This is not the team we thought it was.
Not the talent, not the coaching, not the heart.
Something's missing. And whatever combination of personnel, coaching and intangibles has turned a legit Super Bowl contender into the laughing stock of the NFL, the Eagles’ decision makers need to understand that change is necessary.
Not minor adjustments. Real change.
The Eagles tried winning with whatever was left of the Super Bowl roster. They tried to win with momentum. Just keep the thing together as much as possible and fill in the blanks with whoever they could salvage off the scrap heap.
Last year was a bit of a step backward, but 9-7 with a playoff win in the first year after a Super Bowl championship isn’t bad at all.
And as recently as a month ago, the Eagles were sitting at 5-4 with the supposedly easy part of the schedule coming up, so you could rationalize that good things were on the horizon.
Now 5-4 has turned into 5-7, and there can be no lower point than blowing a 14-point second-half lead to a 2-9 team ranked among the bottom three in the NFL in both offense and defense.
The powers that be can no longer avoid the reality that this team is too old, too slow, too brittle and just not coached well enough to compete on a regular basis with the best teams in the league.
Or in this case, the worst teams in the league.
This isn’t a tweak. This isn’t a quick fix.
This team needs an overhaul. There’s no ignoring it now.
And it doesn’t start with Howie Roseman rolling up his sleeves and figuring out what moves to make. What former Eagles to bring back this time around.
No, it has to start with Jeff Lurie being truly honest with himself and examining whether the personnel department needs a major restructure.
Lurie will never fire Howie. But would he transition him into a role where he focuses on contracts and salary cap while a GM comes in and gains final say over personnel? It’s not unthinkable. It couldn’t hurt at this point.
And Lurie won’t fire Doug Pederson, not yet. Doug still has at least another year of equity built up from that 2017 season that seems so far in the past. But certainly every assistant on the staff needs to be honestly evaluated. Some need to be replaced.
Whether it’s Howie or someone else making the calls, this roster needs reconstructive surgery. The Eagles just don’t have enough impact players on either side of the ball. Their best players are linemen and most of them are older players.
The Eagles need playmakers. Desperately.
They have drafted exactly three Pro Bowl skill players — everything other than o-line and d-line — in the past decade. Foles, Wentz and Ertz. The last time they drafted a linebacker, corner or safety who went to a Pro Bowl? Would you believe 17 years ago?
Are the Eagles spiraling downhill because they don’t have good enough players? Or are the players not good enough because the coaching is inadequate?
Probably a little of both, but that’s something the Eagles’ brain trust — whoever that is — also needs to figure out.
New coaches are needed. New perspectives are needed. New ideas. New teachers. New vision.
Heck, even if the Eagles do beat the Cowboys and win out and make the playoffs (which I can’t imagine), that shouldn’t change anything.
Winning the division because everybody else has even bigger problems is nothing to celebrate.
Right now, there’s really nothing to celebrate other than the simple fact that if the Eagles do what they have to do this offseason and make some difficult but necessary changes, better days are ahead.
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