This idea comes from Matt Mosley's NFC East blog at ESPN.com, by way of Football Outsiders. Anyway, they did a thing where they picked the 10 most irreplaceable players in the NFL. Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning was No. 1, and Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware was No. 2.
There were no Eagles on the list.
I don't get that.
Is there not enough evidence out there about the importance of Brian Westbrook to this team? As he spends June nursing whatever the hell ails him this time, and it's always something, how is it possible that someone cannot recognize just how vital Westbrook is to the Eagles' success?
Just look at last year. In the games he was functional -- not great, but just decent -- the Eagles were an offensive machine. In the games when he was either out or obviously hobbled -- Chicago and Baltimore come to mind immediately, but there were others -- they were only an imitation of themselves, and a poor one at that. And while there was near-unanimous applause for the drafting of Shady McCoy as Westbrook's understudy, he hasn't yet seen the field. We really don't know.
Hell, I could put Donovan McNabb on the list, too. He tanked last year and they tanked. He was re-born and they were re-born. Some of this obviously coincided with Westbrook's health, which is why I think he is the key, but McNabb seems reasonably essential to this mix right now, too. Even if you like Kevin Kolb, he has barely played.
The Eagles have worked to make these two guys less irreplaceable, and maybe they have. But we really don't know. And until we do, it is hard to see that list as anything but flawed, and incomplete.