What Time Does The Washington Football Team Game Start Where’s The Talent

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Where’s The Talent

Did you ever think the Eagles would miss Tom Modrak so much?

There are many reasons why the Birds are 5-6, having lost four of their last five games and are 11-16 over the last two seasons, a ship struggling to stay afloat in rocky waters.

Bad gameplay. Lack of effort. Stupid penalties. Stupid game plans. Injuries. Poor execution.

And while those are all viable and obvious reasons for the Eagles’ relegation from the NFL’s elite, they’re just symptoms of a much bigger problem plaguing the organization.

Horrible drafts that left them without quality NFL talent.

And it all falls at the feet of one man… The Big Enchilada… The Mormon Mound of Return… Nova Care Complex Alpha Dog…

…Head Coach and President of Player Personnel Andy Reid.

While Tom Heckert officially holds the title of general manager, everyone knows that he does not have the final say on any personnel moves made by the Birds. Every player on this roster was brought into the Eagles’ nest at the behest of one man… Big Red.

And since Reid typically eschews free agency when it comes to bringing in top-quality players (Terrell Owens, Jevon Kearse and Darren Howard notwithstanding), the draft becomes a much more important function of this team’s success.

Don’t get me wrong, building through the draft is a wise way to build a successful NFL franchise. We’ve all seen how unsuccessful the Redskins’ way of building a team is. Building a team from the ground up, through the draft, is the best way to ensure continuity and chemistry for years to come.

When done right. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they haven’t been doing it right for a while now.

Offensively, the big guy has done well. His most brilliant pick was obviously taking McNabb in ’99, followed by the third-round steal of RB Brian Westbrook in 2002. More recently, TE Lj Smith (2003, Rd. 2) OL Shawn Andrews (2004, Rd. 1) and VR Reggie Brown (2005, Rd. 2) seems to be a good choice.

Less successful were Reed’s selections in defense. Although he landed some outstanding defensive players in the 2002 draft, selecting CBs Lito Sheppard (Round 1) and Sheldon Brown (Round 2) and former Pro-Bowl safety Michael Lewis (Round 2), the rest of his defensive selections were inconsequential.

No one said predicting a college prospect’s ability to turn into a quality NFL player was easy. It is a monumentally difficult challenge. However, for a man who believes you build a winner through the draft, it’s pretty easy to see why the Eagles have struggled so much over the past 15 months.

Below are the results of Reid’s drafts with my grade for each pick in brackets…starting in 2003…

2003:

Rd1. DE Jerome McDougle – Arguably the biggest bust of the Andy Reid era. The Eagles moved up 15 spots to land him at the 15th pick with almost nothing to show for it. (F)

Rd2. TE Lj Smith – Pro-Bowl caliber pass catcher. He can’t block to save his life, but he can grab a rock and seems to be coming into his own. (B)

Rd3. VR Billy McMullen – A third round pick on a guy who was never more than the 4th receiver with the Eagles. (F)

Rd4. DE Jamal Green – A teammate of McDougal’s on the Hurricanes, he was never a contributor to the Birds. (F)

Rd6 & 7. OL Jeremi Bridges & S Norman Lejeune – Nobodies. (F)

Only one decent player in the entire draft.

2004:

Rd1. OL Sean Andrews – Moved up 12 spots to grab him, a questionable draft pick at the time, but looks like a great pick for Reid. The kid will be a force on the offensive line for years. (A)

Rd3. CB Matt Ware – Never more than the Birds’ fourth-best cornerback, now struggling with the Arizona Cardinals. (D)

Rd4. S JR Reed – Would have been a great pick if he hadn’t ruined his career by injuring his leg jumping over a chain link fence. He had a long kick return career ahead of him. I can’t blame Reid for this. (C)

Rd4. OL Tony Darilek – If you’ve ever heard of this guy before, you’re a more informed man than I am. (F)

Rd5. RB Thomas Tapeh – Somehow this guy is our starting quarterback. He can’t run the ball, has no speed and is a mediocre run blocker. But not terrible value for a 5th rounder. (C)

Rd6. KB Andy Hall – Project from the very beginning. Project… aborted. (D)

Rd6. CB Dexter Wynn – Birds’ fourth cornerback, recently demoted from kick return duties. Decent cover guy, not bad value in the 6th round either. (C)

Rd7. OG Adrien Clarke, RB Bruce Perry, C Dominic Furio (D-)

Again, only one truly productive NFL player in this draft.

2005:

Rd1. DT Mike Patterson – Recently signed to a ridiculous seven-year contract that makes him an Eagle through 2016, the second-year starter has just 1 1/2 sacks for the Birds in ’06 and just 25 tackles in 11 games. It’s not too much to ask for little impact from last year’s first-round pick. (C-)

Rd2. VR Reggie Brown – He was a pretty decent wide receiver for the Eagles in his second year and should only get better. He struggled to hold onto the ball and is not a playmaker, but he showed that he is a decent selection in the second round. (B)

Rd2. LB Matt McCoy – Perhaps the best example of why the Eagles lose. This was a second round pick??? Watching Dallas Clark hook him up on Sunday night made me want to cut him right out. He stinks. (D)

Rd3. RB Ryan Moats – Lost draft pick. Why go back a bit when you already had Wesbrook? Wouldn’t the smarter move be to make a larger back section to complement the B-Vest? Moats didn’t see the field in ’06 and doesn’t look like he will any time soon. (D+)

Rd4. S Sean Considine – Here’s another guy who’s been thrown around the field like a rag doll lately, though that’s mostly because the backs have been so brutal. It looks like he could turn into a decent playmaker over time. Not a bad choice and the jury is still out on it. (C+)

Rd4. OL Todd Herremans – Starting offensive lineman on one of the strongest offensive lines in football. A solid choice. (B+)

Rd5. DE Trent Cole – Although he got off to a fast start, he has slowed considerably since becoming the starter. I’m still not sure if he’ll turn into a defensive end, but he’s shown enough promise to make you optimistic. Definitely good value here in the fifth round. (C+)

Rd5. OL Scott Young – Never heard of him. (Incomplete)

Rd6. OL Calvin Armstrong – Why another offensive lineman here? (Incomplete)

Rd7. DT Keyonta Marshall and LB David Bergeron – Team practices. (Incomplete)

Six current starters are from this draft. The problem…, only one (Herremans) looks like a future Pro-Bowler, and only two others (Brown & Cole) look like long-term solutions at their respective positions.

2006:

Rd1. DT Broderick Bunkley – It’s a sin that the 14th pick in the draft is so invisible. I know it’s his rookie season, but I think we deserve to expect more from a first-round pick, especially at a position like defensive tackle. It’s been a huge failure so far, but it’s still too early to say it’s failed. But he is on the right track. (C)

Rd2. OL Winston Justice – Again, the offensive line is stacked and right where it needs to be for now. As a backup. (Incomplete)

Rd3. LB Chris Gocong – At the weakside position, Gocong would have had a chance to show his stuff, but a neck injury prematurely ended his ’06 season. (Incomplete)

Rd4. OL Mak Jean-Gilles – Like Justice, waiting his turn to fill in for an injured offensive lineman. (Incomplete)

Rd4. VR Jason Avant – Although he’s gotten some playing time this year, Andy Reid’s offensive scheme is too complicated for a rookie wide receiver to understand. (Incomplete)

Rd5. VR/KR Jeremy Bloom – You never like to hear about the speed of a guy with hamstring problems. He IR. (Incomplete)

Rd5. LB Omar Gaither – Perhaps best known for being the 12th man on the field in the final minutes of the New Orleans game, a penalty that cost the Birds one last shot as they beat the Saints. Now he’s paying his dues on special teams. (Incomplete)

Rd6. DT Lajuan Ramsey (incomplete)

No single player made an impact in ’06. Simply unforgivable.

And let’s not forget the two major defensive failures Reed was a part of before 2003… LB Barry Gardner (’99, Rd.2), LB Quinton Caver (’01, Rd.2), and one solid selection, the 2005 Leader. fired DE Derrick Burgess (’01, Rd.3) who was released by the Eagles as soon as he became healthy and dominant. Don’t you think he would be a big help to a struggling Birds D-line right now?

Building a team through the draft is a smart way to go. But Reed’s refusal to acquire free agents at key positions of need, mostly at defensive tackle and outside linebacker, and his reliance on unproven first- and second-year players is a huge gamble that hasn’t paid off over the past year and a half.

And why did Reid construct an offensive and defensive system so complicated that it is understood that it is virtually impossible for the current year’s draft pick to be productive? What sense does that make?

The Eagles’ depth is formidable. The Birds’ backups, mostly draft picks from past Reid drafts, didn’t get the job done. And high-round draft picks with significant playing time have underperformed.

The Eagles need someone who is an expert in evaluating college talent. Someone who has experience putting together great drafts. Someone who doesn’t have to worry about leading a team at the same time.

It’s time for Andy Reid to hand over the GM reigns to someone who is, frankly, better at it.

Does anyone know Modrak’s cell phone number?

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