Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 6/4/13
Ah, how the stomachs have churned.The Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2013 offseason looking up at the sky.Indeed, with no team in the NFC East finishing worse than 4-12, up is the only direction for our national emblem representatives.The bald eagles from Philadelphia recorded less wins than the chirpy Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West (5-11).It’s sad to say because the Cards started their 2012 season off with an astounding four wins, including this obliteration of the Eagles in Week 3.To add salt to the wound, the mighty Eagles were clipped by the paws of their identical-record-twins, the Detroit Lions (4-12) in five, not four, quarters of play.This actually, as hard as it is for me to type this after this upcoming comma, crowns the Eagles as the Worst Team in the NFC period.The Eagles won four games of 16 by a total margin of six measly points, beating Cleveland by one, Baltimore by one, New York Giants by two, and Tampa Bay by two. Did I mention measly?Starting the 2012 season 3-1 (ahem, you beat the Super Bowl champs) by differentials thinner than a supermodel’s waist size - did the team no justice. Winston Justice, they needed you.Now if you’re an Eagles fan, I’d hope that you saw the loss to Arizona coming. The midnight-green were rightfully pummeled.Okay, that’s enough. No Eagles fan wants to read more on these unfriendly reminders like the four parking tickets they have stashed away in their closets.Cowboys, Giants and Redskins fans, this is where you close this window. I warned you…Uncertain but Certain:I’m not sure how quickly the Eagles could turn their misfortune around. In 2011, head coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers took a bland roster that went 6-10 the year before and magically whipped the squad into a 13-3 team. New Orleans Saints' head coach led a team that finished 3-13 in 2005 to the conference title game in his first year as head coach.Could former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly pull off this incredible feat?Perhaps.There’s an unspoken period (three years) that NFL owners are willing to wait with hopes to reap what they’ve sewn. Owner Jeff Lurie is, to my understanding, a patient man when he’s all-in with the right man.We know that coach Kelly prefers to work at a fast pace, but in satisfying Lurie’s dreams, he should pace himself. The city of Philadelphia wouldn’t mind watching him grind out his contract (five years, $32.5 million) – as long as he takes five years to achieve a playoff berth.Eagle fans, right now you’re all probably feeling what I’m feeling with all the heavy renovation: vulnerable.Starting from Head to Toe:The ‘head’ of your organization needs a strong ‘neck’ to rest on. The ‘neck’ represents the reliable assistants that head coach Chip Kelly will lean on all season.The ‘upper-body’ of a team represents the sturdy hands of their receivers and their willingness to block for LeSean McCoy or Bryce Brown (or Felix Jones, Chris Polk and rookie Matthew Tucker), and the forearms of the offensive linemen coupled with their inner-drive to protect the quarterback.I also hold a profound inkling: ex-Houston Texans tight end James Kasey and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver Arrelious Benn will make an immediate impact on offense.Before I add anything to that, there’s this other tidbit I need to get off my chest. The Eagles, you see, should sign a thicker and taller receiver. I’m not too enthusiastic by the 1-2 punch they have in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, especially because they weigh less than 200 pounds.I do not condone playing lights-out football until mid-October and being stuck with the consequences when inclement weather hits the muddy fields (when it matters) in December.Maclin recorded 353 yards in the month of a 1-5 December (beating the Bucs under the sun) -- probably because Jackson ended up on injured-reserve after Week 12.Football is a tough sport. And I promise I don’t mean for this to rub any of you the wrong way, but signing a winter-reliable wide receiver will improve the Eagles' chances during playoffs time.Avid Eagles fans realize that their offensive line statistically, eh who am I kidding, clearly didn’t live up to their hype.How could they have?Most of the offensive linemen sustained injuries: Todd Herremans was placed on the season-ending injury reserve list with an ankle injury, All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters tore his Achilles tendon twice in the offseason, center Jason Kelce tore knee ligaments in Week 2 and Danny Watkins missed two games with an ankle injury.It’s a depressing story, poor left guard Evan Mathis.Giving up 48 sacks and a league-high 118 “hits on quarterback,” Foles and Vick wasn’t exactly the popular topic of discussion during dinner.When I heard them say, “Michael Vick’s back!” I had no idea that they meant literally, his spinal cord.Under the durable chests of the offensive line, are quarterbacks - the squeaky heart and soul of the body: Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and rookie Matt Barkley. That list looks a bit mum but don’t let your eyes deceive you. Remember, Coach Kelly knows best.Michael Vick will undergo a makeover for the ages and possibly reappear in tip-top shape (hopefully Atlanta Falcons form). You wish I could take it even further and say he’ll return as the quarterback he was at Virginia Tech. Sorry, for my fingers won’t let me officially type that in.The legs and feet on the body are the special teams and defensive unit.Kickers and punters are people, too. The feet of kickoff and punt returners will change the longevity of this sport.Defense wins championships, especially the Super Bowl. The 2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2011 Giants and 2008 Steelers would agree. Truthfully, I’m still shaken up about the Eagles signings on defense.Former outside linebacker Connor Barwin and 49ers' defensive end Isaac Sopoaga -- understandable. Pat Chung and Kenny Phillips? I’m a bit upset. The acquisition of those defensive backs doesn’t massage my body right. I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that Chipotle burrito in the car with Nnamdi Asomugha. Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher and former Ravens cornerback Cary Williams? Ho-hum.It’s only June.Maybe, maybe three months from now, Eagles fans will finally say to their fellow NFC Eastern friends, “Oh how the tables have turned.”
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