1. Jim Johnson Passes Away
This is a terrible tragedy. Jim Johnson was an incredibly important part of this organization and you know that when Andy Reid placed Sean McDermermott as the official Eagle's Defensive Coordinator things were bad. First off I want to send out my condolences to everyone who was affected by Jim Johnson's death. We all miss him greatly.
What does this mean for the Eagles on the field though?
I think it does some good things and some terrible things.
The terrible thing is obviously that Jim Johnson will never again call a blitz. While we may not feel that right away, his ability to find the wrinkles in an offense and expose them through complex blitz packages kept this defense in top 5 shape for the past decade.
It also gives players a drive. It gives them something to fight for. They all loved Jim Johnson and respected him like no other man in that locker room. They'll want to do it for Jim. You cannot replace that motivation with any contract incentive.
2. Flight Night, or more like Injury Night.
So Ellis Hobbs apparently only has a stinger, and that should be resolved in the next day or so. Stewart Bradley on the other hand is a much bigger issue. According to the reports he tore his ACL. This means he is almost guaranteed to be out of the season. Bradley is the player who wore the communication helmet and called out the plays. He also seemed to be tapped to be the heart and soul of this defense now that Dawkins is gone. Who will replace his position? At this point it looks like it will be either Omar Gaither or Joe Mays. Gaither played MIKE throughout 2007 and led the team in tackles that year. Joe Mays played well in preseason last year and has potential. Another question is who will step up and replace him as the emotional leader on the defense? Asante Samuel? Sheldon Brown? The options are limited but someone needs to step up soon.
3. Juquae Parker.
I'm just going to refer to this. What the two of them did was very stupid and if it impacts the team at all I will be very dissapointed.
These guys went to college, right? Don't they know how to block the bottom of the door with a towel, turn on the lava lamp, and chillax in private?
4. Jeremy Maclin
I am gladded that he is FINALLY signed to a contract but it took way too long. A Rookie coming out of a spread offense needs all the time he can get.
5. DeSean Jackson
I can't report anything myself so I will just refer to this.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb talked Wednesday about how Jackson's desire to be one of the league's best propels the skinny little wideout, who seems to relish facing off 1-on-1 with Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel. Samuel and Jackson jaw at one another constantly, taunting and baiting.
If DeSean can really blossom this year it will help McNabb a lot. I don't need to explain how that will work.
6. Brian Westbrook may be back!?!?!?!?!
Early reports from the Eagle's said that Westbrook MAY be back by preseason and most analysts said that there was no way that was happening. Well apparently Westbrook was running drills very well on the side. If Westbrook can slowly get his way back into the rotation I think that will only help LeSean McCoy. I know the Eagle's won't work him too hard, but McCoy has an opportunity to learn directly from the best in the business. It can only make the team better when Westbrook is on the field doing his thing.
"Yeah, (we are) just trying to get him involved with some football drills,'' Reid said. "Rick has done a handful of conditioning and rehab drills with him. We brought a quarterback over to throw him the ball, throw him some routes just to see how he's cutting. I needed to get a little feel on it, just see where he's at.''
So on a happier note... I still like the way this season looks.
We had some minor to major bumps in the road but I still like our chances. We just need to resolve a few key issues succesfully and we're on our way.