Remember when Curt Schilling was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks? Or when Scott Rolen whined his way out to St. Louis?
Yes, I felt the sting too, especially over the course of time when the Philadelphia Phillies were the bedrock of embarrassment in baseball after those trades. The aftermath, though, was the important issue:
How do the Philadelphia Eagles ome out of this pickle?
The same can be asked in the wake of the purging of the 2010 Philadelphia Eagles. The once great names that we marveled for a playoff-filled decade in Sheldon Brown, Shawn Andrews, Brian Westbrook, Brian Dawkins, and now Donovan McNabb…are all gone.
Feels as though we’re in a nightmare where the replica Eagles jerseys are hanging in the store with no names, no numbers in sight. The fire sale has now been accomplished by the Eagles’ front staff. The franchise’s face within a celebrated era has now vanished.
Time for a new face to emerge. That belongs to Kevin Kolb.
Entering his fourth season as a seasoned bench-warmer, the Houston University standout became a Texas legend and a fascination in the eye of Andy Reid in the 2007 NFL Draft. That’s why they dealt with the Dallas Cowboys just to snatch him up. Risky? Yes. The twisted experiment will now begin in 2010, if you disregard the Anthony Spencer factor that helped torch the Eagles’ offensive line in the last playoff game.
What can we expect? As of April 4, the Eagles will enter the 2010 NFL Draft with a lot of chips in their pockets. The listing of 24th , 37th , 55th , 70th , 87th , 105th , and 121st picks are all at stake.
The looming expectation will be how the Eagles must profit from this. Trading numerous picks to go higher has its advantages, but let’s lay out their needs: linebacker, offensive lineman, cornerback, safety, and defensive lineman in no particular order. The marquee names the Eagles could target include S Eric Berry, LB Sean Weatherspoon, OT Bruce Campbell, or CB Kyle Wilson. April 22 is going to be an interesting day.
So what comes out of this Donovan McNabb era? This is the topic all the pundits will fire away at. For a decade, millions of midnight green was dedicated to the light-hearted bliss that McNabb helped spread on and off the field. He fought the media’s glaring expectations (Rush Limbaugh) and dealt with mediocre wide receivers amid four straight NFC title game appearances.
Nobody can blame McNabb for the failures and mishaps. That is tagged to Andy Reid and the front office. It was the pink elephant issue that traumatized our Januarys from 2001 to 2004. The wide receiver position was the missing puzzle piece, and there was no response until the glorious Terrell Owens rode into town. We all know how that fairy tale ended.
Then the dark ages came for McNabb recovering (seemingly) year after year with a hernia injury and a torn ACL in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. His greatness, his agility, and his skill set glided down a path that the Eagles were willing to mend for his sake.
That’s where DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek, Jeremy Maclin, and LeSean McCoy step into the picture. A younger corp of talent that finally paid off through Eagles’ drafts were stepping stones to one last hurrah for McNabb and the Eagles. The problem, definitively, was that McNabb played in the wrong time of his career.
Consequently, the Eagles gave McNabb the necessary weapons to succeed, but it was far too little, too late. Aside from his injury history, McNabb was a warrior nonetheless. Bleeding hearts and loyal fans will agree to the testament of the beauty and resilience every Sunday had to offer.
Now comes the hard part: dealing with new Sundays, new Kolb jerseys (that won’t have the same magnitude or heart like the old McNabb ones had), and new questions to an uncertain year. We’ve seen Kolb light up a lowly Chiefs’ team and compete well with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Kolb has the mechanics to take the Eagles places. He also has the set of weapons in Jackson, Maclin, Celek, as well as Jason Avant and Hank Baskett. It’s no sure bet, but if recent history is a positive indicator, then Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, and Mark Sanchez should give a reassuring outlook.
In general, this was a business decision made by the Eagles. The day we all feared finally came true. McNabb will now don the maroon & yellow and we will see him again at least twice a season. For now, Kevin Kolb is the future. If need be, Michael Vick can be utilized as well.
It was an impending notion for change when we drafted Kolb, but some scoffed at it being an ideal backup plan. It was a bizarre signing when Vick was reinstated by the NFL. Two pretzel twists of fate now will become either the Eagles’ present conflict or the present conquest.