Tom Gamble: Settle down son (howie), Let me show you how its done...
We had hints that it would be this way, but Howie has never done it this way, and the offense in place had the potential to be good enough, so we couldnt really be sure, until yesterday(or today when most of the big names are getting snatched up).
They added Casey, and the Offense is in place with the exception of the line, and QB. The plan on defense is to just add as many young fringe starters or stop gap guys for now as possible. I expect them to have a capable (but far from Great)
starter at every defensive spot before the draft rolls around. This will allow us to TRULY draft BPA with every pick for the next two years. The plan for the young "fringe" starters we signed in FA is to take the next step and become full time capable NFL starters and solidify their starting position for years to come, or act as place holders until one of the BPA draftee's are ready to take their spots. No starting spots will be awarded in Philly any longer. Guys like Chung and Fletcher will either flourish, or be replaced in a year or two by a drafted BPA at their position. Veteran stop gap player like Sopoaga, will have a role. If a BPA draftee comes in the form of a NT, Sopo is a true Ray lewis type student of the game, and true professional who will produce, while mentoring a rookie NT. Where we stand today, I believe that our FO has faith in guys like Graham,Cox,Ryan and Kendricks to be ready to produce, but I dont think they have any clue where we are going with the rest of the defense...and thats not as bad as it sounds.
We cant possibly know who the BPA will be when we draft, but I expect the rest of defense to be filled with top 4rd draft picks that come in the next two drafts. If you go into a draft without a capable NFL starter at a position, I dont care how much you talk that BPA stuff, human nature will force you to target a certain position, and thats when you miss out on real STUDS. Gamble is here to real in "Splash" Roseman, and bring the discapline and confidence that we are building the right way, even if its not sexy. We will lay a light foundation of fringe starters with this FA period, and the next two years will be a true BPA. I believe that the FO has the confidence in the offense in place to be able to carry us, until we load up the defense with BPA picks for the next two years. By the time year 3 rolls around, we will have alot of young players that should be coming into their own, and the team should be ready to really compete. By then we will know which young players are game changing stars, which young players are capable starters, and which ones didnt pan out...So we will know what positions we are lacking and have a competitive team in place by Free Agency #3, and thats when you will see the splashy FA period, which is where we will add stars to cover the few holes we have left, trying to get us over the top, to take a real run at the Lombardi Trophy.
This is far from the sexy approach, but Im not sure that a superbowl trophy has ever been won, by a team that just tried to re-tool on the fly and skip this stage. This is how you build a championship team. It will be a different, approach than we have seen in recent years, but make no mistake about it..Its going down! Throw your mock drafts out! They dont matter any more! The only Mocking we should be doing from here on out is trying to Mock the Eagles draft board, because every team says that BPA rules their world, but most teams dont always stick to it...THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE IN PHILLY!
No Big splashes are coming(except maybe RT since we are taking a different approach with the Offense), but more signings are certainly on the way..expect a mix of young starting "fringe players" like Fletcher, and Chung, a few more stop gap veterans...but I believe we will have a starting nfl player (NO DALLAS REYNOLDS), at every single position before we get to the draft...where we will go BPA all the way, and hope to find STARS that will define the defense...and if we get lucky a guy like Chung, or Bradley take that next step and become better than we think. We are just laying the foundation right now. The Stars will all be drafted, and they can come from pretty much every position almost!