At 4 p.m. today the NFL trade deadline comes and goes, and there may be a ripple or two around the league. Will the Eagles make a move? I don't know, but I haven't heard any rumblings and it would be surprising to see the team make a deal right now.
General manager Howie Roseman said on his radio show on Monday on Sportsradio 94WIP that making a deal for a player midway through the season is difficult. It's hard to plug a player into a new scheme and expect him to learn the language and the demands of a new coaching staff and make an impact in such a short period of time.
Many of the players rumored to be on the trading block around the league are slated to become unrestricted free agents after the season, so is it worth dealing a draft pick to rent a player for eight weeks and then potentially losing that player after the season?
Maybe it happens, but I would be surprised. I see the Eagles holding on to their draft picks, continuing their development of the young roster and assessing the big picture once the 2013 campaign is complete.
- Who plays quarterback against the Raiders? It's probably too early to know for sure, but Matt Barkley is going to get a lot of reps this week to get him ready. Nick Foles has a chance as well as he returns to practice today and ramps up in earnest early in the week and get his legs under him and shake out the cobwebs from the concussion suffered against Dallas. Michael Vick? I don't expect him to play. That hamstring needs to be 100 percent healthy before Vick steps back on the practice field.
- The NFC East is wide open, folks. It's hard to believe that at 3-5 the Eagles still have a shot, but Dallas melted down at Detroit and fell to 4-4, and now may not have offensive guard Brian Waters for the rest of the season. The outstanding veteran interior lineman has an assortment of injuries and Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said on Tuesday that he thinks Waters is done for the season. That would be a huge loss.
- A threesome of veterans added during the free-agency period have really aided the much-improved Eagles defense. Cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, along with linebacker Connor Barwin, have played outstanding football this season. Williams and Fletcher are physical, big-bodied corners who have challenged receivers every week. Barwin has been around the football a lot and is such a solid, complete player who can rush the quarterback, play well in coverage, help against the run and get to the right spot in every situation.
- When the Eagles selected Zach Ertz in the second round of April's draft, many believed the Eagles would liberally employ two or three tight ends in the offense and that the passing game would mimic what New England has done with its tight ends: Move them around, use them in space, and create favorable matchups. Brent Celek (14), Ertz (14) and James Casey (2) have a combined 30 receptions through eight games. Celek has been outstanding in the blocking game, Ertz has made nice strides in his rookie season and Casey, in limited time, continues to work hard and wait for his time to stand out.
- The offensive line will be tested by Oakland's pressure defense that plays very hard and is aggressive. Oakland allows just 89.9 yards on the ground per game and has been fairly stingy in the points allowed department. For the Eagles to get something going, they need to establish the line of scrimmage against a tough group that could have some help on the way in the form of injured players getting healthy this week.