In the NFL, the first thing a team needs to win is undoubtedly a good quarterback. The second thing a team needs to win is a great—not good—head coach.
Take, for instance, the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers were a team dancing on the brink of complete obscurity until Jim Harbaugh took over and instituted an entirely new culture. Since then, the team hasn’t looked back, and they have been one of the NFL’s most dominant forces. By the way, they’ve done so with a good quarterback in Alex Smith and a newcomer by the name of Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers were a team with a good offensive line, a great running back and a bunch of pieces on defense.
We’ve seen what the right head coach can do.
The Philadelphia Eagles are not the pre-Harbaugh 49ers; however, the Birds have a lot in common with that team. For example, they have a great running back, a great offensive line (that will be healthy heading into the 2013 season), a good linebacker, two or three good receivers, a good defensive line and a quarterback whom it’s hard to put faith in. Sound familiar?
Assuming the Eagles front office does its homework, there is no reason to believe that they won’t hire the right football mind to come in and take the reins in the same way San Francisco did.
This prospective head coach will doubtlessly be able to work with Eagles GM Howie Roseman and draft a solid rookie class and release and acquire the right players to keep the team in contention in the weak NFC East.
If we make all of those reasonable assumptions, it’s not outrageous to expect the Eagles to make the playoffs next year with a 10-6 record.
Next year’s schedule has not been released. But, we do know who the Eagles will play. The following slideshow is a game-by-game breakdown of what to expect from the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles.
Will the Eagles make the playoffs? No one knows. After looking at this year’s team, the answer is no. However, the NFC East is so weak, and the right head coach makes so much of an impact that fans have every reason to expect the Birds to make it.