I'm not "officially" back in the office until Wednesday, but had to get caught up here at MTC. Three days without a post would be unacceptable.
First of all, thanks to the commenters who wished me luck Friday before my Epi-Lasik eye surgery. Things are still a little blurry, but progressing. Before I went in for the procedure, I asked for words of advice on Twitter.
From Rich Hofmann: don't sneeze
And from Mike Florio: There are two areas on my body where no laser is ever going. And the eye area is one of them.
Not exactly the pep talks I was looking for, but appreciate the sentiments nonetheless.
As I spent the past few days applying eye drops every few hours, I came up with some ideas for MTC. I know some of you have expressed interest in me providing more original content and less linking, but others love the link roundups. I have an idea that I'll hopefully kick off tomorrow, which will hopefully make all parties happy.
In the meantime, some links:
** Redskins tight end Chris Cooley filled in as this week's Monday Morning Quarterback on SI.com, and I thought he was hilarious. The number of athletes who can relate to fans seems to decrease ever year, but Cooley wrote the column with a refreshing, simple tone that made a lot of sense. Along the way, he took a little jab at Donovan McNabb's blog:
I think athletes are usually terrible writers. "Cough! Donovan McNabb!" To be honest, most of the time I can't stand to read anything football players write, sorry Matt Birk. Now after stopping for a minute, I'm pretty concerned about what I've put together. Oh well, one thing's for sure, I can take a hell of a lot of criticism.
Before you start ripping Cooley, he also took a mini-shot at his teammate Albert Haynesworth and previous MMQB columnist Trent Green. As for McNabb, he could be a great writer, but it's tough to judge when he updates his blog so infrequently. On the other hand, as many of you will point out, we make front-page stories out of just about everything McNabb says/writes, regardless of its importance. When he retires and becomes a full-time member of the media, which is bound to happen, it will be interesting to see how McNabb develops his voice and opinions.
** A couple of you have e-mailed me about ESPN.com's front page, which features the headline: "Rumors: Eagles considering Warrick Dunn." The links goes to an Insider article, which like several of you, I do not have access to. But to form an educated guess, it probably references this USA Today article. The article does not say the Eagles are considering Dunn, but it does mention his name:
In the five years since Brian Westbrook became a full-time starter, only one NFL back (LaDainian Tomlinson) has more yards from scrimmage than Westbrook's 8,106, and none has produced more as a receiver (3,191 yards). Coach Andy Reid dismisses concern over Westbrook's cleanup ankle surgery but won't rule out adding a vet such as Warrick Dunn.
I wrote a couple months ago that if the Eagles were to add a veteran RB, Dunn would be the best bet. But at this point, there has been no other indication that they are going to go that route. If I'm wrong, and someone has the Insider, let us know what it's referencing.
Update: Reader Zach confirms that the ESPN rumor does link to the USA Today article as we predicted.
** NFL.com's Bucky Brooks names Donovan McNabb his third-best quarterback in the league, behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning:
The inclusion of McNabb on this list is sure to draw the ire of some in the City of Brotherly Love, but the five-time Pro Bowler is praiseworthy based on his tremendous accomplishments. The 10-year veteran has amassed a lofty .645 winning percentage as a starter and has guided the Eagles to five NFC Championship Game appearances in the past eight seasons.
** The Sporting News provides an Eagles training camp preview and gets a quote from CBS analyst Phil Simms:
"I can never figure them out. They certainly have the coaching with Andy Reid and the quarterback. Donovan covers up a lot of stuff. He's a leader and pushes them to a high level. Brian Westbrook is a tremendous player, and of course it's going to affect them when he's out. I see the Eagles as the ultimate grinders."
** ESPN.com's Matt Mosley has the Eagles finishing 11-5, behind the Giants in the NFC East:
So I have the Giants winning the division at 12-4 and the Eagles will be right behind them at 11-5. I'm anxious to see how LeSean McCoy fits in early in the season. If he's ready for prime time, that could be a lethal offense.
** Cowboys LB Bradie James was asked on ESPN.com about losing to the Eagles in Week 17 last season:
Hey, I can tell you it was miserable. It was definitely the longest game of my life. I couldn't believe that, now not taking anything away from Philly, they played a good game, but everything that could happen wrong for us happened. We had guys fumbling. [Tony] Romo got sacked a couple of times, lost the ball. Touchdown, touchdown. It was crazy. They put us out of our misery.
And some other random thoughts that have been weighing on my mind:
** The Roy Halladay issue is not a no-brainer, but when push comes to shove, you have to do it. We see in sports all the time that the possibility of a "special year" only comes around every so often. The Phils are in great position to get back to the postseason, and a Cole Hamels/Halladay 1-2 combo in a seven-game series would be unreal. Let's go for it in 2009 and 2010 and figure the rest out later. If Kyle Drabek goes on to a Hall of Fame career, we can live with it, especially if we get to enjoy one more parade.
** Speaking of Hamels, I'm not in panic mode. The guy pitched more innings last season than ever before. Let's give him the All-Star break to recharge his battery. He's got a big second half coming.
** Two things I did not get to do this weekend due to burning, blurry vision: see Bruno or watch the first episode of Entourage. Hopefully in the next week I'll have opinions on both. I know, you're all holding your breath.
** Finally finisihed reading The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. I don't get a lot of time to read books anymore, but this one was great. And you can listen to the audio version on ITunes. A great option for entertainment on your way to and from work, class, etc.
** The mango has to be the most underrated fruit. Especially in the summer. I've been pounding 'em over the past few days. I'm stunned at the amount of people who have never had a mango.
** Thirteen days until rookies report to Lehigh. MTC will be there (more details on that later). Very much looking foward to it.