season. So, he lured offensive-line guru Alex Gibbs away from the Denver Broncos. Gibbs was the architect of those terrific undersized Bronco offensive lines of the late '90s that were instrumental in Denver's back-to-back Super Bowl wins.

    Q: Will the Broncos be able to hang with the Chiefs in the NFC West after losing Gibbs and tight end Shannon Sharpe and trading away Portis?

    A: In a word, no. With Portis rushing for nearly 1,600 yards last season and Sharpe catching 62 passes, including eight for TDs, the Broncos won 10 games last year before getting their heads handed to them by the Colts in the first round of the playoffs. I don't see 33-year-old Garrison Hearst or 5-7 Quentin Griffin or rookie second-rounder Tatum Bell filling the void left by Portis' departure, and I don't see the Broncos' two new tight ends - O.J. Santiago and ex-Eagle Jed Weaver - making up for the loss of Sharpe. I'm also skeptical that quarterback Jake Plummer will play as well as he did last year.

    Q: Win, lose or draw, will Dick Vermeil call it quits once and for all after this season?

    A: Uh, maybe yes, maybe no. The 67-year-old Vermeil is in the last year of his contract, but that doesn't mean anything. His bosom buddy, Chiefs president Carl Peterson, has made it clear to Dick that he has a job there as long as he wants it. If the Chiefs were to win the Super Bowl this year, I can say with absolute certainty that Vermeil would ride off into the sunset. Same goes if they unexpectedly flop and don't make the playoffs. Anything in between, he'll probably re-up on a year-to-year basis.

    Q: What bad teams in 2003 have a chance to be good teams in '04?

    A: Well, you can start with the 5-11 Redskins for the reasons previously mentioned. The 5-11 Falcons, with Vick healthy again and Mora overhauling a defense that allowed nearly 27 points a game last season, should be a lot better. Same with the 6-10 Bills and Jets, who have the misfortune of playing in the same division as the Patriots and Dolphins. Look for a long-overdue turnaround in Detroit, whose offense will improve by leaps and bounds with the addition of rookies Roy Williams and Kevin Jones and the return to health of wide receiver Charles Rogers, who played in just five games last year. Also look for at least two or three more wins from the 5-11 Jaguars, who should be much better offensively now that quarterback Byron Leftwich has a year of experience.

    Q: Speaking of Jacksonville, what's up with Hugh Douglas?

    A: Well, he's a year older (he'll turn 33 next month), which isn't a good thing for somebody with his wheels. He came nowhere close to earning the $6 million signing bonus the Jags gave him last year, notching just 3 ½ sacks and being a situational player the second half of the season. That's probably what he'll be again this season. He needs to come to camp in better shape and with a better attitude than he did last year. Regardless, this likely will be his last season in Jacksonville. Which means he'll probably be signing a 1-year deal for the veteran minimum with the Eagles sometime next June.

    Q: Will Ravens running back Jamal Lewis, who rushed for the second-most yards in NFL history last year, be able to play this season after being charged by the feds in February with drug conspiracy?

    A: Depends on when he goes to trial and, quite obviously, the outcome of that trial. The NFL is staying out of it until the matter is resolved in the courts. Lewis will report to the Ravens' training camp in a few days and play for them right up until his trial. But the trial could start as early as September.

    Q: Will Jon Gruden be able to get the Bucs back on Super Bowl track after a disappointing 7-9 season?

    A: Not this year. Chucky's one of the game's best coaches, but the Bucs are a team in transition. They got rid of two of their key defensive players - tackle Warren Sapp and safety John Lynch - in the offseason. Brad Johnson, who turns 36 in September, is coming off a season in which he threw a career-high 21 interceptions. The Bucs swapped mouthy Keyshawn Johnson for Joey Galloway, whose vertical skills seem ill-suited for the Bucs' West Coast offense. They also signed 32-year-old running back Charlie Garner, who is coming off a knee injury that limited him to 120 carries last year. In a division where Atlanta will be much better and Carolina and New Orleans both will be playoff contenders, 8-8 is the best Chucky and the Bucs can hope for in '04.

    Q: Riddle me this. How can a league that pretended to be so morally outraged by Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime nipple flash not have a problem with the borderline pornography that the Eagles are selling as their cheerleader lingerie calendar?

    A: Hey, the league gets a cut of the calendar sales. But they didn't make a dime from Janet's stunt. And no, there's no truth to the rumor that lap dances will be available at the Linc this season.

    Q: When Duce Staley signed with the Steelers earlier this year, he said he was excited to finally be playing for a team that is committed to running the football. Yet, over the last 2 years, the Steelers have averaged just 1.6 more rushing attempts per game than the Eagles. He got a nice $4 million signing bonus from the Steelers, but will he get the 250-plus carries he wants?

    A: Steelers coach Bill Cowher tried to emphasize the passing game last year and his team ended up scoring just 33 touchdowns, their fewest since 1998. So, the plan this year is to go back to pounding the ball on the ground with Staley and 32-year-old Jerome Bettis. But Cowher would be wise not to overuse Staley. One of the reasons he was so effective last year was because the Eagles' three-back rotation kept him fresh. Also, his real strength, which he always has been loath to admit, is as a pass receiver.

    Q: Neither Troy Vincent nor Bobby Taylor made the killing on the free-agent market that they expected. Vincent got a $3.6 million signing bonus from the Bills and Taylor got a $3 million signing bonus from the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Redskins, in need of a replacement for Champ Bailey, gave ex-Seahawk Shawn Springs a whopping $10.25 million signing bonus. How is this possible?

    A: This is possible because Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his vice president of football operations, Vinny Cerrato, don't have the foggiest idea of what they're doing, which they've proved over and over again the last few years. Vincent's age (he turned 33 in June) worked against him getting a bigger signing bonus. He only figures to play another 2 - maybe 3 - years, then is expected to replace Gene Upshaw as the executive director of the NFL Players Association. As for Taylor, he got what a good-but-not-great cover guy who can't tackle should have received.

    Q: Does Arizona's new coach, Dennis Green, really think he can turn around the Cardinals with Josh freaking McCown as his starting quarterback?

    A: Apparently. The Cardinals owned the third pick in the draft and passed on both Phillip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger in favor of Pitt wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who used to be a Vikings ball boy when Green coached in Minnesota. He has no legitimate alternative on the roster, unless you call ex-Buc Shaun King an alternative, which I don't. Methinks Green figures the presence of Fitzgerald and second-year wideout Anquan Boldin, who caught 101 passes as a rookie, will aid McCown's NFL transition.

    Q: Who's the front runner for the pole position in the '05 draft?

    A: My money's on the Chargers again. A defense that gave up 27.6 points per game last year and has added no one of consequence. An offensive line that has just one returning starter. A head coach - Marty Schottenheimer - who would just as well get canned and go back to North Carolina and play golf. A general manager - A.J. Smith - who is in way over his head. If there's improvement in sight here, I don't see it.

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  2. David

    David New Member

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    Just read my signature and that should suffice.
  3. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    "its terrell coach"

    "I want tights"

    "I need more reps"

    -Terrell Owens, philadelphia wr....
  4. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Yeah, 31, they're trying to make this out like Bill is losing his nerve, and face.

    What they don't get is

    1) Tuna likes AB, or at lesat sure did last year. I was just watching the first Panthers game again last night and noticed once more how Tuna was treating AB on the sidlelines, the fatherly back of head rubs and other body language. AB is a flaming idiot but this is not Derek Ross. This is a kid Bill has not just invested time in, but likes. It is NOT, imo, about how much talent he has, Bill is NOT Jimmy Johnson..he would cut a Jerry Rice in a heartbeat if he thought the player had no team dedication or character.

    2) Bill now owns AB, totally. He is in his pocket and why get rid of him now he's gonna be cowed? Oh to be a fly on the wall next Monday when AB enters Don Corleone's study.

    Let the Philly dufuses believe Bill is acting out of weakness or panic by keeping AB. Only a coach as strong AS Tuna COULD keep him, and Andy Reid ain't that guy.
  5. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Just remember ....for the last few years some Eagles fans have been very cocky....but they get back in check after the NFC east game.

    We also see some skinz fans winning the paper championship in the offseason....then get smacked down to reality when the real season gets underway.

    Each team will have it's fair share of cocky writers and fans....just the way things are these days.
  6. AJM1613

    AJM1613 New Member

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    Ohh and one more thing:

  7. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    Yeah, and

    Parcells craps out greater things than andy reid....
  8. Joshmvii

    Joshmvii Cowboys baby!

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    Owens might be better than Bryant now, but never forget that he just came off an injury and is over 30. Bryant has potential to be as good as Owens ever has, and he's what, 23?
  9. AJM1613

    AJM1613 New Member

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    Bryant is your third best wide receiver.
    Owens is the league's third best wide receiver.

    Oh...Owens is coming off a broken collar bone (broken by Michael Lewis I might add), oh no his career is over!!

    Bryant will never be in the same league as Owens, sorry.
  10. Raneiron#31

    Raneiron#31 Member

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    Just wanted to compare Bryant to the GREAT (hint the sarcasm) TO.

    Year Team G GS No Yards Avg Lg TD 20+ 40+ FD
    1996 San Francisco 49ers 16 10 35 520 14.9 46 4 7 2 23
    1997 San Francisco 49ers 16 15 60 936 15.6 56 8 16 1 48
    1998 San Francisco 49ers 16 10 67 1097 16.4 79 14 17 4 52

    thats his first 3 yrs. Remember he did have Montana at the start of his career and was the #2 WR behinf the Rice.

    Heres AB.

    Year Team G GS No Yards Avg Lg TD 20+ 40+ FD
    2002 Dallas Cowboys 16 15 44 733 16.7 78 6 13 4 32
    2003 Dallas Cowboys 16 5 39 550 14.1 54 2 9 2 27

    Ok heres Bryants 1st 2 seasons. Rookie year he was #w guy with Campo as the coach and QCar as the QB. His second season he was placed in the number 3 spot with a new coach but with QCar heading the QB spot again. You put Ab with Montana and guess what, he beats the crap outta ole TO.

    The stats are very similar so dont go talking smack when people compare Ab to TO . They both have the same "Give me the ball" attitude. So i think its a fair comparison at this point in Ab's career.
  11. Raneiron#31

    Raneiron#31 Member

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    Dam edit button disappeared on me. I mean tto say Young was Qb not Montana lol
  12. AJM1613

    AJM1613 New Member

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    Theses stats are not similar at all!! AB had 83 catches for 1283 yards and 22 TDs in his first two seasons, Owens had 95 for 1456 yards and 24 TDs.

    Owens had 67 receptions for 1097 and 17 TDs in his third season, this year Bryant is projected to be the Cowboys' third wide receiver. I doubt he will put up those types of numbers. Young isn't exactly Montana, so yes if TO had Montana throwing him the ball then he would have a lot better numbers than if he had Young, because Owens and Young didn't get along.

    Owens was competing with the greatest wide receiver of all time for catches, Bryant was competing with Terry Glenn and Joey Galloway, no comparison. Rice was 35 at this point of his career yes, but Rice at 35 is still a lot better than Galloway and Glenn at 32 and 30.

    I can't beleive you even put up those numbers, they completely destroyed your arguement.

    Also: Wide receivers compete to start, and if Bryant isn't good enough to start over Glenn and Johnson at this point of their careers (Owens being better than both of them in their prime), what does that say about him?

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