Posted on: August 2, 2011 7:56 pm

All up to Vick?

It took till July 25 until football was on for the 2011 season.  Part of the new collective bargaining agreement meant the salary cap was reinstated, along with a salary cap floor.  But with the way the Philadelphia Eagles keep signing players one would think we were still in the uncapped year.


The Eagles continued their free agency dominance on Tuesday with the addition of former Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown.  Brown has had much of his success in a running back tandem with Ricky Williams in Miami, so he should have no problem sharing a backfield with LeSean McCoy in Philadelphia.  For some teams, having signed Brown would have been the highlight of their offseason thus far.  But Philadelphia has traded for DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, signed DB Nnmandi Asomugha, and signed defensive ends Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins.  It is as if GM Howie Roseman and head coach Andy Reid are putting together a fantasy squad here.  Actually some people do not even have fantasy squads with all of these names on one roster.  It as if they are finding ways  to work within the cap like Madden players do in the game’s Franchise mode.  Without question they will be the team most used by Madden players when the game drops on August 30, and this time not just because they have Michael Vick at QB.


But perhaps that last part is the most telling, Michael Vick will enter the year for the Philadelphia Eagles as the starting QB, a title he has not held entering a season since 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons.  And the pressure is on Vick to stay healthy, and perform at a high level as he did in 2010 inheriting the starting job in Philly.  The knock against Vick has always been that his style of play will not win a Super Bowl.  And if the Eagles fail to make it to at least the NFC Championship in 2011, look for Vick to shoulder much of the blame.  But Vick has won in the playoffs before, most notably when he took the Falcons into Lambeau Field on New Year’s day 2003 to defeat the Packers in what was the first time they ever lost a postseason game at Lambeau.  Vick has more talent around him in 2011 then he ever has before, can the kid that once knocked off the legendary Brett Favre and Green Bay Packers lead a team to a Super Bowl?  Only time will tell.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 1, 2010 12:58 pm

Trading for McNabb Would Regain Creditability

Since a return to Oakland in 1995, a span of fifteen seasons, the Oakland Raiders seemed to have gone astray from their slogan of “A Commitment to Excellence.”  There has just been three winning seasons in Oakland since 1995, although one of those seasons did include a trip to Super Bowl XXXVII (a 48-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).  But since that trip to the Super Bowl, the Raiders have failed to win more than five games in a season.  A failed string of coaches and player acquisitions have been at the forefront of the blame of owner Al Davis.

Coaches during the time period after the Super Bowl include Bill Callahan (whom lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl in his first year as a head coach, following the departure of Jon Gruden, who lead the Bucs to the victory over the Raiders), Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, and current coach Tom Cable.  Cable was also in the conversation last season of being fired.  Despite being criticized as Kiffin’s replacement midway through the 2008 season, Cable does seem to have the respect of many of his players, despite stories of problems with other members of his coaching staff.  The Raiders are 9-19 under Cable, which is actually a step in the right direction for this dormant franchise.

But coaching changes have not been the only criticism in Oakland, a string of bad personnel moves by Davis has also drawn criticism.  WR Randy Moss was acquired for LB Napoleon Harris, the Raiders 2004 first round pick (7th overall – Troy Williamson) and their seventh round pick.  Moss was a bust in two seasons in Oakland, and was then traded for a fourth round pick to the Patriots in 2007, where Moss has gone on to shine with a record breaking season.  There was also the acquisition of DB DeAngelo Hall for a second and fifth round pick in the 2008 draft.  Hall was then signed to a seven-year $70 million deal prior to the 2008 season.  Hall was then released after eight games into the season, for “failing to adapt to the Raiders system”.  Also prior to the 2008 season, safety Gibril Wilson signed a six-year $39 million contract with the Raiders, only to be released after one season.  And also prior to that 2008 season, Davis signed WR Javon Walker to a six-year $55million deal.  Walker played a total of eleven games for the Raiders, starting seven, compiling fifteen catches for 196 yards and a touchdown.  But the criticism is not just on veteran acquisitions, high first round picks have failed to live up to the hype including QB JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and Darrius Heyward-Bey

Acquiring Donovan McNabb could help silence the critics of Davis for the time being.  McNabb would give the Raiders the elite quarterback they have lacked since the retirement of Rich Gannon prior to the 2005 season.  McNabb has the arm to run the deep passing game that Davis is infamous for promoting with his team.  Although none of those failed veteran acquisitions are still around, McNabb could help those first round picks live up to their potential.  McFadden, who will enter the 2010 season at twenty-three years of age, arguably has more athletic ability than Brian Westbrook (McNabb’s main counterpart at RB in Philly) had in the prime of his career.  McFadden has the ability to be a dual threat out of the backfield, like Westbrook, and proved in college that he has the ability to make some big plays.  Heyward-Bey, perhaps the most criticized picks at the time of the selection, has the speed Davis desires from his WRs.  McNabb just had a successful season with another fast WR in DeSean Jackson.  Perhaps the numbers that Jackson put up are far too lofty of expectations, but similar output is possible as Heyward-Bey does have the talent to find success in the NFL.  Finally, there is Russell, who would find himself back on the bench with the acquisition of McNabb.  But McNabb is not the most durable QB, so Russell may find himself some playing time.  But with a similar build to Donovan, albeit a bit heavier, perhaps McNabb could provide the tutelage, and light a fire under the young QB, so that he can make strides towards living up to his pre-draft potential.  Another player who should prosper with the possible acquisition of McNabb would be TE Zach Miller.  Miller has shown the ability to excel in the NFL in the past, and McNabb has shown the ability to find his TEs.  With McNabb under huddle, Miller could become one of the top TEs in the NFL in 2010. 

A trade for McNabb would finally bring some stability to the QB position in Oakland, and could help diminish, for a time, talks of a string of bad acquisitions in Oakland.  McNabb has the ability to make the players around him better, as he has done for eleven years in Philadelphia.  And in the weak AFC West, making a play for a wildcard spot in 2010 is possible.  If owner Al Davis wants to continue to promote “A Commitment to Excellence,” a trade for McNabb is a must.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com