Here we are at the precipice of another season. I call it All Seasons Eve, Although the season technically began with the Packers versus the Saints on Thursday night, Wednesday night will never lay claim to the title. Because tonight is the night where no one with a vested interest in the NFL gets sleep. Nobody. Not the Coaches, who are methodically tweeking game plans for the umpteenth time in their heads, or the players, who are psyching themselves up to go to simulated war in less than twelve hours. Not the Owners, whose net worth will be impacted by a positive or negative seasons, and not the fans, who live and die for this game. Especially not this fan.
I can't sleep tonight because in a few hours, all of the speculation will be over. My Eagles have been vilified this off season for a combination of dominating free agency and a few off hand remarks from a few brand new players. Dream team they chime, not unlike some kids on the school yard parroting a juicy new curse word that they'd just over heard. Dream Team. A backhanded compliment meant to imply that this set of guys are style over substance, head over heart. I'm going to address some of the barbs that I've been hearing lately. And you should read themtoo because it's not like you're gonna get much sleep anyway.
- The Eagles are a good team on Paper
To say that the Eagles are only a good team on paper is to say that this is a physically talented team without the proper coaching that will allow it to be displayed on the field. This is patently untrue, Big Red and Co. have proven themselves to be elite winners and teachers within the NFL. The league is proliferated with coaches from Andy Reid's coaching tree and his ability to cultivate QB's is approaching legendary status.
- Now that Mike Vick has gotten paid, his production will dip off.
This is totally disregards the OTHER big reason the guys play football. The money is a big part of it, but I'd submit that pride is just as big of a factor. Honestly most of us aren't nearly as dedicated to anything in our lives as even the worst NFL player is to football (our military being a notable exception) . Essentially this is all these guys live from pee wee football age until the day their battered bodies can't take the beating anymore. Vick was one of these guys, maybe even one of the best of these guys, and through his own choices lost it all. Yes he's got the money now, but he's had money before, the one thing that he's never had is respect in his skill as a QB. I think Vick knows this, which is why he's been nothing but a consummate leader and professional since his release. He's never been on a team this talented or with a coaching staff this good before, I see him as man who's taking full advantage of it.
- The Redskins are going to win the NFC East
Ok, the only person that I've heard say this without a crack pipe hanging out of the side of their mouth was Lombardi but it needs to be address. Lol. That is all.
- Yeah the Eagles added [Nnamdi, Babins, DRC, Jenkins, Brown, Young], I'm still not sure they're better
It's a variation of the "On paper" argument but it's uniquely wrong in it's own dumb-tarded way. Let's put this into some semblance of perspective. Last year the Eagles were a team in transition that: changed QBs mid-season, won its division, was a pick away from beating the eventual Superbowl champs and you're telling me that this team doesn't improve by adding four pro bowlers. Really? ::Troy Polamalu
- They've got talent, but they won't have Chemistry.
The people who say this are totally disregarding the Vick effect. Players are breaking their necks and taking pay cuts to play with # 7. He's the vocal leader in the locker room and on the field. You want to know why Asante and DeSean are still going to war despite their pre-season drama, it's because of Vick and the cohesion of this set of guys. Not only that, this argument fails to fully value Reid's reputation in the league. Players want to play for him and are willing to go the extra mile
They are a couple of valid spots that you could point to as weak or questionable on the Eagle's roster. Linebacker and O-line come to mind. But I'm going to laugh in your face if you see me in a bar and use one of the above arguments. I refuse to have survivor's guilt because my F.O. wasn't asleep at the switch during the type of free agency that comes once in a generation. Yeah we're stocked at the skill positions and I will revel in it for every season that the cupboard was bare and D-Mac was left throwing to Fred-Ex. I'm amped for this season and it's possibilities. On this All Season's Eve, this fan can't wait....and he damn sure can't sleep either.