Robert F. Kennedy is credited with the saying "If not us, who. If not now, when?"
Week 4 and the Eagle have home field advantage facing a conference opponent, playing for nice lead in our division and squaring off against the QB we traded away (who is coming back to prove a point). Sounds to me like a good recipe to get pumped up for a game. Oddly though for these Eagles these ingredients don’t seem like enough to play inspired football.
Let me make a small point before I begin. The men that take the football field are all plenty talented; otherwise they would not be on an NFL team to begin with. Our team is pretty stacked offensively, has a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, and a pretty decent coaching staff, but we lack leaders.
A few things hit me yesterday as I watched the Philly game yesterday. We can debate and point out the mistakes and holes, both, glaring and infinitesimal, but there was something bigger then the holding penalties by Peters, Vick’s injuries, or the dump offs to death by Kolb. What I noticed has been a trend with this team over the last few years.
There is NO fire on this team, NO swagger (aside from DeSean Jackson and a few others), and we are suffering from a huge lack of identity on both sides of the ball.
I watched the Ravens/ Steelers game before the Eagles game and noticed some huge differences. Now I am not comparing the three teams in terms of systems, I am merely talking about what I am going to call the “Fire Factor”. Eagles make a good tackle and it’s like “WOO” good job. Ravens get a sack and there are sack dances and group celebration. Ray Lewis destroying a runner and you could hear his triumphant roar of approval from whomever’s helmet was mic’ed for the game 10 feet away. Troy Polamalu just enjoys playing and making a difference (all over the field). Derrick Mason (listed at 5’10 197 lbs), in the league for a year and decade (actually 14th season) took hits that would have had many saying “Fuck this game, I am too old for this shit”… pure "Fire Factor".
There is no nastiness, we have a team of good characters, which is great, but I miss having players that have the “switch”. I miss seeing players on Defense who save kittens from trees during the week and on Sunday are ready to hit someone so hard they die of starvation before they stop sliding. I miss the silent competition of the Defense saying to the offense “Do your fucking job this week because they are not scoring against us” and vice versa.
Our offense has so many weapons it really is scary. Speed, check (DeSean has rockets for feet) Toughness, (when Brent Celeck wants to drag some dudes for a first down he can, lets not forget about LeSean McCoy or Owen Schmitt, I enjoy watching him play) Hands, Check (Jason Avant usually does not let them passes get away) to top it off you still have Maclin who can run a pretty good route, has good speed, and good hands. Where is the swagger, were is that leader who says “Cut the shit and lets roll like we know we can”? Our side line had no one in other people faces getting everyone on the same page, just childish finger pointing and pouting. Younger is not always better if we have no leader to help us define who we are. Are we getting soft? Tell me what you think.
"The future is not a gift: it is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future. This is the essential challenge of the present." Robert F. Kennedy