We are witnessing history, folks.
The Philadelphia Eagles will be entering the 2011 NFL season with greater expectations than almost any other team we've seen this century. Some are already thinking an undefeated season is in the works for the Philly ball club.
However, I tend to disagree greatly with the anticipated success of the Eagles. Why do I think that they are not good enough to win the Super Bowl, even though everyone else does?
I'll give you six reasons.
There will be no more Sav Rocca or David Akers in Philadelphia. The Eagles decided to find their replacements in two rookies, punter Chas Henry and kicker Alex Henery.
Now, special teams, as we all know, can be the X-factor when it comes to being a successful team. With the Eagles relying on two unproven rookies, it's hard to see how they could be successful (at all) in that area.
So, this is what the Eagles linebacker group looks like: Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton, Akeem Jordan, Moise Fokou, Greg Lloyd, Casey Matthews, Chris Wilson, Brandon Peguese, Brian Rolle and Rashad Jeanty.
Notice the quality players in that lineup? Yeah, me neither. Fokou had the most tackles last year out of any of the current Eagles linebackers, and it was just a mediocre total of 51.
Without Stewart Bradley or Ernie Sims returning, the bad Eagles linebacker corps just turned worse, and into one of the worst in the entire league.
1st: Danny Watkins (OG) Baylor
2nd: Jaiquawn Jarrett (S) Temple
3rd: Curtis Marsh (CB) Utah St
4th: Casey Matthews (ILB) Oregon
4th: Alex Henery (K) Nebraska
5th: Dion Lewis (RB) Pittsburgh
5th: Julian Vandervelde (OG) Iowa
6th: Jason Kelce (C) Cincy
6th: Brian Rolle (OLB) Ohio St
7th: Greg Lloyd (ILB) UConn
7th: Stanley Havili (FB) USC
Danny Watkins was a poor first round pick. In fact, none of these picks were very good. None of them have very good potential, and they won't really produce next year for the Eagles. Casey Matthews isn't even close to being as good as his brother Clay, and the fourth round is way too early to select a kicker. Philadelphia didn't really improve in the draft, and that's very unfortunate.
Don't get me wrong, the Eagles are good enough to make the playoffs again. However, just like last year, they will have a tough road ahead of them if they do make it.
Sure, Michael Vick is one of the ten best quarterbacks in the NFL, easily. However, what you tend to like to see out of your quarterback is him passing the ball.
Yes, Vick is one of the most athletic QBs to ever grace the NFL stage, but he lacks certain signal-caller abilities that are necessary to lead a team to the Super Bowl.
The only quarterback in the modern era to lead the league in rushing (among QBs) and win the Super Bowl in the same year was Steve Young in 1994, and he wasn't even that big of a scrambler that year (he had 293 rush yards, and 35 touchdown passes).
Michael Vick is one of my favorite players in the league. However, he doesn't possess enough as a passer to win a championship.
The Eagles did make some key additions this offseason, the most significant of which were defensive end Jason Babin, and cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
With all of the new players they added, there will be a lot of pressure on them to succeed. Seriously, tons of pressure. I haven't seen a team with even close to as high of expectations as the Eagles since the Patriots were in the Super Bowl last time.
With that said, teams tend to succeed more when they have less pressure to succeed. The Giants were extreme underdogs in the Super Bowl, yet they beat a previously undefeated New England squad. Most people gave up on the Packers halfway through last season, but they fed off of that and wound up winning the championship.
The Eagles expectations by the media are far too high, and they are basically destined to let everyone down.