After I read Joe_D's post about a "true number 1 reciever", it got me to thinking. I remember at the beginning of the NFC championship games where our recievers were not sufficient enough to help us get over the hump. They were small, not physical and were hardly game changing. Most clearly I remember the Carolina game where our recievers were thoroughly dominated. I want to say that this was the breaking point and the outcry of a physical reciever just got to loud to ignore. Then the T.O. episode occurred and the rest was history.
Now back to the present. Aside from the T.O. years, this Eagle's WR core currently is probably the best it has been in many years. The Eagles still don't have that physical reciever to make its offense go but contrary to what most people think, I don't feel that getting a physical reciever will change the results and help us win the big one. In reality, I feel that the Eagles lack a lot of tools to become a Super Bowl team. These holes in the team presented itself in how the Eagles operated and the results they presented. For example, we lacked a TE threat and even though we developed a decent recieving one, we still could not find a blocking TE. In addition, we did not have a legitamate fullback and no matter how much you can defend Eckel (who I agree did a decent job), he did not help with the rushing attack to become more than just a change of pace. This is the my major point of this blog.
When was the last time the Eagles had a legitamate rushing attack? The 3 headed monster attack of Staley, Westbrook and Buckhalter was just like last year's Earth, Wind, and Fire and was probably the last time the Eagles could have more rushing yards than passing yards. Accountability for the rushing attack, opens things up to the reciever. Just like argument that accountability of a big reciever opens up the playbook, by having a threatening rushing game that could break out in long runs or gain yards on command I know that the play action will regain its effectiveness (And that is what McNabb thrives on!). As much as I love the big play ability as the next person, we don't have a fall back if the passing game isn't working. I'm not saying there should be a change in the FO or coaching. But just think of how the Cardinals ended the season and how they operated in the playoffs. They were still pass-first but when they needed to shorten games and grind out yards to finish, they were able to. This is a statement that I couldn't be confident about when referring to the Eagles.
So it's up to you on what you think is more important, a rushing attack or a "number 1" reciever. As for me, a big reciever would be nice but how about getting back to the basics? I don't know if someone's brought up this topic of WR vs Rushing attack but I think its important to look at the whole picture than just a single area. Our recent Super Bowl run attempt was a product of our Defense (Our offense was pretty anemic). Once they ran out of fuel, the offense only performed for a little more than a quarter and that is when we succumbed. We need to shorten games. High scoring games are exciting but wears the team out unnecessarily. How to shorten games? The rushing attack.