Tag Archives: Hank Baskett

Shave them playoff beards – The Pundit finds five reasons for the Eagles’ defeat

I’ve gotta say, I’m still a bit shell shocked. Sure, this game had potential disaster written all over it; after all, it seemed as though this team was destined for a title. Got a little bit ahead of ourselves, didn’t we? Tomorrow morning, I’ll put out a post arguing that we had misinterpreted this team for much of the season, and yesterday was just the cherry on the top of a slew of strange Sundays. For now, I’ll quickly list the top five reasons our Birds tasted defeat yesterday.

1. Jim Johnson Continue reading

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10-3 Redskins. Unbelievable. The Pundit is BOILING as he attempts to do Game Notes

ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?

(Sigh) Well, the Eagles had everything fall into place for them before the start of the game. Tampa Bay lost to San Diego, and there it was in front of our Birds: win two, and head off to the playoffs.

And they couldn’t do it.

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Filed under College Football, Eagles, General, NFL, Olympics, Sixers, Uncategorized

The Pundit’s game notes from one of the worst Eagles games ever

From the Editor: The Pundit is so enraged right now by the effort displayed by the Eagles offense in their 13-13 tie, he only submitted his unedited notes from the game and said, “Here – you deal with this.” Thanks, Pundit. Here are his slightly edited notes, just in case you felt like reliving the train wreck that was this game.

Another three and out to start the game – McNabb throws high to Westbrook on a short swing route than overthrows an open Curtis in the middle of the field which would have given the Eagles a first down.

I just saw Joselio Hanson in the game – but not Lito Sheppard. Why?

Two straight three and outs. Spectacular start.

Engagement ring commercials are so sad – they always make it seem like the woman is super excited about getting the ring, not about getting married -“sure, he’s a questionable guy to settle down with, but look at this rock – I had to say yes!”

Good job by the Eagles defense of knocking the Bengals out of field goal range after they had the ball around the thirty – a sack by Trent Cole and then Joselio Hanson on a delayed blitz

McNabb gets sacked trying to scramble, fumbles the ball, and Frostee Rucker picks it up, takes it to the 1 yard line. If I was a drug dealer, my alias would be Frostee – ‘cuz I’m the snow man, bitches! I makes it rain ‘cuz I makes it snow, ya dig? (Editor’s note: Oh dear God…)

Good job by the Eagles defense of bailing out McNabb and holding the Bengals to a field goal after they started with the ball on the 1 yard line.

The Eagles had three yards of offense in the first quarter – I repeat, three fucking yards of offense in the first quarter.

Nice screen play to Buckhalter, 44 yarder. I heart Correll Buckhalter. (Editor’s note: Feeling a little fruity there, Pundit?)

Wow. L.J. Smith is actually involved in the offense early on in the game.

David Akers hits a field goal longer than 40 yards! A 42 yarder! Whooo!

Thank God for Trent Cole – already two sacks in this game.

Antonio Chatman gets JACKED UP on a wideout screen and fumbles, which is recovered by Darren Howard. Way to earn that paycheck, buddy.

Eagles complete a pass with 2:25 left on the clock in the first half, and allow it to run into the 2 minute warning. Granted, they have the ball on the 50 yard line, but is this good clock management? Should they have tried to get another play off before the 2 minute warning?

McNabb throws a pick right to Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson. He was trying to loft one on a seam route to L.J. Smith – an absolutely awful, awful pass that cost the Eagles at least a field goal, and may set the Bengals up for one of their own

Bengals get a touchdown out of McNabb’s interception – specccccctacular. Fitzpatrick does a nice job adjusting to and beating the blitz, hits T.J. Whateverhislastnameis on a post route, who was being covered by Joselio Hanson. Was Lito on the field?

After Shayne Graham puts the kickoff out of bounds, Donovan throws a nice pass to DeSean Jackson to get the Eagles in field goal range – then a McNabb pass bounces off of Kevin Curtis’ shoulder and into the hands of the Bengals. Looked as though Donovan’s throw caught Curtis off guard, which seems to be a timing thing.

Thus concludes perhaps the worst, most pathetic half of football I have ever watched the Eagles play – I am disgusted right now. (Editor’s note: You don’t say).

We begin where we left off – Demps bobbles the kickoff, Eagles to start their first drive on the 11.

And the Eagles go three and out to start the half – I would be having a better time getting a root canal then I am having watching this game.

Talking about Fitzpatrick and his Harvard education, Goose says “Hey, Harvard – they teach a lot of stuff there.” Thanks for that Ivy League insight, Goose.

Shayne Graham field goal, 13-3 lead for the Bengals. I repeat: 13-3 lead for the 1-8 Bengals. Unbelievable.

Good job by McNabb scrambling, nice pass to Hank Baskett, who does a great job running with the ball after the catch. Another big play for Hank, who seems to be good for 1 or 2 of them a game. Big 57 yards, maybe that will wake up this offense.

Touchdown pass to L.J. smith, Eagles do a nice job answering the field goal with a touchdown of their own, and maybe, just maybe we’re back in this game.

Eagles defense has played well, granted against the Bengals. They three and out the Bengals offense once again.

Another terrible interception by McNabb, trying for the seam to L.J. again, who was being blanketed. A really awful throw by McNabb.

Bengals go for it on 4 and 16 at the Eagles 33 – they obviously didn’t want to go for the field goal there, but why not punt it?

McNabb almost throws another interception! What the fuck is wrong with him today? (Editor’s note: Must not have had his Chunky Soup).

Chris Clemons gets a sack – I forgot he was on the Eagles.

Curtis is wide open, drops a perfect pass. Goose says it best: “That was just really bad placement – right in the hands”

Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod – the Eagles converted a fourth and short on a McNabb quarterback sneak! I am so happy right now!

Akers ties it at 13. Oh man, we are set up for a super exciting finish – actually, I just think I’ll be super excited when this game ends. (Editor’s note: Amen to that, brotha).

The Bengals get a delay of game call on a fake punt. Ahahahahahahahahahaha, to be a Bengals fan must be so painful on a daily basis.

Eagles punt the ball with 2 minutes left, then three and out the Bengals, breaking up two passes, only 16 seconds came off of the clock. If it weren’t for a stellar defensive effort today, and the fact that we’re playing the Bengals, the Eagles would have gotten crushed today based upon their offensive effort. (Editor’s note: I don’t know if it was intended, but there is definitely a double entendre on the word “offensive” today).

Eagles proceed to waste only 22 seconds, go three and out, hooray. Though, on the third and ten, Westbrook got basically tackled before the ball got to him by, of all fucking people, Dhani Jones – aggggghhhhhhhh!

Chris Clemons makes another play, decking the running back during a screen pass – when did we pick him up? Oh, we signed him to a huge deal in the offseason? Riiiiiiigggghhhhht. (Editor’s note: In all seriousness, though, Clemons did play a nice game for the Eagles today).

Eagles get their 7th sack of the game, and the Bengals go 3 and out once again – thank you for your efforts, defense. If the Eagles win, you get all the credit.

Oh man, I am so excited right now – this unbelievably exciting game is going to overtime! I could watch football of this caliber for days and days and days at a time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go find some rope and a high ceiling.

Why did “Nugget Alert” just pop up on the bottom-left of my television screen? Is Goose getting baked on the sidelines? Mmmmmmm…baked goose.

The Bengals, inexplicably, try to run the ball on a third and six play. Bad audible by Fitzpatrick. Thank God we are playing the Bengals today.

Suddenly, the Eagles can’t stop getting penalties. Unreal. We’ve cost ourselves, during the second offensive drive of the overtime, 20 yards, without counting the 15 yard play that was negated by Kevin Curtis’ offensive pass interference. Ugly, ugly football being played today by this offense.

Sav Rocca’s punts have been absolutely atrocious today. I am just so angry and ornery right now – this game has not been good for my blood pressure. (Editor’s note: If you don’t have anything nice to say…)

Asante Samuel makes another solid play, breaking up a pass to The Human Being Formerly Known as Chad Johnson, setting up a huge 3rd and 11 for the Bengals.

Huuuuuge sack by Darren Howard, the Birds’ 8th of the game, and they will get the ball back with a chance to FINALLY win this damn game.

And the Eagles fucking blow it and go fucking three and out – again! I am so infuriated right now – I’m hate typing right now. It’s the only positive way I can release all of my rage. If I were to see a bald eagle flying around right now, I’d shoot it out of the sky. That’s how pissed I am at this Eagles team, specifically their offense right now.

I am so sick and tired of the unnecessary roughing the passer penalties that are littering every NFL game. They called one on Sheldon Brown on a perfectly legitimate hit, which put the Bengals in field goal range – unacceptable. This roughing the passer business needs to be seriously discussed in the offseason.

And Shayne Graham misses what would have been a game winning, 47 yard field goal attempt. Does anybody want to win this game?

And thus ends a 13-13 tie. Honestly, this was one of, if not the worst football game I have ever watched. Anything positive I had previously posted about the eagles making the postseason pretty much just went out the window. Playoff teams don’t play 13-13 games against 1-8 football teams. BOOOOOOOO!!!

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Quick hits from the Eagles and Phillies

Eagles

– Juqua Parker, you are the man! Defensive player of the week, if you ask this Pundit. Obviously, the late interception and return for a touchdown sealed the game, but Parker also had a big sack and made an excellent play on a reverse that set the Niners back and forced a third and 18. That long down led to an interception by Mr. Mikell. Good job Mr. Parker – this team needed a spark today, and you provided it.

– Gotta hand the 49ers this – they had a great game plan for attacking the Eagles defense, one that worked for 3 quarters. They ran the ball well, used their hot reads, and did enough shifting to keep the Eagles off-balance. Excellent utilization of the TE’s, which appears to be the one position which the Birds continually have difficulty defending against.

– The defense did a solid job of keeping the Niners out of the endzone. Early in the game, after a long Allen Rossum punt return, the D kept San Fran out of the endzone. Another TD came on the field goal block at the end of the half. So really, the Eagles defense, when the Niners had to use the whole field, gave up 16 points, and they played huge in the 4th quarter. A good, though certainly not great, effort by the defense.

– A couple of really nice catches by Hank Baskett in the first half, including his spectacular touchdown reception. He has the natural ability to make some plays, but he is either inconsistent or the Eagles don’t construct enough of the game plan with him in mind, because his contributions this year have been sparse at best.

– Why, oh why, is any field goal attempt longer than 40 yards such an ordeal anymore? I was truly concerned that the block and touchdown return at the end of the first half was going to be the play that tilted the game in the Niners direction, and it almost was. I mean, Akers and this unit used to be automatic. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: bring back the beard, David. We need it!

– I don’t know if it was just me, but in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, the Eagles just looked flat. Emotionless. No heart. In the 1st and 4th quarters, they were sharp, precise, and passionate. This inconsistency in both emotion and execution really frightens me. You can get away with playing two good quarters against the 49ers, but not in the NFC East games.

– Correll Buckhalter, you are quickly becoming my favorite Eagle. You leave it on the field, and you never give an inch.

– Donovan McNabb had a solid game, save for the interception down by the endzone, which really wasn’t his fault. L.J. Smith loafed that route, and should have ran in front of Patrick Willis. As my old football coach used to say when he was enraged at a player, “THAT WAS A PISS POOR EFFORT. PISS POOR!”

– It was nice to see the Eagles utilizing more screen passes. I’ve felt as though they’ve gotten away from the screens a bit in the past weeks, and it has traditionally been a very effective play for Andy Reid. Keeps the defense on their toes, and allows the backs or TE’s to make plays in space. Actually, the Niners used the screen extremely well against the Eagles D. Mike Martz can draw himself up some offense.

– Frank Gore is a really impressive back. He is so hard to get to the ground, and when he gets that momentum going, look out – he’s gonna knock you in the teeth. That being said, he’s pretty nimble too. When healthy, he’s a top 5 back in this league.

– Alright! The Cowboys just lost to the Cardinals on a blocked punt for a touchdown in overtime. And the Skins lost on a last second field goal against the Rams. Niiiiiiiiiice.

– Dude, DeSean Jackson got lit up on a punt return. I mean, the guy clotheslined him. It looked like one of the overly dramatic and completely infeasible hits you’ll see in the movies. DeSean Jackson – you got JACKED UP!

Phillies

– I suppose I have to address the beanball aspect of this game to start. Can’t blame Shane for being pissed about having a ball thrown at his head, though I can’t blame the Dodgers for throwing at him, especially after Manny Being Manny had one thrown behind him in game two, and Russell Martin had one whizzed above his head tonight. That’s baseball, and it certainly took this series to a new height in terms of intensity. Plus, Shane’s gyrations were friggin’ priceless.

– Not sure what’s going on with Jamie Moyer in the postseason, but his first two innings pretty much put this game out of reach. Hard to be down on a guy who was so vital to our success during the season, but he really killed us tonight.

– Good to see Ryan Howard getting his swing back on track. Look for him to absolutely crush one in the next game or so. Got to get Jimmy rolling, though – he sets the table.

– Bullpen did a pretty good job of not letting this game get too far out of hand. Hopefully, this won’t tax our arms for the next game or so. That could be the truly dangerous aspect of this loss.

– Boy, Russell Martin really took his lumps today, huh? Gets hit twice in the game, and has a fastball go above his head. Get out the ice packs.

– Highlight of the broadcast: the cameraman focusing on Ryan Seacrest as he was playing with his Blackberry, followed by Joe Buck deadpanning, “Somebody tell him the score.”

– The Dodgers absolutely had to win this game. They took care of business, simple as that. It will be interesting to see if the Phillies can up their intensity to match the Dodgers tomorrow

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The Week in Review

After my Saturday hiatus, I have returned to wrap up the week. Let’s get to it, kids.

The No-Show of the week goes to Jimmy Rollins. In all sincerity, this is not an effort to pile on after the “frontrunning” debacle. Fact is, Jimmy batted 3-24 last week with no extra-base hits, no walks (he was hit by one pitch) and no RBI’s. He did score 3 runs, which is extremely frustrating in its own right, because when he gets on base, the Phils tend to knock him in – he sets the proverbial table. (Editor’s note: I can never remember where you put the damn fork). That, and a lead-off hitter should get on base more than 4 times in a week, plain and simple.

The Stud of the Week is a split between Usain Bolt and Cole Hamels. Bolt set three world records (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay), and did so with relative ease. He’s not only the fastest man in the world, he is, at least for now, the fastest man ever. That’s friggin’ impressive. Still, not only do I like to reserve this award for local guys, but also for, um, citizens of this country (Editor’s note: Patriotic…or prejudiced? Judge for yourselves, people). Thus, Hamels takes the second half of this award. In two starts this week, Hamels threw 15 innings, surrendering 12 hits but allowing only three runs with no walks and eight K’s. The Phillies won each of his starts.

The All-Encompassing Thought of the Week goes back out to the Olympics. With the games coming to a close, The Pundit can’t help but get a little bit weepy (Editor’s note: Is it really neccesary to admit that?). Sure, the US underachieved a bit in track and field, but hey, Bryan Clay won the decathlon, the event in which the winner is dubbed “The Greatest Athlete in the World.” That’s pretty cool. And the Redeem Team (Editor’s note: Everytime I hear that name, I envision a large line of elderly women at a grocery store, fumbling for their coupon books) straight-up handled their business, knocking off Spain 118-107 in a game that was exciting and often a bit too close for comfort. US basketball may never dominate the world the way that the Dream Team once did, but something certainly felt restored and in its rightful place as the Redeem Team had their Olympic Golds placed around their neck. China not only put on a great show, but showed up as well, dominating the Gold medal count. That being said, the US performed admirably and finished with the highest overall medal count. Hold your heads high, American Olympians – we are all proud of your performances and the manner in which you carried yourselves. You represented us well. We were treated to breathtaking performances, enthralling finishes and fascinating storylines (Editor’s note: God, this whole segment sounds soooooooooooooo corny and cliche…but I think its true), and I for one will miss them.  Wait, what’s that you say? You say its just about time for football season? Welp, see you in London, Olympics (Editor’s note: Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do).

The Painfully Specific Thought of the Week is an NFL ditty. (Editor’s note: A ditty? What the hell is a ditty?) Let’s take a quick look at the statistics put up by the Eagles opening day receiving corps in 2007, and compare them to Mr. Boldin.

Reggie Brown: 61 receptions for 780 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Hank Baskett: 16 receptions for 161 yards and 1 touchdown.

DeSean Jackson: Rookie

Jason Avant: 23 receptions for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns

Greg Lewis: 13 receptions for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns

Total: 113 receptions for 1473 yards and 10 touchdowns

Anquan Boldin: 71 receptions for 853 yards and 9 touchdowns. Oh, and he missed 4 games, so if he had stayed healthy, he would have likely finished with about 95 catches for 1150 yards and 13 touchdowns. They have a word for something like this…oh, right, upgrade. Yup, it was upgrade. (Editor’s note: I don’t think he’s going to let this one go).

The Moment of the Week goes to the kick return of Quintin Demps and the punt return of DeSean Jackson. It was really exciting to see the Eagles do something positive on special teams, and the return by Demps was just awesome. I wasn’t able to see it happen live, but Merrill Reese, as he always does, made it extremely exciting to listen to. Before the Demps return, he said something to the tune of “I would really like to see a kick return here.” A few seconds later, and Mr. Reese had his wish. Then, before the punt return, he again said “Hey, you know what? I’d like to see a punt return, too.” Mike Quick chided him, telling him to save some of his luck for the regular season, but it was too late – DeSean Jackson was already weaving his way to the endzone. This prompted Reese to jokingly exclaim, “I’d like to be six foot four!” The man always had golden pipes; who knew they were so damn lucky?

I won’t be doing links in the morning, as I have to get up earlier then usual for work, but they’ll be back on Tuesday. Make sure to check in tomorrow night for my Fantasy Football preview. I know its a bit late to bust this out, but I didn’t want to give away any of my Golden Nuggets of Genius (Editor’s note: cough) before I had my own draft. Since I know many of you probably already had your draft, I’ll bust out my top 25 and focus on sleepers I think you should pay attention to. Also, a full NFL preview is in the works – should be exciting. (Editor’s note: Why, I’m practically lactating with enthusiasm!)

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Filed under Eagles, MLB, NFL, Olympics, Phillies, The Week in Review

EmBoldin-ing the Passing Game

When the Eagles acquired Terrell Owens in 2004, it was a the perfect move at the perfect time. Owens had outstayed his visit in San Francisco and wanted the chance to win a championship; the Eagles had been defeated by the Carolina Panthers the year before in the NFC Championship in a large part due to their inadequate (Editor’s note: Oh, that’s being nice) receiving corps. It was the perfect marriage, at least for the time being.

Fast-forward to, um, right now (Editor’s note: Observe the use of the cheesy and overused phrase employed by many journalists and media folks to transition between two similar events in different time periods – fascinating). The Eagles have just lost their top receiver, Kevin Curtis, for likely a minimum of six weeks due to a sports hernia. Meanwhile, Reggie Brown is nursing a sore hamstring, though he is expected to be ready for the opener. Still, the idea of going into the first quarter of the season with Reggie Brown, Hank Baskett, Greg Lewis, DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant as our receivers is frightening, to say the least (Editor’s note: I might bump it up to horrifying).

Going back in time for a moment (Editor’s note: Hop in the Delorean, kids), Donovan McNabb wasted little time after last season calling for more weapons. Oh, and though it seems unrelated at the moment, Lito Shepherd spent much of his offseason mired in contract disputes / trade rumors (Editor’s note: The pieces will fall into place, my minions). And now, with Curtis getting injured, and a premium wide receiver disgruntled with his current situation, a perfect storm is brewing.

That’s right, I’m talking about a trade for Anquan Boldin. (Editor’s note: Gasp! Wow, that just totally surprised me!). Lito for Anquan, straight up. Or however else you want to do it. Just do it, Eagles. Damnit, just do it! (Editor’s note: Lucy, could you get The Pundit his stress ball, the Xanax and some string cheese? Yeah, he’s having another panic attack).

It’s not as though this is an entirely new thought. Sal Paolantonio, in an interview on Monday night with Dan Levy, before the Curtis injury was released, already thought the Birds were in talks with the Cardinals, and, in the least, were “exploring” their options.

Now, the Eagles did bring in DeSean Jackson through the draft, who has looked promising during the preseason. But, in an effort to lessen fan expectations after his quick preseason start (Editor’s note: And, had any Boldin whispers reached camp, to perhaps endorse that option), McNabb reminded everyone of how difficult it can be to succeed as a rookie receiver. Translation: DeSean isn’t the answer this year. He’ll help, but he probably isn’t going to set the world on fire.

So, let’s recap quickly: Curtis is done for a spell, Reggie Brown is nursing a hammy, the top move to improve the receiving corps is likely a developmental project, the quarterback already asked for more playmakers, the fans want playmakers, a playmaker is asking out of Arizona, and the Eagles have a Pro-Bowler who was already being shopped around plus two first round picks next year.

Um, that looks like a perfect frickin’ storm to me.

Now, there are reasons out there for why this might not happen (Editor’s note: He meant to say “won’t happen”). For one, the Eagles may not want to deal with an agent who shall remain nameless. As well, they may not want to meet Boldin’s demands for a new contract. The Cardinals may look at their depth chart behind Boldin, realize they don’t really have a depth chart behind Boldin, and decide they’d rather pony up. Or, they may have little desire to make a move for Lito Shepherd, who would certainly want a new contract. If that were the case, but they were still willing to make the move, but only for draft picks, the Eagles may balk at giving up a first round pick, which the Cardinals would probably ask for.

It’s a longshot, but man would it be sweet. Consider this: Donovan McNabb’s best year was his fling with TO in 2004. He finished with career highs in completion percentage (64.0%), yards (3875), touchdowns (31) and quarterback rating (104.7). TO stretched the field, demanded double teams that freed up other players, and made big plays after the catch.  He finished that year, in 14 games, with 77 catches for 1200 yards and 14 touchdowns. Anquan Boldin would likely add a similar spark. Boldin has impressive career marks, and when calculating his career average over a 16 game span, you get 97 receptions, 1284 yards and 7 touchdowns (Editor’s note: The Pundit just giggled…I’m not even kidding). He’s a beast after the catch and seems to be a pretty stand-up guy.

Make it happen, Birds – these perfect storms don’t blow into town very often.

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