Time gentlemen, please !
I am all for sensibility where warranted , but there comes a time, where common sense should take precedence over everything else ! That certainly has to be the case concerning the Philadelphia Eagles , as their season continues to implode and spiral out control . Andy Reid , may well have been inconsolable after the death of his son , Garrett Reid , to what might have been an apparent drug overdose . That being said , while he has my condolences , when it comes to his handling of the team , he certainly isn’t deserving of a pass . The same can be said of the team’s beleaguered quarterback, Michael Vick , as he simply has grotesquely awful for much of this season . Gifted and talented athlete or not , Vick this season has been wildly erratic , and amongst the most inefficient players at the position during 2012.
Coming off a thoroughly humiliating 30-17 loss to the rampant Atlanta Falcons (7-0) , the Eagles are simply a listless vessel , adrift at sea, in their own ineptitude. And while there has been a considerable shakeup with the front office , with the departure of Joe Banner , to assume a similar role with the Cleveland Browns , as the team President. It should be noted , with Banner leaving , it still has not abated the continued incompetence being shown by this team . Furthermore , it appears that Michael Vick seems to be in denial that he is just as responsible for the team’s failures this season , as are the coaching staff , as well as his teammates. At 3-4 within the NFC East , a mark that they also share with the equally inept Dallas Cowboys (3-4). Both of these teams are now looking up at the division leading New York Giants (6-2) , and at this juncture, it is not an exactly and endearing sight. In all likelihood the Giants will prevail as the champions of the NFC East , but a wildcard spot might not come from within this division. So it would be understandable to comprehend what is now at stake for both of these teams.
It now appears that Andy Reid is at a crossroads , as he must now make a decision concerning his besieged and beleaguered quarterback. I should preface this by saying , that the alternatives facing the coach should he decide to demote Michael Vick , does not appear to be all that bright. The only alternative that the team has at present is to promote rookie Nick Foles, or to go with five-year veteran Trent Edwards . Not entirely enticing options, for a head coach , whose tenure now appears to be in jeopardy . Foles was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the franchise , with the thought of his remaining on the sidelines , learning the facets of the game from seasoned veterans , such as Edwards and Michael Vick. Vick’s inconsistency this season , have been compounded by the losses , and the ineffectiveness of the Eagles’ passing and rushing game. Trent Edwards is unlikely to fare any better and throwing in a rookie such as Foles , might well do more harm than good. Michael Vick for his part, has to now face reality, that the wasted years incarcerated in a Federal Penitentiary , should have been his most productive years in the league , rather than for the fans to now witness a player with declining skills , and someone who has glaringly lost a step or two, as evidenced by the number of times he has been sacked season and the number of costly fumbles now on his resume’ for this season. Vick was never an elite quarterback , much less a moderate quarterback at best , he was simply a gifted athlete, who chose to play the role of a quarterback.
Week nine , and the Philadelphia Eagles will be the guests of the New Orleans Saints (2-5) in an NFC game that will have a great deal of meaning for both teams , when one bears in mind their divisional standing. It is incumbent that the Eagles come away from that game with a win, but that same scenario is raised when assesses the underwhelming season of the New Orleans Saints. Scandals , asides , the franchise still has not endeared itself to the vast majority of fans , in the wake of the now ongoing drama concerning this team.
Raise your hand if you have heard this question before ? Why is Norv Turner still coaching NFL ? Keep your hands up, as I’m still counting ! Shit, I’ve lost count . It may well be apathy , but the fans in the city of San Diego obviously love to endure mediocrity , because mediocrity, has been so prevalent with this franchise , the San Diego Chargers . And that has been especially true during the tenure of head coach, Norv Turner. Marty Schottenheimer , was fired because he could not take this franchise to the next level , and yet his successor, has wasted repeated opportunities to take the Chargers to their desired destination , and that is to a Superbowl . Rarely has a franchise , been so poorly ran, as the Spanos’ family led by patriarch ,Alex Spanos , has seemingly allowed AJ Smith , as the general manager , make the sort of personnel decisions one would associate with a bureaucratic federal agency , whose wish is to simply waste the taxpayers’ money.
Coming off a rather embarrassing 7-6 loss to the lowly Cleveland Browns (2-6). It is hard to imagine how things could get any worse for a franchise that has underachieved this season. Yet it has, and will probably get a great deal worse for a team , whose coaching staff that seems to be, bereft of creativity and intelligence. If a team, that was thought to be viewed as a major threat to the Broncos’ recent to ascendancy and divisional supremacy within the AFC West is now faltering , then what would that suggest about the franchise and the division as a whole? If at season’s end Turner remains in his position , then I will be shocked by such an outcome , winning season or not !
Philip Rivers remains the team’s best player, as he has been over the past five seasons , yet his talents are being profoundly wasted by Norv Turner, who does not know , how to best utilize the player’s skill-set , or assemble a good enough team, to give the Chargers the best opportunity to win. Rivers for his part has to be frustrated by the team’s lack of success , and I truly believe that he is now at his wit’s end concerning being a member of a failed franchise. A free agent in 2016 , Rivers may well request a trade , rather than continuing to be a part of Chargers’ franchise that on appearance seems to be heading nowhere. Whether or not the front office would be amenable to such a deal , would be impacted by upon the situation that the franchise finds itself in. Rivers’ contract would not prove difficult to offload , given the bounty that would be provided to the Chargers by way of draft picks , as they seek to rebuild the franchise. However, such a scenario for the moment is merely a thought , and not much more beyond that.
Next up for the Chargers, will be a Thursday night game on the 1st November, against divisional rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs (1-6). For the 3-4 Chargers , a game behind the division leading (AFC West) Denver Broncos(4-3) . The game to be played at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California, should give us a clear indication as to the path that will be taken by both franchises, as they both seek to be prevalent.
While the NFL has gone to great lengths to stress its diversity , it should come as a great surprise that during the Superbowl era while the league officials at varying levels within its hierarchy. And the makeup of the NFL team rosters is apparently 72.7% minority based , predominantly, African-American. It seems strange that within the ranks of NFL ownership , there is only one owner of ethnic race. Granted , Reggie Fowler , a minority partner in the Minnesota Vikings’ ownership structure, is the lone African-American owner of an NFL franchise. It should be noted , Fowler failed in his original attempt to purchase the franchise, when it was placed on the market by Red McCombs . The sale of the franchise to Zygi Wilf , and the Vikings long sought search for success has been well chronicled since that sale. While Fowler remains in the background as Zygi, his sons, Leonard, Jeffrey and Mark Wilf are the business face of the NFL franchise.
In November 2011 , when Shahid Khan made a successful $775 million bid and purchase of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he became the first owner of ethnicity, of an NFL franchise, who was an outright unanimous stakeholder. Khan a self-made billionaire, and a naturalized US citizen , was born in Lahore, Punjab Province of Pakistan. His entrepreneurial skills and the very fact that he is an impassioned NFL fan cannot hide his love of the game, as he seeks to make the Jaguars a competitive and commercial success. Years of coaching woes under a string of coaches , has brought the franchise little success over the last decade plus.
In a very in-depth profile by the CBS’ news magazine program “60 Minutes”, the program’s anchor , Scott Pelley, conducted a very insightful interview with Shahid Khan , that covered the businessman’s rise from being an impoverished engineering student to his success behind the automotive services’ company Flex-N-Gate . A company, which he bought from the original owner , and has now turned into a business enterprise that has revenues in excess of $ 8 billion ($8,000,000,000) annually
, manufacturing and supplying automotive bumpers for all of the Big Three domestic automotive companies, as the leading foreign manufacturers, with production facilities in North and Latin America. Khan , was quick to point out that while the NFL hierarchy was amenable to his becoming an owner and joining their fraternity , the fans around the league were not so kind in their approval. It is hard to believe that in the four decades since the what we have as the nascent point of the civil rights’ era , in 2011 there still remains a great deal of racial bigotry and intolerance towards a person of color ! Shahid Khan and his family were subjected to the most heinous of verbal assaults , with many questioning not only his ethnicity , birthright , but also whether not fans of the Jaguars would be required to recite a verse from the Koran upon attending the team’s home games at Everbank Field, in Jacksonville , Florida , home to the Jacksonville Jaguars . Insidious as that suggestion is , this seems to be the world that we now live in .
Shahid Khan, a devout Muslim , is not a vocal proponent radical Islam , as espoused by these ultra-conservative Imams , who also are proponents of Sharia-law. He is keenly aware of his visibility as a high-profiled Muslim, and has done a great deal , nationally , and locally, to promote tolerance between Muslims , Christians , Jews and those of other religious beliefs, in order to foment and foster the respect of others. He is now genuinely beloved by Jaguars’ fans, and can be seen at home games , actually greeting the fans as they walk up to the gates of their home stadium. In the year, since he assumed control of the franchise , he has sought to make the team more competitive having assumed control after the purchase from Wayne Weaver. Subsequently, GM Gene Smith has sought to assemble a roster thought to be competitive enough to contend within the AFC South.Head coach, Mike Mularkey, and his coaching staff have adjusted slowly in trying to turn things around, but it is felt with the retention of Maurice Jones-Drew to spearhead the team’s offense , alongside quarterback Blaine Gabbert , and wide receiver, Justin Blackmon .
The Jaguars drafted prudently , looking to obtain players they felt would be able to contribute immediately to the franchise’s growth over the course of this season. The players acquired , rounds’ one through seven were , Justin Blackmon, Andre Branch, Bryan Anger, Brandon Marshall, Mike Harris, and Jeris Pendleton. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a lowly 1-6 within the AFC South , rooted at the bottom of the division and with the Carolina Panthers (1-6) , they share the worst record in the NFL . Clearly, the Jaguars’ issues go way beyond their on-field problems and injuries have played their part in the team’s problematical season. In their most recent game the Jaguars were on the wrong side of a 24-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers (5-3). The Jaguars will play host to the Detroit Lions (3-4) this Sunday, in a game that will have dire meaning for both teams. The Lions are having an indifferent season, and inexplicably Matt Stafford has been unable to take advantage of his premier offensive target of last season, wide receiver , Calvin Johnson. Head coach, Jim Schwartz, and his coaching staff have tried to the team playing with some semblance of consistency , and they have fallen short of their preseason aspirations. So much so, that is becoming increasingly hard to see the Lions make the postseason, unless they are able to get on a hot winning streak. Two of the team’s defensive stalwarts, Ndamokung Suh and Nick Fairley have had their issues during the offseason, for which, both players have been given stern warnings by GM Martin Mayhew, as to their behavior both on and off the field of play. If the Lions are to come out of this game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, then their play has to vastly improve not just against this opponent , but also over each of the adversaries that they will meet over the remainder of the 2012 regular season schedule.
With the trade deadline having now been pushed back forty-eight hours , from 4:00PM EST , Tuesday, 30th October , 2012, to the 1st November , 2012, 4:00PM (EST). It will be interesting to see which teams will seek to make bold and ambitious moves , in order to make a push towards , and by winning their division or a postseason berth by positioning themselves with a beneficial finish, within the AFC and NFC.
What are your expectations for the second half of the NFL season? And which teams do you believe will be in the running for a divisional title and a playoff berth ? Also, with the NFL having made a big display and effort to create a diverse workplace in terms of the league’s makeup , do you believe that enough has been done to create an environment where there might be another owner of ethnicity within the NFL beyond Shahid Khan? Do leave a comment as a you see fit , on this subject matter, and anything else you believe pertinent to this article.
Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal.
(1) Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Michael Perez …
(2) Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) scores on a 63-yard touchdown pass as Philadelphia Eagles corner-back Nnamdi Asomugha (24) goes in for the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Mel Evans …
(3) Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles , left, and wide receiver DeSean Jackson walk off the field at the end of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Falcons won 30-17 . AP Photo/Michael Perez ….
(4) Quarterback Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles holds onto the ball as Corey Peters (91) of the Atlanta Falcons attempts to strip it during the fourth quarter in a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 28, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Falcons defeated the Eagles 30-17. Rich Schulze / Getty Images North America …
(5) Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator , Todd Bowles, left, looks on as Eagles head coach Andy Reid walks by before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. Reid dismissed former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo during the team’s bye week. AP Photo/Michael Perez ….
(6) New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Wesley Woodyard (52) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Denver. The Broncos would defeat the Saints 34-14 . AP Photo/Jack Dempsey ….
(7) San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts after an incomplete pass to wide receiver Malcolm Floyd late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Cleveland. The Browns won 7-6 . AP Photo/Tony Dejak …
(8) Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan ,left, is seen here CBS reporter Byron Pitts filming a segment for the news’ magazine program “60 Minutes” . There was a televised broadcast in-depth interview conducted by Scott Pelley , during which Khan’s life was profiled at extraordinary lengths and the public was introduced to the NFL’s first majority owner of ethnicity within the league. Shahid Khan paid $775 million in purchasing the NFL franchise from Wayne Weaver in November , 2011. In that time he has been the subject of racial bigotry by “alleged fans” of the NFL . copyrighted material … @ all rights reserved ..
(9) New Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, right, is introduced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during a news conference at the NFL owners meeting in Irving, Texas, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011. The sale from franchise founder Wayne Weaver to the Pakistani-born Khan was unanimously approved Wednesday. The deal reportedly is for $775 million. AP Photo/LM Otero …..
(10) Shahid Khan , seen here with a group of ardent Jacksonville Jaguars’ supporters for an NFL game played at the franchise’s home venue, Everbank Field , in Jacksonville ,Florida ,. The owner has reiterated his position, that the team will not be relocated, and that his intentions are to make the franchise a competitive and commercially successful enterprise . The fan-base for the Jaguars however, is amongst the lowest in the NFL , and ranks in lower half of the teams within the league. AP Photo/ Richard Harris ….
(11) Reggie Fowler , left , is seen here with former Minnesota Vikings’ owner Red McCombs in 2004 . Fowler failed in an attempt to buy the franchise from McCombs that year , after it had been revealed that he could not meet the financial guarantees sought by the NFL in making the purchase . He would however , be part of the consortium led by Zygi Wilf , that would make a successful bid for the Minnesota Vikings in 2005 . AP/REUTERS/ Phil Sharpe ….
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