05.28.15

NBA draft 2015: Pick 3 for the 76ers

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:58 pm by Administrator

last year, i think that the only thing that made me madder than the Eagles’ draft was the Sixers’ draft last June. i was very hard on Sam Hinkie for taking Embiid at #3, and when he traded down from 10 to 12 to grab Saric, i distinctly got the sense that he didn’t have a plan so much as a paralyzing perfectionism manifested in perpetual procrastination (how’s that for alliteration??!!)

i’m not as pessimistic now as i was back then, mostly because time has elapsed and my wounds have mostly closed over. our tanked season has yielded us hope yet again, in the form of a 3rd selection in this NBA draft. though i am still convinced that Joel Embiid is destined for an injury-hampered and brief NBA career, i am hoping he can give us at least 15 good-looking performances this year—good enough that we can sell him off for a good price and move Nerlens Noel back to the position he deserves, right there in the middle. Saric is looking like he could be a serviceable power forward for us in about 1-2 seasons. even without Embiid, we might have a solid front court.

obviously, the focus of this year’s draft has to be at the point guard position. by my calculation, an all-star level point guard is drafted in the 1st round in one out of every two or three draft years. that’s pretty slim pickings for a league of thirty teams. while the odds are probably not significantly better for any other drafted position, it just goes to show that it’s not every year that a team with a high pick can find a point guard it can build around. in some years, the talent just isn’t there.

but this year, i think it is there. that generational, game-breaking star can be had in the draft, and he’ll be there at pick 3. and the question to me is whether Hinkie knows it too. because there’s just one point guard in this year’s draft that will prove to be not only an all-star but a franchise cornerstone, and it’s not D’Angelo Russell.

it’s Emmanuel Mudiay.

i’ve watched the same highlights that everyone else has, and i’ve read all the highly-cited articles on both players in the popular press. i’d say that about 80% of the scouts and basketball minds out there are leaning toward Russell. and i really do think that D’Angelo Russell is a very intriguing, very exciting player. fifteen years ago on the right team, Russell could have been a great point guard in the NBA. but this is a league that has big, strong, fast bullies at the point that enjoy spending thirty-five minutes a game breaking down the guy that’s trying to keep up with them. five years ago, Russell Westbrook was an oddity at the point, with his freakish athleticism and his predilection for taking his man off the dribble on every play. now, Westbrook is the prototype. a lanky, smooth 6′5″ guard like D’Angelo Russell, however precise he may be, is just going to struggle to contain physically aggressive, ultra-fast athletes that are now defining the point guard position.

Emmanuel Mudiay is a streaky shooter who is well-known for having air-balled a free throw in CBA action. he spent a lot of his time in China battling through poor conditioning, suboptimal shot mechanics, atrocious refereeing, and culture shock. nevertheless, this 19 year old kid who was getting his first taste of professional basketball played with poise and with surprising skill. he got himself a triple-double, posterized plenty of veteran players, and came out of the experience with no major red flags. most importantly to me, he proved that his versatility and athleticism are for real. that means that Mudiay’s growth potential in the pros is for real. with his basic skills and his body, he can drive an NBA offense consistently, and he won’t be a liability on the defensive end.

Mudiay is not a sure thing, but neither is he a gamble. both his upside and his downside are higher than those of D’Angelo Russell, who just might have shown us the best that he’s got at the college level. while Russell worked his butt off and peaked in time for this draft, Mudiay is just starting to hit his stride. in three years, he might very well be the most productive guard in the NBA. he’s one of those five point guards per decade that can break the game wide open, and i’m saying that he’s the one we’ve got to take at 3.

05.24.15

the criteria

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:28 pm by Administrator

last week, i was trained in the process of a performance excellence award that will go unnamed, and it was a fascinating experience for me. for four straight days, in fact, i found myself totally attentive and engaged, not only in the classroom but also in conversations with other participants. here is what i found most fascinating about the experience. though many of the seasoned examiners were middle-aged (or even elderly, to be frank), they were strikingly youthful in the way they presented themselves. at first, i thought that this was a matter of self-selection—that the award process attracts vigorous and energetic people. to some degree, i think that this is true. but i found myself considering another distinct possibility—that the examination process, with its rigorous criteria and its underlying philosophy, evokes youthfulness from its examiners.

though the award is about many things (i.e. continuous process improvement, world-class results, and accountability), it is, above all things, about the criteria. and the criteria cannot be reduced to a simple idea about excellence or achievement. the criteria, which span seven categories of performance and incorporate innumerable sub-criteria, truly defy reduction or simplification. each criterion is distinct in such a way that it cannot be submerged or dismissed; each criterion is indispensable. one is compelled to study each criterion, wrestle with its possible interpretations, and explore its infinite implications. the criteria are profoundly rich; and the examiner is called to respect the criteria, in all their complexity, in all their applications.

there is no question to me that it is the complexity (and mystery) of the criteria that make them so challenging and stimulating to adherents of the process. this is no cookie-cutter designation; it’s no straightforward checklist for success. each statement in the text of the criteria begs interpretation, even as it asserts an idea about excellence that is uncompromising and absolute. one could spend a lifetime trying to create a community that most perfectly exemplifies the criteria. and even then, the product of his imagination would fall short of the ideal.

you know where i’m going with this. to me, the criteria of the award capture something essential about the stipulations of the Bible. as the criteria can invoke something deeply spiritual in those who pursue the award, the scriptures can accomplish the very same in those who pursue the knowledge of God. but as with those who embrace the criteria, those who explore the Bible can only tap into its richness if they are able to approach it not as a cookbook but as a series of probing questions, all interrelated, all challenging, all absolutely necessary. i believe that those who best embrace the truth of the scriptures are not those who memorize its passages or dutifully mimic its proceedings; rather, it is they who feel the tug of its trajectories, even in the absence of any obvious destinations.

05.15.15

tsarnaev

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:45 pm by Administrator

this is the first time i can recall ever thinking to myself, “if this is the very last entry i ever write, then what shall i say?” randomly this thought crossed my mind as i anticipated my plane trip tomorrow, and so here i am, contemplating the death penalty for the Boston Marathon bomber while anticipating my own death as well.

i wrote an entry a few months ago about justice. it was an essay about how God needs to “make it right”. sentencing wrongdoers to a life of imprisonment or a capital punishment does not make it right. because still the aggrieved are left with their loss; and still the wrongdoer has little or no chance at genuine reconciliation with those he has injured. that’s our lot in this life. for much of the destruction we cause, we have no capacity to undo what we have done or to repair what we have broken. inevitably, we leave behind us a trail of destruction, by which we are known. we hope that we have done enough good that we might be better remembered for that, posthumously.

it is not enough for a wrongdoer to be punished. it never is. to make it right, the wrongdoer must undo what he has done. he must go back in time, restrain himself from the act that caused injury, and then take issue with the thing in himself that motivated the act in the first place. “making it right” requires an undoing and even more fundamentally an abortion of self and its destructive tendencies. “making it right” is more than reconciliation. and because the afterlife necessarily transcends time, space, and human capacity, i expect that it is a universe within which we can make it right. more specifically, i trust that it is where God, who is omnipotent, will make it right. i want Him to do that, as we all do. i expect Him to do that.

to hear of Tsarnaev’s death penalty gives me no pleasure or closure at all. beyond his punishment, i am left with this sense: that as heinous as his act was, and as much as i have wanted to strangle him with my own hands, i know that he is no more evil than any of the rest of us. what i need is for Tsarnaev to go back in time, undo what he did, and extinguish the thing within him that motivated this violence. there is no satisfaction for me outside of this. but Tsarnaev cannot do that. even if he wanted to, he couldn’t do it.

we will exit this world deeply traumatized and scarred by what we have done and seen. and there will be no peace for us in the next life unless God can undo what we have done. until He makes it right, that which is left to us—a lethal injection, the view through plate glass—is just a hollow ritual, a catharsis through the letting of blood. today, the crushing fury of a nation’s terrible pain came upon the shoulders of a young man, and in his implacable gaze and in the great sadness of his life, we can see the thing in ourselves that is both overwhelming and, painfully, not enough

05.08.15

7w8, not 8w7

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:15 pm by Administrator

my phone died last weekend, as a result of an attempt that i made to rescue what i thought was a drowning 3 year-old from a swimming pool. someone else got to him first, which i ought to be happy about. but i was left with a water-logged and broken phone with absolutely nothing to show for it.

now, i hate “smart” phones and technologies of connectivity in general, and so my initial reaction to the loss of my phone was predictably mild. but as the hours proceeded, i began to face the fact that by losing my phone i had actually lost three years of photographs that i’d taken with that phone—pictures that i had never sync’d, backed up, or downloaded onto another device. they were photos that i’d look at when i wanted to reconnect to specific memories: memories of my daughter’s first year, outings with my son, my anniversary trip to italy. all of those photos, hundreds of them, were now gone forever.

it was strange, but losing a phone that i thought i hated precipitated a bout of depression that i could not have anticipated. i bypassed simple sadness and fell straight into a pit of helplessness and despair. i slept twelve hours a night. i felt powerless to do simple things. i felt disconnected from other people and from myself.

as usual for me, i snapped out of this “funk” in about five days, but it did force me to realize some things about myself. maybe the most salient realization was this: i feel a lot more than i let on; and i routinely repress these feelings, as a matter of habit. as a result, i continue to surprise myself by my reactions to unanticipated things; i am surprised not only by the strength of my reactions but by the phases of those reactions.

i sensed another thing too, during this past week of despair. what i fear most in life is emptiness. i’ve always known this about myself in some intuitive way, but never was this more clear to me than now. and the emptiness i fear is not a lack of any one thing in particular; the emptiness i fear is a general lack of enough. what i have at any given time is not as important as my ability to anticipate and to pursue something more. and the reason i ruminate, plan, reflect, and dream with such avidity is that my heart is constantly seeking a fuller and fuller life, out of a need to escape what was and to elude any confinement of what i am.

the enneagram “8″ fears being manipulated and controlled. this is a wing of my nature that i developed strongly in my youth as a result of the influence of my parents. my father, after all, strived to make me an independent man, someone who would never be forced to submit to others. and throughout my life, my mother sought to make me self-assertive and bold, because she saw my timidity and feared the power of others. i was conditioned to be one who was suspicious of others and unwilling to conform. i was conditioned to be a lion; and even in my walk with God, i have found this to be true.

but the enneagram “7″ fears emptiness and deprivation. the 7 veers toward gluttony and addiction, constantly craving distraction and adventure. the 7 does not wish to chase his dream; rather, he wishes for a dream that he can chase. this is the latent but true side of me. it was the thing in me that wanted to try my hand at many things and be open to many possibilities in life. it was repressed (and painfully so). it was repressed in the interests of self-preservation and responsibility. but it is the part of me that nevertheless dictates the tides of my life, the times of my undoing, and the truth of my days. i am a 7 with an 8 wing; but it is a strong wing upon such a fragile frame.

i know that in my slow and arduous path toward personal health and emotional wellness, i am being forced to reckon with the burden of responsibility and how that particular burden has caused me such deep unhappiness over the years. i had such a difficult time being a parent to my son in his first year of life. being a father in my early 30s was so thoroughly unpleasant to me, and i know that my son was affected by my resentment of him. i loved him, but i recognized that he would be my responsibility for decades, and i blamed him and my wife for compelling me to remain a doctor, as much as i hated my accidental career. i didn’t want the responsibility of being a breadwinner, and i felt that this responsibility had cut short a life of great potential that i might have had otherwise. it took me years to work through that resentment and anger. it took me years to recognize that i had no one to blame for my unhappiness, not even myself. unhappiness, i later realized, was God’s gift to me, a signal that i had to change and to grow. and so i have grown; and so will i continue to grow for the rest of these strange, difficult, and troubling years that remain to me.

though i still yearn for freedom and for validation, i know that responsibility itself is not to blame for my struggles. my attitude toward responsibility, as constricting and compulsive as it is, is what disables me and turns my heart against my deeper desires. i could live the rest of my life bound to my responsibilities like a dog bound to its master, and the rest of my life could be as miserable as the worst of my years past. but the spirit within me, as repressed and bound as it has been, just will not go away. it refuses to simply pay the bills, do its job, and satisfy itself with the customary things. even after i go to bed, it roams through the house, through other people’s houses, and through their minds and their memories, looking for something new, something better. when i awaken, i awaken a strange and altered man. i look at the world and feel my dissatisfaction with it. and from the moment my feet touch the ground beside my bed, i am running. i am running from a place of emptiness and deprivation. i am running from the life i had. i am looking for a life that is not defined by responsibility. i am looking for a life that is genuinely and profoundly full of good things.

i have to own that. i have to let that live. i’m almost 40, and only now am i beginning to understand the time i have wasted—and the meaning of the life that still remains

05.06.15

the cave

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:51 pm by Administrator

i remember the wind
not its sound or its touch
but just the way we shrank from it
huddled in the damp recess of the cave.

and i remember your face
cast in the gray light of a stormy sky
i saw the spark of flint, a soundless eruption
of a flame, reflected in your eyes.

and though words were spoken
i don’t remember words, i only remember
the cold and the dark, and the warmth between us
of a fire.

later, when it was time
i climbed out of the cave, feeling your eyes
at my back. i was afraid as i clambered
down wet rocks, uncertain of the way

and at some point, i realized
there was no way back, and it was too cold to press on.
i found a nook in the black face of the mountain
where i lay, and where i have stayed

where i made a new fire
and found someone peering at me,
waiting for me, as i once waited for you
to speak of what awaits, beyond

05.04.15

knowing god, equality, and africa

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:31 pm by Administrator

over the years, i’ve heard a lot of preaching and biblical teaching. but one of the things i don’t hear about often from the pulpit is God’s utter fascination with people. all theological and structural matters aside, what continues to impress me about the biblical narrative is how much it is about the lives of individual people. God presents Himself not so much as the hero of this story as much as one who defines himself through the heroism of his chosen individuals.

God could have put forth His manifesto far differently. after all, the biblical story could have been a document authored in the same way as the 10 Commandments—etched miraculously into stone, directly by the hand of God. it could have been a testament written entirely in first person, yielding mystical insights into His pre-creation state of being, His unique understanding of universal metaphysics, and His particular feelings and perceptions about man—the tiny, imperfect, and idiosyncratic creature that He formed after an aspect of Himself. but no, God allowed the story written about Him to be a story that was primarily about other people; and in fact, He was content to be known through the story of their lives. this is the God who introduced Himself time and time again as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Moses”, “the God of Israel”, “the God of King David”, and “the son of man”. and the story of scripture demonstrates very keenly that God wasn’t simply honored to be represented by these men; His interactions with them and His dialogue with them demonstrated deep interest and even fascination. He not only wanted to be known by virtue of these men; He wanted to know these men, and He wanted them to know Him. this fascination, i think, is the experience that lends substance to His covenant with man; this fascination is what fuels faith and ultimately opens the door to veritable friendship with God. we are nothing less, as Paul describes, than “the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way”.

i think that we forget how much human beings are genuinely cherished by God, as lives and minds that so frequently delight Him. yes, there is so much tragedy and bitterness in the scriptural narrative, resulting from the sin of man and all the terrible consequences attached to that sin. but it cheapens the scriptural narrative to regard ourselves simply as God’s burden; nor does it do justice to His hope for us to view our race as little more than a broken thing meant to be fixed. there is something in us that is delightful to God, and it is this delight that compels God to pursue His people and to search their hearts, generation after generation, in the hope of a covenant reaffirmed, a mutual fascination that redeems the very purpose of creation.

next, a reflection on equality.

equality is something i think about often these days. i used to take it as fact that equality was a noble ideal, even a holy one. but the more i think about it, the more i realize that this is not necessarily true. because equality for one is a restraint on another. equality in all the things that appear to matter—access to justice, access to needs of living—could bring out the best in one and yet ruin the potential of another. and this has nothing to do with self-maximization. it has much to do with how we are individually designed to experience the favor of God.

for instance, i have come to understand that being endowed with transcendent wealth (let’s say $10 million or more) could very well ruin me. this is not because an ever-present ambition toward greater wealth inspires my best; no, rather ownership of great wealth would trigger my instincts about responsibility in such a way that i would feel beholden to (and surely resentful of) most everyone around me. the obligation to care for others out of my largesse would crush me. i would inevitably become isolated and friendless. on the other hand, i’ve seen people handle wealth in such a way that it truly deepens their connection with others. a friend of mine in my wife’s family has been very successful in gaining wealth; and i’ve seen how this success has brought her confidence, validated her abilities, and increased her ability to reach out to others and to serve them.

thus, i am struck with this knowledge: that a lack of self-perceived wealth might protect me from a crushing sense of responsibility, but for another person, this same responsibility could redeem his life. wealth is not the same to all people, nor is it an inescapably corrupting thing. equality, therefore, is in itself nothing great to be achieved. and when i explore the scriptures, i find the same truth at work. to each vessel a certain thing is given, because we are not all equally capable in all ways. the struggle in this life is to understand both value and life in the way that God sees them. our aim as a people is not to eliminate inequality; it is to work against the sin that would value or devalue people according to that inequality.

in no way is this to legitimize systems or politics that encourage great disparities in wealth. but then again, i do feel challenged to understand that relative poverty (as opposed to extreme poverty) was not something Christ objected to or agitated against. He validated the lives and the experiences of the poor; and strangely, He honored them. as wealth was given to one, poverty was given to another; and Christ considered the latter to be the more blessed.

when i was a doctor in training, i had one of the most memorable months of my life: a rotation that i arranged in Kampala, Uganda. it’s become an enduring point of reference for me, as perhaps any great international trip could be. it was a beautiful place and an open society, in ways that were terribly unfamiliar to me. i felt a loneliness there that i can only describe now as an unprecedented self-awareness. i was mzungu, but i was treated with respect. i was an outsider, but i was allowed to come in. i saw sick and desperately poor people who were not ashamed of their station in life; i met ambitious and energetic young people who bargained with me and even swindled me—in a manner that did not compromise their good nature and inexorable integrity. it was in those days that i realized how lost i was in life and how little i understood people. and i think it was then that i began to have a dream about Africa: an Africa that would be a beacon of hope to the rest of the world.

this morning, i listened to a Kenyan politician on NPR talk about Obama’s approaching state visit, and i was reminded of my dream for Africa, as an ascendant and powerful civilization that would become the envy of the world. and as surely as i remembered the dream, i felt assurance in the one fact that defines our kind: that our great civilizations always come to an end. those that were crushed will rise and become great. and God, the Lord of all, walks among all peoples and lends His favor to the oppressed. amidst all changes, He searches the hearts of men, and new peoples with their new ideas carry His banner, through the halls of time

05.03.15

The Eagles: A draft wrap

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:09 am by Administrator

I have always wondered about the left-over
energy, the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped
or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight

from “For the Dead”, by Adrienne Rich

i thought this passage by one of my favorite poets would be an appropriate way to embark upon this final, wistful reflection on an experience sure to remain redolent in philadelphia’s collective memory for many a year to come.

for the Philadelphia Eagles, the 2015 NFL draft was quite possibly a transcendent one. it may not be remembered as such because it produced a franchise star; but it will be remembered as the one that signified a shifting of the tide. the 2015 draft forever drove a wedge between what we once were and what we are about to come. we were a team chasing redemption. we are about to become a team interested in mastery: first, of ourselves, and second, of the game of football.

in retrospect, trading away Nick Foles was not simply about capitalizing on his value or improving at the quarterback position. we were trading away everything associated with a quarterback who demonstrated a recurring tendency toward inexplicable mental lapses. this was a man whose decision-making and turnovers inspired comparisons to Rex Grossman, an occasionally productive but also frequently awful quarterback who was famously unable to explain to reporters his penchant for throwing perfect passes to the other team.

and in retrospect, trading away Lesean McCoy was not simply about upgrading our defense or unloading a star personality. we traded away everything associated with a running back who played “keep-away” every time he toted the rock. to opposing defenses, McCoy became notoriously labeled a dancer and a prancer, a guy who would reliably bounce to the outside to avoid contact.

for chip, this was not a game of fantasy football. he wanted a specific group of guys that was smart enough and dedicated enough to execute his game plan. and i think that he and billy davis and pat shurmur got together after the disaster of December 2014 and decided that the first step in this rebuild was to bring together guys who could learn the game and play it right, on every play, in every game.

our 3rd pick of this draft was the bellwether of a sea change in philadelphia. so what if we already had six linebackers on this roster? so what if there were positional needs at safety and on the offensive line? we needed a guy who could embody the direction that the Eagles were taking; and we especially needed that guy—a leader with mental and physical agility—at weak-side/inside linebacker, the single most critical position in Billy Davis’s 4-3 “under” scheme. people on the outside looking in see redundancy at linebacker, given what we already have in Mychal Kendricks, Kiko Alonso, and DeMeco Ryans. what they don’t understand is that Kelly and Davis needed to find their man, not just for the defense in general but for this specific position. they found their guy, at long last, in Jordan Hicks.

when i saw the pick, i got it. and while some sports pundits were baffled and even critical, it came together for me in that moment, and i could finally feel it coming together, not just for davis’s defense but for the entire Eagles team. we are a team that’s going to be better prepared and less prone to mistakes than our opponents. we are a team that’s going to be efficient on offense and unpredictable on defense. and we are a team that’s going to make its way to the Super Bowl not simply by winning games but more fundamentally by creating a culture that guarantees success.

i liked the Agholor pick in the 1st; i was delighted by our move up in the 2nd to grab Rowe; i was not displeased to see us leverage our 4th round pick into what should be a high 3rd next year (thanks to an expected regression from Detroit); and i was glad to see Randall Evans and particularly Jacorey Shepherd (a total baller underestimated on account of his slow 40 time) create some legit camp competition for our nebulous secondary. but the pick that i loved was our most controversial one: Jordan Hicks at pick 84, the pick that told the world that even if chip kelly is imperfect, he’s going to do it his way. and in my mind, it’s the pick that told the world that the Philadelphia Eagles are about to become something indelibly, powerfully, and lastingly special

05.01.15

The Eagles: Day 2 Reflections

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:08 pm by Administrator

now that the dust has settled on the 1st round of the NFL draft, philly fans can take a step back and view the grand plan for what it is, not only regarding our 1st round but everything that has transpired over the past two months. this is a different kind of team than anything most of us would have imagined at the season’s end. just how good are we now?

first, regarding round one last night, i was happy about two things. firstly, we didn’t kill ourselves in a bad trade with the titans. secondly, we took a good wide receiver. agholor was not a guy i was enamored with, but he is going to help the team. he’s got good basic physical tools, he’s a certifiable student of the game, and he’s a top special teams prospect. i think that we got value at pick 20, even if i was higher on both Perriman and Dorsett at that position.

round one’s results of course mean that the Eagles will not come away with Mariota, which is a major let-down for most of philadelphia. in fact, we won’t be going into the 2015-2016 season with any of the 3 guys that most philly fans last Christmas would’ve wanted as the pillars of next season’s team: Mariota, Maclin, and McCoy. instead, we’ll be trying to break in a brand-new set of core pieces, in Bradford, Matthews (our new go-to receiver), and Murray. the latter trio is not necessarily worse than the former. Bradford could become an above-average quarterback in the NFL, given the great vision and arm he showed off in college, but it is not realistic to expect that he will suddenly evolve into a top-tier star in this league. Matthews is a tall, athletic receiver who will not dominate defensive backs with his speed or his routes; he’ll continue to be primarily a short-medium distance possession receiver, if he can improve his hands. and Murray is a powerful running back with a career lifespan of about two more vicious seasons. to me, it looks like a squad that will succeed not with big-play ability but rather with good ol’ efficiency: no negative plays, fewer turnovers, and a spread-the-wealth attack all-around.

i think that the football IQ on this Eagles squad is higher than it was last year, and the personalities on this team are much more manageable (sans Cary Williams and LeSean McCoy). while team discipline was an issue late in Andy Reid’s tenure, Kelly’s team this year is going to be a smart, motivated group that will be focused on limiting mental errors. i like that. additionally, i think that the defense will be a group poised for a breakout. Cox and Graham just got their best seasons under their belt and will be hungry for domination; Barwin, Ryans, and Alonso should be an above-average linebacking group both in run defense and pass rush; and i do like our chances of getting meaningful help in rounds 2 and 3 to shore up the situation with our defensive backs. this Eagles team will be the best squad in the NFC East, and it has the potential to go 2 or 3 rounds deep into the playoffs next year, particularly given the backward direction a lot of NFC teams are taking (i.e. San Francisco, Arizona, Detroit, and Chicago, among others).

for tonight, i am hoping that the Eagles will “double down” at WR in the 2nd, as the WR prospects will be strong through the next 30 picks. we can go hunting for safeties and offensive linemen in rounds 3-5 and still come up with good prospects. my wish is to see us move up in the 2nd (in a package with Kendricks) to grab Devin Smith; but if we have to wait til the mid-round, i still think that Sammie Coates may be there, and Funchness and Hardy would be good draft picks there regardless.

optimistic. it’s not a word that describes how i’ve customarily felt about the Eagles at this time of year, but i’m feeling it now. GO EAGLES