Super Bowl or bust! That is the term swirling around
Eagles nation these days. To outsiders, they will hear the words “dream team”
or hear the Eagles be compared to the Miami Heat. For the Eagles and their
fans, being the Miami Heat would be a failure. They would much rather be the
Outsiders don’t understand Philadelphia. It is a
blue collar town that loves their teams. There is one team that stands above
the rest in that town, and no, it is not the Phillies, that team is the Eagles.
Contrary to what the national media says, the Eagles are number one in
Philadelphia. It has been 50 long years since the “birds” have won a
championship. This year’s team hopes to break that curse and lift the hearts of
Eagles fans have reason to be excited coming into
the 2011 season. The offense boasts the most dynamic group of Wide Receivers in
the league. Their speed is unmatched by any other group of Receivers in the
NFL. Michael Vick is coming off a phenomenal season, which earned him a new six
year contract worth $100 million. Vince Young was added to the roster through
Free Agency. Young should be a formidable back up for Vick. However, if Vick
goes down for an extended period of time, the Eagles could be in deep trouble. The
running game got two boosts this offseason with the addition of Dion Lewis
(Draft) and Ronnie Brown (Free Agency). LeSean McCoy will now have some of the
pressure taken off his shoulders because the position just got so much deeper.
The Defense has also made strides to become better. Kevin
Kolb was shipped to Arizona in return for pro-bowl cornerback Dominique
Rodgers-Cromartie. In a shocking move, the Eagles signed the all-powerful
cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. This gives the Eagles three pro-bowl cornerbacks
because the also have the speedy, hard hitting Asante Samuel. The Defensive
Line should also prove to be an asset for the team with the addition of Cullen
Jenkins. Jenkins is coming off a solid year which ended with him winning the
Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, there are
still many question marks for this team heading into the season. The largest
concern is the offensive line. In last year’s final three games, Michael Vick
would have been better off with five tackling dummies in front of him than the
offensive line the Eagles put out there. This year, they have made a coaching
change. Howard Mudd now coaches the O-line because Juan Castillo, the former
O-line coach, is now the Defensive Coordinator. Can the line bear down and give
Vick some time? We’ll see. If they do, this could be the most explosive offense
in the NFL.
There are three significant concerns on defense. It
all starts with the coach, Juan Castillo. As mentioned, Castillo is making the
transition from O-line coach to Defensive Coordinator. This move puzzled the
fans and media alike. How often do you see that happen in the NFL? Can he
really be any better than Sean McDermott, who was fired at the end of last
season? At least McDermott stood beside the late Jim Johnson for several years
before taking over. Castillo? Not so much. The second concern is Linebackers.
The Eagles have never really put much emphasis on this position since Andy Reid
has been the Head Coach. This year, however, the unit is lacking experience.
Casey Matthews, a rookie, is the starting Middle Linebacker. Jamar Chaney, in
his second year, and Moise Fokou, in his third year, will be the two starting
Outside Linebackers. Jamar Chaney and Moise Fokou saw limited action last
season. The third concern is at safety. Nate Allen is coming off of an injury
that sidelined him for the final few games of last year. Will he be at full
strength when the regular season starts? Jaiquawn Jarrett, a rookie, will probobly
be the other starting safety. Will he have the defensive schemes down in time
for the regular season?
In conclusion, if the defense can pull together and
give the Eagles a chance to win, the offense should take care of the rest. This
team has the makings of a serious Championship contender. If the Eagles play to
potential, we might be seeing a parade down Broad Street in early February.
Sun, Sept. 11 at St. Louis Rams FOX 1 p.m.
2 Sun, Sept. 18 at Atlanta Falcons NBC 8:20 p.m.
3 Sun, Sept. 25 vs. New York Giants FOX 1 p.m.
4 Sun, Oct. 2 vs. San Francisco 49ers FOX 1 p.m.
5 Sun, Oct. 9 at Buffalo Bills FOX 1 p.m.
6 Sun, Oct. 16 at Washington Redskins FOX 1 p.m.
8 Sun, Oct. 30 vs. Dallas Cowboys NBC 8:20 p.m.
9 Mon, Nov. 7 vs. Chicago Bears ESPN 8:30 p.m.
10 Sun, Nov. 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals FOX 1 p.m.
11 Sun, Nov. 20 at New York Giants NBC 8:20 p.m.
12 Sun, Nov. 27 vs. New England Patriots CBS 4:15 p.m.
13 Thu, Dec. 1 at Seattle Seahawks NFLN 8:20 p.m.
14 Sun, Dec. 11 at Miami Dolphins FOX 1 p.m.
15 Sun, Dec. 18 vs. New York Jets CBS 4:15 p.m.
16 Sat, Dec. 24 at Dallas Cowboys FOX 4:15 p.m.
17 Sun, Jan. 1 vs. Washington Redskins FOX 1 p.m.