Listening to Charlie Hunter's "Natty Dread," wherein he and his band cover the entire Marley album. I recommend. But it's too mellow right now so gonna have to switch to Southern Culture on the Skids' "Liquored Up and Lacquered Down," which I also recommend.
So, I know my timing with my Eagles posts is just atrocious. Most of you on the East Coast have already left work, no one's going to read this before the big game against Spurrier and the Skins tonight but as Tony Soprano says when made uncomfortable by having to express his emotions in front of men, "whaddya gonna do?"
It's time for Kinney's Keys to the Game:
Number One: Get Donovan the hell out of the pocket. Last week against the Titans Reid didn't move Donovan around enough, roll him out etc, and #5 paid for it, getting pounded for six sacks. In fact, Reid doesn't move McNabb around enough in general. Additionally, Donovan seems far too dogmatic as far as his mantra of staying in the pocket and not taking off for first downs. I think he's become too self-conscious about not wanting to be perceived as a "black" quarterback who can only run and doesn't have the head for the game. This game is about winning, Donovan's legacy will take care of itself. No. 5 is a fourth-quarter QB who starts to run and improvise when his back is against the wall. He needs to be in "make it happen" mode all the time.
Number Two: Run the ball more effectively. Reid, I've realized, is the most radical West Coast Offense protege in terms of his preference to move the ball through short passing and eschewing the run. And the results can be ugly. Play action is not going to work unless the opponent respects the run. Look at the way the Broncos iced the win at the Niners yesterday. A 99-yard drive where Mike Anderson and Olandis Gary (notice Clinton Portis, the fumble-prone rookie, didn't see the field during that crucial 4th quarter drive, with the Broncos up 17-7) pounded the 49ers D and romped and pranced through their secondary. Then, at the 15-yard line, a play action on which the entire defense bit, Griese rolls right (note to Reid) and delivers an easy pass to a receiver (Scotty Montgomery; great name Duke name -- when I hear it I picture a scrappy white guy like former Duke point guard Steve Wojciechowski, only shorter -- except he's an athletic black guy) who evidently graduated from Duke (???????????????) for a touchdown. So, in conclusion, "The Pearl" by John Steinbeck is a great example of man's desire for ... whoops, I found myself writing an eighth-grade English paper ... I mean, Reid's West Coast O ought to seek the balance achieved by Mike Shanahan's Broncos.
Number Three: Keep it simple, dumbass. Why do things have to be so complicated on O? A receiver has to be 94-years-old before, as he sits slowly ossifying in his retirement community, a gob of drool escaping from his toothless maw inspires a Proustian epiphany and he finally grasps Reid's offensive system, at which point he jumps to his feat, grabs his back and chest simultaneously and collapses to the ground, dead. Look at Donte' Stallworth (love the apostrophe spelling there. He's got the natural possessive tense. No need for the "s," as in "Hold up, that's Donte' ball. That ain't yours.") with the Saints. He's ripping it up in his first two games as a rookie. Drew Bledsoe threw eight passes to rookie Josh Reed (whom I coveted in this year's draft, by the way, and who is going to do very well in the slot with Bledsoe throwing to him) for more than 100 yards and the Bills have amassed like 1,000 yards of offense and 900 points in two games. Reid is a strange combination of daring and conservatism as a coach. He loves the onsides kick and shit but his play-calling can be baffling in its dink and dunk nonsense. Throw it down the field. And if I see Todd Pinkston get another one-yard gain on that quick-out/wide receiver screen Reid loves so much I'm going to retreat into the fetal position and never come out.
Number Four: Just win, baby! This is a must-win. I want to see McNabber light up the Skins like he did in that game in D.C. in 2000 where he ran all over them for the win (including "the hurdle" on the 50-yard jaunt down the right sideline and "the juke" on a hapless Mark Carrier) in perhaps his initial coming out party during his first full year as a starter.