Originally written on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 4/13/12

Last year was supposed to be the year for the Philadelphia Eagles. You had to feel good about it. After watching other teams scoop free agents and add big name talent for years, the Eagles organization stepped out of character and went on a spending free, seemingly gobbling up every big name available. Then something went horribly awry.

A team that was already facing a lookout shortened offseason went and added a bunch of new players that had little to no time to adjust to new places, schemes, systems and teammates. The Eagles got off to a horrendous 1-4 start, and never quite recovered. Whether you want to blame that on Coach Andy Reid, Juan Castillo, DeSean Jackson’s contract issues, Vince Young’s cursed proclamation or poor player performance is your choice, but in the end the Eagles turned in a dreadful season and failed to live up to the hype.

This offseason has been formed by a remarkably different blueprint for the Eagles. Rather than the free agent frenzy they went on last season, Howie Roseman, Joe Banner and the rest of the organization have opted to pay much more attention to the players already on the Eagles’ roster. Not to say that I wasn’t a fan of the splashy offseason last year, but by making your own players happy, the Eagles may be putting together the team we thought they would be last year.

Signing long time players Todd Herremans and Trent Cole to extensions sent the right message. You reward players who go out and perform at a high level and don’t cause trouble. Re-signing Evan Mathis was another shocking departure from past precedence. Typically, if an Eagles’ player is allowed to make it to free agency, the Eagles have already made a decision to let him go. With Mathis, they allowed him to go explore his options while setting his own market value. Then, when an offer was made to him, Howie Roseman swooped in and bettered it to keep him. The Eagles re-signing of Derek Landri is also a smart move to keep a player that helped the team at defensive tackle.

The Eagles also solved another major issue by signing DeSean Jackson to the long term contract he so badly wanted. In this instance, the Eagles may have rewarded some bad behavior, as Jackson’s pouting and unhappiness were a huge distraction last year, but they also removed that distraction and made the right move to keep a talented, game changing wide receiver.

The Philadelphia Eagles have also quelled what had been a longstanding issue at linebacker with the acquisition of DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. Ryans will undoubtedly sure up the Eagles’ middle defense and provide them with the veteran leadership they have so sorely lacked since Brian Dawkins signed in Denver.

There are still issues for this organization to deal with. It’s not all peaches and cream just yet. LeSean McCoy still needs a contract. The team could still benefit greatly from a veteran safety who can actually play. There are depth issues and questions still about whether or not Juan Castillo can really be an effective defensive coordinator at the NFL level, but I have to admit that I really like what I’ve seen so far.

The Eagles are definitely moving in the right direction, and something tells me that this team is about to impress a lot of people. Even us hardened lifers who have watched the team fumble away so many opportunities in the past.

Similar Posts:

  • With DeSean Deal Done, Eagles Focus On McCoy
  • Breaking News: Philadelphia Eagles Play Tag, DeSean Jackson’s It
  • DeSean Jackson – Should He Stay or Should He Go?
  • If Desean Jackson Leaves the Eagles Nest, Who Replaces Him
  • Eagles Free Agency Notes – Herremans, Cole, Jackson

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