The Philadelphia Eagles are always full of surprises. Whether it is the signing of a superstar like Terrell Owens, competing in five of eight NFC championship games, or trading their franchise quarterback to a division rival, the Eagles never cease to amaze us. I expect nothing less than a complete surprise every week this season from our new team.
If the Eagles can win eight games this year, I’ll be impressed. That is not to say that I hope they only win eight games, but I would be impressed if the Birds could go .500 after seeing a complete renovation of their roster. In the past few years, the Eagles have replaced their quarterback, starting running back (and backups for that matter), virtually all of their receivers, their cornerbacks, tight ends, safeties, numerous starting linemen, and linebackers. It would be ludicrous to expect a Super Bowl from the group of young guys with little to no experience wearing midnight green this season. That being said, we are the craziest fans in the world, so why not expect a Super Bowl?
The Eagles have as good a core of young talent as any team in the NFL. DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Kevin Kolb, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek are just a few names that come to mind. The Eagles will be fantastic on offense this year. Kevin Kolb is our Aaron Rodgers (speaking of which, the two will be playing head-to-head in Week 1’s game at the Linc) and will put up big numbers this year to show everyone including himself that he was worth our first pick in the draft a few years back. He will show the city and the entire NFL fan base that he belongs behind center for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he will lead our team to the playoffs. From there, nothing is a guarantee, but Kevin Kolb will certainly put our team in a position to win. He has the preparation of a champion, the drive of a champion, the work ethic and dedication of a champion. I did not see any of that in McNabb. Kolb is going to do great things for the city of Philadelphia, starting with a winning record in his rookie season.
As far as our receiving core goes, I am much more comfortable with the group of guys on the roster now than when the roster was composed of players like Freddie Mitchell and Todd Pinkston. Even the first-years are doing well. Riley Cooper and Chad Hall are both fantastic receivers who will be able to contribute to the team (assuming they both make the final cut and secure their place on the roster). Brent Celek will be a beast as usual and will carry a lot of the workload on 3rd down play action situations, which this team faces on a regular basis.
Many people are concerned about the fact that the team has no true veterans. Kevin Kolb is our starting quarterback and for all intents and purposes he is a rookie at the quarterback position. He has always walked in McNabb’s footsteps, but now he will be playing against McNabb twice a year in brutal intra-division games. This year will be an exciting, disappointing, shocking and predictable one. All we can hope for is that somehow the Birds will muster up enough points to win a few games and get themselves into the playoffs so we have something to look forward to once the postseason arrives.
The front office is good at one thing in particular: getting rid of old talent and replacing it with young talent when the time is right. We have seen it done time and time again (with the exception of Dawkins since he still has a few years left in him). Naturally fans will speculate as to how well the Eagles will do this year, but I feel that we have a very good group of guys on our team that will be representing the tri-state area, and I expect the team to be pleasantly surprising and predictably disappointing at different stages throughout the season. It is really a learning process for everyone, players and fans alike. Things will be a lot different this year, and they will be different in a good way. It’s time for a new era in Eagles history. It’s time for the Kolb, Jackson, McCoy era. It’s time for the Allen, Graham, Bradley era. It is time, for the new era of the Philadelphia Eagles.