Ashley Fox:

Hi folks. Happy Tuesday. I'm ready. Fire away

Peter:

Time to start Kolb or not?

Ashley Fox:

I really don't think so. I think it's a worthwhile discussion to have, given the condition of the Eagles season. But I'm of the opinion that McNabb should be the guy for the remainder of the season, and for next season. I'd much rather see the Eagles commit to getting another solid receiver or two -- and a star would be nice -- than worrying about their rookie quarterback.

Randall:

I hate to make this inferal, but Andy Reid might need to get a drug test with his sons, with his constant barrage of statements, that profess the idea this is a good team, and can still make the playoffs

Ashley Fox:

Well, I don't know about that, but it does seem like the coach doesn't have the firmest grasp on reality. On the flip side, what do you want him to say? We quit? That wouldn't be good either. But a little somewhere in between would be nice.

Bob:

Westbrook is 29 and has taken a pounding the past two years...our tackles are in the late stages of their careers, and Sheldon, Dawkins and Lito are not getting any younger. If this team decides not to bring back McNabb, by the time Kolb is comfortable in the offense, all of these players are done. If that's the route we are going, why not move as many of them as possible and accelerate the rebuilding process.

Ashley Fox:

I hear you on age concerns with Runyan, Dawkins and Thomas, but I think Westbrook is still on the upward path of his career, and Sheppard and Brown have time left, too. I'd much rather see the Eagles go after a couple of big free agents -- Asante Samuel, perhaps -- and try to piece this thing back together than to go for the complete overhaul. If you look around the league, the difference between the 9-4s and the 5-8s isn't that great. The Patriots and Cowboys, in my opinion, is another matter.

Barbara:

I would blame Andy Reid. He never gave McNabb a decent receiver in all of the years McNabb has been here except for TO who is an unstable and undermining narcissist.

Ashley Fox:

I agree that Reid deserves blame for the receiving corps. McNabb sure looked a lot better when he had one of the best receivers in the game on his team. And I like Donte Stallworth. McNabb needs more help, no doubt.

Sean:

If Andy stays, should there be changes done on his staff?

Ashley Fox:

I think so. It will be interesting to see, because usually assistants leave here for better jobs, not because they get the ax. We'll see if that's the case this year. I'd think the special teams coach would be a candidate.

Randall:

Yes, correct, a little something in between, instead of the same line, "We need to put our guys in better position!" Stop the need phrase, and DO!!!

Bob:

I'm with you, Ashley. I know your record is your record, but this team could/should have gotten W's in GB, v Wash, v Chi, v Sea, and last week against the Giants. With Donovan another year removed from his injury and some WR who can actually get open, it's not crazy to think at least three of those could have been W's. I'm not afraid of Dallas, and who else in the NFC is significantly better than the Birds?

Ashley Fox:

The only team that I think is significantly better is the Cowboys. I think Green Bay is having a terrific year. Other than that, Detroit, New York, Minnesota? They are nice teams, but I'd be shocked if we're talking about any of them NFC championship weekend.

Peter:

Well, how about testing some other young players? Tony Hunt, Stewart Bradley, Nick Graham and, gulp, Winston Justice? Why wait till next year to find for sure who's a bust and who can play?

Ashley Fox:

I'm with you, Peter. Perhaps we'll see that once the Eagles are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Bob:

Samuel would be nice. On Sunday night during the Colts game, the announcers made it seem like the Colts would only be able to keep one of Dallas Clark and Bob Sanders. I think whatever one they decide not to franchise would fill an area of need for the Birds.

Ashley Fox:

I like both of those players, Bob, and you're right, they'd fill needs the Eagles have. I'd be stunned if the Colts let Sanders go. Seems to be Clark would be more easily replaced.

Abdul Chestnut:

When are the Eagles going to stop gambling on the OverAchiever and spend some real money to get some big time players. You see New England didn't gamble, they went out and grabbed Randy Moss and Dante. Why in the heck did the Eagles let go Dante Stallworth?

Ashley Fox:

After getting beat by their archrival in the AFC championship game, New England was very aggressive in free agency. They knew that the no-name guys -- Jabbar Gaffney and the lot -- were not good enough to win a Super Bowl. So they went after it hard. The Eagles weren't interested in Stallworth because they thought, as I understand it, that he was injury prone and not worth the money for which he was asking. That hasn't proven to be the case. He essentially signed a one-year deal in New England, though, so it's possible he'll be available.

Bill:

What do you think their plans are at tight end?

Ashley Fox:

Well, Bill, I don't think they have any intention on bringing back L.J. Smith. They felt it was a need-based position to draft a tight end last year. I'm not sure if they feel like Celek can handle the job, or whether they'll look through free agency. I'm just not sure.

Abdul Chestnut:

Lastly, do the Eagles realize that they are not going to be a bonafide running threat without a legitimate fullback? What possessed them to let go Dorsey Levins, who has proved himself valuable every season he was here?

Ashley Fox:

I think they're pretty happy with Thomas Tapeh.

DJ:

Will get this out of the way, Donovan for whatever reason isn't himself this yr. he has no confidence at all in his team (or himself) The birds score twice as much with AJ behind center even with all of the picks, looks like management has given up and hope that D has an ok showing to better shop him in the off season, what do u think?

Ashley Fox:

The cynic in me has a hard time believing Joe Banner when he said last week that Don would definitely be back next year. I'm just not sure that's the case.

JP:

What can be done in the 2007 season to help the birds get back to form in 2008?

Ashley Fox:

Well, you always want to finish strong to get a little momentum heading into the off-season. On the flip side, maybe if the Eagles were to finish 5-11, they'd be more willing to be aggressive in the off-season.

Randall:

Paul Domowitch tells me the head of officiating reviews all game tapes, as far as I am concerned, the Eagles did deserve to lose, but the 2 NO-CALLS they did not get late in the game, that crew seemed intent on getting to dinner on time, and no OT game, they don't deserve to officiate any playoff games upcoming!

Ashley Fox:

They do review the tapes. And while I thought that Giant was over Avant's back, it shouldn't come down to that.

DJ:

I see one positive, we'll at least get a better draft pick next year!

Ashley Fox:

There is that.

Bob:

Scouts Ince lists five def. linemen (three ends, two tackles) in their current top 10 of potential draft picks this year. Seems we take one high every year...so end or tackle?

Ashley Fox:

How about safety or receiver? If it's d-line, I go end. Clearly the Eagles will have a need there, someone who can work into the rotation in time.

DJ:

With our miriad of short comings across the board I think our biggest need is a frontline DE to compliment Cole, what are your thoughts?

Ashley Fox:

I think that's one of many needs. Another safety. A third corner. Another playmaking linebacker. Take your pick.

Randall:

Or Westbrook being held down by Madison in the last minute, even ignoring the questionable offsides call after we recovered the fumble, that crew STUNK or had Biased people, that don't know the phrase "CALL it down the middle for both teams!"

Ashley Fox:

There are bad calls in every game. You have to be good enough to overcome it, and the Eagles weren't.

Bob:

One safety and one WR in their top 20, neither in the top 10.

Paul:

Ashley.....McNabb can't read a defense. Why should he keep playing?

Ashley Fox:

I don't think that is the problem.

Al:

What about drafting a CB? Behind Brown and Lito it is pretty light...

Ashley Fox:

I think that has to be a priority. Clearly Will James and Joselio Hanson aren't the answer.

BGJ:

There should be know debate #5 should be the QB next year.True this guy has not had a very good season, but there are 21 other players that play on Sunday and a poor gameday coach. He is a proven winner, what other eagles QB has won more games???????? end of discussion.

Ashley Fox:

I agree, BGJ.

Bob:

OK...I think we just fixed the 08 Birds in about a half hour...keep Donovan at QB, add Dallas Clark at TE, draft a DE in the top 10, and add Asante Samuel to the mix in the secondary (maybe move Sheldon to S?)

Ashley Fox:

I appreciate you hanging in with us, Bob. I'd be happy with Clark and Samuel. Wouldn't you?

Paul:

Joe Flacco from Delaware would be a great pick for the Eagles. He has a great arm and plays in a pro style offense.

Ashley Fox:

I'd be shocked if the Eagles drafted another QB.

Paul:

Paul - QBs that can't read defenses throw interceptions. One of the Eagles QBs has proven that this year, but his name is not McNabb.

DJ:

We do not have "bad" receivers, a true #1 would be nice but the men we have have done well behind anyone not named Donovan, go figure! Not bashing the big guy, he just doesn't have what it takes this yr. so I don't think a W/R is our top priority!

Ashley Fox:

I'm not saying they're bad. They're just not good enough.

Paul:

Ashley Fox and Dana Oneil love McNabb. They will never print a bad thing about him.

Ashley Fox:

You obviously aren't a regular reader of my work.

BGJ:

Maybe we should be running this franchise.

Randall:

Could not agree more Ashley, but as I said, after the NBA scandal this summer, the league should operate more on the level, you, Bob and myself have to, if we do a bad job at work, we get fined, suspended or fired. Might help thier image, since Football is looking so CORPORATE run, and less human anymore, to indicate, our human beings made a mistake, and are being penalized.

Ashley Fox:

Well I do agree with you there, Randall.

Tate:

Although I'm not a great McNabb fan, be careful what you ask for. Kolb is not an NFL QB, just another in a long line of bad picks by this regime

Ashley Fox:

I thought it was interesting last night toward the end of the MNF game. They were talking about the Falcons predicament and how they're going to address their quarterback situation. Steve Young made the point that drafting a quarterback, especially this decade, has essentially become a crapshoot. It's an inexact science because everything about the pro game is vastly different from college. That said, we won't know about Kolb for a while.

BGJ:

a W/R that could overcome an aggresive Cb and get off the line would be nice.

Paul:

Ashley I read your work. I remeber how you would give Larry Brown a free pass when he was with the Sixers.

Ashley Fox:

I don't think that's true, either, but you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

Matt:

How did such a normally competent front office allow so many key positions to hit expiry at the same time? Regardless of the QB situation, we have huge question marks at OT, TE, and safety going into next year. They have stocked the cupboard with “red-shirted” players of the future, but it doesn’t seem that the Eagles, unlike Dallas, place much stock in players who can make an immediate contribution.

Ashley Fox:

Their philosophy is to build through the draft. It's a good one. But they need some help with free agent.

BGJ:

Tate, I don't think anyone can say that about Kolb at this point. I do know i was pretty impressed with his play in the preseason.

Bob:

Ashley - my only qualm about Asante Samuel is his size (5'10). With TO and Plaxico continually abusing our smallish corners, I think the next one we add needs to have more of a Bobby Taylor type build.

Ashley Fox:

You can't coach size, obviously. But Samuel is a tough guy. I really like him.

Paul:

Joe Flacco is the 5th or 6th QB in this draft. Love to see himm here. AJ Feeley isnt the answer. I'd rather have Ace Frehley than him.

Ashley Fox:

I loved the KISS drummer back in the day.

Ashley Fox:

Or is it KIZZ?

Randall:

Bob/Ashley, thanks for imput, keep up the good work and take care.

Ashley Fox:

Thanks, Randall.

Bob:

Paul - I'm assuming you are a Delaware fan. I don't follow the Blue Hens. We went that route a few years ago with Andy Hall...what has Flacco shown you that makes him a better NFL prospect?

BGJ:

what have the Sixers done since Larry left. he deserved a free pass.

DJ:

Imagine how high our draft pick would be if we didn't have Westbrook!

BGJ:

Matt must be a cowboys fan.

Bob:

DJ - I hate to say it, because I love Westbrook as much as the next guy, but his fumble is the #1 reason we lost that game on Sunday.

Ashley Fox:

It was a costly fumble, no doubt. Westbrook never fumbles.

DJ:

Bob, it's part of the reason we lost, but don't lose sight of the fact that he's gone over a yr. without coughing it up!

Bob:

Agreed. He only puts the ball on the ground at home against the Giants.

Ashley Fox:

All right, folks. Thanks for the lively discussion. It was enjoyable. I'm out. I'll be in Dallas this weekend. We'll see what happens. See you guys next week.