Here's the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:
ESPN.com's Mel Kiper recently "re-drafted" the 2006 class. The Eagles had the 14th pick that year and selected defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley. But if they could do it all over again, Kiper says the Birds would end up with defensive end Elvis Dumervil:
He's faced a major injury, and even then Dumervil is exactly a half-sack behind Mario Williams one behind Tamba Hali, and this after being taken No. 126 overall. Sure, he faced height questions, but Dumervil simply gets to quarterbacks.
Football Outsiders released its All Keep-Chopping Wood team, which recognizes players and coaches who did the most to help their teams lose games in 2011. Casey Matthews and Juan Castillo made it for the Eagles. Writes Tom Gower:
Really, though, naming Castillo defensive coordinator because he wanted to coach defense is like naming [Santonio] Holmes an offensive captain because you want him to show more leadership. It may work out, but you are just asking for trouble.
Pro Football Weekly rounded up anonymous quotes from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, one of whom ripped into Michael Vick:
"Jim Mora (Sr.) had it right. Michael Vick is a coach killer. The Eagles made a mistake signing him long-term. I can tell you right now — he was a machine the first half of 2010, and then he ... started turning the ball over. You cannot win a Super Bowl with a guy that is that inconsistent. They said he was hurt. I'm not sure they didn't bench him after he started 3-8 going back to last year (counting Vick's two season-ending losses a year ago). If I'm Andy Reid, I'm looking hard at Matt Flynn right now."
That seems like quite a conspiracy theory. Benching Vick in favor of Vince Young? Did this source see Young play? I have a tough time buying that one.
Meanwhile, in his mock draft, Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly has the Eagles taking Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox at No. 15:
The key to the Eagles' success defensively has been the strong play of their line. When Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson are healthy, they are difficult to handle, but neither has been a model of durability, and the team's depth could take a hit with contract situations for Trevor Laws and Derek Landri to be dealt with.
Russ Lande of the Sporting News has the Eagles going with Florida State offensive tackle Andrew Datko at No. 15:
Michael Vick has taken a pounding, partly because of his style of play, but also because of offensive line struggles. Datko can play tackle or guard.
Can't say I agree with Lande here. I thought the offensive line was pretty good. And the players who struggled were rookies. If the Eagles let Evan Mathis go (which seems unlikely), maybe they go offensive line early. But otherwise, it seems like a stretch.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com ranks all 45 Super Bowls. He has Super Bowl XV (the Eagles' 27-10 loss to the Raiders) ranked 29th. And he has Super Bowl XXXIX (the Eagles' 24-21 loss to the Patriots) ranked 23rd.
LeSean McCoy, Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Asante Samuel and Colt Anderson all made Pro Football Focus' All-NFC East Team:
There wasn’t a more consistent Eagles player this year than McCoy. It became impossible to count how many times he turned plays that should have been losses into gains seemingly after a single game. Our top rated rusher forced 49 missed tackles in the ground game. It’s worth mentioning Ahmad Bradshaw and Demarco Murray too who would have made the conversation much more interesting if not for injury problems.