A lot of changes for Eagles after Week 1: The NFL is a dynamic model…

LB Leonard Weaver’s knee injury turned out to be a season-ending ACL tear…all Leonard says he remembers is “extreme, intense pain…and the sound of one of the Packers getting nauseous…”

Owen Schmitt (6-2, 245, 3rd year out of West Virginia U.) was signed by the Eagles to replace Weaver on the roster after the Seahawks released Schmitt last week…Yes, he’s THAT Owen Schmitt, the guy who headbanged himself with his own helmet in a pregame show… This may be his last chance to become a legitimate starter in the NFL…

Jamaal Jackson’s arm injury suffered in the Packers game turned out to be a torn triceps requiring surgery…he’s done for the season…and will be replaced at Center by backup Mike McGlynn for the upcoming game in Detroit…

It’s up to MLB Omar Gaither to prove he can fill in the middle for Stewart Bradley on Sunday against the Lions…Bradley’s concussion will keep him out of action for another week…Gaither admitted after the Packers game, “I won’t lie…I was a little behind the speed of the action (against the Pack)….I will catch up and I will do better…”

And perhaps the biggest dynamic that currently affects our model of the Philadelphia Eagles this season so far: QB Kevin Kolb failed his post-concussion test for this week, so the Birds are now in the hands (and legs) of Mike Vick.

I went to a new ESPN interview with Randall Cunningham, the Eagles’ great ex-QB who was a prototype for the kind of slash-and-pass player Vick wants to be…Cunningham is somewhat recovered from the grief he and his wife have suffered over the tragic summer accident that took their baby son’s life…of, course, Cunningham pointed out, “the pain of that loss will never be over…”

However, Cunningham is piecing back together his daily life, and is enough involved now to comment on the ever-changing Kolb/Vick situation:

“It’s a no-win situation for Kevin, unfortunately,” said Cunningham. “He is up and coming, but Michael Vick still has a lot of great years ahead of him. He is a rushing quarterback with a great arm and is a winner. Michael Vick wins games, and I think he’s going to win at least 10 games for the Eagles this year.”

“The door has been opened,” said Cunningham, “and that is all Vick needs – for a door to open. Andy Reid has been staunch in his support for Kolb as his starting quarterback, and is not the type to move off a very calculated decision based on a half of football or public sentiment. … But I’ll tell you this: if Vick was sitting on the bench behind me, I would have run for more yards than I did because I knew he would be chasing me.”

Yes, Randall, the door has been opened in a lot of ways for Eagles fans to find out just exactly what we have on our plate for 2010…I don’t know about Randall’s opinion on Vick havving “a lot of great years ahead” of him—at least not in his current style of play. But Vick undeniably has at least one or two more run-and-gun seasons left in his legs. Of course, the Eagles are currently just one big hit on Vick away from Mike Kafka taking over the offense in Detroit. I wonder if the Birds are on the phone to Jeff Garcia as we speak?

Speaking of what’s on our plates, the TailGate Recipes I was fortunate to receive from a couple of great guys over at’s On The Inside fan forum turned out great for me last Sunday (even my sister-in-law visiting from Green Bay loved the food!)…

Officer Matt’s “Grilled Mac ‘n’ Cheese…..

Stine’s Grill-Steamed Clams

I enjoyed grilling these new recipes while preparing for the Birds-Packers game on Sunday…Since I’m a rookie griller, it was a great way to deflect pre-game tension as I wrestled with the JennAir…

First up was a Grilled Mac and Cheese creation submitted by U.S. Army Officer Matt who’s stationed down in Fort Hood, Texas…

Get one of those throw away 12’’x8″x4″ aluminum trays and add 2lb of elbow/shells/rigatoni…your choice, cooked to aldente(+), then stir in 1/2 stick of butter on hot pasta…. then cool( oh yeah, spray the pan with Pam first). THEN, In a plastic microwavable dish, put 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1/2 cup of red onion (minced), 1/4 log of velveeta or a large pack of velveeta slices, 1/2 lb of grated sharp cheddar and microwave until melted. Add 1/4 cup of whole whipping cream and 1/2 cup of sour cream to the melted mixture, stir thoroughly, and then fold the entire mixture into the pasta. Cover with plastic wrap AND aluminum foil… refrigerate until you are ready to throw it on the grill… then place it on the top rack covered for at least 1/2 hour and then uncover for at least 15-20 minutes…. you really have to play the cooking part by ear because every grill is different as far as heat goes.”
“(Extra note: when you go to add the microwave mix to the pasta… you need to play it by ear… if the pasta is on the aldente side, you want it to be soupier but not sloppy…if the pasta is more done than you are looking for it to be, that is, a little closer to mac and cheese texture straight off the stove, the secret is to add the microwave mix as needed… you do not need to use it all every time… sometimes it comes out a little too stiff, so you just add a little more whole whipping cream or sour cream to get the right consistency… it all gets back to the ‘doneness’ of the pasta…)”

Next up was Stine, who is a regular commenter Emeritus from the great state of New Jersey. He introduced me to a Steamed Clams recipe which you can actually produce on a gas grill…

“I find that simple is best when tailgating….maybe prepare everything prior, but once there it is best to cook, eat and be merry imo… however, I do love cooking clams at the game on occasion… just throw ’em on and take ‘em off when they open… yummy .The clams steam in their own salt water. You simply put them on the hot grill….when they open they are done…You haven’t cooked clams on the grill before? OMG! That is the best way to have them and easiest, too…however, make sure you cook the other food first….the salt water spills all over the grill and makes other foods taste funny if not cleaned off first… and you do not have time for that at a game…
Don’t forget to melt the butter first!! (for dipping the finished clams in after they’re steamed) …
Make sure you have tongs to take the clams off the grill LOL I forgot one time and it was a mess!
Let me know how they go over….”

They went over great, Stine! As did Matt’s recipe… Thank you, gentlemen!


Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.