First off props to djackfan, this post is basically made in the image of his more in-depth postseason, post-Reid era pipe dream.
I’m basically going to lay out for each side of the ball a picture of what key players I think we should bring back & which should be jettisoned, followed by the general scheme I’d like to see on each side of the ball. Players in ancillary roles or that I’m ambivalent about (Owen Schmitt, Brandon Graham) may not get mentioned one way or another.
Basically all the skill players should be back except for Vince Young, Steve Smith and unfortunately DeSean Jackson…. Now if things w/the organization can possibly be mended and Jackson’s market value is not above $5-6 million, then I think we should try to keep him around. But if DJax gets offered silly money by someone it’s not worth it to match it.
Obviously re-singing Shady will be priority #1. I actually even think they should bring Ronnie Brown back too. He’s been a good soldier since his idiotic play against the 49ers (put part of that blame on Andy for even calling the play) and while he’s not at the peak of his career he’s familiar with the offense and his body hasn’t taken on much wear and tear this year in limited usage. I think that a big back like him is a great complement to Shady for the type of offense I’d like to see them run.
This team shouldn’t have a playcalling “philosophy” per se like the current Eagles (pass, pass pass)-- or, at the other end of the spectrum-- the Jets & Broncos (“ground and pound”). The best offenses like the Packers and Saints can beat you many ways, and that’s what we need to win a SB. We should have the athleticism to just be a machine that can dispatch teams in whichever way we please. The key is hiring a coach who will actually read defenses, adjust, and take the path of least resistance. I want to see everything from spread formations, to shotgun, to double-tight end sets, wishbone formations, etc, constantly throwing out different looks and probing the defense for weaknesses.
I actually like Howard Mudd’s concept regarding athletic offensive lineman. As any high school physics grad will tell you, the equation is (Momentum= Mass x Velocity), and this line has shown that slightly smaller players who can run will generate great momentum out in space even against the better defenses in this league. The Redskins and Cowboys have two of the best front 7s in the NFC, and Mudd's o-line totally dominated them both. Would like to see more counters and sweeps as well.
Two of the most dominant and balanced offenses in modern NFL history were spearheaded by the “Mudd style” line: the great Broncos’ lines from the Elway/Terrell Davis Super Bowl years, and the dominant Colts offenses of the past decade. More athletic lineman are also more durable and better conditioned IMO; they are better suited to hurry-up offenses. Andy Reid’s plodding playcalling pace doesn’t play to these guys’ strengths, but hopefully a new coach could take advantage of this.
I would like to see Michael Vick running a no-huddle attack every now and then. Nothing too convoluted, just give him 4-5 audibles for a given formation (quick pass, deep pass, playaction pass, inside run, outside run) and let him make simple reads on the fly.
Get rid of Jason Babin & Juqua Parker. Hopefully the former could be traded for someone nice… Antonio Dixon coming back at DT next year will help greatly in improving the Eagles’ run defense, and Landri has been playing very well in that role too.
Move Jamar Chaney to SAM where he isn’t exposed to interior lineman. Keep Brian Rolle at the WILL, instruct him to do steroids and gain 10-15 pounds in the offseason for his best London Fletcher impression.
Asante is the odd man out at cornerback; trade him if possible or otherwise cut him. This defense needs to be physical and needs to jettison players that lack versatility.
Move Rogers-Cromartie back outside to form a good bookend combo of lengthy, speedy man-up corners with Asomugha. Hanson stays on as the nickelback. Between the two rookies—Marsh and Hughes—find out their strengths and develop one more as a specialty nickel/dimeback and the other as true cornerback.
Now, to add the missing pieces with the draft. The Eagles have a whopping 9 picks (?) in 2012 with help needed on defense… all the more reason why we need Andy gone by this time. Unlike some mock drafts I’m not really going to throw out names of players (I’ll leave that to you guys); rather I am ordering their picks by position based on priority/needs.
Early Round 1: Middle Linebacker
- They need a monster here to anchor the D, the total package (Vontaze Burfict?)
Early Round 2: Defensive End
- Would like a guy with good size & strength opposite Cole, and I’d prefer a guy who’s a balanced and disciplined defender rather than a pure pass rusher. Trent Cole is really one of the best run-stopping DEs in the game, but teams simply run away from him because Babin is much easier to attack.
Early Round 2: speed receiver (assuming D-Jax is gone)
- Maclin can beat many corners too, but it’s always good to keep a pure deep threat on board. We should be able to find a steal somewhere here.
Early Round 3: Offensive Guard or Tackle
- Add depth in the trenches
Early Round 4: Linebacker (outside or inside, whichever’s the best left on the board)
Early Round 4: Big, physical, Plaxico-type WR
- I really think that having some bigger targets will greatly enhance Vick’s vision on those crowded crossing patterns. It’s also the one weapon this offense lacks in the redzone. A guy like this would complement Maclin, Avant, and Shady well.
Mid-Round 5: Big & versatile tight end
- Don’t pick him unless he’s at least 6’4”. Bigger targets for Vick! Celek and Harbor are fine, but I really think the Eagles should keep 3 TEs on the roster next year. Double-tight end sets are very hard to defend against—look at the Patriots—and unlike those teams the Eagles actually have an explosive RB that can cause serious damage with extra blockers.
Then the Eagles have 4 more (?) picks in the 6th and 7th rounds. They should be taking whoever’s the best left on the board at this point, besides safety and WR—positions that are already crowded. Or of course they could trade two or three of these picks to move up a round or two.
Either way, that's the general direction I'd like to see them go post-Reid.