I’ve spent a little bit of time listening to people debating what the Eagles should do during the off-season. Quarterback, defense, Brian Westbrook. There are a lot of questions. While listening I heard someone make the point that the Eagles organization needs some dissenting voices. Obviously, they need a common goal, to win a Super Bowl, but how about some fresh ideas about how to get that job done? I liked the idea, because the more you watch the Eagles, the more you realize they do every the same. I think Joe Banner could write a computer program for being the Eagles GM at this point, and just set it on auto-pilot.
The Eagles run their organization with the efficiency of a poker playing bot. All the calculations have been done. The information plugged into a database, and the decision pops out for them. A player is this old, plays this position, makes this much money…what should we do? The numbers will tell you, and the Eagles always seem to play it by the numbers. It’s a good approach in a number of areas. It keeps your salary cap number in check, and it also appears the Eagles have perfected the formula enough to assure some level of success. If we do the following….we won’t go 5-11.
They’re not the only team that does it, and football is not the only sport where it occurs. We have all been made keenly aware of Moneyball. Baseball scouts carry laptops now instead of stopwatches. Does Moneyball work? Sometimes. To a certain extent it does. The point isn’t that the ideas don’t have merit. The effective management of the salary cap, the ability to know when a player is past their prime, it all helps. But, sometimes there are exceptions to be made, or risks to be taken. A poker bot might give you the best chance of cashing in a tournament, but if you want to win the whole thing, you might have to override its decisions every once in a while.
And, this is where the Eagles seem to be lacking. In the guts department. The killer instinct department. I’d just like to think there are people in charge of the organization that can judge whether or not a guy can play. In their grand scheme of things, Kevin Kolb should be ready to go. So, play him. Or, someone man up, and admit Kolb isn’t the answer. Trade him away, and admit he’s not Don’s replacement. Maybe they are unsure about Kolb. Well, don’t look at it like Donovan gives you the best chance to go 10-6. If you can trade Donovan for help, give Kolb a chance. If he plays well, maybe it’s 12-4 team, maybe you have a shot at something real. If he can’t play a lick, maybe you go 7-9, but who cares? At least they would have taken a shot.