The Philadelphia Eagles’ 2012 offseason has been tremendous so far. Between how they handled free agency and the NFL draft, this could turn out to be the most productive offseason since 2004 when they finally added key components (Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse) to get the team over the NFC Championship game hump.
To paraphrase the Beach Boys here: I’m picking up good vibrations, they’re giving me the excitations, I’m picking up good vibrations!
I’m not even a Beach Boys fan, but that is the first song that pops in my head when I think about this offseason.
The 2004 offseason gave me that feeling as well because Andy Reid finally seemed to understand that we needed a wide receiver. Once we acquired Owens and signed premier free agent defensive end Kearse, Eagles fans “knew” that the 2004 season was going to be great.
Like 2004 with wide receivers, maybe 2012 is the year of Reid’s epiphany with the linebacker position (Demeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks).
Last year’s offseason was exciting just because of the amount of players we were bringing in. However, it felt more exhausting than it did productive. After the long lockout and free agent signing frenzy, by the time the season started it just felt surreal in the aspect that we really didn’t know what kind of team the Eagles would be.
Our offensive line coach became our defensive coordinator, we had a new offensive line coach and scheme, we had a new defensive line coach and scheme, and we added numerous new players and personalities to the mix while neglecting a star player in DeSean Jackson.
In other words, there was just too much going on last offseason and it ultimately was not productive.
However, the Eagles have handled things correctly this offseason and that good feeling has returned. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel extremely positive about the direction this team is headed.
It started out a little bumpy because I sincerely wanted new defensive coordinator — namely, Steve Spagnuolo. When that didn’t happen, and the decision was made to stick with Juan Castillo, I was a little disappointed.
However, I’ve come to embrace the concept that maybe giving Castillo a second chance was the right thing to do. He’s a good man, has a great rapport with his players and provides a level of continuity and stability that a successful team needs.
Plus, maybe Reid is a believer in karma: good things happen when you do the right thing (morally). It’s quite possible that Reid and the fans will be rewarded by sticking with Castillo for at least one more year.
The only true blemish to an otherwise outstanding offseason so far has been the injury to Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters. There is a very good chance he misses all of the 2012 season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
I’m not sure who should get the most credit for how the Eagles have handled things so far, but my bet is Andy Reid has been an integral part of it. There had been questions about who really called the shots in the Eagles front office — Joe Banner, Howie Roseman or Andy Reid — but this offseason feels more “Reid-ish” to me.
So far, the Eagles have made several great moves that will pay off in many different ways for the 2012 season. This seems to be the year of “doing the right thing” in Philadelphia. Consider what they’ve done so far:
- Extended DeSean Jackson
- Re-signed Evan Mathis
- Rewarded Trent Cole and Todd Herremans with restructured contracts
- Re-signed Derek Landri
- Traded for blue-chip middle linebacker Demeco Ryans
- Immediately signed the best left tackle available in Demetress Bell after Peters went down
- Traded Asante Samuel so that Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie can play to their strengths. Not only that, but they also traded him to the team he preferred.
- Had an outstanding draft that has added an abundance of talent and depth to the roster
- Brought back Brian Dawkins to retire as an Eagle and retired his jersey number
- They’re working on an extension for LeSean McCoy
To put it one way, this has been the work of a championship team. What I mean is, they have a plan and are doing things the right way in taking care of their own. The players feel good, the coaches feel good and the fans feel good.
The actions of the Eagles’ organization as a whole is just breeding a certain air of positivity in Philadelphia these days.
Here’s what Andy Reid had to say in regards to how this offseason has transpired so far (courtesy of Jonathan Tamari of Philly.com):
“It’s a positive thing. When you’re around the team right now you feel that,” Reid said Saturday, wearing a signature Hawaiian shirt. “I think they’re excited to get going.”
I think most of the fans are excited to get this thing going too Andy!
Things seem to be going so right that even an Eagles draft pick, Vinny Curry, has had his dream come true in that he now gets to play for his favorite team. It’s almost like the feel-good story “Rudy”, except Curry isn’t 5′ nothin’ and weigh 100 and nothin’ (the magical Charles S. Dutton speech) like Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.
How can you not feel good about that? For a good write-up on Vinny Curry’s arrival, check out Jonathan Tamari’s article here.
Things just seem to be going well for the Eagles this year. Everywhere you turn there is nothing but good things going on in regards to the team. Positivity is at a high point right now and the team seems to be giving off, well, good vibrations!
Obviously, we need to see if all of this translates to the field come September. Losing has a way of bursting the biggest of bubbles and turning all of this positivity into animosity and despair.
But as of right now, I’m feeling pretty good and the future looks awfully bright.