Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The weapons debate

Do the Eagles have weapons?

The weapons debate

DeSean Jackson had a 62-yard touchdown catch against the Cardinals in the NFC championship. Will the Eagles add to their receiving corps in the offseason? (David Maialetti / Staff photographer)
DeSean Jackson had a 62-yard touchdown catch against the Cardinals in the NFC championship. Will the Eagles add to their receiving corps in the offseason? (David Maialetti / Staff photographer)

So let me get this straight: the Eagles just played a season in which they set a franchise record for points scored but they don't have any weapons.

And just so I understand: whenever Donovan McNabb plays a good game it's because he's great and whenever he comes up short it's because he has no help.

Just so I get it.

No, they don't have Larry Fitzgerald. Yes, they would be better if they had Larry Fitzgerald. But come on. Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson are not incompetents. When healthy, Brian Westbrook has the same status at his position and occupies the same number of defenders as Fitzgerald does at his. Westbrook's continued health is a real and fair question, but his pedigree and his healthy production levels are not. They have weapons in the passing game. Their problem this season was an inconsistent, ineffective running game.

This is such a tiring conversation. The guy threw for a zillion yards even while playing badly enough in one month-long stretch of the season to get himself benched. And think about two of the biggest passing plays of the post-season. One was a 71-yard screen pass to Westbrook against the Vikings, a play that was all about Westbrook and the downfield blocking. The other was the bomb to Jackson against the Cardinals, a tipped ball on which Jackson showed a great display of concentration.

He has weapons. I cannot take another off-season of this. They need to fix their running game so that they can get the tough, dirty yards in the tough, dirty situations. That is their biggest offensive issue, giving Westbrook a running mate -- that and the likely retooling of their offensive line.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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