I’m not really sure who “The Beast” is, but he dwells in a deep dark cave on a website called EAGLEMANICAL.com, which I think is just about two or three years old now.
He used to occasionally visit the Bored here at the EYE, but was somewhat coldly received. Time has passed and I was curious to see how The Beast was doing…was he still alive?
Indeed, I can report The Beast is alive and well.
His style is still hardcore Philly fan critic with no holds barred. Some of his takes may seem overly pessimistic, but isn’t that “the beast” within all of us at times?
Anyway, I think The Beast is worth following just to get that spicy counterpoint in the total Eagles picture.
Here are some samples of the view of The Beast—some of them are EYE-openers:
“Carson Wentz turned in a statistically “meh” season, throwing 16 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. He did a number of little things (mostly pre-snap) that many rookies don’t usually do. That however won’t mean squat in 2017, because he won’t be a rookie anymore, and no one will be judging him on that sliding scale anymore. (Thank God!)
“First the bad news. You’d like to see a rookie’s performances tighten up towards the end of the season, but Wentz’s games were still all over the map. The inconsistency of his performances indicate a QB who is allowing how he plays to be dictated to him by his opposition. Again, that is the bad news.
“Now the good news. Dallas games 1&2, NYG games 1&2, Washington games 1&2. In every one of those match-ups Wentz was better in the second meeting. This indicates that he consistently learns from experience, and assimilates what he learns. While his game performances did fluctuate, so did the cast around him, almost weekly. Smooth sailing never made a good sailor, and Wentz started out with some pretty rough chop under him. Regardless, he was still unflappable for the duration. You cannot teach that trait. (Right, Jay Cutler?)”
* * * * *
“Nigel Bradham led the team with 102 tackles, grabbed a couple sacks, and made his presence felt in pass coverage. A full service SAM (I told you) who started 16 games is nice to have. Mychal Kendricks in the WILL spot…is less to cheer about. He only started 8 games out of the 15 he played, but those starts were throughout the year, and at no point was he ever actually demoted. More important than number of starts was how ineffective he was during the year. There was no hint of an ability to make big plays, and he was a clear liability in pass coverage. Worse still is the fact that there isn’t really anyone to demote Kendricks in favor of. The reserves seem to be signed with an eye more towards Special Teams than regular downs.”
* * * * *
“In a nutshell: This team could have been better in 2016, but politics (like starting Connor Barwin over Vinny Curry, and blatant favoritism towards players who played in Jim Schwartz’s scheme before), figured into lesser performances by the players who benefited, and who got to start when they clearly shouldn’t have. If the Eagles put such nonsense behind them, they can be in 2017 what they should have been in 2016.
“Last year this team looked like a nightmare waiting to happen, and they were that exactly, until leaky CB play undercut the Defense as a whole. Even with that problem, the Eagles finished 13th vs the pass and 12th in points allowed. The Defense was for real. This year with most of those players returning, or having been upgraded from, they look every bit as imposing again. The caveat is that the CB position is now a known Achilles Heel. Teams will come out targeting it until the Eagles can prove it’s no longer a problem. However, if this team can get even decent CB play this year, bullshit and shenanigans will have to happen for the Eagles to miss the postseason.”
“Bottom Line: Like last year, expect this team to be carried by the Defense, as the Offense tries to catch up. That said, this team is so close in so many regards. Much of it is easy to overlook because as football fans we’ve been trained to look for that one standout guy. We star hunt…”
* * * * *
“Dak Prescott was the man last year. I mean how do you not like a 23:4 touchdown to interception ratio? How you not like a 104.9 passer rating? How do you not like a 67.8 completion percentage? From a rookie! Clearly he’s the future of the franchise, right? If he can do all that as a rookie, he’ll only get better from here, right? Right? Not so fast.
“Here’s a piece of information that you won’t get anywhere but here. Eight games from last year cast a dark shadow on Prescott’s remaining career: NYG 1&2, WAS 1&2, PHI 1&2, GB regular season and Playoff game. In every case last year, Prescott was less effective in a second meeting with teams. So far every coaching staff to face Prescott once, managed to figure him out to a noticeable degree within the same year. (FYI: This was not the case with every rookie QB last year). This indicates that the league is adjusting to Prescott, faster than he is adjusting to the league. Given the simplicity of Dallas’ offensive system, that should be alarming to fans.”
* * * *
“WHEN Howie Roseman is screwing up, we let him know about it, and rightfully so. As fans that’s part of what we’re required to do to keep up our end. There is however, another part that we aren’t so good at. When Howie gets it right, we tend to be damned quiet about giving the man his due credit. As of today, that has to change…
“This franchise is trying to get back to where it was from 2000 to 2008. Back then, we were amongst the powerhouse teams in the NFL. We were part of every serious conversation about who would win it all during those years. Now, after almost a decade as a fringe team, the Eagles Front Office has decided to bite the bullet and do what I’ve been screaming for since I was still writing on YardBarker, back in 2009. Whatever they choose call it, or however they want to brand it, the Eagles are rebuilding.”
“The last time the Eagles rebuilt it was done without fan input. Remember when so many people wanted RB Ricky Williams but the Eagles instead drafted QB Donovan McNabb? Remember how fans reacted? Today McNabb is the greatest QB in franchise history, and many local (let me stress the word local) fans still shrug over it. This is why the F.O. ignores us. If all we can or will do is complain, they have every reason to tune us out.”
“On the other hand, we screamed and screamed for them to get McNabb a WR while they flat out ignored us. When they finally did get McNabb that WR [Terrell Owens], what happened? We went to the Super Bowl that same year, and McNabb had the best year of his entire career. No other season even comes close. Eagles fans are frequently called by announcers “the most knowledgeable fan base in the league”. Maybe F.O. would be wise to listen to us here and there. Conversely, maybe we should focus on saying something worth hearing.”
“When Roseman gets it wrong we need to be vocal, but we need to be equally as vocal when he gets it right. It would represent a change in fan type that the F.O. would have to look into. Even if only (at first) to better understand how to adjust their marketing strategies…
“So how do we do it? Get on WIP just as you always have, but find something to also praise, when you issue your next complaint about Roseman or Owner Jeffery Lurie. Mention a guy who’s jersey you wouldn’t mind seeing on your kids. Talk about why you don’t want certain types of players on this team. Go to the Eagles Message Boards (that I’m still banned from), and do these same things.
“Elevate the discussion so that it literally pays for them to listen to you, and make it cost them to ignore you. Make it clear that ignoring you has a negative impact. If not on the roster, then at the very least on the team’s bottom line.”
* * * * *
“SOMEBODY (Jeffery Lurie) has to come out and declare the floor for this season. The goal is always a Super Bowl, but we’re a rebuilding team coming off of two straight 7-9 seasons. A championship would be nice, but realistically speaking, it would be an unfair expectation to have at this moment.
“Still, some sort of benchmark must be set for this season. Otherwise it will leave the issue of our success or failure open to interpretation, and that can’t happen. There needs to be a clear indicator that we’re a better team than we were a year ago, so that the Front Office, coaching staff, and players all have an idea of what to build on and what to cut away.
“Nine wins (at a minimum) would be a great indicator. Having just been 7-9 (sub .500), the knee jerk reaction is that 8-8 (.500) is the next step up. You know what? Maybe eight wins is the next step up. Maybe it is. But we aren’t talking about taking a step, we’re talking about a turnaround.
“We’ve been losers for two years now. (Don’t argue with me… being sub .500 is losing.) The idea is to show that we’re done with being losers, and are now winners. The best way to show that you’re a winner, is to go out there and be a winner. So a 9-7 (winning record) not an 8-8 (tied record), is the logical the benchmark.
“Make no mistake, going from being a loser to being a winner requires fundamental changes. In the event that we don’t see 9 wins, we will know that enough hasn’t fundamentally changed from our 7-9 season two years ago. The changes have to be fundamental not merely statistical.
“The last thing we need is to go 7-9 again, with people saying we’re better now because QB Carson Wentz‘s TD/Int ratio went from 16/14 to 26/12, or because the Defense amassed 48 sacks over last year’s 34. ‘Better’ cannot be measured increments for a team serious about winning a championship.
“We need a turnaround, not a step up. We need at least 9 wins, not 8. We need winning, not tied. We need that benchmark.”
* * * * *
There’s a ton more real football stuff from The Beast at EAGLEMANIACAL.com if you go back far enough—even X’s and O’s stuff, and topics like the lost art of tackling. All I am saying—is give BEAST a chance…
Hmmmm…. here’s a little nugget which could have big implications for the Eagles’ draft strategy:
John Lynch is in no hurry to make his first draft pick as general manager of the 49ers.
According to Pro Football Talk, Lynch is willing to trade down from the No. 2 spot.
The 49ers, who went 2-14 last season, have needs at just about every position group. So unless one of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft turns out to be vastly underrated, no one player the 49ers draft at No. 2 will instantly transform the team into a playoff contender.
San Francisco already has 10 picks in the 2017 draft, including two fourth-round picks, two fifth-round picks and two sixth-round picks. So it’s not like the 49ers need to beef up their draft volume in the later rounds.
It could be that Lynch really has his eye on a player who he thinks will still be on the board later in the first round. If the 49ers move back in the first round, get the guy they really want and pick up a few extra picks in the process then it would be a win-win.
“We’re open for business,” Lynch said. He’s ready to make a deal.