Welcome to Other View, a perspective from members of the media, celebrity Eagles fans and Eagles alumni on the state of the 2014 Eagles that runs here weekly during the season. Today: former Eagles wide receiver Mike Quick, now the analyst on the Eagles Radio Network's game broadcasts (94WIP in Philadelphia) ...
The Eagles have put themselves in a very good position with five wins in their first six games. There are a lot of positives, and one of the biggest is that there is still room for coaching. The Eagles, even with the impressive win over the Giants on Sunday night, still haven't played their best football.
Every area of this team has the ability to produce more and the coaches and players know it. Even special teams, which has been extraordinary, has left yards and big plays on the field. The upside is really exciting.
As the Eagles go into the bye week, they know the defense is getting better and better, as evidenced by the shutout pitched against the Giants. I think guys are really becoming more comfortable in their roles in the scheme and they are executing those assignments. I wouldn't label Sunday as a game that meant the defense "turned the corner," but I see the defense making great strides, gaining confidence and coming back from the bye week feeling like it's heading in the right direction.
Offensively, it has been an up-and-down ride. They've played very well at times and have spread the ball around and scored some points, but they've also seen when they have reviewed their game film that they have made a lot of mistakes and left points on the field. Probably a lot of points. As a coach, you want your players to know that they have room to grow and to benefit from instruction and coaching and hard work. Nobody should feel the least bit complacent on this team at 5-1.
If the Eagles were undefeated and heading into their bye week, or even at 5-1, and they felt they played their best football in each game, I might feel differently. I might feel that the players would think that they have all the answers and that they don't need the coaching. This team doesn't feel that way, because even though they're 5-1, they know they're a long ways away from playing their best football as a team.
That the Eagles have reached 5-1 without some of their key players who have Pro Bowl ability, players like linebacker Mychal Kendricks and offensive linemen Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis, is impressive. The team has developed some depth, and they're soon going to have those players back on the field. Going down the stretch, the Eagles are going to need their entire roster, and they've gotten contributions from everybody.
This has been a fun ride and it's not going to stop any time soon. The Eagles have a challenging schedule and more national exposure and they are going to be tested. The NFC East is far better than everyone thought it would be, and it's right there with the AFC West for the best division in the NFL. Dallas has always been talented and now the Cowboys are winning games and playing smart football. They are putting it all together. New York is still going to be in the mix, despite being dismantled by the Eagles on Sunday night. I'm calling it a three-team race, with the Eagles and the Cowboys a cut above, but I'm not counting the Giants out quite yet.