In some glorious, miraculous turn of events, there is a full Sunday slate of NFL football action this week.
It’s funny how the lead up to this season has been compared to the last three years of Chip Kelly. The spring and summer dragged and I read about every bit of Eagles information I could find time for. With wildly and laughably outlandish expectations predicted, the regular season took forever to get here.
Now, this season, it’s opening day and I was hardly anticipating it. Yes, it’s probably because the Eagles aren’t going to be very good and the Doug Pederson hire leaves a little or a lot to be desired depending on how you view it. But still, it’s unusual for a season to sneak up on you.
Despite a frenetic offseason that saw Howie Roseman discard just about every player Chip Kelly acquired during his three-year tenure
Then the Bradford trade happened and Carson Wentz was named the starter with about a quarter of NFL preseason experience to his name. That sure piqued my interest.
**Credit to Roseman here. I’m not sure he’s a good GM, but the fact is he was able to shed dead salary, acquire a potential franchise quarterback in Carson Went, and somehow get a first for Sam Bradford to lessen the blow of the cost to acquire Wentz. That’s pretty good no matter how you look at it. I’m sure Sam Hinkie would be proud.
The early reviews on Wentz are positive. A bit too positive. Remember how Chip Kelly was praised before he coached a game and after he led the team to the playoffs in his first year? Yeah, I do. Wentz only started two years at North Dakota State!
Now I like Wentz, don’t get me wrong, and I hope upon hope that he is the Eagles long-term QB for the next decade plus. This team hasn’t won’t a playoff game since the 2008 season, which was near the end of McNabb’s tenure. It’s no surprise, considering the revolving door at QB the team has dealt with in that time (Kolb, Vick, Bradford etc).
Ready or not, Wentz is the season and the main reason I’m really excited for the 2016 campaign. Nothing else will matter nearly as much this year, not Pederson’s coaching, Nelson Agohlar’s development, or the Eagles revamped defense under Jim Schwartz.
The Eagles are making the right decision starting Wentz over Daniel. It’s probably going to be ugly at times, but he has the knowledge and upside to learn from his mistakes and grow. Daniel is what he is. A career backup with almost no starting quarterback skills. If this is the Reid era all over again, I’m glad we’re skipping the part where the lame duck QB goes out there and gets crushed for no reason. Play this kid and see what happens.
I’m excited the Birds are back; nothing else matters when they’re on the TV on Sundays, Mondays or Thursdays. But truthfully I’m woefully unprepared for the season. The opening day game against the Browns is going to be a learning experience. Here are some questions I have as I wait for 1 p.m.:
Will Peterson truly be Reid-like in pass happy play calls and inefficient timeout usage? Or will he prove to be a bit wiser than his mentor?
Is Jim Schwartz Perderson’s Jim Johnson? Or does the defense have too many holes to fill?
Will Marcus Smith finally flash?
Can 7-9 win the NFC East?
Why is Lane Johnson not suspended yet?
Can Ryan Mathews play three straight games without getting hurt?
Ultimately this is a rebuilding year for the Eagles. People will call it what they want, but Im choosing rebuilding. For the record, 6-10 is probably about right, but I’ll be optimistic and say 7-9.