Philadelphia Eagles News

Random Thoughts And Things I Think ...

Done deal. Chicago acquires its quarterback for now and the future in Jay Cutler, and pays an enormous price of two first-round draft picks, a third-round draft pick and reserve quarterback Kyle Orton in exchange for Cutler and a fifth-round draft pick. So ... who wins? Who loses? What does it mean for the Eagles?

I'll offer my two cents: Denver is planning for the long haul, which makes its off-season approach of signing so many veteran free agents extremely questionable. Losing Cutler, having star receiver Brandon Marshall undergoing hip surgery that will keep him out until training camp and introducing a new head coach in Josh McDaniels means the Broncos have a ton of change and very little time to get everything right.

I hope the Eagles get a look at Denver early in the season, and I wonder what Brian Dawkins and Correll Buckhalter are thinking. I really do. They left a stable situation in Philadelphia. There was/is always something to talk about with the Eagles, but it has always been minor compared to the bombshell of the Cutler deal. Should the Broncos handle the draft well, they could benefit from the trade. It is all about the draft with Denver, which has four first-round picks in the next two Aprils.

From a short-term perspective, I can't imagine Denver being a playoff contender with no front-line quarterback, a defense that has a huge amount of changes and the new coach and all of the chaos of the off-season combining forces.

From a long-term perspective, who knows? The Broncos could very well change the picture in the draft and take a quarterback like Matt Sanchez or Josh Freeman and that would allow another player to reach 21 and give the Eagles more good options.

On the Chicago side, the Bears finally landed a quarterback around whom they can build. I just wonder if Lovie Smith will be the head coach to bring that all to fruition. Cutler now has the enormous burden of playing with the heavy price tag and the "immature" label over his head. Chicago's offensive line isn't all that good, unless Orlando Pace finds the fountain of youth and second-year man Chris Williams bounces back from a disappointing rookie season.

Chicago does have some pieces in place. Matt Forte had a terrific rookie season. The defense is pretty good. But Chicago has no real receivers any team is scared of -- don't sell me on Devin Hester, please -- and the Bears haven't had a powerhouse offense in decades.

The trade happened quickly and definitely shakes the NFL earth. Fun stuff. Both teams are taking risks; both teams are making major investments. We'll see how it all works out ...

... In case you missed it, the Eagles open the preseason on Thursday, August 13 against New England at Lincoln Financial Field. For those of you who want to visit Lehigh University and training camp, those dates won't be officially announced until after the June camps. But if you use history as a guide, expect the Eagles to show up at Lehigh some time during that final week of July ...

... DeSean Jackson did an interview with PhiladelphiaEagles.com's Chris McPherson on Wednesday and revealed that his father is battling pancreatic cancer and has been ill since January. Say a prayer for DeSean and his family. Jackson showed a lot of maturity talking about the illness and is working hard to improve upon his rookie season ....

... I hear from fans and read around the Internet about the possibility of the Eagles drafting a player to challenge Jamaal Jackson at center, or that the Eagles will give Nick Cole a chance to beat out Jackson for the starting job. Maybe that happens. Maybe it doesn't. But whatever happens, give Jackson some credit. He was outstanding in pass protection in 2008 and is a good center in this league. I think he will be the starting center in 2009, but that opinion means absolutely nothing. I just think Jackson gets a bad rap in some circles ...

... Good luck to Donte' Stallworth, who has certainly put himself in an unfortunate situation. He was a class act as an Eagle ...

... Can I tell you that it really bothers me that a player, in this case Arizona's Anquan Boldin, would go on a radio show in Miami and talk about how much he would like to be a member of the Dolphins? Boldin is a great player and all of that, but what does anybody gain when he says things like that? What is going on with players these days? Do they understand that when they say something anywhere, the whole world hears? ...

... The Eagles' full-team off-season conditioning program begins on Monday. To this point, the program has included selected veterans and first-year Eagles only. It's going to be hopping at the NovaCare Complex the next few weeks leading into the draft ...

... Thanks to all of you who have given me some feedback on what you want from our draft coverage. We are on the same page, believe me. We have very, very ambitious plans for our draft coverage, which includes, as I see it, 24 hours of broadcast shows from Friday-Monday around the draft. Tune in starting Friday at noon. We'll have interviews with key Eagles players and personnel and, of course, more live video than you will find anywhere. And we're going to have special deals from our PhiladelphiaEagles.com merchandise store, so we are expecting a huge, huge weekend with you ...

... I do expect the Eagles to draft in the first round, by the way. And I can tell you are excited about the prospects by the way the fans gobbled up the free tickets and purchased the VIP tickets to the team's draft party at Lincoln Financial Field ....

... One of the areas that we haven't talked much about is special teams, at least how the draft could affect that group. If the Eagles plan on having both Jackson and Quintin Demps starting, I would certainly expect the Eagles to address the return game. In fact, it would surprise me not a bit to see the Eagles look for a wide receiver who can return kicks somewhere around the 3-5 rounds in the draft. Give me some names, people. I'm not a draftnik like many of you ...

.... We have discussed Nick Cole and his progress, but what about Max Jean-Gilles? He was starting at right guard and playing well in Shawn Andrews' absence until a nasty broken ankle suffered on Thanksgiving against Arizona. Jean-Gilles has to be a candidate for playing time this year, but he also has a lot of work to do trying to recover from that injury ...

... Want a long shot for training camp? Let's see how much improvement wide receiver Shaheer McBride makes now that he knows the system. McBride spent last year on the team's practice squad and shined at times in practice running the scout team. He is 6 feet 2, 205 pounds and he runs well. He may not be the breakthrough player of the year, but I sense that McBride will come to play in the spring and in the summer and that he will give the Eagles something to think about ...

... Chris Clemons recorded four quarterbacks sacks in the final nine games of 2008 and maybe, just maybe, started to hit his stride at defensive end. Boy, would it be a plus to see Clemons continue his rise on the left side of the defense this season.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising