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The Sports Daily > Eagles Eye Blog
Having a problem pet is a lot like being an Eagles fan—

I’ve been bragging like a proud papa on my two thoroughbred apple-head Siamese cats here for the past ten years. They are sisters and are extremely athletic. They would make fine wide receivers in the CFL (Cat Football League). One of the sisters who is named Phoebe can also bat left-handed and is quite proficient at hitting a thrown wad of paper— will take batting practice for hours if the human pitcher has the stamina.

But ten years into this relationship and I am ready to give the other sister the boot. Her name is Kayla, 12 pounds of incredible athletic power but cursed with a neurotic personality. I have tried every trick under the cat whisperer’s sun to bring her around. Nothing is working. Bringing a Papillon rescue dog from New Orleans into the picture has only made things worse.

Now Kayla is compounding the problem by dropping poo-poo bombs outside the box.

I think it’s a protest in cat language of some sort. I’ve had her checked out by the vet who says she’s fine physically. I monitor her diet. I’ve always been obsessive in my dedication to keeping her litter box fresh and clean.

But Kayla, despite her pedigree and relatively solid history of litter box efficiency, seems hell-bent on dropping poo-poo bombs lately.

Being a guy, this does not bother me all that much, as I’d rather clean up a solid poo-poo bomb than a messy semi-solid throw-up grenade.

But my wife is going nuts over the whole deal. Suddenly she hates the cat. “I can’t live like this!,” she shrieks.  “I’m getting all new carpets!”

So in a Carlos Santana moment of inspiration, I stepped back— I gave my wife space for her rage, and I told her I would take full responsibility for Kayla’s removal to an SPCA shelter if there were to be one more incident. I told her I would work with the cat, try to give her a little extra attention, and would become even more fastidious in my litter box maintenance.

Now it is I who is living on pins and needles. I find myself staying home more just to follow the cat around the house. I schedule her feedings with a stop watch. I secretly plan “poop and swoop” maneuvers to destroy the evidence just in case she falters again.

Then it hit me— my crazy cat is a metaphor for the Philadelphia Eagles franchise.

Philly fans love their Eagles but we have zero tolerance for the team when it drops poo-poo bombs inside the house.

For many years now we have assembled extremely athletic teams (on paper) who somehow can’t seem to be able to deliver the payload to the appropriate box.

This year is just another in a series of speculating your cats are special—and can minimize their poo-poo mistakes.

Take the 2017 Draft for instance…

Lance Zierlein from NFL.com ranked the 32 draft classes based on three key factors: how teams addressed their needs, who did the most with the picks they had, and his perception of the talent that each team obtained. In the end, Zierlein rated the Eagles’ draft class as the best in the entire league.

“Some will look at the Eagles picks and say ‘yeah, but’ to many of the selections, but I see a good draft,” Zierlein wrote. “Derek Barnett isn’t flashy, but he’s productive and tough. If cornerback Sidney Jones comes back healthy, the Eagles stole a first-round talent in the second. CB Rasul Douglas isn’t fast, but he’s an absolute ballhawk. WR Mack Hollins is an electric deep threat and outstanding special-teams talent.”

But then you have guys like “The Beast” at Eaglemaniacal.com who find the poo-poo:

“1st round/ DE – Derek Barnett…. Barnett sets the edge and generally doesn’t end up on the ground vs the run. That’s basically what you want from a DE, but he wasn’t brought here to just play DE, he’s here to be a dominant pass rusher. However, when I look at this game vs Alabama, I don’t see a quick get-off. I don’t see great change of direction. I don’t see him using an array of moves to win early against offensive linemen. Name one great pass rusher in the NFL who lacks all of those tools. You can’t, because there aren’t any.

“I’ve read that his hands keep him from being blocked long, but I couldn’t find any game tape (games, not highlight reels) that show him doing it consistently. So far I see a guy who will have an NFL career, but I don’t see 10-12 sacks per year from him at this level. If he proves me wrong, AT THIS LEVEL, great. But until then… Grade: C”

“2nd round/ CB – Sidney Jones….  We needed a CB immediately. Taking one this high was the right move to make. Totally made sense. What would have made more sense, would have been selecting a player who isn’t already sidelined for 2017. Word around the Training Room is that next year, after he rehabs his torn ACL, Jones will be as good as he ever was. Might even be a steal. That’s the talk.

“On tape, you see a CB who even from a cushion will begin to concede a lot of real estate before the snap. College will allow DB’s that flaw, but in the NFL it’ll quickly earn you a target on your back. Also his man-press doesn’t seem to lead to significant redirection of his assignment. Luckily, these are things which can be corrected with coaching. Provided (as hoped) that he didn’t leave any of his athleticism in the operating room. Grade: C ”

3rd round/ CB – Rasul Douglas….. Douglas has good size at 6’2, but his near 4.6 speed causes me to question if he can play on the outside at this level. Also on tape you see he can be beaten badly on quick routes inside. That’s alarming because for a 209 pound CB, his press at the line is lacking. (There were two videos I could have chosen to show, but the other one was played in snow. That’s not a fair condition to assess players.)

“The plan may be to move him to Free Safety as an insurance policy behind Rod McLeod. However, right now it seems like the Eagles spent an early pick on a guy without a true role. Grade: C ”

“4th round/ WR – Mack Hollins…. I flat out hate this pick. The Eagles went out and drafted a Special Teams coverage player, in the fourth round. Drafted him! Smart teams wait until after the Draft to get those guys. On top of that, as a WR he shuffles his feet at the snap and doesn’t attack his blocking assignments. Grade: F  ”

“4th round/ RB – Donnel Pumphrey…. We supposedly got him to replace Darren Sproles at some point. Then again we were sold the same bill of goods last year, regarding Byron Marshall, remember? To his credit, Pumphrey catches the ball pretty well, and is very nimble. If he can get the ball in open space, he can be an asset. Then again that statement likely would be true for most RB’s. Grade: C  ”

“5th round/ WR – Shelton Gibson…. I like this WR far more than the first one we selected. Although Gibson is also a drafted Special Teamer coverage guy, aspects of his game say he may actually be able to contribute as a WR. He doesn’t hesitate at the snap and he aggressively gets into his blocks. (Which could help Pumphrey.) I think you add ST coverage guys after a Draft, but if Gibson can contribute as a WR and help return kicks, then this was a really nice place to take him. Grade: B  ”

“5th round/ SS – Nathan Gerry…. This is another horrible pick. Too often he slows down to a jog before the play is even dead. He misses tackles. (Did you see that tape where the QB ran him over?) He can be seen being “extra” after plays, instead of being adequate during them. Grade: F ”

“6th round/ DT – Elijah Qualls…. No penetration. No ability to win one-on-one. Ends up on the ground in a number of ways. Maybe if we tape a cheeseburger to the QB or cover him in BBQ sauce, Qualls might not end up being redirected so easily. I have no idea how this guy got drafted by anyone. I doubt he even makes the practice squad. Grade: F  ”

Wow. Now there’s a guy who has had experience in getting rid of problem pets! My dilemma is I do love the cat. But she’s underperforming badly. What do I do?

The Beast says our cornerbacks last season played so badly that we got rid of both starters. The Beast says that was the right move to make. I guess there’s a lesson in that, and I’ll have to face up to the eventuality that I’ll have to release my shitty cat.

I guess you could say, my Front Office didn’t get that Siamese kitten draft right.

 

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