Sunday, May 20, 2007

Busy Week(s) Ahead

Man, here I was, getting comfy, arising in the morning to watch a little prime-time TV from the East Coast, and taking care of the myriad small things that cropped up in the week I've had since the end of my last project. Life just seems to pile up in a hurry between vet visit, PT test, finding a spare dry day to do the lawn, laundry, etc, etc, etc....

Well, I'm going on order for a little while, so I am going to be even busier, working a fairly routine schedule instead of the flex time I had been doing. (Heck most folks probably didn't even know I was working, just figured I was another unemployed blogger)...

SO, while I will be keeping up with the Birds and watching as some local TV when the opportunity arises, I do not know if I will be blogging daily.

So why not take this time to get a little Eagles talk in...(many, hold on, I had to tune in some ESPN...god I love this Slingbox)...there was some talk today on about whether or not so folks are getting a little ahead of themselves in their exuberance about the Birds. Specifically, the Eagles still have a lot of question marks (some defense (at DT, LB) and special teams (who's going to be the return man))...some of the same questions we had last year! and should we getting overly excited about Bunkley, Ramsey, Bradley and Gocong potentially being called on to be prime-time producers....

I will say this: No team can be 100% sure that the players it has on the roster are going to perform to their peak ability, but relying on younger players to seize their opportunity, step-up and take charge is a way of life in the NFL. I mean, take a look at the defending Champs....they lost a slew of defensive players, yet some pundits are still fawning over the Colts off-season because they added some more offensive weapons...Heck, ESPN's Len Pasquarelli just did a piece on the Colts relying on "in-house" replacements this year - yet that hasn't squelched talk of the Colts pulling a Superbowl two-fer.

For the Eagles, there is cause for optimism. Why? Because they have clearly improved their team. Part of the problem last year was a lack of play-making on D, an inability to keep their D-Line rotation going, etc. So lets take a look at what they've done.

A) They've gotten BIGGER. JJ admitted that the Birds were too small last year - something he's never really done before. Did they get massively larger on the D-Line, not really, but the replace some up-n-down players (Walker and Rayburn) with vets who've performed steadier (Reagor and Scott) with their former teams. Factor in the return of Jevon Kearse and the D-Line has a chance to be very good. Remember in the Summer of 2006. A lot of us thought the Eagles D-line would be the strength of the team, perhaps the best they'd assembled since the heyday of Buddy Ryan's Gang Green D. Oops, were we wrong.

B) Then there are the Linebackers...gone is scrub Dhani Jones, and last year's opening day WILL Matt McCoy is definitely on the roster bubble at this point. In comes Takeo Spikes, who simply LOOKS like a LB, and a plan to reduce the pressure on Trotter but getting play-making LB Omar Gaither to sub for him regularly. As far as the SAM LB goes, new guys Stewart Bradley and Chris Gocong may or may not be stars-in-waiting. But you know what? It doesn't matter. Jones did nothing last year. Not a single memorable play (but that didn't stop the annoying air banjo'ing). Gocong and Bradley simply cannot do any worse. They're bigger, and while I expect that they'll struggle if called on to play too much coverage, both have the size to help in run support.

More on a reason to be optimistic about the Special Teams later (but I will preface it this way: the improvement has something to do like the lack of player named Mahe...:) jK Reno, we love ya!

No comments: