Philadelphia Eagles News

Just Wondering On A Slow News Day

I spend too much of my day wondering, and waiting and thinking about what is to come. There is a television show that used to air, Dream On, about a man who spent his whole life in front of a TV and then daydreams scenes from the shows he used to watch. I'm like that now. I dream of big plays and touchdowns and wins and, yes, a Super Bowl. Today, though, I'm wondering ...

  • How are the Eagles going to treat the tight end situation? They had to be impressed with Brent Celek down the stretch. He caught 19 passes in the playoffs, scored 3 touchdowns and delivered big plays to a position that needed them. Celek showed great hands, toughness after the catch. He grew up a lot in those situations. Now he has an off-season in front of him to get stronger and work on his speed and agility. He has a chance to be an outstanding tight end. And at the same time, I wonder if Celek is enough at the position. I wonder if the Eagles will go into free agency and the draft aiming at adding another tight end, someone who can make a difference and help solve the red-zone woes.
  • What are the Eagles going to do with their offensive line? Do you understand the security blanket we have enjoyed in the last decade with Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan at the tackle positions? I have been here long enough to remember the weekly cover-your-eyes feeling when the Eagles trotted out one draft mistake (Matt Darwin, Bernard Williams, Barrett Brooks, Antone Davis) after another at the tackle spots, and I remember trying to patch up the line with veterans who couldn't get it done any longer (Ron Heller, Ron Solt, Broderick Thompson). Those were nightmare offensive lines. We've had it good with Thomas and Runyan. Maybe they return in 2009. Maybe they don't. The security I feel now is that the Eagles have the best offensive line coach I've ever seen here in Juan Castillo, and for the Eagles to allow one sack every 27.3 pass plays in 2008, the best ratio in team history, was remarkable.
  • What, exactly, is the value of the Pro Bowl? Asante Samuel, in case you missed it, won't play in the game, so Brian Dawkins is the team's lone representative on the field. This is the final year for the game in Honolulu before it moves to Miami next year. The game in 2010 will be played in the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. And I'm not just salty because I'll be here scraping ice and snow off my jalopy, either.
  • Here is something I *really *wonder: Have you enjoyed Joe Banner's media tour as much as I have enjoyed it? I think Banner has been outstanding answering every question and being very candid and open. Check out his interview with 610 WIP and let me know if you agree.
  • There are definitely going to be some changes to the roster in the months ahead, and the team is continuing to morph into another personality. Who emerges as the young leaders on this team? On offense, you can point to players like Celek and DeSean Jackson. Certainly, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook dominate on that side of the ball. On defense, Stewart Bradley, Quintin Mikell and even Samuel will probably have to assume larger leadership roles in 2009.
  • Who would be your most improved player on offense in 2008? Beyond players like Jason Avant and Hank Baskett, I might vote for Todd Herremans. He entered the spring in what we all thought was a battle for the starting left guard job with Max Jean-Gilles. Herremans ended the season as maybe the lineman who graded out the highest for the season. Nick Cole would be right there, too. I wonder, and here I go again, if he is factoring into the starting plans for this offensive line.
  • As the Eagles go through their scenarios for free agency and the draft, how much -- I wonder -- do they count on Shawn Andrews? How much can the team count on him? Having him back, all the way and in every way, boy, that would be huge. But ...
  • This is something I wonder about every day: Who else emerges along the defensive line? I really like this group, and I'm a huge Victor Abiamiri fan, and I wonder if that young nucleus steps up enough to dominate every week in the regular season and, yeah, in the big-stage games in the playoffs.
  • It is late in the evening on Wednesday and I wonder if/where/why I'm going to watch the Super Bowl. I honestly don't care who wins, and I don't care about the game one bit. Yeah, I'm salty. I love the NFL, so I suppose I'll watch. Maybe.
  • Good food for the "wonder" train: Which of the players who spent all or part of 2008 on the Injured Reserve/Non-Football Injury lists will make an impact this season? Those players: OT King Dunlap, OL Mike Gibson, OL Max Jean-Gilles, OL Mike McGlynn, CB Jack Ikegwuonu. Any of them? One of them? Some of them?
  • Hey, do you all recognize the tremendous job the team's athletic training staff did keeping the Eagles as healthy as they were in 2008? Rick Burkholder and his staff deserve a lot of credit. Here is a toast and a prayer that the Eagles are as healthy in 2009 ...
  • Yeah, I'm wondering about the offensive skill positions, just like you are wondering. A new receiver in town? If it helps the team, I'm all for it. I don't know what the Eagles are thinking, but I know they are open to just about anything to have the best team possible next season. I will, however, say that DeSean Jackson should handle his business in the off-season the right way, as a pro, and then expect huge things starting in September.
  • And, finally, I wonder how long I can go before I simply burst from the lack of activity here. I am counting down the hours until 12:01 a.m. February 27 ...
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