02.28.21

jeremiah and jerome

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:55 pm by Administrator

in my latest eagles mocks, i’ve maintained my position that the eagles must trade down for extra draft capital, and for their projected mid-1st round pick i’ve leaned toward mocking a defensive end. it’s the right call in theory, but when i step back and think about it more, it just doesn’t feel right. if the eagles trade back into the 12-20 range, there really are only two guys they should be thinking about, and those guys are cornerback jaycee horn and linebacker jeremiah owusu-koramoah. the defensive ends in this class are not worth the risk.

of the five top 4-3 defensive ends in this class—greg rousseau, kwity paye, jaelan phillips, jayson oweh, and joe tryon—i feel that the one who is most likely to develop into a high-level starter at the nfl level is phillips. jaelan phillips is the most naturally talented guy in the group, and his game tape shows the requisite elements for success on the edge. he’s got the technique, speed, and menacing physicality to dominate his 1:1 matchups in the big leagues. but he’s a real risk, and as inspiring as his miami comeback story is, teams really do have to think about what jp will do if he gets concussed or suffers a major injury setback again. it’s the conventional “is he all about football and nothing else?” question again, but the fact is that phillips has a life outside of the game and will fall back on it if his brain is at risk. that’s to his credit; but he’s not a guy i would make a bet on in the first round.

the other guys on the list have their strengths but also plenty of serious question marks. rousseau looked effortless in his ability to reposition the offensive tackles that faced off against him; his long arms and fluid moves meant he was usually past the outside shoulder of the right tackle on his first move. but i’m not sure his single season of dominance against inferior competition is sufficiently reassuring about his prospects in the nfl, where he’ll need more than a quick get-off and a long wingspan to be relevant. kwity paye looks like the safest all-around edge player in this draft class, but frankly he doesn’t project to be an elite pass rusher in the pro leagues; he’s a patient, relentless, mentally solid player who won with persistence rather than with a dominant bend or bull rush. kwity paye strikes me as a guy who will struggle the way brandon graham did early in his career; and i’m not sure the eagles should spend a 1st round pick on a guy who can’t and won’t dominate coming out of the gates.

in my opinion, this class just doesn’t have the dominant pass rusher that warrants a top-16 pick, and as much as i want to push the contrarian option for the eagles, it’s not the right way for them to go. if joe tryon is available in the early-mid 2nd round, i believe there’s some value to be had there. but in the first round, wherever they land, i think the eagles have to focus on corner or linebacker. my preference as i’ve made repeatedly clear is jeremiah owusu-koramoah, the WILL/strong safety/slot corner hybrid who can be an impact player in the box wherever he is schemed. for a variety of reasons, i have j-ok ranked not only as a top-10 player in this class but also as the single most impactful defender that the eagles could take in this draft class. just think of it this way: if j-ok had been given all of nate gerry’s snaps this past year, we would have won 2-3 more games this past season based on coverage issues alone.

fed chairman jerome powell’s comments this past week and their impact on the markets struck me as highly disturbing. the rapidly accelerating treasury yields at 10 years and longer without a doubt represent a serious shift in the fundamentals facing securities, and powell’s continuing sideways talk about inflation is deliberately misleading. the fact is that the yields are rising not simply because of economic recovery but largely because of the deliberate and exorbitant expansion of the broad money supply. lots of people have forecast it for months now—that rising bond yields will absolutely signal the end of the party, because inflation is the one element that can break the back of the MMT thesis. it is unbelievable that jerome powell can poo-poo the fact of inflation when all of the economic data clearly states that inflation is already upon us.

it’s obvious why jerome powell is patently lying to the american people. the central banks must actively encourage inflation in order to handle the unprecedented rise in sovereign debt without defaulting on their obligations to bond purchasers. powell and the central bankers would like as much inflation as the public can handle without outright civil unrest so that the calculated devaluation of US currency can continue as planned, to the incredible detriment of the american middle class whose retirements absolutely depend on the value of their savings and cash assets. when this thin and deceptive narrative of controlled reflation is blown up and spiraling costs of living precipitate a major financial collapse, the central bank demagogues will have to account for their deceptions, and they will not escape the ire of the american public. the Fed will be discredited for years; and thus the inevitable currency reset will begin in earnest.

but first, in a vain attempt to save the american financial system, the Fed will install formal yield curve control, and that is when we will see gold spiral to $2500 an ounce.

02.24.21

what is mindfulness? what is belief?

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:46 pm by Administrator

lately, i’ve been thinking more about the nature of belief. specifically, i’ve been thinking about my own belief in God, which hasn’t changed much even in the midst of much personal change in my sense of identity. here is the interesting thing: i have become more aware of my personhood as someone who exists apart from belief; but the belief that i grew up with which once defined my identity is still very much a part of my social self, my ego. i would even go as far as to say that the conceptual framework of that belief has not really changed much in the three years since i have stopped actively identifying with it. it’s as if i placed that belief in a time capsule, and it is still there, dormant and intact, ready to be accessed again.

this morning, a thought passed through my mind: if your child’s life hung in the balance and there was nothing you could do about it, wouldn’t you pray? i thought about that and could not answer it, because i am not in that situation, and i cannot imagine what i would be in that situation. but i conceded, yes it is quite possible that i would pray. and then the inevitable next question followed: if you will pray, then do you not still believe? and that is what triggered the reflection at the start of this entry. yes, it is naive of me to think that belief in the christian religion has simply exited my life, now that i no longer actively identify with it. even now, i hold that belief with me, and i recognize that it is still a part of me and always will be. how can i deny that i once walked with God and heard his voice? i could look back and call it all a fabrication of my ego, but the fact is that i cannot say that this is true. i can only say that the person i was had moments of connection with something that seemed divine. in their own way, these were moments of intense presence.

if you asked me to explain to you who God was to me (or is), i would say this: he is the one who walked with me to the edge of mindfulness. in the wee hours of morning when it was still dark, i felt him push me into that space of self, lovingly but without words. and when i looked back to find him, he was solid but wrapped up in that darkness, like the night receding from the creep of day. i knew in that moment that he would not follow me; it would never be the same. when i left him, a part of me was afraid, but a part of me understood that this part of my journey had to come to an end.

what is belief? it is the idea that i use to explain the thing that i have experienced but cannot understand. for years of my life, i had a longing for an identity of worth and significance. i was afraid of death and what lay beyond. belief was the structure i imposed on these sensations, like a blanket that i threw upon the pond so that i could not see in the water a reflection of the limitless sky. i cannot and will not suppress that belief, any more than i can deny how i feel in my tiny rowboat, exposed as i am to the ocean and to the vastness of the universe beyond.

to an extent, belief prevented me from seeing things as they ought to be seen, and perhaps that is not the fault of the belief but the limitation of the ego that attempted to apply that belief in order to gain power. nevertheless, the belief is still with me, and it will always be a part of me. even now, i think that the believer lives in me, and in my moments of crisis or great misgiving, he will share that belief with me again. i think that when that day comes, i will hold him and i will hold myself, and i will not condescend to him, even as i see his suffering and mine. i have this opinion—that it is not reasonable to expect a human being in the face of so much mystery not to hold to a belief of some kind. even as short as this life is, human beings must find a path through it, because consciousness makes a journey of the moment. it is the fact of what we are. to live all of life without any kind of plan or purpose may seem like mindfulness to some, but for most this is a conscious subversion of our essential design. one could say that the universe unfolded itself in us because there is an aspect of the universe that desires to identify with itself, as one making sense of oneself. in other words, we in our propensity for belief have a role to play for the cosmos.

between purpose and presence, i aspire to hold all things but ultimately can only hold this—my fear, my feelings, my wish to not die. i accept with love those things within me that seek to mitigate that suffering. whether in meditation, in faith, or in thinking, we’ll work together to find courage in the face of death, and if a story is necessary, we’ll borrow from the great stories of our time in order to write our own

02.20.21

Eagles draft projections, post-wentz trade

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:31 pm by Administrator

i’ll present my next iteration of the 3-round mock draft for all teams, now that wentz has been traded to indianapolis.

before we reassess the eagles’ draft needs, we should take stock of the current state at our main positions of concern.

Linebacker: for jonathan gammon, this linebacking crew has to be a priority. his base cover-2 package is going to require more versatility from the linebackers, who won’t simply be 1-gap run defenders anymore. fortunately for the eagles, they may have found a gem in alex singleton. if genard avery works out well on the inside and davion taylor makes an impact in year two, then it’s possible the eagles will not need a rookie to step in this year. singleton, avery, taylor, bradley, and edwards still look like a below-average group, but after the announcement about avery’s position change, i’m finding it less and less likely that the eagles will spend a pick in the top 3 rounds on a linebacker this year. for what it’s worth, i’m excited to see what avery can do as a pass-rushing defender at the second level.

Cornerback: our second worst positional unit on the field now rises to being our top priority in this draft. darius slay is too expensive to keep on a roster that clearly will not be competing in the playoffs next season. whether we keep slay for another year or not, the eagles have no youth or depth at outside corner and need to invest heavily at the position in this draft. like i wrote earlier, the single biggest question the eagles have to ask themselves before this draft is whether it makes sense to be all-in on patrick surtain or caleb farley this year. when i weigh their potential against the benefits of trading down for more picks, i lean toward trading down—but if the eagles choose to stay at 6, it should be for one reason only: to get patrick surtain.

Safety: despite their above-average pff ratings in 2020, jalen mills and marcus epps are not compelling safeties on this defense, and jonathan gammon will not be content to go into the 2021 season with these two guys, a plus/minus prospect in k’von wallace, and a rehabilitating rodney mcleod who probably does not have another rebound left in him. the 2021 draft class is not an overly impressive defensive group, but i am increasingly convinced that the eagles must come out of the first three rounds of this draft with a safety that they believe in.

Wide receiver: it’s depressing to contemplate what the eagles have ended up with at wide receiver despite investing into the position heavily over the last two years. they still do not have a single receiver on the roster that profiles as a dependable split end. that being said, sirianni and steichen will have to do their due diligence on the multiple mediocre guys that they’ve got to work with right now. i think what they will find is that they require from this draft a receiver with height and good hands who can fight through press and win the jump ball. jjaw despite his measurables does not fit the bill, and travis fulgham despite his 2020 highlights can’t simply be hailed as alshon jeffery’s heir apparent. while it would be nice to come away from this draft with a guy like devonta smith, tylan wallace or terrace marshall in the second round might be vastly better value for this squad.

defensive end: with just one more year from brandon graham, the eagles are facing a low-key crisis at the defensive end position. josh sweat looks like the kind of guy you have to trade after a good game, and derek barnett looks like a guy who will never evolve into a dominant finisher. we are OK at defensive end in 2021 but decidedly in bad shape at this key position starting in 2022. as you’ll see in the mock below, i think that the importance of the position, the aptitude of our GM, and the availability of edge player talent all converge at our first round pick this year. it’s not the eagles’ single most important positional need; but it probably is the position we must draft first in the 2021 draft.

offensive line: even if kelce retires, the eagles have options, in seumalo, herbig, or even ross pierschbacher. unless they chase a guy like creed humphrey this year (who will likely be taken in the 1st round by pittsburgh), the eagles will not be able to find a center that is clearly better than these 3 guys. while our o-line is aging and unreliable as of late, there is no pressing need to run after an interior lineman in this particular draft.

quarterback: it would be ludicrous for us to take a quarterback early in this draft or to trade up for one in the 1st. i resent anyone who would even imply that this is a reasonable move for the eagles. the fact is that roseman went all-in on jalen hurts when he drafted him at pick 53 next year, and he has no incentive to block this young man’s path to success in any way at all. jalen hurts is our starter in 2021 without question, and aside from a 6th round flyer on a backup, i do not see the eagles investing draft capital into a quarterback this year.

tight end, running back, interior d-line, special teams, kicker: though i recently mocked a tight end (brevin jordan) to the eagles, i think it’s unlikely that this will be a priority for the eagles in this draft, given all their much stronger and imminent priorities. i’m sure the eagles will take a running back and an interior d-lineman in this draft, but they’ll save those for the last day of the draft, and most likely they will try to bring hassan ridgeway back as well.

to recap the positional analysis and its ramifications for the draft, the eagles probably have to consider a defensive end as early as round one; they need to find a prototypical X receiver high in this draft; and they need to invest heavily in defensive backs, including at least one safety. with all this in mind, i offer the following 3-round mock which maximizes value for the team and builds the roster the right way. key assumptions include san francisco’s interest in moving on from jimmy g’s onerous contract and building around a talented young quarterback (trey lance). i have chicago trading their 3rd round pick this year to get sam darnold.

Round One

1. Jax: Trevor Lawrence
2. NYJ: Zach Wilson
3. Miami: Ja’Marr Chase
4. Carolina from Atl for 8/39/2022 1st rounder: Justin Fields
5. Cincinnati: Penei Sewell
6. SF from Phi for 12/43/114: Trey Lance
7. Detroit: Jaylen Waddle
8. Atl from Carolina: Patrick Surtain
9. Denver: Caleb Farley
10. Dallas: Jaycee Horn
11. NYG: Greg Rousseau
12. Phi from SF: Kwity Paye ***
13. LAC: Rashawn Slater
14. Min: Micah Parsons
15. NE: Devonta Smith
16. Ari: Kyle Pitts
17. LV: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
18. Mia: Christian Darrisaw
19. WFT: Mac Jones
20. Chi: Rashod Bateman
21. Indy: Jalen Mayfield
22. Ten: Azeez Ojulari
23. NYJ: Christian Barmore
24. Pitt: Creed Humphrey
25. Jax: Kadarius Toney
26. Cle: Zaven Collins
27. Bal: Rondale Moore
28. NO: Kyle Trask
29. GB: Asante Samuel, Jr.
30. Buf: Alijah Vera-Tucker
31. KC: Daivyon Nixon
32. TB: Jaelan Phillips

Round Two

33. Jax: Pat Freiermuth
34. NYJ: Jayson Oweh
35. Atl: Patrick Jones II
36. Mia: Wyatt Davis
37. Phi: Terrace Marshall, Jr. ***
38. Cin: Amon-Ra St. Brown
39. Atl from Carolina: Levi Onwuzurike
40. Denver: Joseph Ossai
41. Detroit: Tyson Campbell
42. NYG: Tylan Wallace
43. Phi from SF: Eric Stokes ***
44. Dallas: Trevon Moehrig
45. Jax: Nick Bolton
46. SF from NE (Garoppolo trade; SF also sends a 2022 4th): Paulson Adebo
47. LAC: Brevin Jordan
48. LV: Jevon Holland
49. Ari: Greg Newsome II
50. Mia: Najee Harris
51. WFT: Tamorrion Terry
52. Chi: Marvin Wilson
53. Ten: Aaron Robinson
54. Indy: Jay Tufele
55. Pitt: Samuel Cosmi
56. Seattle: Dillon Radunz
57. LAR: Ronnie Perkins
58. Bal: Boogie Basham Jr.
59. Cle: Trey Smith
60. NO: Shaun Wade
61. GB: Alex Leatherwood
62. Buf: Baron Browning
63. KC: Jackson Carman
64. TB: Jabril Cox

Round Three

65. Jax: Chazz Surratt
66. NYJ: Paris Ford
67. Hou: Joe Tryon
68. Atl: Andre Cisco
69. Cin: Hamilcar Rashed
70. Phi: Ifeatu Melifonwu ***
71. Den: Hamsah Nasirildeen
72. Det: Seth Williams
73. Car: Rasheed Walker
74. WFT: Dylan Moses
75. Dal: Jalen Twyman
76. NYG: Elijah Moore
77. LAC: Sage Surratt
78. Min: Travis Etienne
79. Ari: Teven Jenkins
80. LV: Elijah Molden
81. Mia: Tommy Togiai
82. WFT: Israel Mukuamu
83. NYJ from Chi: Javonte Williams
84. Phi From Indy: Richie Grant ***
85. Ten: Deonte Brown
86. NYJ: Hunter Long
87. Pitt: Jamie Newman
88. Detroit from LAR: Liam Eichenberg
89. Cle: Caden Sterns
90. Min: Rodarius Williams
91. Cle: Quincy Roche
92. GB: Tyler Shelvin
93. Buf: Dazz Newsome
94. KC: Rashad Weaver
95. TB: Chris Rumph

with their 1st round pick, the eagles take kwity paye, who will make it possible for us to move on from both brandon graham and josh sweat in 2022. really, i cannot imagine howie roseman drafting any other position at pick 12 in this draft, given the roster situation the eagles are in. the defensive line is the core of philadelphia’s DNA, and waiting til round 2 or 3 to get a developmental prospect just isn’t how the eagles do business.

in the 2nd round, the eagles take terrace marshall at receiver, but they could easily take tylan wallace or amon-ra st. brown as well. we don’t need another small speedster this year; we need a true possession receiver for jalen hurts to lean on.

in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, we spent three picks on defensive backs. eric stokes would get the inside track on a starting role at outside corner in year one, while gammon would develop melifonwu with the goal of installing him as the other outside corner in year two. both guys have size and speed, though stokes is clearly the more skilled corner right now. i am increasingly liking the idea of getting a safety with our extra pick in round three. richie grant is a baller, but there are other reasonable prospects there, including caden sterns (elite athleticism and high up-side) as well as ar’darius washington, bubba bolden, and richard lecounte.

in the trade-down scenario with SF, we get their 4th round pick, and as i expect another 4th rounder from a zach ertz deal, i expect that we’ll roll into day three with plenty of draft ammunition. round 4 is where we can look for value picks at running back, interior defensive line, and maybe center. per this mock, landon dickerson, josh myers, and quinn meinerz are all still on the board going into day 3, and any of them would be reasonable depth picks in the event of a kelce trade or retirement.

02.19.21

when you leave

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:24 pm by Administrator

we always knew that this would be about imagination,
yours in particular. after all, what is living
but a constant mental maneuvering through all the ideas
that make society what it is?

we imagine someone at home waiting for us,
we imagine a version of ourselves awakening tomorrow,
and we imagine that amidst all the movement and furious change
there will be a small place undisturbed by the wind, forgotten

and that’s home. and in this home
the movement and the change is what you bring:
an idea of what you need, an idea of what you cannot stand,
an idea of what is fresh, or pure, or beautiful.

my work was to see what you imagined
and to frame it, much like the wood around the picture.
i was not ornate, but i could hold any number of things
such as a mood, or a place (my place).

my work, i realize, required no imagination.
it was simply to see the signs—
whether in your words, or in movements of your hands,
or in sudden flashes of violence or shame.

all of this was in your mind, but it did not change
the question really. it was not a matter of if
but when you would leave. this too wasn’t imagining
but a holding, like the frame around this masterpiece,

a moment pressed into paper,
a moment stretching as long as it needs to
and perhaps longer, and i, trying not to complain,
trying only to hold it in the light, as i was meant to.

hallelujah

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:59 am by Administrator

even in the aftermath of the wentz trade, howie roseman is still being sharply criticized by the philadelphia media. it’s unfair and without justification, as roseman has been and continues to be a consistently above-average (if not top-tier) NFL GM. i’ll explain.

let’s start the discussion on roseman by acknowledging the negatives. he botched the 2019 NFL draft; it will go down in history as one of the worst eagles drafts of all time. he also hurt the eagles with his restructuring of alshon jeffery’s contract in august 2019, a move that was unnecessary and cost the eagles dearly. roseman, at lurie’s behest, undermined doug pederson by canning his assistant coaches year after year for the last three seasons. and lastly, roseman traded a valuable 3rd round pick in 2018 to get golden tate, which was a disaster and an opportunity cost for the organization.

nevertheless, roseman’s achievements vastly exceed his mistakes, and i’ll only cite the most salient ones. he built a championship roster in 2017 with a series of shrewd free agent acquisitions that look more and more spectacularly brilliant in hindsight. he’s had more than his fair share of excellent, foundational draft picks, including brandon graham and fletcher cox on the defensive line as well as lane johnson, jason kelce, and zach ertz on the offensive side of the ball. while roseman had a bad draft in 2019, he had an excellent draft in 2018 and a draft in 2020 that will be celebrated in philadelphia for years—because it featured the 2nd round draft choice of jalen hurts. the insight and the guts to take jalen hurts last year are what sets howie roseman apart from any other GM in the league. it was a brilliant and courageous move, and it’s the move that now makes it possible for us to separate from carson wentz with very little regret.

the deal with indianapolis was a beautiful deal for us. i’m not going to say we got away with highway robbery, because wentz will probably be a good quarterback for indianapolis. but it was a good deal that howie swung in the face of adverse, pressured circumstances, and he did well to manipulate his sources and league peers to help get that deal across the finish line. should the conditional 2022 pick prove to be a 1st rounder, it will be the ideal situation for the eagles: an extra 1st rounder in a 2022 draft that promises to be superior to the lackluster class we are looking at in 2021.

let’s remember here: howie roseman wasn’t responsible for the shitty coaching and uninspired play that transpired on the field in the 2020 season. every august for the past three years, philadelphia’s fans earnestly believed that the eagles would be a playoff team, and that’s because roseman kept his foot on the gas pedal and supplied the team with the kind of talent needed to make us competitive. there were two guys who were principally to blame for the eagles’ lack of discipline, accountability, chemistry, and leadership on and off the field, and i’m elated that both doug pederson and carson wentz are gone now.

howie roseman is clearly one of the five best GM’s in this league, and of course he proved that yet again today, grabbing a good deal for the eagles at a pivotal point in our team’s journey. he’s got tough work cut out for him over the next month, as plenty of core guys will have to get cut or restructured in order to get the team under the cap. i wouldn’t trust anyone else to do it better. he’s not without his flaws obviously; roseman has a horrendous track record with drafting defensive backs, and he’s going to need a lot of help this year. that being said, i am confident in his ability to learn from his mistakes. it’s not about “can he run?” this year. it’s about “goddamit is he or is he not the best player available?

i am excited as hell about jalen hurts. our young, fresh coaching group couldn’t have asked for a better young man to develop this team around. obviously jalen is a natural leader and an extraordinary human being. beyond this, he’s got better arm strength than most anyone gives him credit for, and he’s going to prove his accuracy downfield given the opportunity. he proved in 2020 that his instincts, his athleticism, and his poise are already above-average at the NFL level. this is a guy that i believe in, and i’m already on record last spring saying that this is the guy for the eagles for years to come. need i repeat what i said last year, on April 25, 2020?

i like hurts not just as an asset but as an eagles guy. he’s resilient, he’s a leader, he’s a winner, and he’s amazing on the field. knock his long-ball accuracy and his indecision in the pocket all you want; but in an RPO offense featuring a strong o-line and great tight ends, jalen hurts will be flat-out deadly. let’s showcase wentz en route to another 1st round wild-card playoff loss next year and then sell his ass. mark my words: when the jalen hurts era begins, we’ll all instantly remember what the eagles looked like when michael vick was at his very best. the days of middling offense and 62% pass completion rates will be behind us when we let jalen loose.

jalen hurts is going to make us forget carson wentz real fast. he’s also going to prove howie roseman’s worth to the organization, as if it needed to be proven yet again. like i said last year, roseman’s going to get the last laugh when it comes to pick 53 of the 2020 nfl draft. you wait and see.

we’ve got a 1st, a 2nd, and two 3rd’s in this year’s draft. we will trade down from pick 6 to get a 1st in 2022 and at least a 2nd in 2021 because there’s no other logical way to play this rare opportunity at a top-10 pick. in my last entry on the draft, i contemplated burning a 1st rounder on a defensive end, but as we will likely enter this draft with only a single 1st rounder, i think there’s almost no doubt in anyone’s minds that that pick will be a receiver. to revisit what i’m hoping for from this draft, i’ll talk about the picks again:

1) pick 12-20 (as a result of trading down): wide receiver

kadarius toney or rashod bateman. read my entry from 2.12 for the rationale.

2) pick 37: linebacker

owusu-koramoah, nick bolton, or dylan moses.

3) pick 43-52 (from trade down): cornerback

newsome, campbell, stokes, molden, or wade. none are compelling starters in year one, but it’s worth a shot anyways.

4) pick 70: defensive end

rashed, perkins, or odeyingbo? this year’s defensive ends aren’t great on paper, but that’s why we’re loading up on 2022 draft picks, right?

5) pick 84: interior o-line/center

dickerson or myers.

02.17.21

death’s end, enlightenment, and the origin of sadness

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:26 pm by Administrator

i’ve been re-reading cixin liu’s death’s end, always a captivating read. reading it with the ending in mind has certainly been a different kind of experience for me. in particular, i find myself genuinely baffled by the character of cheng xin. on this read, she strikes me as a female protagonist written by a male author—an archetype that shows up rather thin under scrutiny. i find her frustrating; after all, her ingenuousness and compassion cost the human race its survival. what an odd statement to make, that soft-hearted feminine cheng is the essential human—incapable of overcoming personal feelings, ill-suited to a universe of cutthroat rivalries. the strong silent males are the seeming heroes of this story, but they are cast aside, too unloved and misunderstood by the rest of humanity to be given the power and authority that are their due. in the end, i’m not sure what sort of statement cixin liu is trying to make, but it is fascinating in its ambiguity. does he mean to suggest that humanity is indeed an intrinsically tragic idea—too enterprising and violent to not be a threat to the universe, but too altruistic to save itself in the face of an existential threat?

i’ve been avoiding coffee and spending more time listening to jack kornfield and mooji, both of whom have given me much comfort at this time in my life. as a result, i’m sleeping better and finding more solace in the solitary moments. i wonder though: if i were to retreat from the world, as many of their followers do, what would become of me? would i find greater happiness, or would i become less real? or both? there is a part of me that scorns those who retreat into monasticism, because that is a luxury that the majority of humanity cannot enjoy. and if retreat is not something accessible or possible for just any human, how can it possibly hold what is deeply true for us all? there is a part of me that demands the truth that one can only discover in battle, whether in a struggle against others or in a struggle against the earth itself. this is our natural state, very much like cixin liu’s dark forest: a world in which humanity for the majority of its existence has fought against animals, bacteria, and the elements in order to survive. even now, the truth that saves us must somehow reside in the real world—the world of struggle, of competition, of clamoring for warmth and sustenance.

so i crave escape but what i experience is integration. the older i grow, the more connected i am to the violence and warfare that was my karma, our karma.

when i am sad, i recognize that this is not simply the color of emptiness. emptiness carries no feeling. no, when sadness comes, it comes from identity, and identity comes from attachment, belief, and past life experience. when i hold my sadness, i recognize that i am not holding an essence; i am holding the result of something that came before me, something that has bled into what i am. sadness in itself is not bad, but it is not necessary or good either. i consider that with much gravity, because for most of my life i believed that sadness was basic to living, like the way we are inescapably cold when our clothes are removed from us. but now i know that it is not primarily coldness that i feel when i am naked; it is the truth of being laid bare. sadness too is not the basic experience of being human. it is not the inevitable result of our history of tragedies, warfare, and cyclical death. sadness is part of an explanation we give to life. but it is insufficient, like all ideas of how the world should be

02.12.21

Eagles: Draft Strategy

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:49 pm by Administrator

i’ve been thinking and rethinking the options that the eagles have for this 2021 draft. conservatively we should expect that in the top 3 rounds, the eagles will have a 1st rounder (pick 6), two 2nd rounders (37 and 54) courtesy of a low-ball trade with indianapolis, and a 3rd rounder (70). but i’m willing to bet that when the dust settles, that extra 2nd rounder will turn into pick 20 or 21, as either the bears or the colts will end up committing at least a 2021 1st round pick to grab wentz. roseman is playing it right, and some time in the next week or two either pace or ballard will cave. it’s all too important to get the QB position squared away early in the off-season, and time (up to a point) is really on philadelphia’s side.

our overall draft strategy for this year, as important as this draft is to our rebuild, really hinges on one question: just how good is the top tier of this year’s cornerback class? specifically, do the eagles believe that patrick surtain, caleb farley, or jaycee horn are generational talents that will definitely excel as starters on the outside?

this is the main question the eagles have to answer for several reasons. first, outside corner is the biggest gap in the eagles’ roster. while they could address it with a cost-controlled veteran, they still need a long-term high-quality solution given the lack of depth at the position and the limited future they are likely to have with the extremely expensive and steadily aging darius slay. second, there are only three credible cornerback prospects with elite potential in this draft class, and the drop-off after jaycee horn is steep. the second tier of prospects, which includes tyson campbell, greg newsome, shaun wade, asante samuel, and eric stokes, all have flaws that show up on game tape and suggest that their potential at the NFL level depends on further development. third, if the eagles are committed to getting an elite cornerback this year, they really have no choice but to sit tight at 6 or trade down only within the top 10 picks, as they are likely to miss out on the three best prospects if they trade down past 12th. atlanta, denver, dallas, new york, and san francisco are all going to strongly consider taking a CB early.

if the eagles are ultra-focused on wide receiver as their primary priority, then they do not face the same risks in trading down, because unlike the defensive back group, the wide receiver group is strong down to the 10th man and features a variety of game-breakers with scheme-specific advantages. the eagles could comfortably trade down from 6th to 19th and still get a year-one contributor in kadarius toney or rashod bateman. but if they’re committed to fixing their gaps at cornerback with a draft pick, they may have limited ability to trade down this year.

in my opinion, this is truly the year when the eagles can and should trade down for extra picks this year and next. i like surtain, farley, and horn, but i’d be willing to punt a definitive solution at outside corner until next year’s draft and work with slay, maddox, and a veteran free agent to tide us over into next year. collecting at minimum an extra 2nd this year and an extra 1st rounder in 2022 (a better draft class) is the best long-term thinking.

based on value and tiering, this is what i think the eagles need to do in 2021, by pick:

pick 6: trade down with san francisco, new england, washington, or chicago, to get (at minimum) a 2021 2nd rounder, a 2022 1st rounder, and a 2022 mid-round pick. leveraging this rare high pick into four foundational draft picks is how we effect the rebuild; it has to be a major consideration. the trade down i’m projecting will net us an extra 2nd round pick somewhere between 43 and 52 this year, bringing our tally in the top 3 rounds to 5 picks in total.

1) pick 12-20 (as a result of trading down): wide receiver

while i like jeremiah owusu-koramoah enough to take him in the teens, i don’t believe that’s a realistic consideration for an eagles organization that is strongly committed to correcting this offense in year one of nick sirianni’s regime. fulgham, reagor, and ward each have notable strengths, but none of them are complete receivers that can be expected to catch 8-12 balls per game. like i mentioned above, i believe that there’s great value to be had in the teens of the first round by drafting either kadarius toney or rashod bateman here, either of whom could take on a high target share and move chains with their big-play ability.

2) pick 21 (from wentz trade): defensive end

defensive end is the 4th or 5th most pressing positional need, but it is probably the position that roseman & company will have to prioritize with their 2nd pick of the 1st round for two main reasons. first, there is a very small group of defensive ends in this class that have all the requisite traits to succeed at the NFL level, even if they are all raw. none of these guys will make it past round one. second, the eagles probably need to get a credible pass rusher this year in order to have some leverage as they approach key roster decisions next year revolving around their three core defensive ends—graham, barnett, and sweat.

if the eagles do get pick 20 or 21 in the 1st round this year, they’ll need to look closely at five guys: jaelan phillips, joseph ossai, azeez ojulari, jayson oweh, and patrick jones. they’re all on the smaller side relative to what the eagles have historically looked for in a 5-technique defensive end, but this is a new coaching group and they may be more than willing to use smaller guys with greater athleticism in new-look packages. this means speedsters that might have been passed off as outside linebackers (i.e. ojulari and ossai) might get a serious look here. as ossai and ojulari really are the best overall prospects in this group, i’d favor taking one of them and adapting the scheme to fit their strengths.

3) pick 37: linebacker

whether it’s owusu-koramoah, nick bolton, or dylan moses, there will be a quality linebacker available at pick 37. the eagles may believe that a core group of singleton, edwards, and taylor may be functional, but the fact remains that this is a sub-par linebacking group at the NFL level. i’ve internally debated whether the eagles can get away with ignoring linebacker in the first 3 rounds of this draft and patching holes with cheap veterans, and i’ve come to this simple conclusion: it can’t be done. no defensive coach can be asked to produce above-average results with a linebacking crew this bad.

4) pick 43-52 (part of the trade-down package): tight end

our picture at tight end is very fuzzy after dallas goedert; and even though it’s clear that dallas’s potential is very high, he’s not by any means a shoe-in for an expensive long-term extension if he fails to show up next season. i think that getting pat freiermuth, hunter long or brevin jordan in the mid-2nd round is a key strategic decision for the organization and one that will give the offense an extra dimension for jalen hurts.

5) pick 70: cornerback

by trading down from pick 6, the eagles will essentially be admitting that they won’t commit to their cornerback of the future in this draft. that’s ok; it’s not a spectacular class, and there will be future opportunities to draft quality defensive backs. greg newsome, israel mukuamu, kary vincent, or rodarius williams are worth a look here. we almost have to take a defensive back with this pick, but we shouldn’t expect the guy to step in and contribute right away. up-side and athleticism should be prioritized over college production with this pick.

02.07.21

eagles: last thoughts about wentz, another mock draft

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:04 pm by Administrator

the current rumor has wentz imminently going to the bears for pick 20, nick foles, and possibly a player. the eagles may be sending a mid-round pick in the deal as well. i’ll factor that into my mock below, but i still think that the colts will come in today with a stronger offer: pick 21 plus a 2022 2nd round pick. the colts are going to determine that they cannot miss this chance to get a guy with high-end traits and a history of elite play who could very well be their franchise QB for the next 5-7 years. the price of pick 21 plus a 2nd round pick would be the price they would have to pay to move up about 8-10 picks to get the likes of mac jones, who lacks wentz’s stature, athleticism, and NFL experience. it should be a no-brainer for chris ballard and frank reich to pay this price; but if they don’t, i think they’ll eventually regret it.

i’ve been campaigning to cut ties with carson wentz not because he can’t be an elite QB in the NFL but rather because he can’t be that with the eagles. the narrative i’m reading and hearing about carson is that his skills sharply regressed in 2020. didinger, mosher, kaplan, kist, solak, and the rest have contended that wentz was once a superior quarterback who slipped into mediocrity this past year due to poor coaching, poor coachability, and a lack of personal growth. i don’t buy that at all. i think that the tape shows that carson has been fairly consistent in his strengths, weaknesses, and skills since his rookie year. his technique has always been a mixed bag; he’s always been pigeon-toed, and his stance and delivery have always been inconsistent throw to throw. he’s never been elite in his short to medium passing game accuracy; he’s always preferred to process as the play develops and to find the open man downfield. carson has also remained consistent in his ability to throw with power and to place an accurate deep ball. he’s consistently been able to weather pressure and to extend plays with his feet. and he’s also been consistent in his work ethic, as evidenced by his improving ability to stay healthy, even with the volume of sacks that he continues to take. carson has always been and continues to be in a rare class of NFL quarterbacks: a guy who can at any phase of the game threaten defenses with the big play. in that regard, there are only a few quarterbacks—rodgers, mahomes, watson, and wilson—who match his capabilities. and carson has built that reputation with a relatively inferior group of wide receivers.

the reason that carson must leave philadelphia now is not some theoretical decline in his skills or confidence on the field. he needs to go because he’s not the right teammate for this group of guys and because he’s not the right leader for a brand-new coach to build around. carson and doug pederson never were a good pair, and that was evident as early as 2018, when it became apparent that the team would not be able to replicate the 2017 offense that took the league by storm. both men have to take responsibility for that failed relationship: pederson for his passive approach to mentoring carson, and wentz for his self-absorption and resistance to coaching. but wentz has to take a greater share of the responsibility for the utter failure of the 2020 season. the injuries and instabilities affecting the wide receiver and offensive line groups certainly put wentz on his back foot, but instead of adapting his game to these challenges, he chose to dig deeper into his basic DNA, descending into hero ball of the most tragic variety. when wentz most needed to change his game, he instead showed his most stubborn side, mistaking his courage for resilience. for his teammates, that’s consistently been their predominant experience of him: resolute, stubborn, impenetrable.

there are teams that can build around a quarterback like that. but the eagles are a team that has always functioned best with a quarterback that they could find a rhythm with: a guy who runs the plays without overthinking them, a guy who takes feedback as valuable information, a guy who’s predictable to his own receivers and half-backs. nick foles was that kind of guy. and jalen hurts has proven to be that kind of guy as well. carson wentz has many strengths, but he’s not that kind of guy; and when a team is running into dead ends or stiff challenges—like the 2020 eagles did—the innate ability to listen, learn, and adapt can be everything.

i think carson wentz will be a very good quarterback again in a system that he trusts, whether he finds it with frank reich and an emotionally intelligent colts organization, or whether he finds it in a conservative, under-center offense structured by bill lazor and john defilippo. but he won’t be good with the eagles after all the bridges he has burned, and in the end, i’m glad that we’re giving him (and us) a new beginning. this is the last entry i’m going to write about carson wentz. he gave us his best, and i wish him better times ahead.

10 months ago, after the 2020 draft, i predicted that we’d trade wentz to the colts and begin an exciting new era of jalen hurts football in the 2021 season. i still believe that good days of football are ahead for the eagles. i’m under no illusions that jalen hurts will be better than what wentz was in his best moments, but i think that he’ll be exciting to watch and i believe he’ll improve. at worst, he’ll be a relatively cheap and serviceable starter that we can ride for three years before we draft another cost-controlled signal caller to take his place. at best, i think he can be a better overall quarterback than lamar jackson. yes, i still think that greg roman should be our head coach, and yes, i think that we’ll soon have another opportunity to get him.

here’s my latest 3-round mock, which i’ve changed a bit based on updated player evals and the chicago trade scenario that gives us pick 20. as with the last mock, i’m predicting a trade down from pick 6. this time it’s with the 49ers for picks 12 and 43 as well as their 2nd round pick in 2022. in this scenario, ertz is traded for a 4th round pick, outside the scope of this mock; we use that 4th round pick to take landon dickerson or josh myers in order to keep isaac seumalo at left guard after jason kelce’s gone.

my favorite defender j-ok makes it to our 2nd round pick in this draft. based on a good hard look at what’s likely to go down in the 1st round, i do believe that this is strongly possible; and beyond this, i think it’s highly unlikely that the eagles will draft an inside linebacker in round one, no matter how hard fans like me might campaign for it. if it’s not j-ok in the 2nd, then it’ll be nick bolton. we cannot afford to leave linebacker for the middle rounds this year.

i am not sure how good of a fit kadarius toney will be for the eagles, but i’m sure brian johnson will advocate for him, and i know that sirianni will want a YAC guy who can turn short receptions in space into chunk gains. hurts is going to need a few playmakers like that to succeed, and toney and brevin jordan could rapidly accelerate his development in year two.

i’m finding it increasingly likely that the eagles will go for an edge defender in the 3rd round this year, and there are some intriguing options there. ronnie perkins, dayo odeyingbo, chris rumph, and quincy roche are all likely to go off the board in round 3 by my estimates. these guys don’t have elite potential by any means, but there is enough up-side to bet on.

Three-Round Mock NFL Draft V2.0

Round One

1. Jax: Trevor Lawrence
2. Houston gives Watson to NYJ for picks 2, 23, 2022 1st and 3rd: Zach Wilson
3. Miami: Devonta Smith
4. Atl: Justin Fields
5. Cincinatti: Penei Sewell
6. SF from Phi: Trey Lance
7. Detroit: Ja’Marr Chase
8. Carolina: Mac Jones
9. Denver: Patrick Surtain
10. Dallas: Caleb Farley
11. NYG: Micah Parsons
12. Phi from SF: Jaycee Horn ***
13. LAC: Rashawn Slater
14. Min: Greg Rousseau
15. NE: Jaylen Waddle
16. Ari: Kwity Paye
17. LV: Jaelan Phillips
18. Mia: Kyle Pitts
19. WFT: Kyle Trask
20. Phi from Chi: Kadarius Toney ***
21. Indy: Christian Darrisaw
22. Ten: Azeez Ojulari
23. Houston from NYJ: Christian Barmore
24. Pitt: Alijah Vera-Tucker
25. Jax: Rondale Moore
26. Cle: Zaven Collins
27. Bal: Rashod Bateman
28. NO: Terrace Marshall Jr.
29. TB: Jayson Oweh
30. Buf: Joseph Ossai
31. GB: Asante Samuel Jr.
32. Denver from KC: Daivyon Nixon

Round Two

33. Jax: Pat Freiermuth
34. NYJ: Marvin Wilson
35. Atl: Patrick Jones II
36. Mia: Wyatt Davis
37. Phi: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ***
38. Cin: Amon-Ra St. Brown
39. Carolina: Levi Onwuzurike
40. KC from Denver: Jalen Mayfield
41. Detroit: Creed Humphrey
42. NYG: Alex Leatherwood
43. Phi from SF: Brevin Jordan ***
44. Dallas: Trevon Moehrig
45. Jax: Greg Newsome II
46. NE: Samuel Cosmi
47. LAC: Tommy Togiai
48. LV: Jevon Holland
49. Ari: Dylan Moses
50. Mia: Najee Harris
51. WFT: Seth Williams
52. Chi: Nick Bolton
53. Ten: Tyson Campbell
54. Indy: Eric Stokes
55. Pitt: Jamie Newman
56. Seattle: Dillon Radunz
57. LAR: Jay Tufele
58. Bal: Tylan Wallace
59. Cle: Trey Smith
60. NO: Kellen Mond
61. TB: Jackson Carman
62. Buf: Boogie Basham Jr.
63. GB: Jabril Cox
64. KC: Shaun Wade

Round Three

65. Jax: Chazz Surratt
66. NYJ: Paris Ford
67. Hou: Elijah Molden
68. Atl: Andre Cisco
69. Cin: Hamilcar Rashed
70. Phi: Ronnie Perkins ***
71. Den: Hamsah Nasirildeen
72. Det: Joe Tryon
73. Car: Rasheed Walker
74. WFT: Hunter Long
75. Dal: Jalen Twyman
76. NYG: Elijah Moore
77. LAC: Sage Surratt
78. Min: Travis Etienne
79. Ari: Richie Grant
80. LV: Teven Jenkins
81. Mia: Israel Mukuamu
82. WFT: Kary Vincent, Jr.
83. Chi: Chris Rumph
84. Indy: Ar’Darius Wasington
85. Ten: Deonte Brown
86. NYJ: Cameron McGrone
87. Pitt: Javonte Williams
88. Detroit from LAR: Dayo Odeyingbo
89. Cle: Caden Sterns
90. Min: Rodarius Williams
91. Cle: Quincy Roche
92. TB: Dazz Newsome
93. Buf: Liam Eichenberg
94. GB: Tyler Shelvin
95. KC: Rashad Weaver

02.05.21

Eagles: bye bye carson wentz!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:47 pm by Administrator

i’m excited. carson wentz is almost surely on his way out of town if rapoport, mcmullen, and “unnamed sources” are not totally off base on what is happening behind the scenes. i’m elated. i pounded the table to trade wentz and keep foles back in february 2019, and i’ve considered carson wentz to be a fatally flawed quarterback since the early months of the 2019 season. he’s a walking, fumbling liability for this team for as long as we have to pay his ass, and the idea of cutting ties with him is so profoundly stimulating that i find it hard for me to keep my pants on.

first, let’s talk about who this deal is going to be with and what the price will be. this deal is undoubtedly happening with chris ballard and the colts. the price that the colts want is a single 2021 2nd round pick in exchange for wentz. the price that roseman wants is a 1st round pick plus a future mid-rounder. i believe that there will be two possible paths forward for the two teams. in scenario A, indianapolis agrees to take on more of wentz’s money as contracted salary, and wentz agrees to restructure his contract to shift deferred bonus to guaranteed salary. for the benefit of a lower dead cap hit, the eagles agree to trade wentz for the colts’ 2nd round pick in 2021 and their 3rd rounder in 2022. in scenario B, the colts trade their 1st round pick in 2021 for wentz’s contract as is, meaning that the eagles will take the full dead cap hit. i believe that the latter is the simplest and fastest way forward, as the colts will be keen on preserving their cap space as much as possible. my prediction is that a clean exchange of wentz for pick 21 will be the deal that gets done.

second, what are the implications of a wentz deal for pick 21? for the colts, the implications are straightforward: they get an above-average starting QB that can propel a win-now squad deep into the playoffs, as early as year one. for the eagles, the implications are far-ranging but more ambiguous. yes, they’ll get rid of a potential cancer and will enter training camp with a coachable starter at QB, which certainly makes for a simpler situation for nick sirianni. on the other hand, the eagles will now face the challenge of effecting a total rebuild of the roster, forced by the constraints of the salary cap, and hinging upon the effectiveness of their upcoming draft. dealing wentz will just be the first of a series of dominoes that have to fall, and when the pieces are all flat on the table, i believe that we’ll be advancing into the 2021 season with a squad that is unlikely to get into the playoffs but possibly poised to bring a new brand of more dynamic football to philadelphia.

what will that brand look like? disguise, blitzing, and a diversity of cover schemes on the defensive side. pre-snap movement, designed quarterback runs, and more horizontal/crossing concepts on offense to fit jalen hurts’ focused skill set. this may be an offense that settles for field goals more often than not in 2021, but hopefully we’ll be a defense that doesn’t force the offense to keep its foot on the pedal on every drive. i think that if the eagles in their first year with sirianni get to 0.500 with some promising development from jalen hurts, then we should all be happy with that outcome.

there are some very hard questions that the eagles will need to consider as they reshape the roster in this off-season. given that the cowboys and redskins are likely to lead the division in 2021, putting the eagles on the outside of the playoff bubble, what is the point in retaining expensive guys with plenty of mileage like zach ertz, fletcher cox, and even darius slay? why not trade these guys for whatever we can get in future draft comp and carry extra cap space into our critical off-season one year from now? next february there will be plenty of free agents coming off of post-covid one-year deals and looking for longer term contracts. we’ll want leverage in that market to get some guys in their prime who are good fits for whatever scheme sirianni develops for the eagles in his first year. i think it’s time to cut ties with ertz, slay, and even cox (as painful as that sounds) in order to pave the way for the rebuild that is now necessary. in this market, ertz and slay are each worth 3rd round picks, and fletcher cox is likely worth a 2nd. if we can’t get some of those picks until 2022, so much the better; 2022’s draft class should be significantly better than this year’s group, especially on the d-line where new youth and talent are imminently needed.

i’d like to see the eagles stop talking about getting younger and actually do it—move on from veterans while they still have some value, and gain premium draft picks to rebuild the roster. i’d also like to see the eagles stop thinking so creatively and out of the box about the draft; until they have a proven approach to talent evaluation that is consistently beating the rest of the field, they shouldn’t be significantly deviating from consensus best players available. like i mentioned previously, i don’t think roseman should be in the driver’s seat for this draft because the system he’s relying on is inescapably broken. it hurts to reflect on it now, but roseman has to own it: we shouldn’t have passed on dk metcalf and justin jefferson, given the quality of information that was out there on both guys.

once we trade wentz, we’ll have two 1st round picks this year. if we can come out of the ertz/cox/slay trades with at least one extra 3rd rounder this year, then we’ll have a decent cache for the draft in 2021: two 1sts, a 2nd, and two 3rds. add to that a trade down in the 1st with either san francisco or new england (i won’t stop banging that drum any time soon), we’ll have an extra 2nd round pick as well. six picks in the top 100 have to be committed very wisely. here are my latest thoughts on who we should go after with these picks:

pick 12 from san francisco: jaycee horn. the cornerback field is not nearly as deep as the wide receiver group this year, and while there isn’t much to differentiate the top 3 corners, there’s a significant drop-off between the top 3 and the rest of the field. i think joe horn’s son will prove to be the best cornerback in this class, so the eagles lose nothing trading down to 12 and addressing what i believe to be their single most pressing roster need: outside cornerback.

pick 21 from indianapolis: jeremiah owusu-koramoah. i’ve heaped about as much man love on j-ok as any non-notre damer possibly could. he is the best all-around defender in this draft class and would immediately impact an eagles’ defense that has become notorious for missing tackles, blowing coverage assignments, and lacking any physicality at the second and third levels. drafting j-ok is about getting back to philadelphia football—lock-down defense that brings the pain on every down.

pick 37: tylan wallace. all the talk and hype over ja’marr chase or devonta smith at pick 6 is a little maddening when the fact of the matter is that the wide receiver group appears to be solid down to the 10th guy. tylan wallace is the guy in this group that is being most slept on because of the acl injury and questions about his straight-line speed, but he’s got great hands, runs great routes, and plays with physicality at 6 feet and 190 pounds. we already have three speedsters on our roster; we need a guy who has the skills to consistently win on the outside. tylan will take the eagles places.

pick 43 from san francisco: brevin jordan. our fourth pick is a judgment call, now that the three main positional needs have been addressed. i’m going with the tight end from miami not simply because we have to replace ertz but mainly because he’s the guy with the highest upside of virtually any offensive skill player left after round one. jalen hurts will need his safety nets, and brevin jordan—boasting speed, wingspan, and major YAC ability—will be that guy for hurts for years to come.

pick 70: landon dickerson. this is not a sexy pick by any means, and it may be a bit of a reach for an interior o-lineman who doesn’t have elite athleticism. but the eagles do need to plan for kelce’s retirement, and 2020 proved that they have insufficient depth on the inside behind brooks and seumalo. herbig and opeta weren’t terrible by the metrics, but their ceiling is limited. dickerson definitely has the potential to be a high-quality starter at center, and we may need him as early as year one.

late third round, for ertz: zion tupuola-fetui. i know nothing about him except that he’s got a cool name. with our last of 6 picks, it makes sense for us to go with an edge prospect that has sleeper potential, and whether that’s ronnie perkins, quincy roche, rashad weaver, shaka toney, or tupuola-fetui, we’ve got to get someone worth developing behind sweat and barnett this year.

02.03.21

the moment

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:54 pm by Administrator

one can look back on the past like a landscape.
i do. i see where it began for me, like a rolling hill
covered in moss. i rolled down that hill into a bog
and then trekked across many paths, ultimately
taking me to a cliff—and to a ravine i had to cross.

those were the difficult years. i look back on them now,
as the one who clambered through the darkness and
up to what i can now see is a jagged peak
that affords a view that strikes me with ambivalence:
it is an impressive view, and yet it is plain

because it is my life. but back to the ravine.
i call it despair, though i didn’t know what it was then.
i remember feeling it as i passed through gates
and down a brick path, through the fog of a morning
that seemed to follow as i sat in the back of a lecture hall.

i spent countless hours in those years thinking
about a future that was just a projection of the present,
and how difficult did that appear. my fingers in the dirt,
i clawed at the mountainside, my skin stinging from the cuts
of brambles and the scraping of rock.

there was a moment though, when i found it—
a cave in the mountainside, a respite from misery.
it was a moment when i determined
that there was no height nor any valley,
and indeed there was no mountain at all.

there was only the cool earth under my body,
the dirt under my fingernails, the wind
touching upon my abrasions, reminding me
that i am alive. like the other creatures in the cave,
i was breathing, living, and alive.

in the cave, i learned about hidden moments,
life rescued from the idea of its future, life cut off
from the implications of its past. the hidden moments
are savage moments, moments of survival,
as empty as they are overflowing with feeling.

for all the times that i have spent praying to jesus,
it was the stolen moments, alone in a car,
quiet in my bed, absent of an ambition
or a dream, emptied of longing and only feeling
the rise and fall of my chest, a stillness,

that gave me comfort. i buried myself in moments,
i stole so many of them, like hot pearls in the sand
ignited by the touch of lightning, that my whole life
has become just this: moments stolen from the story
of my life, which has no story. it never did.

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