THIS team has made upgrades as far as RB depth, ILB depth, WR depth. We finally got rid of Nate Allen. We brought in free agency’s most coveted CB in Byron Maxwell. Clearly the Eagles are going 16-0.
I would love to mean those words. I really would. It would be amazing to see my team go undefeated during the regular season, but truth is, I doubt that this is even a 10 win ballclub in 2015, let alone going undefeated. I’m a fan and I love my team, but I’m by no means delusional or willing to lie to myself, only to be pissed that “they got my hopes up again”. I watch some Eagles fans do this to themselves every year and I have to say “If you don’t lie to yourself, you may actually enjoy being a fan.”
There is simply no way to be a dominant team when your QB takes as much abuse as ours will this season. Due to subpar Guards our interior Offensive Line will be weak in 2015. That’s a problem since all of our QB’s that can actually throw a football, are stationary targets for the most part.
You ask: “So we have bad Guards. Big deal. How bad can it be?” My answer: Dennis McKnight and Ron Solt. Their play led directly to the Pat Ryan Fiasco. (For those of you who actually remember the Pat Ryan Fiasco I am SO VERY SORRY for even bringing it up, but there was no other way to make this point.) Due to crappy protection we lost Randall Cunningham in the first game of the 1991 season to a hit by Packers Bryce Paup. Cunningham was in the pocket stepping into a pass and the hit to his knee came from right in front of him. We lost him for the season and would go on losing QB’s to injury that season. We went through a total of five QB’s that year. Yes, FIVE. At one point even RB Keith Byars lined up under Center. When we ran out of QB’s, no one else wanted to come here and play behind our awful line. No one except for one guy: Pat Ryan. I’ll summarize and tell you (who don’t remember it) that Ryan made his Eagle debut on Monday Night Football and proceeded to commit turnovers like it was all he was ever born to do. We paid DEARLY for our inability to protect our QB’s that year. Three words: Sam Bradford’s knee.
But that’s Offense. Maybe the Defense will carry us this year.
During OTA’s I didn’t read word one about how the Defense was changing alignment or introducing a new concept. That says that the scheme from last year is still in place, and that the expectation is that the new players will be the answer to the coverage woes of the last 2 years. Let me go on record NOW with saying “that’s not how this is going to shake out”. Chip Kelly is about to learn a couple of harsh NFL lessons.
- In college you can elevate your program by simply grabbing up the top talent and starving out your opponents before you ever see the field. In the NFL stars go to teams that use them poorly all the time. Let me say three words about that: Nnamdi Asomugha (Eagles). Let me say three more: Herschel Walker (Vikings). Three more: Albert Haynesworth (Redskins). Four more: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Eagles). I could go on.
- Good players don’t mask bad schemes. For two years now many fans have given this Defensive system a pass and chosen instead to lay the blame for its shortcomings at the feet of the players. Well now those same fans have players they like and “all the bums” are gone. So there are no more people to blame after this season except for the coaches if we finish 2015 without a playoff win.
I would LOVE to be wrong and see us win the East. I’m willing to eat crow if we do, and I’ll even publish an “I WAS WRONG” story on this website, with a link back to this very article. If I’m wrong I will stand up and take my medicine.
But if I’m right, (and I will be)….
Look, I’m not hating on my team, I’m just not willing to bullshit myself. I would love to see us do well this year, and will be rooting for us to do so, week in and week out. I just can’t honestly say that I can see us having a happy 2015. You can’t be this flawed, against this level of competition and have it turn out for the best. That’s just not how the real world works, and Chip Kelly’s late season finishes are proof of that.
Still though, the “Eagles are going 16-0”…it does feel nice to say.