Getting My Michael Phelps On

I decided to provide the loyal readers with my Top 3 Countdown this week because I simply don’t have as much to say as Shawn Andrews does, so I’ll leave the bulk of the talk to him.  My top three issues that the Eagles need to deal with this week are….

Number 3 is brought to us courtesy of the NFL.

3. Final Roster Cuts


The NFL requires teams to trim their rosters to 53 players by the end of the day Saturday.  The Eagles trimmed the roster to 75 on Tuesday when they cut LB Charleston Hughes, S Brandon Harrison and placed  injured TE Cornelius Ingram and injured LB Stewart Bradley on IR—effectively ending both of their seasons.  The Eagles have 22 players left to cut or place on the practice squad Saturday.  Here is how I see the roster shaking out…

QB(3): Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick.
RB(3): Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, Eldra Buckley

FB (1): Leonard Weaver

WR(6): DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Gibson, Hank Baskett

TE(3): Brent Celek, Tony Curtis, Rob Myers

LT(2): Jason Peters, King Dunlap

LG(2): Todd Herremans, Max Jean-Gilles

C(2): Jamaal Jackson, Nick Cole

RG(2): Stacy Andrews, Mike McGlynn

RT(2): Shawn Andrews, Winston Justice

DE(6): Juqua Parker, Trent Cole, Victor Abiamiri, Darren Howard, Chris Clemons, Jason Babin

DT(4): Brodrick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, Trevor Laws, Dan Klecko

LB(6): Chris Gocong, Akeem Jordan, Joe Mays, Omar Gaither, Moise Fokou, Tracy White

CB(4): Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Joselio Hanson, Ellis Hobbs

FS(2): Quintin Demps, Macho Harris

SS(2): Quintin Mikell, Sean Jones

Special Teams:
K(1): David Akers

P(1): Sav Rocca

LS(1): Jon Dorenbos

That’s the team as I see it. Did I miss anyone that should be on the team? Who needs to be cut from the team above? Discuss in the comments section.

Number two has been on the countdown before.  It has spent the last month and a half in the number one spot.  This week it falls to number two…

2.  The Loss of Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson, who had his most success in Philadelphia, won a National Championship as the defensive backs coach at the University of Notre Dame before being promoted to defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Gerry Faust.  Jim Johnson then moved on to the USFL and then eventually the NFL.  I decided to look at what his defense did while he was in Philadelphia and it is pretty impressive.  Sean McDermott has some big shoes to fill.  Here is a look at what I discovered…

From 2000-2007:

  • Johnson’s units rank tied for first in the NFL in sacks with 342.
  • 2nd in the league in third down efficiency – 34.3%
  • 2nd in the league in red zone touchdown percentage – 43%
  • 4th in fewest points allowed – 17.6 per game

In 2001, Johnson’s unit became the fourth team in NFL history to go all 16 games without allowing more than 21 points. Their streak of allowing 21 or fewer in 34 straight games was second longest in NFL history (Minnesota, 1968-71). In 1999, Johnson’s unit forced a NFL-best 46 turnovers, including a team-record 5 interceptions returned for TDs.

God Bless and R.I.P. Jim.  You’ll be missed.

That means we have a new number one issue this week.  He looks to begin a long reign at the top of the countdown simply because of the high volume of material he can steadily provide.  So let’s get to it and finally reveal who is at the number one spot in the countdown….

1.  Shawn Andrews

Shawn Andrews presents a difficult dilemma for the Eagles.  He is a former pro-bowl offensive guard that can also play the tackle position as well.  That makes him valuable in that he can play two positions if there is an injury.  Where the dilemma presents itself is in the fact that, prior to last season, Andrews revealed that he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder or clinical depression.  What this means is that Shawn has a mental disorder that is characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities.  This might sound like a very bad thing initially, but with psychotherapy and medication Shawn can expect to recover and that although he could have a recurrence, the likelihood of that happening is relatively low.

Football players play a brutal sport, especially linemen like Shawn.  They have to have a switch that they turn on during a game that makes them behave like uncivilized animals and then be able to turn it off after the game and morph back into a human again.  You’ll hear about an NFL player that was involved in a domestic dispute or an assault off the field, but I’m surprised I don’t read stories about that stuff everyday.  Thank god the great majority of NFL players have that switch and it works.  So, I’m all for NFL players to have hobbies or distractions outside of football as well.  It helps them keep that switch turned off.  At the same time I like to know that a player for my team is focused on playing football more than his hobbies.

So, what should the Eagles do?  Stick with Shawn or move on?  Is he focused on football or his hobbies?  Decide for yourself.

This video was posted on YouTube the day before camp…

Here is a video that is bound to be a smash in the clubs (this was posted on YouTube while his teammates were sweating on the fields at Lehigh and he was “injured”)  “Getting my Michael Phelps on”….

Finally, this one was posted hours after last night’s game against the Jets…

– Sean Dempsey