Stay or Go: Picking Through the Philadelphia Eagles Offense
With the 2010 season officially over for the Eagles, we can now start looking ahead to the 2011 season. We start by taking a look at who should stay around for next season and who should be shown the door. We'll look position-by-position and also include the coaching staff.
First, we start with the offense.
Michael Vick: Stay
Even though it was a Vick interception that ended the season, it's important to note the Eagles probably wouldn't have been in the playoffs at all were it not for Vick and everything he's done this season. I expect the team to hand him a mega-deal in the offseason.
Kevin Kolb: Go
Andy Reid loves Kolb and will try to keep him, but Kolb is already making play-me-or-trade-me type statements.
"I love it here, as everybody knows," Kolb said. "My family's settled in here. I would love to be starting here. But I want to be starting somewhere."
That pretty much says it all. Expect Kolb to get moved to a quarterback-needy team like the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals or Minnesota Vikings.
Mike Kafka: Stay
This one is pretty obvious. They made him a fourth-round pick and, even though he's been the emergency third-string quarterback all year, there are some in the organization who think Kafka has a future as a starter.
LeSean McCoy: Stay
McCoy is going to be around for a very long time. He is only going to get better next year, and the only question with McCoy becomes when they give him the huge extension he'll ultimately deserve.
Jerome Harrison: Stay
Well, he should stay but don't count on it. There's almost no chance that Reid even makes him an offer, and even if he did, it's unlikely Harrison would take it. Harrison could start for about a half-dozen teams around the league, so don't expect to see him in Eagle green again.
Eldra Buckley: Go
I'm a fan of Buckley because of the way he plays special teams, but with the emergence of a guy like Colt Anderson, the Eagles can afford to go out and find a third running back they actually trust to contribute on offense. Unless they plan to use Leonard Weaver as the third running back and keep Buckley around as a special teams ace, it might be time for him to move on.
Owen Schmitt: Go
If there was an extra roster spot, I would gladly keep Schmitt around. But with Leonard Weaver coming back next year, there just isn't room for him. Any team looking for a starting fullback should scoop him up immediately.
Leonard Weaver: Stay
Losing Weaver was probably more costly than anyone realizes. Schmitt stepped in and played very well, but he wasn't given a single carry. Weaver is a guy the Eagles could have used in short-yardage situations and as an option out of the backfield. Losing him meant a lot of missed offense.
Brent Celek: Stay
I've been down on Celek all year, but it seems like he has to turn things around next year. The chemistry with Vick just might not have ever gotten there or maybe it was just a down year, but either way, he's still their best option.
Clay Harbor: Stay
Harbor took huge strides in the latter portion of the season. He can be a great sub for Celek if he focuses on becoming more of a consistent blocker and doing all the little things that will make him a more effective receiver.
Jeremy Maclin: Stay
Maclin, and not the other guy, is the best receiver on this team. He showed that week after week, but because he's not as flashy, he got snubbed for the Pro Bowl. Heading into his third season, I expect Maclin to be in the midst of the All-Pro talks.
DeSean Jackson: Stay
He's explosive and a great playmaker, but if it was up to me, Jackson might be shown the door for the right offer. The way he quits when he's not getting the ball enough is pathetic and worse than anything Terrell Owens did on the field. If he doesn't get his primma donna act in check, the team might never pay him.
Jason Avant: Stay
Avant didn't make a lot of flashy catches we're used to, but he's still one of the better slot receivers in the game. If he was used properly, he could be even better.
Riley Cooper: Stay
Cooper is likely to see a lot more action next season as he continues to progress, but he's not going to uproot any of the three guys in front of him. Hopefully, he can actually become the red zone target the team envisioned when they drafted him.
Chad Hall: Go
It's hard not to like Chad Hall, but if there's a better option out there, the team has to go for it. Hall doesn't seem to have a ton of upside, is undersized and really isn't a huge asset on special teams—an area in which a fifth receiver must be able to contribute.
Jason Peters: Stay
Peters was spectacular this season. He locked down some of the best pass-rushers in the league and was a road-grater in the running game. He played a lot like the best left tackle in football and is looking well worth the picks given up to acquire him.
Todd Herremans: Go
I'm not a fan of Herremans. If you've ever read anything with my name next to it, you already know that. He doesn't have the strength to play on the inside and seems very lazy when asked to get to the second level. He also doesn't seem to understand zone blocking on a pass play and is never ready when Peters passes a guy along to him.
Mike McGlynn: Stay
I said before training camp I thought McGlynn would be the starter, but I didn't think he would play like a seasoned vet. McGlynn's play is going to make it very hard to push him out once Jamaal Jackson returns from his second season-ending injury in as many seasons.
Nick Cole: Go
He needs to go, and he needs to go very far away. He has no technique, he's lazy, he can't recognize what the defense is doing and he's soft. None of that makes for a great guard, and I'm willing to wave goodbye to his versatility because of it.
Winston Justice: Stay
The season didn't end well for Justice, but that shouldn't erase what was a very solid season for him. I believe very strongly that Peters and Justice can be book-end tackles for the next decade in a similar fashion to Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan.
Reggie Wells: Stay
Wells will likely be shown the door, but in reality, he's the best guard on the team. Unlike Herremans and Cole, he has good feet and isn't too lazy to use them. He also has enough upper body strength to handle big defensive tackles. But just like Jason Babin, Chris Clemons, Will Witherspoon, Antwan Barnes, etc. he'll be another talented player allowed to leave.
King Dunlap: Stay
The only knock on Dunlap is his technique is still lacking at this point. He starts his kick-step with his hands around his hands, and it puts him at a disadvantage of about a half-second while he brings his hands up to engage the pass-rusher. He also leaves his chest exposed for far too long. But even with those flaws, he's shown he can be valuable as the primary backup tackle.
Jamaal Jackson: Stay
Ideally, I would love to see Jackson become the starting center again and kick McGlynn to one of the guard spots. To me, that seems like the best of both worlds. But if Reid is unwilling to move McGlynn, then Jackson must be shown the door so McGlynn can develop. Jackson is currently the better player barring injury, but McGlynn has much more upside.
Max Jean-Gilles: Go
While he played admirably, I see Jean-Gilles as that guy who is a high-end backup and a low-end starter. Those guys usually see themselves as great starters, and he will demand a lot more money than the Eagles are willing to pay. He can probably start for a bad team, but either through the draft or free agency, it should be fairly easy to find an upgrade.
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