THIS guy keeps telling Eagle fans to expect 9-7, and when I say that, I’m met with skepticism. Fans have no idea how that record is supposed to happen, when we have such a tough schedule and Sam Bradford is still our starting QB. They can’t wrap their heads around the idea of the Eagles winning the NFC East in 2016. They think I’m a maniac for believing it myself.
Well fellow fan, prepare to become a maniac right along with me.
We finished 7-9. We didn’t finish 2-14. We didn’t finish 3-13. We weren’t 4-12. We were 7-9. A game away from .500. One win over the Redskins would have netted us the division. We were literally a game out of first place. Not a bad finish for a team with a divided locker room.
We finished 7-9 despite an extremely leaky defensive system. This included a shaky Secondary that lost a starting CB, adding injury to insult (accurately speaking).
As for Bradford, we went 7-7 with him at the helm. (Mark Sanchez went 0-2 when Bradford was injured.) Keep in mind that our Offense featured a stalled running game, and Riley Cooper as one of the starting WR’s (13 starts in 16 games).
While last season wasn’t a great season, it hinted that properly managed, this team might not be as bad as it was made to look.
We removed a coach that players had lost faith in, and who players didn’t always feel respected them as men. While new Head Coach Doug Pederson doesn’t come with fan fare, his NFL experience as a coach and as a player (in the recent NFL era), give him insights most teams can’t duplicate.
Our defensive system woes were addressed by hiring Jim Schwartz to be our Defensive Coordinator. He brings with him not only a proven track record of administering that system, but also a few players who have performed well in it at the NFL (not collegiate) level.
We increased our talent and depth everywhere along our interior Offensive Line, and are already decidedly better there just with the veteran addition of C/G Stefen Wisniewski.
Our Secondary has gone from laughably thin, to guys who have to compete to start. We could use more depth at OLB, but the addition of Nigel Bradham is going to be a revelation for fans here.
WR is addition by subtraction. With the removal of Cooper, Nelson Agholor can begin working with the “Ones” and get the sort of coaching attention that he stopped getting once the 2015 preseason ended. Also he will become a major part of game plans now.
We’re still thin at RB until one of the young guys steps up and proves otherwise.
Bottom line here is that we are already better, both fundamentally and on paper. True, the games still have to be played, but that is true as well for every team in our division. Speaking of our division, our rivals stood fairly pat on their rosters, despite records of 9-7, 6-10 and 4-12. Oh, and their schedules don’t do them any favors either.
Sports pundits everywhere are expecting the Eagles to have a bad year in 2016. I for one can’t wait to see so many so-called experts eat that much nationally-televised crow when we win the division. Even better will be all the bandwagon hopping and dick riding they get up to along the way, as they start realizing just what’s going on.