Well, Sunday's debacle has resulted in a circumstance dreaded by many Eagles fans (this one included - for the most part): the phone call summoning safe, secure, and no-threat-whatsoever-to-return-a-kick-for-a-TD Mahe back to the nest. Yes, him, Reno Mahe. The 4-year vet who made us take for granted the ability to catch punts even if he was utterly unremarkable in actually returning them.
Of course, I'd forgotten that he led the NFL in Punt return average in 2005 (12.8 yards) - primarily because I've blocked most memories of that lost season. And prior to 2006, I'd gallantly defended him as a player who "made the smart play" and wasn't as bad folks made him out to be. But after a brutally undistinguished campaign in 2006 and nursing memories of a good return game during our Super Bowl run in 2004, I joined the clamoring hordes who relished the fact that Eagles did not extend a contract to Mahe in the offseason. (hell NO ONE DID).
You know my mind was changed Sunday. I just want someone who isn't going to fuck things up. I don't care if we don't have a Dante Hall-esque guy or a Devin Hester clone. I just want our special to NOT LOSE THE GAME FOR US. And while I think it is utterly pathetic to have such low expectations for our return game - it is reality. Our O will come around and our D looked better than I expected. The O didn't play particularly well, but the D did and we certainly played well enough to escape Lambeau Field with a W instead of a loss, if it hadn't been for a few keys miscues, none larger than those idiotic muffed punts.
Now Mahe hasn't been signed, but he has been called, and I find it hard to believe the Birds who fly him back to Philly if they weren't thinking very seriously about signing him. In fact, he could be just a short-term panacea. A band-aid sort of move until J.R. Reed gets more comfortable in the punt return game. NO FUCKING WAY does Greg Lewis ever line up deep again. NO WAY.
The question being: who would get cut to make room for Mahe? Top candidates have to be Greg Lewis (5th WR), Pat McCoy (our 10th OL) or Pago Tagofau (our 6th LB)....but Lewis/Pago would leave us fairly thin at WR/LB....our lone area of true surplus appears to be on the Lines....you know what, we'll find when/if it happens.