So the possible head coaching pool has been diminished by one as Doug Marrone of Syracuse will be taking over as head coach for the Buffalo Bills. Other reports indicate that several teams have met with Oregon's Chip Kelly but there is no solid indication that he will be leaving the college ranks. From what I have heard the Eagles owner Jeffery Laurie has met with Kelly and tried selling him on the idea of coaching the Eagles and of Nick Foles or Mike Vick running his offense. Honestly, I can get behind bringing in Kelly to lead the Eagles I can't however wrap my head around keeping Vick for another season. It seems to me the best way for the team and the fans to move forward is to cut wasted money, wasted talent and rebuild. So I've decided to take a look at the Eagles roster and make a wish list of sorts as to what the front office should do this offseason. So this post we'll focus on the offense and next will be the D.
Since I already mentioned Vick lets start with the QB's. I saw we cut ties with Vick, he's a turnover machine, he makes bad decisions, is on the wrong end of his career, is injury prone, and costs way to much money. Could he restructure his contract and stay sure, but he has already said that he won't. The Eagles can cut him and not have to pay him anymore money and since we're rebuilding lets use the money to do just that. Nick Foles has shown some promise and we should move on with him. The free agent pool should be pretty bleak for QB's and I haven't heard all that much hype about the rookie class. That's not to say that a talented QB can't be found in the draft (just look at around the league this year) but unless there's a decent trade for another QB around the league to come in and help Foles develop I don't seem a much better offer. The only name I can think of to go after in a trade situation would be Alex Smith from the 49ers but again it would have to be for the right price and even then I'm not completely sold that Smith would be an upgrade.
RBs come next and right now we are stacked. Bryce Brown has shown that he has what it takes to be a very productive back and LeSean McCoy is well LeSean McCoy, nothing more needs to be said about him. We have our franchise back in McCoy and possibly a guy who can split or be better then him in Brown (if Brown can fix his fumbling). Obviously having a stable of talented backs never hurts and there could be some interesting names in free agency but there is no need to overspend for someone who will be a #2 at best. Look mid to late rounds in the draft or not even at all. The only spot there could be some interest in upgrading would be the FB spot. Andy Reid was never big on using a FB and that's part of why the Eagles don't really have much there. Peyton Hillis is a free agent this year and what with Reid taking over as head coach for the Chiefs maybe Hillis will be looked at by the Eagles new head coach.
Currently DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Jason Avant make up the Eagles top three receivers and while they are very talented we all know the passing game has had it's fair share of problems recently. All in all I think the Eagles are solid here but there could be some interesting names in free agency. However, after Vincent Jackson signed his monster contract last year many of this years free agent WRs will be looking to cash in big as well. So while I'd like to see the likes of Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace or Dwayne Bowe added I don't see the numbers matching up. A guy like Josh Cribbs could be an interesting addition as he isn't an elite receiver so he wouldn't be able to command elite money in that regard but he is one of the best returners in the game and would be an immediate upgrade to our special teams since we haven't been using Jackson on returns. Keeping with receivers, as I look at our TEs I like Brent Celek and Clay Harbor. I again don't see the Eagles going to free agency for an upgrade. Again look for talent to try and be added through the draft.
Lastly is the offensive line. Ok good news first. We should have all of our starters back which is great because if everyone is healthy and back to normal our starting O-line should be one of the best in the league. Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, and Todd Herremans will be a sight for sore eyes when they are all back on the field together again. The position in question for the Eagles is the RG spot, however, they do have some wiggle room. Herremans has shown that he can play both the offensive tackle and guard positions so he could either continue to play RT or possibly slide in to RG. This will depend on what the Eagles decided to do regarding Jake Scott and Danny Watkins. Thus far Watkins has been a bust and Scott was brought in this season to fill in for him. I don't see either being a long term solution and there are some interesting names that could be coming up in free agency. Ryan Clady of the Broncos, Brandon Albert of the Chiefs, and Andy Levitre of the Bills are just a few names who could immediately upgrade the offensive line of the Eagles. I'm not saying that any of them will get to see the light of free agency but if they are then the Eagles should pounce on one, and Herremans ability to play either position will allow everyone a starting spot.
Additionally, if the Eagles have learned anything about the offense from this past season is that the depth of the offensive line needs to be addressed ASAP! The loss of Jason Peters alone made that clear. After three other starters went down it was a disaster. The new coaching staff should evaluate the free agent market closely as we don't want another Demetrius Bell experiment, but I would rather use draft picks to grab solid offensive linemen with potential.
All in all the offensive side of the ball shouldn't be in terrible shape QB is the big question right now but moving forward with Foles should be a no brainier for a team obviously rebuilding. Secondly, address the offensive line problem by finding a suitable starter since Watkins doesn't seem to be panning out as hoped, and grab some solid depth so if and when a starter goes down we have someone who can step up and be a satisfactory fill in.
Next post it gets interesting when the defense gets examined.