New fullback preparing; Reid as game manager

New Eagles fullback Owen Schmitt is getting a crash course after arriving late Sunday night and signing with the Eagles on Monday.

But not the type of crash course that damages himself. In October last season, Schmitt hit himself three times in his forehead with his own helmet when he was introduced as a starter. That opened a gory cut that bled down his face. That was a reprise performance, since he bonked himself in the same manner when he botched a pooch punt while at West Virginia.

Schmitt said Eagles fans won't have to worry about that. His days of self-flagellation and Mohawk haircuts are over.

"I'm going to bring some attitude. Play as tough as I can, hard as I can," said Schmitt, who now sports a 3-inch goatee. "But I won't [head-bang] here. Never again."

That's what you get with Schmitt. It's what the Seahawks, under new coach Pete Carroll, didn't want.

"I was surprised," Schmitt said. "They said they weren't using a fullback this year."

Not a traditional one, anyway. None of the Seahawks' running backs is within 20 pounds of Schmitt, who, at 245 pounds, is about the size of Weaver.

No one expects Schmitt to follow Weaver to the Pro Bowl, though Weaver figures Schmitt assimilates well. They were teammates in Schmitt's rookie season in 2008, when Weaver helped guide Schmitt through then-coach Mike Holmgren's offense - an offense that formed the foundation for Andy Reid's.

"He's going to fit in fine," Weaver said yesterday.

Schmitt said his head is spinning after a Tuesday spent cramming the different offense into his famous skull, but he wishes the circumstances were better.

"It's kind of a bummer coming in here like that," Schmitt said.

Whatever the Eagles ask of him, he said, he wants to perfect, "So I know what I'm doing, so nobody gets hurt."

He's focused, and traveling light.

A blue backpack sat in his locker. It contained all of the personal possessions he hastily tossed into the bag as he scrambled out of the door and headed to the airport.

He brought the essentials: "Good thing is, I packed four pairs of underwear."

-- Marcus Hayes


Andy Reid's game management has driven Eagles fans crazy for years. The latest example under scrutiny is the Eagles' using their timeouts on defense in the second half Sunday against Green Bay.

Among Reid's most vocal critics has been the NFL Network's Michael Lombardi, a former Eagles executive. Lombardi has deemed Reid the worst game manager of all time. Lombardi's criticism continues in his column today. "Strange is something we have learned to accept in the world of Eagles game management under Reid," he writes.

"Reid went all-in with his timeout, and even though he got the ball back, his careless use of timeouts was another in a long line of interesting Eagles game-management moves. He never gave his team a chance to be in the best position to tie the game."


With Seahawks guard Max Unger suffering a severe turf-toe injury that could require three months to heal, Seattle turns to former Eagle Stacy Andrews as its starter.

"The opportunity really goes to Stacy Andrews," coach Pete Carroll said, according to the Seattle Times. "He's been playing it for the last couple of years, and we've seen him play both tackle and guard as we did our research in looking at him, and he can play both well. He gives us an experienced player who has to adapt very quickly to our system and our scheme. We were hoping that a couple of weeks now, you know, he would have some time to learn what is going on. He just is on a racehorse pace to try and figure it out now.

"But we get a big guy, a 345-pound guy, lining up at right guard. Hopefully, he will give us the ability to move the line of scrimmage and help us, and he'll take advantage of this opportunity and pick up where Max left off. Whenever something like this happens, you lose a guy, I look at it as an opportunity for the next guy who has to step up. So Stacy has no choice. We're going to call on him to do it and do a nice job for us."


Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp pointedly takes aim at Michael Vick in his column today:

I usually don't care whether the local team wins or loses. When you have been in the sports-writing business as long as I have, you instinctively divorce yourself emotionally. It's usually just another game, another story, another deadline. But I'm making an exception to that code Sunday.


I want the Lions to win for one deeply personal reason: Michael Vick.

He's forever the convicted felon who tortured and killed dogs, and he always should be addressed in such fashion.