I love Shaun Phillips' enthusiasm. His Leather Tuscadero/"two thigh taps and point" sack dance was one of the highlights of the 2004 season. But this is not the time to get arrested for something stupid.
Steve Foley, whose intensity was the catalyst for that division title, has now joined Phillips in lockup. Apparently, he was driving with expired Arkansas tags and resisted arrest. The cops smelled booze on his breath and had to detain him. Foley is a beast, so I can't imagine that being an easy task.
I can only imagine how Donnie Edwards feels right now. Even with his timely interceptions two years ago, I've always viewed him as more of a complementary player than a game-changer. However, there is no disputing his leadership qualities on the field and even less question as to his extracurricular conduct. I understand why he might not be worth a new deal after his current one expires at the end of this season. However, I can't understand how trading him for a 3rd round draft pick benefits us right now. Others among us agree:
You have more or less been a supporter of A.J., but what in the hell is he doing now? Even though Edwards has not been traded yet, I really don't get what he is doing. It looks like he is dismantling this team. Who is next on the block, Merriman?
On top of that, we still do not have any O-line help, and we lost Hallen and Van Buren We still have Fletcher and Davis to replace, and that is in a secondary that needed an upgrade even with them in the mix. Sure, these were all just second and third tier players, but all we are doing is losing depth and not replacing it in any way. We started out having holes we needed to fill, but they seemed addressable. Now, all Smith has done is jettisoned several players and signed no impact free agents for these positions. And there is no way A.J. can replace this many holes through the draft.
I am still holding out hope that A.J. knows what he is doing, because in the past he has been in situations where he looked like he didn't, but in the end it became apparent he did have a plan and it worked. But the problem is that it seems to me that with the direction we are going that there is no plan I can think of that is going to make us better next year. We have too many holes too fill and not enough options to fill them.
I have been a supporter of AJ, but that is because, as Kelly pointed out, his track record has warranted it. However, you are right that it doesn't seem like we are using our resources (financial or personnel) to upgrade this team. Then again, I remember calling the front office numerous times before the 1994 season to question what we were doing to improve the team after letting Anthony Miller go to Denver. Look for a pre-draft installment of "The Justice Files" next week as well as a full-blown update on www.justiceiscoming.com.
Also, feel free to check out my analysis of Theodore Roosevelt and Jerry Garcia as historical icons on American Heritage's website.