One thing Trump said in his last Michigan rally rang true for me personally. He said, to paraphrase, “NFL ratings are down…one reason is more people are more interested in watching this [political campaign] stuff…”
In my case he was right. I did not deviate from full-monty viewing of Eagles games during the final two weeks of the election, but in my viewing of other games I was delinquent, frequently back-channeling to CNN, FOX News and MSNBC to grab every perspective I could scavenge.
So now that the election is sort-of not-really-but-really over, I feel an overwhelming media exhaustion which fortunately has occurred in a Bye Week. It would be tough to get up for another meaningful game right now.
At least Doug Pederson will get a few days off from tough questions.
I like this tidbit from Tommy Lawlor at Iggles Blitz:
“It drives Doug crazy that all anyone wants to talk about is the losing record and the lack of style points. Fans and media saw [last] Sunday night’s performance as more flawed than gritty. Doug saw a team of rookies and backups coming together to win a key game and keep them atop the division.
“His team is 3-4-1 and in first place. They are in the middle of the bye week, getting much needed rest. The next game is still more than 10 days away and his team will be as healthy as they’ve been all season.Think about the difference that Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson might have made on [last] Sunday night.”
That’s positive thinking at its best. I need that right now.
Meanwhile, the Eagles had an unexpected opening on their practice squad Wednesday when quarterback Josh McCown agreed to join the active roster of the Houston Texans.
McCown lived in Texas with his family and served as an emergency quarterback in case of a COVID-19 outbreak. He was also a mentor to the other quarterbacks on the roster.
With an open spot, the Eagles brought back tight end Jason Croom, who was waived by the team on Tuesday. Croom was originally signed by the Eagles to their practice squad on September 29. He was elevated twice from the practice squad ahead of the Steelers and Ravens games, catching a touchdown against Baltimore. He was signed to the active roster on October 21 and played 10 more snaps on offense in the wins over the the Giants and Cowboys.
As for Doug Pederson’s reality check at 3-4-1….
“We understand we have to get better. We know that, that’s – myself included, we all have to – we are all towing the line in the same direction, and we have to get better there,” Pederson said. “But you look at the tape today, and there’s some things – and I tell the guys all the time. We’re not going to use the excuse anymore that these players are young, right? Jalen Reagor just came back for the first time. Was it perfect? No. But there’s room to grow. Travis Fulgham has been a bright spot on the perimeter and (John) Hightower has been a bright spot on the perimeter, and these are guys that are getting better each week.
“You go back to 2017 in that championship run, and if you remember back a couple years ago, there was consistency and there was stability around our offense. We had the same three receivers. We had the same three tight ends. We had the same running backs. The offensive line was intact and so we had continuity and things were flowing. With so many moving parts, offensively, right now with the amount of injuries, so many guys are shuffling in and out of the lineup that it’s hard to get continuity and rhythm and timing and flow. It makes it look really bad on the outside when, quite honestly, from – you probably don’t believe it, but it’s encouraging from our side that, yeah, one, we won the game, right? We’re a game and a half up in the NFC East. We have a chance to get healthy here at the bye. We have a chance next week against the Giants to hopefully get some more starters back and see what happens and correct some of the things that are going on.
“It’s about how we – the season, it’s a marathon. It’s long, right? It’s not a sprint. You don’t sprint to the finish. Are we where we want to be? Yeah, we’re first place in the NFC East, but at 3-4-1, it could easily be the other way, right? It could be 4-3-1 or 5-3 or whatever it could be. But there’s a lot of positives that we see as coaches on the inside that give us the encouragement and the opportunity to get better as a team.”
Build back better, I guess? Sigh….