(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


Not much to tell.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Reason for Eagles' Fans to be Optimistic

The team just signed guard Evan Mathis to a 5-year deal.

Why is this significant?

Because over the Reid/Lurie years, the Eagles took a point of view that many players were fungible (depending on what position they played). So, for example, name an all-pro linebacker from the Reid era and you cannot. Likewise, name an all-pro defensive tackle, name all-pro wideouts for most of the McNabb era and so forth. On the one hand, they probably have a wealth of data that tells them when players start to depreciate the same way that companies know that property, plant and equipment depreciate over time. But there's a difference between human capital and machines, and at times when to acknowledge and drive this difference has been a weakness for the Eagles.

Case in point was last season, when the Eagles were so "great" at acquiring big names that they forgot anything about whether there would be any chemistry in the locker room or leaders to help steer the team. Case in point was when they inked Michael Vick to a long-term deal. Talented he is, a leader he does not appear to be. And, if your quarterback is not a leader, you had better have some other good players who can lead. Last season, the Eagles did not seem to have such players; the Giants seemed to have many of them, foremost among them, Justin Tuck. The Eagles, well, they missed the playoffs. The Giants, on the other hand. . .

And look, I'll admit that the Giants had to make hard decision in their off-season by letting go veteran offensive linemen Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara. So, it's not as though all teams keep players forever; they don't. But in the Eagles' case, they have assumed so much that certain players are certain positions are fungible that they don't seem to care whether they re-sign or not. Thankfully, they seemed to have altered their course a bit, opting for some continuity on the offensive line, and inked Mathis to a long-term deal.

This might be nothing, it might be a small signal, but it is comforting to a fan to know that there will be more certainty as to who will play on the offensive line after years of many comings and goings.

Now if only the Eagles would do something about their linebacking and defensive line play. . .


Post a Comment

<< Home