Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tied up in 'nots'

By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine

After two games, we’re still trying to figure out who the Eagles are. However, we’re beginning to realize what they’re not.

They’re not a defensive team that can get the job done on talent alone. They (still) have no push on the line and (still) have issues across the board when it comes to tackling. And last night, I had the same amount of tackles as Jevon Kearse. Only he had a better view of the game and got paid far more than me to do nothing.

Donovan McNabb may claim to be (fill in the latest percentage here) physically healthy, but he’s not close to being fully recovered mentally. He’s tentative in the pocket, seems unsure of the receiver’s patterns (that is, of course, when the receivers actually get open) and looks scared under pressure.

I realize that D-Mac has had an aversion to the QB sneak for several years, but in the past, it seemed to be on principal, whereas now it seems to derive from a lack of confidence.

Marty Morningweig must not be calling the offense plays anymore. Although Brian Westbrook looks as dominant as ever on the ground and McNabb looked as shaky as ever in general, the commitment to the run and controlling the clock was abandoned once more. The passing scheme was blander than cardboard. Plus, red zone and third down calls were performed as if there was no target destination. Sounds like all the makings of an Andy Reid-led offense to me.

They do not seem to have enough veteran leadership, or even enough heart, at this time. Football, more than any other sport, requires a good amount of spirit and passion to coincide with the talent on the field. Without it, you basically have the 2006 Giants.

And not to beat a dead horse (which, coincidentally, resembles the Eagles’ level of play thus far), but an amped-up Jeremiah Trotter would sure look good right about now, even if only on the sidelines. He could have served a similar locker room guru-type purpose as Hugh Douglas during the ’04 Super Bowl season.

It’s not going to get any easier. Say what you want about the perennial doormat Lions. They’re 2-0. Say what you want about future home-field advantages, because if they keep playing like this, fan patience will be burned faster than William James on a fly pattern.

In the weeks ahead, we should be able to figure out who the Eagles really are. No wins, two losses could mean the beginning of a disaster, such as Reid’s first season in 1999, or a corrected façade, such as 2003’s 12-4 campaign. Time will tell.

But, right now, what they’re not is good.

No comments: