Lehigh training camp is amazingly still within the realm of possibility... perhaps only by the grace of many years of accumulated credibility of the Eagles organization for paying its obligations and supporting the economy of the northeastern Pennsylvania community---which today holds out desperate hope for an Eagles camp in 2011...
I don't see a CBA deal getting officially done until later this week... which means the folks up in Lehigh and Bethlehem may in fact be left high and dry for this preseason...
Too bad. And kind of sad...seeing as the economic stimulus of a regular Eagles TC would make a huge economic difference in the current recessionary (read depression) economic climate of the region...
The hope that things may improve quickly enough to save Lehigh's "August economy" is broadcast by the NFL Network tonight....
The economics behind a new collective bargaining agreement – the biggest chunk of the work – is done, says the NFL Network’s Albert Breer.
“The parties closed in on an agreement on the rookie compensation system Thursday (July 14), the single biggest benchmark of progress over the last two weeks of talks,” Breer writes.
“A lot of details remain, though it’s hard to envision those left standing in the way of a labor deal.”
NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora is being told that the two sides will reconvene face-to-face with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan in Minnesota on Tuesday (July 19).
Issues remaining include retirees benefits, player safety, an appeals process for player discipline, worker’s compensation and injury guarantees in contracts.
Okay, it's sounding pretty good... but no matter how you slice it, this delay in regular activities due to the prolonged lockout is going to have some effect on early-season play by all teams... in big part due to loss of TC time at traditional training camp sites... The Jets have just announced their cancellation of traditional TC venue... can Lehigh's demise be far behind?
I hope not. But I am extremely dubious of a new CBA agreement's gravitas late next week being enough to convince Joe Banner that he should pony up $1 million to move the 2011 Eagles' preseason drills to Bethlehem and back. In fact, the deposits on the Lehigh U. facilities may have already been forfeited...
Meanwhile, we still entertain personnel issues...
Take LeSean McCoy...
Consider that Lesean McCoy is on the cutting edge of legitimate stardom as a feature back in the NFL... How many carries and touches do you want to expose this guy to in a season where training camp may be abbreviated at best?
There is a tendency in a season following a work stoppage or period of labor unrest to "catch up to speed" as quickly as possible...and often this means overloading your proven performers with extra responsibility.
In a shortened training camp environment, why risk the unknown---or even bother with involving unproven rookies or unschooled free agents in the limited number of reps available?
The tendency is always to go with your #1 guy on the Depth Chart... and to use every minute of limited prime-time available in an abbreviated camp upon your first string veterans...
And here's the catch:
There's an old superstition (mainly based on fact) in the NFL called "The Curse of 370"...
This is the theory that a running back with 370 or more carries during the regular season will usually suffer either a major injury or loss of effectiveness the following year...(unless he is named Eric Dickerson). Occasionally, the loss of effectiveness or injury takes place two years later (see: LaDainian Tomlinson, 2004). 370 carries is not a hard and fast rule, but a useful guideline to running back overuse... Introduced in Pro Football Forecast 2004, the 370-carry theory was expanded in Pro Football Prospectus 2006 to include any season with 390 carries in the regular season and postseason combined... Only carries count, not receptions. Read more here.
Is LeSean McCoy suddenly in danger of the repercussions of "The Curse of 370"--- due to the expected limitations of training camp reps in 2011 for the guys who would normally be competing for his backup role in a non-lockout year?
We know those extra reps in TC will be in short supply this year, even if the Birds do get to somehow resurrect an abbreviated Lehigh University training camp.
It's a weird scenario. You want your feature back to be ready...but not "too ready"... as in over-worked and fatigued from a "Cliff's Notes" version of a shortened training camp...
And frankly, since I take the "Curse of 370" seriously, I also include receptions along with carries to account for the total of body-shots a running back is going to take over the course of a full season--- and which all ultimately add up to the premature destruction of a great career.
McCoy can only be expected to take so many shots in a given season. He's human, not a machine, and can only have a limited number of hits to absorb before he breaks down.
This all boils down to about 23 touches per game for McCoy over a 16-game regular season... which is basically what the current Eagles offensive design expects of him.
With a truncated training camp, and no premium veteran back on the roster to give McCoy a breather in a close game (assuming Harrison leaves for free agency), it is not hard to imagine the "Rule of 370" (counting receptions with carries) consuming and destroying McCoy.
I'm sure the Eagles management and coaching staff is aware of this variable. I'm sure they will do whatever is necessary to keep McCoy fresh as possible and to provide a reasonable backup option so that Shady can get as much rest as possible during the preseason and the regular season practice weeks.
I'm just a little worried there will not be enough time available in a lockout-shortened training camp to develop "go-to" confidence in any backup alternative to your feature back...which could mean Shady is in for a long and grueling---and perhaps career-shortening---campaign in 2011.
History has shown that a RB with an excessive number of carries suffers within a couple of yrs. L Johnson, M Turner, fast W Parker, LT. This is just recent memory. So your article does merit serious consideration, but because Reid looks for any excuse to chug it around, it may not hurt as much as other positions like LB. Do we bring in a FA and basically give him only TC to get up to speed? Ave FA LB won't matter, but will you spend big money on someone knowing he will have little time? In a week, we will gt the answers to all these
It kind of seems like I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth, but it still amazes and infuriates me when I note how much leaks both sides have in these negotiations. Why did we have to know about the players latest plot or that the plaintiffs were being notified for settlement purposes. I wonder if the lock out would have lasted this long if there was a total media black out
Lupes, any thoughts on back up RB? I think Harrison would want to try FA, not sure there are many open starting spots in the league. He's a good runner but his pass pro was questionable. Will gladly keep him though. Outside of him R Bush will help but probably will be pricey
@Kenemeka Kenny, I don't have a real clue as to whom they will sign if Harrison walks... but if I were a betting man, I'd say Clinton Portis is ready and willing to take a pay cut to come here...
If Westwood ever played with the confidence of Ian Poulter, he would be a world beater. He's accurate on the T, a pretty good putter too. Rory will be around a while cos he has the balls to go for it
@Kenemeka Agreed. Westwood's driving and iron play is great .......... With the putter like Garcia he is streaky!!!
Rory is the real deal though ........ to recover after Master's Sunday to win the US Open the way he did and by that margin was unreal. Was also the lowest 72 hole US Open score in history as well.
Kent))) I thought Fowler and D Johnson were the best players on Saturday. That performance was under trying conditions. The final pairings came after the weather had chilled. Glover couldn't putt to save his life on Saturday, for a solid putter, that killed him. I was disappointed with Fowler because he simply didn't mount a charge; even on Saturday you felt he was playing well within himself for the first 11 holes or so
@Kenemeka Royal St Georges is not really a charging type course unless the weather is fair and you are Greg Norman. It is a beast.................Agreed Glover had a mare on the greens at the week end!! No 15 was so difficult. The greens are nearly all raised with run-offs all around. Trying to hold them greens is bloody difficult. A bit like your Pinehurst no2
For 18 holes,..and I was a fair gulfer,..on comparably matched courses,..link vs american,...i shoot around 10 strokes higher on links.
I was disappointed with Fowler actually. I thought he played too reserved especially on Saturday. He never charged today. But I will say that Americans still have a bunch of young guys coming through
@Kenemeka You always do...... But British golf is pretty good at the moment as well!!
@Kenemeka Think you are being a bit hard on Fowler. I thought his Saturday round was one of the best of the Championship.........nothing happened for him on the greens today though!!!
@Kent Phil 1967 Rory is awesome, so is Paddy. I don't respect McDowell as much nor Donald. Westwood if he can keep his head is pretty solid. Outside that, I don't think The Brits can win over here consistently
A couple of real important strokes)))) Clarkes monster par save at one along with Johnson missing an easier putt for a bird; then Mickelson misses a gimme for par, Clarke miraculously misses a sure bunker and dropped shots while Lefty dumps right in to it. The D Johnson OOB was a killer with just 2 out and on a par 5. Having said that, I was happy for Clarke. Wish Monty had won a major as well too
Kenny,..perk up!!!,..that's a links type golf course,..that's the tradition of gulf,..it suits any gulfer of merot,...carry on!
Phil, now I've got you here, why are the greens and fairways almost same color? And what's with all the undulations, you can hit a perfect T shot and end up with the worst possible result. I don't think the best player wins there, I think you just need to be a bit consistent and then very lucky
That's Links golf for you!!! It's a totally different game. The fairways are incredibly tight and could pass as greens - notice the number of putts from off the greens!!!! The bumps and hollows are all natural and in that wind you need to keep the ball low....... Thomas Bjorn hit some awesome iron shots today as did Darren!!!! Of the American the player who impressed me most was Ricky Fowler ........ He can deff play links golf!!
Yo 3D!!!!,....as per my address,..which perhaps you did not read,..my intentions at the Black Hole,...for the most part,.will be limited and somewhat perfunctory,..in tune with the site. I always appreciate yur interest,..though,.guvna',..in my welfare.
Phil missed so many short putts,..it was baffling. Methinks i counted 6 fairly ez tap-ins. Clarke was solid...he suks.,..as does anyone from "overdere!"...Carry on.
@briview All missed to the right . ........ methinks he pushes his putts with that bladed putter!!!!! And Clarke was a very good Sukker indeed!!!
The English summer looks mighty fine to me! I could especially relate to the pub scene this evening! What a great championship it was!
Nice, Phil...an on-the-scenes report from the British Open!... what more could we wish for? Thank you...
@Tom Jackson Your welcome!!! Shame about the English contingent though. Lee Westwood was awesome on Wednesday and supposedly he had the best tee to green figures for the first two days ....................... But no putts dropped!!! What about Mickleson on the front nine today ............ awesome until that missed putt on 11. That hole on the Wednesday the pros were struggling to get to with driver and it's a par 3!!!!!!!
I'm back!!!!!! 5 days off for the Open in God's good country!!!! Went on Wednesday to final practice wearing my Phillies cap and Kent cricket top. As I was walking past the the two monster bunkers on no 4 some old American walked past me and shouted Go Yankees ................... I laughed!!!!!! Then had the honour of watching Ricky Barnes tee off on no 4 with just a couple of mates not knowing then that he was not even in the field!!!!! Well done Darren Clarke, and unlucky D Johnson ............... Thought he was going to challenge until the 2nd shot at Suez ........... Trust me that is one daunting golf hole!!!!!! Especially for the right handed slicer!!!!
Can somene PLEASE tell me what uncle cholly is doing today... Is he TRYING to give another one away? Hey how's bout you leave madsen in to pitch to a few more guys... He only walked 3 and hit one guy so that you HAD to use Bastardo in the 8th and then bring him back out for the 9th... Something he's never done and WOW what a surprise the guy is getting shelled now. Jesus Christ!
The final was 8 - 5 Phitens. Alls well that ends well