03.29.22

Eagles: the bottom line

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:47 pm by Administrator

yesterday, howie roseman disclosed some candid thoughts about the eagles. specifically, he said that the eagles were “building” right now and definitely not “all in” on winning this year. he also said that the team was committed to supporting jalen hurts.

all in all, these are not surprising comments and probably a sensible company line to take, especially in light of the fact that the eagles failed to land a veteran QB or any high quality free agent receivers in the pre-draft off-season. the truth is that howie roseman knows as well as anyone else that hurts is not an acceptable long-term starter for the team and that he is not a realistic candidate for an extension next year at starter money. our inability to leverage three 1st round picks to land russell wilson or deshaun watson is an indictment of the eagles—of the reputation of a franchise that has recently proven to be inhospitable to super bowl-winning head coaches and to any semblance of a dynamic passing game.

while that’s extremely disappointing, it’s already water under the bridge, because the eagles must now define a draft strategy that addresses their poorly kept secret that they are desperately looking for an upgrade at the team’s most important position. philly media is heavily leaning toward a trade down to add a 1st round pick next year, but that is by my assessment an unrealistic scenario. another team is only going to trade up for our 15th pick at the price of future draft capital if they’re as desperate for a quarterback as we are. while this would appear to describe the falcons, seahawks, steelers, and possibly the saints, there’s no reason for the first two franchises to pass on a QB at picks 8 and 9, respectively, if they are that motivated to get their signal caller in this draft; and the steelers and saints could easily trade up in front of the eagles for a much cheaper price if that’s what they wanted to do. by jimmy johnson’s draft pick value chart, a trade between the steelers at 21 and the eagles at 15 would yield a 250 point difference, which is equivalent to a 2023 second rounder at best. the lions with picks 32 and 34 might be a trade partner, but they would be beyond foolish to sacrifice a valuable 2023 1st rounder, given how bad they project to be this season and given how much better next year’s QB draft class already appears.

with no tantalizing QB trades to explore and no realistic way to punt a 1st round pick into next year’s draft, the eagles really have no choice but to take a 1st round quarterback this year. as uncertain as this year’s prospects might be, if the eagles choose to defer drafting a QB next month and instead play out the season with the best roster they can muster, they will find themselves one year from now once again in the middle of the draft order, definitely out of reach of any top QB prospect, and unwilling to extend their current starter who lacks an NFL-level skill set. at worst, if the eagles take a chance on a quarterback in this year’s class, they will take a prospect who fails to impress in year one, and they’ll be looking to trade up in next year’s draft. in other words, our worst case scenario if we draft a QB this year is in all likelihood equivalent to the scenario in which we defer drafting a QB this year. by my estimation, we can only stand to gain if we use one of our 2022 1st round picks on a QB prospect.

after analyzing my last 50 mock drafts with other users, i would set the over/under on QB’s taken before pick 15 at 1.5. i’d say that kenny pickett at pick 6 is a coin-flip proposition, and beyond that i believe that in the absence of any major trades it is unlikely that we will see another QB taken by the falcons (pick 8), seahawks (9), or texans (13). all three teams should probably be looking to trade down with the steelers, and for a reasonable price it’s certainly possible that the steelers may move up into the top 10 to take willis or howell. that means that the eagles at pick 15 will almost certainly see either willis or howell on their draft board, in addition to corral and ridder. i like both willis and howell; they both have excellent arm strength, above-average accuracy on the deep ball, and plus-level athleticism and maneuverability. with good coaching, i honestly can’t see either of them underperforming jalen hurts at the NFL level. corral and ridder to me carry less up-side potential than willis and are less exciting as prospects, but if the eagles’ scouts are high on either, then i’d say go for it in the first round.

aside from taking a first round quarterback, which i consider our most essential priority in round one, i think that we need to take a wide receiver with one of our other two picks. our need for high-level talent at receiver is beyond obvious, thanks to roseman’s absolutely futile 2019 draft and his famously bungled selection of jalen reagor in 2020. we can’t attract good receivers to an eagles squad that can’t pass the ball, so we’ll have to groom the receiver room through the draft yet again. there’s a lot of debate among philly fans about which receiver best fits our needs. while it’s not a slam dunk to me, i would rate garrett wilson and drake london as my first and second choices for the eagles. london takes knocks for his long speed, but the fact of the matter is that he consistently wins one-on-one and can get open at will on short-intermediate routes. as a big target with sure hands, he’s exactly the kind of high volume “possession” guy that a young quarterback—whether hurts, howell, or willis—needs as a reliable target. another small speedy guy like olave or dotson would probably be wasted in this offense, and i just don’t think treylon burks will succeed as a conventional outside receiver at the NFL level.

while good arguments can be made to take a defensive lineman or edge player with our third pick of the first round, i’m going to reinforce what i’ve said repeatedly up to this point: there are generational talents at cornerback in this draft class, and we have to take one in the first round this year. whether we take derek stingley, ahmad gardner, trent mcduffie, or andrew booth, we will be able to get an elite prospect in the mid-1st and solve the eagles’ chronic problem with a lack of youth and talent in the secondary. despite his flash plays this past year, darius slay has proven to be burnable and is certainly past his prime; i don’t see him getting extended after this season. and while avonte maddox is an able slot corner, his lack of size gets exposed whenever he’s shifted to the boundary. no one can convince me that the multiple darts we have in tay gowan, kary vincent, josiah scott, or zech mcphearson are sure to hit anywhere close to the bull’s eye. the fact is that we don’t have a long-term solution at outside corner, and if we don’t address it in a draft with elite defensive backs, when do we actually plan to address this?

sure, we could spend the third pick on the defensive line—which is pointless to me for several reasons. firstly, on the interior, we have three guys who are going to take all the minutes this year, in hargrave, cox, and milt williams. we could draft for depth, but that’s a luxury when we’ve got so many other roster holes. i think hargrave is a good candidate for an extension, and milt williams probably deserves his shot as a starter if cox leaves next year. we’re fine at DT; it’s not a need we need to address in the early rounds this year or next. on the edge, i think we’re still an average group, but the fact is that the separation between a first-round prospect like karlaftis and a second-round guy like sam williams or kingsley enagbare is not significant. this is a deep edge class that will still have intriguing prospects for us deep into day 2. cornerback is the bigger need for us, and there’s also better value for us at corner in the mid-late 1st.

i’m not even going to waste my time on debating the merits of a 1st round off-ball linebacker. the team has liked what it’s seen from tj edwards and davion taylor, and kyzir white—a good coverage linebacker in his prime—is probably a good candidate for an in-season extension if he keeps up his high level of play. even as late as pick 19, devin lloyd is a stretch for me when one considers the level of prospects we are likely to see in the third round, including channing tindall (faster and more athletic than lloyd). yes, we’ve had a mediocre linebacking group for years, but the additions of reddick and white as well as the improvements davion taylor showed over the latter half of last season really do shift the picture for us. it’s not an elite linebacking group, but it’s good enough.

my ideal 1st round haul: malik willis at pick 15, drake london at 16, and trent mcduffie at 19. pick willis before london to make a statement to the fans and to the team: we’re betting that this can really be our guy.

GO EAGLES

03.28.22

violence

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:58 pm by Administrator

just yesterday, i was observing myself watching a netflix streaming movie about something or other, and i was observing how much i seem to enjoy violence. “recommended for you” always feeds me titles in the genres of intrigue, war, and thriller. dark thrillers of the european independent variety are definitely my niche of niches.

now, the thought does occasionally cross my mind as to whether my penchant for violence in my entertainment predisposes me to violent behavior. i was taught as a child that what goes in is what comes out, and i grew up believing that “the eyes are the lamp of the body”, per biblical teachings. i certainly don’t want to enjoy violence in entertainment, and i wouldn’t say that it’s violence per se that makes the movies i watch enjoyable to me. in fact, i’ve grown very tired of action movie sequences, and choreographed hand-to-hand combat or gun battle scenes very rarely impress me anymore. when i think about it, it’s not the violence but rather the ultimate response to adversity that engages me as a viewer; i am intrigued by any and all situations in which a good character is compelled to resort to violence in order to defend what he or she cherishes. and i think this is perhaps because i myself constantly wonder at the competing instincts within myself to be on the one hand peaceable and on the other hand strong for those that i love.

perhaps it is gratifying then to see that when i am confronted with actual violence, i remain exquisitively sensitive to it. this morning, i watched the replay of the Oscars award show and specifically of the moment when will smith confronted chris rock on stage and struck him full in the face out of rage. it was stunning to me; but more profoundly, it was immediately saddening to me. i felt my heart sink. after weeks of hearing about the news of people dying in ukraine—soldiers on both sides, children and families as well—i was not prepared to actually see violence bleed over into a moment that should have been celebratory and life-giving by contrast. and it’s not like there was a clear hero and villain in this altercation, like what you might see in the dark european independent thriller movie. no, these were two men of the same profession with very much in common who are both beloved and celebrated for their work, and yet their relationship now will forever be defined by this moment of sudden animosity. it was a depressing moment for me; even now, hours later, i’m find myself terribly deflated.

while wrestling with this anguish, a strange thought came to mind. i have recently been wondering very much about what i want to do in this next chapter of my life. i have been in many ways unhappy, and so the change before me seems like an opportunity to pursue happiness. i can be different; i can be new. i can leave behind everything that i once was and all that i poured my energy into. yet, this opportunity has not invigorated me at all; it has filled me strange brooding and even an inescapable sense of alienation. in this context, when i tried to imagine all the feelings and wishes and thoughts inflicting both smith and rock in their moment of mutual suffering, my mind asked me this question: is it not your mission to stand against this? the senseless violence. the destruction of self and others. the suffering that inflicts our kind, generation after generation, because of our toxic beliefs. was it not to resist this that you took up arms—your voice, your hands, and your work—to fight the one battle that is actually worth dying for?

today, i know that a lot of people are probably already moving past a public moment of violence that was horrible and dramatic, but i’m dwelling in it because it is reminding me of the gift that i have to give. it is a gift that i can only give in the context of community. it is a gift that i can only give if i take on responsibility for others. my gift is the gift of words, of commitment, of service. it is intended to reduce the suffering of others, to restrain them from violence, to bring healing where there is deep injury, and, in those rare moments of possibility, to support justice, when real justice can be achieved. in my effort to give this gift, i have abandoned so much that i once held dear—my religion, my convictions, my plans, and my purposes—because i have discovered that expressing this gift is the only thing that brings me joy. in the midst of such great and overpowering violence in the world, i am today reminded of joy. how terrible it can be to experience suffering as a human being. and yet how wonderful it is to just turn, to see it a different way, and to turn trouble into a miracle of forgiveness and love

03.22.22

sunyata

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:28 pm by Administrator

during these recent months of frantic activity preparing to sell a house, make a major move, and say goodbyes to so many people, i’ve seen my life turned upside-down. i’ve felt grief, desperation, anxiety, and even anger—unexpected anger about so many things. it’s my ego, reacting to a sudden and dramatic change, trying to make sense of what seems so uncertain. those who live with me have not failed to point out how much my behavior has changed over these past weeks; my own wife has teased me about how profoundly this reflects my lack of enlightenment. it’s a fair observation, i think. but it’s an observation i hold with some skepticism too, because it implies that enlightenment is something to be gained or proven. i might be disappointed in myself for the utmost suffering i’ve brought upon myself and others close to me, but there is so little to be accomplished in experiencing this disappointment.

for this moment, i rest in this truth: my ego, wrapped up in layers of karma and latent memories, has been trying to protect me, much like an overanxious parent who can only cause me harm. i can never be disappointed with what he is, because he cannot change, nor can he take any responsibility for the suffering he causes. this is the lesson i have learned about compassion for oneself. there is no path to peace that does not go through the daily practice of compassion for oneself. and it is a practice; it is no feeling, realization, or simple experience. it is a practice, a discipline no less, worth a lifetime of devotion.

coming out of this time of frantic and ceaseless work, planning, and speculation, i find myself suddenly bereft of mental activity—and at a loss for it. over the past few days, i have tried to fill my mental space with other thoughts and plans, but the seed of awareness within me has undermined these efforts and weakened my resolve to continue the hamster wheel of mental battles. i have been reminded that these sudden moments of emptiness are invitations from the universe to get free of the relentless egoic effort to survive; they are opportunities to see oneself more truly and to accept what is. and thus have i begun to see myself in a new way: the ego that sexualizes, objectifies, and seeks to conquer; the child who seeks to please, to self-protect, to get free; the consciousness that sees the futility of these plans and aspirations, as sufficient as the bare and present moment actually is. i want to privilege the part of me that is aware, but i also recognize that my humanity was the gift of the universe and intended for the experience of separateness, that i might not simply be an aspect of the universe but also one who envisions the universe, thus multiplying its possibilities. the price of this perspective is suffering. the foundation of this perspective is not only awareness but also the intrinsic hunger to define oneself and to preserve that self. it is in this constant struggle between what i name the ego and what i experience as eternal and sufficient that i express what is innately human. it is for suffering, separateness, and discovery that i came into being.

a week ago i saw a clip of the new documentary being made about anthony bourdain, and this reminded me very much of the moment when i became aware of emptiness. emptiness is a terribly threatening thing to one who has never dwelt in it before. for anthony, a man who was relentless in his hunger, his travels, and his lust for experiences, the experience of emptiness terrorized him, and for that reason it overcame him. at that season in my life, i too was plagued by emptiness. i thought of it as the absence of real meaning. i experienced it as emotional depression. it was like the deep and impenetrably dark water that i knew i would sink in. only by treading that water, even falling into its depths, did i come to understand that abiding in emptiness is not drowning; it is, in truth, the closest thing to weightlessness. i will never forget the moment that i stopped filling emptiness and rather became sufficient in the experience of sunyata. it unwound decades of ideas, beliefs, and mental work designed to afford me a sense of sufficiency and worth. it broke my addiction to conceptual self; it freed me to subsist in the absence of identity.

yesterday, i took a walk, and i felt many parts of myself that i have not been accustomed to acknowledging. i felt my eyes, whose vision has become distorted and reduced in recent years. these past few years, i have railed against my eyes, for not being like the eyes of other people, for not affording me the experience of vision i was once accustomed to. i felt my feet and my ankles, which have suffered through various aches and pains and even structural changes related to past injuries. as with my eyes, i have railed against my feet and my bones for causing me pain, for reminding me of my limitations.

yet, my retinal cells have done nothing for me but their best. and the cartilage of my ankles, and the fascia of my feet, and the cells of my bones—they have loved me, and they have given themselves up for me, knowing that they could have been elsewhere and part of something else. consigned to be a part of me for these moments or even years, they have lovingly bound themselves to me, knowing that they would not be seen apart from me, understanding that they would not be able to function apart from me. every cell in my being, down to the nephrons of my kidneys, the neurons of my brain, the myocardial cells of my ceaselessly electrical heart, has bound itself to me, the suffering and searching and striving self, knowing that i would impress my will upon them, to their confinement. even now, my egoic self strains at the seams to outlive its time, to defy mortality. but at the cellular level, no part of me shares this longing for immortality; and not one of them can achieve this, without threatening the whole.

under the lilting trees, caught in a band of radiant light, i suddenly became aware of them all, beings within my being, cohering just for a while in this form that i call my self—and i was overwhelmed with love and appreciation for them all. it is more than sufficient, what they give me. whether their gift is vision, or hearing, or the excretion of electrolytes, or the conduction of electricity, whatever they are giving me is enough. it is enough for me, this person that is empty of purpose, this being made of all these things given to me by the earth and intended for its glory. for as long as they are a part of me, i will not take from them more than they give, nor will i hesitate to return them to the earth in their time. what a delight, this miraculous and wonderful thing we have been given, an assembly of form, an experience of integration, this microcosm of the universe in all its coherent pieces and perspectives. i will never ever understand why we kill one another in wars of passion, but first i will endeavor to understand all the lives within my being: the ego, the memory, the nephron, the neuron, the thought that leads to compassion and that is further distilled into blessing

03.18.22

More Off-Season Thoughts and Another Mock

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:44 pm by Administrator

i’m stunned that deshaun watson chose cleveland. what could possibly attract a quarterback of his level to a franchise like the browns? they play in a tough division; they have the second worst weather of any division in the league; they have a small fan base; and they have no tradition of winning. to me, it appears that a loser picked a loser. cleveland is where deshaun watson can hide from the public eye or be forgiven for his many transgressions. either way, i am not sure the browns make a leap on account of this trade, and it almost certainly lowers their asking price for baker mayfield, who is immediately diminished by comparison to the new QB in town.

i’m also stunned that davante adams chose las vegas as his destination. at his age and stature, in the peak of his playing years, he’s choosing to be sentimental about where he wants to play ball? he’s choosing to play in an offense that’s yet to be defined, for a head coach that is emotionally unhinged, and for a team that has truly failed to define itself one way or the other for decades. maybe adams likes table games?

and i’m stupefied by how the dallas cowboys could be dumb enough to antagonize their second best defensive player at the most sensitive point in their negotiations. randy gregory left dallas out of spite, and all because of a technicality that the front office insisted on putting into his contract as a matter of routine. in all my years of following the cowboys and rooting against them, i’ve known them to be smart in the draft, gutless on the field, and plainly stupid in crunch time. this is one of those many clutch moments when they face-planted. the fish always rots from the head…

i don’t want to snipe at howie roseman right now, but it does appear that heavy-handed management over recent years has adversely affected the franchise’s reputation with agents and players. i still believe that with 3 first-round picks, we had every reason to be attractive to seattle as a trade partner for russell wilson. this will go down for me as one of the moments that really got away from philadelphia. i’m disappointed, and i’m not optimistic that even the combination of our three 1st round picks can effect a turnaround for the franchise, but it is what it is. we do need to make one more high-impact signing during this free agency period, and i hope it’s tyrann mathieu, because unless we make a huge reach in the 1st round for lewis cine, we’re not going to find our long-term solution at free safety in this draft class.

here’s my updated 2-round mock for the upcoming draft, which incompletely factors in all the trades that are currently going down.

1st Round

1. Jacksonville: Aidan Hutchinson
2. Detroit: Kayvon Thibodeaux
3. Houston: Evan Neal
4. NYJ: Travon Walker [a leap in his projection here, but he's solidly edge #3 now]
5. NYG: Ikem Ekwonu
6. Carolina: Kenny Pickett
7. NYG: Kyle Hamilton
8. Atlanta: George Karlaftis [much more likely now after Ojabo's pro day injury]
9. Seattle: Charles Cross [count on Schneider to be creative here]
10. NYJ: Garrett Wilson [aside from Karlaftis, i feel very confident about this top-10 group]
11. Washington: Zion Johnson [this should be Malik Willis, but it won't be]
12. Minnesota: Ahmad Gardner
13. Houston (from Cleveland): Jordan Davis
14. Baltimore: Derek Stingley, Jr.
15. Philadelphia: Jermaine Johnson
16. Philadelphia: Malik Willis [the Eagles choose up-side over pro-readiness]
17. LA Chargers: Trevor Penning
18. New Orleans: Matt Corral
19. Philadelphia: Devin Lloyd [they'll pass on a CB for better or worse]
20. Pittsburgh: Chris Olave
21. New England: Andrew Booth, Jr.
22. Green Bay: Drake London
23. Arizona: Cameron Thomas
24. Dallas: Bernhard Raimann
25. Buffalo: Trent McDuffie
26. Tennessee: Treylon Burks [doubling down on AJ Brown, essentially]
27. Tampa Bay: Kenyon Green
28. Green Bay: Sean Rhyan
29. Miami: Tyler Linderbaum
30. Kansas City: Kaiir Elam
31. Cincinnati: Nicholas Petit-Frere [several OL signings but no solution at RT]
32. Detroit: Nakobe Dean

2nd Round

33. Jacksonville: Daxton Hill
34. Detroit: Jahan Dotson [yes, Detroit passes on a QB]
35. NYJ: David Ojabo [a slide of 10-15 picks because of the injury; will still go ahead of Ebiketie/Mafe]
36. NYG: Devonte Wyatt
37. Houston: Sam Howell
38. NYJ: Lewis Cine
39. Chicago: Boye Mafe
40. Seattle: Desmond Ridder [they may take Ridder here even if they trade for Mayfield]
41. Seattle: DeMarvin Leal
42. Indianapolis: Darian Kinnard
43. Atlanta: George Pickens
44. Houston: Arnold Ebiketie [a Houston draft haul of Neal, Davis, Howell, and Ebiketie is amazing]
45. Baltimore: Travis Jones
46. Minnesota: Perrion Winfrey
47. Washington: Jaquan Brisker [would be hilarious to see them take Carson Strong here]
48. Chicago: Abraham Lucas
49. New Orleans: Skyy Moore
50. Miami: Drake Jackson
51. Philadelphia: Alec Pierce [why would Roseman pass on a track star? he can run]
52. Pittsburgh: Roger McCreary
53. Green Bay: Kingsley Enagbare
54. New England: John Metchie III
55. Arizona: Derion Kendrick
56. Dallas: Phidarian Mathis
57. Buffalo: Logan Hall
58. Atlanta: Coby Bryant
59. Green Bay: Brandon Smith [Green Bay gets Drake London and Brandon Smith for Adams and cap space]
60. Tampa Bay: Breece Hall
61. San Francisco: Kyler Gordon
62. Kansas City: Christian Watson
63. Cincinnati: Martin Emerson
64. Denver: Tyler Smith

03.16.22

Off-season Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:18 pm by Administrator

like i’ve implied before, there is only way in which the eagles win this off-season: by trading for a franchise QB. the quest hasn’t gotten well so far. russell wilson dismissed philadelphia out of hand early in his process, which reflects poorly on the eagles’ management team and the culture they’ve projected over the past two years. there’s only one option left, and deshaun watson is apparently not any more keen on philadelphia than russell wilson was. if at the end of the day the eagles are unable to land watson, then this off-season will go down for me as a failure.

i know this is an extreme view, and the eagles of course are not overtly tipping their hand on a desperate need to replace jalen hurts. but unfortunately enough rumors have leaked about their interest in russell wilson to make it pretty clear that they’re trying behind the scenes to land hurts’ replacement. and why wouldn’t they? let’s abandon any pretense here about the eagles’ chances with jalen hurts. no matter what the company line may be on jalen hurts, he’s obviously a replacement-level quarterback or a bridge to a longer-term solution. the problem with having a bridge QB is that the guy has to bridge us to something. are we bridging ourselves to the 2023 QB draft class? are we bridging ourselves to a 2023 free agent QB? neither scenario makes much sense, because the eagles are not actively unloading overpaid veterans in a commitment to a 2022 season tank, nor are there any compelling QB free agents worth pursuing in 2023. the eagles have every right to be a win-now team, and this is the off-season when we have the opportunity to turn things around quickly. there’s only one best way to use the three 1st round picks we’ve got, and it’s to send them away for a QB that can win playoff games. i don’t care if we have to send all three of our 1st rounders along with a couple of 2nd round picks and a few players on top of that. we have a QB problem that we have an opportunity to fix right now.

i’m not in love with deshaun watson as a human being, but i have every reason to believe he would immediately be the 3rd or 4th best quarterback in the conference if he joined the eagles. jalen hurts on the other hand looks to me like the 3rd or 4th best quarterback in our division. i’ve written plenty on him already and i don’t want to waste any more time on his future potential. regardless of his intangibles, he proved over the 2021 season that he’s a very consistent, highly athletic, and upstanding guy who can’t throw with timing, anticipation, or precision. he will never a playoff winner, except as a backup. whether it’s this year or next, the eagles owe it to the fans to cut ties and move on.

now, if we can’t land watson because the team’s recent dysfunctions scare him away, i believe that we have no choice but to draft a quarterback in round 1 of this upcoming draft—and to keep drafting QBs every year until we find our guy. forget the draftniks and analysts who see the eagles whiffing on a veteran QB and nevertheless drafting nothing but defense in the first round. a team quarterbacked by jalen hurts with an infusion of young defensive talent will be good for a maximum of 8 or 9 wins again next year, which will keep us mired in a purgatory of mediocrity for which there is no foreseeable end. we have to find a way to break out of this bear market cycle, so to speak, and it’s going to require some risk-taking at the sport’s most important position.

this QB class still has plenty of haters, but what that should mean for the eagles is opportunity. it is now distinctly possible that zero teams will select a quarterback before the eagles’ first selection at pick 15. i personally think that one quarterback at most will go in the top half of the round, and it will probably be carolina, assuming they do not land watson (a gigantic assumption). that means that the eagles will have choices: kenny pickett, matt corral, malik willis, sam howell, and desmond ridder, most notably. i’ve previously championed sam howell, and i still believe he’s the best of this bunch. but i’d be perfectly happy if the eagles drafted a safe but not spectacular pocket passer in kenny pickett or a high-upside guy in malik willis who looks like a better version of jalen hurts in almost every aspect of the game. one way or the other, the eagles have to take a chance on some QB at either 15 or 16, because they cannot afford to go all-in on hurts in 2022. it’s an unjustifiable risk for the organization and a tremendous opportunity cost for us in a year when we have 3 darts to throw in the top 19 picks.

GO EAGLES

03.11.22

the middle ground that worsens everything

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:35 pm by Administrator

i feel that it is reviling to consume news about the ukraine war, while my countrymen and i do so little to directly intervene. and yet i cannot stop following the developments and to speculate on their repercussions, because this is the defining geopolitical event of this era and possibly of my lifetime, already a devastating humanitarian crisis and possibly the greater threat to global health and security than even COVID.

the US is trying to find a middle ground between inaction and total war, and while this middle ground may seem inevitable, it falls into a pattern of half-measures that only magnify suffering for others. as obama did in syria, joe biden is arming his allies in ukraine, in a manner that will not at all change the inevitability of ukraine’s defeat but will almost certainly prolong the war. everyone knows that air superiority is what will ultimately dictate whether ukraine has even a chance of surviving the russian onslaught, and the US and its allies are stopping short of providing fighter jets, missiles, or the protection of a no-fly zone. what they are providing are anti-tank missiles and other assorted armaments that will surely slow the russian advance, multiply casualties, prolong the war, and ultimately fail to change its outcome.

there can be no doubt now that putin’s endgame is the total takeover of ukraine followed by a prolonged occupation, regime change in ukraine, and a military alliance with the new ukrainian government that will flip ukraine against NATO and the west. the ukrainian nation as we know it is essentially on the verge of an annexation that cannot be reversed by anything short of a broader war. the US’s unwillingness to take steps to prevent this outcome essentially means that it is already counting on the dissolution of ukraine and a new cold war boundary defined by ukraine’s borders with NATO countries. in this context, the US’s arming of ukraine can only be viewed as savagery, an interest in punishing russia at the expense of ukrainian lives.

i will admit to deep sympathy for zelensky and the ukrainian people. i believe that a no-fly zone will essentially constitute a state of war between NATO nations and the russian republic. but i also believe that a no-fly zone in and of itself will not necessarily broaden the conflict beyond ukraine; russia has no interest in fighting wars on multiple fronts. the no-fly zone could actually give ukraine the leverage it requires in its negotiations with russia. it’s a bold decision, and it carries risk of an escalating war; but it is the only realistic way to shorten the war, save ukrainian lives, and afford ukraine a fighting chance to survive as a nation.

03.08.22

their voice

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:49 pm by Administrator

for me, on the surface it is a time of trouble. but more precisely, it is a time of questioning—deep questioning, uncertainty, and doubt. in a brief moment of enlightenment that felt like a splitting of myself, i saw the two perspectives within me, sliding past each other in parallel, as if along a fault line. my thoughts and feelings are the quaking that comes from their friction. there is the side of me that has seen my life through moral imperatives, through decisions that are either right or wrong. and there is the side of me, equally intuitive, effortless for me to assume, that abides by contemplation. that side of me sees around the monolith of my ego. it speaks in a different way, because it sees in moments of impasse the path that transcends. the universe itself breathes in multiplicity, and so what is for me a struggle is for the universe a birthing, a breathing, even a basking in what is.

remember what you were, says their voice. once upon a time, it was a masculine voice, with a purpose and an agenda. this voice is different, and it reflects the change i have undergone. once, i needed to be pushed through life, pressed into its fabric, punished for my lack of momentum. i leveraged the voice of a masculine god to accelerate in myself a sense of direction. but now, their voice begs me to change direction or even abandon it. god once beckoned to me to remember what i am. but this voice begs me to remember what i was, because i was even before what i am now.

i was formless. i was free, in the profound sense of freedom. i ranged far and wide, in my contemplations. and i was integrated with all of life, in a sensation of experience that even the idea of joy cannot capture. i chose this form, which in one sense is a prison, because in another sense it is a lens: a specific and powerful lens through which i can see the thing that i was once a part of. i did not choose to come into this form because of a mission or a moral purpose. i chose this because i needed to be this, and because i needed to see for myself, through the lens of this form, what i could not see in myself. it is always for this purpose and only for this purpose that we willingly separate from the unity we once basked in.

this is the pain of living: a singularity of consciousness, an alienation from everything and everyone else, a suffering that comes from self-regard and an absence of integration. i chose this, as we all chose this at one point or another, because of the suffering—and because of the truth that this suffering reveals. one day, the time for this will come to an end, and even the moment after our passing we will not regret leaving this life behind. but for now, we hold to this form zealously, even as it is our suffering, because even when it is just a shred of life, it is precious. all of the troubles great and small that we hold in this life are trivial and to be forgotten, a small weight in the center of the palm that is not unlike the delicate pressure of air, when we try to hold the wind

03.07.22

Post Combine Mock Draft

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:16 pm by Administrator

to distract myself from the upheaval at home and abroad, i’ve recently turned my eyes back to the NFL draft. senior bowl workouts and the combine are now behind us, and if the talking heads are any indication, impressive showings by interior d-linemen and wide receivers have now pushed those two position groups higher on mock draft projections, displacing defensive ends and linebackers in the rankings. the latter position group is very interesting, in that combine results really demonstrated the impressive diversity of linebackers coming out this year. linebackers like christian harris, brandon smith, and damone clark are rapidly ascending, closing the gap between them and the consensus top-2 prospects (lloyd and dean). the net effect of this development on the position group may actually be to pull all linebackers down draft boards, as GMs expect to find value late in day 2 or on day 3 at a non-premium position.

WRs like skyy moore, christian watson, and calvin austin weren’t anywhere close to round 2 on my prior mocks, but they’re definitely in the conversation now. there will be many receiver-hungry teams looking for upside in round 2, and several receivers with good tape but perhaps less national attention than the consensus top-5 (wilson, olave, williams, london and burks) are now getting plenty of hype. i can definitely see the lions, jets, falcons, and raiders take a stab at an athletic receiver prospect in the 2nd round after squaring away defensive priorities in the first round, particularly given how much those four offenses struggled for lack of skill players last year.

i’ve analyzed and re-analyzed value tiers and still come to the same conclusion again and again: the eagles should take an edge, receiver, and cornerback in round 1. talent at all three of these positions nosedives after the top 50 selections, while plenty of good linebackers, interior o-linemen, and safeties will still be on the board beyond the 3rd round this year. unlike most eagle fans, i actually favor taking a running back with a day 2 pick (preferably the 3rd round), as neither sanders nor gainwell are the physical inside runners that the eagles need for their unique brand of offense.

in this draft, the eagles get insanely lucky and find nakobe dean falling to them in the 2nd round. even if dean goes earlier in the 2nd, the eagles will be happy to take brandon smith or christian harris at pick 51.

Round 1:

1. Jacksonville: Evan Neal
2. Detroit: Aidan Hutchinson
3. Houston: Kayvon Thibodeaux
4. NY Jets: Kyle Hamilton
5. NY Giants: Ikem Ekwonu
6. Carolina: Kenny Pickett
7. NY Giants: Garrett Wilson
8. Atlanta: George Karlaftis
9. Denver: Matt Corral
10. NY Jets: Ahmad Gardner
11. Washington: Sam Howell
12. Minnesota: Andrew Booth
13. Cleveland: Chris Olave
14. Baltimore: Charles Cross
15. Philadelphia: Derek Stingley, Jr.
16. Philadelphia: Jameson Williams
17. LA Chargers: Jordan Davis
18. New Orleans: Trevor Penning
19. Philadelphia: Travon Walker
20. Pittsburgh: Malik Willis
21. New England: Drake London
22. Las Vegas: Trent McDuffie
23. Arizona: Kaiir Elam
24. Dallas: David Ojabo
25. Buffalo: Roger McCreary
26. Tennessee: Treylon Burks
27. Tampa Bay: Desmond Ridder
28. Green Bay: Jahan Dotson
29. Miami: Tyler Linderbaum
30. Kansas City: Kenyon Green
31. Cincinnati: Zion Johnson
32. Detroit: Devin Lloyd

Round 2:

33. Jacksonville: Jermaine Johnson
34. Detroit: George Pickens
35. NY Jets: Skyy Moore
36. NY Giants: Derion Kendrick
37. Houston: Jaquan Brisker
38. NY Jets: Devonte Wyatt
39. Chicago: Bernhard Raimann
40. Denver: Arnold Ebiketie
41. Seattle: Nicholas Petit-Frere
42. Washington: John Metchie
43. Atlanta: Christian Watson
44. Cleveland: Travis Jones
45. Baltimore: Kyler Gordon
46. Minnesota: Boye Mafe
47. Indianapolis: Darian Kinnard
48. LA Chargers: Jalen Tolbert
49. New Orleans: David Bell
50. Miami: Kingsley Enagbare
51. Philadelphia: Nakobe Dean
52. Pittsburgh: Sean Rhyan
53. Las Vegas: Calvin Austin III
54. New England: Daxton Hill
55. Arizona: DeMarvin Leal
56. Dallas: Christian Harris
57. Buffalo: Perrion Winfrey
58. Atlanta: Coby Bryant
59. Green Bay: Brandon Smith
60. Tampa: Phidarian Mathis
61. San Francisco: Martin Emerson
62. Kansas City: Lewis Cine
63. Cincinnati: Jalen Pitre
64. Denver: Abraham Lucas