The week ahead is to be frozen in place as locked-door negotiations take place between NFL Owners and the Players Association. No player transactions can take place. Those currently on the roster can continue to use the team's facilities and communicate with the team.
It is a sense of suspended animation, with hope that the construction of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is ahead. Had we been in business-as-usual times, free agency would be in high gear and we would have great debate on the validity of the Eagles' approach. Instead, of course, we have to wait. So it's a good time to kick around this and that and some random thoughts on the Eagles and what they are now, and what they could be in a matter of a couple of months ...
- LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson attended the Maxwell Football Club Awards on Friday and, boy, is he an impressive specimen. Good-looking kid who is a big-bodied cornerback with great speed and skill. He appears to be on track to be a top five draft pick. If, somehow, he slips past No. 10, I would certainly think the Eagles might have some interest in moving up, up, up.
- Were there* any* clues as to what the Eagles are thinking when they emerged from the Scouting Combine? I didn't catch any. The Mock Drafts suggest the Eagles will take an offensive lineman, a cornerback or maybe a defensive lineman on April 28. Sounds good to me. But if, somehow, there is free agency prior to the draft -- and a resolution by Friday to the CBA would mean free agency would come in a matter of a couple of weeks -- the Eagles can solve some of their needs in what should be a buyer's market.
- So, you wonder what Michael Vick has been doing with his time since the season ended? I can tell you he works out at the NovaCare Complex constantly and he is spending a lot of time watching film. He is superbly conditioned 12 months a year. You won't have to worry about him getting soft in these banquet-circuit days.
- I will be interested to see how the defensive linemen react to what Jim Washburn wants. He is looking for his linemen to get off the ball quickly and get up the field. So does that mean that Mike Patterson loses some pounds? He seemed to bulk up a bit these last couple of years as the coaches perhaps wanted him to do. Now we could see Patterson down to about 305 pounds and faster off the ball.
- Speaking of defensive tackle, why do I think Brodrick Bunkley is going to be report to the offseason program -- whenever it starts -- in the best shape of his life with a serious sense of purpose for the 2011 season?
- My three starting linebackers at this moment: Jamar Chaney at WILL, Stewart Bradley at MIKE and Moise Fokou at SAM. Of course, we will see how much the Eagles' tag of Bradley means -- is he going to be deemed an unrestricted free agent under the new rules? -- and we are going to see Rashad Jeanty push for playing time with Fokou.
- At this moment, my MIP -- Most Interesting Postion -- is safety. Actually, both safety positions. Nate Allen is making great progress in his rehab and he is expected to be ready for practice in the summer. I'm still a little bit wary of players coming back the next year to their pre-injury level, so we will test that theory with Allen (and Brandon Graham, among others). What about Quintin Mikell? His contract expires when the new CBA is finished. Will the Eagles sign him to a contract? He is a leader on and off the field and he is a fine player. But there have been very little rumblings about what might be with Mikell, which makes me wonder. I'd love to have him back.
- A wild thought: Would it make any sense to move Jason Peters to right tackle to protect Vick's blind side? He is, after all, a Pro Bowl tackle. Don't you want your Pro Bowl tackle keep Vick's backside clear? Or maybe you want him clearing space to Vick's left so that Vick can roll that way.
- I'm telling ya .. .the fifth receiver on this roster -- Chad Hall now -- has to play a huge part on special teams. Hall did it well last year. He already has competition with Sinorice Moss signed. Moss, in case you aren't up on his career, was a second-round draft pick by the Giants in 2005. He has talent. Whether he can come back from an injury-riddled career remains to be seen. I want a kickoff return man on this team in the worst way. Both Hall and Moss will get looks there.