The Three-Umbrella Problem: Bop Reviewed

Bop's bar with kitchen in the background | Photo via BOP

Bop’s bar with kitchen in the background | Photo by Laurie Satran

I ate the mandoo at Bop and they were fine. Tasted like a thousand other dumplings at a hundred other American-Asian restaurants in a dozen other cities and were, in exactly that way, as perfectly satisfying and completely non-threatening as McNuggets. The leeks (chopped in with the beef, pork and vermicelli noodle filling) were a nice touch, I thought. But I wasn’t in love.

I had the fried rock shrimp, too — little knuckle-sized lumps with the consistency of fried shrimp, if not the flavor, and a nicely crisped tempura crust that stood up admirably to the generous slicking of sweet-hot, creamy, almost mayonnaise-y chile sauce. They, too, were fine. I’m a sucker for fried shrimp on an appetizer menu anyway. (Some lingering poor kid’s equation of shrimp=special and fried=awesome that will never go away because shrimp is the lobster of the lower-middle class and the white in my collar still looks blue in the right light.) I’ll order them anywhere, in any regional or ethnic variation, and these were, if not unique (at all), then certainly as good as anyone else’s fried sea protein in spicy Asian goop.

I ordered the bulgogi and I ate it and I was surprised when I saw that half the Korean marinated beef and half the rice and half the seasonal vegetables were gone without my hardly even noticing. Then I paid my bill. Then I left. And outside, I saw a man carrying three umbrellas.

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Eagles Offseason Outlook: Tight End

Zach Ertz. (Jeff Fusco)

Zach Ertz. (Jeff Fusco)

Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. In the first three installments, we covered the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Now, it’s on to the tight ends.


After 11 weeks of underwhelming performances, Zach Ertz came alive in the last four games of the season. He racked up 450 yards over the final four games, joining Jimmy Graham as the only NFL tight ends with at least 450 yards over a four-game span since 2013. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Why the Eagles Are Being Aggressive

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

You wonder if Fletcher Cox would have been locked up months ago if not for the short-lived Chip Kelly power grab.

Howie Roseman comes from the Joe Banner school of financial management that teaches to sign your core players early. The logic is sound: the money arrow is always pointing up in the NFL. The more dollars that come in, the higher the cap. As the cap grows, so too does the cost of the individual deals. If you have identified someone that you want to keep around long-term, it’s best to strike as soon as possible while leverage is still on your side and before the price spikes.

Cox became eligible for an extension at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Since then, Ndamukong Suh inked a six-year deal that contains a shade under $60 million in guarantees and averages out to about $19 million per year; Cox has elevated his game while marching a step closer to the end of his deal; and the cap jumped $10 million, with another $10 million bump (if not greater) expected to be announced in March for the ’16 season.

Some league insiders believe Cox will command somewhere around $16-18 million per season now, if not higher. Assuming the 25-year-old was willing to play ball last season, the Eagles lost a significant amount of money by waiting.

That (somewhat extreme) example helps explain why Roseman has been so aggressive to start this offseason. Read more »

Brent Celek: ‘Philadelphia Is My Home Forever’

Brent Celek. (Jeff Fusco)

Brent Celek. (Jeff Fusco)

Brent Celek was home celebrating his 31st birthday with his wife when he got a phone call on Monday night.

“We got a deal done,” his agent said.

Celek turned to his wife as tears came down his cheeks, before going downstairs and sitting on the couch. He thought about the journey that transformed him from a fifth-round draft pick in 2007 to a tight end with a three-year deal to remain in Philadelphia. Read more »

Eagles Sign Brent Celek To Three-Year Deal

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Eagles and veteran tight end Brent Celek have agreed to a three-year deal worth $13 million, including $6 million in guaranteed money. The deal, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Caplan, was confirmed by the Eagles.

This news comes a day after the Eagles announced a five-year deal with Zach Ertz, a deal that is reportedly worth $42.5 million, with $20 million guaranteed.

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Eagles Roster Analysis: Offense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray. (Jeff Fusco)

With Sunday’s game against the Giants meaningless in terms of the 2015 NFL season, we figured it was time to turn our attention to the Eagles’ roster heading into the new year and the offseason, as the team begins looking for its next head coach.

A team’s stable of talent plays quite the role when people like Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman are trying to sell their franchise to prospective head coaches. Let’s talk about how the roster looks on the offensive side of the ball.

(All contract information is via Spotrac, including the 2016 dead cap numbers.) Read more »

Notes: Sam Bradford Expects To Play Sunday

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Standing at his locker after today’s practice, Sam Bradford said he expects to play on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

“I hope so,” he said with a chuckle. “Barring any setbacks, I expect to. But at the end of the day, that’s going to be up to coach and the training staff, if they feel I’m ready to go out there and play at a high level.”

The quarterback fully participated in practice and said he probably could’ve played if the game was today.

Bradford, who was mired in concussion protocol before the Eagles’ loss to Tampa Bay, and still rehabbing his left shoulder before their Thanksgiving defeat against Detroit, could play this weekend for the first time since Week 10.

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All-22: Twists And Turns In the Passing Game

Brent Celek. (Jeff Fusco)

Brent Celek. (Jeff Fusco)

Prior to the Eagles game Sunday against the Dolphins, many expected them to use a run-heavy offense and exploit the NFL’s second-to-worst run defense. But then they averaged just 2.3 yards per carry against Miami, so it wasn’t surprising they threw the ball 48 times compared to 36 rushes.

However, even before their struggles against Miami on the ground, they relied on the pass to move the ball down the field, throwing for nearly 400 yards (although -39 sack yards hurt their total number of passing yards). They utilized their tight ends in particular as Brent Celek accumulated 134 receiving yards, his highest total since 2012 and the third-most of his career, while Zach Ertz added seven catches for 68 receiving yards.

“We just thought those match-ups for us were something we felt like going into the game [with],” Chip Kelly said. “We run the ball a lot with Brent when Brent is in there, so obviously we felt like in play-action pass, we could exploit some things there, and I thought Brent did a really nice job with it.

“They made some adjustments and played a little bit more man coverage than zone coverage to kind of take some of that stuff away, but we felt like those match-ups on the inside with their linebackers and safeties were to our advantage with our tight ends.” Read more »

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