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What the Eagles need. Justin Boylan 4-6-09
From a sports standpoint April is the best month of the year. The Final Four and NCAA Championship game start the month out strong, then opening day for Major League Baseball. The NBA and NHL seasons are beginning to wind down and you can smell the playoffs around the corner. The Masters is “a tradition unlike any other” and like any other golf event, I'll take Tiger and you can take the field.
Before you know it, it's time to put the raincoats away for good and get prepared for the NFL Draft. For some reason this year's draft seems different than others in the past. Maybe it's because the Eagles have two first-round picks opposed to zero last year. Or maybe because it has been so quiet on the Eagles front that I'm not even sure the team knows it is April.
I'm looking out my window right now and it's raining as I type, April is upon us.
The NFL offseason so far has been interesting for an Eagles fan, a lot of news about all the NFC East teams, some good and some bad. The Redskins take the King of the Offseason crown once again, but that title never seems to translate to games in late January. The Giants and Cowboys both lost receivers that force Birds fans to cover their eyes when the ball is tossed down field. Plaxico Burress is still dealing with the time he did his best impression of Cheddar Bob from 8 Mile . Meanwhile Terrell Owens is fooling another organization and another town of naïve fans, poor Buffalo or poor T.O.? I'm still not sure.
The Eagles moves so far have been a little like Santa Claus, lots of giving but nothing more than milk and cookies in return (I promise not to make fat joke about our coach). My last article after the Eagles lost to Arizona I posed some questions that we now know the answers to.
Will Correll Buckhalter and Brian Dawkins be together on the same team next year? Yes, but only in Denver.
It's sad to see a player like B-Dawk fly out of the nest. He was, without a doubt, the most memorable Eagle I've seen play in this city. Everything about him, from his enthusiasm, to his leadership, to his intensity, to his play on the field, to his heart that probably is too big to fit in Denver, will be missed. He's like Allen Iverson in the way that you just expected him to be in Philly forever. All I can do now is wish him the best and hope his success doesn't diminish like A.I.'s did. Can the Eagles just retire #20 today? Canton will be calling Brian Dawkins.
Let's get back on topic…
I'm sure I sound like the broken record that no one feels like fixing, but the Eagles still need more weapons on offense. Many fans would like to see the Birds package some of those picks and try to get Anquan Boldin. That would be a big move late that would make a lot of people happy, including the quarterback.
But let's say they don't do that. With Buckhalter gone and Westbrook a year older a running back could be a route the Eagles take. Chris Wells from Ohio State would more than likely be available or Georgia's Knowshon Moreno could fall to them, I'd prefer the latter. Michael Oher is an offensive tackle from Mississippi that the Eagles could also get in the first round. Yet I'm sure Reid has his eyes on a couple big guys from BYU he'd rather take.
Last year the Eagles took DeSean Jackson who, so far, has been a great pick. I don't see the Eagles taking a wide receiver early because the ones on the board are a lot like Jackson and expected to go pretty high. Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, and Darrius Heyward-Bay are speedy guys that have to stand on their tippy toes to hit the 6-foot mark. The Eagles need a physical receiver like T.O. was and like Boldin is.
Yada yada yada. If you want draft talk you turn on ESPN or look at 3 zillion mock drafts. The truth is nobody really knows what's going to happen. It's a lot of “what ifs.”
Enjoy April while it's here, and before you know it Roger Goodell will be announcing the first pick. Until then I'll be getting my sports fix elsewhere. Like I said I'll take Tiger and you can have the field.
Who should the Eagles draft? Jules Pilla 2-21-09
With the Combine going on this week, the draft is fast approaching. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict who a team will select. But it is certainly fun and of interest to fans. I have been a Mock Draft geek for a number of years now and it still is my favorite time of year. And predicting the Eagles pick at this time is tough because free agency and the combine can have big impications on their pick. Or if they can get Anquan Boldin from the Cardinals, that would require giving up their 1st round pick. They could trade out of the first round too. So many variables to consider. Any way, that won't stop me from doing a mock draft.
So this year the Eagles are looking hard for an Offensive Tackle. The irony of it is that last year's first round pick was traded and they could have gotten Jeff Otah who had a great year with Carolina. They out smarted themselves. This year there are 4 legitimate first rounders for OT... Jason Smith, Andre Smith, Eugene Monroe, and Michael Oher. Only Oher has a chance to fall to the 21 spot. I think that Washington will over reach with their pick and take him at 13. The other 3 will be gone by 13. What I think will happen is that the Eagles will either take TE Pettigrow at 21 or RB Chris Wells. Pettigrow would be an excellent pick. He is the best TE in the draft. If they pass on him, running backs Chris Wells or Knowshon Moreno could be there. Wells more likely to be there. He is a big back that could compliment Westbrook. If they pass on Pettigrow, then Jarod Cook would be a nice pickup later on. Great speed, good hands and 41 inch vertical leap. At 28, I think the Eagles overreach and take Eben Britton who would normally be a second round OT. Good player. But OTs are at a premium. Stay tuned more to come.
Watch highlights of the Eagles crushing Dallas 44-6
Watch highlights from the Eagles loss to Cardinals
Time to break up? Jules Pilla 1-19-09
Here we are, another year older but not another year wiser. Once again our hearts broken by the team we love. How much more can we take? Well, I can tell you from my own preceptive not much more. The Eagles are like the bad relationship that you can't end. Everyone has been in one. The other party just takes you for granted. Always expecting you will be there even when they let you down or break your heart.
All year long I couldn't write about the team because I had stopped investing my heart in them. You younger guys may not understand it because you haven't been hurting so long. I'm 58 and lived in Philly my whole life. I started being a fan when I was 10 yrs old. I used to carry a transistor radio around listening to them get beat by Dallas. I know , some of you are saying a "transistor what" ? Go to the library and look it up. Oh yeah, there wasn't an internet either or DVD. No big screen HD TVs either. In fact, the VCR was a big invention in the late 70s . I actually starting video taping Superbowls back then. I taped the Eagles loss to Oakland and never had to stomach to watch it again.
Time after time, we have been let down. 48 years for me. Yeah we can blame Andy and Donovan and Akers and Johnson but the truth is if they weren't disappointing us , it would be someone else. In the 80 Superbowl , it was Jaworski. Against the Pats it was Reid, Yesterday, take your pick.
But this year sucked me in again. It was magical. I thought we would actually win the Superbowl this year. But love is blind I guess. And again a dagger to my heart. Its time to break up I tell myself. No more hurt. No more pain. Then , mini camp comes around and I forget the past and give the team "one more chance". Am I foolish? I guess so. I just love them too much to break up.
Bring on the Wing Bowl.
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