2011 Free Agency

Posted: June 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 62 Comments »

One of the popular themes this offseason is that the Eagles finally got back to being the Eagles.  Last year they went and signed a bunch of free agents while ignoring their own players.  This year the team looked inward and is better off for it.

B.S.

This is way too simplistic of an evaluation.  We’ve seen teams go out and try to buy titles.  They pay mega-deals to the Albert Haynesworth’s of the world and then end up with a team of mercenaries that have no chemistry and play only for a paycheck.  This is the Skins of the 2000′s for sure.

The Eagles did something very different.  They knew 2011 would be a unique situation.  There had been no true free agency in 2010 because of the CBA situation.  That meant the market would be flooded in 2011.  The Eagles planned ahead and made sure to have plenty of cap room.  The goal wasn’t to run out and overpay for stars.  It was to go out and bargain hunt.

The Eagles landed Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, and Jason Babin at deals that were less than expected.  Does anyone really think the Eagles would be better off without those guys?  Were any of those 3 the reason we went 8-8 last year?  Hell no, to both questions.

The Eagles added veteran backups and role players on the cheap in Evan Mathis, Ryan Harris, Ronnie Brown, Derek Landri, Anthony Hargrove, Jarrad Page, Johnnie Lee Higgins, and Donald Lee.  Mathis turned out to be a home run.  Ditto for Landri.  Hargrove could have been a good player, but got caught up in the numbers game.  Brown started off well, but then things turned sideways for him.

The Eagles added a pair of other veterans who had a bit more fanfare.  Vince Young was signed to be the backup QB.  Steve Smith was signed as WR insurance.

So which players didn’t work out?  Page was awful.  The Eagles didn’t anticipate him starting, but he was awful no matter how  you slice it.  Brown was disappointing, but part of that is on the coaching staff for simply not using him enough.  You can’t sign a productive veteran and expect him to function well with 2 carries a game.  Dumb coaching.

VY…the Eagles signed him thinking that he could win games if Vick missed starts.  Vince isn’t pretty, but he’s won 60 percent of his starts so he usually gets the job done.  The problem is that he did that in a run-heavy offense and not the Eagles passing attack.

Smith is the big mystery.  I don’t know who pushed for him, Andy Reid or Howie Roseman.  Whoever did that made a bizarre decision.  I get that Jeremy Maclin was a huge question mark at the time.  Here’s what I don’t get.  You choose someone that is coming off ACL surgery to be the insurance policy?  Also, he is at his best in the slot.  Mac is an outside receiver.  How is he insurance?

Signing Steve Smith was a flat out mistake.  At the time I was guessing this meant we would do more 4-WR sets and would want 2 slot guys, one on each side.  Using Smith like that would have made sense.  Didn’t happen.  We paid him $2M to sit and watch.  When he did play, he was even worse than when sitting on the bench.  No need to re-hash the horror.

If the Eagles got burned by FA, it was Brown, VY, and Smith.  Even so, would I say avoid them if it meant the Eagles didn’t get Mathis and Landri as well?  Where would we have been without them in 2011?

The Eagles got far more out of FA than they lost.  And the guys who did succeed are happy to be here and high character guys that should be leaders going forward.

Last year’s problems were Vick’s erratic play and turnovers, bad LB play (no FAs), erratic DB play (complex issue – some FAs), and critical mistakes by every single part of the team, often in critical situations.  Did FA make Juqua Parker jump offside in Buffalo?  Did it make Alex Henery miss 2 short FGs vs SF?  Did it make Maclin drop a pass vs ATL and fumble vs SF?  Did it make Reid go for it on 4th/1 vs the Giants?  Did it cause Kurt Coleman to miss the tackle vs ARZ in the RZ?  And so on.

Bringing in players from the outside did piss off 2 guys, Asante Samuel and DeSean Jackson.  The irony with Samuel is that his arrival pissed off Sheldon Brown.  What goes around, comes around I guess.  The Eagles erred (greatly) in not dealing him last summer.  They got greedy and the 3-CB experiment failed.

As for DeSean, I’m sure he was very angry to see Steve Smith get that money when he wasn’t getting paid.  I do sympathize with DeSean, but at the time I was hearing that his contract demands were a bit high.  The Eagles didn’t screw up in bringing in a veteran WR.  They screwed up in who they chose.  The situation might have been a bit easier for DeSean to deal with if the player was part of the solution (to winning) instead of a more expensive part of the problem (with losing).

It was good to see the Eagles pay current players this year, but let’s not use revisionist history and act like a bunch of players needed/deserved deals last year.  Todd Herremans got a new deal in part (probably largely) to his move to RT.  OTs get paid more than OGs.  He deserved a raise.  Evan Mathis got his deal because we brought him in last summer.  Trent Cole has deserved a new deal for a couple of years.  He has talked to the Eagles about this, but kept it behind closed doors and never let it affect his play.

The Eagles didn’t lose a bunch of key FAs last year.  David Akers was let go, but only after the team drafted Alex Henery.  If we didn’t make that move, Akers would have been kept around, even if just on a short deal.  Who did we lose?  Stewart Bradley, Jerome Harrison, Dimitri Patterson, Ernie Sims, Eldra Buckley.  Anyone dying to get those guys back?

* * * * *

The Eagles did sign DT Fletcher Cox yesterday.  This is an addition we can all agree is kinda decent.  I’m really excited to see him in action.  He’ll have some ups and downs, but Fletch has big time potential.

* * * * *

The Eagles are talking to veteran Safety OJ Atogwe.  There are some reports that the team has signed him, but Adam Caplan says it hasn’t happened yet.  Adam is tied into agents like no other so if he says it, I believe him.

Atogwe would come here to compete for a job, but would not take Kurt Coleman’s place atop the depth chart.  The Eagles like Kurt.

This could be another sign that the team is disappointed in the progress of Jaiquawn Jarrett.  Or this could just be the Eagles seeing a chance to add a veteran at a cheap price.  Can’t hurt for depth.

Atogwe was a good player just a couple of years ago, but age has caught up with him.  He was on the bench late last year in WAS.  Maybe Atogwe comes in and lights it up.  Problem is, we can’t even trust that.  Jarrad Page was a preseason all star last year and then was a disaster when the real games started.

We’ll see what happens.  All of this is meaningless until he actually signs with the Eagles.  Or should I say if he actually signs with the Eagles.


  • Yuri

    Good points Tommy. The Eagles behaved unusually in 2011 because the situation was unusual. In business I am a big believer that the mantra “we are who we are and we do what we do” is a recipe for failure–one needs to reinvent oneself constantly.

    They tried to make the best FA plays under the unusual circumstances in 2011, and it was a mistake for us to believe that they had “won” the free agency before the season began. Obviously the big misses were steve smith and not dealing Asante then (I am fairly sanguine about both VY’s performance as backup, and about his personality–it’s just his overexcited big mouth that hurt us). At the same time it’s fair to ask how much more the Eagles front office could have realistically done in the 2011 offseason to make PHI the “true Dream Team”–the underachievement seems to lie much more on the shoulders of those who coached the players rather than those who selected them. At least ss and VY had their moment of glory vs NYG.

    Today I am certainly very wary (as would any reasonable Eagles fan) about the proclamation that this time the team “won” the offseason contracts game in 2012 by paying own guys (+ Ryans). We just have to wait and see.

  • TommyLawlor

    Eagles apparently have signed Atogwe.

    • A_T_G
    • Toby_yboT

      about two months ago (I’m guessing, it seems his twitter has been deleted) Atogwe tweeted something about Eagles. There was a rumor on extremeskins that he was signed by the Eagles. At the time I guessed it had more to do with his faith, but that it might be true because it was a move that made sense. I wonder if they’ve been evaluating/talking to him for a while and he jumped the gun.

  • Eric Weaver

    “It was good to see the Eagles pay current players this year, but let’s not use revisionist history and act like a bunch of players needed/deserved deals last year.”

    Yeah, I don’t like the notion people are using that the Eagles are getting back to their old ways of doing well for their current team.

    Using examples like Dawk, Sheldon, etc. are not valid evidence in my opinion as they arguably didn’t deserve new deals based on their overall play and age; their value here has shown that it was very much still needed, however.

    I do; however, believe they are realizing an error in last year and not recognizing that their own guys should be a priority, not that I think they needed a “reward” contract for long-term service. Locker room moral is a huge issue with any team.

  • midnitemud

    The way I see it, the Eagles’ possible interest in Atogwe stems from JJ’s progress (or lack there of). You don’t sign Atogwe to be a camp body. It seems like they wanted JJ to push for the starting role, but since it looks like Kurt is the starter at SS, are they now hoping JJ pushes for the backup role? Has he just fallen off the map? I haven’t heard anything about his performance during OTAs, but JJ’s resume makes it seem like he is a better player when the pads go on. He was billed as one of the best tackling safeties in the draft that year, if not the best. Hopefully he shows that side at Lehigh this year since TC was not ideal for rookies last year. I’m pulling for this guy. I hope it was just the lockout that hindered his learning curve, but there are no excuses this time around.

    • Jason_E

      The best tackler in the world is no good if he doesn’t have the speed to catch NFL players. I’m thinking JJ is a bust and that the Eagles think it to be true, but hope they’re wrong.

      • A_T_G

        Obviously we are all just speculating, but I don’t think they would have been disappointed by his speed, they knew what they were getting in that area. If they signed Atogwe because of dissatisfaction with Jarrett (I wont call him JJ, maybe JJrrtt? Or Jrt^2?) I think it is because of the mental side of the game. That seems to me to be the part of his game they could evaluate in OTAs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

      i dont really think it has all that much to do with JJ as it does the fact that we just really needed some veteran leadership at safety. i dont think we signed him to be a camp body but i dont think they signed him with the though of cutting JaiJar or replacing him. i thought they would sign a cheap veteran sometime before pre season games…but i just didnt expect this early. the kid really cant shine in the OTA’s because of what the ota’s are…its basically a passing camp and a kid known for his hard hitting cant really show much in that environment. i dont think JJ is progressing relatively well looking at this signing but i dont really think it says too much about him either. i think the team just saw a decent, well experienced vet still on the open market which indicates that he would come cheap but still has something left in the tank. i think the game plan is still to see how the young guns play out in TC to see who the definite starters are and that nothing has really changed in our plans for safety. i think they just wanted some insurance for the position just in case things dont go as planned…

      • iskar36

        I wouldn’t expect Jarrett to stand out in a passing camp, but he still should be able to show something. Being a “hard-hitting” safety in today’s NFL is not good enough at least in terms of what the stereotypical hard hitting safety is defined as. In the NFL today, your safety still needs to be able to provide coverage. If Jarrett is a liability in coverage, he will struggle to get playing time because teams will scheme to attack him. With that in mind, I don’t think you can just write off OTAs as a passing camp which are unimportant for Jarrett to have success in.

        • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

          yeah but look at what the highlights have been during the OTA’s. the players mentioned in those highlights are the fast athletic type that would shine in a passing camp. i’ve been hearing about boykin, kendricks, maclin, DRC and etc etc. those are all speedy and fast athletic players. JaiJar is not…and thats not something new…we have known this about him since day one. he will never be the fastest guy on the field…he thrives on hard hitting at instincts. if he was such a liability in coverage than it definitely would have shown in mini camps and everybody would have heard about it…but thats not the case. there just hasnt been much chatter on the kid at all because everyone knows that you cant really evaluate a player with those characteristics until you get to the pads-on training camp….just like the o and d lines. and i have seen almost the same amount of attention for Jaijar as i have about nate allen. that doesnt mean that they are being written off at this camp…but that some other players have the special attributes that others dont have to shine in OTA’s like the players i listed above. im just saying that i will not start to worry about JJ until training camp starts and we hear how he does with pads on. you also have to keep in mind that this is his first NFL off season with mini camps and otas and full length normal training camp. this is going to be his second season…it is way too early to be judging him right now…esp if training camp hasnt even started…

          • iskar36

            I was trying to be careful how I phrased things, but apparently I didn’t do a good enough job. I agree that you can’t write off Jarrett just yet. And you’re absolutely right that the better athletes are the guys who will shine above everyone else, something that Jarrett is not. TC still will be the most important thing to watch to really assess Jarrett when the pads go on. With all that in mind, I am not buying that bringing Atogwe in is completely unrelated to Jarrett. The coaches had an opportunity to see what Jarrett could bring in the passing game (a very important aspect to being a safety). We didn’t hear he was struggling so bad that he didn’t belong on the field or anything like that, but we heard nothing positive either. On top of that, what we have seen so far has been flat out negative (granted, we are referring to a rookie season without OTAs and a shortened TC). The coaches very possibly could be (and arguably should be) concerned that Jarrett is not good enough to challenge for a starting role. On top of that, they may be uncomfortable with what they have seen so far in OTAs and last season for Jarrett to be a good enough as a backup if either starter goes down.

            Basically, my point is that while I would love to believe Atogwe is being brought here purely for his veteran leadership at safety, I just feel that is way to convenient of an excuse. That may be an aspect, but I think Atogwe is being brought in as competition for Jarrett, who hasn’t earned anything yet as an Eagle.

          • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

            yeah and i understand why you would think that. but it just doesnt make sense to me. if they were so worried about jarrett then why did they wait until after ota’s and before training camp to sign someone? why did they not pursue the better safeties in landry and bell when they didnt get paid all that much anyway? i just dont see how picking up an aging, injury prone vet that no other team wanted is saying anything about jarrett. atogwe may be a better option but you have to keep in mind that this guy has been on the market for several months and would have most likely stayed on the market longer. what this signing shows me is that the eagles have been wanting a vet for insurance policy and depth but for the cheap. the time it took them to sign someone and the amount they were willing to pay and the fact that they passed on some other options for relatively low contracts tells me that they dont have any change in plans and that they need depth. remember that colt anderson is not going to participate in TC and might even start the season off on either the IR or PUP list. so they needed someone else in the mix and atogwe seems to fit the bill exactly. cheap vet that brings experience and leadership to a young group and knows that the league doesnt view him as a starter anymore. this isnt someone coming in to challenge a starting position…there is no indication of that…

          • iskar36

            The argument that Atogwe is likely not being brought in to start is why I think this has more to do with Jarrett than simply veteran leadership. If they wanted veteran leadership, Bell would have been the guy they should have gone after. He has a history with Bowles so he would be a player that could help coach on the field with the idea that he knows what Bowles is looking for. On top of that, presumably he would be more of a challenge to Coleman than to Jarrett directly. With Atogwe, he will be learning the schemes at the same time (or I guess a bit delayed) compared to the rest of our current safeties. On top of that, as you said, he would be a direct competition to Jarrett rather than Coleman on who comes off the bench first.

          • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

            i dont think they brought in bell because they didnt want to pay that much for veteran leadership. and bell could start of half the teams in the nfl…the eagles werent looking for a starter. and i dont think they brought in atogwe to challenge for JairJars roster spot or even back up coleman…we currently do not have anyone to back up allen because anderson is still recovering from injury and will might even start on the pup list when the season starts. what your saying would make sense if colt anderson was healthy or if we had another back up…but the fact of the matter is..jaijar is the only legitimate back up for two safety positions. atogwe will simply back up the other spot. why would they bring in someone to challenge a second year draftee’s spot as a backup on the roster when they dont have a back up for both positions. i dont think this has anything to do with jaijar but more to do with colt anderson and his health status. if he starts on the PUP list then we have allen coleman and jarrett…if atogwe comes in and challenges jarrett’s spot then we have allen coleman and atogwe…it doesnt make sense. there is no way to spin this signing into making it seem like jarrett is a goner. it just doesnt make much sense to me at all.

          • D3Keith

            The problem with this theory is that Atogwe is a free safety (or at least he was last season in Washington) and JJ is a strong.

            So while its possible that Kurt moves to backup FS & JJ and Atogwe battle it out for SS (or Kurt moves only in the event Nate goes down), it seems to make the most sense to let Nate & Kurt operate as the starters for now, and slot JJ and OJ as the backups, even if OJ and Kurt can each play both position.

            I think it’s feasible that it’s a value signing as much as anything, even considering the timing — waiting til after OTAs to see what the young guys & UDFAs could do.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

            I was thinking it odd that the Eagles didn’t have a “real” back up FS. I think it is wise to point out this move could be that simple.

          • TommyLawlor

            How dare you try to undo hours of rampant speculation like that???

          • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

            and with only two sentences…while i had to write paragraphs…

          • mheil

            I agree that the signing of Atogwe is an indication that the coaches are unhappy with JJ. Notice that they did not sign any veteran RBs. They gave young players an opportunity at both positions. I believe at some point they will need more bodies for TC. RBs have a tendency to get dinged and 4 backs is insufficient for a hard camp,

          • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

            that logic doesnt add up. the rb position is over crowded with young talent and only has one starting spot while the safety spot has the free safety and strong safety and we still had less players than the rbs did. 4 players for 1 position compared to 3 players for 2 positions…obviously they dont need to sign a rb but the we needed more players for safety.

          • mheil

            Allen, Anderson. Bonner, JJ, Nelson and Thomas make 6 safeties; I believe they will add one or two RBs for TC, even if the are only camp bodies; 4 RBs are not enough to get through a physical camp; they don’t want to overwork McCoy

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

      I think you’re overanalyzing it. Atogwe may not be a camp body, but he’s not sure to make the roster either. It’s a roll of the dice on a guy who might have something left.

  • austinfan

    The draft came first, then free agency, which really screwed things up. As did the compressed nature of free agency, you had to strike fast.

    They tried to trade Asante, at least from what I read, the problem wasn’t greed, it was Asante’s unwillingness to renegotiate with his new team.

    The combination of a new DC, no OTAs, having to wait a week for FAs to play at camp caused a number of teams to struggle, not just the Eagles. In some ways 2011 reminds me of 2007, QB struggling, defense started to jell at the end of the season.

    2007 offense, 17th in points, 6 in yards
    2007 defense, 9th in points, 10th in yards

    Changes in 2008:
    Westbrook got hurt in 2008, fell off
    Shawn got hurt after probowl 2007
    Curtis got hurt, but they drafted DeSean
    Celek got more PT

    Bradley replaced Gaither at MLB
    Gaither/Jordan replaced Spikes at WLB
    Dawk stayed healthy (only start 10 games in 2007)
    They signed Asante

    Asante was the only significant addition, and that was balanced by Shawn’s injury
    Bradley was the only young player to step up.
    Other than McNabb playing better, there wasn’t a lot of difference.
    What saved the season was AR going to a more conservative scheme after a rough start and the defense jelling.

    That’s also what happened at the end of 2011, so I think a key to 2012 is to learn those lessons, and not make the mistake of 2006 and 2008 and come out with the big play offense to start the season. Trust your defense, don’t have Vick press to make plays and let your talent win games.

    • TommyLawlor

      Trust me, the Eagles screwed up on Asante. You’ll hear stories, but the truth is that they felt 2011 was a SB year and the gamble with 3 top CB talents was worth it. Oops.

      • austinfan

        Who thought it would work? AR, Juan or Lynn?
        Because I could have (and did) tell you it was a mess before the season.
        Asante is a pure zone corner who struggles covering deep
        Aso is a pure man press corner
        DRC is also a man press corner

        When they put DRC in the slot I knew it would be a disaster, a poor tackler, with the build that would make it difficult for him to change directions in tight spaces – the only one who made sense in the slot was Asante, and he doesn’t like traffic or run support responsibilities. Aso might grow into the job, but he hasn’t tackled anyone for almost a decade (since leaving college).

        Putting the 232 lb Matthews at MLB was also foolish, as was moving Chaney to SLB, a position he’s never played, without OTAs. Wasn’t anyone held accountable for obvious mistakes, or did Juan grow enough that they figured let bygones be bygones? Ironically, the two down MLB they needed had been traded the year before (Joe Mays). I understand why they let Bradley walk, he was a step slow and glued to tackles, and he’s stuck on the bench in Arizona, but how do you come out of FA without a least a stop gap veteran MLB?

        At least they learned their lessons, dumped Asante for some used footballs, traded for Ryans, drafted Kendricks, still would have liked them to pick up a veteran SLB like Wheeler. Atowge does give them solid depth at safety, he’s lost a step but is still a solid veteran (unlike Page who had failed at a couple of stops before coming to Philly).

        • TommyLawlor

          Don’t know if the Asante deal was vetoed by Howie or Andy, but it was one of them. Juan didn’t have the juice to make decisions like that. Now, I’m sure he begged whoever made the decision to let him have the 3 CBs. Somebody above him should have known better.

          • Jason_E

            They should have known better. This is the same coaching staff (mostly) and FO (mostly) that saw the Brown, Samuel, Lito trio fail in this same exact way. Including holding onto Lito hoping his value on the field was worth more than the picks being offered. Except in this case, teams were actually offering good compensation for Samuel.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

            differense is that Brown could actually play the slot and often did it, while DRC couldnt play the slot. Also Lito talked himself out of philly while Samuel just wasnt a fit anymore

          • Jason_E

            No. In 2008, Brown played left, Samuel played and Hanson played slot, with Lito mixed in.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

            He played the slot when we had Hood. Problem in 2008, wasnt that it didnt work, it was just that Lito was whining and didnt want to be here.

  • P_P_K

    I liked all three of the big FA signings last year. The Nnamdi signing had everyone excited and I expect him to be used well this year and his play to be excellent. Last year was bizzaro world in our backfield– three great cbs all playing lousy.

    The institution of the Wide 9 last year was also a huge factor. Cullen and Babin rose to the challenge. Both had strong years and I expect great things from both in 2012 now that they have a year in the system under their belts.

    Finally, I liked the Smith signing last year. Pause… throw your rotten fruit … unpause. DeSean was in limbo and Jeremy was ill. Smith was a proven vet who, one figured, could still hold his own even after the injury. Who knew he was secretly still on the Giants payroll?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      Agree with all of the above statements. Last summer I was happy we signed Smith just to take a weapon away from Eli. Who knew that Cruz would be even better than Smith?

      • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

        yeah…i wish the giants kept smith and we didnt sign him now. if only to keep cruz as a 2nd stringer…

    • TommyLawlor

      Quit ducking. I want to nail you with this moldy tangerine!!!

      • P_P_K

        I’m not worried. I’ll just dive to the ground one yard short of where you’d expect me to be.

        • TommyLawlor

          Ha. Very well done.

  • D3Keith

    The Pats-Eagles Super Bowl was on NFL Network at noon, and just to revisit the discussion from a few threads ago, there’s no way that team — dominant as it was — has more raw talent than this year. Mediocre players who got burn in the SB: Simoneau, Dhani, Nate Wayne, Ware, Hood, Sam Rayburn, Greg Lewis, Ritchie (or whoever the FB was), Darwin Walker & wearing-no-46-Mikell.

    That team had stones, it had JJ, it had TO & Dawk & McNabb & Wrstbrook in their primes, but it had a lot of meh & still went 13-1 & got to SB.

    Signing Atogwe would be a win just so we can use his pic again on BGN.

    • TommyLawlor

      To be fair, Rayburn was a good player at that time. SF had tried to make him part of the TO trade and we said “heck no”. He got injured and went down hill very quickly after that.

      • austinfan

        Wasn’t Sam a ‘roid issue?
        He seemed to shrink and get hurt after 2004.

      • D3Keith

        I honestly thought you were going to defend Darwin Walker.

        And I nearly typed Sam Rayburn = Derek Landri.

        Point is, in watching the replay of that game, I’m amazed we had so many guys (I’m going to edit Keith Adams into the above post too) whose careers turned out to be not all that good (Wearing No. 27 Mikell was pretty good) on the field for key snaps.

        I don’t forsee that happening nearly as often in 2012 — maybe WLB and SS — but you never know how things will pan out. And it still doesn’t make these guys a better *team* than that team. These guys still need to earn it.

        Also the NFC was fairly weak that year. There, I said it.

    • T_S_O_P

      How could you not mention Mahe?

      • D3Keith

        Because, lucky for my eyes, I didn’t actually see him in the highlights today, and had wiped his fair-catching existence clean from my memory.

        Thanks for reminding me, jerkface.

    • Toby_yboT

      Simoneau, Dhani and Wayne were all mediocre but other than Ryans I don’t see any clear improvements.

      Ware was our #4 cornerback that year I believe. Greg Lewis was our #4 wide reciever, and showed way more than Riley Cooper has to date. Our fullback in the superbowl was Josh Parry, who was an adequate starter who went on to play in Seattle, and was better than anything we have on our roster. Darwin Walker despite his weakness against the run had talent.

      I personally think 2002 was our most talented year, followed by 2004, and I don’t think this year even belongs in the discussion. Don’t get me wrong I like the team we have this year but when I see posts like this one you all are re-writing history. We have had better talent, we have had better depth, and for every guy this year who we “expect” to be talented, we had guys like that in previous years as well.

      • D3Keith

        Well I agree that we’re projecting as far as this year is concerned, and the point of me writing my post was to use the benefit of hindsight to point out how many guys had very undistinguished careers who played a lot for us on our only dominant, Super Bowl team.

        I like Rod Hood as much as anybody here, but I don’t agree that Lito, Brown, Hood, Ware is all that different from DRC, Nnamdi, Hanson, Boykin(?) … Yes I’m projecting for the rookie but Matt Ware sucked so it’s not much of a projection. Marsh could go in there.

        I wouldn’t say Greg Lewis has showed “way more” than Cooper either, even though you can give him the edge; but as a group, is Owens, Mitchell, Pinkston, Lewis > Jackson, Maclin, Avant, Cooper?

        Regardless, it’s certainly not a case of rewriting history. If anything, time had allowed me to forget that the Eagles cruised to the Super Bowl with as many players who were ultimately scrubs as they had. Which makes the 2004 team even more impressive in terms of coaching, continuity, chemistry and the like.

        People can have the talent argument til they’re blue in the face, since the definition of the word is elastic and 2012 has yet to be written. But in my opinion, when we look back at 2012 several years from now, there’ll be fewer Josh Parry/Mark Simoneau/Matt Ware/Greg Lewis/Reno Mahe careers from this batch.

  • TommyLawlor

    OJ Atogwe thinks he’s an Eagle. The Eagles are not in agreement. Weird.

    Could be a simple hold-up involving the Eagles being unsure of who to cut to make room for him.

    Could be that the Eagles thought they were just talking and Atogwe took that to mean things were a done deal.

    Or maybe we’re shopping Trent Edwards to Miami for a 1st round pick and that’s the delay.

    • http://www.facebook.com/adotyang Aaron Yang

      i hope its the latter…

    • A_T_G

      No way they get a first for Edwards. I’m thinking Jake Long and a second.

      • TommyLawlor

        I stand corrected.

      • Kevin_aka_RC

        Apparently the Fins were shopping Jake Long in the draft. I find that insane. I hope Howie tries to go golfing with Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland. Devone Bess and Vontae Davis would look good in green

  • laeagle

    JaJar = BUSZTZ
    BUSZTS = BUSZTZOR
    BUSZTZOR = BUSZTZUURRZ
    BUSZTZUURRZ = URLAKKERZ!!!

    Following internet logic to its inevitable conclusion, Jarrett is Urlacher.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D4BLOCIUVM3EWQECPPZPRGEMVA Kyle

      That was horrible

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

    Greg Lewis had 23 receptions for 278 yards after the 2004 season (his 2nd season), Cooper got 23 receptions for 431 yards after his 2nd season and that is with 4 much better receiving targets in front of him than what the Eagles had in 2004

    • austinfan

      Please, don’t let the facts get in the way of a Riley bashing.

      For the life of me, I have no idea why he’s become a whipping boy, guess people still think he should have contorted his body in mid-air and snatched that pass away in the 2010 playoffs, so what if it was under thrown by four feet?

      All the guy did last year was play solid on STs, and put up 240 yards in the 3 games he started after seeing 3 passes the first 7 games of the season. Guess that ain’t good enough as a 4th WR for some fans.

      Either that or some people have aesthetic objections to his flowing locks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

        That was a fail reply for me, but you are 100% right, he is everything you want from a 4th WR very solid on ST and when asked to start, did a very good job.
        I really think that play against the Packers have hurt him with alot of common fans

        • P_P_K

          I agree with all of your points about his being a fine 4th receiver, very good on st, and the percpetion of many based on the play against GB. I was, and am, still hoping he can turn into a good big-body receiver and the Eagles will find a way to use him in the red zone.

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  • http://ProFootballZap.com/ ProFootballZap

    Tommy….some people are saying that OJ is not nearly the player he used to be. What do you think? I know he has a big name, but haven’t really studied him at all..

    • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

      You have to admire his elusiveness..

  • SamIAm2012

    Tommy,
    The signing of Steve Smith was more of an attempt by the Eagles to hurt the Giants than it was to help the Eagles. Smith was Eli Manning’s goto guy for 3rd down conversions. Who knew that Victor Cruz would easily replace Smith?

    The same goes for the signing of DT Cullen Jenkins from the Packers. That move was designed to hurt the Packers D in addition to helping the Eagles. As you saw last season the Packers defense was missing Jenkins.