THESE words are in an article that the Eagles put on their website to tell fans not to get too hyped yet. They want you excited, but they want to tell you “don’t go nuts”. Again, this is coming from the Eagles, not me.
“Fans want something to get excited about.”
“Continue to read the practice reports. Get excited when players make big plays and do noteworthy things. That’s part of the fun of the offseason. Just keep things in context.”
I just felt the need to give the team credit for being a straight shooter and keepin’ it real about this issue. When I make these points I get called “a downer”. Nice to see my team and I agree.
Personally I love their message, because that’s the approach I take every year anyway. In the offseason that’s really the only sane approach to take. At no point have you seen me jumping up and down over OTA’s. Hell, even Chip Kelly suggested fans shouldn’t try to make judgments based on OTA’s: “If anybody is trying to make anything of who is playing what or how many reps, all we’re trying to do is see if we can get three reps a minute, as fast as we can go, get it on tape and coach off of that. So there is nothing to read into who is where, what, whatever, because we’re not playing a game until September.”
For Kelly the OTA’s are just a step to measure, not an achievement to crow about. That’s because the offseason is a diagnostic and prep tool. This is the time of year where whatever needs fixing, needs to be pointed out. At this point, whatever held us back in the past, now must be addressed. Look, if you were leaking blood, you wouldn’t consider it an act of love if someone you counted on, just ignored your wound and instead said nice things about your shoes. Ignoring what is hurting our team is not supporting it. If your spouse had a drinking problem, love wouldn’t be turning a blind eye.
Here’s a fact: Last year in 17 meaningful games, we lost nearly half of them (10-7). Here’s another: While the record books say we won the NFC East in 2013, it came down to an elimination game vs. a back-up, and we only won by 2 points. Add 1+1 and it equals: There is PLENTY to fix if we’re to have a shot at the Lombardi.
Luckily as the Eagle’s article says: “The football season is a marathon, not a sprint.”