On Friday around about 6:20pm I’m on my way to Wells Fargo on 34th and Chestnut to cash my pay check(which two days later is damn near gone) and as I am parking my car it comes across my twitter feed that the Philadelphia Eagles had signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a deal and shocked the city and football world. I was as happy as when my first child was born and I had the swagger of a teenager who just lost his virginity. In the beginning of the week, Eagles fans in the area were bitching and moaning about how the Eagles weren’t making moves and were falling behind in free agency. I posted on my twitter account and on facebook for everyone to calm down and let things play out. But I had no idea that along with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Vince Young, that Asomugha would being joining this team. The Eagles also shipped one half of the mediocre defensive tackle tandem, Brodrick Bunkley off to the Cleveland Browns and signed DT/DE Cullen Jenkins to a five year deal.
This now gives the Birds and instant upgrade personnel wise on defense. New defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has talent to work with is his first season as a defensive coach in the NFL. The Eagles still need to sure up the linebacker position, a potential starting linebacker crew of Casey Matthews at the middle, Jamar Chaney at the Sam, and Moise Fokou at the Will, does nothing for me. Matthews is undersized and a bit slow and needs to add some weight to his frame if he plans on being a starter in the NFL in the middle. I think he might be better suited at the weakside, but might not have the speed to play it. The idea of playing Chaney may work as he has ok size(6’1 240lbs), but I like for my strong side backer to have more height and more weight in order to take on tight ends and lead blocks from fullbacks. Fokou simply can’t play and should be a special teams player.
Seattle Seahawks Middle Linebacker Lofa Tatupu asked to be released after refusing to restructure his contract. While he is a good name, he is coming off of arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees this past offseason and signing him could be a risk. I would sign him to a 1 year deal and give him a shot though. The Safety position isn’t very stable right now, Nate Allen is coming off of a bad knee injury and Jaiquawn Jarrett is a rookie at strong safety. Marlin Jackson is back and healthy, but he has been on the IR the last two seasons. Bringing in a veteran safety would be a good idea. Right Tackle Winston Justice is currently on the PUP(physically unable to perform) list and the Eagles have to tackle King Dunlap it’s his job to lose. I have a big problem with this since Vick is a lefty, they will depending on Dunlap to protect his blind side. Guard Evan Mathis was signed today to a 1 yr deal and maybe the Eagles can play him at left guard and move Todd Herremans to right tackle.
The team is looking great right now on paper and on Madden 12, but there are games that need to be played and I’m not trying to be negative Andy Reid is still in charge. You can say it’s no way he can screw this up, but we have said the same thing in previous years. Only time will tell.
Meanwhile about a few hours later the Philadelphia Phillies pulled off the unbelievable, by acquiring right fielder Hunter Pence( .307 avg. 11 hr’s 63 rbi’s) from the Houston Astro’s for 4 minor league prospects. For the Phils to add Pence to the mix without having to give up Domonic Brown or Vance Worley was a amazing deal, and Astros General Manager has done it again. He is still making the same blunders he made here as the Phils GM.
Adding a right handed bat like Pence has the Phillies set up to win right now and in the near future, while setting up their outfield for the next 4 to 5 years. While not having overpowering stuff, Worley is pitching very well by hitting the corners and having outstanding control out on the mound. He is fearless and shows confidence in the tough spots in games.
With Chase Utley looking like his old self and Pence in the five hole, the Phillies lineup should be deadly the last two months of the season and going into the playoffs. With the fabulous pitching rotation to go along with, anything less then then a world series championship would be a big disappointment.