The Eagles celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday by welcoming the Arizona Cardinals to town. What most Eagles fan chalked up as an easy win before the start of the season will now be a tough game to pull out, even in the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles bring their amazing 5-5-1 record into this game against the Cardinals, who appear to have the NFC West locked up, despite their loss last weekend. The Eagles have seen more turmoil this past week than all other times of the Andy Reid-era combined. Donovan McNabb is the starter for this game, fresh off his benching last weekend against the Ravens. Everyone is calling for Andy Reid’s or Donovan McNabb’s respective head on a platter for dinner this Thanksgiving, and here at Kotite’s Corner, we have done our fair share of Andy Reid bashing.
The Eagles appear to have multiple problems on offense coming into this game. The offense is not going against a very good defense, so hopefully they can get back on track. This has to start with Donovan McNabb, who must get off to a good start this game. Part of any quarterback playing well involves having a rushing attack that is actually a threat to run the ball. This means that Westbrook, or whoever is in the game at running back must get the ball early to set the tempo. This should take some pressure off of McNabb and the play calling, as the Eagles can go to play action if they can run the ball early. Unfortunately, the receivers still have to get off the line, and catch the ball. The Eagles currently lead the league in dropped passes, and it seems like we lead the league in that category every year. Hopefully the offense can get on track early, and drive down the field to get some points on the opening drive, which should relieve some of the pressure on them.
The Eagles defense faces a very tough challenge from this Cardinals team, which is one of the best offensive teams in football. Cardinals QB, Kurt Warner, is have a resurgent season, and is an MVP candidate. It helps that he has maybe the two best receivers in the game in Anquan Boldin and former Pittsburgh Panther, Larry Fitzgerald. How good would one of them look in an Eagles uniform. They also have a very good 3rd wide receiver in Steve Breaston, and run the ball effectively on the goal line with rookie Tim Hightower. All of this creates a lot of problems for the Eagles defense. We believe the Eagles should match Asante Samuel on Larry Fitzgerald, and the more physical cornerback Sheldon Brown on the more physical receiver, Anquan Boldin. Once again, the Eagles will need to rely on a heavy pass rush to disrupt Kurt Warner. If Warner is given time, he will pick the Eagles secondary apart.
The Eagles will try to give Philadelphia fans everywhere a Happy Thanksgiving, and save their own jobs by getting a win and getting their record back over .500.
After a dismal first half, McNabb was off to another bad start, which has become common place with this Eagles team this season. At some point during half-time, Reid decided that Kevin Kolb would start the 2nd half as the Eagles QB. The terrible thing about this was Reid was not man enough to break the news to McNabb. Instead, Reid delegated the responsibility of doing his dirty work to Pat Shurmur, Eagles QB coach.
Andy Reid drafted McNabb back in 1999, and since then, the two have been almost inseparable. Reid has always defended McNabb when McNabb played poorly, and McNabb always defended Reid when Reid’s coaching was poor. Being the starting quarterback of a team for 10 years warrants the respect of the head coach to come tell McNabb when he is going to bench him, especially when Reid has been McNabb’s head coach throughout his entire tenure here.
The benching of McNabb is Reid’s way of deflecting the blame away from himself, and throwing McNabb under the bus. There is no way in the game against the Ravens that Kevin Kolb coming into the 2nd half gives the Eagles a better chance to win that game. First off, it’s unfair to Kolb to come into a hostile environment, against a very good, aggressive defense and expect him to be successful. The move was only done for Reid to try to show that what has been going on with this team lately is not his fault, it’s McNabb’s. Reid still refuses to admit any wrongdoing on his part.
This is desperate, last minute effort to save his job. But is his job really in jeopardy? McNabb is probably gone after this season even before yesterday's game, and this benching only solidifies that. Now Reid has a do-over with Lurie to see how far he can take a Kolb-lead Eagles. Yet on top of all that, it wouldn’t have been so bad had Reid just taken 30 seconds to explain to McNabb that he was benched, and they could discuss it later after the game. That didn’t happen, because Reid is a coward. He should now go to McNabb and tell him, "It’s not you, it’s me.”
College Picks – Overall Record: (4-6)
MICHIGAN (+20.5) at Ohio State: Ohio State will win this game, but if Michigan wants to save any face on this season, they will not get blown at against rival Ohio State. Take Michigan.
PITTSBURGH (+5) at Cincinnati: Pitt will not only cover, they will win, which will set up a Backyard Brawl next Friday for the Big East championship and BCS berth.
Pro Picks – Overall Record: (4-5-1)
GIANTS (-3) at Cardinals: It pains me to say it, but right now the Giants are the best team in the NFL, and only giving 3 points to Arizona makes this pick easy. I expect the game to be high scoring, but the Giants should win by 6+.
Guest Picks – Overall Record: (6-6)
Jack Flack’s Picks – Overall Record: (3-3)
CLEMSON (-2.5) at Virginia: Both teams are searching for that all important sixth win for bowl eligibility, but Clemson has played better without Tommy Bowden and Virginia is beginning to fall apart. It'll be close, but the Tigers cover on the road.
Willard’s Picks – Overall Record: (3-3)
PATRIOTS (+1) at Dolphins: If there is one thing that Bill Belichick does best, that would be preparing. He has an extra few days and he will figure out the wildcat offense that killed them in their earlier meeting.
CHARGERS (-2.5) vs. Colts: Chargers are 3-0 in the last 3 meetings against the Colts. Manning has 6 TDs and 10 INTs in those meetings. The Chargers 3-4 defense always gives Manning fits.
The time has officially come when the Philadelphia Eagles need a coaching change. This is not going to be a “bash Andy Reid” article, as this has become all too popular right now, and extremely easy. Everywhere you look on the Internet, you can find people cursing, and insulting Andy Reid….. we are guilty of a little bit of that also.
Andy Reid is one of, if not the best coach in Philadelphia Eagles history. We have only ever been to two Super Bowls in franchise history, and Reid took us to one, and also guided us to four straight NFC championship games. Reid came into town after the failures of Rich Kotite (our namesake), and Ray Rhodes, and immediately turned the team around. His first six seasons here, there was a clear strategy in what Reid was trying to accomplish. The Eagles consistency got better each year under Reid, culminating in a trip to the Super Bowl, and a close loss to the New England Patriots.
Unfortunately, that Super Bowl loss was the pinnacle on Andy Reid’s career with the Eagles. Since then, it has been downhill. The Eagles have only gotten to the playoffs once in three seasons since, and currently sit at 5-4-1, and not looking like they are going to make the playoffs this season, much less make a serious push for the Super Bowl. That is unacceptable in this town, and with our Philadelphia Eagles.
All good things must come to an end. Sometimes change is good. Throw whatever cliche you want out there; Andy Reid clearly has been a successful coach with the Eagles, but his time is now up. Some say it’s easy to call for Reid to be fired, but where is the solution? We have the solution.
The solution is in the form of Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo is a product of the Jim Johnson defensive system, serving as a coach under Johnson from 1999-2006. Since he left Philly, his Giants defense has been dominant and was the anchor of the Giants team that swept through the playoff and a Super Bowl victory. The Giants defense, under Spagnuolo put up an unbelievable defensive effort against a better version of the Patriots team that beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl in 2005. The Patriots had entered the Super Bowl with the Giants with their offense being called unstoppable. Spagnuolo's defense not only won a Super Bowl for Giants, they also lost two starting all-pro defensive ends for this season, and he still has the Giants as one of the best defensive teams in football. The Giants also are among the lead leaders in sacks.
Steve Spagnuolo is the perfect fit, as the defense would remain the same hard hitting, attack the quarterback defense that we love here in Philadelphia. The next coach of the Eagles should be a defensive minded coach, and Spagnuolo fits the bill. Spagnuolo is already one of the hottest names in terms of future head coaches in the NFL, and the Eagles should not let the opportunity to get him slip away. He already knows the Eagles organization, and would be comfortable coming into this city and this team, as he already has been here. The defense will be similar to the one that Jim Johnson runs, it just seems that by watching the Giants, it may be a little more modern. If Spagnuolo were to be hired, an experienced offensive coordinator would be needed. An experienced offensive mind at offensive coordinator is a perfect fit here, as it will continue to do many of the great things that the Reid era set up, but will solve the issue of the stalemate we seem to be in since the season we got to the Super Bowl.
With Reid gone, the next question is, does Heckert leave also? We believe as do many that Heckert seems to be a puppet to Reid. Everyone knows Reid controls most player personnel decisions. There is also a belief that Heckert is hindered by Reid, and if given actual control of the team, he can succeed. Although we may regret the decision of Heckert and Jim Johnson leaving the organization, it is the price that must be paid to get Spagnuolo in here, and a new system in place.
If Reid is kept for next season, it is likely that Kevin Kolb will be the starter at QB. If Reid remains, he will get the leeway of seeing Kolb through his first few years, even if he, and the team struggle. All while this is going on, Spagnuolo will likely be hired as a head coach with another team, and have a lot of success. We do not want to let that opportunity pass.
The Eagles continued to show the same problems that they have shown all season long. That begins with Andy Reid having no clue what he is doing, as it was difficult to tell if the Eagles had any type of game plan at all. The play calling was again horrendous, and was all over the place. The Eagles never looked like they had any type of consistent game plan. They could pick their plays out of a hat, and it probably wouldn't look any different.... in fact, it might improve the play calling.
Besides the poor play calling, Donovan McNabb played terribly. He clearly didn't have his best stuff all day long, and ended up tying a career high with 3 interceptions thrown, all while throwing a career high 58 passes. There wasn't much different in the play between McNabb, a 10 year veteran, and Fitzpatrick, who was making his 9th career start. Since McNabb was struggling, it makes no sense why the Eagles didn't try to run the ball, in a cold, windy atmosphere in Cincinnati. The Eagles called 17 running plays (this doesn't include a run by McNabb), on 18 offensive possessions. Really? 17 runs in 18 possessions against a Bengals defense which struggles to stop the run.
The defense was a bright spot, and kept the Eagles in the game as the Eagles offense was constantly turning it over, or Rocca was shanking punts. The Bengals, who actually ran the ball despite little success, couldn't do much on offense against the Eagles defense, who swarmed all over the ball wherever it went. The Eagles defense recorded 8 sacks, and held the Bengals to 56 rushing yards on 30 carries.
The Eagles as a team just have so many problems right now, it's hard not to look toward the future. The problems start with Andy Reid, who is too arrogant and stupid to admit when something isn't working. He can't call plays, and gets outcoached all the time. Because Donovan McNabb played poorly, the Eagles have little chance to win any game in which McNabb plays poorly, because Brian Westbrook does not get the ball enough to have an impact. The opposing defense can key on stopping Westbrook, because the Eagles have no one else on offense to even pay attention to. Against the Bengals, the receivers couldn't get open at all, and when they did, McNabb couldn't make the throw to them.
What does all of this mean? A tie against the previously 1-8 Bengals, which leaves the Eagles at 5-4-1 on the season, and their playoff chances getting slimmer and slimmer every day.
College Picks – Overall Record: (2-6)
Notre Dame (-4) at Navy: This may not be our parents' Notre Dame team, or even our older brothers, but they have lost 2 in a row, and this is not the same Navy team that beat Notre Dame last year. Notre Dame wins handily at Navy.
Oregon State (-3.5) vs. California: Cal has problems at the QB spot, and on defense. Oregon State will run the ball a lot, control the clock, and control the game. Take the Beavers.
Pro Picks – Overall Record: (3-4-1)
Packers (-3.5) vs. Bears: This is a must-win for the Packers after the loss last week to the Vikings. They can’t lose a must-win home game to a division rival. Pack take this one at home.
Jaguars (+3) vs. Titans: This is the week the mighty Titans will fall. The Jaguars will shut down Kerry Collins, and do enough on offense to win outright. Take the Jaguars at home with 3 points.
Guest Picks – Overall Record: (5-5)
Willard’s Picks – Overall Record: (2-2)
Cardinals (-3) at Seahawks: Even though the Cardinals don’t play well on the road, the Seahawks are decimated in injuries this year. Warner will get 3 TD’s by half.
The Sixers beat the Toronto Raptors last night 106-96 to win their 1st road game of the season, and break their 3-game losing streak, moving them to 3-5 on the season.
There have been few bright sports this season for our 76ers, but it is still early in the season, and may take a month or so to come together as a team, with new members, and a new philosophy in the half-court offense. Newcomer Elton Brand has been one of the few bright spots thus far for this team. Brand is averaging a double-double with 16 points, and 11 boards a game. Thaddeus Young has also been a bright spot for the Sixers, and shown that he is comfortable at the 3 spot. Young has shown the ability to take the ball to the basket, and hit the jumper when he needs to.
Unfortunately, the Sixers have struggled at the guard positions. I am not too concerned with point guard Andre Miller, as he is a veteran, and should be able to start playing well soon. Miller is turning the ball over too much, and not hitting his usual mid-range ugly sort of set shot. Andre Iguodala has moved to the 2 guard this season, and has also struggled early. He is still very good in the open floor, but struggles with the half-court offense. He looks like when the Sixers run their half-court sets, and throws up too many contested outside shots. That is not his game. Last night Iguodala was one rebound shy of a triple-double, so this is a good sign that he may be regaining his form from last season. Sammy D has struggled as well, and really is limited beyond rebounding the ball, and scoring on a dunk.
The bench has been up-and-down so far this season. Willie Green has played real well, and then real bad. Louis Williams is the best bench player, and is one of the few players who can hit an outside shot. Rookie Marresse Speights has looked good when he had played, and should get more minutes as the season goes on. Kareem Rush and Donyell Marshall have provided a nice outside option.
The Sixers have really struggled with turnovers, and entered last night’s game against the Raptors leading the league in turnovers. That’s not a statistic you want to lead the league at.
We feel as if the Sixers will turn this season around, it is still very early. The half-court offense needs to go through Elton Brand almost every time down. He is the best offensive player on the team, and has shown that he can find the open man outside when the defense doubles him. It’s just a matter of the other players hitting their outside shots.
Sharing the Wachovia Center (soon the be named something else I’m sure) with the Sixers are the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers, like the Sixers, have started out a little slow, but have played a little bit better after the first few games.
The Flyers are 5-6-3 overall, which isn’t bad, but isn’t good. Just like the Eagles in the NFC East, the Flyers play in probably the toughest division in hockey, the Atlantic. This means the Flyers will have to play and beat the Rangers, Penguins, and Devils multiple times to get back into the race in the Atlantic Division.
As a bright spot for the Flyers, their young core group of players has all played pretty well. Mike Richards, the recently named captain before the season started, already leads the team with 17 points in 14 games. One of the other young stars, Jeff Carter leads the team with 9 goals this season. Simon Gagne, Danny Briere, and Mike Knuble have all played well so far this season. However, just like seasons’ past, the offense is not usually the problem with the Flyers.
The Flyers worked very hard in the offseason to improve the defense. They brought in Ossi Vaananen, Andrew Alberts, and their draft pick, Luca Sbisa, to go along with Braydon Coburn, and Kimmo Timonen. The Flyers definitely miss Randy Jones back on defense, and the defense will improve once he is back on the blue line. The Flyers just made a trade for Tampa Bay defenseman Matt Carle, another young defenseman.
The goaltending has been a little shaky, but both Biron and Nitty have also had good games as well and shown the ability to shut down the opposing team and win a game for the Flyers. Biron is a good goaltender, and the amount of goals scored against the Flyers this season, we blame on more lack of defense than poor goaltending. Admittedly, Biron will need to play better as the season goes on, but more importantly, the defense needs to do a better job in front of him.
Bottom line, the offense is a little hot and cold, but can usually score goals. The defense needs to improve, and the Flyers organization has done a good job of loading the team with solid young defenseman, who just need some time to improve. Just like the Sixers, look for the Flyers to start coming together and stringing some wins together.
Injury...the scariest word for any athlete or serious fitness junkie! It is not a word we like to hear, it is not a subject we like to discuss. A most dreaded topic, indeed! It is almost as if by making mere mention of the word, that all of a sudden, we will be plagued by any number of injuries or ailments. Whether it be the horrific pain of plantar fasciitis, the nagging irritation of runner's knee, the most awful snapping of the Achilles Tendon or the terrible tearing of the ACL...any and all can send even the most fit and positive thinking among us, into a depressive, debilitating tailspin.
Suddenly, we are stopped in our tracks and left wondering what is to become of our bodies... the bodies that we have demanded so much from, that we have pushed so hard, that we have convinced ourselves are invincible. It is a frightening moment, this realization, that we may be sidelined for weeks, even months at a time. Even more concerning, is the possibility that we may have done lasting and permanent damage, thereby, ensuring us that our performance will be forever compromised.
The ugliness of it all is too much to bear! It is all we can do not to curl up in a ball and let our muscles wither away...
So, let's not even get to the point of injury...let us instead focus on preventing injury and keeping our physically fit selves in top-notch performance condition!
Being that we are most likely, a bit obsessive-compulsive in nature and that we are constantly looking for that peak, that edge that will get us to perform our best; we may invite injury. We may just have a tendency to overdo it. Perhaps be a bit relentless in our drive to exceed already insanely high expectations...we are just a bit competitive. Some might say that we border on masochistic when it comes to training.
While this dedicated approach to fitness and sport is admirable, and it will be hard to convince this "Machine" otherwise, it may not be the most effective...kills to admit that!
Perhaps what needs to be done is laying off a little...giving the body the proper amount of recovery time between races, games, matches, whatever it may be. This is not to say that we should just plop down on the sofa and start inhaling the leftover Halloween candy while watching Celebrity Fit Club or some other such nonsense. It simply means that we should allow ourselves adequate amounts of rest. We should factor in an "off" day, where we do not go for a run, or even head to the gym. We should also employ cross-training...it is a great way to keep ourselves at the top of the fitness pyramid without risking the occurrence of an overuse injury.
Proper stretching is also very important. Not the stretching that we all were put through in our gym classes way back when, but dynamic stretching that gets the body warmed up before we seriously engage in our chosen activity. It is so important to loosen and stretch the body's tendons and muscles, as well as get the heart pumping a bit. Jumping right into intense physical activity from a completely static state is a definite invitation to injury. Going for a light ten minute jog and doing plyometric types of stretches and movements will offer so much protection from injury and will also enhance your performance. This should be done at the start of your workout/event and then a cool down period at the end of your training/event is also a must.
And of course, we must fuel our bodies well. Without the necessary nutrients, we most assuredly risk injury. Our bodies require that we feed them, and that we feed them healthy, natural, wholesome food. As much as we cannot overeat and expect to perform at our best, we cannot skimp on calories and expect great results. By not eating a well balanced diet, we open the door to stress fractures, lean muscle deterioration, and overall fatigue. So, eat up those fruits, vegetables and wholegrains...take in that protein and even a bit of fat!
No mention of that "I" word will be made again...just remember, there is much that can be done to keep ourselves from stumbling into that nasty land of stagnation. We can keep strong and healthy, it simply takes a bit of common sense and a bit of practice. We must be kind to our bodies and understand that the more care we take with them, the longer we will be able to perform and compete. If that is not a good thought, I don't know what is...
Best Hockey stache ever.
9. King Kelly
This guy is my idol.
8. 2008 Croatian Men's Water Polo Team
For team unity everyone grew a stache, we need more teams like this.
7. Artur Jorge
Portuguese Soccer coach, I couldn't dream of a mustache as amazing as this.
6. Ben Davidson
Just look at this classy stache
5. Salvador Dali
Created a new stache it's hard to compete with
4. Frank Zappa
This is a man who's proud of his stache. When you have a stache named after you instant top 5.
3. Rollie Fingers
Anytime a man has the balls to curl his stache, he is the man.
2. Burt Reynolds
Mustache going strong since the 70's
1. Tom Selleck
Was there any doubt. When you think of great men with mustaches this man always comes to mind.
Here at Kotite's Corner we would be ashamed if he wasn't in the top 20.
19. Sam Elliot
He has been in so many movies always sporting the stache
18. Joe Namath
The only thing that would make this better then this picture is if he was hitting on Suzy Kolber
17. Jared Allen
When you have a mullet and a Fu Manchu you always win points.
16. Jake Plummer
The stache didn't last long but is already legendary
15. The Beatles
For Sgt Peppers The Fab Four all grew staches. This would be a great picture to hang on your living room wall
14. Harry Shearer
One of the thickest fullest Fu Manchus ever
13. Sal Fasano
There are no words to describe the awesomeness of Sal Fasano.
12. Oscar Gamble
Afro, mutton chops and sweet stache enough said.
11. Al Hrabosky
His nickname is the Mad Hungarian, great nickname, great thick Fu Manchu.
Click to view 10-1
I would expect to see a guy like this sitting next to me at a peep show
29. Randy Johnson
Curly mullet plus the best Zappa since Frank Zappa himself.
28. Rod Beck
A long thick Fu Manchu will put you high on my list.
27. Richard Petty
Richard Petty's mustache has gotten smaller over the years, but no one forgets how amazing it used to look.
26. Mike Maddux
His brother Greg may have been a better pitcher, but Mike wins the mustache department
25. Don Mattingly
If baseball had a mustache hall of fame, Mattingly would be in it on the first ballot.
24. Dave Wannstedt
Even though he is coaching an awful Pitt football team, that can't knock him off the list
23. George Parros
22. Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy is the man, bringing back the Civil War stache
21. Aaron Rodgers
He Looks like a father in a 80's sitcom, great stache
Click to view 20-11