Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Chips: now with more Philly content

Really tonight’s Basketball game against Ohio State is huge for the Nittany Lions, it’s on ESPN in primetime and it’s a chance for the Nits to get some much needed TV exposure. Flop in this one and it might be detrimental to a very fragile team, people are finally talking about Penn State in the same sentence as the big dance. Penn State needs this one, bad.

Thanks to the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers and their stellar 3-4 defense guys like Aaron Maybin are getting long looks as outside linebackers/rush specialists in the popular scheme.

Maybin, who elected to forgo his senior season with the Nittany Lions, is too small to be a defensive end in the NFL. But he has the body type (6 feet 31/2, 250 pounds) and athleticism that teams desire in an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. That should increase his chances of being a high first-round selection in April, especially after Maybin added nearly 20 pounds since the end of Penn State's season.

Even with overly pedestrian results in the combines.

Speed and computer numbers or football skills? That's the question scouts must answer when deciding where a number of prospects they saw on Monday will end up in the draft. For example; a number of prospects ran poor 40 times including Michigan's Tim Jamison (5.03), Penn State's Aaron Maybin (4.75) and Brandon Walker of Texas Tech (4.94). Yet all three displayed terrific quickness, footwork and football skills during position drills. Does timed speed win out or do scouts go by what they saw the players accomplish once the football was brought onto the field?

Another Penn Stater whose stock is quickly falling is Maurice Evans.

Evans' decision to enter the draft was questioned from the start and his choice looks worse today. Evans ran his 40s in 4.97 and 5.09 seconds. He later looked sluggish in drills. Evans weighed in at 274 pounds and only completed 17 reps on the bench.

By comparison other defensive end prospects managed somewhere around 30 reps, nearly doubling Evans totals.

Philly fans can begin fretting over the Donovan McNabb saga because it appears he's not going anywhere and the Eagles have some tough off-season decisions to make if they want to keep him.

Although McNabb wants to remain in Philadelphia, if the Eagles aren't successful in significantly upgrading an offense that needs help at wide receiver, running back and offensive tackle (veterans Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas are free agents beginning Friday), not only may McNabb drop his request for a new contract, he may consider going as far as to ask the Eagles to trade him.

Some of the big names on the market include T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Anquan Boldin, and tight end Tony Gonzalez but any one of those guys would most definitely want assurance that McNabb will be an Eagle before signing so it's come down to a chicken and egg dilemma. That and throw in the recent release of this guy and Philly is at a cross roads: accept an aging Donovan McNabb as your guy and stick with him or dump him and forget about any of the prized free agents. One thing's for certain, Marvin Harrison would be a significant upgrade on an Eagles team that was one game away from losing to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl (sorry Eagle's fans it's true). Add him to this Philly team and they would probably be the favorite to come out of the NFC as champs.


drozz said...

sorry, didn't the eagles work your team in the regular season? 9 sacks was it? without westbrook?

joking aside, i truly understand where mcnabb is coming from. he has been sitting on this team, waiting patiently for the team to make the right moves that would get this team back to the super bowl. while desean jackson is a good start, he is of no threat in the red zone.

brent celek is adequate, but the playoffs made it plainly obvious that the eagles need a good blocking tight end (which added to the short-yardage woes early on in the season). chad lewis was the model andy reid tight end; while celek has decent hands, he is not the blocker lewis was. schoebel is god awful; he is the greg lewis of tight ends.

BTW, any steeler's TEs available?

at this point, he (mcnabb) does see an end to his career-i believe he would like a chance on a team with some weapons, as opposed to the reid system where things get patched up for the short term, and mcnabb is left throwing under pressure to 3rd rate receivers (e.g. baskett or greg lewis).

what he wants is to see the front office go after boldin like they did randy moss last offseason, and acquire him, instead of waiting for promises of "next season".

other additions would be a serviceable FB-Hunt got shafted last season, and eckel is as good as his name sounds. the 2004 season had john richie in the backfield with westbrook with great results.

anyway, congrats on the World Championship. FWIW, my Pitt friends all predicted 10-6 or a 9-7 season (due to schedule and O-line losses), and an early exit in the playoffs. I predicted super bowl due to good defense, but a loss to the NY freakin' giants.

Galen said...


Honestly I'm not a Steelers fan, actually when it comes to the NFL I don't really have a team... I watch it (for my fantasy players) but I don't really "have" a team. I'm really an impartial bystander when it comes to NFL but watch it enough to have enough knowledge to talk about it. As far as the Eagles go, I've been saying this for years, the piece they've been missing is a top-notch wide receiver (ok, they had T.O. but come on... the cancer nickname is all but true) give them a Marvin Harrison and they probably win the super bowl. With that D and some luck (ever team needs some breaks to win it all) I think they win out. TE? sure they could use one but give a decent McNabb (read: healthy) a top-20 NFL wide receiver and you turn a (barely) playoff team into a super bowl team.

drozz said...

my eagles insecurity mixed with a PSU blog led me to assume you were a stillers fan. left psu 6 years ago, and some inane reflexes just won't die.

"barely" a playoff team? yeah, that's about right. losing twice to the redskins and tying the bungles.....entirely frustrating.

but yes, one top 20 WR and this team will go places. and its not like we don't have the cap room.