Eagles' Sour Grapes Heading Into 2010

Brian MahoneyContributor IJanuary 10, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field after not converting on fourth down in the second half during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Now I hope that the Eagles' brass will not fire me from any job I hold (like the guy on Facebook and his indignant rant on Brian Dawkins leaving), but to clear out the stink waves from Dallas, there are questions hammering every Eagles' fanatic after the 2009 season.

What happened? Why did they tank? What does the future hold for 2010?

Well, looking back at the Eagles and what they accomplished, I feel they had their foot in the door and yet again they didn't take it. It's quite obvious this team was missing something that could have propelled them further and maybe a Super Bowl.

From training camp on, the first missing piece was an injured Stewart Bradley at middle linebacker. His force up the gut and consistency was lost and we had to rely on a dusty Jeremiah Trotter.

Sorry Trotter, but we're in a new decade. Your time is over. Thank you for being there at the beginning...even until the bitter end. Once Bradley is healed in 2010, let's assume that Gocong/Witherspoon/Fokou/Jordan may either gel together in their assigned spots or that the Eagles must invest in a linebacker via the draft or free agency.

Speaking of free agency, the team's No. 1 need may be at the safety spot. Look at the holes and miscues Dallas exposed on defense. Macho Harris is our future to Dawkins' relished spot? I'd rather blindfold myself while driving on 422 than rely on him to make an impact.

Sean Jones and Quintin Demps made some decent plays and, from what I have heard, defenders take a year to truly adapt to the playbook (Jones being that player). If the Eagles can land a feared safety that is better suited to the defense, than an anchor much like Dawkins will be beneficial.

Late April will provide chances for the Eagles to prove what rookies can dazzle. With the recent explosion of talent with Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, and Brent Celek, the Eagles must pick with caution and play with potential.

Sadly Eagle fans, I think an offensive lineman might be the safest pick in the higher spots (as they need bodies...thanks to the amazing Andrews brothers) yet don't count out what the linebacker spots may have...(I have no clue what the draft class looks like yet).

Now, what to do with McNabb and Reid? They have been like the Dukes of Hazard all decade, getting into quirky moments yet pulling through in spite of the circumstances.

Have Eagles fans had enough of this? It's been like a script to know what Reid is doing. He detests the run game, loves the pass, makes senseless decisions when it comes to timeouts and play clock management. There is a reason he's their winningest coach ever, but I don't see results other from that stat...as in a Super Bowl ring.

Icing on the cake for this mash of Eagles' analysis is that if the Eagles can stick to a bold rushing attack (McCoy and Weaver) we will be fine. Westbrook is a question mark. Roll the dice and stick with him and risk losing him to injuries and ineffectiveness?

Or do we shop him, make strides in auditioning that second force who can only help McCoy and Weaver become nightmares for other defensive lines. They've had their share of busts (Lorenzo Booker, Tony Hunt, Reno Mahe, Ryan Moats) but with the impending leave of GM Tom Heckert, who is the head honcho when it comes to player decisions?

Also, will the Eagles just state the obvious and say that once again some tweaking of the wide receivers could boost the team, too...such as cutting Reggie Brown and pursuing someone better in the free agency? Jackson/Maclin/Avant work well, but Curtis remains in my doubts until said differently and finding someone with a tall, physical presence would be best.

Finally, I wish that Comcast Sportsnet would not broadcast any flat stories of the Eagles' struggles until I hear some progressive news of firings, signings, or shakeups. The Eagles need to rekindle the glory days of when the playoffs were an automatic ticket to the NFC Championship Game—now we're facing a hard time to even last the season without drama (that Raiders loss).

The NFC East can only get better from here, and I'm sure that fact cannot ease the minds of Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner when they drift to sleep. My point is when an Eagles fan sleeps, we dream of a Super Bowl parade painted in silver and green...not silver and navy blue.