Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:
SI.com's Don Banks liked what he saw from the Eagles Thursday night:
The Eagles are far from a finished product, and questions remain at receiver, linebacker and along the offensive line. But there was no creeping doubt on display from the Dream Team on this night. Philadelphia was far more ready to play than Baltimore, and it showed. For a week at least, the Eagles' Super Bowl dreams are very much alive.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland has the Eagles as one of his free agency winners:
The Eagles continued to buffer an already strong defensive front by signing utility lineman Anthony Hargrove away from the Saints. At 270 pounds, Hargrove might be a tweener in the Eagles' scheme — too big for defensive end, too small for defensive tackle — but the Eagles should be able to use him next to Cullen Jenkins as a situational pass-rusher on passing downs. He doesn't have the name recognition of guys like Anderson or Carter, but since he's still only 28, he's likely to be better than either of them in 2011. Even better was the decision to sign right tackle Ryan Harris, who was one of the league's best pass protectors on the right side in 2008 and 2009 before going through assorted injury issues. If he's healthy, Harris would be a huge upgrade in protecting Michael Vick's blind side.
Judy Battista of The New York Times yesterday wrote about the Eagles' offseason moves:
Last year, the Eagles captivated fans with young, explosive offensive talent. Now they have injected some of the best veteran defensive help available. Banner cringed at the suggestion that the Eagles’ mind-set might best be described as "all in."
" 'All in' to me implies a short window, and that’s the only thing I object to," Banner said in a recent interview. "Because we are going to do everything we can to win the Super Bowl, that’s accurate. But all in implies right now, bust if it doesn’t happen. We have structured this so it will be sustainable, and that’s a big difference between what we’ve done and what we’ve seen others do."
Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought Banner was the one who used the term "all in" in the first place?
This is a two-tiered drag net that can force bad throws with pressure, either self generated or caused by supreme coverage. The Eagles allowed 31 passing touchdowns, among the highest in the NFL last season. Unless injuries ransack the frontline talent, that total should decrease -- as was the goal in pilfering so much talent from around the league.
Then there is the potential downside. Talent doesn't always fit scheme. We've seen time and time again where a player excelled in one system and couldn't get out of his way when he changed. This is where Castillo has to be brilliant. All this talent could end up being like five all-star point guards who are fabulous with the ball in their hands but miscast when they have to be set up to score.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports already saw the Nnamdi Asomugha effect on Thursday night:
Just unreal. The bargain in signing Asomugha is that you're basically getting 1 ½ players — you can stack your safeties in different ways and keep that third linebacker on the field or move your nickel DB around to other places. I also saw the Eagles move Nnamdi into more of a center field look on one play, which should give quarterbacks even more nightmare fuel.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com has the Eagles' offensive line ranked as the eighth-best in the NFL:
The Eagles have discarded continuity in favor of talent and scheme change. New position coach Howard Mudd wants long, lean, athletic linemen, and at least four of the above fit the bill. Jackson is on notice after missing 16 games over the past two seasons, being pushed hard by fast-moving rookie Jason Kelce. As for other four, Peters is back playing at an elite level and Herremans is over his foot problems. Harris certainly possesses starting-caliber talent, and Watkins was the most pro-ready lineman in the draft. Experienced depth is not a concern with G/C Mike McGlynn, OTs Winston Justice and King Dunlap, and new OG Evan Mathis combining for 71 career starts.
And finally, I Tweeted the above picture out this morning and asked for captions. Below is what you came up with. Feel free to add more in the comments here.
@jmbostick: "Let's try again Howie. I need THIS many zeros at the end"
@a_cannarsa: Howie to DeSean, "So... Thoughts on the Jay Z/Kanye album?"
@Jason_Ashworth: "my issue is that even I'm bigger than you..."
@ Schoenied: you want HOW much?
@ejlonger: now that you're slimy agent isn't here, let's talk!
@Hammer859: what kind of year are you going to have? I picked you first on my fantasy team.
@iam_THATDUDE: I assume uve recvd thousands of 'show me the money' tweets
@GlennRiley: $oooo how much are we looking at?
@TDPhiladelphian: Drew txt me this number... Ummm, hmmmm, well....
@rjohnson02: Yo Howie, can I borrow $5. I'm broke.