You get an off day-Monday, you kinda scrounge for these sort of things…I mean, we’ve had our own Bored members here speculating everything from 7-9 to 19-0!
I found it interesting that Kempski (or is it really ~BROZ?) went as high as 11-5. Usually he’s pretty downsided on predictions based upon annual new faces and parts replacements which are inevitably uncertain in this modern age of NFL free agency.
If you ask me, 11-5 would be more than acceptable in a Super Bowl-follow-up season. It would mean you at the very least get into the playoffs. What more could a true Eagles fan with a lifetime pedigree of constant sorrows hope for?
Kempski of course writes for Philly Voice.com now, but I remember when he was just a pup with a decent sales job in ordinary life, then announced to his lovely wife that he was chucking it all to pursue an Eagles beat-writer career.
Fortunately for Jimmy, his wife was supportive of the idea. Somehow he landed a gig (with a press pass) at the Allentown Morning Call. I can only imagine what smooth-talking it must have taken for Kempski to get that “On The Road Again” opportunity.
From there, the rest is journalistic history, I guess.
The good news for the rest of us is Jimmy actually understands football. That’s not a given in the cases of many of the younger beat writers or older (like me) editorial commentators who follow the Eagles as a genuine sport obsession. You still get a lot of us who don’t know how to separate our love for the Eagles from our objective appreciation of the technique of the game—and that necessarily includes understanding the fact that our opponents on the field are trying to win, too.
I guess my appreciation of Kempski is partly an alter-ego thing, too. You youngsters out there may not remember, but my very first column for the old MVN Network back in 2007 was the story of my training camp trek up to Lehigh with a suitcase in my hand. I was gonna learn about the truth of Eagles football from the training camp ground up, and to hell with my day job. Surely the internet exposure of the truth of my mission would net me a gig with ESPN or FoxSports, or sumlin.
Welp, I learned a lot but I trudged home a beaten man. I realized my day job, as mundane as it was, would be if nothing else a safe haven from the vagaries of sports journalism, where there was and is definitely a case of supply exceeding demand.
That’s the way it was. But Kempski beat the odds.
So I digress… a few nuggets from Kempski’s latest “Fan Chat” session reveal several lemons to chew upon:
“I don’t think they’ll run Jay Ajayi into the ground the same way the Dallas Cowboys did with DeMarco Murray, for example. Ajayi isn’t healthy the same way Murray was. He still has knee issues, so they’ll preserve him to some degree. That said, I do think his workload will absolutely increase, and he could get heavy usage late in the season if they really need him, and in the playoffs. They may not care as much about his long-term career if they assume he’s going to walk in free agency, which seems likely.”
Regarding Destiny Vaeao’s having done anything to stand out or make the fans feel comfortable with his potentially starting with Timmy Jernigan on the mend?
“Haloti Ngata will start, and play on run downs. Some of the DEs, like BG and Bennett, will slide inside on obvious passing downs, so they won’t need a guy like Destiny to play much anyway. All they need is for Destiny to be able to give Fletch a breather from time to time, and they’ll be fine there, assuming they don’t sustain any more injuries.”
Does Kempski see Rasul Douglas getting moved to safety at some point?
“Warmack isn’t good, but he was “good enough” when Wis missed a few games late in the season. The Eagles have much better OL depth than most.”
“He has a really, really tough path to making the roster with all the DE depth in front of him. I was surprised he signed with the Eagles, frankly, given that fact. Maybe his agent recognized the number of 30-plus year old guys on the roster, and had long-term vision for him? Don’t know. Maybe I’ll ask him. But he’s done some nice things. I think he absolutely has practice squad in his future if some other team doesn’t pick him up.”
Is it possible for Nick Foles and the Eagles to accept the option in his contract for next season, just so they can trade him? If it is possible, what’re the chances of that happening instead of his becoming an UFA?
“That contract is so complicated that I kind of don’t know where to start. An explanation from OverTheCap. com:
“On April 20, 2018, Foles renegotiated his contract and signed a new two year contract worth up to $29 million in base salary. The contract pays Foles a $2 million signing bonus in 2018, which represents a $2 million raise from his original contract. There are $14 million in additional incentives available. The 2019 season, which was a void year, is now an option year with a player void clause. The Eagles can opt into the contract, which carries a $20 million salary, by picking up the option a month before the start of the 2019 league year. The salary is guaranteed on the 3rd day of the league year. If the option is exercised Foles may still become a free agent by paying back the $2 million signing bonus he received in 2018 as part of this new contract to void the 2019 league year. The 2020 and 2021 league years will both automatically void prior to the start of the 2020 league year.”
“So, yes, the Eagles would almost certainly opt into the contract, since it wouldn’t become guaranteed for a month, and then they would try to work out a trade while Foles simultaneously worked out a new deal with a potential trade partner.”
How many (if any) trades does Howie have left in him this season? What position or player could be targeted or moved ? Eagles seem to have great depth almost everywhere – minus punter and 3rd safety.
“I think the most likely outgoing players are Foles, Darby, Seumalo, Smallwood, and Pumphrey.”
How has Elijah Qualls looked? Interested in seeing if he gets any playing time this year with Jernigan out…
“Doug keeps saying how good Aziz Shittu looks, which remains such a puzzling thing to me. Maybe the team is trying to send a message to Qualls to pick up his game? I really don’t know. But I haven’t seen much there so far.”
Does Kempski think Sidney Jones is our most talented defensive back?