Eagles Droppings 10/2: Jean-Gilles At RG, Barkley Cheering For McNabb and FredEx Drops Bombshell
By Lance Epstein
Jean-Gilles Starting AT Right Guard on Sunday:
Last week, guard Nick Cole was replaced by recently acquired Reggie Wells at right guard due to swelling in his right knee. On Friday, Cole missed his third consecutive day of practice and is expected to miss the game against the Washington Redskins (listed as questionable).
However, it will not be Wells who fills in for Cole at right guard this week. Head coach Andy Reid stated in his Friday afternoon press conference that Max Jean-Gilles would get the start if Cole were unable to go.
One of the reasons that Reid made the move to Jean-Gilles was because Wells had lined up at left tackle for the past six seasons. Reid explained it was not fair to ask Wells to make a drastic change in position after all these years.
"Reggie's been a left guard for the last six years," Reid said. "So to learn the offense and then put him on the right side, I'm not sure that's fair to him. Max has played both sides. Max came off a heck of a training camp, so I put him over there where he's played for us before and has a little better feel for the offense right now."
Still, Reid explanation does not make a whole lot of sense. Jean-Gilles had most of his success at left guard during training camp with left guard Todd Herremans was out due to a foot injury. While Jean-Gilles is versatile enough to play either spot, he is a significant downgrade from Cole. Expect the Redskins to send blitzers attacking he and center Mike McGlynn all day. Right now, the right interior line is the weakest spot on the Eagles offense and team will try to exploit it.
As for Wells, he was expecting to compete for the right guard position when he was traded to the Eagles for a 2011 sixth round draft pick in late August. Now, he knows he must wait for his opportunity to come.
"It's something I have to be patient with," Wells said. "Offensive line is more than just knowing the plays. It's being comfortable with the guy next to you and knowing where that guy is going to be as well."
Nevertheless, the opportunity for Wells might never come unless Herremans goes down with an injury. Moreover, Herremans has been getting better and better each week. In fact, he might be the Eagles best offensive lineman.
However, Herremans is extremely versatile, so it wouldn't be a big surprise if the Eagles shift him over to right guard. This would allow Wells to play his natural left guard position if Jean-Gilles struggles and Cole is out for a long period of time.
Barkley Cheering For McNabb and Wearing A Redskins Jersey:
Even though everyone in the media seems to be bashing the Philadelphia sports fans this week with Donovan McNabb potentially being booed, former Sixer great Charles Barkley actually stood up for them. In an interview with Howard Eskin and Ike Reese on 610 WIP, Barkley said one of his best moments of his career was coming back to Philadelphia and receiving a standing ovation.
However, the rest of the interview was about Barkley’s mancrush on McNabb. Barkley proclaimed he was going to wear his Donovan McNabb Redskins jersey that Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder sent him because he was a McNabb fan above being an Eagles fan.
"First of all, I can't wait to get to the game Sunday and I wanna personally thank Mr. Daniel Snyder for sending me my Donovan McNabb Redskins jersey. And I cannot wait," Barkley said. "Now, I'm a little disturbed because, you know, Michael Vick, I'm pulling for him. But I've always said that Donovan never has gotten the respect he deserves in Philadelphia and before Michael Vick got in the game I didn't know that he would be playing. But I'm wearing my Donovan McNabb jersey and I can't wait till Sunday at 4:15 Eastern."
Barkley will be in attendance for the highly anticipated return of McNabb. When asked about wearing a visiting team's jersey Barkley responded by saying he could cheer for whoever he wanted.
"Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I can't be a Donovan McNabb fan? 'Cause I'm in Philadelphia I've got to be an Eagles fan?... I'm a Donovan McNabb fan. Are you telling me no other fans can wear a jersey in- in- in- well, it's not Veteran's Stadium anymore. Into the Linc?...Is that one of the Ten Commandments? That's right under Thou shall not kill? Wait, Howard (Eskin the WIP host). Are you kidding me? Are you saying fans can't wear other teams' jerseys at the Linc?"
When told by Eskin that his decision to wear a Redskins McNabb jersey at the Linc was foolish, Barkley questioned him.
"Why?!? Why is it?! Howard, I can be a fan for who I wanna be. Well, I'm not worried about that," said Barkley about the abuse he will receiver from Eagles fans.
Finally, Barkley made his prediction on the game, which certainly will have the Philly crowd riled up to see him.
"I'll tell you what, Howard, the Redskins are gonna win the game," Barkley said. "I got a lotta love for Michael Vick and the Eagles, but when they traded my boy, I'm a Redskin fan now. And I can't wait to get to the game Sunday.
"It's called karma. It's called karma, Howard. You know, Donovan has never been treated good and it's just karma. It's just, like, the football gods are gonna rise up. They're gonna RISE up and this is gonna get the Redskins season started."
Eskin finished the interview asking Barkley if he was still an Eagles fan. He said he would be, but not this week.
The most intriguing part of the interview may have been Barkley and Eskin’s bet. If McNabb and the Redskins lose, then Barkley must wear a Michael Vick Eagles jersey the next time the Eagles played Washington. Barkley seemed rather confident that the Eagles would be on the losing end on Sunday.
"First of all, that's not goin' to happen," Barkley said. "And, you know, I'm really pullin' for Michael Vick, and I'm glad he's doin' well. But he's just in the wrong place at the wrong time this weekend."
It should be rather interesting to see the type of reception that Barkley will receive from the Philly faithful. Nevertheless, it’s hard to imagine someone getting in the face of the 6-foot-5 and 350 pound round-mound-of-rebound's face.
FredEX Delivers Blow To McNabb:
The Eagles never got the package that Freddie "FredEx" Mitchell was supposed to deliver when the franchise when they took him with their 2001 first round pick, but he has a good reason for it. He is blaming his former quarterback Donovan McNabb.
"I got drafted first round. I got stuck with Donovan McNabb as a quarterback. I got drafted before (Colts WR) Reggie Wayne. I got drafted before (Bengals WR) Chad Johnson (OchoCinco). I got drafted before (Ravens WR T.J.) Houshmendzadeh. I got drafted before (Panthers WR) Steve Smith.
"What did they have that I didn't have? They had a better quarterback. They had an accurate quarterback. They have Peyton Manning throwing the pill to this wide receiver that I don't even know the dude's name. Making him look like a freaking All-American. All he is doing is catching a pill. With McNabb I feel like I am Jimmy Rollins with the Phils catching ground balls."
During the 610 WIP radio interview with Howard Eskin and former Eagle Ike Reese, Mitchell stated he didn't even like McNabb and blasted his inability to go through his progressions.
"I really didn't like him because he wasn't going down the progressions," Mitchell said. "He wasn't going one, two, three and then four. I was the third progression off the offensive playbook so it was like I'm running my routes as hard as possible and he's not looking at that. He's going from one to the safety valve, which was Brian Westbrook, which isn't a bad safety valve, but a lot of the great quarterbacks, they'll read down the progression and that's how the west-coast offense is supposed to be ran."
Mitchell did not stop there, he reiterated that McNabb was not accurate with his throws and he never actually made his teammates better.
However the biggest bombshell came when Mithcell claimed that McNabb never wanted Michael Vick to be an Eagle in the first place regardless of what he said publicly.
"No, I don't believe he wanted him (Vick) there at all because Donovan wants all the attention on him," he said. "When Terrell came, there was no attention to Donovan McNabb. Nobody cared about Donovan. It was the T.O. show. Now when Vick came, it's just more pressure on Donovan because he knows how Philly fans are. As soon as he throws that one ball in the dirt, they're going to be like 'Let's go to Michael Vick. What is he doing? We're paying him this money. Get rid of him.' From Day 1, they wanted to get rid of Donovan McNabb."
After taking shots at his former teammate, Mitchell did conclude that McNabb has learned to go through all of his progression and that the Eagles shouldn't have traded him away.
Nonetheless, FredEX is searching for a way to get his name back in the media and someone to blame for his failures as a wide receiver. He must have forgotten that two other teams cut him after the Eagles. If it were all McNabb's fault, he'd still be in the league.
To listen to the entire interview here is the link...