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1. Ifeanyi Momah is one of those guys that everybody in Philly is going to be rooting for before long. Here’s a kid who missed virtually all of his college career with injuries but has a fantastic, positive outlook, obviously has tremendous size and speed (4.40 at 6-7, 240) and could be an absolute steal as an undrafted free agent wide receiver. He’s still a longshot. He just hasn’t played very much football the last few years and needs a strong training camp to work his way into the rotation. But if he can catch the football consistently, he could become quite a weapon for this team. Will be fun to watch over the next few weeks.
2. Chip Kelly says he’s going to practice in the middle of the afternoon because, “That’s when we play our games.” But they don’t play their games in the middle of the summer. If we have another weather week like last week, with temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s in the thick of the mid-day sun, it would be insane if he didn’t switch up the schedule and practice much earlier or much later. I understand trying to toughen guys up, but practicing in full pads for 2½ hours when it’s 100 degrees out is dangerous and makes no sense. The Eagles have one 1 p.m. game before Oct. 6 (Chargers Sept. 15). Moving practice to a smarter time isn’t going to hurt this team’s ability to play at a high level at 1 p.m.
3. Why am I supposed to care about The Royal Baby? Here are five things I care about more than The Royal Baby: 1. Smashmouth tour dates, 2. What happened on last night’s episode of the Kevin Federline Show, 3. The guy sitting next to me on an airplane’s golf game, 4. Geoff Mosher’s AFC South practice squad projections, 5. The Boat Show.
4. The Eagles have drafted exactly one player in the last 20 years who’s had a double-digit sack season as an Eagle. That’s Trent Cole. Before that, you have to go to 1991 draft pick Andy Harmon. Cole and Harmon were both late-round picks – Cole in the fifth, Harmon in the sixth. The last time the Eagles drafted a player in the first three rounds who had a 10-sack season? Would you believe Jerome Brown, the ninth player taken in the 1987 draft? That’s 26 years ago.
5. Once in a while, an assistant coach comes along who you just know is going to one day be an NFL head coach. They just have that aura about them. Jon Gruden had it when he was in Philly. Jeff Fisher had it. John Harbaugh definitely had it. Bill Lazor has it, too. Sharp guy. Will be interesting to watch his career unfold.
6. I attended about 450 days of Eagles practice at Lehigh from 1996 through 2012. I believe that puts me in the middle of my junior year?
7. Kind of silly now to think about how huge a deal the Mike Kafka vs. Trent Edwards competition was.
8. My five favorite Philly music venues: 1. Johnny Brenda’s, 2. World Café Live, 3. Union Transfer, 4. Tin Angel, 5. Mann Music Center Skyline Stage. And my five favorite venues from the past: 1. Dobbs, 2. Khyber, 3. Chestnut Cabaret, 4. Upstairs at Nick’s, 5. Revival.
9. Quintin Demps, Mardy Gilyard and Akeem Jordan are all in Chiefs training camp. That should go well.
10. In the span of a week, the Cavs signed Andrew Bynum and the Cowboys signed Demetress Bell. Insert joke here: _____________________________________________________________________________
11. Brandon Graham has played in 32 games in his career and has now had four defensive coordinators – Sean McDermott, Juan Castillo, Todd Bowles and Billy Davis. He also had three in four years at Michigan. That’s seven coordinators in eight years. Tough to gather momentum in your career like that. I don’t know if he can play linebacker, but I still think Graham will be a good, solid, productive player somewhere for somebody.
12. Along the same lines … Thaddeus Young just turned 25 a few weeks ago and the 76ers’ new coach – if they ever get around to naming one – will be his fifth (Mo Cheeks, Tony DiLeo, Eddie Jordan, Doug Collins, new guy).
13. Only a few more months and the 76ers will have had no coach longer than they had Eddie Jordan.
14. This is a special guest random point from CSNPhilly.com Flyers writer Sarah Baicker, who likes to eat seaweed: Sean Couturier’s decision to re-sign now with the Flyers is curious. Couturier would have become a restricted free agent at the end of next season – and, in theory, could have signed for more money and a longer term then, assuming his play were to rebound to its 2011-12 levels as it’s expected to. What the two-year deal he agreed to does do, however, is make him more tradable. Bear with me here; I’m not saying trading Couturier is inevitable. You have to admit, though, that other teams like the sound of a guy with three affordable years left on his contract, as opposed to a guy whose play could have improved as he headed toward free agency.
15. Philadelphia’s highway system is an absolute disgrace. Is there anything worse than when the ramp from Vine Street Expressway east backs up trying to get onto I-95 North because of the eternal construction project (where nobody ever seems to be actually working) and then Vine Street backs up river to river and then actually backs up the Schuylkill eastbound because it’s so jammed with people who can’t get onto Vine Street because of a construction project 10 miles and three highways away on I-95 North? Here’s my three-pronged plan to fix the Philly highway system: 1. Shut down the Schuylkill. It’s hopeless. Close it. Shut it down. Turn it into a park between the Blue Route and the Walt Whitman Bridge. 2. Take a page out of Boston’s book and bury I-95 underground between the airport and Woodhaven Road, widening it to 24 lanes in each direction. Get this done in six months. 3. Ease traffic congestion by building a monorail connecting the stadium area, the airport and several points in Center City – the eastern end of Market Street, 30th Street Station, the Art Museum area, etc. Miami has a monorail. Heck, even Detroit has a monorail. Why can’t we have a monorail?
16. Was very sad to see that the amazing Philadelphia Athletics Museum in Hatboro has closed. Hard to believe, but the Athletics – even 59 years after they moved to Kansas City - are still the most successful franchise in Philly history, with five World Series championships. Think about it. The Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers have won a combined nine titles, and the Athletics won five. The Athletics Museum housed an astonishing collection of memorabilia, photographs and historical artifacts commemorating the franchise’s 54 years in Philadelphia. Now, the storefront on York Road is deserted, with a lonely “For Rent” sign out front. It’s a tragedy that the only place in the world that honors the most successful team in our city’s pro sports history is gone.
17. I’m so glad Duce is still here. Duuuuuuuuuuuce. Nobody took last year harder than Duce Staley. This team needs his passion. Very good coach, too.
18. Duce’s one-time position coach, Ted Williams, is entering his 19th season on the Eagles’ coaching staff. That’s the most in franchise history. He was hired by Ray Rhodes in 1995, retained by Reid in 1999 and retained by Kelly in 2013. That’s a pretty powerful statement about his coaching ability.
19. I’m really curious about what we’ll see from Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis, who are all coming off offseason surgery. That’s 80 percent of the Eagles’ offensive line. Everything we’ve heard is positive, but until we see them out there in pads at full speed, we won’t really know. On paper, the Eagles should have a very strong O-line. But there are still a lot of questions to answer before it’s at full strength.
20. The Eagles have 15 defensive backs on the roster, and I’m not sure about any of them.
21. This is kind of crazy: There are only six guys on the roster who were here before 2009. There are 40 players who were added since last season ended.
22. Could Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee have come up any smaller than they did against the Mets? Phils starters – Kyle Kendrick, Hamels and Lee – allowed 15 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings in the Mets series, an 8.10 ERA. The starters had an ERA of 3.24 in the 27 games leading up to the All-Star break. Hamels and Lee are here to win those games, and neither kept their team in the game. Really discouraging series.
23. One thought about the QB battle: Keep in mind that Chip Kelly inherited Michael Vick, who is 10-15 in his last 25 starts, and Nick Foles, who was 1-6 last year. They were here when he got here, and the fact that he hasn’t picked one or the other to be the 2013 starter really tells you that he’s not particularly in love with either one. If he was, they’d already be the starter. Matt Barkley was hand-picked by Kelly. He’s the only one of the three that he wanted to be here. I still think it’s a long shot that he’ll be the opening-day starter, but it’s not as crazy as you might think. If Vick and Foles don’t wow anybody in preseason and Barkley is exceptional, don’t be shocked if Kelly goes with the kid. Seriously, with Kelly, you just never know. He’ll do anything.
24. I promise that’s the final thing I’ll say about the quarterback battle. Until at least Tuesday.
25. I miss Lehigh.