Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Eagles Season Review and Thoughts on Future

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THIS ARTICLE!!!!!


So yeah, just be ready. Generally, I'd just like to give brief thoughts on the season and then some more on what they need to do this season(possibly some wishes and dreams will be spoken as well. WHICH MEANS ME MOST LIKELY TALKING ABOUT TRADING UP FOR MARCUS MARIOTA!!! YAYYYY!!!!

How the people tired of hearing about MM look now

So as always, Im gonna get started; after I thank you for reading this! Thank you.


For the Record...

A lot of people were making a big deal over the Eagles going 10-6, the same record as last year. The difference between this year and last; the playoffs. If the Eagles made the playoffs, people would still complain, however, there's a general idea that they took a step back instead of forward. A lot of that 
has to do with the departure of Desean Jackson. I guess I understand the anger and the logic(DJax is a huge reason they won against the Eagles in week 16 despite having no touchdowns of his own). However, the arguments made were that they didnt replace him, which they sort of didn't but did as well. Jeremy Maclin came in after an ACL and had arguably better numbers. The problem was depending on Riley Cooper to be a #2 when he's more so a #4 at best, who is really good at blocking. Signing him to such a high deal was bad as well. However, despite a lot of bad games, his numbers weren't all that terrible. Just not good as they couldve(and probably should've been. His deal is to make a lot of money, but it is a good thing that the guaranteed money will run out pretty fast and they can move on soon. However, let's get back what the people are mad at, the record. See...as I stated before, I understand the anger, he was one of my favorite eagles. Yet, after seeing the direction  the Eagles went in afterwards, I see why they thought it would be the right direction. At first glance, it doesnt look like it paid dividends. 
However, let's look at that a bit deeper. The Eagles 2013 schedule, other than having to play the AFC West, was cake. This year was much more difficult. The NFC West replaced the AFC West, but not only the teams they had to play, it was how it was scheduled as a whole. There were key games week after week. Also, injuries played a key part this season. To be honest, to finish with the same record against a much harder might even be considered a step forward, with what they had to deal with. I thought the Eagles could go anywhere between 9-7 and 11-5 as seen in my prediction. So they finished right in between that, with all those turnovers and all those injuries throughout. Not bad. I will say that I do see something in this team, that I haven't in the past. There is still the inconsistency that has always plagued the Eagles, but there is also just some swagger or confidence there that I see that I haven't seen from them. I see a unity of players, I see a family an ACTUAL team, when I look at them. Just two years ago, this team was 4-12. Now they're borderline one of the best teams in the league, Chip Kelly is learning. They're going to get better. Plus, why do we care that they didn't make the playoffs? Another year without a Super Bowl ring? Can't brag to fans and win an argument against fans of other teams, especially the Cowboys? Wahhh. Personally, even if they did progress to the playoffs and/or a playoff win, I still don't think they were good enough to beat the Packers or the Seahawks at their current level of play. So, once again it doesnt and wouldnt matter. Plus, they go from drafting after 20 where there might not be that player they need TO 20 which last year wouldve been the difference between Brandin Cooks/HaHa Clinton-Dix(players they wanted) and trading back and getting stuck with Marcus Smith II. So, maybe this year, a couple of picks higher helps get that slightly better player that can contribute. Maybe those two extra higher picks gives us better players to fill the holes which this team DEFINITELY still has from that 2012 team. I wouldn't have been angry if they lost the last game against the Giants and possibly jump another few spots in the draft. At the end of the day, life goes on and what I stated earlier is still true. So for my grade, despite there being some sad moments, the Eagles get a big chip kelly...




The Future

So what do the Eagles need to do to get past that barrier they still have yet to surpass? Well, as I stated before they do have some holes in their team. So I'm going to write a to-do and how to list mixed with little things here and there and whatever I want to add. Number one is get a GM, but I know anything about the candidates so Im not even going to go down that road(and waste your time). 

1. Who stays, who goes?

One person is obviously at the must-keep list; his name is Jeremy Maclin. The guy blew up and played like he never did before. I used to make fun of Jeremy Maclin a lot. I used to call him soft and other names that aren't nice for someone to say. He shut me up/earned my respect this year. I guess the boy grew into a man after dealing with so much over the years. I think they both want to remain with one another. He is obviously a hard worker and he seems very intent on becoming better and making the team better. So he's obviously one guy who needs to stay. For everyone else, I honestly wouldn't mind bringing Nate Allen and Casey Matthews back. Bradley Fletcher just did too much to justify the mention of him staying. Brandon Graham is a cool guy, I always liked his attitude, but at the end of the day, I think he'd be better off playing on another team. Mark Sanchez showed that he could easily be a good back-up quarterback for the Eagles. He was definitely serviceable and if Nick goes down next year, I wouldnt mind having him for a few games.

2. Who to extend?

The first two players drafted in 2012; Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks are obvious. You can make arguments for Foles...seeing as he most likely will be the quarterback of the future. Get him cheaper now, just in case he blows up and demands a WHOLE lot more, later on. I'd like to see Boykin get more playing time and get extended. However, at this point, I dont see it happening. All he does is produce but the Eagles like bigger cornerbacks. So, I guess it all depends on how someone like Jaylen Watkins grows in year two. Honestly, other than stumbling against Odell Beckham Jr. and allowing the TD, he didnt play bad against the Giants, but it did take him to the last meaningless game of the season, to actually get playing time. As for Vinny Curry, I think he should be resigned as well. There is no doubt he wants to be here. He produces like crazy when he is on the field and he grew up close to Philly. Sure he could work on his Schmoney dance, if you ask me, but other than that, the dude is just a good player to have for your defensive line. 

3. NO SURPRISE RELEASES!
Lesean McCoy had a bad year and still had the second most rushing yards in one year of his career, just saying. Plus, he is a good guy in the locker room, not involved in any bullcrap, wants to get better, willing to restructure his deal to save the players I listed above(and beneath). #KeepShady
4. Fill the Needs

Yes, needs, the Eagles have them. Clingy girlfriends dont have anything on the Eagles, man. Babies point in laugh when the Eagles drive(fly) by. Im out of needy jokes already. Im horrible at this sort of thing. This will probably be the biggest section of the article. I'll be listing them from most to least and possibly how to do them.

DB - Yes defensive back. Not just CB, not just S, the Eagles need both, badly. At least half of this defensive backfield needs to be fixed in some way. I said earlier I dont mind Nate Allen coming back, but that's off the bench. Luckily both free agency and the draft are filled with good safeties and cornerbacks.
                                                FREE AGENCY
There are a lot of good CBs on the market in the picture to the left, Byron Maxwell, is the unsung hero, of the Legion of Boom over in Seattle. A lot of people question whether he's good because of the three other players, but if you can watch his tape, he makes a lot of plays in coverage on his own. You also have some other guys that might break the bank in Kareem Jackson of Houston and Darelle Revis. There are also VERY serviceable players between Chris Culliver and/or Parrish Cox from San Francisco. All of these players can EASILY replace Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams if they choose to release him as well. I dont know how much Byron Maxwell will cost, but I know guys like Kareem Jackson and Darelle Revis will be 9 million<. Maybe they dont want to spend that much when there is so much to spend on players that we extend.
As for safeties, this is the route I'd much rather them go in signing someone. Why? Let me tell you a little name of a guy who is a beast! His name is Devin McCourty. The Pats couldn't possibly let him go, right? Well, that all depends on how much they want to keep Revis. However, if McCourty DOES 
make the market, this should be the guy they go after, in my honest opinion. Yes, he will make just as much as Jairus Byrd last year and Kareem Jackson this year. However, unlike Kareem Jackson and Jairus Byrd, he can play both positions, much like Malcolm Jenkins, but better. The signing of McCourty opens up what you can do with the defense quite a bit more, in the rest of free agency and in the draft. They could also go with a guy like Rahim Moore as well, who has a great story behind him, thing is that doesnt mean they still cant sign McCourty, but at least they have the secondary figured out for the mean time; which is the first time they can say since what, 2007?                                       

                                      THE DRAFT
Maybe they go this route. They've been using the draft more lately since the disaster of the 2010 free agency. So say they don't sign anyone in free agency...or they sign McCourty or Maxwell or both...who knows. They still probably need another cornerback regardless. Both Cary Williams(if he doesnt get released)and Brandon Boykin have one year left on their deals and Nolan Carrol Is probably better off depended on as depth. So, it might be a wise idea to still try to get AT LEAST one CB. If Brandon Boykin jumps ship next year, I think that Jaylen Watkins will probably take over in the nickel. That still leaves the outside open for another CB, who fills that spot? The first round should be deep with cornerback talent, the #20 pick in particular. The Eagles should get a chance to pick from a very good amount of great prospects that include Trae Waynes(in the photo), Marcus Peters, PJ Williams,
etc.
Perhaps they go the route of safety where Landon Collins will probably go in the top 10, but a player I think is exactly what the Eagles need at free safety in Gerod Holliman. This way they can still move Malcolm Jenkins to his natural strong safety position and let Holliman play centerfield. However, I think they would be better off trading back a few spots to get him and another pick or two, which would be the second year in a row they did that for a Louisville player. *cue people yelling about how that didn't work last year and MSII is a bust and blah bla blee blee blah. Anyway, I actually kind of agree, so I think there are going to be a lot better players at 20 than trading back just to get a fit at safety. Perhaps they can pick up Cody Prewitt later on as well. 

WHAT'S NEXT?

The Eagles have quite a few other needs, but it's hard to rank them because most of them are more so depth than actual players to fill the spot. However, the next spot would be....

LB -  Once again, not just a specific LB spot but once again two spots will need to be filled soon. Demeco Ryans got injured and isnt getting younger, neither is Trent Cole. Marcus Smith couldn't contribute year one, like AT ALL, and Brandon Graham along with Casey Matthews are free agents. So you need two future starters, a future depth guy and a good special teamer. Where to begin? 
                                 FREE AGENTS
As far as the ILB class goes there isn't too much. Brandon Spikes is probably the best. However, if Sean Weatherspoon was allowed on the market, he'd probably come cheap due to being injured this year. Sean Weatherspoon plays weak side outside linebacker in a 4-3 but by the way he plays, I think he would be just fine on the inside in a 3-4. Both Spikes and Weatherspoon are 27 years old and would be fine next to Kendricks the next few years. 
OLB is where the big names and big money are. Justin Houston is going to get paid, and could make the most sense here, to take over for Trent Cole. Jason Worilds is a great choice as well, but Im not quite sure how much he's going to make in the open market, plus I feel the Steelers will want to keep him. Brian Orakpo is interesting because hes been injury prone; he tore his pectoral muscle again. This means he could be signed to a prove it deal and come cheap.
                                 THE DRAFT

 You see that guy over there to the left? That's Benardrick McKinney. He's 6'5'' 245 and a beast of a man. Now there are quite a few guys that I DEFINITELY want the the Eagles to get. Some of those guys will be long gone by the time Eagles pick; he might not be. However, he will probably climb up draft boards when he dazzles with his awesome bench press and 40 time :(. A man can still dream cant he? He's already all over mock drafts as it is, so Im not sure anyone is really sure where he's going to go. If you want someone to sit, learn from Demeco Ryans and spell him and Kendricks for a year; this is your guy. Speaking Kendricks, his brother Eric is also an interesting prospect here. I don't know where his interest is in the draft but it would be REALLY cool to see the brothers man the defense together for the next decade. According to Mychal, Eric is way further along than he was at this point in his career. Imagine seeing these two standing next to each other every Sunday; growing and becoming better and experiencing the failures and successes, the ups and downs, through their career.
As far as OLB goes there's a great player in Vic Beasley, who I've seen go as early as 7 and as late as 27 in mock drafts. So once again it is hard to tell where he's going to go. As I stated before, Marcus Smith is a mystery at this point(not saying he wont become better but he just didn't impress at all), Brandon Graham might be gone and Trent Cole is getting older. So it might be a smart idea to take someone. They would also be a good idea because you get someone who fits the system a lot better than anyone else not named Connor Barwin, does right now.

OL - As far as depth goes, the Eagles showed they can hold it up pretty well if they lose their starters. The problem is, 3 out of 5 of them are over 30. If the Cowboys showed us anything this year, it's that there is nothing wrong with not going with the sexy pick. Maybe they wont have to.
                                             FREE AGENTS
Everyone else seems to be putting us in the same as we were before, if not worse. Mike Iupati, on the other hand, is only 27, one of the best run blockers in the league and would fit perfectly in the Eagles offense. Im sure Lesean McCoy wouldnt mind that either. That's pretty much it for the free agents though, so Im sure everyone will go after him.



                                             THE DRAFT
The draft once again has a player that's been all over mock drafts, Cedric Ogbuehi. I guess he had a down year because he was arguably a top 5 pick last year. Ogbuehi is a tackle but it wouldnt be bad to have him learn from Jason Peters and then take over once he retires. Andrus Peat and TJ Clemmings are other choices at tackle, with AJ Cann as a guard. I think the Eagles could have all their offensive linemen come back next year, maybe they get ANOTHER year after that as well. However, sometime in the near future, the Eagles will need to get younger at the offensive line, especially in Chip's offense.

WR - The Eagles don't necessarily need a wide receiver at all. I honestly just wanted to mention how AWESOME all the possibilities are at the WR position, if they become available. The Eagles will probably resign Jeremy Maclin, as I mentioned earlier, they will probably only have Coop on the team another year, if he keeps on wasting opportunities. Jordan Matthews is a work horse and Josh Huff is going to grow a lot in year 2. Chip has mentioned he likes to upgrade every position he can and there are a lot of players that can upgrade the wide receiver position/could use a wide receiver.
                                             FREE AGENTS

It isn't la la land time yet. So, I will admit the most likely guy to become a free agent, out of all the big names, is Randall Cobb. The Packers probably already know the guy in the draft they will use to replace him and he'll be amazing because that's just what the Packers do, draft in the final ten picks every year....and always get a great pick, every year; their FO is amazing. So, maybe they let Cobb go and whether Maclin comes back or not, they'll have a good guy to come in. It will also put Cooper to a much more comfortable but overpaid 4 or 5 spot on the depth chart. Other than that, realistic options include guys like Kenny Britt, who doesnt really give you much more than Coop. Along with Denarius Moore who might be better in the offense but meh as a choice, yet is very fast...there's also Cecil Shorts, a good choice, but cant stay healthy at all. Those non-realistic names include Demaryius Thomas(oh my GOD IMAGINE HIM IN AN EAGLES OFFENSE) and Dez Bryant(wow just unstoppable capabilities). There's also Maclin's draft classmate Michael Crabtree who I think is a lot more than a "sorry wide receiver".

                                          THE DRAFT

OH MY GOODNESS SO MANY GOOD WIDE RECEIVERS!!!!! Look at this list! LOOK AT IT!!! Amari Cooper, Devante Parker, Kevin White, Devin Funchess, Sammie Coates, Dorial Green-Beckham and last but not least Jaelen Strong. All are wide receivers with size and speed. I could definitely see. I
could see Chip going for another receiver in the top 3 rounds, despite needing players on defense. Amari Cooper will be gone but there still will be plenty of good players. If Nick Foles is going to be the QB he's going to need even more weapons than he already does. Devante Parker is really good but could use some work on getting both feet in on TD catches. Kevin White seems like the most likely guy to make it to their pick at 20 and at 6'3'' and being fast as he is, he kind of reminds me of Demaryius Thomas in a way. Devin Funchess and Jaelen Strong will most likely make it to their second pick and man would they fit....both at least 6'4''. Funchess being a TE/WR hybrid, makes him a huge fit for the Eagles. So what the Eagles couldn't draft Odell last year? Why not get a guy with the same last name this year? Green-Beckham hmmmm Odell is blue Dorial couuld be green, eagles colors are green.....sounds like a match. Of course, I dont think Dorial will become one of the best wide receivers over night like Odell did. However, he is 6'6'' and very fast as well.

WISH LIST -



It's LA LA LAND time guys, here's where I write some looney crazy crap that will never happen and doesn't even sound plausible. Marcus Mariota is the man. He's the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck. People pray to Marcus Mariota at night for half the skills of his pinky. People write lists of presents for Marcus Mariota to bring them on his birthday, December 25th. Marcus Mariota is Santa and Jesus put together! He's Saint Nickachrist!! His name is Marcus Mariota(FightClub chant). Alright its not all that...but I do like Marcus Mariota.
So, the way I would like them to go this offseason is resign Maclin, Allen and Matthews(I know crazy right?). I think they should extend Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks, for sure. Vinny Curry and Brandon Boykin would be cool to sure up, as well. Not too bad so far right?


THEN IN FREE AGENCY!!! They sign Devin McCourty, then Byron Maxwell, then the Broncos were as dumb as the Eagles last year and Eagles pick him up. Somehow the Eagles still have money because they've been cheap forever and boom DRAFT TIME COMES! Marcus Mariota slides to the teens! Eagles trade up! Draft him! AND WHO CARES WHAT ELSE!?!??! THEY GOT MARCUS SANTEESUS!!! AND THEN GO TO THE SUPER BOWL! AND BEAT THE COWBOYS!! YOU KNOW WHY?!?!? BECAUSE THE REST OF THIS WASNT IMPOSSIBLE ENOUGH!! THATS WHY! lol

Okay, now that that's over.....I really do think it is realistic that MM slides a bit, but it depends on a couple things. That being said, my much more realistic hopes are that they resign Maclin as I stated before, Cox and Kendricks extended, sign Iupati and maybe McCourty or Maxwell. In the draft theres a couple things. I'd say stay at 20 and draft Kevin White, Benardrick McKinney or Vic Beasley in the first round. Whatever else happens, happens.

Thats it guys. Im done, man, that was a lot. Hope you enjoyed, see you next time. I'll be writing a lot more this month, I think, but it wont have to do with the Eagles until draft time actually comes. Then again if this gets a lot of love I will most likely have to, so if you enjoy it I'll write more about them. Until then guys!