Joshin' Around: Why the Eagles Are Two Players Away from a Super Bowl Title

Josh VitaleCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2009

For the fifth time in the last eight seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles have played in the NFC Championship game.


In those five tries, the Eagles have one Super Bowl appearance, and no championships.


What’s their problem? It’s very simple.


The Philadelphia Eagles are two players away from winning the Super Bowl.


Let’s start with the players they do have:


Donovan McNabb starts at quarterback, and he has been one of the most productive passers in Eagles history. The offensive line is one of the best in the NFL, with a solid group of veterans and young guys protecting McNabb. Combine that with a solid tight end trio of L.J. Smith, Brent Celek, and Matt Schobel, and the Eagles have a solid core on offense.


And no, I’m not forgetting anyone. I’ll get to them later.


Now, on the defense, the Eagles may be even stronger. Their defensive tackles, Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson, may be one of the best duos in the league. They are flanked by Trent Cole and Jaqua Parker, two better than average defensive ends. Their linebacker corps of Akeem Jordan, Stewart Bradley, and Chris Gocong is young, but quickly improving. And their secondary is one of the best in the NFL, with Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard manning the corner spots, and Brian Dawkins and Quintin Mikell at safety.


The two positions that I haven’t mentioned are where the problems lie. Brian Westbrook is among the best weapons in the NFL, as he dominates as a receiver out of the backfield, but he struggles as an every-down running back. And at receiver, Kevin Curtis, DeSean Jackson, and Reggie Brown are all solid receivers, but none of them are a No. 1.


Here is the solution that will solve all of Philly’s problems: Draft a running back, and find a way to get Anquan Boldin to wear green next year.




For starters, let’s look at wide receiver. In Terrell Owens’ first season as an Eagle, they were almost unstoppable, finally making it to the Super Bowl after three straight seasons of losing in the NFC championship. If he hadn’t destroyed that locker-room morale, it was a match made in heaven.


So if they were able to somehow lure Boldin away from Arizona, the Eagles would finally have the No. 1 they crave, creating one of the top receiving corps in the NFC, with Boldin being the No. 1 and Jackson and Curtis flanking him.


Second, let’s look at the upcoming draft. Beanie Wells and Knowshon Moreno are surefire first-round picks, and Shonn Greene is waiting in the wings. If the Eagles could get their hands on one of these guys, their offensive dynamic would change instantly.


Making this move would allow the Eagles to shape Brian Westbrook into the Reggie Bush mold, making him a weapon out of the backfield, from the slot, and even on special teams.


Just think, if the Eagles could put a true every-down running back in their backfield, get themselves a true No. 1 receiver, and make Westbrook a weapon from everywhere on the field, they would be incredibly hard to stop.


I’ll say it again: The Eagles are two players away from being the best team in the NFL.




Don’t forget to catch the next “Joshin’ Around.”