If there’s one word Philadelphia Eagles fans don’t know and will probably never learn, it’s “relax.”
But seriously, for those of you who are freaking out because of all the negative developments out of Eagles training camp so far…well, I think you know what I’m about to say.
After all people—it’s Week 1.
The big news, of course, is that Stewart Bradley tore his ACL and is done for the season. Yes, that sucks. And it also sucks that Jeremy Maclin took this long to get to camp, and that Jason Peters and Shawn Andrews are banged up, and that Brian Westbrook’s ankle is gimpy and the offense can’t score in the red zone.
IT’S WEEK ONE.
People take too much of what happens in training camp, and even in the preseason, way too seriously.
The whole point of it is to work out the kinks, get back into optimal shape and familiarize yourself with a new or updated playbook and new teammates. So what if Quentin Demps looks lost out there? If he still looks that way in three or four weeks, or after opening day, then we can worry.
As for Bradley, yes, his loss will suck. Any time a team loses the top guy on their depth chart at any position, it’s going to sting.
But if it’s Joe Mays who lines up with the first unit on Sept. 6, he’ll be the Eagles third different opening-day MIKE linebacker in three years. And if it’s Omar Gaither, he’ll simply be reclaiming the spot he lost to Bradley last year. So clearly, even if Bradley is the second coming of Chuck Bednarik, they’ll get over it.
Not only that, but even if it is Mays—why lament his inexperience? Stewart Bradley was a second year guy when he took over the starting job last year. Yes, Nebraska has a bit better pedigree than North Dakota State, but as anyone who has graduated college in any field will tell you, on-the-job experience trumps a brand-name degree any day.
As long as you have good depth, you’ll be okay. The Giants lost Osi Umenyiora last year in the preseason, and their defense was still in the Top 5 in the NFL. The Bears finished 11-5 in 2005 under Kyle Orton after Rex Grossman broke his ankle.
Oh, yeah, and ask any Rams fan about that Warner guy who stepped in when Trent Green’s knee got clobbered.
Someone will step up and seize the opportunity. Whether it’s Mays, Gaither, anyone else in camp or perhaps a new signing, just remember this: It’s better that it happened now instead of in November.
Until then, don’t worry about it.
I mean, remember last year’s training camp? Shawn Andrews never showed up, Donovan McNabb’s shoulder hurt, Victor Abiamiri dislocated his wrist, the secondary was a mess, the top draft picks barely got signed in time and everyone was in a tizzy.
How’d that work out again?