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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Monday, November 07, 2005

T.O. has B.O.

In case you haven't gotten enough TO coverage in the past few days, I figured I'd chime in here and give one more opinion on the subject that ultimatly doesn't really matter.

First of all, this notion that analysts are spitting that the Eagles are better ON the field is simply ridiculous. I know that football is more of a team sport than baseball and even basketball, but I just don't buy that taking the best reciever in the NFL off the field makes the team better. I know he's a problem in the locker room and with the nonsense he spews all through the media, but does improved team chemistry really make up for the loss of 93 yards and close to a TD a game? That doesn't even take into account the open looks in the middle of the field that LJ Smith and Brian Westbrook recieve because of the constant double teams on TO.

I know many of you will say that they made the playoffs 3 years straight without TO and that they can do it again. That very well may be true. But don't forget that those teams had a better defense, a healthy Donovan McNabb, and most importantly, played in a division in which the other 3 teams were re-tooling. Thus far, it appears the Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins are ready to take the Eagles throne; TO or not.

With that said I still believe the organization did the right thing. Owens had to be reprimanded and a suspension is the place to start. I think they hedged their bet a little too far though. Or at the very least, a little too early. I don't see the reason to go ahead and state that TO will be inactive after the 4 game suspension. Apparently, the Eagles are prepared to go on without TO no matter what takes place over the next 3 weeks. They can't bring him back now. Not after putting their foot down like they did today.

That's where I think the Eagles could have handled the situation differently. Had they just suspended TO for 4 games without saying he would be inactive for the remainder of the season, they would have had flexibility. It would have allowed them to let him play if the team was showing that on the field, he was needed. And if the team showed they didn't need him or if they simply would rather suffer without him, they could announce that he would remain inactive after the suspension at that time. I just don't see any benefit to making that decision now. The Eagles gave themselves no leeway. That's all I'm saying.

As for TO's comments about Brett Favre, I couldn't be happier. As a Packer fan, it's refreshing that a man who seems to respect nobody holds Favre in such high regards. This isn't surprising though based on the respect #4 has recieved from all opponents that have faced him this year. What is surprising is that this question was even raised. I've seen about Eagle games this year and McNabb is not the problem. The real problem has been a defense that spots teams a couple TDs in the 1st quarter. Others cite the lack of a running game, but they haven't run in years. Sure, it's a little more extreme this year, but that's a small problem that partly derived from the previous problem.

Another interesting thought is TO bidding to hook up with Favre in Green Bay. Javon Walker didn't even hold out, he simply threatened to, and Favre nearly went ballistic. Imagine how he'd feel about TO whining about $7 million a year. It doesn't seem like there would be a happy marraige there either.

So where will TO end up next year? Obviously, he will have places to choose from. Locker room problem or not, he produces on the field and is one of the hardest working recievers in the league. TO and Randy Moss are similar in many ways, but in effort they are not. One thing you can't say about TO is that he takes plays off. In fact, he's one of the few recievers in the league that will even pretend like they're trying to block. So he's going to have suitors.

Baltimore: They wanted him 2 years ago. After he bailed on them, the love affair may be over but who knows.

Denver: Shanahan has taken character problems before (Clarett) so there's no reason to think he'd shy away from TO. He'd make them an immediate Super Bowl contender.

Washington: Dan Snyder. Enough said.

Those are the first 3 that come to my mind. If anyone else has some predictions feel free to leave them in the comment box.

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