"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results."
That was the remark by Joe Banner that stuck in my head the most in his interview following the Eagles' NFC Championship loss in Phoenix a month and a half ago.
When people think of change to a football team, they automatically go for the jugular and think their team will start the next season with a new head coach and/or quarterback.
In the words of a famous Butterfinger commercial "au contraire, mon frere!". Regardless of making the NFL's Final Four, the fact remains the Eagles moon walked into the playoffs with a 9-6-1 record and some unscripted assistance from the Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings (nobody with a pulse thought that was possible). Changes to the roster for 2009 was inevitable.
Unfortunately, these changes meant saying goodbye to longtime players that many fans have grown to love over the years. If you like the Eagles, you know who they are so I'm not going to run down another list of the Banner's version of "The Departed."
In my opinion, only two players should have been re-signed. That's Brian Dawkins and pre-surgery Jon Runyan (so technically that's 1 1/2 players). I find it ironic that those are the two positions that have been addressed so far in free agency.
Still, you can't replace the intangibles brought by The Beast/Wolverine and Dr. Chest Bump. The fact is these players are fast approaching the twilight of their playing careers.
Replacing them was inevitable, whether it was 2009 or 2010. Now that their not on the roster it's best to just move on.
This past week Eagles fans have been on the verge of a riot. The World Champion Phillies' Spring Training is an afterthought. Plans to wear No. 20 Broncos jerseys when Denver visits this fall are in effect.
Demonstrations have occurred outside Jeff Lurie's home. Some people have cancelled their "fanhood." Joe Banner is considered a bald-faced lying rat. One thing I got out of this free agency period: Above all else, Philadelphia is definitely a football town.
I'm no fan of Banner. Let me get that out now. I think his football IQ is at a preschool level and he has yet to understand that explaining the cap only fuels Eagle fans' despising of him.
The only number people are concerned with is 1 Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Having said that, I can understand the majority of the moves the Eagles have made. Most of the players that left or are in the verge of leaving were key members of the multiple conference championship losses.
A few others (L.J. Smith and Sean Considine) never lived up to their potential and were shown the door as well. Therefore, Banner was very honest when he addressed that there would be some changes. They just weren't all the most popular changes.
Signing Stacey Andrews and Sean Jones isn't popular enough for some fans. It would've been popular to sign Albert Haynesworth or trade for Kellen Winslow Jr., even though we all witnessed the fruits of the Dallas Cowboys' popular moves last season.
Signing for another 29-30 year running back in Derrick Ward is another example, just to say the Eagles have another running back.
The fact is: Fans want it to be September NOW!! They want the draft to be over. They want training camp to be in the past. They want the final 2009 roster complete and all holes filled immediately.
Sorry, folks!! It's March 7 and we're just preparing for daylight savings time starting tomorrow. All gridiron "experts" must relax and wait.
The good thing currently is the Eagles are making many moves behind the scenes. There are rumored talks with CB Bryant McFadden of the Super Bowl Champs; It has been said the Eagles are in communication with Arizona about a possible trade for Anquan Boldin.
If that falls through, Torry Holt should be a free agent by Saint Patty's Day; They have 12 draft picks (not including possible compensatory picks) and there's no way they're using all of them; They also still have some potential trade bait (Reggie Brown; Winston Justice and even A.J. Feeley/Kevin Kolb).
If you can get a draft pick for Greg Lewis all things are possible. Be ye prepared for another unpopular move or three. Sheldon Brown, Darren Howard and Omar Gaither are currently expendable. Don't think it can't be done.
Having said all of this, the Eagles are still in position to do whatever they want this off-season without disrupting Banner's beloved cap theory. I can positively see a clear-cut contender assembled in the fall. We all just have to wait and see...