Okay, I'm calling you out Eagles fans. That's right, the cat's out of the bag, pants are now around your ankles, you have been exposed.
I know why your reading this article.
So I guess putting that creepy pick of Joe "We cant afford a" Banner worked. I got you. Game over.
Seriously, all joking aside, there have been a lot of strong opinions floating around the Philadelphia region over the last week, especially with the release of beloved safety, Brian Dawkins and the trade of Litto Sheppard to the Jets.
So I felt this would be a good time to dis-spell some rumors and statements being made about the Eagles.
1.) Joe Banner is the devil in disguise and Andy Reid is not far behind
OK, so maybe a bit extreme, but i'm not far from the truth. Many Eagles fans hate these two more then a weekend with the in-laws. When will they learn how to run a franchise?
Aside from the five NFC championship games, a franchise quarterback, and mastery of the salary cap, I know they do a horrible job. I know they let Brian Dawkins go to Denver, and should have pawned off the statue of William Penn to keep him. I know.
The reality is Banner and Reid are the two biggest reasons for the Eagles having ANY success over the last 10 years. Although they have not won a Super Bowl, could the Eagles have gotten any closer without them? Probably not.
The fault with Banner and Reid lies more in their philosophy then their willingness to go out and try to compete. If they did not care about trying to make the team better we never would have been graced with the likes of Asante Samuel, Jevon Kearse, or even John Runyan (yes, that was a Big Red signing).
Maybe that is not what grinds your gears though. Maybe you hate how every time a player gets 30 candles on his birthday cake he can expect to end up in the unemployment line the very next day. Well, that's not entirely true.
Dawkins is 35 and will soon be 36. Tra Thomas is 34. Aside from a quarterback, name me one player who is in their mid-30s and at the top of their game. Give up? Well, me to. It's sad to see key players leave, but in today's NFL it has become part of the game.
Banner and Reid believe in making fair offers to players, but many times when you get to be around 34 or 35 this becomes sort of a grey area.
So before you go blaming the front office, realize this. Dawkins signed that contract with the Broncos. He rejected a contract with the Eagles. And the same is probably going to happen with Thomas also. But that does not make Banner or Reid the bad guys. Which leads me to my next point...
2.) Brian Dawkins should have been re-signed and was not to blame for leaving
Well that is partially true. He should have been re-signed, but for the right price. And yes, you can't really blame him for leaving for more money. Wait, actually you can. As Eagles fans, we care about Dawkins. We loved seeing him make plays, be a leader, and embody the city we love.
If Dawkins truly loved this as much as the fans, he would have taken less money and re-signed with the Eagles. After all, there was an offer on the table. Kinda stings dosen't it? At least I think it does. Having the player I loved leave for money over his legacy is just another sign of the times we live in.
Secondly, Dawkins was no longer a coverage safety. He was a two down pass rushing safety. Many do not realize this, but by the end of the season Dawkins was being used mainly as a pass rusher and run stuffer, and Quentin Demps was handling coverage duty.
So unless Dawkins finds the fountain of youth this offseason, I don't think those skills are going to improve. They certainly will not improve in 2010.
3.) The Eagles are cheaper then a package of Ramen noodles: Let's just answer this question by using the following "chart."
2004: WR Terrel Owens: seven years, $42 million/ DE Jevon Kearse eight years, $66 million.
2005: Mike Macmahon (feel free to shudder). But they did re-sign Trotter to five years, $15 million, with a $5 million signing bonus.
2006: DE Darren Howard six years, $30 million.
2007: WR Kevin Curtis six years, $32 million.
2008: Asante Samuel seven years, $57 million, $20 million guaranteed.
That kinda money can buy a lot of Ramen noodles.
4.) The Eagles should trade all their draft choices and Mayor Nutter to Arizona for Anquan Boldin
Yes, we all know the Eagles need a true No. 1 wide receiver. And Boldin is good, very good. But is he worth trading multiple draft choices for? The answer to that question is a resounding no.
You need to draft impact players in this league, not trade for them. Just look at the Giants, Colts, or even the Cardinals. They all built through the draft. Trading for players can many times be a short term solution (T.O.) but often times does not work out in the long term.
The Eagles need to do a better job of drafting impact players. Trading for them is not the answer, especially when they have holes at running back, offensive line, and the secondary.
5.) Andy Reid has the best philosophy since Confucius
Believe it or not, some people still think Andy Reid has a great philosophy. Not. The biggest problem with the Eagles has been for years now, Reid's inability to adjust to NFL trends.
Although he was doing a better job running the ball towards the end of last year, Reid has cost this team multiple losses by being in love with the pass. Reid has also hurt the Eagles by his inability to select quality players in the first two rounds of the draft, and even worse then that, he has failed to draft quality skill players in the draft (DeSean Jackson excluded).
6.) Go get Sly Stallone, now that Dawkins is gone there is no leadership left in Philadelphia
I love Stallone, but I'm here to tell you the Eagles will be OK without Dawkins leadership. Yes, it was nice and he was very important in mentoring the Eagles younger players.
But if Dawkins was the Eagles only leader the past 13 years, then something is wrong here. Big time. Let's not forget to, leadership is not always the loudest guy on the field. Many times it is the player who leads by example that everyone looks up to.
The Eagles still have those type of players left, and it will be the same as when Trotter left, someone will step up.
So there are SOME of the answers to various questions and concerns I have seen on message boards and chats over the past two weeks. The Eagles may have some issues, but a lot of times things get blown a little out of proportion. Plus, I like Mayor Nutter; I don't want to see him go to Arizona.