Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp 2008

My football juices are flowing once again, which means NFL training camp is upon us. We’re a little more than 6 weeks away from Kickoff 2008, so I’m going to fast forward through training camp and give you my view of the Eagles 2008 position by position, presuming everyone makes it out healthy.

Today we start with the quarterbacks.

Starter: Donovan McNabb

Many NFL insiders and fans alike have deemed this season Donovan McNabb’s swan song in Philadelphia.

In ten seasons, Number 5 has led the Eagles to four consecutive Conference Championship games and a Super Bowl berth, all while becoming the franchise’s greatest signalcaller along the way. Living in Philadelphia amongst the so-called “knowledgable” football fan you realize that theIr glass is always half empty. Yes, this is a fanbase scorned from decades of disappointments, but from his first day in “The City That Loves You Back”, McNabb has displayed a winning attitude while getting W’s on Sundays. In the process he has taken unwarranted shots from fans, media, former teammates even public officials. If he performed great, it was never good enough, there was always someone saying,  “He could’ve done this better.” And if things went south, look out for the overkill. If Donovan threw two picks and three touchdowns in an Eagles victory, you would think that he threw three picks in a loss. When did signing a $115 million contract make someone a “Company Man” or “Not Black enough”

It’s always been black or white with McNabb – figuratively and literally.

Listening to McNabb in past years we’ve sensed his hurt, anger and confidence. This year McNabb has come in with a determination that he will dictate how his career in Philadelphia ends. He has made it clear that he doesn’t plan on handing the reigns over to Kevin Kolb next season or the season after that. I don’t beleve Coach Andy Reid is ready to close out the Donovan McNabb era just yet either.

You have to understand that unless Reid wins a Super Bowl with another quarterback, Donovan McNabb will be the defining player in his tenure as coach. McNabb was the first player he drafted and been to hell and back with, all things considered, he’s won with Number 5 under center and in a wide open NFC, getting back to the Super Bowl is not that far-fetched. McNabb is still in the top tier of quarterbacks when healthy, and with weapons at his disposal. I believe if Reid had his way, a healthy McNabb would be here until they close the deal. 

The reality is McNabb’s return in 2009 is up to team owner Jeff Lurie.

2nd String: Kevin Kolb

Don’t read too much into Kevin Kolb being elevated to 2nd string this offseason, if anything the move by Andy Reid makes sense.

“I’ve seen improvement [in Kolb], and right now he has a seasoned veteran ahead of him and behind him,” Reid said. “He has a lot of knowledge there to draw from and learn from. He’s competing right now. That No. 2 spot allows him to get a few more reps than what A.J. might get in the third spot.”

I don’t see Kolb taking over for McNabb (God Forbid) in a one or two game situation, If Kolb is going to be looked at it’s going to be with the intention of him being the starter from that point on – however that happens. Then and only then will we know if he is ready to assume the starting job. Even as the chatter of him possibly succeeding McNabb next season gets louder, Kolb remains focused on his role as a backup.

“My ultimate goal is to have a very successful career as a starter. Right now, I’m just trying to compete every day so whenever the opportunity comes, I’m in good enough physical shape and mental shape to step in as a starter and make plays.”

For now all Kolb can do is stay focused and prepared.

3rd String A.J. Feeley

For a guy that’s been at both ends of the quarterback spectrum A.J. Feeley has been a pro’s pro. Despite filling in for McNabb during his two tour of duty in Philadelphia he has said and done all the right things and realizes his role on the team. He’s made the most out of his situation here and for that he deserves some props.

Now Feeley is penciled in at #3 on the depth chart behind Kolb and McNabb, despite his status Feeley maintains the confidence of a starter. 

“I just get the feeling we’re practicing and playing. It’s kind of beyond the whole numbers game for me. I think they know upstairs what I’m capable of doing.”

Feeley’s 8 interceptions in three games last season raised flags with the coaching staff as McNabb threw only 7 in fourteen games. Hence the demotion?

“Essentially you want to play, and you want to help the team in whatever capacity that is,” Feeley said. “It’s not that I don’t have ambitions to be a starter again and play all the time. That is what I want to do. But I don’t get caught up in that stuff. . . .

 Let’s hope that “stuff” doesn’t become an issue.

 

23 Responses to “Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp 2008”

  1. Temple3 says:

    My team plays at the other end of the state. The league is better when the Eagles are up — it’s make the Glamour Division more glamorous. It’s all about ’5.’ If he’s healthy and has weapons (just as you’ve said), the sky is the limit. This is such a simple equation, it makes you wonder why the Eagles wasted so much time, ink and effort on doing anything other than putting McNabb with an elite receiving corps.

    In one of the great paradoxes of this era, when the league was blessed with an unprecedented number of large, fast, agile and gifted wide receivers, Donovan McNabb (the alleged cornerstone of the franchise) has played with precisely 1 elite wide receiver.

    None of McNabb’s peers have been so beset by management. Carson Palmer has been blessed. So too have Peyton Manning and Brees and Culpepper and many others. Prior to last season, Tom Brady could have made some noise in this area as well, but he was never the biggest piece of the Patriots Super Bowl puzzle. It was always the defense, the special teams and Brady’s ability to get into field goal range for Adam Vinatieri. At precisely the time of his greatest offensive production, the Giants rose up out of the depths to make him look less than immortal.

    McNabb continues along…bitching and moaning here and there (arguably not nearly enough since he’s only been able to secure Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis – damn!!)…winning and losing fans who simply won’t demand of management what they demand of the players.

    Philadelphia is a mess. I’d like to see McNabb stay healthy, but more than that, I’d like to see him play one year with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin or even with the likes of Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey. It’s not going to happen – so it’ll be more dink and dunk with “36″ and LJ — and hoping the Lions magically re-appear on the Eagles schedule 16 times so that Kevin Curtis can show up.

  2. Mizzo says:

    Temple well said my brotha. You’ve stated what has been the obvious in Philly since 2001. I’ll never understand why.

  3. Inkognegro says:

    So, Are the Eagles the Official Football Team of TSF?

    I ain’t hatin, I’m just saying…if you need a Steelers Correspondent, Holla @ ya boy.

    I have branded Kolb a Bust. The next quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles is not yet on the roster.

    At least for Eagles fans’ sake, he better not be.

  4. origin says:

    Well brotha Mizzo I will be brief you know how I get about the NFL and its treatment of Black QBs when it comes to getting them help.

    We all know that this is Mcnabbs last season unless he leads the team to the superbowl or conference championship. So look for Mcnabb to be with the Viking in 2009 or heck I wouldn’t be surprised if he got blackballed by the NFL like Brooks, Culpepper or Leftwhich after he is cut by the eagles next year.

  5. michelle says:

    Inkognegro,

    LOL! Not me I’m a Niners fan. I can say though that McNabb hasn’t been appreciated here in the Philly area.

  6. origin says:

    Inkognegro Kolb will be a bust and I will laugh my butt off at the ignorant eagle fans who wanted Mcnabb gone.

    I wouldn’t be surprised the next decent QB the eagles have is another brotha 10 years from now.

    Similar to the titans situation over the years. Fans couldn’t stand moon then they get Mcnair. Couldn’t stand Mcnair then they got Vince.

  7. Good way to kick off training camp! Now Brian Westbrook either needs to wake up from his dream or the Eagles need to pay him big money. What’s your guess?

  8. thebrotherreport says:

    They’ll meet somewhere in the middle but I believe BWest is still looking for somewhere between $15-20million in guaranteed money.

    You know how the Eagles feel about inking guys close to 30 and over.

    To Westbrook’s credit, he is now where Marshall Faulk was in 1999-2002 probably more dangerous because of his return skills.

    Unless they can do better, they’ve got to keep him happy.

  9. Diallo says:

    Mizzo what’s up with your boy saying the Eagles were the team to beat in the NFC East? I lived in Philly, OK Bensalem but still, the water never made me say anything THAT ridiculous. Get your boy. Get. Your. Boy.

  10. HarveyDent says:

    I really don’t have a feel yet for this team or its upcoming season because to me it can go either way. I wish the Eagles really had made a push for a true #1 like Boldin, which may still happen, or the Lions’ Roy Williams but if this is the offense they take into season then it should be able to move the chains. The real litmus test will be in the redzone where the team bogged down last season.

    I also don’t have a feel for McNabb’s place with this team other than starter this season. I’m still salty for that twelve sack debacle in the Meadowlands last year where it seemed like Reid left his one-legged QB out there to twist slowly in the wind which made me voice on this site and SOMM that McNabb would be gone which is why I made the second Giants game in Philly because I thought it would be the last significant Eagles game of his career. Glad I was proved wrong and it seems as if Reid is still yoked to McNabb but another subpar season which means a wildcard or just .500 again may rattle the aerie of the fans too much and Lurie will be forced to make Reid start the Kolb Era. I’m not wishing for Kolb to be a bust because I’m still more a fan of the team than any player but to see an exceptional leader shown the door when he is still six or seven years from the end of his career is plain stupid and, dare I say, RACIST because despite what my fellow Eagles fans will proclaim it still comes down to McNabb’s color more than anything else with those people. Think I’m mistaken then just go check the Eagles MB sometime.

    And for those who’ll say that he chokes, well, actually pukes in the big games, remember that every time he threw up in a game he threw a touchdown the next play.

    GO EAGLES GO!!!

  11. HarveyDent, The Eagles did make a push for a #1 receiver. They chased Randy Moss, Roy Williams, both the Arizona wide-outs. They just didn’t land the big fish.

    And while I agree with Temple3 for the most part, I don’t think he’s giving Tom Brady enough credit. That dude can play. He gets rid of the ball and he’s accurate. He’s got three rings, stays healthy and… have you noticed — never gets hit hard (like Manning). Now, I’m about as big a Pats hater as you’re going to run into, but I gotta give respect where respect is due.

    Consistent quarterback play is the hallmark of successful franchises. When you pair that with a solid defense you have a championship formula. Look at the most successful teams of the past decade. The Eagles have been at or near the top because of McNabb. The Colts and Pats because of Brady and Manning (and they won when their defenses stepped up — remember that remarkable run the Colts D made two seasons ago).

    Just watch what happens to the Giants this season. Eli is an okay QB who caught a wave and won a ring. The G-men, without Strahan, could easily end up a .500 team (as an Eagles fan, I cried tears of joy when he retired — the man was a complete pass rusher in the Bruce Smith, Reggie White mold).

  12. Miranda says:

    Origin,
    You know I’m secretary of the “Whoever’s playing the Falcons” Fan Club……..membership is free, and we’re growing rapidly.

    That being said, I’m pulling for the Redskins this year…just read where this is Jason Campbell’s 3rd offensive system to learn in 4 years…watch the backlash if he even remotely struggles.

  13. HarveyDent says:

    Point taken about the off-season pursuit of wideouts, BMI, but it chaps my butt that #5 has played all but one pro season with a top-flight WR which if it had been rectified early in his career would have led this team to a title. The D on this team is going to be tough this season but the offense needs to be scary good to really make an impact on the league.

    @Miranda, you think there are going to be any Falcons’ games on local ATL television this year? I don’t want any of the Falcs hurt this season but it wouldn’t kill me to see them post three wins again this season and muddle along with Ryan for about three more seasons. The ghost of Vick will be avenged.

  14. Miranda says:

    HarveyDent…LOL…no one wants to see anybody hurt….of course chances are that we couldn’t “see” that anyway since it doesn’t appear any games will be seen period by those of us living within 75 miles of the GA Dome. They’re giving away free gas cards, half the car dealerships are giving away season tickets if you buy a new ride, they can’t release single-game ticket sales yet because they still need to push the season tickets….hell, I hope every game is blacked out (and I mean that in every way imaginable).

  15. Temple3 says:

    BMI:

    I’m not a Brady hater. We both went to Michigan around the same time, though I’m older than he. I always thought he would be a very good NFL QB even though he was caught up in the wash with Drew Henson and Scott Dreisbach.

    With that said, Brady was not the critical player for the Patriots during their first three championships. The team, as constructed at the time, featured a dynamic defense of savvy vets with clearly defined roles, excellent special teams, and a just-good-enough offense.

    The Patriots didn’t blow anyone out until this year with their offense. The earlier manifestations of those teams were good enough to get blow outs off their defense. Brady is very good and he was the key last year – but he was less important in the earlier years. The comments I made aren’t about him as much as about the depth and structure of the team.

    Roethlisberger (not in Brady’s league, yet) was not a major factor in the Steelers most recent SB win — but I am certain if they return, he’ll be huge.

  16. Temple3 says:

    Miranda:

    The same thing happened to Kordell Stewart back in the day. Three or four different coordinators — the only time he had any continuity was under Gailey and he went to the Pro Bowl…then Gailey got a new gig (Dallas) and Kordell suffered under Kevin Gilbride — and the rest is history.

  17. Miranda says:

    T3,
    I think I read that Kordell had 7 OCs in 8 years or something ridiculous like that….amazing. How is anyone supposed to succeed under those conditions?

    However, when you own the goalposts, you can move them at will, which is what the msm seems to do quite a bit it seems with black QBs….just up and move the goalpost with nary a warning.

  18. Temple3 says:

    That’s about right Miranda – if you count his years at Colorado.

    It’s an interesting thing that would be an interesting area of study. I don’t know how significant it is. There are a great many factors to weigh as well. It seems to me, though, that a statistical model could be developed to control for coaching changes, quality of WR, etc. The goal would be to develop an Anticipated Performance Index vs. the Actual Performance Index — then you’d have to set up controls for certain factors in order to isolate for “race.”

    I believe that Daunte Culpepper was in an excellent situation in Minnesota. Until his injury and Moss’ flight to NE, the Vikings could have put up some serious numbers for another 8 or 9 years. Culpepper has one of the top 5 or 6 regular seasons of all-time – it just happened to be during a year when Peyton Manning was doing the same thing. Sometimes, it seems like many of these players are nothing more than a stiff breeze away from the unemployment line. The NFL is a tough, tough hustle and the players do not get enough credit for their grind.

  19. origin says:

    Great oints brotha temple on the pats and brady. Many people fail to realie that the pats team before last year was always balanced before they got moss. The offensive coordinator always put brady in good situations. Unlike Reid who will have mcnabb pass 70% of the time on a bad knee.

    Even before Brady had Moss his Wrs were still better then any Mcnabb had except TO. People forget how good troy brown was when he was young.

    Temple as far as my boy culpepper the reason he was surrounded with talent is because of one man. That man is Dennis Green he was one of the few coaches/GMs who made sure that his QB no matter what color was surrounded by good offensive weapons.

    The Moss trade was stupid in that Culpepper now had no running game or WR. Why would a oner and GM set their QB up for failure like that without a reliable replacement. But this is what happens to black QBs over and over again in teh good ole boy NFL.

    Sista Miranda I like you am rooting for Campbell as well as Jamarcus Russell. One reason is because unlike the rest of these owners who don’t believe in surrounding their black QBS with talent. Daniel Snyder and Al davis have made great attempts to put their QBs in position to succeed. Look at the 2nd round picks that the washington used to get Campbell some WRs. Look at the 1st round pick and signing of Walker to give Jamarcus some weapons. I mean really would this ever happen in Tennesse or Philly. He11 to the no.

    Also I have to root for Jamarcus because if he doesn’t succeed it will be 30 years before another black QB is drafted 1st. Alot of young folks coming up through college and highschool are depending on him as well as campbell and vince. Cause if these dudes don’t do well, you could see the same thing that happened this past draft. Where black QBs that performed well in college get drafted in the late rounds.

    Another thing on Kordell Stewart I remember one time that Beeno Cook was on sportscenter and they began talking about kordells time with the steelers. Then out of no where beeno started to cry and little and said that it was a hsame the racism that kordell took from the fans and the media. When every year he had to learn a new system and the coaches wouldn’t open up the game plan until they were behind. I was like d@mn someone at ESPN actually has heart. Boy I swear after that they didn’t bring Beeno back for awhile.

    Anyway Harveydent and Mizzo I bet you 5 internet dollars that when Kolb takes over the team they will make sure that they get him not just one big play WR, but also a power running back. And AReid and will call pass and run 50%/50%. Ain’t that how it always works.

  20. origin says:

    Oh and sista Miranda you see how they got Culpepper beging for a tryout. Yet cade Mcnown and Rex Grossman still in the league. Like I said I bet those dude are in the league for atleast 12 years.

  21. Mizzo says:

    O that’s real rap bruh…

  22. origin says:

    Wow sista Miranda. I am glad Aaron Brooks spoke the truth. I always felt that was one of the reasons that brooks was getting blackballed. I wonder why he doesn’t just play in the CFL. I know he could probably get a maybe 200K playing there.

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