Over the last six months, the Philadelphia Eagles have experienced a perfect storm of organizational failures comparable to the second Bush administration. The most hotly-anticipated season in franchise history ended with the most mind-numbing 8-8 campaign since the institution of the 16-game schedule in 1978.
The scary part is that it could have been a lot worse. The Eagles were a putrid 4-8 before closing the season with a hollow, four-game winning streak.
To top it all off, it was the arch-rival Giants, a team widely considered inferior to the Eagles before the start of the season, who lifted the very Lombardi Trophy the Birds were supposed to be basking under.
After 13 seasons on an ultimately empty, Andy Reid-captained vessel, Eagles fans are teetering on the edge of the clinical insanity definition so disturbingly outlined by its ironically staunchest advocate, team president Joe Banner.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result," Banner told Comcast Sportsnet in January 2009, after the Eagles lost yet another NFC championship game (1-4 in the Andy Reid era), this one to a wildly underwhelming Arizona squad.
The painful irony in this statement is that for the Eagles under Reid, the result has always been pretty much the same, with a few fresh subplots mixed in from season to season.
While few fans are arguing the decision to give Reid one more shot in 2012, it's painstakingly clear that he's finally on his last leg.
The two-time Sporting News Coach of the Year can either make like his New York antagonist (Tom Coughlin) and respond to his unsettling job security by winning the Super Bowl, or he can make like Wade Phillips (2010 Dallas Cowboys) and stand there like Elmer Befuddled as his talented roster chemically implodes.
If the response is less like Coughlin and more like Phillips, Eagles nation may just burn Lincoln Financial Field and its pompous environmental cooling system to the ground.
So, consider this the calm before the metropolitan storm that will be the 2012 Eagles season.
If there's a bright side for Reid and his perpetually overwhelmed game day staff (looking at you, Juan Castillo), it's that they do have perhaps the most talented roster in the NFL to work with. Even so, it's a roster that can elevate from playoff contender to Super Bowl contender with a few major touch-ups.
Here are seven available players who could provide those long-awaited finishing touches.