A Familiar Road
Two weeks removed from another heart breaking loss in the playoffs have left Eagle fans searching for answers once again. Does Andy Reid need to go? Is the Donovan McNabb era done? Is Kevin Kolb ready to take the reins? Is the offensive line good enough as it is now? Who do we draft in April? I’ve certainly been asking myself these questions a lot and have found myself asking random Philly fans at Flyers games or those who walk into my liquor store who look like they know a thing or two about football.
Lets address Reid first. He is signed through 2012 meaning we have to endure three more years of watching a 60% pass-heavy offense. Yes the Eagles have the extraordinary talent and skill at the receiving position in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Kevin Curtis, and Brent Celek but a lack of balance has killed this offense many times versus good defenses, especially Dallas three times this year. Reid is not a terrible coach, in fact he’s an excellent coach, but he is not getting the job holding the play card. Fortunately for him, there is not a better option out there to replace him (unless Tony Dungy or Bill Cowher decide to enter the coaching world again).
Now to our quarter backs. People started calling for Kevin Kolb again during Week 17 and the Wild Card after the offense couldn’t get anything going versus the Cowboys. McNabb’s completion percentage was around 60%, a terrible number when you’re in a West Coast-style offense that relies on the short passes and screens. There were a number of times where he would over throw the speedy Jackson and Maclin, throw behind the sure-handed Celek and Avant, or throw at the feet of LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver.
I am not turning on McNabb at all. I have supported him time and time again and will continue to as long as he is our #5. But we are in a similar position that Green Bay was in two years ago. I am not saying Kolb and McNabb are of the same caliber as Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers (though I hope Kolb. This is the same scenario. You have a proven franchise QB who has been in the system for over 10 years and is a fan favorite but you have a good young QB who was drafted to be the successor but has been holding a clip board for a couple years.
What does that mean? It means the Eagles need to trade McNabb to a team who is willing to cough up a top 15 pick for him. I do believe McNabb is worth that pick. I then see Kolb taking the starting spot for next year.
Now I want to cover the draft since we now have two first round picks in my dream world. They need help in two spots, maybe three: safety, strong-side linebacker, and maybe right guard. Texas’ Earl Thomas or USC’s Taylor Mays could be good choices for the safety spot and I’d like to see that addressed first.
Now the reason I think that only one offensive line spot needs improving is that I don’t see a whole lot wrong with our o-line. Jason Peters, the LT, will not have another bad year despite making the Pro Bowl. LG Todd Herrimans and C Jamaal Jackson had great years despite Jackson’s being cut short in Week 16 with a torn ACL. Winston Justin played some great ball at RT, making the signing of Stacy Andrews seem pointless. Now his brother Shawn needs to focus this off season, mature, lose weight, and get his back straight. I made a comment to him on Twitter and he said he wants to play again. Just incase he is still a question mark, I think Reid should use his knowledge and draft another good guard.
Now I didn’t make this one of my questions but it is a hot topic as well: Brian Westbrook. Our beloved B-West could potentially retire because of his knee injuries sustained the past couple of years. We’ve seen Barry Sanders retire because he didn’t want to have bad knees and we’ve also seen Terrell Davis retire because after his knee injury, he wasn’t the same explosive back he once was. I would love to see a healthy Westbrook/McCoy tandem next season but it is a big question mark on whether or not it will happen.
There is a lot to do this offseason. Outside of McNabb, the rest is minor tweaking. Though Reid said McNabb is the guy in 2010, a change is very likely and we will see in the next couple months if it will be McNabb taking the snaps or the start of the Kolb Era.