Could Kevin Curtis's Injury Ultimately Benefit the Philadelphia Eagles?
I know, I know. You looked at the title and said to yourself: "Michoel Botwinick, you heartless S.O.B., Kevin Curtis is unquestionably the Eagles' best wide receiver and is extremely vital to the team."
But is he?
True—he's been the Eagles' best wideout since T.O., but what exactly has he done in terms of creating matchup problems or stretching the field for D-Mac? While Donte Stallworth didn't exactly put up the numbers that Curtis did, he did make the other receivers next to him better.
Because he spread out the field, created matchup problems, and generally took some of the pressure off his fellow wide receivers. Remember, that was the year in which Reggie Brown had a breakout season.
In other words, he made the whole corps better, something that Curtis did not do.
Furthermore, Curtis would be a second or third wide receiver with most teams, where he would be largely ineffective. Remember St. Louis, when he played behind Torry Holt? And those years were supposed to be the prime of his career.
But still, what does Curtis's injury do in terms of helping the Eagles' already shoddy wide-receiver corps?
Here are the top three possibilities:
1. First of all, DeSean Jackson will have to be utilized more. I know Andy Reid has an unpleasant habit of not playing rookies, but how can you ignore this guy?! Already a standout wide receiver at Cal—in addition to his electrifying punt returns—he is clearly the playmaker that McNabb has been asking for. And the more touches that D-Jax gets, well, we'll see...But I see great things coming.
2. Reggie Brown came to the Eagles with high hopes three years ago, but he hasn't quite been what he was cracked up to be when the Eagles' drafted him in the second round in 2005. He did, however, have a great year in 2006, playing behind Stallworth, but he received diminished attention with the arrival of Curtis in the next year.
Now, we will see what he can do in a starring role, and if his college tapes prove correct, he may be in for an excellent year. The talent is definitely there, that's for sure.
3. Unless you hadn't been listening to Philly sports radio around the time of training camp, you may have heard rave reviews about Hank Baskett's red-zone capability. I mean, you look at a guy who is 6'4" and can jump seven-feet high, and you see the potential.
While he may not be a major factor in the offense, other than the red zone, he can definitely be a huge asset in terms of getting six points on the board.
The basic premise of these three points is that, by the time Kevin Curtis does come back, in about a month or so, Donovan McNabb will have greater confidence in his current set of wide receivers. And then McNabb will depend on Curtis less, spread the field more, and correctly implement the West Coast offense.
And if not?
Well, one of these two things will have to happen.
1. The Eagles will have to finally get a true No. 1 wide receiver. And that's always a good thing!
2. The Eagles will have to give the ball to Westbrook more. Which, of course, is fine with me, as that would mean a more balanced attack. Just makes you wonder how much longer Westbrook can accommodate being the centerpiece of the Eagles' offense.
The injury plain sucks, and we have another wasted season. Oh well.
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