Interesting read in yesterday's Miami Herald by Dan Le Batard.
He catches up with Jimmy Johnson, who hasn't been on the sidelines since 1999 when he last coached with the Dolphins.
So Johnson misses the thrill of leading his team on to the field, right?
Johnson, who now works as a TV analyst with Fox, spends his time on his boat, hosting parties, going fishing and enjoying life -- something that was not the case when he was a coach in the NFL.
"I was happy in my accomplishments -- fulfilled, satisfied, proud, very proud -- but I didn't have true joy," he said. "I had a responsibility when I was coaching. And that was overriding everything. Family. Friends. Not just friends but even the idea of friendship. I didn't care whether I had friends or not. I was responsible if it didn't work. And when things would go wrong, I'd get upset to no end. I'd replay it in my mind all day and night. At the end, winning was just OK but a loss just crushed me. What kind of way to live is that?"
It's a brutally honest inside look at the life of an NFL coach, one who won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys.
And there's an Eagles angle too. Le Batard writes that Johnson keeps in touch with coaches like Bill Belichick and Andy Reid. Here's the passage:
Even winners such as Bill Belichick and Andy Reid will call Johnson in the middle of the night, on the way home from another tedious practice and another 17-hour day, and promise Johnson that one day they too will walk into the sunshine the way Johnson did. But they never do, not even as Reid's family falls apart around him, his kids in and out of handcuffs.
''We all get so infected with praise, attention, accolades,'' Johnson says. ``It is a highly egotistical position. It isn't easy to deal with people no longer telling you how great you are. You get used to people bowing. It is hard to walk away from people bowing. People are afraid to leave the limelight, the money, the ego stroke. People are afraid of change.''
Anyway, here's the link to the full story. Definitely worth a click if you have a few minutes today.
** SI.com's Peter King thinks Brian Westbrook's production will be similar to last year:
I think Brian Westbrook, coming off an ankle cleanout that will take him out of harm's way for much of training camp, will be very much what he was last year. He played 14 regular-season games last year, with 287 touches (rushing-receiving). That averages out to 20.5 touches per game. And I'd put the over/under for Westbrook touches in the Philly opener at Carolina on Sept. 13 at 21. In fact, I'd probably take the over in that game.
** SI.com's Kerry J. Byrne puts together the All-Decade Team, listing best individual seasons for each position since 2000. The Birds get a mention on the list as Byrne chooses Terrell Owens' 2004 performance as the best season by an NFL receiver this decade:
And in 2004, the year that Owens arrived in Philly for a whirlwind romance with Donovan McNabb and Eagles fans, it seemed the NFL was all T.O., all the time. He delivered something for everybody -- from success-starved Philly fans, to sports writers hungry for juicy storylines. On the field, Owens set a franchise record by hauling in 14 TD receptions while leading the Eagles to a franchise-best 13-1 record through 14 games. A fractured fibula and sprained ankle in Week 15, though, appeared to put an end to Philly's title hopes. But thanks to Owens' now-famous hyperbaric chamber, he returned in time to haul in nine catches for 122 yards in a hard-fought 24-21 Super-Bowl loss to the Patriots. The Owens-Philly romance ended in a nasty divorce the following season, as you knew it would. But for 2004, anyway, the football world seemed to rotate around a single volatile star at wide receiver.
** A couple non-football notes. Did you see the footage of Manny Ramirez working out during ESPN's Dodgers-Phillies broadcast last night? We're used to seeing him in an oversized uniform, but with the whole steroids thing out of the bag, it looks like Manny is going to let loose and show off the upper body. Even the announcers were stunned by the size of his arms, but they awkwardly didn't bring up the steroids angle.
** Wait for The Hangover to come out on DVD. I laughed, but it was far from a classic. Frankly, I'm a little stunned to hear how much people liked it. Andrew Bernard and Vegas is a can't-lose combination, but it's far from a must-see.