Pick a Linebacker, Any Linebacker


My grandpa used to tell me if a guy owns a bunch of cars it’s because he doesn’t really like any of them. My response to that piece of wisdom was always, “Maybe he’s rich and enjoys buying cars.” A stern “Nahhhhhhhh!” would be followed by a dismissive wave of his hand. I miss the old codger. He could be an ass, but he meant well.

Where the hell am I going with this? Oh yeah. The Eagles don’t have one starting middle linebacker right now — they have three. The newest face pegged to replace Stew Bradley (someone else I miss) is an old face, and quite honestly, the guy who should have gotten the gig in the first place: Omar Gaither.

Evidently, the tepid performances by Joe Mays the last couple games didn’t impress the firm of Reid and McDermott. So, they called an audible (sorry for using and overused football term). OG is back in da house!!! You better recognize, fools.

My sense is Omar’s grip on the “starting” spot is slippery at best. He adequately manned the position in 2007, but the fact that he’s been benched at both the MIKE and WIL in the last two years doesn’t inspire confidence in his ability to get the job done. But at this point, the brain trust has no other alternative.

Moise Fokou? C’mon, he’s a nice story and appears to have some legit upside, but he’s smaller than OG and clearly isn’t ready for the NFL. Maybe next season… maybe. After him there’s… uh… hold on… ahhhh… nobody. Apologies to Matt Wilhelm, but I don’t see him making the team at this point. And even if he does, he seems better suited to backup at WIL or possibly SAM.

If the Birds retain six backers, I’m figuring the following fellas will earn spots: OG, Mays, Gocong, Fokou, Jordan and Tracy White. I say White over Wilhelm and Tank Daniels because he is an excellent special teams player. In case you hadn’t noticed, Ted Daisher’s unit is a tad suspect. If they do keep Wilhelm, he better crush on kick coverage. So far, I haven’t seen any crushing.

I have to giggle when I hear McDermott dance around this quagmire by saying that “competition is a good thing.” Technically, it’s only good if there’s a clear-cut winner. It would be like running the 100 meter dash and having three guys tie for first. It’s the world’s fastest man, not men. Ugh.

I’m at a loss. I wonder if Sean Jones can… never mind.


In other Iggles news, A.J. Feeley could be on the trading block. This comes as no shock, but until Vick‘s suspension is put to bed, Feeley probably ain’t going anywhere. By the way, what the hell is King Goodell waiting for? Just tell the guy he’ll be eligible to participate such-and-such week. Rog really gets his jollies stringing things out.


Phil Sheridan’s latest effort to stir the quarterback pot is a doozy. Brace yourselves. He has the nerve to compare the Vick signing to — wait for it — the T.O. saga from 2005. Here’s a very pointed snippet:

"One of the lessons of the T.O. mess should have been that fairness and reason do not govern all Eagles fans when it comes to Donovan McNabb. A segment is looking for reasons to bludgeon him, and Reid just handed out blunt instruments."

Of course he’s referring to those fans who found it in their hearts to boo McNabb last Thursday, while simultaneously cheering a convicted felon whose on-field accomplishments pale in comparison to those of McNabb. Hold on a sec… the same clowns who jeered Don at the ’99 draft are still following him around with their torches and clubs? Perish the thought.

Phil also added this can of gasoline to the fire:

"Vick is not the locker-room cancer Owens is. And the Eagles have a bit of a safety net in that the NFL office will yank Vick’s hall pass at the first real sign of trouble. The similarity is in the volatile mix of egos with opposing agendas, the potential to split the fans as well as the players, and the temperature-raising X factor of heightened (and not always responsible) media coverage."

At least he admits he and his pals are culpable. However, his words come across as slightly naive. You mean to tell me there are monstrous egos inside a professional football locker room. And these egos don’t hold hands after every practice and sing Kumbaya. Even worse, the fans may not like some of these individuals. No duh, dude.

That’s not just 2005 and 2009. That’s every year, in every NFL locker room. Last season it was Lito causing a fuss. We’ve had Trotter and Douglas and Simon and Welbourn and Sheldon and even Brian Westbrook unhappy. It’s the way the NFL cookie crumbles. Egos clash. Players revolt. Fans bitch.

If you don’t dig it, go watch soccer.

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