Things to think about:

If Pat Burrell can't come to a contract agreement with the Phillies and departs via free agency, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. should give some thought to calling Jim Edmonds.

Before you start screaming that a 38-year-old lefthanded hitter is the last thing the Phillies need, consider this - he's about to join a club that includes Mike Schmidt and Willie Mays.

Edmonds hit 19 home runs in just 250 at-bats for the Chicago Cubs last season and had a slugging percentage of .568.

More important, Edmonds apparently is willing to sign a one-year deal, which should be of major appeal to the Phillies, who have big paydays scheduled for Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels via arbitration.

"I think it's going to be a win-win for somebody," agent Paul Cohen told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. "When you look at what some of the other guys will go for and you stack up their slugging percentage and home runs per at-bat against Jim's, it's going to be interesting."

Edmonds would play center, Shane Victorino could go back to right field to put his outstanding arm to use, and Jayson Werth could play left.

Crasnick points out that Edmonds could well earn entry into an exclusive club. The centerfielder needs 18 home runs to join Schmidt, Mays, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr. and Andre Dawson as players who hit 400 homers and won eight Gold Gloves.

And while Amaro's at it, he really should call Billy Beane and see what it would take to get Matt Holliday out of Oakland. That would solve the righthanded bat problem.

Caution. In the category of "don't wish too hard for something because you might get it" falls the issue of Eagles coach Andy Reid.

The wolves are in full bay right now, demanding Andy be sent back to Brigham Young or Green Bay or Flagstaff, or points West.

But think about this: If Andy retired and, say, became the full-time general manager, the new coach most likely would be Marty Mornhinweg.

Is the offensive coordinator of a team that has the most unbalanced attack in the NFL the guy you want as your builder?

Especially if the Birds also move Donovan McNabb and decide to start from scratch with Kevin Kolb.

What the Eagles need is a brand new start with a brand new head coach/GM/quarterback.

And while we're at it, here's one vote for hiring a GM first, then letting him hire the coaching staff.

Stay away from the Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino, Pete Carroll types. They're dynamite in college but seem unsuited to the pro game. (To their credit, all three have realized that and fled back to campus).

More coaching. If and when Joe Paterno hangs up his khakis and white socks this winter, the presumed successor is defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.

But should Penn State president Graham Spanier decide on a nationwide search, 44-year-old Chris Petersen of Boise State should be high on the list.

In his three seasons as head coach, the Broncos have been 13-0, 10-3 and 10-0.

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