Stephen Olenski

The Morning After

Training Camp 2007

As I sat down to write this, the first TMA since that fateful day in New Orleans, I tried to think of a witty, memorable line, you know like “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Or “Call me Ishmael.” Or even the classic “'Well my friends, the time has come.”

What, you don't recognize that opening line? I'll give you the answer later but I will tell you it's NOT from a book. But it is that last line, “'Well my friends, the time has come,” that is very apropos when it comes to my thoughts on the 2007 version of the Philadelphia Eagles. More on this later.

The other day I had the privilege of attending a day at Camp as a member of the media. I was afforded unlimited access including the heretofore only dreamed of access to the Players Only Port-O-Potty. During the afternoon session, I actually got to urinate into the same receptacle that Eagles Kicker David Akers had done so just minutes before. I know, I know. Hard to believe, right? I have to pinch myself every time I think about it. I can hardly wait to tell my grandkids.

Aside from my brush with urinary greatness, some other rambling and likely incoherent observations from my day as a credential-ed member of the media.

•  Donovan McNabb looked solid, if unspectacular leading the first team offense. As far as I'm concerned, he should not even dress for the first preseason game and should play quite sparingly the entire preseason.

•  Same goes for S Brian Dawkins. While not participating in practice because of Achilles tendinitis, he did, along injured CB Lito Sheppard, run some sprints on an adjacent field. From where I stood, which was all of 10 feet away, #20 will not be ready any time soon. The grimaces and look of frustration were all-too evident. Some players simply do not need training camp and Brian Dawkins is one of them. It is just not worth the risk of losing him for an extended period of time.

•  RB Ryan Moats is going to have a tough time making this team. He once again put the ball on the carpet, something he has done far too often in camp. Perhaps via Special Teams or a spectacular pre-season, but as of right now, in my estimation, Ryan Moats will not be an Eagle this year. And yet somehow the Sun will rise again.

•  Rookie QB Kevin Kolb has a big-time arm. Arguably the hardest throw for any QB to make is the out-pattern and he did it with relative ease and accuracy.

•  Remember this name: Dereck Faulkner. An undrafted WR out of Hampton (yes the same school that brought us Rick Mahorn), he has excellent size (6'3”/228) and made a few highlight, albeit Training Camp reel, catches. Greg Lewis may be in the need of change of address labels before long. And yet somehow the Sun will rise again.

•  P Sav Rocca, recently of Australian Rules Football, is in a word: Very Large. If punting doesn't work out, the Eagles may want to consider using him as a lead blocker for Brian Westbrook. Rocca checks in at 6'5”/265 give or take a Foster's or two. He and incumbent Dirk Johnson are duke-ing it for the role of punter and I would have to say Dirk better bring his A game (do punters even have A games?) during the preseason else Crocodile Rocca will roast him on the barbie for sure.

•  LB Takeo Spikes is all business. Make no mistake about it, #51 will be a crowd favorite for sure. His work ethic and talent is unmistakable.

So those are my insightful elucidations and annotations.

In addition to my self-proclaimed brilliant observations, I also snapped up about a 1,000 pictures. We'll get them posted soon along with my one-on-one interview with Jody McDonald of SportsTalk 950 and will let you know when they're ready for your viewing and listening pleasure.


“'Well my friends, the time has come.”

As stated, it is a very apropos statement in regards to the 2007 Philadelphia Eagles. One look at the roster will tell you all need to know. A mostly-veteran, battle-tested group whose median age is only going up, at least the age of the key components, the time has not only come but the time is now to win the Super Bowl. Just getting there will not suffice. That may sound harsh but with this particular group of players at this particular point in their respective careers in this particular NFL climate, it is not harsh but realistic.

Bye for now.

Next time you'll hear from yours truly will be Monday, September 10 th , The Morning After the Eagles first game vs. the Packers.

Til then, as always.

Times yours. Food's mine.

P.S. “'Well my friends, the time has come” is the opening line to the classic 1980's song, All Night Long by Lionel Richie.



© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla

Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa Eagles or the NFL.