The Checkup: Watch Out—Your Couch May Be Poisoning You


• Not to get you all freaked out or anything, but guys? That amazingly comfortable, insanely cool Dream Couch you spent months saving for might actually be really, really bad for your health. A new study out of Duke University, which analyzed the chemicals in cushions from 102 couches, found that a whopping 85 percent contained potentially toxic or untested flame-retardant chemicals that could be toxic to humans. According to, “Among the chemicals detected was ‘Tris,’ a chlorinated flame retardant that is considered a probable human carcinogen based on animal studies.” I don’t like the sound of that one bit. Oh, and just because got a vintage couch off Craigslist doesn’t mean you’re safe, either—the cushion samples dated between 1985 and 2010, so this clearly isn’t just an issue for newer couches. Check out what other chemicals researchers turned up here.

• Well, this is just weird: Did you know some medications don’t mix well with grapefruit? NPR reports on a study which found that some medications have severe side effects if you take them with grapefruit juice (or, say, with a breakfast of grapefruit), including causing super scary overdose-like symptoms. Read more here.

• Uh-oh, looks like the other white meat is in some hot water. A new study of pork products in the U.S. revealed that 69 percent were contaminated with a pathogen called yersinia enterocolitica. Symptoms include fever, cramps and bloody diarrhea. More here.

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  • knighn

    Sheil – good stuff as usual.
    Here are my numbers that matter most:
    1) 22-26 – the Philadelphia Eagles regular season record over the last three years
    2) 0 – the number of playoff wins for the Eagles over the last three years
    3) 0 – the number of Super Bowl wins for the Eagles over the last 47 years
    1 & 2 must come first, but I’m hoping that Chip Kelly can improve on all three!

  • Corry

    I would imagine those fumble numbers for either QB will go down under Kelly. First of all, the line will be healthy again. That will obviously help from a protection stand point and keep the QB from having a defender in his lap as soon as he snaps the ball. Second, Kelly puts a premium on getting rid of the ball quickly. You can’t fumble it if you’re getting rid of quickly (you can obviously, but the chances of outside forces making you drop the ball diminish when you don’t hold onto the ball waiting for a 20+ yard route to develop)

    • BrickSquadMonopoly

      If it was that easy wouldn’t fatty have done it already? oh right hes not a football coach

  • Chris

    I live in Baltimore and have seen enough Cary Williams over the last few years to know what we’re getting. He’s definitely not going to shut down anything, but he does tackle well which is something I’ve admired. He also is very physical with the receivers off the line, but sometimes he goes a little too far after the play and is known for fighting/penalties. I guess i’d rather take that than the soft guys we had last year, but I hope CK can keep him under control. Either way, here’s to more tenacity!

    • Andy124

      The good thing is I think we pretty much know what we’re getting. Low expectations for his coverage skills, high expectations for his tackling.

    • southy

      So no shutdown corner (if the stats told you that during FA we would have paid through the nose for this guy anyway) but perhaps a good piece of the puzzle, especially if the guy on the other side of the field is covering well.

      • Dutch

        Well you don’t have a guy on the other side of the Field who qualifies as a Covering Well Cornerback. The NFC East all but the Eagles are full of receivers who run exception routes who can get separation out of their cuts with blazing speed. They weren’t a problem with Samuels was covering in a zone, that’s not the case any more.

        • southy

          So what are you trying to say? I didn’t say we had that guy on the other side of the field, merely that Williams could contribute to a solid [in the future, you know, that CK is trying to develop] defense

          • illadelphia21

            I think what he’s saying is that since we don’t have a guy on the other side of the field that can keep up w/ wr’s, that we know of right now, and w/ Williams lack of coverage ability, that this secondary is in trouble. But yes Williams does bring, the physicality and aggressiveness that this D has sorely been lacking.

    • GEagle

      So you dont think that someone with only 2 years of playing experience can improve?
      Say he doesnt improve and he is what he is…We have holes in the secondary, and the defense will need atleast 1 more year of offseason additions, and young players developing before we can get where we need to be as a defense..However right now where we dont need to improve much is LB. Its by far the strength of our defense. Kendricks and Meco can both be Probowlers, Barwin is an abolve average OLB, and if Graham can improve on his strong 2012 season, we could be very effective at pressuring QBs, and nothing can cover holes like PRESSURE, and roughing up a QB can. You take our LB’s, and a young Monster who as a rookie DT had 5.5 sacks(thats impressive DT numbers) in Cox, and you put an emphasis on Blitzing and Disguise, we could really cause some havoc and get our hands on opposing QBs…our Corners are far from complete shutdown corners, but what they do well is jamming and roughing up recievers at the line, giving our Front 7 more time to get to the QB….That could be a very effective combo that can make us a much tougher defense THIS YEAR, then people anticipate…
      Of course, some factors need to fall into place for us to achieve that:
      1) We need to Gel as a Unit. Cox is literally going to be playing with all new guys with the exception of Thorton. LB’s I think will be fine..No starter in the secondary has any experience playing with the other 3 starters. How fast the secondary can Gel is very important.
      2) Becoming proficient in the defensive schemes. Barwin revealed that they basically learned, and relearned the defense 3 times so far this offseason. Will that be enough to perform our duties at an effective level? Schematic disguise and versatility can be our most significant addition on defense compared to last years vanilla Defense. But we need to really know and understand all the variations of what we are doing for Billy Davis to really unleash the Dogs. If we can run our defens and know it inside out, it will cause confusion at times for opposing offenses that lead to mistakes that we hope to capitalize on. But we cant be effective if we are confusing ourselves. How much of this defense will be ready in september?
      3)For me this year the trick will be trying to evaluate our defense. How much are we really improving? Last season was so dreadful on so many different levels that its literally impossible for our defense to not improve in every way possible..That we have to be careful to not over rate it because the bar has been set so low by a group of pathetic quitters…Its also crucial for our 2013 success that sophmore studs dont hit the sophmore slump(cox,Mykal,Boykin). If they slump in 2013 it doesnt neccessarily mean that they wont eventually become the studs they are destined to grow into, however our 2013 defense would suffer significantly if those 3 hit the dreaded sophmore slump. conversly Kendricks, Cox and Boykin taking a leap in quality of play could help us tremendously. Graham is OLDER but also in the same boat. last year was his first real year as a successful NFL contributor, building on Last year while carrying a significantly increased snap total is going to be very important for our success this year..Rookies need to contribute, and young players need to continue to improve..

      Im very curious to see how ready they are and how much of the playbook Davis can use in September. I dont need to see a top 10 NFL defense in 2013, but I do need to see a unit that fights, competes, and improves from month to month

      • Chris

        Nope, I did not say that he doesn’t have any room to improve, it would be crazy to say that ANYONE in the NFL has no chance of improving. My point was that I was happy with what we got, although I do not believe he is a shut-down type at this point, which is definitely not a stretch by any means.

        That being said, I do agree with you — we need to see the second year guys make a decent jump, and we need to keep an eye on the future. Also, working as a unit is so important, something we did not see at all last year.

  • JofreyRice

    haha, I remember people saying Nnamdi wasn’t that bad. Defending him to the end–saying we were being negative and overreacting. One of the worst FA signings in Eagles history.

    Demeco plays coverage the way a MLB should. Prevent catches with physicality, and limit the damage on balls caught in front of him; you don’t want him on really athletic passcatchers, though. Kendricks has a chance to be special in coverage, he does have the ability to stick with receivers, and make plays like a safety. I’m really hoping he plays with more confidence this year.

    One of Bryce Brown’s fumbles in the Carolina game was actually credited to Foles. When you actually watch the play, it’s really hard to put it on Foles. Now, Foles definitely needs to protect the ball better, but if we’re making the case that Foles was worse with ball security based purely on the numbers, I think it should be noted.

    • Brent E. Sulecki

      I was amazed how bad Nhamdi was. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at times.

    • Love watching Demeco play out there. He’s such a savvy vet. I remember watching or reading a piece on him about this tactic he uses on guys cutting across the middle. There’s a zone (not sure if it’s 2 or 5 yards on either side of the ball) that you’re allowed to jam the receiver freely. ANY receiver that would be running across the field in that zone near Demeco would get jammed hard and pushed back towards or behind the LOS. This was especially useful in 3rd and short situations where the LOS was essentially the 1st down marker. Subtle things like this seperate the average players from the good ones, Playing smart,

  • Andy124

    Foles absolutely did fumble too much. Given the opportunity, the odds seem very high that he’d improve on that for all the obvious reasons:

    Better line
    More experience
    Huge hands
    Scheme changes

    • GEagle

      No one can dispute last years fumbling issue. However as you pointed out, there is alot of improvements that give us hope that he can be much better in 2013…Unless injuries start to pile up, our Offense has many pieces that have potential to make it potent. Whoever the QB is, Foles or Vick, Im going to demand a significant leap in quality of play from last season. If either is worth a damn as a QB then there is just too much talent and potential sorrounding them, for them not to take a significant leap in quality from last season..
      There certainly is hope for Foles. Like 97% of great NFL QBs who played as rookies had fumbling issues. I cant recall many of them being thrust in a worse situation than Nick had to endure..So as much as I believe that because of how he handle last season, he should be given this season to see what he can do, Im going to expect and demand significant improvment this season if he is going to be the QB the following year.

      Historically, great QBs who got playing time and struggled mightly as rookies, made signifacnt improvements in their second season. Factor in the significant improvement of talent sorrounding him, and I believe that if Foles is going to be an NFL starter we should be pretty sure by the end of this season. He doesnt have to torch the league in 2013, but he should show significant improvements over the course of the season, and really cut down on mistakes from last season…with sorrounding talent comes great responsibility….There have been many more GREAT qbs who flat out Sucked as rookies, then great QBs who torched the league as rookies and then continued to build on it…I have a feeling that the Kid is wired correctly, and has the mental fortitude and football intelligence neccessary to be successful, and a physical skillset with plenty of precedent for success. Whether he can put it all together and grow into the type of QB that can take us where we want to be….that remains to be seen. But no matter how good he looks in practice, we cant ever know what he can be until we get to see what he can do with a season, in a helathy situation while the live bullets are flying….He has shown enough promise, and Vick has failed enough that In my mind, Foles has earned or will earn that much…How much more the Kid gets will be up to him. But I would expect Trent Dilfer to put up points with this offense if it remains healthy, so whoever is going to be our QB, the same is expected

      • southy

        Peyton threw 28 picks his rookie year. The team went 3-13 while he started every game. That’s twice the body of work we saw from our rookie.

        By blog logic that means he is a massive bust. We don’t need to see any more. He is a turnover machine and will never be more than a backup.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Once again, Sheil, you are the man. I think those numbers add up to six wins this season – but that’s an improvement, eh? Go Eags!

    • G_WallyHunter

      you Canadian eh?

  • juice

    4 of the 8 fumbles happened in his first 6 quarters.
    The other 4 over the next 20 Quarters. Foles had a problem, and improved.
    This compared to a guy who has put the ball on the turf 10+x a year every single year for his entire career.
    But this year will be different. Of course it will be.

    • G_WallyHunter

      3rd year’s a charm right?

    • Dutch

      You would expect a Quarterback to fumble……. given the blind side shots taken behind a weak offensive line.

      The fact he’s often stripped from behind when scrambling isn’t that surprising in and of itself either. In both cases, Foles isn’t a scrambler so what’s his story for laying the ball on the ground more often given the snap count than Vick?

      Remember, throwing interceptions and fumbling aren’t new developments for Nick Foles. But somehow that seems to escape the minds of those in support of Foles in these discussions.

      There aren’t issues we are saddled with watching Matt Barkley

      • southy

        Sooooo… If we know what Foles is (a turnover machine) after his 6 games, and we know what Vick is (a turnover machine that runs fast) after his 10 years, then why aren’t you guys clamoring for Barkley?

  • eaglepete

    I think Vick made a mistake re-signing here. Its a no win situation really, if he starts I really believe a large majority of fans will not be happy and he will be hearing it from the crowd. That alone will put pressure on both him and Kelly. I just dont see him playing well enough to offset that perception (mostly because of it being a new system with so many new players). I just dont see a ton of success there so whats the upside signing here, he knows he can beat out the competition? I think the fan base support means a lot, he could have gotten that elsewhere. Also, could have garnered more upward support if he played well competing on another team, dont think he has that here at all. Of course the other path is, he loses the starting job, still thinks hes the leader but has to sit. That cant play out well with his peers (nor fans once again), he will want out is my guess at that point.

    Not sure what he and his agent were thinking. Had to be other teams with better options that offered him more upside. That or he believes his best shot is Kelly succeeding right away as a coach and him being the starter, only thing I can think of and thats quite a reach if you ask me. Fan support matters to the team, coach and player, esp a star player at his age. Dont get it.

  • Fink

    Anyone have any opinions on the QB situation?

  • Jack Waggoner

    255 comments? Wow.