In an article I wrote the other day about Eagles fans, one of the things I touched on was the Eagles front office and their unfriendly ways. The arrogance and negligence of the fans as an organizational asset was my main point.
There is the issue of their internal polling which somehow always tells them what they want to here. There is the combative and condescending nature of team president Joe Banner. There is the poor drafting and football inexperience of general manager Howie Roseman.
And then, on top of everything, there is the closed off and closed minded attitude of the true frontman, head coach Andy Reid.
Reid’s press conferences have forever been the stuff of legend. The throat clearing, the dry and disconnected demeanor and a seeming loop of the same three or four catchphrases that we all know and none of us loves.
Then there is the matter of personnel. For the first five years of the Reid era, the team didn’t believe in the importance of wide receivers. It was a constant public outcry until Terrell Owens was brought to town and quickly helped the team reach the Super Bowl for the first time in over two decades.
After that it was a revolving door of neglected spots on the field. Kick returner, punt returner, fullback and safety were among them.
But the one constant was linebacker. The mishandling of that position has actually surpassed the wide receiver problem of the early 2000s.
The Eagles have rubbed people the wrong way for years in this way. But it almost seems as if something new may be afoot. And not just in one small way either.
The offseason started not with an Andy Reid press conference, but a rare starring appearance by owner Jeffrey Lurie. Lurie kicked things off with the admittance that there are problems and that those problems would be addressed.
He professed that the results haven’t been good enough and that Reid would need to put on a friendlier face toward the media. The media is, in fact, the conduit to the people.
Reid seems to have followed the order. He hasn’t always been warm and fuzzy, but for the most part he has at least given the appearance of taking some interest in answering questions.
He has even gone so far as to voice his concerns with Michael Vick and even admitted to having “goofed” on his deployment of linebackers and safeties.
Banner has mostly stayed out of the spotlight, leaving the front office speaking duties to an ever more chatty Howie Roseman.
Roseman has drawn probably the most ire from fans in recent months, but to his credit he has actually come out numerous times and expressed an understanding of his faults and weaknesses. He has even spoken about things that were in the works.
Last month it was the announcement that Trent Edwards was probably going to be brought on, before any deal had been done. More recently, he discussed the idea of Asante Samuel being shopped to potential suitors.
In the most breaking news of the offseason, the Eagles actually sprung for a trade which involved them landing a real-live middle linebacker! It was shocking to every fan in the Delaware Valley, and it’s led to much excitement.
Now they haven’t even reached the draft yet, let alone the playoffs or the Super Bowl. But what they have done is shifted course a bit and in an extremely positive way. This has to give fans at least something to hold on to leading up to a new season.
Nobody wins it all between February and August, but the Eagles have made serious strides toward improving the view of the organization from the outside.
As much as Eagles fans have complained about these weaknesses in the past, it’s time to give credit where at least some credit is due.