Hurricane Andy – EaglesFanCast 140

The Philadelphia Eagles and esteemed Head Coach Andy Reid use the BYE week effectively to prepare for the powered Atlanta Falcons.  Unfortunately the Falcons coaching staff prepared as well, and handed the Eagles a 30-17 loss, embarrassing the Eagles at home.  Vick continued to struggle despite not turning the ball over, and appeared after the game as a beaten man.  The beginnings of the rain from Hurricane Sandy began to fall around halftime, and the fans gave up shortly thereafter, as it was obvious to everyone that there was no heart left in the Eagles team that used to give all to overcome anything.  We also partnered with GM’s Driving the Northeast, and they are letting me drive a GMC Terrain Denali for the week.  I took that to the tailgate this Sunday, and everything I brought easily fit, and the ride and technology in the dash made it a lot of fun to drive.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles lose to the Falcons 30-17 at the Linc, and the fans lost heart quickly
  • The Atlanta Falcons are a rhythm Offense, and the Eagles defensive scheme was horrible, with Casey Matthews playing hopelessly
  • Michael Vick is just beaten, and seems to be saying it now
  • Andy Reid seems clueless in what to do next, but he has a huge decision to make; start Vick or Foles against the Saints on Monday Night Football on the road
  • I’m driving the GMC Terrain Denali thanks to the folkds at Driving the Northeast
  • Met up with Carmen Harris and George in the lots before the game… we had hope then!
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BYE Week Blues – EaglesFanCast 139

The annual BYE Week show is upon us, and for the sixth year in a row we are joined by JasonB of Bleeding Green Nation!

What we discussed:

  • Is Andy Reid gone after this season no matter the Eagles season result?
  • Only Jim Johnson should ever have run Jim Johnson’s Defense
  • New Defensive Coordinator, Todd Bowles possibly just needs to tweak the scheme to make a big difference
  • Andy Reid is responsible for every player on this team at this point in his tenure
  • We review the rest of the games for the season, including the upcoming Atlanta Falcons game this week at The Linc
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Andy Reid, Smoke Screen – EaglesFanCast 138

Well the Philadelphia Eagles host the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field in south Philly.  They give up two 10-point leads during the game, quarterback Michael Vick turns the ball over three more times, and the Eagles lose in overtime 26-23.  The way this season has gone with the caliber of coaching and play, we are not truly surprised by this outcome.  Yet a mere two days later, the Eagles fire Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo and hire Todd Bowles for the job.  This news set off a firestorm of reaction by fans throughout Eagles Nation, some cheering the decision, and many more saying it still is not enough to patch the leaking holes in this ship.  Many state that Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg should also be fired, Mike Vick should be benched, and even Andy Reid himself should be sent packing.  It may not be the pacifier Reid was hoping for with this move, but we hope this is one step to a greater change for this team.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles fire Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo, and more anger than praise is released toward the team
  • Andy Reid is only there because of Jim Johnson and what he accomplished with the Defense
  • The wrong coordinator was fired… it should have been Marty Mornhinweg
  • Reid’s firing of Castillo was a smoke screen!
  • Vick had a look of despair on the sideline at one point in the Lions game after an interception, his mind is not right for this game right now
  • Could the Castillo firing actually be part of a front office plan to get Todd Bowles eventually head coach?
  • Vick is not the leader this team needs
  • Todd Bowles needs to just run the Defense effectively, and be more aggressive

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Turnovers Again – EaglesFanCast 137

The Philadelphia Eagles march into Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers and Big Ben Roethlisberger, holding to just over 200 yards passing, and the Eagles Defense only allowing 16 total points.  Sounds great, right?  Well unfortunately the Birds Offense struggled again, especially Quarterback Michael Vick, who fumbled the ball three times, losing two of them, allowing him to be the league-worst with eleven turnovers.  Eagles fans are now calling for Vick’s benching, and once again getting increasingly loud in the chant to fire Head Coach Andy Reid for not making the necessary adjustments and erasing the continued bad play.  Although the Eagles are 3-2 on the season, it feels like 0-5, and this team’s repeated mistakes could very well catch up with, and bury, them quickly unless change happens immediately.  This is a team change that must happen, not just a few individuals.

What we discussed:

  • Vick fumbles the ball and the game, away
  • The Defense couldn’t put enough pressure on Roethlesberger
  • the NFL is more of a running league, and the Eagles have one of the best back in McCoy
  • Many Eagles fans in general are absolutely angry
  • We are not as angry, and see 3-2 as a decent start
  • Turnovers have to stop, and the Defense has to get more more pressure, and turnovers

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Saying Thank You To A Legend

Brian Dawkins

Legend (noun) “One that inspires legends or achieves legendary fame”

The word “legend” is thrown about all too often. In fact, that last sentence is too.  Who, though, would dare argue that Brian Dawkins is not worthy of the title?

I talked episode 135 about why Brian Dawkins is so special to me as an Eagle and as a human being. The way he gave absolutely everything on every single down would have been enough for most players, but Dawk gave more than that. He gave leadership, inspiration, fight and a lot of heart. If the fate of the world had rested on Brian Dawkins’ shoulders each week during his career, he wouldn’t have been able to play any harder. That’s the greatest compliment I could ever offer him.

Lots of people have shared their thoughts on Brian’s greatness, most of them far more qualified than I am. Old team mates, coaches and members of the media have all heaped praise on our eternal #20 and there’s nothing I can add to that. What I would like to do, however, is share my experience from inside the Linc for those who were not privileged enough to be there.

Walking around central Philadelphia during the morning, I was greeted with shouts of “Go Birds!”, “BDawk!” and many others. But then, I was wearing a Brian Dawkins jersey and it was his day. When I arrived at the tailgate, the party was already in full swing. Eagles fans were out in force and the threatened rain was nowhere to be seen. There were a few Giants fans about, but they were very heavily outnumbered as you’d expect. Chuck and I were joined by Eagles Girl and the time flew by. After cheesesteaks and beers, it was time to head to the stadium.

As we entered the Linc, we were handed posters of Brian as Weapon X. The challenge was to keep them in perfect condition over the next few hours and Chuck did a great job with a little assistance from my jacket! We found our seats and the atmosphere really started to build. The Giants ran onto the field to a chorus of boos and then it was the turn of the Eagles.

The Offensive starters were announced one by one, before the screen flashed up images of Brian and Weapon X. I nudged Chuck and said, “he’s going to exit the tunnel”, scarcely able to believe that I could be so lucky to see it live. I’m not sure Chuck believed it either as all he could say was, “I hope so.” I had seen Brian “acting the fool” plenty of times on TV, but never at the Linc. We waited anxiously for the video on the huge screens to finish and then it was Brian’s moment. And mine. And every other Eagles fan.

It’s difficult to put that moment into words. Right there was my favorite Eagle, my hero, bounding onto the field at the Linc for the final time and the crowd went nuts, I mean NUTS. Every Eagles fan was standing, applauding, cheering, thanking Brian from the bottom of their hearts. As I looked around, a little embarrassed that I had a tear rolling down my cheek, I saw that I was far from alone. Even as I write these words I feel very emotional, such was the power of that moment.

We reached half-time and the players left the field. Just as we were about to discuss the first half, all of the lights in the stadium went out and the crowd roared. The video screens showed a tribute to Brian as various laser messages flashed across the field; “#20″, “Weapon X”, “determination”, “heart” and many more. Fireworks on the field erupted into the sky and then Merrill Reese introduced the man of the moment.

“HALLELUJAH!”, exclaimed Brian as the crowd pumped up the volume. He thanked a number of people, Jim Johnson’s name receiving the biggest cheer of course. Then came something even more memorable, even more emotional. Brian asked if the fans would do him a favor; could we all sing the Eagles Fight Song together one last time? While “Fly Eagles Fly” was being sung by 60,000+ Eagles fans, Brian pumped his fist in the air and soaked up all the energy. He was excited, he was pumped, he could have played the second half! He thanked us, but really it was us thanking him.

I was truly honored to have been at the Linc for this very special game. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I loved every second of it. After the game, we headed to a bar near the Linc and partied like it was 1999! After a late night cheesesteak, I arrived back at my hotel around 4am. Could I sleep? No way! If I was still on such a high, I can’t even imagine how Brian felt.

Oh and we beat the Giants!

Cheers from Philly and GO BIRDS!

Image courtesy of Steve Brown