January 10, 2010

The end of the innocence.

Donovan McNabb? See ya.

Michael Vick? So long.

Chris Gocong, Reggie Brown, Kevin Curtis? Arrivederci.

It's even possible that Brian Westbrook, if he refuses to restructure his contract, will be put out to pasture.

This is the end of an era in Philadelphia Eagles football. An era where the Eagles, along with the Patriots, Colts, Giants and Steelers, were always among the best teams in football. An era where Andy Reid and McNabb established themselves as the best coach and quarterback in the history of the franchise, respectively. An era where, in a sport filled with unexpected ups and downs, the Philadelphia Eagles were as consistent as it gets.

And it's an era I won't mind seeing end.

My dad called me before Saturday night's game and asked me, on a scale from one to 10, how confident I was in the Eagles' chances. He was a four, I was a two. He expressed surprise at how little faith I had; I told him, thanks to the disaster that was Week 17, they'd given me absolutely no reason to believe. I'm amazed at how right I turned out to be.

The tie in Cincinnati was terrible. The last second 62-yard field goal loss to Tampa Bay in 2006 was gut-wrenching. Losing to Oakland this year was embarrassing, and all the NFC Championship Game losses were awful in their own way. But I think this latest loss to the Cowboys will go down as the worst Eagles game under Andy Reid.

I hope heads roll. Heads have to roll. But Reid isn't going anywhere, and neither are any of his staff. Well, maybe Ted Daisher. The blame will start to fall where a lot of it belongs -- on some of our longest-tenured players.

It's time to give Kevin Kolb a shot at quarterback, to declare LeSean McCoy the running back of the present and future, to cut our older, oft-injured and underachieving wideouts and to stop pretending that Gocong can play linebacker in a 4-3 scheme.

You couldn't blame any one of those players, even McNabb, for this loss. It was a team-wide abortion of a football game. But you also can't sit back and act like, someday, this McNabb and Westbrook-led team is going to get over the hump. I'm not necessarily a fan of change for the sake of change, but at this point, I no longer see a downside.

Roster-wise, the 2010 Philadelphia Eagles will look a lot different than the 2009 Philadelphia Eagles. Let's hope they play differently, too.

1 comment:

briantoll said...

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4816179

"Reid says McNabb his starter in 2010"