Four-for-Four: The Fight or Flight Edition

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Mar 26, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly speaks to reporters at the NFL Annual Meetings. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports


Feb 5, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates during a Super Bowl championship parade held in downtown Seattle. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of the Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson and prior to the receiver inking a new deal with the Washington Redskins, Seahawks cornerback and contributor Richard Sherman penned a lengthy piece giving his two cents on how the situation unfolded in Philadelphia. Sherman, who also grew up around Jackson in California, praised the receiver for not cutting ties with the people who surrounded him as he was coming up from a tough situation. Sherman would shift gears toward bashing the organization that cut ties with Jackson. Subtlety, as we all know, is not something that the All-Pro cornerback and Stanford grad places much value on.

"“And if they’re accused of a crime, as DeSean’s friends have been, should that reflect poorly on me? Consider that for every several guys I try to help who end up dead or in jail, there’s another person I was able to rescue from a similar end. Should I give up on everybody out of fear of being dirtied by the media? Sorry, but I was born in this dirt. NFL teams understand that. The Seattle Seahawks get it. The Philadelphia Eagles apparently do not.”"

He would supplement his black-and-white stance by calling up the way the Eagles handled the Riley Cooper situation, essentially rewarding a player with a new contract not even a year after uttering a horrible racial slur that was captured on video. The article took a full-fledged racial stance on the picture of Jackson that was painted towards the end of his time in Philadelphia. Sherman, an African-American male with strong pride in his roots and where he grew up, carried the banner for similar players around the NFL and was praised for bravely questioning the motives of an organization. The problem was, is, and will continue to be: Richard Sherman knows as much about the Eagles organization as you and me. I might not be as smart as Richard Sherman and realize I don’t have a multi-million dollar outlet fluffing my articles to build upon the legend that the fiery defensive back has carved out for himself. I am, however, aware of where my place in the world is when it comes to making bold proclamations and assumptions about something I have limited, if any knowledge about. Sherman has spent time in two locker rooms that might replicate the atmosphere of an NFL team’s: Stanford’s and Seattle’s. For what is supposed to be a sacred haven for NFL teams to operate without the eye of the world peeking in on them, Sherman apparently knows what’s going on in the Philadelphia locker room more than its head coach, GM, and owner.

Not once in Sherman’s article did he address the possibility, even remote, that maybe Jackson’s teammates and coach didn’t like him for reasons beyond their control. If Sherman wants to come off as a journalist in his spare time, maybe he should wait until the story unfolds and people are on the record as to why something took place. How come Sherman has not said anything in regards to the reports that Jackson, Sherman’s good friend and childhood mate, blatantly disrespected his teammates and coach? Why hasn’t Mr. Shutdown noted the importance of locker room chemistry and maybe, just maybe the fact that when a player curses and undermines at a coach during his first year in the NFL, the situation is not ideal for either party? Finally, how can Sherman take such a definitive stance, and garner praise no less, for a two-sided affair that has had neither party speak ill of the other in the course of almost a week now? I have nothing against Sherman having a medium to express his thoughts on the league he plays in. He is a brilliant mind who has a way with words and is a strong representation that the NFL can hitch its wagon to. That being said, and I am shocked that no one considered the magnitude of such a vindictive article and at least told Sherman to wait, to substantiate such a stance on an organization of which Sherman has zero knowledge and his only background material and research is playing baseball with Jackson when the two were kids is irresponsible and hackneyed. The fact that Sherman garnered praise for his piece for days, only to have a new report surface addressing the most likely reason for Jackson’s release make the irresponsible journalism by Sherman and the staff that much more troubling.


While the rest of the world is still trying to make sense of why the Eagles cut DeSean Jackson (they know why, that’s all that matters), the organization is moving forward like they would have regardless of the media storm surrounding them. Logically, the narrative that started to develop following Jackson’s departure was how they would try to replace him. To use a term like ‘replace’ when it comes to a special talent like Jackson is probably a bit too bold, but that is the world we live in. With all impact free agent wide receivers picked clean, the focus has shifted toward possibly the best wide receiver draft in NFL history. The Eagles have been linked to almost every big wide receiver prospect as the draft draws nearer, but one name has started to surface quite a bit, and for good reason.

In the coming weeks, expect to hear the name Brandon Cooks linked to the Eagles quite a bit. The Oregon State product is oozing withe confidence, and has the talent and production to back it up. Cooks led the country in receiving yards (1730), and was 2nd in touchdowns (16) and receptions (128). At the NFL combine, all the wideout did was post the second-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.33), and the fastest 60 and 20-yard shuttle times. At 5’10”, it is possible that Cooks will deal with the same limitations that Jackson did. He does not have the physicality or the frame to wrestle defenders for passes and haul in jump balls. What he does have is world-class speed, the ability to turn any short catch into a touchdown, and the necessary attitude toward being a smaller receiver in the NFL. This quote, an excerpt from Jimmy Kempski’s article on Cooks, is just a small look into that confidence.

"When asked who he compared his game to, Cooks noted Steve Smith (the good one), Antonio Brown, and Jackson. “People want to knock me on my height, and those guys are in the same height category as me and they’re potential hall of famers. They have records. They do it big. Those are guys who are out there making plays, and they’re under 5’10, and they’re doing it at a high level.”"

Lofty expectations for the confident Cooks. If words don’t do it for you, maybe his highlight reel will.

Something tells me Chip would be willing to overlook the fact that he is a Beaver and would love nothing more to have him don Eagle green.


This past week, former ‘most-hated player on Eagles’ Patrick Chung re-signed with the New England Patriots, for whom he spent the first four seasons of his career with. Though Chung had long since been cut from the Eagles, ridding the city of his missed tackles and terrible angles, it was still worth following where the safety ended up. Strange as it is, the Patriots decided to bring Chung back to Foxborough, albeit on much less friendly terms. Soon-to-be second year safety Earl Wolff, a player many expect to contend for a starting safety position, reached out to his former teammate to wish him well. I’m not sure if it’s a secondary thing, or the fact that Chung didn’t get the chance to light up Wolff when he was trying to bring down a ball-carrier. If nothing else, the young player’s words of encouragement only added to the hilarity that was Chung’s time in Philadelphia.

“Ok, Earl. Now that Patrick is gone, I want you to forget everything he has ever said to you or tried to teach you. EVERYTHING.”-Chip Kelly, hopefully.