As a casual fan who lacks the discipline to research stats or trends, there’s a few things that will be at the forefront of my mind come Sunday. After the jump, I list five of them in no particular order:
1. The Safety Dance.
I’m interested to see if our combo of Jarrad Page and Kurt Coleman will answer the mail or will Nate Allen get any snaps? Or is the plan to use Nnamdi Asomugha deep while keeping Asante and DRC (fuck it – I like calling him that) at the corners.
2. Brent Celek, where are you?
Last year a lot of us were putting him at the top of the TE list and were complaining that fantasy experts weren't ranking him above Witten. And then once the year was all said and done, man were we disappointed. I’d like to see him reclaim his "glory" by making a statement on Week 1. If not, then I am going to 879 every weekend and will flood his bar with fat chicks until he snaps out of it.
3. Return of the Mac(lin).
His illness worried me this offseason, mainly because none of us knew the severity. Once we found out it wasn’t serious it became fair game to judge him upon his return to the gridiron, which hasn't happened yet. Regardless, we can’t overlook the fact that he lost weight and missed a lot of time practicing and getting into football shape. Fortunately, a lot of players lost time practicing due to the lockout – but I am still nervous. (Plus, I have him as my number three WR on my fantasy team. I am a selfish bastard.)
This horse has been beaten into the ground already. But I still will be watching our boys in the middle to see how they shed blocks, read the offense, and most importantly – if they can cover a god damn Tight End.
5. Big Red.
This year’s on you, big fella. Anything short of an NFC Championship game appearance will light the flames underneath your seat. And I’m not convinced that you’re safe even if you make it to the NFC game and then lose. You’ve coached mediocre talent over the past decade to great success. (I'm not characterizing our past 10 rosters as mediocre, but - Charles Johnson? Todd Pinkston? Come on.) Anyway, coach, now that the entire nation is watching you manage a team loaded with pro-bowl talent - I hope you come out on top. Don’t let me down, Andy boy! (Full disclosure- I'm an Andy Reid fan, but I just couldn't resist with that picture! Besides, I will re-evaluate my thoughts on Andy after the season.)
In closing, the most important thing I’m looking for is an Eagles win. I’m a realist and fully acknowledge that the season won’t be decided in Week 1. But it sure as hell will be fun to silence some of the detractors who have latched onto the "dream team" moniker and are looking for our demise.