In the weekly SI Players Poll in Sports Illustrated, the 291 NFL players surveyed deemed the Eagles third among the most likely teams to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles were the highest votegetter among NFC teams.
The Eagles received 9 percent of the vote. The Patriots were at the top with 29 percent and the Steelers were second at 21 percent. Following the Eagles, the Ravens and Giants were tied with 5 percent of the vote.
Players were not able to vote for their own team.
The catch, of course, is that the votes were taken before Week 2. Maybe this is another version of the SI jinx because the top three teams all lost in Week 2.
HALEY KNOWS THE BIRDS
First-year Kansas City Chiefs head coach knows a little bit about preparing to face the Eagles.
Haley was the Arizona Cardinals' offensive coordinator last year and devised the plan that helped send the Cardinals to the Super Bowl and eliminate the Eagles in the NFC title game. But he also was the offensive coordinator when the Eagles thumped the Cards on Thanksgiving night. Regardless, this Chiefs team is rebuilding and has lost five straight and 25 of 27 overall.
As much as Haley is familiar with the Eagles, this will be Haley's first look at an Eagles defense under Sean McDermott.
“The Philadelphia Eagles in general are a great, great challenge," Haley said Tuesday. "Obviously, I’ve had a lot of experience against them in the last few years and last year specifically. They’re tough and I know Coach (Jim) Johnson in my mind was the best defensive coach in the league and sadly is no longer with us. But Coach (Sean) McDermott has been under him. I think you can see him put his own stamp on the defense which adds a little unknown."
The other unknown is just what role Michael Vick might play and how much of the Wildcat formation the Eagles are planning to use.
“There are things you’ve got to prepare for all situations," Haley said. "It just makes it all the greater challenge. We’re working on it diligently ... You try to make a calculated guess off of stuff you’ve seen in the past or stuff other teams are doing. This offseason I know we put a lot of time in on the ‘Wildcat’ knowing in general it was kind of the wave everybody was riding and you were going to see more of it throughout the year than more than just a couple of teams. We did an extensive study on any ‘Wildcat’ we saw in the last two years including stuff I had run in the past. You gotta do those kinds of things.”
The Eagles believe Vick gives them an added threat in the Wildcat as a quarterback. Teams, including the Eagles, are generally using wide receivers or running backs in the formations. Haley said teams need to prepare both for situations when the quarterback is in the game but not in a quarterback role and then another formation when the quarterback is not on the field. With Vick, it could be hard to tell.
Haley also told reporters that he wil continue to call the plays and said he has a support system in place to help him make adjustments on game days as the games progress.
"I feel all right about the direction we’re going,” Haley said.