Sixers Meet With Allen Iverson

The Sixers met with Allen Iverson today in Dallas for 2 hours to discuss the possibility of Iverson returning to the team. After the meeting concluded, no decision was made, but both sides are keeping their options open.

Ed Stefanski, Eddie Jordan, Tony DiLeo, and Aaron McKie met with Iverson and his agent to feel out where both sides are at. The Sixers released a statement after the meeting which said that the meeting went well and that there will be future talks in regard to this.

The Sixers actually do need to sign a guard, and Iverson seems to be the best choice out there. The Sixers started Jrue Holiday and Willie Green at the two guard spots yesterday against the Spurs. For some reason, Willie Green took 17 shots, and Jrue Holiday shows flashes, but looks lost a lot of times. Iverson could move right into a starting role on this team, and give the team and the fans a much needed shot of adrenaline.


Eagles Dodge Bullet, Beat Redskins

The Eagles just picked up a much needed win in a game that they very much needed to win, and a game that looked like they could easily let slip away. The Eagles outscored the Redskins 11-3 in the 4th quarter in order to win the game 27-24.

The Eagles started out the game shooting themselves in the foot and spotting the Redskins 7 points by attempting a failed onsides kick. The Eagles quickly bounced back, and put up a field goal and a touchdown reception by DeSean Jackson to take a 10-7. After a Redskins touchdown, 2 Asante Samuel interceptions led to 2 David Akers field goals and allowed the Eagles to take a 16-14 halftime lead.

The 3rd quarter was brutal for the Eagles, as they couldn't even get a first down. The Redskins scored a touchdown and kicked a field goal to take a 24-16 lead. McNabb however led the Eagles on a 90 yard drive capped off by an Eldra Buckley 1 yard touchdown run with 7:24 left on the clock. LeSean McCoy added the 2 point conversion to tie the game at 24. The defense held up, and the Eagles got the ball back, and drove down for the game winning 32 yard field goal with 1:48 remaining to give the Eagles the 27-24 win.

If you look at the balance, which will always be a problem under Andy Reid, the Eagles threw the ball 36 times, and called 27 runs. Shady McCoy and Leonard Weaver both ran the ball well. McCoy ended up with 17 carries for 76 yards, which is 4.5 yards a carry. Weaver carried 6 times for 44 yards, which is 7.3 yards per carry.

Donovan McNabb played well for the most part. He ended the game 21-35 for 260 yards with 1 TD, and 1 INT. McNabb, who is oft criticized for not being able to lead the team from behind in the 4th quarter, led 2 long drives in the 4th quarter - the game tying, and game winning drives. I'm sure the McNabb haters will find something to complain about though tomorrow. Maybe McNabb spend too much time on the field talking to Jason Campbell after the game.

The receivers dropped a lot of balls, included what seemed like about 5 for Celek. DeSean Jackson left the game in the 3rd quarter with concussion like symptoms. The defense really didn't seem to blitz a lot in my opinion, but unlike Andy Reid, I will actually trust that Sean McDermott knows what he is doing. This was only the 2nd time all season the Redskins scored above 20 points this season, so the defense did not play great, despite stepping it up at the end of the game.


Friday Football Picks

Willard – Overall Record: (26-17-1)
Missouri (-3) at Kansas
Giants (-5) at Broncos
Browns (+14) at Bengals
49ers (-3) vs. Jaguars

Jack Flack – Overall Record: (25-21-1)
Pittsburgh (PK) at West Virginia
Boise State (-14) vs. Nevada
Florida State (+24.5) at Florida
Panthers (+3) at Jets

Roget – Overall Record: (25-22)
Temple (-2.5) at Ohio
Florida State (+24.5) at Florida
Falcons (-12) vs. Buccaneers
Colts (-3.5) at Texans

Dr. G - Overall Record (23-21)
Nebraska (-10.5) at Colorado
Mississippi (-8) at Mississippi State
Vikings (-10) vs. Bears
Falcons (-12) vs. Buccaneers

C-Money – Overall Record (20-19-1)
Temple (-2.5) at Ohio
Boston College (-6) at Maryland
Florida State (+24.5) at Florida
Dolphins (-3) at Bills

Mr. Green – Overall Record: (19-27-1)
Florida State (+24.5) at Florida
Rutgers (-3) at Louisville
Temple (-2.5) at Ohio
Colts (-3.5) at Texans

Hollywood – Overall Record: (19-28)
Boise State (-14) vs. Nevada
Pittsburgh (PK) at West Virginia
Falcons (-12) vs. Buccaneers
Eagles (-9) vs. Redskins

Overall Winning Percentage
1. Willard (60%)
2. Jack Flack (54%)
3. Roget (53%)
4. Dr. G (52%)
5. C-Money (51%)
6. Mr. Green (41%)
7. Hollywood (40%)


Eagles Get Much Needed Win

The Eagles went into Chicago last night and left with a much needed 24-20 victory. This moves the Eagles to 6-4, and keeps them 1 game behind the first place Cowboys in the NFC East.

The Eagles were down 20-17 heading into the 4th quarter, but were able to mount a game winning drive with just over 5 minutes remaining in the game, capped off by a 10 yard McCoy touchdown run. McCoy finished the day with 20 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown. Donovan McNabb was sharp and finished 23-32 for 244 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. Even Michael Vick got into the action busting a 34 yard run in the 1st quarter on a scoring drive. DeSean Jackson led the receivers with 8 catches for 107 yards, and a TD. The offense played well for the most part, besides the 3 turnovers, which included a McNabb INT, and lost fumbles from LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson. The McNabb fumble was not a bad pass, DeSean Jackson just got out muscled on a slant route.

The defense played pretty well, especially considering the 3 Eagles turnovers. The 1 touchdown from the Bears was a touchdown pass to the tight end, which the Eagles definitely struggle covering. Chris Gocong was the victim on that play, but you can basically pick out any linebacker besides Will Witherspoon who can't cover tight ends. The defense did a good job holding the Bears out of the end zone in the first half, as the Bears could have gotten a lot more points than they put up. They only allowed Cutler to throw for 171 yards, and if you take away a 72 yard run from Bell, the Bears only ran for 54 yards, which included shutting down Bears RB Matt Forte.

I personally still do not think that the Eagles ran the ball enough in this game. The Eagles threw 33 passes (1 from Vick), and called 27 rushing plays, which includes 1 rush from McNabb that was a called sneak. These numbers aren't bad, but they aren't great. Keep in mind the Eagles ran the ball the final 7 plays of the game just to get to that number. Throughout the game, they still were not rushing the ball enough, especially against a team that does not stop the run well. They have many drives where they did not even run the ball at all. The numbers don't seem so bad because McNabb was effective, so they were moving the ball consistently through the air also. Going forward, I still would like to see the Eagles run the ball more.

The offensive line is still an area of concern for me, and I don't feel they played too well. Jason Peters got called for a tripping penalty, which negated a long pass to Jeremy Maclin, and Stacy Andrews was a scratch. These were 2 big offseason acquisitions, and neither has panned out as of yet.

Either way, the Eagles get the victory, 24-20, and welcome in the Washington Redskins next weekend, which will basically be another one the Eagles have to get.


Pitt Panthers Looking Ahead After Big Win

The Pitt Panthers have yet to get caught looking ahead, and that trend will need to continue when we face off against West Virginia the Friday after Thanksgiving for the Backyard Brawl.

The Panthers got a late bye this season, which meant they started the season playing 8 games in a row with no bye. Coming out of the bye with a 7-1 record and a #13 national ranking, the Panthers were looking at what looked like an easy, but trap game against Syracuse, and then their 3 toughest games of the season against Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Cincinnati.

The Syracuse game seemed easy, but Pitt could have easily gotten caught looking ahead. However, Pitt came out and stomped the Orange 37-10. Next up, the Fighting Irish. Again, Pitt could have been caught looking ahead of this game. Not because Notre Dame isn’t a good team, but because the game was essentially meaningless in terms of the Big East and Big East standings. Also, Pitt had their rivalry game to look forward to against West Virginia. Kotite’s Corner was live in Pittsburgh for this prime time game, and the game did not disappoint. Neither did the tailgating, which was one of the best tailgates I’ve ever been too. A prime time game, tailgating from 3:00-8:00 in weather that seemed more like a June baseball game all led to an unbelievable atmosphere for the game. As for the game itself, Pitt almost let a large 4th quarter lead slip away, but was able to come out on top 27-22.

This leaves the Panthers at 9-1, and #9 in the nation going into their 2nd bye this weekend, before their final 2 games of the season, which include the Backyard Brawl, and the final game at home against #5 Cincinnati, which is for the Big East championship, no matter what the outcome of the West Virginia game is.

This Pitt team has a lot of weapons. Dion Lewis is probably the best freshman in the nation, and already one of the top RB’s in the nation. His backup, Ray Graham is as solid a backup running back as you are going to find, and he is also a freshman. These 2 guys have made the transition moving on from Shady McCoy seamless. Pitt also has stars at wide receiver, and tight end. Jonathan Baldwin, sophomore, is becoming one of the best wide receivers in the nation, and had a coming out party against Notre Dame, where he made a couple highlight reel catches, including a very Larry Fitzgerald-like diving touchdown reception. At tight end, Dorin Dickerson has been a great surprise. Dickerson is one of the 8 finalists for the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end. At quarterback, Bill Stull have overcome a season’s worth of bad play to put together a tremendous senior season. Without Stull’s solid play, this team would not be in the position they are right now.

Pitt had put together a very solid season, but they need to continue to focus on each game, and it starts on Black Friday with West Virginia.


Eagles Look to Bounce Back Against Bears

The Eagles travel to Donovan McNabb’s hometown this weekend to take on the Chicago Bears who currently stand at 4-5. The Eagles will try to bounce back after losing two straight games to the Cowboys and Chargers.

Traveling to Chicago isn’t exactly the ideal situation in trying to break a 2 game losing streak. Even though the Bears aren’t playing well, and Cutler has been flat out bad this year, it is never easy to play a road game in Chicago. McNabb does always seem to play well there though when he goes back home. The defense has to bounce back after a disappointing performance against the Chargers. The defense has had to battle through injuries as of late, and might even be without Sheldon Brown this weekend. Sheldon Brown has never missed a game in his career, and is one of the veteran leaders on defense. Due to injuries and suspensions, the Eagles are very thin in the secondary, and at the linebacker position. As of now, the Eagles have not brought in any help at the cornerback position.

On offense, the Eagles will obviously be without Brian Westbrook, which unfortunately, they are probably used to by now. Just like the cornerback position, as of right now, the Eagles have not brought in a running back to help out at the position. LeSean McCoy, rookie phenom, should get most of the carries. In Andy Reid’s offense, this means he will get about 5-7. When Westbrook has been out this year, the Eagles have also given Leonard Weaver a good amount of carries each game, which they should continue to do.

The Bears have struggled all around at points this season. Even in recent years, when the Bears have not been good, their defense was always good. This year their defense isn’t bad against the pass, but is 21st against the run. The Eagles have played teams who struggle stopping the run already this year, but have not yet taken advantage of it, and Andy Reid is to blame for that. I believe the Eagles need to run the ball effectively to win this game. The offensive line finally pass blocked well against San Diego… unfortunately, they couldn’t open up any hole against an average San Diego defensive line. The offensive line has also been an area on the Eagles that is banged up, and they have not done a great job getting a push on the defensive line for the running backs. The Bears have also struggled on offense, mostly because Cutler has been bad, and Matt Forte has regressed in his sophomore season.

The Eagles need this win badly, but it won’t be easy. If the defense can hold up, the offense should be able to put the points on the board to win… assuming Andy Reid doesn’t lose the game with his play calling.

Friday Football Picks

Willard – Overall Record: (23-16-1)
Notre Dame (-6) vs. UConn
Colts (-1.5) at Ravens
Browns (+3.5) at Lions
Bills (+9) at Jaguars

Dr. G - Overall Record (22-18)
Notre Dame (-6) vs. UConn
BYU (-10) vs. Air Force
Cardinals (-9) at Rams
Bengals (-9.5) at Raiders

Jack Flack – Overall Record: (23-19-1)
TCU (-31) at Wyoming
Rutgers (-8.5) at Syracuse
Clemson (-21) vs. Virginia
Colts (-1.5) at Ravens

Roget – Overall Record: (22-21)
Temple (-10.5) vs. Kent State
Miami (-19.5) vs. Duke
Eagles (-3) at Bears
Colts (-1.5) at Ravens

C-Money – Overall Record (17-18-1)
BYU (-10) vs. Air Force
Penn State (-3) at Michigan State
Temple (-10.5) vs. Kent State
Steelers (-10) at Chiefs

Mr. Green – Overall Record: (18-24-1)
BYU (-10) vs. Air Force
Rutgers (-8.5) at Syracuse
Michigan State (+3) vs. Penn State
Packers (-6.5) vs. 49ers

Hollywood – Overall Record: (15-28)
Bowling Green (-10.5) vs. Akron
Ohio (PK) vs. Northern Illinois
Arkansas (-11.5) vs. Mississippi State
Eagles (-3) at Bears

Overall Winning Percentage
1. Willard (59%)
2. Dr. G (55%)
2. Jack Flack (55%)
4. Roget (51%)
5. C-Money (49%)
6. Mr. Green (43%)
7. Hollywood (35%)


Andy Reid Is Not Irreplaceable

Eagles coach Andy Reid is flat out no longer a very good coach. His pass happy offense now gets the Eagles into more trouble than it does well. There have been multiple times in Reid’s tenure with the Eagles, and multiple times just this season when the Eagles would be smart to just run the ball, but have not chosen to do so.

I’m not exactly sure who is calling the plays at the point, or who does what with the offense between Reid and Mornhinweg, but it makes no difference, because Mornhinweg just does whatever Andy Reid tells him to do. Andy Reid’s coaching style and attitude towards the fans and media is just getting old. It’s actually been old for a while, but I figured I would write another article stating my belief of wanting Andy Reid out of town.

Reid passes the ball way too much, doesn’t make adjustments during the game, doesn’t take advantage of other team’s weaknesses, can’t put together a successful game plan, is way too arrogant, doesn’t answer any questions during press conferences, treats the media like crap, and treats the fans like crap.

Andy Reid has been directly responsible for losses on the schedule. Take the game this season against the Oakland Raiders. This is a game that the Eagles should not and cannot lose. The Raiders are one the worst teams in the NFL against the run, and aren’t bad against the pass. Donovan McNabb was coming back from an injury, and wasn’t real sharp. This usually means to run the ball to help McNabb out. Instead, the Eagles passed the ball 46 times, and ran the ball 12, which does not include 2 McNabb runs. The Eagles were never down by more than 7 points in this game, so there was no reason to throw the ball. Reid’s play calling was directly responsible for a loss on the schedule that just can’t happen. To make matters worse, the following week the Raiders played the Jets, and the Jets ran the ball 54 times for 316 yards, and only threw 15 passes, and blew the Raiders out 38-0. Imagine that.

This notion that Andy Reid is the only person who can coach the Eagles, or that we won’t be able to find anybody else to coach the team successfully is a joke. Some people seem to think that Reid is a Joe Pa figure and can coach the Eagles for as long as he wants. That is ridiculous. Reid has had a great run as head coach of the Eagles; I am not trying to discredit that, and I am not trying to say he hasn’t done a solid coaching job here, because overall he has. But this team is going nowhere under Reid, and I believe that we can find someone better.

Unfortunately, Reid is loved by the organization, and I have a very bad feeling that a Reid extension is right around the corner, no matter how the Eagles do this season.


Big East No Longer the Big Least

Lots of people have liked to pile on Big East football for being weak recently after the conference lost Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. I’m not here to claim the Big East should be compared to the best conferences, but the fact remains, the Big East is no longer the weakest of the major BCS conferences.

Just a week ago, the Big East had four teams in the BCS top 25, which was tied for the most of any conference. At that point, it was more teams in the top 25 than the Big 12, ACC, and SEC. Currently, the Big East has 3 teams in the top 25 of the AP poll, 2 in the top 10. The only other conference with 2 top 10 teams is the SEC, which has 3, and that includes a very overrated LSU team. The Big 10 is horrible, and extremely overrated. It’s funny that the top 2 teams in the Big 10 are Ohio State and Penn State. Those two teams are currently ranked lower than their 2 Big East counterparts in the same state, which would be Cincinnati and Pitt.

Take a look here, as Big East Blogger Brian Bennett for ESPN.com breaks down how good the Big East’s situation currently is.


10 Things the Sixers Need To Do

1. Sign Allen Iverson. Listen, he is past his prime and somewhat selfish, but the Sixers attendance is extremely low, and that is something Iverson can help with. Iverson will put people in the stands. Most intelligent Sixers fans love Iverson, or at least support him. I've been to 1 Sixers game in the past few years, and it was the first game Iverson was back in town as a member of the Nuggets. This may stunt the growth of our young core, but something needs to happen. This team is not exciting and it feels like a minor league atmosphere. You can give him a 1 year deal, and probably get him at the veterans minimum. It is only a band-aid, but at least it stops some of the bleeding for this year.

2 . Make the trade that has been reported happen. The trade would send Nocioni to Boston, Kenny Thomas, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine to Philadelphia and Dalembert and J.R. Giddens to Sacramento. This trade isn't done to help this current Sixers team, because Thomas, Allen and Scalabrine all have expiring contracts. This trade is harder to make with the Speights injury, but it needs to be done today. If I never have to see Sammy D again, I will be a happy man.

3. Play rookie Jrue Holiday more. I was watching the Sixers play the Jazz the other day and they were down 25 and Holiday was not in. Why would I want to watch Royal Ivey play at that point? If the game is close, I understand not playing the 19 year old rookie, but if you are down 25 in the 4th quarter, Holiday should be in.

4. Run more plays for Thaddeus Young. Right now Andre Iguodala is the best player on the team. My problem with him is he is not the star of a team. He has the potential to be a triple-threat monster, especially in the Princeton Offense, but I just see him as a Scottie Pippen type player. Iguodala is great as a #2 option, but average as a #1 option. Thaddeus Young has a ton of talent. I think we have just scratched the surface on what Young is capable of, and Young is too unselfish. Young needs to demand the ball, and the Sixers need to start running some of the offense through Young to see if we have a star, or another above average role player. Thaddeus Young might never be as good as Iguodala, but we need to find out. He improves every year. He is tall and athletic with a nice shooters' touch.

5. If we are bringing Iverson back, I think it is time to think about trading Lou Williams. I know Lou is young, and gets opponents big men in foul trouble with his slashing abilities, but obviously what we have now is not working. When you look at the Sixers roster, nobody wants Brand or Dalembert (lets hope they pull off the deal with the Kings), Iguodala seems to be untouchable in Stefanski’s eyes, and he gets paid a lot. That leaves you with Speights, Young, Williams, and Holiday as young chips that other teams will have interest in. I think Speights and Young are untouchable and you need to see what you have in Holiday. That leaves Williams. He is not a true 1 and is too small to be a 2. Williams ideally is a 6th man. He has good energy coming off the bench. I think a championship caliber team would trade an expiring contract or a late 1st rounder for Lou.

6. Bring back Pat Croce in some capacity. Obviously Croce will want a lot of power, which is what was not given to him in the first place, and why he left. Ed Snider really only cares about the Flyers anyways, and thus he should bring in Croce to be what Snider is to the Sixers. Snider needs to get over his huge ego and realize that Croce is a talent, and a person that is a positive influence on an organization. The fans love Croce, and Croce can put people in the seats, and eventually build a successful team. Croce is a guy who understands the Philly mentality and who can get the fans and players motivated.

7. Treat Elton Brand like a normal player. Unfortunately, we have to realize we paid Brand way too much money, and Brand is not the same guy as he was in his prime. I know he makes so much money that it doesn’t seem worth it to play Speights over him. However, bottom line, Speights has been better than Brand this season. When Speights comes back from injury, if he continues to outplay Brand, Speights needs to be on the court as a starter. If Brand is playing poorly, bench him. Ed Stafanski made a bad signing. I hate saying that, because Stafanski is a friend of Kotite's Corner, but the team should have gone after Josh Smith. It’s a shame because Elton Brand is a really good, intelligent guy who works real hard.

8. The Princeton Offense is great if you are student of the game. In the NBA today, not many players are students of the game. The Sixers were exciting and won a lot the last 2 seasons while running the ball. This does not fit Brand’s style nor Jordan’s offense. Both need to adapt and they need to find a middle point. Right now they are not there and they need to be for the Sixers to be successful.

9. Have more ticket promotions. The Guys Night Out is a good idea. The Holiday Pack they just announced is average at best. Good job marketing! You need to get people in the seats. Have giveaways. Do something; Nova draws more fans when they play in the Wachovia Center. That should not happen.

10. If all else fails, start tanking.


Friday Football Picks

Willard – Overall Record: (21-14-1)
Louisville (-7.5) vs. Syracuse
Buccaneers (+10) at Dolphins
Bengals (+7) at Steelers
Bills (+6.5) at Titans

Dr. G - Overall Record (21-15)
Arkansas (-13.5) vs. Troy
San Diego State (-7.5) vs. Wyoming
Broncos (-3.5) at Redskins
Saints (-13.5) at Rams

Jack Flack – Overall Record: (21-17-1)
Indiana (+25) at Penn State
Stanford (+10.5) at USC
Utah (+19.5) at TCU
Saints (-13.5) at Rams

Roget – Overall Record: (21-18)
Temple (-4) at Akron
Pittsburgh (-6.5) vs. Notre Dame
Falcons (-1.5) at Panthers
Broncos (-3.5) at Redskins

C-Money – Overall Record (15-16-1)
Arkansas (-13.5) vs. Troy
Virginia Tech (-18.5) at Maryland
Broncos (-3.5) at Redskins
Falcons (-1.5) at Panthers

Mr. Green – Overall Record: (17-22)
Temple (-4) at Akron
Utah (+19.5) at TCU
Boston College (-4) at Virginia
Steelers (-7) vs. Bengals

Hollywood – Overall Record: (13-26)
Central Florida (+4.5) vs. Houston
Utah (+19.5) at TCU
Dolphins (-10) vs. Buccaneers
Packers (+3) vs. Cowboys

Overall Winning Percentage
1. Willard (60%)
2. Dr. G (58%)
3. Jack Flack (55%)
4. Roget (54%)
5. C-Money (48%)
6. Mr. Green (44%)
7. Hollywood (33%)


Friday Football Picks

Willard – Overall Record: (20-11-1)
Penn State (-5) vs. Ohio State
Bears (-3) vs. Cardinals
Eagles (-3) vs. Cowboys
Steelers (-3) at Broncos

Dr. G - Overall Record (19-13)
BYU (-13) at Wyoming
Oregon (-7) at Stanford
Falcons (-10) vs. Redskins
Packers (-9.5) at Buccaneers

Jack Flack – Overall Record: (20-14-1)
Penn State (-5) vs. Ohio State
Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Iowa State
Georgia Tech (-14) vs. Wake Forest
Eagles (-3) vs. Cowboys

Roget – Overall Record: (20-15)
Pittsburgh (-21) vs. Syracuse
Penn State (-5) vs. Ohio State
Jaguars (-6) vs. Chiefs
Ravens (-3) at Bengals

C-Money – Overall Record (14-13-1)
USC (-10) at Arizona State
Notre Dame (-12.5) vs. Navy
Oregon (-7) at Stanford
Texans (+9) at Colts

Mr. Green – Overall Record: (14-21)
Northwestern (+16) at Iowa
Central Florida (+34.5) at Texas
NC State (-6.5) vs. Maryland
Eagles (-3) vs. Cowboys

Hollywood – Overall Record: (13-22)
LSU (+7.5) at Alabama
Packers (-9.5) at Buccaneers
Eagles (-3) vs. Cowboys
Broncos (-3) vs. Steelers

Overall Winning Percentage
1. Willard (65%)
2. Dr. G (59%)
2. Jack Flack (59%)
4. Roget (57%)
5. C-Money (52%)
6. Mr. Green (40%)
7. Hollywood (37%)