Aaaaaand We’re Back… For Real This Time!

Yes, it’s true. Much like the NFL, we here at Fire The Walrus have finally come to terms on how to divvy up $9+ billion and can now get back to what we do best… Blaming Andy Reid for all of life’s problems not making moves in free agency not winning a Super Bowl.

So, aside from the ludicrousness that was the NFL hiatus, here’s a quick recap of what has happened in Eagles-land since we last left off:

Kevin Kolb: Still an Eagle (at least for the time being). The rampant rumors of “Kolb to Arizona for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a potential draft pick” have not slowed down one iota – even though the Eagles seemingly have zero trade partners outside of the Cardinals – and the swap appears to be a foregone conclusion… even to the point that the Eagles online store shot their load early, by prematurely making Rodgers-Cromartie jerseys available until someone realized the faux pas.

At this point, the trade just needs to go through and we all need to just move on from the whole Kevin Kolb-era, because when you look back on it, Kolb’s time in Philly was just one long disastrous clusterfuck… He was drafted too high to NOT be considered the heir to McNabb’s quarterback throne, which caused nothing but issues with Donny Drama (see: benching in Baltimore). Then he stepped in for the injured McNabb and threw for 300+ yards in two consecutive games (though this may have been more of an aberration), causing a quarterback controversy. Then, after Five was finally shipped out of here and Kolb was anointed the face of the franchise, he stumbled out of the gate and Vick happened.

So here we are, exactly one year to the day of everyone in Philadelphia – save for a small fiefdom of Eagles fans who wanted to see Vick get a chance – fully prepared to witness the Kevin Kolb-era Eagles. Exactly one year later, is there one person in this city who wants to KEEP Kolb? It’s bizarre how much difference a year makes.

Maybe there is something in keeping two starting QBs, as pointed out by Michael Weinreb at Hell, we all know that Vick is likely to miss at least two or three games during the season, and it would be nice to have someone capable step in and help the team win, rather than simply tread water… but is Kolb even that guy? Is there any difference between Kolb starting those two games or, say, Vince Young? Or even Billy Volek?(*)

(*)But definitely NOT Brett Favre.

If Kolb’s not sticking around to be the Eagles’ “QB of the future,” trade him immediately and move on.

The First Line of Defense: The Eagles Defensive Line is a work-in-progress, to say the least. Trent Cole and Mike Patterson are the only definite starters, with Antonio Dixon more than likely taking the starting role away from the lackluster Broderick Bunkley. This morning, the team signed Jason Babin to bookend Cole. Though he was a disappointment his first go-around with the Birds two years ago, Jim Washburn got 12.5 sacks and a Pro Bowl appearance out of Babin last year in Tennessee. Babin clearly wanted to play for Washburn – which is highly encouraging – and the Eagles signed him to a pretty fair deal, when everyone assumed he’d be getting major money. Five years and $30 million with only $5 to 6 million guaranteed? Not too bad. Especially when five-year deals in the NFL typically translate to two-year deals in reality.

But the team still needs some depth at Defensive End and Tackle. Do we really trust the outside rush combination of Daryl Tapp, Ricky Sapp and Victor Abiamiri? Is Andy still convinced that Daniel Te’o-Nesheim can be converted into a down lineman or hybrid pass rusher? If the Eagles are really “all in,” shouldn’t they be going after another DE, like Titan’s free agent Jacob Ford (15.5 sacks in three years as a rotation guy) or Seahawk’s free agent DT, Brandon Mebane (a prototypical run-stuffing, 4-3 defensive tackle)?

And The Rest Of The Defense: Sign a Linebacker, any Linebacker. Just get some warm bodies in that group. I’m psyched about Jamar Chaney’s potential in the middle and the prospect of Casey Matthews too, but it seems that, once again, the team is undervaluing the Linebacker position. Who knows? Maybe last year’s fourth round pick Keenan Clayton turns into a player. Maybe Moise Fokou continues to progress. But wouldn’t it make some sense to add a veteran to the LB corps? Fokou is the elder statesman of the group and he’s only going into his third season!

The same can be said for the secondary. Sure the team is set to bring in Rodgers-Cromartie, but what about Strong Safety? Again, the Eagles are crossing their fingers that Nate Allen returns 100 percent from his gruesome knee injury, Kurt Coleman wasn’t a seventh-round fluke, Jaiquawn Jarrett can play at the next level, and Marlin Jackson’s body doesn’t explode.

This is a Defense that’s supposed to be a Super Bowl contender?(**)

(**)And let’s not overlook the fact that this unit is being helmed by long-time Offensive Line Coach, Juan Castillo. You know, just in case you forgot.

Restless Fans: Look, I know it’s been a horribly long wait for the NFL offseason to finally get underway, and now that it’s in full swing, it feels like an awful long wait for the Eagles to start making moves. They signed Babin this morning. The Kolb trade is likely to go down today too.

Clearly, Andy and company have a plan that they’re trying to execute. Let’s let them see this through and collect the pieces they intend to add… And THEN we can start bashing those moves.

Until then? Relax. The signings and trades will come. And when they do, we’ll once again be ready to Fire The Walrus.

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