Blog Entry

Refuting the Eagle Love Fest This Offseason

Posted on: July 28, 2009 9:46 pm
 
I don't think the media has an Eagle bias.  But Pete Prisco definitely does.  If you want reasons why the Eagles may be overrated I'll give you some.

Brian Westbrook had the worst rushing statistics in the NFC East of the four starting backs last year.  He is also by far the oldest starting RB in the NFC East and is just coming off surgery.  He also NEVER plays a full season.

When healthy McNabb is the best QB in the NFC East.  But with the exception of last year he also rarely plays a full season.  He is also the oldest starting QB in the NFC East.

The Eagles are relying on rookies to play significant roles this year.  Rookie recievers traditionally take longer than most players to get a feel for the pro game, yet two of their top four options are rookies (not to mention their number one target is in only his second season).

The Eagles have replaced two fifths of their offensive line this year (not to mention their tight end).  While on paper it could appear to be an upgrade there could be chemistry issues.  With an aging, injury prone quarterback there could be major consequences if this line takes a few weeks to gel.  By the time they get in stride McNabb and Westbrook could be watching from the sidelines.

The Eagles rely on great schemes and in game adjustments on defense.  Jim Johnson was a master at this.  Jim Johnson is gone this year.  While they will keep his philosophy in tact they could never replicate his feel for in game adjustments.  The Eagles had a great defense last year, but looking over the roster it is striking how ordinary their d-line and linebacking corps are (they do have a good secondary, even without the aging Dawkins). 

The question is can the new D-coordinator get these players to perform as seemlessly as Johnson did?  That is a big question that won't be answered until the season is played out.

The Eagles ARE talented.  But they are not far and away the most talented team in the NFC, or NFC East for that matter.  Their PR turnaround from the Bengals game last year to the preseason this year is the most miraculous thing I've seen since the Giants won the Superbowl in 2007.  The major difference is that the Eagles were 9-6-1 last year and did not win the Superbowl.
Category: NFL
Tags: eagles, opinion
 
Comments

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2009 9:32 pm
 

Refuting the Eagle Love Fest This Offseason

(Groan)

Well, it seems that one of my questions has already been answered.  Stewart Bradley went down last night and scuttlebutt has him in rehab for the entire season.  If true, I take fll blame for this bad juju.  McDermott and Co. have some decisions to make in the middle.

So, new questions arise.  Can Joe Mays bring it with the big boys?  Will Omar Gaither step in and step up, two years removed from his most significant playing time?



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2009 11:20 pm
 

Refuting the Eagle Love Fest This Offseason

Can't argue with any of these.  All very valid.  I'd even suggest you left a few items you left off the list.

I think the biggest from-go issue you mention here is the OL.  Almost the entire unit is new if you count Shawn Andrews' move from Guard to Tackle and consider the fact that he was out all last season.  He has ongoing physical and attitude issues that should raise concerns for any Eagles fan.  This OL has tremendous up side but a lot has to happen before they begin to realize that potential.  OL work is much closer to choreography than melee and these guys have to get in step if they are going to be effective. 

I wouldn't call Brent Celek a new starter but there are questions about whether he can block consistently.  He may be an ugrade from LJ Smith for the passing game but that run he had at the end of the season may or may not carry through.

And that's my other skepticism about the whole team.  I believe many pundits anticipate the Eagles picking up where they left off last season.  Anyone who watches the NFL over time will realize this doesn't always work out.  In fact, the Eagles are probably the best example of that.  They seem to start from scratch every year and rarely open the season in full stride.  Actually, they tend to start very slow for some reason. 
What else?

Will D-Jack build on last season's success or will he regress as defenses scheme him differently?  Will Sheldon Brown remain a happy camper?  Will this defense replicate the super-healthy season it enjoyed last year?  Who returns punts and kickoffs with D-Jack and Demps too important to lose from scrimmage?

Lots of questions...as always.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com