Below is a recap/update of all my favorite teams from the past year.
-Penn State: Failed expectations. This was supposed to be Morelli's maturing year, the one where he succeeds despite an undersized and under experienced OL. The opposite happened. However, I do feel good about this coming year. We have a favorable schedule, 16 returning starters, a good OL, a maturing DL, great RBs, CBs, S, etc. The pieces are still there. We need a leader and a little luck. And by that I mean a leader, LJ sr. to stay, and Jay to leave.
- Michigan is known for developing QB talent, why can't we?
- It is rumored that Collins at least had the balls to defy the offensive coaching scheme. Any chance we can get him back?
- We need a placekicker. I do not want a game coming down to Kelly trying to make a FG over 40 yards (or any, for that matter). By the end of the year, he couldn't even force a touch back during kickoffs. Inexcusable.
Philadelphia Eagles: Too little, too late. With an OL that struggled the entire year, the Eagles were abysmal in the red zone. The DL was shallow at the ends-Abiarimi is not a starter, and Thomas/Cole had to shoulder the entire burden of the pass rush. We still need a WR.
- Rumor is that the front office is meeting with Westbrook to restructure his contract. Praise Allah. The guy played every down he could and turned into a legitimate MVP candidate. Cancel his debt, give him a raise. Or better yet, overpay him again to make him act like the best damn RB in the league.
- Drafting needs: 1) DE-we are very weak here. 2)OL/WR-i can't tell if this year's poor play was due to age, or just an off year. Everyone knows the Eagles still need a big WR. Curtis falters in press coverage, and Reggie Brown is only a legitimate #2. 3)S/CB-Reed and Hanson were godsends this year. We need depth-Shepphard has missed too many games recently, and Dawkins is on his last foot. The man is 35; Turn him into a coordinator, just keep him near the team. The D responds to him.
- Preliminary draft-the Eagles resigned Gasperson, which means that they feel secure at WR not to draft one. Look for a free agent acquisition.1) Lawrence Jackson (USC), Jeremy Thompson (Wake), or Jason Jones (VT) would be nice fits and could definitely fall to the Eagles at the 19th spot.
- Upside:Jordan, Bradley, Cole, Westbrook, Hanson, McNabb, Bunkley, Patterson, Gaither, Brown, Reed, Celek
- Downside: Justice (even tho it is noted he played better against Buffalo. Wrong team from NY, but I digress), Jackson, LJ Smith(I hate him), Reagor, Kearse, Shepphard(sorry, too injured), Thomas (the one who renamed himself), McDougle (again, why does this guy have a job?),
-The Flyers-An excellent offseason restructured the entire team. This team is tough, gritty, and ornery. In short, a Philly team that won't lay down. They are steadily improving after a December slump. They like beating Pittsburgh.
- I believe Les Bowen from the Inquirer wrote that the Flyers are slumping at the right time. It's tough to agree that slumping is a good thing; in retrospect he might be right. That putrid stretch at the beginning of December showed the Flyers their deficiency: everyone needs to play defense. Our D is still a step off, and everyone needs to step it up. Results? A three game winning streak, and Biron's numbers go back up. And hopefully I didn't just jinx them.
- The Eastern conference is very tight right now. Hopefully, we get Gagne back soon, and make a good stretch run. I need to really look forward to a good Flyers team in the playoffs. This team provides the hope that wasn't there last year.
-The Phillies-Mozeltov for making an unprecedented run toward the playoffs, and thank you for giving this city a glimpse of the team's real potential. Even better, we knocked the Mets out. Take that, Seinfeld.
- I hate to see Rowand go, but that is most likely going to happen. Best of luck to him, and I hope someone, besides the Mets, pay what he is worth. Utley, Howard, Hamels, Meyers, Kendrick, and J-Roll are locked in and this town is ready for the spring to roll around. I can't wait.
-The Sixers-I don't care.