Andy Reid's mood ought to improve this week, when the Eagles assemble for rookie camp on Wednesday and Thursday. Reid, critical of the media focus on Lito Sheppard's status and Donovan McNabb's bid for playmakers when the Birds assembled earlier this month, ought to be hearing and reading a lot more about DeSean Jackson, Trevor Laws, Joe Mays and the other new kids, this time around.
We're still a couple months away from training camp, but one minor issue that hasn't been touched on much is that there will be fewer players in camp. Since the NFL did away with its European affiliates, the six preseason roster exemptions for players assigned to Europe also disappeared. For several years, the 80-man roster limit was really 86, with the exemptions. This was one of the reasons you'd go to preseason games and almost never see the "real" Eagles. That could change this year, with fewer bodies. It might seem like a tiny change, but it's probably behind the Birds' decision to bring in Richmond McGee to both kick and punt for training camp, saving a roster spot (so far, anyway.)
Don Banks has an interesting discussion of that issue on si.com
Getting back to this week's camp, Jackson, the second-round wideout and returner from Cal, is the rookie who seems to have piqued fan interest the most, for obvious reasons. (If you've read this far into an Eagles blog without knowing those reasons, kindly back-click and continue to await the arrival of the "Sex and the City" movie ... No, wait. We're all about inclusiveness here at Eagleterian. While you're here, ponder the following question: Who has the more bizarre wardrobe, Carrie Bradshaw or Terry Bradshaw? )
While we're ranging far afield, I've been pondering something from the Flyers' Eastern Conference Final playoff series against the Penguins. No question, Pittsburgh has a young nucleus that could bring a Stanley Cup to that city this year or anytime over the next several years, assuming salary demands don't force a breakup. Heck, it almost certainly WILL bring them a Cup. Yet would fans here, desperate for the title parade they haven't seen since 1983, be willing to go through what Pens fans went through to build this incredible nucleus? To get Sidney Crisby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Jordan Staal, the Penguins had to draft FIRST OR SECOND OVERALL four times. Not once, not twice. Four times. Know how many times the Flyers have drafted first or second overall, in franchise history? Last year was the second time.
To turn this back to football, more or less, the Eagles, who have not been as consistently successful as the Flyers over the past 40 years, drafted first or second overall several times in the early years of the NFL. But since getting Bob Brown second overall in 1964, they've drafted that high exactly once, in 1999, the year they did not take Ricky Williams.
What would fans here DO if one of their teams was THAT bad for THAT long? Would there be an arena or a stadium to play in by the time the team was ready to win a title, or would they have burned it to the ground by then?