MY April prediction of 9 -7 and winning the division was incorrect, and I admitted as much weeks ago. We weren’t 2 wins better, and the division shook out differently than anyone (even Dallas fans) expected it to. The Eagles finished in 2016 where we finished in 2015: as a 7 – 9 team. That record isn’t good enough for this fan base, and apparently neither is 10 – 6.
Vice President of Football Operations…(No. I’m not typing all that every time I talk about him.) General Manager Howie Roseman said this week “10-6 isn’t good enough to get home-field advantage, to compete for a championship”. Wow, right? We didn’t even qualify for this year’s wild card, and our GM is talking home-field throughout the postseason? That got my attention, but what got me excited was when he said “We’re trying to compete with the best teams in the National Football League, and we’re certainly not there right now as we stand. … We have a lot of work to do here.” And in that statement, he confirmed what I told you on November 1st .
In April, I expected the Eagles to do their normal routine of running away from the necessary re-build and patching us enough to be competitive. Then something weird happened. The Front Office began signaling that we were re-building. For cultural reasons they couldn’t and didn’t say it in plain English, but it was clear the rebuild was needed. That it’s happening is no surprise. The surprise was the Eagles brass actually just saying it for the first time since Owner Jeffrey Lurie hired Andy Reid in 1999.
With a rebuild just about every option is on the table. Last January nobody, (even me) thought that was the case. The moves we made in March seemed like just more re-tooling. (So it makes me wonder, at what point in the preseason did they decide to scrap 2016?)
Openly calling this a rebuild allows us to discuss the Eagles in a way that hasn’t been possible in 17 years. Back then you and I wouldn’t have been part of that discussion, and while We The Fans still haven’t been invited to the table, I’m going to try and organize a way for us to get us heard.
Given that this year Philadelphia is hosting the NFL Draft for perhaps the last time in most of our lifetimes, it would be a great feeling to know that we fans, somehow had an impact on this rebuild. This opportunity is truly once in a lifetime. We would be fools to let it pass and spend the rest of our lives looking back wondering “What if we had done more than nothing?”
If you want to be art of the effort we’ll start small. Get in here and leave comments on who you’d like to see the team draft, so we can build some sort of consensus that could carry some weight. Before you dismiss the strength of our collective voices, keep in mind that it’s fans who buy tickets and jerseys. It’s easy to ignore the guy in the stands waving a sign (“I’M A MORON, I WANT A WR” for example) because he already bought his ticket.
Your voices in here in the offseason represent potential and stability for the Eagles organization’s bottom line. Selling out games and huge merchandise sales aren’t a given for any team, especially after two back to back 7 – 9 seasons. From a business standpoint the Eagles need to hear from you, even if they would NEVER dare tell you that.
So get yourself heard! Early and often. Be part of this team in a way we’ve never been able to be before, and may never be able to be again.
1) Philadelphia hosting the NFL Draft: Cash offers available for whoever nails Kommissar Goodell in the head with a D-size Duracell. Bonus points if it’s a face shot.
2) Rebuild? The offense is easy because they have a quarterback to build around. Upgrades at the O-Line and running back positions to start. Jason Peters is nice when he’s healthy, but he’s about ready for his AARP card.
Basic concept: Develop offense first, if for no other reason that a good offense, particularly the line, takes time to develop. Avoid free-agents at the “big money” positions; you almost never get return on investment with those guys. Come to terms with the fact this team isn’t going to be 12-4 overnight. Think two-year process, and ensure continuity in the process by making sure you keep your coaching staff together.
LikeLiked by 1 person
This will likely not be a 12-4 team next year. That much we can all agree on. However, if we slowly creep up on being a good team (9-7, then 10-6 then 11-5), we are bound to have other teams picking off our coaches along the way.
As far as where we’ll be rebuilding and what we’ll be avoiding, I think the Eagles are smoke-screening a little. That’s why I’ve been hanging back, instead of jumping into doing an assessment. I think tha THEY think that they have a surprise up their sleeve. Short of trading Carson Wentz, everything (even trading Fletcher Cox) is on the table I think.