We have Rex in New York, America's Team in Dallas, and Belichick's new toys in New England, but for the 2011 season, there is no denying that the Eagles are the most interesting team. The Philadelphia Eagles are "All In" and they haven't even played their first hand yet. The Eagles have yet to win a Super Bowl despite being there twice (I can soooo relate) and coming close many other times under Andy Reid. But, there is no thought of next year in Philadelphia this time. The Eagles brought in the horses and will be considered the co-favorite along with Green Bay in the NFC. I find myself reading more Eagles articles every day than any other team. Let's go through a few of the story lines:
1) DeSean Jackson's holdout: Very understandable for one of the most exciting players in the game. He is talking nice now after ending his holdout. My guess is that some promises have been made, but they won't negotiate unless he comes to camp. He came back and the Eagles will pay up.
2) Offensive line coach Juan Castillo (nice guy and good coach) has been moved to defensive coordinator. I have never seen this done at this level. The Eagles have supported him with some great free agent signings including Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, and Jason Babin. Plus, they traded Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a number 2. Great talent = Great expectations.
3) Apparently the Eagles almost stole tackle Doug Free from the Cowboys: That would have been a dagger for the Cowboys' hopes. The Eagles may start two rookies on their offensive line this year, top pick Danny Watkins at guard and maybe Jason Kelce at center. It also looks like former Bronco Ryan Harris has a chance to start on Mike Vick's blindside at right tackle replacing Winston Justice. Oh, did I mention that former Colts OL coach Howard Mudd has come out of retirement to coach this new look OL?
4) Vince Young has replaced Kevin Kolb as Vick's back-up and has not impressed. Young is one of those guys that looks much better in live action than practice (didn't I just write that about Tebow?), but most reports so far have not been kind about Young. Vick is a QB that will take hits and probably miss some time. Can Vince Young handle the glare of that spotlight in a tough town like Philly. Stay tuned.
5) Jeremy Maclin has an undisclosed illness and has not practiced, Mike Patterson had a frightening collapse on the field, and the nickname the "DREAM TEAM" is posted on every opponent's bulletin board in bold print.
Since I have been a part of the NFL, I cannot remember a team creating more of a buzz than the Eagles have this year. Maybe it is just because it happened so fast with the shortened free agency and trading period. But, like it or not, the Eagles are the NFL's Miami Heat for 2011.