Archive for August 2010
The optimist says that the Eagles won’t miss QB Donovan McNabb at all, the defense will be greatly improved with the return of MLB Stewart Bradley and they will win the division.
The pessimist says that the optimist is on crack, they are one of the worst – if not the worst – teams in the NFC, and that only Kansas City, Buffalo and Cleveland are worse in the AFC. Kevin Kolb is a candy armed coward, and defensive coordinator Opie Cunningham, er, I mean, Sean McDermott was lost last year and will be even worse this year. Shoulda taken Earl Thomas in the draft and NEVER should have traded McNabb.
The realist says that they are both right.
And both wrong.
Let’s all look at the Eagles position by position, shall we?
Optimist – “Kolb is ready. He was ready last year. He is a perfect fit for this offense. His calm, poise, professionalism and natural leadership will take this team to new heights this year. If he gets hurt, we have a back up in Mike Vick who is experienced with the West Coast Offense.”
Pessimist – “WhatEVER, dude, Kolb is hot garbage. They should have traded him, not McNabb, and Vick needs to go. He’s done, and anyway, he sucked as a West Coast QB. If you were keeping Kolb, you should trade Vick and bring in Jeff Garcia. Why can’t this team ever do anything right? They should trade for Tom Brady.”
Realist – “This team has some issues. QB is not one of them. Kolb will be fine. He will have some growing pains, just like any first year starter. Nobody wanted Vick, that’s why he’s still here. He’s a serviceable backup. McNabb is gone, get over it. It’s over.”
Optimist – “I got one word for you: Shady. HB LeSean “Shady” McCoy is a clone of Brian Westbrook. He is gonna have a breakout second year. FB Leonard Weaver is one of the best fullbacks in the league. Mike Bell brings a championship attitude from the Saints.”
Pessimist – “Call me when Shady learns how to pick up the blitz and Weaver stays healthy. The only reason he’s one of the best FB in the league is because most of them suck. Mike Bell? Really? They should trade for Chris Johnson.”
Realist – “Weaver is one of the best FB in the league because he’s good. Shady is better than average and does need to pick up blitzes better. We will miss Bryan Westbrook more than you think. Mike Bell is a good backup.”
Optimist – “Jason Peters is one of the best LT in football. William Justice is good also, and the interior line, once C Jamaal Jackson comes, is very good. They pass block exceptionally well and should give Kolb lots of time.”
Pessimist – “Jason Peters is one of the best at what, false starts? He is a drive killer. Justice is average at best, Jackson is 8 months removed from shredding his knee and Stacy Andrews is just garbage. Todd Herremans is good. They should trade for Leonard Davis.”
Realist – “Um, I gotta go with the pessimist here, excpt that Herremans is more than good, and Andrews and Jackson can be good if healthy. If.”
Optimist – “This is the best young receiving corps in the league. DeSean Jackson keeps coordinators up at night, Jeremy Maclin was fourth in rookie receiving yards last year, Jason Avant never drops anything and Brent Celek is a top five TE in the league. These guys are awesome.”
Pessimist – “Fraction Jackson is a smurf, he is going to get hurt. Maclin is alright, nothing special. Avant is a TE in a WR body (read: slower than molasses on a cold winter’s day). Celek is good. They should trade for Andre Johnson.”
Realist – “Jackson is a legit star and Maclin has that potential. Avant is as reliable a possession receiver as you could ask for, and Celek is a legit stud. This unit is the class of this team, which is ironic, since it was the weak link for many years.”
Optimist – “I’m calling it now: Brandon Graham, defensive rookie of the year. He will add to the amazing speed that the Eagles have coming off the edge in waves because of their philosophy of rotating linemen constantly. DE Trent Cole is a star. Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson are studs in the middle.”
Pessimist – “I’m calling it now: Brandon Graham = Mike Mamula Jr. This is the NFC East, not the Big Ten. Of course they’re all fast, they are all tiny. They will get thrown around by teams like the Cowboys again and again. Andy Reid has been feeding us that, “We like to throw fastballs on the D Line,” garbage forever. Andy, you rotate guys because none of them are great. They should trade for Anthony Spencer and convert him to lineman. Oh, wait, they could have drafted him but they traded down to get Kevin Kolb.”
Realist – “Graham will be good. Cole is legit and the tackles are underrated. Strong unit.”
Optimist – “Stewart Bradley’s return is key, he makes this unit, in fact, the whole defense, great. Ernie Sims is a beast. This is the year he begins to live up to his potential, and Akeem Jordan is very good.”
Pessimist – “Bradley is a year removed from an ACL tear. Sims is such a beast that the Lions gave up on him, and you know Jordan is no good. Come on. They should trade for Brian Orakpo.”
Realist – “Bradley’s knee is fine. Sims has beast talent, no question. Where his head is will determine this unit’s worth. They could do, and have done, worse than Jordan. I’m not sure I’d use the word great though. Good, yeah.”
Optimist – “The Eagles now boast, in Ellis Hobbs and Asante Samuel, the same exact starting CB as the Patriots team that was undefeated in the regular season. Quintin Mikell is a calming veteran presence and Nate Allen is the replacement for Brian Dawkins we have been looking for.”
Pessimist – “You know that Patriots team lost in the Super Bowl right? To the Giants? The Giants that we play twice and have the same QB that beat those corners? You also know that those corners can’t tackle, right? Mikell was only good when he had Dawkins covering his back, and nobody – NOBODY – will ever replace Brian Dawkins. They should trade for Darelle Revis.”
Realist – “The biggest signing of the off season may turn out to be secondary coach Dick Jauron. If he can keep these guys from getting killed on bubble screens and teach them how to tackle, this defense could be good. If not, well, that’s what has been keeping me up at night, much more so than Kevin Kolb.”
Optimist – “DeSean Jackson returning punts. Quintin Demps and Ellis Hobbs returning kicks. David Akers is one of the best kickers in the business. Sav Rocca is solid. And Bobby April is the best special teams coach in football. Special teams will win us a game or two.”
Pessimist – “You don’t really think starters will be returning punts and kicks, do you? Try a steamy hot mug of Chad Hall. David Akers is 60 years old. Sav Rocca is terrible. And Bobby April’s schemes are passe. Special teams will cost us at least three games. They should trade for Josh Cribbs.”
Realist – “Demps is a very good kick returner. And we most certainly will see Jackson and some Maclin even returning punts. Akers is a great kicker, and April is still a great coach. Rocca is ok. Special teams will not be a problem and may steal a game this year.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
Optimist – “This team is finally ready to take that next step. Kevin Kolb is a great leader with great weapons at his disposal. The defense is much improved, and the team cannot wait to get back at Dallas for what they did last year. 13-3 and a long awaited Super Bowl win.”
Pessimist – “Super Bo – what are you SMOKING? This is, at best a team in transition with a brutal – BRUTAL – schedule. They play eight games against teams with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, ten if you count delusional Chicago and San Francisco. The defensive secondary is terrible, the linebackers are shaky, and the QB is a first year starter. Don’t be fooled by the 2-1 start that will include wins on the road over Detroit and Jacksonville. Those will be the only two wins this year. 2-14.”
Realist – “This is a solid football team in a tough division in a tough conference. They are just not good enought this year. Dallas, New York, Green Bay, Minnesota, and New Orleans are all clearly better. Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Arizona are probably better. They are not demonstrably better than Washington, Carolina or Detroit. The Eagles are a year away. This year? 7-9. And that’s gonna require a little luck. 5-11 is a real possibility.”