Tommy Lawlor knows football.
When his preschool classmates were learning their ABC's, he was studying his X's and O's. When they were watching Bambi at home, he was tuning into the Eagles vs. Cowboys. And when his peers looked up to Scooby Doo as a role model, he looked up to Ron Jaworski. I could go on and on forever, but you get my point.
If you don't already know Tommy Lawlor (or goeagles99 on the official Philadelphia Eagles message board), then allow me to introduce him to you:
Meet Tommy Lawlor
- Writer for Philadelphiaeagles.com
Click here to view his articles
- Creator of www.scoutsnotebook.com
- Has been trained by an NFL scout in the art of scouting and player evaluation
- Following the Eagles for almost 20 years
- Creator of well known Philadelphia Eagles blog: www.eaglesblitz.blogspot.com
- One heck of a Philadelphia Eagles fan
Tommy is well known and well liked by the Eagle fans that dwell the Philadelphia Eagles message board. He is the "go-to-guy" when it comes to draft questions and Eagles' game reviews. His evaluations of Eagle games and players are very detailed and engrossing.
Because Tommy Lawlor knows his pigskin, I decided to conduct an interview with the "Eagles' Einstein" to hear his thoughts on various subjects, as well as the up-coming 2009-2010 Philadelphia Eagles season.
INTERVIEW WITH TOMMY LAWLOR
Question 1 : How did you become apart of the Philadelphia Eagles website?
Tommy: Back in March of 2003 I signed up for the team's message board. Hugh Douglas and Shawn Barber were free agents. I live down in NC and hoped to get some local news about what was going to happen with those guys. I loved Hugh and desperately wanted to see him stay. The Eagles message board wasn't exactly a great place back then. There were lots of questions, but few good answers. I started answering questions. Then I began writing out long posts about the team. Once the season rolled around I started writing detailed game reviews. Over time I built up a bit of a following. In 2006 the team gave me a spot in their blog section. They came to me and asked if I'd be interested. I talked to Dave Spadaro the next summer about writing for the website and that is when Fandemonium came about. My articles began appearing on the front page of PE.com in September of 2007.
Question 2 : What are some of the perks that come with being a writer for the Eagles?
Tommy: I don't get paid to write my articles, but I get access to a huge audience. That has helped my own website, Scoutsnotebook.com, to really grow. I also get to be associated with a great website. Dave, Chris McPherson, and Bob Kent run the best website in the NFL. That isn't just my opinion. They've gotten an award for that a couple of times.
Question 3 : Who was your favorite Eagles player growing up?
Tommy: My all time favorite Eagle is Reggie White. I absolutely loved him. He could play DE or DT. He was a force against the run and a great pass rusher. He was also a good person. Set aside the religious stuff and just focus on the fact he was a strong part of the community. I was devastated when he left. That was the end of an era. One distinct memory of him came against Dallas in 1992. He got into the backfield and reached out for Troy Aikman. Reggie got his thumb and index finger on Troy's jersey. Reggie then pulled him down for a sack. That's a strong dude. My favorite Reggie moment was when he sacked Saints QB Bobby Hebert for a sack late in the wildcard win we had in 1992. Reggie jumped up and signaled for the safety. He was incredibly excited and emotional. That ended a lot of playoff frustration and was a great, great moment.
Question 4 : Who is your favorite Eagle player now?
Tommy: I love both Brian Westbrook and Trent Cole, but I'd probably choose Cole between the two. I'm a sucker for defense. I was a big fan of Trent's when he was in college. He played on a very talented Cincinnati defense. Cole was the hardest working guy and was around the ball a lot. Those traits have followed him to the NFL. Trent isn't the most talented guy, but he will beat you through sheer effort if he has to. I respect the heck out of that. He is a talented athlete, but all too often we see guys with great natural gifts, but they lack the focus and drive to take advantage of that ability. Cole is an overachiever.
Question 5 : What training camp battle are you most excited to see this year?
Tommy: The spot I'm most focused on is LDE. We need Victor Abiamiri to step up and win that job. The defense needs him to become a good starter in order to get even better than last year. I don't want Victor to win the job because Juqua Parker isn't impressive. I want Juqua to have a very good training camp and Victor to have a great training camp. I am curious about what will happen at FS. Sean Jones and Quintin Demps will fight for that job. I also wonder if Omar Gaither can really push Akeem Jordan for the starting gig at WLB.
Question 6 : Name one Philadelphia Eagle who will surprise us this year and why.
Tommy: Trevor Laws is a player to watch. He played DT for Notre Dame in 2006. He moved to DE in 2007 and played in the 3-4. Last season he had to adjust to playing DT in the NFL. He had to learn our scheme. There shouldn't be any real change this year. He now has a good feel for our scheme and the NFL. Trevor got better as the season went along last year. I'm expecting him to play well for us this year.
Tommy: I hate the Dallas Cowboys most of all. I loved Tom Landry. I hated seeing him fired by Jerry Jones. I hated Jimmy Johnson when he was coach down there. I respect both JJs, but I'm not a fan of either guy. I don't like the Redskins or Giants, but I have a special hatred for the Cowboys.
Question 8 : As the creator of www.scoutsnotebook.com, you definitely know a thing or two about the NFL Draft. Which Eagle rookie drafted this year will make the biggest impact?
Tommy: LeSean McCoy is the rookie to watch. He is likely to be the backup running back this year. That means he will get his share of chances to make plays. If Brian Westbrook misses a start, McCoy will have a chance to really step up. The coaches are really excited about McCoy. That is a player they really wanted and he's looked great to this point. We just need him to keep it up.
Question 9 : Is 2009 the best chance at a Superbowl victory the Eagles have had this entire decade?
Tommy: I think the 2009 team is the best Eagles team on paper that we've had in years. We need to see if everyone stays healthy during the summer. There is balance between offense and defense. The team has a good mixture of youth and age. There is plenty of speed, but also a lot of talent on the lines. I'm excited to see just how good this team can be.
Question 10 : As of right now, July 1, pending no injuries, what is your prediction of the 2009-2010 Philadelphia Eagles season?
Tommy: I think the Eagles are the best team in the NFC. I'll be highly disappointed if the team isn't in the hunt for the Super Bowl. You never know what will happen in the playoffs so I'm not comfortable saying "the Eagles better win the Super Bowl or else". There are just too many variables at that point.
Question 11 : Open forum: Say whatever you'd like to the Philadelphia faithful.
Tommy: One thing I try to encourage all fans to do is enjoy the journey. The Steelers had some real low moments last year. So did the Cardinals. They ended up in the Super Bowl. Don't let every loss or setback get you down. The Eagles will lose a game. Donovan McNabb will have a bad game. Don't let that ruin a fun season. Two of my good friends are Buffalo Bills fans. They haven't been in the playoffs in a decade. They'd give anything to experience what we did last year. I know we don't have a Super Bowl title yet, but I just wonder if most fans appreciate how good we've got it. Football is a lot more fun when your team wins. The Eagles went 3-20 from late 1997 through early 1999. Losing in the NFC title game hurts. Going 3-20 is a whole different level of misery. Enjoy the good times.
So there you go. Hopefully you enjoyed it, and I am deeply sorry for the length. (I got too excited asking questions)
I will try to get a hold of Tommy again sometime in the near future, hopefully near training camp.