Apparently, Paul Tagliabue has come out and said teams would be “disciplined” if they provided false information about player injuries during a game. This comes shortly after the flap about Denver QB Jake Plummer going out of a game with an injury that was reported as being a concussion, and we later found out was actually a separated shoulder. Tags makes legitimate points about this, but to be honest, the NHL does exactly this, and it’s commonplace. Teams know in the playoffs that certain guys are injured, but the announced injury is very different than what is actually going on – a guy could have a serious leg injury, but it’s reported as a broken pinky toe or something stupid like that. Happens all the time – they’re not allowed to use these things to get a leg up on the competition? I’m sure all week long the Raiders would have prepared differently had they thought that Plummer had just had a concussion and mightn’t play. We’ll see how this goes over long term.
Upon my email to a friend who is an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, asking whether Donovan McNabb was severely overrated, or what, I received the following in response. I thought it was a pretty solid commentary.
“It’s a number of things with McNabb, and the Eagles in general.
1. Line play – The offensive line hasn’t really done much to help thecause this year. Then again, maybe if they got to run block a little more, they could be more effective pass blocking. By the end of yesterday’s game, NE was just teeing off on the QB, knowing that there weren’t any more running plays. And I saw a couple of nice plays called back on chop blocks and holds.
2. Receivers – Nobody throws a perfect ball every time. But, good teams have a receiver or two that regularly catches that ball 1/2 a stride off of perfect. When the receivers are dropping the good ones, let alone the less-than-perfect ones, the “inaccuracy” of the quarterback is amplified. Where the hell is the “number 1″ receiver – the Owens – the Moss – the Johnson – the guy who catches that less-than-perfect throw and turns it into a 15 yard gain instead of another loss.
3. Morale – Don’t know about the rest of the team, but Donovan has looked like a beaten man when he steps on the field. I don’t know where that trademark smile is. Doesn’t look like he’s having fun anymore, and I think that’s carrying over to the rest of the team. I think he was like this at Syracuse, too, if they hit a losing streak.
Also, I think Staley playing such a big role is terrible. The greedy little sh#* holds out for 3 weeks for purely selfish reasons, and gets his starting job back in one series. That sends a crap message to the rest of the team. I want to see Correll Buckhalter carry the ball 15 times in the first half. I DON’T want to see another swing/screen/flat pass to the back (Staley) out of the backfield until October.
4. Defense – Say what you want – the defense has carried this team for the past several years. And that defense has gotten weaker and weaker. By week 14 or 15 last year, they were only good for 2 1/2 to 3 quarters. Part of that was the Eagles offensive game plan (score early and sit on the lead), and part of that was having a collection of GOOD players. Hugh Douglas was only VERY GOOD – but, enough so to draw attention. Now who do you plan around on the Eagles defensive line? ND Kalu? I don’t think so. Compound this with losing 3 or 4 or 5 defensive linemen already, plus a starting corner and a starting safety, and they’re very vulnerable. The linebacking corps isn’t even near what it usually is.
5. Running game – Not just McNabb. Where are the 30 plus carries a game. What the hell did you get Jon Ritchie for? Is he hurt? Hell, is he even on the active roster?
6. Coaching – I think Reid is proving that it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to be Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. Give it up, Andy. At least for a while.”
I thought it was a pretty solid response, which touched on all the issues that are currently smacking the Egrets down to last place in the NFC. So take a breather, faithful Eagle fans. The world isn’t ending. Yet.