Eagles fans had given up. It was over. Nothing mattered. The season was over before it started...or at least that was how it seemed.
The offseason started on a very bad note. Rumors had been swirling around the Eagles with names like T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Derrick Ward, and Anquan Boldin. Eagles fans watched in horror as the Giants continued to add to their already spectacular defensive line and the Redskins added defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
Then the punch in the gut, Dawkins was signed by Denver. Dawk had been a fan-favorite and a major part of the Eagles' locker room for years. No one saw it coming.
The Eagles did make some moves in free-agency though. Nothing jaw-dropping, but good moves such as fullback Leonard Weaver, right tackle Stacey Andrews (brother of Eagles right guard Shawn Andrews), safety Sean Jones, and safety Rashad Baker.
Eagles fans still hated Joe Banner.
The real turnaround started with the Eagles trading for Jason Peters. Peters is a young, promising, two time pro-bowl left tackle. He will protect McNabb (or Kevin Kolb) for many years to come. It was strange for the Eagles front office to make such a bold move. The last really bold move from them was Terrell Owens, and we all know how that ended.
Then the draft came along. Andy Reid made jaws drop when he traded up to draft the 6'1" 200 lb wide receiver Jeremy Maclin of Missouri. Wait, what was that? Wide receiver? Doesn't that go against every rule in the Andy Reid handbook? No trade? No offensive linemen? Wow!
Maclin caught 102 passes for 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final year at Mizz. He was considered by many as the second-best wide receiver in the draft behind Michael Crabtree. Maclin is also a dynamic return man.
He may take Jackson's spot as punt-returner and Quintin Demps' spot at kick returner. If Maclin does take those spots it will most likely help both the sophomores focus at their main positions.
With their second pick, the Eagles selected LeSean McCoy, a 5'10" 200 lb running back from Pittsburgh. LeSean has a similar playing style as Brian Westbrook. He can catch with ease, making him a perfect fit for the west coast offense the Eagles run.
The Eagles didn't make another selection until the fifth round. They used their selection on 6'4" 245 lb tight end Cornelius Ingram from Florida. Ingram missed the whole 2008 season with a torn ACL. He is a pass-catching tight end that will help the Eagles in the red zone.
In the fifth round the Eagles traded two fifth round picks to the Patriots in exchange for cornerback Ellis Hobbs. Hobbs recorded three interceptions with the Pats last year. He is also a kick-returner that will compete with Maclin or maybe even Demps for the spot.
One pick that has gone unnoticed is Brandon Gibson. Gibson is a wide receiver from Washington State. WSU struggled at the quarterback position (they started four different quarterbacks throughout the year), causing Gibson's stats to fall. In 2007 Gibson recorded 67 receptions for 1,180 yards and 9 touchdowns.
In 2008, Gibson's stats fell to 57 receptions for 673 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon has been making some nice catches at OTA's and he has even caught the eye of Ray Didinger.
The Eagles front office actually managed to make fans happy this year. 2009 is shaping up like a good season for the Birds. Some fans are already predicting a championship, but only time will tell.