February 22, 2013

IT'S A REBUILD.

HARDLY were they scholars, but there’s a line in rap hit “Pop Goes the Weasel” by 3rd Bass that says “I got a strong mind, it doesn’t have to be spoon fed/And I can read, it doesn’t have to be read.”

This is a rebuild. It’s not a 1999 Andy Reid rebuild, where massive pieces of roster were simply thrown out or wholesale changes are made to the starting line-up*. This is the new version of the rebuild where coaches don’t call it a rebuild, because they are expected to still be competitive enough to sell seats. It is a business after all. Most customers don’t want to eat in a restaurant where new drywall is being put up. Instead they wait for the dust to settle.

Several areas of this team are good enough to build on or around (RB, WR, TE, LB, DE, DT, K). However, there are other positions which are talent starved (C, G, SS, FS, P, KR) or have no clear long-term answers (QB, OT, CB, P, LS). When you have that many question marks, what you have is a rebuild.

Of course Chip Kelly won’t say it’s a rebuild. That’s hardly a surprise to anybody, right? In fact these days coaches generally try to avoid the “R” word at all cost. So the idea that he won’t say it, means if fans are going to pick up on it, we’re going to have to divine it for ourselves. No one is going to spoon feed us, folks. We’re all adults, and we’re all expected to be able to think and reason like adults.

So expect a slower more deliberate turnover of the roster. Expect some stop-gaps. Expect to have to rely on the banes of your existence for a bit longer. The roster will turnover, but no one is in a rush to flood the team with people who don’t know each other, and therefore can’t trust each other yet. I see Chip Kelly as following yet another line of wisdom from that 3rd Bass hit “Why score all my points in one period?”

Patience Eagles fans. Let’s see what he does.

 

*(8 of 11 on Offense, and only 3 of 11 on Defense, one of which was precipitated by injury to Hugh Douglas who’d return as a starter in 2000.)

 

23 Comments:
  • It's all about expectations... you set the bar too high you can only be let down. the bar shouldnt be set on winning the superbowl, the division or even making the playoffs this year. this is going to able learning the new systems and figuring out who fits where. if they do any of the above then great. the 2014 season in the one that people should start getting excited about.
  • I agree with this mostly, but I am excited about 2013.

    I'm not basing my expectations on wins and loses, but on turning the page on what's been happening here since 2009.

    After Dawk left and McNabb was traded, it's been like the emotional guts had been removed from the team. It was fine that Andy wasn't a rah-rah guy when he had Trotter, Dawk, McNabb and even temporarily guys like Garcia and T.O., but we never replaced those guys. The first attempt at it was DeMeco Ryans last year. Over time everybody (even FA signings) became too complacent that they were joining a good team with a good coach, and that right there would take care of everything.

    Now with the rebuild and all the uncertainty around most positions, everybody gets a shake in the collar. Nobody knows what they have.

    This year you'll see a roster where instead of everybody doing his part, you'll have 53 men with something to prove. When young guys come onto this team this year they'll know they have a real shot. That means there'll be a level of passion we've not seen here in some time.

    So you do have that to look forward to.
  • I am excited about 2013 dont get me wrong just not like i used to when we were a lock for the playoffs year after year. I want this team to get back to the hard nose defensive ways that I used to get really pumped about. like you said trotter, dawkins those were the guys i loved to watch and its been painful since dawk left, mcnabb was traded with no clear replacement.
  • I think most of us (besides hollywood) knew it was a rebuild. Part of the reason I stated all along I would rather the Eagles look for their new quarterback than go with Vick and part of the reason that Vick should be on the bench quickly if he struggles early again.
  • EXACTLY! why put the team in the position just move on even if you struggle to look for your future qb at least you dont have vick getting upset when he struggles or gets passed over
  • If Vick gets them a couple more wins it only puts them in a tougher position to possibly get that quarterback in the 2014 draft. Sometimes it does take that step back to take two steps forward.
  • exactly like easyeagles says down below if reid had stuck with kolb and struggled with him instead of floundering with vick the eagles could have been in a position to grab one of the rookie QBs that have flourished over the past few years
  • I originally said the same thing when they were using Vick as bait to get Kelly here. Now that Kelly is here, Lurie (not getting any younger) is probably expecting him to be at least competitive. If that's the case then Kelly needs results and has to go with who he thinks can get them for him.

    Thing is, he has to install a system while getting those results, so a rookie QB trying to learn the NFL and a new system, is more than likely going to net him worse than 4-12. Keep in mind they also have to install a defense.

    People keep negating the idea that Kelly is under pressure to produce. They keep acting like because they're willing to give him free pass this year, that Lurie feels the same about giving him 6 million dollar pass.

    Fans may be feeling generous out of joy that Andy Reid is gone, but Lurie probably feels a lot different because he fired his friend. Kelly is here to do a job. If a friend can be canned, you better believe a stranger can.

  • There is no question that Kelly can and will eventually be canned. I honestly think you are looking at this wrong. Vick fits Kelly's system because he can run, Foles not fitting it could be very well what this is all about without getting too deep. If Foles is traded than we pretty much know that this is all it is. Like I typed to Eazy earlier, that shouldn't guarantee Vick the starting job in my opinion. If a rookie comes in and plays better, if Dixon is more efective than Vick than they should be starting. I don't care how much they are getting paid and with a one year deal somehow I doubt Lurie will care either. I wouldn't doubt Lurie and Roseman were thinking Vick was all but gone at the end of last year...Roseman stated that he changed his mind after looking at Vick through someone's eyes (Kelly's). That is just GM speak...what he is really saying is "we wanted Chip Kelly and will let him decide who he wants as his QB". I'm sure they have faith in knowing that if Vick struggles even as early as camp their new coach should and will pull the plug.
  • If Kelly wanted a running QB he could have grabbed one of the UFA's from this year (Jason Campbell, Tarvaris Jackson, or Seneca Wallace). He didn't. He specifically stuck with Vick and brought in what is called in boxing circles a "tomato can" to shut fans up during the preseason.

    The Eagles could always draft a guy or trade for a guy. However, barring either one of those, if Vick is healthy (and probably regardless of how good or bad he looks in the preseason), he'll be your starter.
  • See, you look at it as Vick can't be as bad as Dixon...his skills have to make Kelly's offense run better than Foles if Foles is still here but after watching Vick for the last two years I'm not so sure about that. Maybe a new coach and system wake Vick up a little bit but I don't see it making that much of a difference. Vick had 8-10 games in 2010...besides that he hasn't been a great quarterback amd the last two years he has been horrible. No matter what you say I'm with Eazy. Kelly didn't have to make this an open competition. If he wants Vick as his QB he would have been better served just laying it on the line.
  • But in firing his friend he even admitted that the team was going in another direction. the firing of Reid was a sign that the team needs a rebuild. if Lurie thinks this team is going to compete for a ring this year then he's crazy. i'd bet he knows well enough that this team is at least a year away from being a legit option to even discuss making a run for the superbowl. Lurie and everyone else should give Kelly 3 seasons to determine if he's doing a good job. I'm not saying that they should put up with three bad seasons but 1 kelly is walking into a bad situation to begin with, 2 you have to let him make his mark on the team and the roster, 3 it's going to take at least a season for the team to get used to the new systems and for kelly to get used to the nfl, and 4 without a clear future QB. I dont think vick is the right move but we wont know until training camp starts then at the end of the season kelly will be able to continue to get guys he wants and build a team that can win a championship.
  • I don't think there is any question this is a rebuild except to maybe Chip Kelly himself. In fact it's three years too late. That's why I felt the team should have stuck it out with Kolb. The truth is the team wasn't good enough to compete unless their quarterback was playing at a high level. If Kolb were here stinking it up at least we would have been in a position to maybe acquire a Luck or RG3 at the time. Instead Reid thought he could mask the problems with Vick. Well that only works if Vick is playing like the MVP candidate he was in 2010 and not the mediocre meltdown he is today. It doesn't take a Eugenius to see that as Mike Vick's numbers have gone down so have the Eagles record. With that being the case you don't play a thirty something year old quarterback if you are looking to rebuild. If Chip Kelly is just going to give the keys to Mike Vick without any real competition like you and others think so, then he isn't looking at this as a rebuild. Despite how people view Vick, starting him now will only raise the expectations of the fan base. After all he is "the better quarterback" right? You can't have both. You can't say it's a rebuild with a quarterback who supposedly is ready to win now even if the reality is he isn't capable of winning now.
  • HE'S ready to win, but the reality is THE TEAM isn't ready to win. Let's remove Vick from the equation for a sec.

    During Nick Foles 6 starts (practically 7) he was sacked 20 times. The Defense allowed 38, 31, 30, 38, 24, 34, and 27 points respectively, and grabbed only 3 turnovers in the process. During Foles 6 starts we went 1-5, despite the fact that his play wasn't bad and was overall similar to the starter he filled in for.

    The Eagles had and have much deeper systemic problems than QB.That position isn't even their biggest problem. It's why even with a QB switch and a switch back, there was no discernible shift in the product they put on the field.

    At this point to save the patient the bleeding has to stop first, THEN you can focus on his rehab.

    If we don't fix the O-line and the Secondary we won't have the stability necessary to turn this team around, despite having such explosive skill position players and a stable of talented D-lineman.
  • Does anyone honestly believe that if Mike Vick has a training camp and preseason like he did last season and Dixon/Foles/Edwards/rookie to be named later out play him he will actually be the week one starter? If you do then you think very low of Chip Kelly's intelligence.
  • So you think that Kelly is going to carry FIVE QB's into the preseason?

    Seriously man, do you have any NON-Mike Vick related thoughts in that head of yours? The QB thing is decided. Even if I'M the one who's wrong, and it is an honest to god competition, Kelly has already made the call and Vick is an Eagle until at least next season. So let's quit picking that scab, shall we?

    This is the REBUILD post. What are your thoughts on stopping the bleeding on Defense or protecting our QB's, or improving Special Teams play?
  • I said what they should do in my post about the d needing a rebuild. http://nybirdbrain.blogspot.com/
    look to FA to grab a G or T either way Herremans can be moved to RG so getting a T over a G doesnt matter. Then fix the secondary. Grab a solid CB and S via Free agency even if its an aging veteran like Woodson. he can still play physical and he won't let people take plays off. I know its a lot like a wish list but Kruger would shore up out LBs then you use the draft to get another young safety in say the 2nd. That coupled with Milliner in the first or another guy later would greatly improve things. Asomugha at a reduced price i'm a lot more comfortable with but DRC should go. I dont think the team should switch to a 3-4 right away this season i think they should use this season to transition from 4-3 to 3-4. I don't expect the eagles to go crazy in free agency this year so a lot of what i've said probably won't happen but getting this defensive unit to where it needs to be will more then likely take 2 offseasons at least
  • The Eagles have carried at least 4 before. Now we know Trent won't make it. They may or may not draft a guy. Like I wrote before we will know the plan soon after the draft. I know this much. Vick eating up 7 mil of cap space doesn't help fix the team. Of course I've written plenty of non QB related articles. Just tell me I was right when the time comes.
  • You mean ANDY REID has carried as many as 4 before. Different animal now. And with so much to teach (and as a person who's actually worked for the School District and the Center For Literacy I can say) smaller class size does yield better results.
  • I don't see Edwards on the team come week 1. So unless Kelly goes after someone in the draft or it'll most likely be Vick, Foles and Dixon. And if someone is drafted look for one of those guys to be moved. It'll be vick if he isn't the starter, Foles if a trade is good enough or he just doesnt fit in the system, and who says Dixon can't be put on the practice squad again?
  • As of today it looks like at least 7 of last years starters (Herremann's moving over to G) will be back on Offense, and at least 4 of 11 of last years Defense, will be returning as starters from last year.

    This re-build is downright Reid-esque.
  • Rebuilding isnt an option in the NFL anymore. The average life of a football player coupled with free agency changes makes it impossible to plan far into the future. The eagles are in their prime whether you want to believe it or not. The core group is its second contract term which is usually a final term in the Eagle life span. they have a very short window to add and develop good players to compete in the next 3 years. The players they added arent world beaters but I think they have a solid core and will compete with Michael Vick. If no Vick it will be a waste of time.
  • Oh I agree, the Eagles are VERY much a team in their prime (if not slightly past it), which is why this is a "running" rebuild and not a "dig in and be patient" rebuild.

    As I wrote in February and Kelly himself later confirmed, he has to win NOW. There is no grace period, so this team can only shake out a certain way.
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