A quick check of some well-trafficked Eagles message boards reveals a sentiment we don't often see following the draft. If I'm reading these comments correctly, it appears, on the whole, that Birds fans are . . . happy.
Wondo40: "The Eagles are having a nice off-season. Fly Eagles Fly!"
Tek9: "Eagles front office should get plenty of credit for what they have done! We're quick to call them out, let's be quick to say they get the job done."
Whatadraft: "A+ in my book."
And my favorite:
Robx46: "Welcome Maclin, you seem like a good dude. Learn to hate the Cowgirls!"
Brilliant. Robx46 is destined to hold public office.
I had to check to make sure I wasn't surfing sites dedicated to the Patriots or some other fan base with a cheery default position. Nope. Those are Eagles fans, and they're largely thrilled by what the Birds have done. I am, too.
A lot of nonsense has gone down in the off-season. Brian Dawkins left. So did Tra Thomas and a bunch of others. The Eagles squared off with the city. Sheldon Brown demanded a trade. Donovan McNabb demanded weapons.
But from a football standpoint, it's hard not to like what the Eagles have accomplished. It's hard not to be excited about the free agents they signed, the trades they made, and the players they drafted.
The one thing McNabb and the fans have always agreed on is that the Birds needed to get their quarterback some help. A body to catch the ball. Another to carry it. A few more to block. The Eagles have addressed all that and more. I'm not sure if it's capitulation or mere coincidence (probably the latter), but it doesn't really matter.
Even better: they didn't trade out of the first round.
Regardless of what you think about Jason Peters, Ellis Hobbs, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and all the other new Eagles - whether you believe they'll succeed or fail miserably - you have to give the Birds credit for making moves and trying to improve the team. For once, they didn't stand still while everyone else was sprinting past them.
Naturally, there are still fans that don't like what the Eagles have done - people who weren't going to be happy unless Anquan Boldin and/or Knowshon Moreno found their way to Philly. If you're among them, put on some Rolling Stones. Relax. Heed their words:
You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.
Notes from the NFL Draft (Day 2 edition) . . .
When the Bears took San Jose State defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert in the third round, all the ESPN analysts cooed about his athleticism.
The Worldwide Leader in Sports showed a video of him squatting in the shallow end of a swimming pool. Suddenly, he jumped up out of the water and landed on the deck - without using his hands. It was mighty impressive. (You can see the video here: tinyurl.com/jarrongilbert)
If the NFL competition committee ever phases water aerobics into the game, that kid is going to be a killer.
The Cowboys started Day 2 with an absurd 12 picks. With their first selection in the third round, the 'Boys took Jason Williams, an outside linebacker from Western Illinois.
The reaction was priceless. "Who?" Trey Wingo asked. Mel Kiper had Williams as the 19th best linebacker in the draft. Scouts Inc. rated him even lower (24th). And Todd McShay didn't have Williams going until the seventh round.
I bet Cowboys fans were thrilled. Certainly made me smile.
Of all the awkward, hilarious, train-wreck interviews conducted over the weekend, the best featured ESPN's Erin Andrews, Texas wide receiver Quan Cosby, and comedian Bill Cosby (no relation). The three of them were sitting on a tiny two-person couch. Andrews was wedged in the middle and stuck with the impossible task of talking to the other two. Quan Cosby was on her right, but every time she asked him a question, his cell rang and he answered it. The calls weren't from NFL teams, but rather from Quan's friends. On the other end of the couch, Bill was wearing a Temple jersey - and a Temple helmet. His words were muffled by his face mask, which was probably for the best because nothing he said made any sense at all. It was all crazy gibberish.
This went on for about five painful, amusing minutes. It was like some bizarre, over-the-top Saturday Night Live skit - only funny.
I can't decide who has the cooler nickname - LeSean "Shady" McCoy or Victor "Macho" Harris. Since Macho reminds me of Macho Man Randy Savage, I'll go with the latter. . . . During the Eagles' Web site show yesterday, Harris told Merrill Reese and Dave Spadaro that his father gave him the nickname "Macho" when he was around 2 years old. "I was a very talented little boy," Macho said. I like him already. . . . You should have heard Merrill struggle to pronounce Fenuki Tupou, one of the Birds' fifth-round picks. The name just wouldn't come out correctly. Poor Merrill sounded like a dog eating peanut butter - he kept chewing on Tupou to no avail. After a while, Merrill was laughing so hard that he finally gave up.
"This happens every time I'm on the air for 27 straight hours," Merrill chuckled. "I crack."
Take a break, Merrill. You earned it.