Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Getting Ready for Detroit

Bob Brookover says Sheldon Brown got a little pre-game advice from an old friend, Troy Vincent, who told him he'd be fine. Bob Ford says that Dick Vermeil has often "mocked" past Eagles coaches with his can't-miss-'em-cause-they're everywhere billboard endorsements, but Andy Reid just might end up being the guy future coaches will have to live up to. Shannon Ryan writes about the efforts of the special teams, where Reno Mahe leads the NFL and is 2nd in the NFL in punt returns, and J.R. Reed is 2nd in the NFC and 3rd in the NFL for kickoff returns. This article in the Inquirer, compiled by both Brookover and Ryan, suggests that perhaps Vikings coach Mike Tice could have challenged Terrell Owens' touchdown reception, but also notes that if you want to be picky, defensive pass interference could also have been called. They also throw in a line about T.O.'s slam dunk celebration was probably intended "to show Randy Moss he was a better basketball player." Marc Narducci writes about Steve Mariucci (say that three times fast), who probably won't want to talk about his past relationship with T.O., but won't mind talking about the "highest respect" he gained while working alongside Reid in the past. Dana Pennett O'Neil offers a glimpse into the personal life of Jevon Kearse, whose family has had its share of tragedies. One light moment is mentioned in the story from his first season with Tennessee:
During his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans, he went to a room for his vertical-leap test. He stood on the floor, beneath a 13-foot ceiling and asked the coaches if he was able to jump up and touch the ceiling, could he forgo the test? The coaches laughed. "I jumped up and knocked out a tile,'' Kearse said with a sheepish grin.
John Smallwood says that if Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown keep performing this year, fans won't be moaning about the losses of Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor. Les Bowen says that offensive coordinator Brad Childress is now calling the plays from the press box. Is anybody else surprised he isn't on the sidelines, where you will find defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is? Don't most teams have this the other way around? Just curious. Bowen says he had to double check the tape to make sure Reid really did say Donovan McNabb played "a super game." Meanwhile, his counterpart on the Vikings admitted getting somewhat rattled by Kearse's defensive presence: "He was all over the place. It was like he had a clone or something." Bob Grotz reports that the Eagles go into next week's game against the Detroit Lions as 4.5 point favorites. He also mentions that the Eagles are next-to-last in the league in terms of total yards given up on defense. Fortunately, they don't fare as badly in the category the NFL uses to keep track of wins and losses: points given up. Grotz also mentions that the Eagles are the only team to post consecutive double-digit victories through the first two weeks of the season. Jack McCaffery analyzes McNabb's "what a difference a year makes" comment, and suggests that it translates to: "the Eagles are better -- much, much better, perhaps championship-quality better -- than they have been at any time in their relatively successful recent past." Ashley McGeachy Fox has her weekly NFL rankings. Coincidentally, her top 5 match those of ESPN's Power Rankings which were posted yesterday.

The Phillies were finally able to end their nearly 18-month frustration in Miami, as they beat the Florida Marlins 4-2 last night. Todd Zolecki, Marcus Hayes and Dennis Deitch have the game stories. Deitch's Phillies Scoop gets Bobby Abreu's thoughts on fellow Venezuelan native Ugueth Urbina, and how he's handling the very scary situation where his mother's been abducted by ransomers demanding $15 million. Hayes' notebook says the ESPN analyst John Kruk met with Phillies president David Montgomery earlier this month, but it wasn't to talk about the expected-to-be-vacant manager's job. Apparently Kruk is being considered for "rejoining the team in some other capacity."

The Sixers web site has announced that Todd MacCulloch is retiring (this is not a surprising development). I missed this last week, but their web site also had this Q&A with Billy King last week, and gets his thoughts on the upcoming season, including how he thinks things will go with new head coach Jim O'Brien. Tim Panaccio reports the Jeremy Roenick is still looking to get paid the $7.5 million he would have made this season, because of the concussion he claims would have kept him out of the season that likely won't be played at all due to the lockout. Looks like this could get messy and ugly. Meanwhile, Howard Eskin seems to be getting the hang of this blogging thing. While trying to look smarter than he is, he pats himself on the back for the the Eagles game going "just like I mentioned...on Sunday night's Sports Final." Would he have admitted he was wrong if he hadn't? Not likely, given his past track record (we won't get into his past "stone cold mortal lock" picks in the past that apparently weren't that "stone cold" or "mortal" to begin with. At least Howard and I agree on one thing. Here's what he had to say about Mr. No Comparison:
Now I also realize how easy it is to take Randy Moss out of the game. Get him moody. Just take away the long ball and he gets cranky and VERY moody. While wtaching the game you realize how much Randy Moss is all about himself and not about the team. Great athlete, but a TERRIBLE teammate.
CSN has Phillies-Marlins at 7:05.

No comments: