“When I look at our football team and what we have on paper, I think about when I was growing up and the great San Francisco 49er teams, the great Green Bay Packer teams, and the great Dallas Cowboy teams, how they just positioned themselves to compete and be one of the best teams out there,”
“I think we have a chance to be that. I think we have a chance to develop a dynasty.”
And with that remark, Mike placed the city of Philadelphia and it’s Eagles right back in the spotlight with DreamTeamGate II.
As someone who follows the Eagles, I’m all for confidence statements, Lord knows no one in their right minds follows a team who speaks publicly about loving to lose, and not being able to contain their enthusiasm about getting their asses kicked on a daily basis.
But this wasn’t exactly the best way to express said confidence, a mere year after Vince Young eagerly tossed a dunce cap on his skull and uttered the words “Dream Team”. That quip set off a season long chain of epic scrutiny, and as the losses mounted and in improbable fashion(virtually giving away five games that had 4th quarter leads), those words were dragged into the forefront, time and time again.
Andy Reid could be more at fault than Vince Young, after all he placed the seemingly incompetent Juan Castillo in the role as lead Defensive Honcho, but it wasn’t Reid who took it upon himself to go all HALL OF FAME! on reporters in that minicamp presser. And now, Vick has decided to throw a little more hickory on the fire.
Dynasty is a word reserved for teams who achieved greatness with a measure of consistency, held the Alpha slot for a number of years. The Niners of the 80′s were a dominating club for practically the entire decade, winning four Super Bowls and at least ten games in a season 8 of 10 years, (8 of 9 if you discount the strike year), and even stole the Dallas Cowboys thunder by snagging a fifth Super Bowl title in the 90′s, before their elite level run ended.
The aforementioned Cowboys were essentially the team of the 90′s, with 3 Super Bowl titles in four years(the Niners nailed down their fifth in between this run) and were the team to beat as long as Troy Aikman’s skull wasn’t ringing and Emmitt Smith kept finding holes behind that mammoth line.
There are teams that hold claim to having dynastic runs, namely the 70′s Steelers & Raiders, the 60′s Packers, and yes, even the 00′s Pats.I don’t have to rehash every single team’s runs for the NFL fanatics out there, I just have to point out the one obvious earmark to every one of these teams eras: they ALL won Super Bowls.
The Eagles quite simply have not done that yet. In fact they haven’t won a Super Bowl in their history. It’s a long running tradition here that this town is set up for failure, let down after watching some truly great teams being assembled, then never quite grasping that brass ring. It’s a life lesson in sports heartbreak, really, like landing the Prom Queen as your date, only to find out she’s just not that into you.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Eagles are again on the right track, and Reid hasn’t exactly been the worst coach either, his knack for finding gems in the draft and turning them into superstars is a testament to his coaching pedigree and tutelage under one of the all time greats, Bill Walsh. They even made it to the NFC title game four years in a row, only to bridesmaid three of those times. For some reason, the stars haven’t aligned for Reid(yet), and given last year’s performance, this might be his last chance to do so. He still retained Castillo as Def Coordinator, and even got him some shiny new toys to play with in what appears on paper to be a quality draft on the defensive side of the ball. Fletcher Cox will become a household name, there’s no doubt about it. Castillo is still too green(no pun) for my taste though, and I didn’t think it was the players he had so much as his game calling that hurt the Birds in those five late quarter losses.
But I digress, we’re talking about the Dream Team sequel. Vick has to feel good, the Eagles have a slew of star powered talent on the offensive side of the ball, with one of the league’s most dynamic running backs in LeSean “Shady” McCoy, a pair of solid playmakers in Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, the line is coming together and will be more solid than last year now the Mudd has more time to guru up his kids, and Brent Celek is still a better receiver than blocker, something that was proven in his numbers the last couple of years.
That isn’t what concerns me, however. The key to all of those “dynastic” clubs success was a wealth of talent on BOTH sides of the ball, the teams were great top to bottom. The Eagles shored up the linebacking corps, snagged for talent in the trenches, and have finally decided to place Nnamdi Asomugha in a position to succeed and dominate as a M2M cornerback again. This looks great on paper, but the unit is still a bit green, and features players who may or may not reach their true peaks until their third season.
Vick is 32.
Does he have a few more years to wait for ALL of these guys to catch up with the already impressive offense? He has played all of ONE season without missing a game in his entire career. Will the backup QB’s be able to shoulder the load if he gets another rib injury? A concussion? Kafka looked solid at times, sketchy in others. Foles might be the second coming of Bledsoe, but that isn’t happening for another three seasons, and a lot of tweaking in his game. Will Dion Lewis be able to stop setting off hotel fire alarms long enough to steal some carries from Shady? Will DeSean be the beast of the Meadowlands again? Or will he be on the field searching for his pacifier? Can Maclin recover from his health issues from last season and finally show the rest of the league that he’s one of the most undervalued wideouts in the league? Perhaps THE most?
It is for these reasons alone that I fret over Mike’s dynasty comments. Sureee, it’s all well and good to be hyped. If anything, the Eagles are exciting to watch when that offense gets rolling against another club. I was at the Linc when they utterly demolished the Cowboys and Jets respectively, and all I could do was marvel at the dominance. But that dark side…yeah, it can be insanely frustrating. That’s what gives me the fear when it comes to brash comments, and the dreaded overconfident zingers.
It’s OK to feel good about yourself, but coming off a non-playoff 8-8 season where it felt like the Birds gave away more wins than they earned, Its hardly the time or the place to repeat history, especially on “dynastic” levels.