It's now two weeks post-Super Bowl, three post-Pro Bowl (Not that I watched the Pro Bowl. The only thing that would induce me to sit through the Pro Bowl is if I were actually Hawaii. Which is a thought. But I digress...) - seems like a good time to reflect on the Eagles season that was. Particularly since everyone else seems to be, too.
To me, the major story is that our Eagles totally outperformed. I was not alone in expecting them to go 6-10 or 7-9. They fooled us all and went 10-6 on their way to the playoffs, which they proceeded to exit in the first round, and let's hope this is not a new trend, but at least it was to eventual Super Bowl winners the Green Bay Packers.
Another big story: the emergence of Michael Vick as a complete QB. African-American quarterbacks hate the "he's a great athlete, but..." stereotype, and justly so, but Vick really was just a gifted athlete when he was in Atlanta (if one can even use the term "just" in regards to his athletic gifts). It took the Eagles coaching, culture, and the team around him, plus the maturity to understand what he nearly threw away due to his illegal actions, to help him develop into the work ethic and the skills to begin realizing his potential.
Much like Steelers Transplant has a type (blonde, skinny, neurotic), Andy Reid clearly also has a type in QBs: Superman. Fortunately, he also seems exceptionally good at recognizing these guys when they come along, or at least constructing them out of the available materials. (And what would unassembled Superman parts look like, anyway?)
McNabb took the Eagles to playoffs his first year as a full time starter. So did Vick. Let's see if he can continue to follow in Big 5's footsteps, with some NFC Championship games, and maybe another Super Bowl. Only I hope it doesn't take another four years to get there, because I'm not sure Vick's going to make it another four years with the risks he takes.
Another should've been a big story: LeSean McCoy. He seriously is Brian Westbrook 2.0, new and improved and ready to make some noise. He also seems like a really nice guy, just like West36.
I'm not going to weigh in on coaching situation too much, since I really don't have the necessary knowledge, other than to observe that Andy Reid cleaned house on the defensive coaching side, which he's never done in 12 years. He's more about "nurture the little birdies until they can fly:" Harbaugh, Chilly, Spags, Ron Rivera, and I'm sure I'm missing some. Of course, Big Red is still doing that pace Juan Castillo, but apparently, he decided Sean McDermott had had enough time and wasn't going to turn into JJ2. Ever.
This move, to me, also says Andy thinks the time to win is now. Of course, in order for that to happen, the Eagles need a secondary that can cover and a red zone defense that, you know, exists.
Finally, a word about the collective bargaining agreement. An 18 game season is BS. The 16 game season is already a war of attrition - look at what happened to the Packers this year. Yeah, they overcame, but that shouldn't be taken as a sign that it's OK, but rather that they were exceptional this year.
And I happen to think the owners make enough money. And aren't at risk of their career ending at any moment. But that's just me.