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Eagles fly past Cardinals: The Morning After

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Good morning campers,

I trust everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Mine was spent at my brother-in-law Dave’s house in Doylestown. A good time was had by all- including one of his cats...who apparently is no fan Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (see the picture at the end of the article for what I mean).

For the record I did not do any shopping – online or in person on Black Friday. However, I did receive an early Christmas gift this weekend – more on that later.

As for the Eagles, well, I know many of you will be at the ready to spout off the “a win is a win” mantra. And while I cannot argue with that – I most assuredly can point out several issues that should be of concern to all Eagles fans. steve olenski

Let’s get to getting…

SCARE TACTICS…

Sorry Birds fans, but I have to jump right into the deep end and raise what I think is clearly the number one issue, concern and problem for your Philadelphia Eagles. And that is the fact that it appears that head coach Chip Kelly, when provided with a comfortable margin – will inexplicably begin to “coach scared.”

Now you may say I’m being unfair and unjust, and you may be right. But, there is simply no denying that by and large, when the Eagles get ahead in a given game, their offensive play calling becomes one rife with fear and apprehension. And who is at the helm of the Eagles offense?

And as their play calling becomes one of fear, so too becomes the short amount of time their offense is on the field- which in turn of course, leads to an increased amount of time for their defense.

Keep in mind this is usually occurring in the second half- meaning the defense has already played one half and now they must contend with little rest as their offense “plays scared.”

As sure as I am sitting here, this matter needs to be be addressed and it better be addressed soon. For this is going to cost the Eagles a game – book it.

I do not know why this keeps happening. I do not know why Kelly’s entire philosophy seems to change from confidence to cowering right before our eyes. What I do know is the deeper we get into this season the tougher the games will get, the more at stake there will be and every single possession is going to matter and affect the outcome.

ERTZ SO GOOD…

I know it’s only one game but Eagles rookie tight end Zach Ertz appears to be destined for good, if not great, things. He’s got NFL size, NFL hands and he’s smart – he’s a Stanford Cardinal. My dislike for Brent Celek is well-documented, so the more Ertz can find his way into the game plan the better to my liking.

Of course, this is coming from the guy who once said LJ Smith would be in the Pro Bowl.

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BEND? CHECK. BREAK? NOT SO FAST…

I thought, perhaps like many of you, that the Eagles’ defense would be the weakest part of the team this year.

However, like many of you, I am pleasantly surprised at the way the Eagles’ defense has collectively played over the last month or so. Sure, they’re getting gouged for yards in between the 20s, but they are not allowing a ton of points- which at the end of the day is everything.

But Lord are they frustrating to watch sometimes, especially when the opposing team has a third and long. I do not know the percentages, but from where I’ve sat all year, the opposition has had their way with the Eagles defense on third on long situations.

The large part of that blame falls on the secondary, which despite improvements over the course of the year, is clearly in need of help in the offseason. Photo: www.findingdulcinea.com

Patrick Chung. Really?

Hell Connie Chung could tackle better for crying out loud. 

And Cary Williams has been living on borrowed time for a while now. And please spare me the ‘But Steve, he had an interception yesterday’ crap. If you watch the play over again, you will see Williams is beaten (again) but was saved by a horrific throw from Cardinals QB Carson Palmer.

But all in all, the Eagles’ defense has, again, been a pleasant surprise and they have an incredibly bright future up front with their team of young defensive linemen.

YES, BUT DOES HIS JOCKSTRAP GO WITH THAT TIE?

And now for something completely irrelevant. Well, not completely irrelevant.

As some of you may know I am a contributor to Forbes magazine. I write about all things marketing, advertising and branding as I am constantly receiving pitches from various public relations firms and account executives gauging my interest in a given story.

A few weeks ago, I received an email with the following subject line: “Interview Submission: Fashion intern Philadelphia Eagles NFL WR Brad Smith on Sports and Fashion”

Needless to say I did not respond to the email, but I found it fascinating on many fronts. First off, I have to give Brad Smith credit. He realizes he’s not going to Canton anytime soon, unless he’s part of a chartered bus tour. So he’s branding himself for life after football. I laud that. I truly do.

And I love the fact that his PR rep also acknowledges that Brad’s not be challenging Jerry Rice anytime soon as the greatest receiver in football history. In the email he sent me, the RP rep included the following passage: “Brad Smith gets about as much NFL action as we do, but—if looking sharp in a suit were a sport this guy would be Art Monk.”

Not quite sure why the rep did not invoke Mr. Rice’s name over Art Monk’s, but regardless, I appreciated the fact that they all know full well that Brad Smith’s going to make his mark off the field, not on it.

Now as far as that botched play where Smith nearly fumbled the ball away, I will say that he looked damn fine scrambling to get it back.

GREEN IS GOOD…

Paraphrasing Gordon Gekko, green is definitely good.

A few weeks ago, in the last TMA, I made mention of the fact that my son’s flag football team was on its way to the championship game.

Well the game was this past Saturday and I am thrilled to say we won. I use the word “we” for a I had a very small role, serving as an assistant to head coach Dan Garvin. Fellow assistant Jeff Osinski, yours truly and the head coach could not by any prouder of all the kids on the team.

Here’s a shot of my son Josh holding the trophy, the team celebrating right after the win the team shot with the players (and coaches) holding up their championship rings.

 RAPID FIRE…

*Connor Barwin… paging Connor Barwin. For maybe the first time all year the Eagles linebacker was hardly noticeable the entire game.

*The Cardinals’ second TD, a 23-yard pass to Michael Floyd, lies right at the feet of Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis. Facing 3rd and 9, the Cardinals were in a triple receiver set yet for some reason all three Eagles DBs were in tight coverage.

At the snap of the ball, two Cardinals receivers criss-crossed with one running a pick freeing up Floyd in the end zone. Since it was third and long, why be in tight coverage that plated right into the hands of the Cardinals receivers and made it easy to confuse the Birds DBs?  I don’t get that coverage and I lay the blame right at the feet of Davis.

*Eagles punter Donnie Jones may get the Unsung Player of the Year Award – that is if there was such an award.

*Riley Cooper continues to show he belongs in the NFL and like the Eagles defense, has been a pleasant surprise.

*The officials were consistent… consistently bad that is. Each team was the recipient of either bad or no calls by the zebras yesterday.

*And finally, as I mentioned in the opening, I spent Thanksgiving at my brother-in-law Dave’s home. By the way, if you ever need a good, quality used car or your car needs servicing Dave’s your guy. He owns his own garage and used car dealership in Penndel, PA. Above all else, Dave is someone you can trust and you can’t put a price tag on that.

Apparently, one of his cats is a big Steelers fan- as witnessed by this picture taken during the Steelers/Ravens game on Thanksgiving night.

Tell me/us what you think. 

Leave a comment or tweet me @steveolenski

Bring some fire in the belly though.

You want to disagree? Fine.

But bring something to the table.

‘Til next time.

As always, time’s yours…. Food’s mine.

Contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com

 

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Connie Chung photo: findingdulcinea.com