Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

Have the Eagles missed their window? I think they very well may have......


kleese

Recommended Posts

If this thread should find it's way to an Eagles forum, I imagine I'd be labeled an idiot and they would think it's off-base and ridiculous, and if I were an Eagles fan, I might feel that way as well.

However, I believe that the TRUE Eagles fan are having these same fears deep within their minds as they go to sleep at night:

I think the NFC Title Game loss to the Bucs was a DEVESTATING blow to Philadelphia-- I am talking a CRUSHING loss. When they lost to the Rams in 2001, it wasn't a big deal-- the Eagles had taken a big step and come up a little short. They then followed up that season by earning home-field and being the most solid team in the NFC from start to finish in 2002.

However, the Bucs spoiled what was supposed to be the most triumphant season in Eagles history. Instead, the Vet bit the dust in the same way many Eagles' seasons have-- in disappointment.

The Eagles and Andy Reid had experienced something most Philly teams don't experience very often-- a good relationship with the media/public perception. Now, I think everyone sees the chink in the armor.

For the first time, Reid was heavily crticized and I think Eagles fans (though they may not admit it) now have some real doubts about their coach and possibly even their QB. As good as McNabb has been, he still seems to have limitations once teams figure out a way to stop his scrambling. Say what you will, he's still a "run first" QB, and remember, the next one of those QB's that wins a Super Bowl, will be the first.

The Eagles have had the advantage of playing in a fairly week division the past two seasons-- the Cowboys and Redskins have been below average at best, and while the Giants have been competitive, they haven't been a juggernaut.

This year, all three of those teams will most likey be improved, while the Eagles have pretty much stood pat.

In the past, I sort of feared the Eagles-- viewed them as an up and coming team that would probably only get better and better. But I think they've plateaued. Their fans call it "fiscal responsibility" but their refusal to add the needed parts will keep them from reaching the ultimate prize, IMO.

Their WR's are still average at best, and I think Staley is below average. O line is OK, but not dominant. That means that once again, McNabb will have little help. I can't see their offense being significantly improved from last year. Defensivley, they are tough for sure, but losing Douglass will hurt at least a little bit. And Taylor and Vincent are each getting older by the day. Overall, that defense should still be very good though, even though they have nothing special at all along the D line.

Overall, the Eagles seem to have good karma/chemistry. They are solid in every aspect of the game, including special teams. They don't seem to have many mental lapses, etc.... however, they also lack explosivness, and IMO, upside.

And for once, I think they will face REAL pressure this year-- no more free passes or media darling status. And personally, I think they'll miss the Vet. Opposing teams were so uncomfortable there.

I view the Eagles JUST like I view the Sacramento Kings. very good, but something missing. I thought the Kings missed their window by losing Game 7 at home against the Lakers in OT two years ago-- IMO, THAT was their chance-- it was NOT a stepping stone to the next year-- I think that's exactly the same scenerio with the Eagles-Bucs game last year.

I'm not sure I'll have the cojones to pick the Eagles third (no matter what, they are still solid), but I find the Giants to be the much more "dangerous" team. Let me put it this way-- neutral site, East on the line, who would I rather play? I'd pick the Eagles.

This Eagles team may very well be the 1980-82 Dallas Cowboys. So close, yet so far. A foot note in history and nothing else.

The window was WIDE open for Philly last year and they were unable to climb through. They followed it up by failing to add anything of significance in the off-season. Now, while I won't say the window has completely shut, it is certainly not as wide op

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think the Eagles' window has closed completely ... but I agree it may not be as open as it was over the last two years.

They seem to have been an offensive weapon or two away from the big game (hence the lack of explosiveness mentioned by Kleese). I find it curious they didn't make any more attempts to land someone of Coles' or Boston's caliber to remedy that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one thing that admire about the Eagles D, which has been lacking from all sides of the recent Skins teams, is team tenacity. They seems to want to take your head off and not just go out there and collect a paycheck or play with the attitude of "let someone else make the play". Their collective team intensity and effectivness is what impresses me. Now if the Skins can somehow acquire & play with that type of mentality & chemistry, on offense or defense, then it will be a very fun season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still forsee us battling the Gints for second place this season. Yes, the Eagirls have stood pat, but their very solid D will carry them a good ways. I think the Gints will have some problems in pass coverage. Getting good pass rush pressure from their front four will only help them so much.

Your reasoning is very good Kleese, however I just don't think things will play out the way you described. I look at it as more of a matchup issue than anything else. That is, if the Bucs remain solid and make it back to the playoffs I'd pick them over the Eagirls again. They're just too fast for McFlabb to make a difference scrambling and without a real threat at the WR spot, the Eagirls just won't be able to score many points on them. If the Bucs implode and don't make it back to the playoffs, I'd have to pick the Eagirls as my favorite to win it all.

However, I do think if it's going to happen for them at all, it had better be this season or perhaps next season as that might be their last best hope before age/F.A. take their toll.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems every year, the same question is asked about the Eagles, and the same thing happens every time, and will continue to happen as long as Reid keeps on doin`, they will make the playoffs, and loose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kleese,

The view of reasonable fans (from those that I've talked to) is as follows.

NFC Championship Game: There are two ways the Eagles can take the loss. One, they can feel sorry for themselves that they had everything going for them and choked. Two, they can be righteously pi$$ed off that they lost to a team that they've dominated and blew an excellent chance at winning the Super Bowl. Considering that Reid's hard-nosed temperament as a coach, option one will not occur. He's too good of a coach to allow it.

In the game, the offensive line played it's worst game of the year, missing 2-on-1 blocks left and right. McNabb was clearly at 75% at best, and the defensive and offensive game plans were pitiful. Oh, and the Bucs played their tails off and definitely wanted it more. They showed a lot more heart than the Eagles did. Despite their overall ineptitude, they were first and goal, down by 10 with three and a half minutes to play with three time outs left and loads of confidence after successfully moving the ball all during the fourth quarter.

2003 Season: Douglas is gone and it's a loss - no one currently on the roster can replace him. However, the D-Line will remain strong and fast. The Eagles led the league in sacks last year and Douglas' 12 will be missed, but McDougle/Burgess etc. will step up and replace some of those sacks. Linebacker changes don't worry me at all. Barber vs. Wayne is just about a wash. Simoneau vs. Kirkland/Gardener? Well, they're definitely faster than last year, but only time will tell. MLB is a question mark.

The Eagles defensive philosophy is predicated on being able to cover the receivers while still bringing safeties and corners on blitzes. Their current DB corp is capable of sustaining this philosophy. Overall, defensive team speed is better than last year. They return 8 of 11 starters from last year. They will remain excellent defensively. The fans have every confidence that Jim Johnson will get the job done.

On offense, we've just about given up hope that Reid will ever get a true #1 receiver. Considering how he spreads the ball around, he just doesn't see the need. The Eagles had 5 players with 40 catches or more, more than any other team, yet their leading receiver only had 60 catches. Reid will continue his dink-and-dunk WCO offense forever. We, as fans, can do nothing about it. We're on board the good ship Andy Reid and the iceberg is directly ahead this year. Let's see how good he is at steering.

As far as Kilmer's McChoke comment - it has some validity, but I'd still take #5 over any other QB currently in the division and would be hard-pressed to take another QB in the NFL over him for the long haul, based on youth, experience and ability. Until the WCO is gone, he's gone to have some bounce-passes. If Reid would let him air it out a little more, they'll be fine. Last point on offense - they are returning 10 of 11 starters and have some decent players in the wings. The set a team record for scoring last year and I think they will maintain that level this season.

The Eagles entire game plan philosophy is based on field position. Losing Landeta and Mitchell may end up being the biggest blows in free agency. However, Brian Westbrook broke all kinds of 1-AA return records at Villanova and Freddie Milons (Alabama) is also a capable kick returner. If the coaching and blocking approaches the level of last year, special teams will be fine.

Considering the overall strength of the division, the division has a lot of catching up to do, based on last year's results, the only measuring stick we have to go by:

Redskins 37-7, 34-21

Cowboys 44-13, 27-3

Giants 17-3, 10-13

Four blowouts, a solid win and an overtime loss. Have the Redskins and Cowboys made up that much ground? We'll have to see. The Giants games are going to be wars!

Overall, as far as the window goes, it can change yearly. The Eagles have tried to build using the draft and the salary cap. Maybe the window will close for a year or two, like it did with the Bucs. They were media darlings for years but never got it done under Dungy. Maybe the Eagles will need to go the same route.

As a fan, you have to have confidence in your team at this time of the year. Considering that they remain one of the elite teams in the NFL until proven otherwise, I think it depends on their hunger. They have proven that they are more than just the sum of their parts and still sent 10 players to the pro-bowl last year. And 9 of those players are back.

Shoot, I may have even convinced myself. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice post, Blazers. Good reasoning.

You've no reason NOT to be optimistic. All said, we tend to see the Eagles inching back towards the pack that is the rest of the NFC East ... but I think there are very few who would not admit they are still the team to beat.

Spreading the ball around is fine, but I still see no logic in the Eagles' failure to pick up more offensive weapons. It's what McNabb really needs to go to the next level.

Also Philly, like Washington a few years ago, should probably just have bitten the bullet and paid Mitchell. He's worth his asking price in field position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yusuf wrote:

I think the Gints will have some problems in pass coverage.

Why exactly? They have Will Allen and Will Petersen who are only going to be better this year. Shaun Williams who is one of the top safeties and hardest hitting. Omar Stoutmire while not dominating is very serviceable. Plus they have promising younger guys who are going challenge Omar for a starting spot and young but good depth. I don't see pass coverage being a problem. Plus, they have two young and fast linebackers monitoring the outside who also will only be better this year with more experience. Plus, they have a young fast ML just waiting in the wings if Barrow should have problems in pass coverage.

I just don't see pass coverage being a weakness for the Giants. They aren't going to be dominating but I don't see anyone throwing all over them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Brave

Nice post, Blazers. Good reasoning.

You've no reason NOT to be optimistic. All said, we tend to see the Eagles inching back towards the pack that is the rest of the NFC East ... but I think there are very few who would not admit they are still the team to beat.

Spreading the ball around is fine, but I still see no logic in the Eagles' failure to pick up more offensive weapons. It's what McNabb really needs to go to the next level.

Also Philly, like Washington a few years ago, should probably just have bitten the bullet and paid Mitchell. He's worth his asking price in field position.

Thanks, Brave,

I prefer to look at it as the rest of the division catching up a bit, as the Eagles sustain some losses, but still improve as a unit.

As far as spreading the ball around? You're preaching to the choir. They need a consistent #1 receiver no matter what Reid says - someone McNabb can trust above the others. Who knows, McNabb might not get a receiver like that until late in his career. What a waste that would be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I'm mistaken, Eagle players have been pointing fingers at their front office and sometimes at one another. That can't be good for their team cohesion and may contribute to their being vulnerable this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eagles are better than the sum of their parts--- I totally agree with that, and that's why I will still possibly pick them to win the East. That's a big difference between the skins and Eagles. Philly gets a little and gets out a lot-- the Redskins get a lot and get out a little. Coaching has a LOT to do with that.

So, I definitley agree that Philly wins the chemistry/cohesion battle in the division, and that means a lot. But with Parcells on board in Dallas, a VERY dangerous Giants offense all of a sudden, and (hopefully) a more well-rounded and better overall Redskins team, the Eagles may not get those 4-5 easy division wins which helped their earn home field last year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The skins finally have continuity on both sides of the ball and the it will be interesting to see if the iggles do lose ground while we gain.

I see a season split with them this year and the WCO can only go so far against Tampon's Defense which is why the only way I see philly or frisco beating them is by containing tampons offense and winning the turnover game.

I actually believe we will have more problems beating the iggles than Tampon though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kleese

Eagles are better than the sum of their parts--- I totally agree with that, and that's why I will still possibly pick them to win the East. That's a big difference between the skins and Eagles. Philly gets a little and gets out a lot-- the Redskins get a lot and get out a little. Coaching has a LOT to do with that.

So, I definitley agree that Philly wins the chemistry/cohesion battle in the division, and that means a lot. But with Parcells on board in Dallas, a VERY dangerous Giants offense all of a sudden, and (hopefully) a more well-rounded and better overall Redskins team, the Eagles may not get those 4-5 easy division wins which helped their earn home field last year.

Damn brotha' you stole my post. Good one:applause:

:eaglesuck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The skins should not have as many mental mistakes as we had last season that in part because Loverne is gone to frisco to pad his false start and holding stats.

We avoid the injury bug to key areas and I believe this team is going to be atleast a playoff contender.

You could see the team turning the corner on defense and coming around on offense at the end of the season with ramsey.

August (scrimmage and preseason games) is within sight and the trip to DannyLand is near.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Navy is on target as usual! I'd rather get teeth pulled than watch another inept Loverne penalty.....Only Loverne could eclipse Matt Stevens for the 'bonehead play at a critical juncture' award. Best throwaway the Skins have made in recent memory, and we actually got something out of the deal!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no doubt that the Eagles window is closing. They lost 5 staters on defense I believe. that has to have a negative effect on the team.

The eagles don't have any offensive weapons other then Mcnabb and the defense keeps the offense in good field position to compensate for the lack of offense.

If the defense gets worse, then the Eagles offense will suffer because they are not a real juggernaut on offense. In essence their defense is partially their offense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to throw this question out there: Since the beginning of free agency, and I guess this applies to any of the big three leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL), has there been any team that was as firmly on the cusp of a world championship with such a glaring need as the Eagles have at WR, that has done less to address that problem?

Some of my friends are Eagles fans and while they are reluctant to outright condemn Reid's philosophy as it pertains to a legitimate number 1 receiver, they seem to contend that with that need addressed, the Eagles would be a championship caliber team. I tend to agree with them. It really is just unbelievable to me that the front office and coaching staff has let this go on for so long.

Can they win a title without addressing this issue? I think if they were going to, yes I agree, last year would have been the year, so in that respect, under this general philosophy, I would agree that the window is, indeed, closing fast. At the same time, I don't view the Eagles as all that different a team this year as they were last year, and if they do go out and get a legitimate #1 WR, and I mean a guy who can go for 1200+ and 8 TD at a minimum, I think their window could stay open for a long time.

If I were an Eagles fan, I would be very annoyed at this trend and for all the critics of Snyder out there, I feel good knowing that our front office will not sit idly by leaving team weaknesses unimproved year after year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

kleese: I sent a copy of your little premise to a friend of mine who's an Eagles fan. Here's what he had to say back:

I read this last night when I got home, but I wanted to be, ahem, coherent, when I responded to it.

The Eagles may very well have missed their real window to get to, and possibly win, the Super Bowl. This upcoming season, in my opinion, will be a season where the Eagles will be good enough to still compete for a division title, but will have a tough time matching last year's record and will have an even tougher time in the playoffs. Let's look at it unit by unit, shall we?

The Offense: The offense will be virtually the same one that was on the field for most of last year. Donovan McNabb was on his way to an MVP-type season last year (responsible for 23 TD's himself in 10 games) before he got hurt, but he is seemingly fully recovered from his injury and is ready to go. The running back situation looks like it could be a little complicated at this point, as Duce Staley, who has been the starter here for the last several years, wants to get paid and has talked of a holdout, while the team (read: Andy Reid) has openly talked of Correll Buckhalter (who missed all of last year injured) getting a real shot to start, and definitely getting more carries. This battle will be a real one during camp, and will likely produce controversy. Our wide receivers are still James Thrash and Todd Pinkston. In my opinion, these guys have never been, and will likely never be, championship caliber receivers. The team did draft Billy McMullen from Virginia, and I'm guessing that if Antonio Freeman doesn't resign with us this week, that McMullen will have a real shot to be the number three wideout. Freddy Mitchell was a wasted draft pick, and can't play. Tight end is in a transition phase, as Chad Lewis seems to be winding down, and LJ Smith was drafted to take over. All the reports regarding Smith are very positive at this point, but again, he's a rookie. The line suffered no major losses, and should be pretty good once again. This unit needs to be more productive, and score more points. The biggest problem, in my opinion, with this unit, is the conservative approach of Andy Reid. We need to take more chances, especially with a weapon like Donovan McNabb. The lack of a gamebreaking wideout is a problem, and will continue to be one. Duce Staley is a good, not great running back who is finding himself being squeezed at a bad time.

The Defense: This unit made a lot of noise in the offseason, and most of it was not good. Hugh Douglas, Shawn Barber and Barry Gardner all left via free agency, and Levon Kirkland was released due to being a fat piece of crap. Sorry, I still have the "Joe Jurevicius syndrome". The defensive line recieved an overhaul, with the additions of draft choices Jerome McDougle and Jamaal Green from the Hurricanes of Miami. The line still has a very solid defensive tackle rotation in Corey Simon, Darwin Walker and Hollis Thomas. The defensive ends will likely be sorted out in camp, but there is no dominant sack person that will scare teams coming into the season. The linebackers will have two new starters, as replacing the Kirkland/Gardner nightmare will be a Mark Simoneau/Ike Reese combo, and outside will be Green Bay import Nate Wayne. Carlos Emmons, who is a very solid underrated LB, remains. The defensive secondary is the best part of this team. Brian Dawkins, Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor and young pain-bringer Michael Lewis will be dominant again. Nickel CB Al Harris was dealt to the Packers, so there will be competition for that spot. The defense has a chance to be dominant again this season, if they get some pass rush, and if they get something out of the new LB's. Unfortunately, those are some big if's.

The Special Teams: Should still be very good, despite the loss of Brian Mitchell. Brian Westbrook should step in and do a pretty good job replacing B-Mitch (who went to the Giants - CRUD). David Akers is still one of the best, if not the best, kickers in the league. These units, under Reid, have been very good for the last few years.

So, what do I think? I think that premise may be closer to correct then I truly want to admit. The Eagles best shot at it may have been last year. The schedule is very difficult, as we open with two games at home against the last two Super Bowl champions. Our schedule is tied for the toughest in the league based on last year's schedule, and likely will be a tough row to hoe. I'm also not convinced that Andy Reid is a big game coach. Donovan McNabb has found a way to win in the past with not a tremendous amount of talent around him, and I think (I hope) that Todd Pinkston might be getting ready for a breakout type season, especially as this is a contract year for him.

All in all, I think the window is closed and I think the Eagles will be a playoff team this year, but not good enough to win it all.

I was actually shocked when I read this. It just goes to show you that there are some actual Eagles fans who do look upon things realistically instead of through green-colored lenses. Maybe there's hope in this world yet for that franchise with fans like him? :laugh: :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by skinswin

There is no doubt that the Eagles window is closing. They lost 5 staters on defense I believe. that has to have a negative effect on the team.

The eagles don't have any offensive weapons other then Mcnabb and the defense keeps the offense in good field position to compensate for the lack of offense.

If the defense gets worse, then the Eagles offense will suffer because they are not a real juggernaut on offense. In essence their defense is partially their offense.

The NFL is so unpredicatable nowadays that I'm not quite sure if their even is this so called perverbial "window of opportunity" anymore. The Eagles lost 3 defensive starters (Kirkland, Barber, Douglas). While losing Douglas will surely hurt on the field, his impact will be felt deeper in the locker room. He was one of the team leaders and will surely be missed this season. McDougle was drafted and should fill in with Burgess adequetly, but the position shouldn't be as sound as it was last year.

AT LB, Simoneau is unproven, but I'm willing to give anyone a shot after what I saw last year between Gardner and Kirkland. He can't be much worse. Barber was a very good player last year IMO, but so was Nate Wayne (LB from GB who was brought in to replace him). I think the swap will be pretty much a wash. The team didn't really experience many changes this offseason, which could be good and could be bad. I think, as most have noted, they (once again) decided not to fill a glaring need at WR by picking up Price or Coles. I'm probably the biggest Todd Pinkston fan you're going to find, and I think he'll make a hell of a #2 WR given a star #1, but he isn't going to cut it as a bonefied #1 at this point in his career.

In reference to the rest of the division, Dallas and the Skins will be improved, but I look at it this way: Dallas still has no QB, no RB, "OK" WR's, and a shaky line. Against Philly's D, that isn't going to get it done. I'd be surprised if Dallas ended Philly's recent dominance over them this season. Washington added a boatload of FA's this off-season and they should be a more explosive team. However, there are still many question marks. We again, are brought back to the question of team cohesion, which has seemed to plague the Redskins ranks often these past few years. How will all of the new plays gell? Much of this season hinges on Patrick Ramsey's performance. Without S.D, there were be ??'s at RB this season, and more pressure added to the 2nd year players back. How will he respond? I think the Redskins will be good enough to hang in the playoff race for much of the season, but probably fade at the end. I wouldn't be surprised if they took 1 from philly, but I don't think Spurrier's "air-it-out" mentality if feasible against the best defensive backfield in football. The Giants, however, do match up rather well with Philadelphia. Fassel seems to generally outcoach Reid, and the games are always wars. I wouldn't be THAT surprised to see the Giants win the East this year, though I think Philly will take it.

Back to the original question: has the window closed? No, not yet, but they sure did miss a golden opportunity last year, since nothing is guarenteed in football (look at the Rams last year). They should still be viewed as legit SB contenders, but they haven't done much this year to separate them and make them standout vs the other contenders. It also seems that Reid "chokes" or goes "ultra-conservative" in big games (saving the trick plays for the Houston Texans yay!). Until he proves to me that he can break out of his shell when it matters, I don't see Philly winning the SB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teams half as good as Philly have won the superbowl. *coughRAVENScough*

Look, I want the Eagles to fall back down to earth just as much as the rest of us Skins fans do, along with the Giants fans, and cowboys fans also do.

Let's face facts though. Until it is shown ON THE FIELD that we are back on that level again, I am not going to expect it. Another point. NFC East battles are usually ALWAYS wars, I don't really like the fact that we could be facing a playoff/no-playoff scenario when it comes down to Philly in the last game of the season. Now, that is not to say I don't think we can win a single game against them which I obviously know isn't true, but I am sure the Eagles will be playing for something huge ALSO on the last game of the season.

Just remember, a couple years ago when the team went 8-8 and yet again missed the playoffs by a single game, we had 2 WAR-Games with the Eagles, winning and outright DOMINATING the first game, and then starting out the second game the same way until a second half meltdown and Tony Banks happened as well. So records don't ALWAYS matter in the scheme of things.

I am still going with the Eagles winning the division and the Cowboys bringing up the caboose again. The Redskins/Giants is a tricky situation mostly because I feel the Giants are such a wildcard team, to where I wouldn't be suprised to see them go 11-5 or 7-9.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...