Welcome to another edition of Whisker Wednesday, where we take a look at what’s happening this week in the world of our beloved Eagles and how that correlates to Andy Reid’s job status. What was looking to be a slow Eagles-news week surely picked up yesterday, as the team (unsurprisingly) Franchise tagged Michael Vick and (very surprisingly) Transition tagged David Akers. But the real news came when team president (and dark lord) Joe Banner The Devil met with the media to discuss the State of the Eagles.
- Banner Talks Championships, Eagles Fans Collectively Roll Their Eyes
The Devil met with members of the media yesterday to talk about the current state of the Birds, but the main conversation revolved around a certain Walrus-like Head Coach, his future and how the ultimate is goal is to win a championship (Duh!).On The Walrus, The Devil used a few choice words describing his standing with the Eagles Front Office:
“We think that the quality of leadership is a crucial, crucial part of evaluating head coaches, and if you look at the ones that have been really successful, they’re all tremendous leaders. So you can sit there and critique: Did we take the right timeout, or this or that? Andy’s leadership skills and his ability, year after year, to rally players to play hard, play together, play selflessly – which is such a difficult challenge of leadership in any professional sport – we put a lot of value on those skills.And, at the same time, we’re here to win a championship. That needs to be part of the equation, too.”
Read those tea leaves!
Rich Hoffman, Daily News Sports Columnist, pontificates that Banner deliberately left the interpretation open for a reason, as he asks the question: Banner sounds as if he backs Reid, but does he, really? Hoffman concludes that Reid is, indeed, on the clock (and Fire The Walrus Nation cheers!)
- A couple of other pieces of note from The Devil…
Banner pointed out that the Eagles are just one of three teams to make the playoffs in the last three years. While that is true, let’s not forget that the last two years were one-and-done postseason appearances… including a total dismantling by the rival Cowgirls. And lest we forget that the team held its destiny in its hands with the opportunity to secure a possible Playoff bye, but choked it away to a team that had no Quarterback and no business winning.The Devil also noted that with a lack of a new collective bargaining agreement, it will be unlikely that the team will be able to trade former-future Quarterback Kevin Kolb. This isn’t the first time this has come up, but it really is a shame.
Let’s assume that the Eagles could get a second round pick for Kolb – with precedence from the A.J. Feeley and Donovon McNabb trades. In a year where the team really needs to strike gold defensively in the draft – coupled with the fact that there will likely not be a real Free Agent period – extra picks are absolutely invaluable. The draft is integral for the Eagles to rebuild an abysmal defensive unit and – particularly with Reid’s drafting history – the team needs every pick they can get. Eventually trading Kolb for a pick in 2012 does absolutely nothing to help the Eagles in 2011… So, once again, the team is hampered its Quarterback situation(*).
(*)So to sum up… Trading out of the first round of the 2007 Draft to take Kolb resulted in: the Division rival Cowgirls getting Defensive End/Linebacker Anthony Spencer (who has come back to bite the Eagles on the ass numerous times); a waste of a pick that could have helped the Eagles in the 2007 and 2008 seasons (at least); the alienation and eventual trading of Donovon McNabb (though not necessarily a bad thing); an entire Offseason devoted to Kevin Kolb’s coronation as new starting Quarterback, only to be marginalized by having Michael Vick on the field for the first play of the season; no Quarterback competition during aforementioned Offseason, which could have led to Vick taking the starting job from the jump (possibly leading to the Eagles winning the opening game to the Packers, therefore affording them enough wins for a Playoff bye); the second straight Offseason of uncertainty, as to how/when the Eagles unload an overpaid Quarterback. Thanks again, Andy!
- Hunt-ing for some Defensive help
Comcast SportsNet’s resident football authority, Ray Didinger, makes a great argument for Jim Washburn getting the most out of newly-signed Defensive End Phillip Hunt.Hunt, of course, spent the last two seasons in the CFL (yes, Canada), after going undrafted and getting cut by the Cleveland Browns, and led the league with 16 sacks in 2010. The Eagles are taking another page from the Miami Dolphins playbook – remember that newfangled Wildcat! – trying to copy Miami’s success with former-CFLer (and Penn Stater), Cameron Wake. Like Hunt, Wake spent two seasons in Canada terrorizing opposing Quarterbacks – racking up 39 sacks in just two years. In 2010, Wake finished third in the NFL with 14 sacks.
Didinger also points to Washburn’s work with Jason Babin – transforming him from an Eagles castoff to a 12.5 sack Pro Bowler – as a reason to expect (at least something) out of Hunt. At the very least, it will be an interesting experiment to watch, as there is little risk/high reward with taking a chance on a guy like Hunt.
Here’s hoping the experience in the Great White North (and with Washburn) inspires Hunt to great, Quarterback-crushing heights.
More Whisker Wednesday coming later today – including everyone’s favorite, the Whisker Wednesday Poll!
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