The 2012 Philadelphia Eagles season can be described with only two words: Frustrating and Disappointing. So much talent wasted this year with injuries, poor decisions, poor play and general poverty by this team. With all this in mind, the question becomes 'What would Howie do?'.
I think the answer is clear: rebuild from the top. Lets retool for another push, and bring in some new guys that can make this a reality.
So without further ado, I bring to you...The Rebuild.
Head Coach - Sean Payton
Lets get the bountygate discussion out of the way first. Yes it was a terrible thing to do to opposing teams. Yes, it cost Payton and will haunt him. But Yes, it's also a very intriguing idea to me if I'm Howie Roseman. With Payton coming back to Philly and conjuring up those images of bounties on other players, I get reminded of the bounty bowl, and Buddy's bounty not on concussing opposing QB' but merely being able to get to them. And then I think, wow a swift kick up the rump that this D-Line needs to become elite.
Why Payton over Gruden, though. Well, I can't see Gruden doing all that much with what we have, to be honest. I can see him keeping Vick, keeping Nnamdi, and not doing too much else while trying his darnedest to win a SB with what we have. We don't need that. We need a rebuild and we need a coach that can bring in his own guys, his own systems and work with them. We need Payton as the rebuilding coach. There's also the fact that Payton is a ‘winning' coach, statiscially winning ~65% of his matches.
Personnel-wise, I see Payton running the same schemes as Reid, with a more balanced offense. So we can expect the same wide-9 43 front, and we can expect a more balanced offense based around Shady and a ‘field general' style QB (a la Brees).
That means Vick is gone. I have a feeling Foles starts for at least this coming season as a trial, but I don't know beyond that.
Bell is gone. Dunlap and Kelly the Back up tackles forces him out.
Babin I can see staying; Payton got results out of Will Smith at the same age. However, I can see a fresh Brandon Graham pushing Babin out. Graham has been playing superb in his limited game time this year and I have a feeling Payton will reward that when he goes back over footage. Very much a coinflip decision this one unless Babin decides to take a pay cut.
Nnamadi I honestly can't pick. Payton likes having good corners, but Nnamadi's play suggests that it may be worth going for someone else. I'll go into this one more in depth further down the post.
Offensive Co-ordinator -
Payton either does it all himself or brings his own guy in. I can't pick names for this one.
Defensive Co-ordinator -Todd Bowles
Has been thrown under the bus with turnovers and an inept offense. Will be given a second chance.
Some players have been talked about previously, but will be put down here for better record keeping. Overall not much of a rebuild here, but it does cut a fair bit of the chaff that has been accumulating this season.
Michael Vick- Gone. Doesn't have the spark anymore and doesn't match Payton's system.
Nnamdi Asomugha- Could be kept on at a cheaper price, but I don't think so. Can't be kept at current price no matter what Payton thinks our defense needs.
Demetrius Bell- See above. Surplus to requirements.
Chris Polk- PS material.
Daryl Tapp- Not re-signed. Surplus to requirements
Akeem Jordan - Let loose.
Mike Patterson - Cut. Hasn't been the same since his seizure, and being an ex-epileptic myself, I feel for him, but that's football. Hasn't produced like the Eagles need/want. Needs to be upgraded.
Landri - Resigned.
Dunlap- Resign on the cheap. 3yrs/ 5.5mil
Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie - Resigned 4yrs/42.5mil
Colt Anderson - resigned. ST monster. 3yrs/5.5mil
John Dorenbos - Resigned. Cheap because ST only player
I said the same thing two years ago when everyone was talking up Nnamdi, Babin et al: Don't just go for a name. Go for the younger alternative. Back then I advocated Brandon Carr (over Nnamdi Asomugha) and Manny Lawson (over Chad Greenway) and the same could be said for this offseason. Names like Dwight Freeney and Ryan Clady appear prominently in this list, but instead I'm going to focus on players that can improve the team, and not just give us another worthless probowler.
Jermon Bushrod - LT for the Saints. Payton has praised him publicly, and the Saints have yet to meet to resign him. Makes me think he's going to follow Payton. Would be a superb addition to this line whether or not Jason Peters makes it back.
Glenn Dorsey - DT/DE for the Chiefs. Hasn't lived up to the hype due to being shuffled from here to there in a changing Chiefs defense (are they a 43? Are they a 34?). Strong at the point of attack with good hand use. I for one would love him paired with Cox for the next 3+ years.
Sean Smith - CB for the Dolphins. 6'4 and can certainly cover. Whether he'll be available I'm not sure, but the Dolphins don't have a tonne of cap room.
The draft will focus on repairing the O-Line, upgrading the Safety position, and replacing and upgrading players that have left or are about to be asked to leave.
1. Jake Matthews/OT/TAMU
2. Shawn Williams/SS/Georgia
3. Arthur Brown/WLB/Kansas State
4. Michael Williams/TE/Alabama
5. Eric Gordon/CB/Tennessee
6. Craig Roh/DE/Michigan
RG: Herremans /Watkins