By now, we’ve all had a chance to digest things, as it relates to the team. We’ve seen Chip Kelly sign Tim Tebow, who still has one more playoff win than Sam Bradford. Mark Sanchez has four playoff wins, but, has an amazing propensity to throw the ball to the other team at the most inopportune time (see: @ WAS, Dec, 2014). We’ve seen Kelly cut Evan Mathis, who the team was actively looking to trade, but found no takers. And, seeing how the Draft went for this team, stocking up on defense after getting the WR they needed to replace Jeremy Maclin, so far, so good.
There are those out there that seriously lamented trading LeSean McCoy to Buffalo. Count me in that mix. But, looking at it, after the shock wears off, for McCoy’s salary for 2015, the team got: Ryan Matthews, Kiko Alonso, and Demarco Murray. 3-for-1. Now, that’s value. I wish the team could have found a way to keep Trent Cole. I really wish they would have found a way to keep Jeremy Macliin. And, I really wish the team could have found a way to keep Desean Jackson. But, this is the NFL. Players move on. They are cut, swapped, and treated as basic commodities, and, when they’re usefulness is up, they’re tossed aside, and we’ll find someone to replace you, kid!! If you’ve never read the book by John Feinstein called “Next Man Up”, I strongly encourage it. It details the behind-the-scenes moves, day-to-day, of the Baltimore Ravens, and all that each week in the NFL brings to a team.
So the Eagles have finished a mini camp. Kelly says everyone looks great. Yes, everyone looks great in shorts and a helmet. Let’s get some pads on, and start hitting people. Let’s get some live scrimmages going. Let’s get Bradford healthy to the point where he can get in there and run the team. The pieces are in place. the secondary has been addressed. The defense has been bolstered. The backfield can rotate a fresh man, basically every down. So, with all of this, why am I still worried?
Kelly has taken a tremendous gamble, trading Nick Foles for Bradford. Foles knew the offense, knew the players, and knew how to win games in the Linc (the DET snow game comes to mind). But, somehow, he was not a “Kelly” guy. Now, Bradford comes in as a guy that has had ACL problems for 2 of his 4 seasons in the league. Matthews has had problems of his own, in regards to health. And, let’s not forget Demeco Ryans, coming off an Achilles injury. All in all, as of the time I write this column, it still all makes me nervous. I want to see them perform under more intense circumstances. I want to see them perform and mesh as a unit. Until I see that, and see growth, it’s all just names and pieces of a puzzle.
Does it mean I’m off the Eagles bandwagon? Hardly. It simply means that, as a prior USAF member, I need to see how things perform under pressure before I can feel “safe” about what I have going into a season. Do I support Kelly? 100 percent. He’s the coach of my team. And, until the time where I feel he no longer has control, I will continue to support him. Patience is not my strong suit, and it’s not something that the NFL subscribes to, either. Show me, Coach Kelly, that you can answer my questions. You’re a crafty individual, and I know you’re hiding something. Show me, and the rest of us Eagles fans that 2015 will be a playoff run to remember.