Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie has heard all of the hyperbole surrounding the Eagles following the numerous acquisitions the team made in the last week. Lurie wants to make it clear that the Eagles are not a "dream team" or anything resembling one. In fact, Lurie believes that the team is as far from a dream team as one could get.
"We're playing catch-up. The only dream team I know about is the Green Bay Packers," Lurie said on Thursday at his annual State of the Team address. "We dream to become as good as the Green Bay Packers and hold that trophy. Going into last year, you could say the New Orleans Saints because those are the dream teams. They are the ones holding the Lombardi Trophy. We're consciously trying to play catch-up in an aggressive way."
The players who Lurie said personify what the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles are all about are Jason Avant and Mike Patterson, who remained at Lehigh Valley Hospital as of early Thursday afternoon after experiencing a seizure at Wednesday morning's practice. Both are tough, hard-nosed players who have a lunch-pail mentality. They do the dirty work and get very few accolades but have been extremely dependable players.
"I think they're the identity of the kind of team we have and we are," Lurie said. "Our style is focused on what's right in front of us, be humble. Be aggressive, but be humble. Be confident, but understand we're just trying to play catch-up. That's all we're doing."
The Eagles lost to the Packers in the wild card round of last year's playoffs. Lurie said he thought whoever won that game would represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Lurie admired how the Packers won the Super Bowl despite six starters being on injured reserve before the middle of the season.
"This is not an accurate assessment of Green Bay last year and they're holding the Lombardi Trophy," Lurie said. "I think they're the team we're all trying to catch. They're the team we dream about trying to surpass and so does the rest of the NFL."
The Packers are not the only team in the NFC that has Lurie's attention. In fact, Lurie scoffs at any notion that the Eagles are the proverbial favorites in the conference. In particular, Lurie pointed out the Falcons, Saints, Rams, Cowboys and the Giants in addition to the Packers.
"That's how I see it when I go to bed at night. I see it as an extremely competitive NFC. I'm sure there will be some surprise teams I didn't even mention, but that's the dose of reality," Lurie said.
With the moves to acquire two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha, a Pro Bowl defensive end in Jason Babin, a Pro Bowl quarterback in Vince Young and a Pro Bowl running back in Ronnie Brown among others, Lurie said that this team will be better than the one that won the division title in 2010. But will it be enough to win the Super Bowl?
"You try to set yourself up as best as possible," Lurie said. "You have to try to maximize talent but at the same time maximize depth, and that doesn't go hand-in-hand because if you're maximizing front-line talent, you're minimizing back-line talent, so you have to try to do a mixture."
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