South Philly: With the NFL preseason quietly starting to ramp up all around the NFL, I’ll give my reasons (and hopes) why I think our Philadelphia Eagles are better suited for this type of preseason than most.
It starts at the top: With Dougie P at the helm I am confident in his leadership and frankly his clear advantage of Not being a “new guy” in the building. Doug has a 4 year comfort lead on his competing NFC east coaches. A familiarity with Jeff Laurie and the rest of the front office is a day to day nuance that connot be measured or discounted.
A quick look at the rest of the NFC east shows a set of good coaches in their own right, but rookies none the less with their new teams.
The distraction factor: Beside Doug’s Covid diagnosis (that he handled like a champ) our Eagles should seemingly be distraction free. Doug was able to have his assistants take over for the short absence and the team did not miss a beat. I’m not talking about position battles or player deficiency issues here, talking bout the non football distractions.
Dallas Cowboys: Arguably the most talented team in the east, but we are talking about distractions, not the game. (insert AI imitation) Dallas as usual is chock full of distractions from the owner thru the punter. Mike McCarthy takes over a team during a pandemic, a team that seems to have the biggest bank account yet “Gator arms” when it comes to paying its quarterback. Dak has agreed to his tag, but his agent & Jerry Jones could not come to a long term deal after months of back & forth. I can’t help but think this will be an issue later. #2 Drafting a stud WR in Cee dee Lamb is a great thing that will eat away at Michael Gallup’s confidence and his catches, add that to distractions. For the Cowboys and McCarthy specifically it will be hard to implement his new offense during a pandemic with Dak (you can’t feel style thru zoom), drafting a solid #2 WR who has semmingly already counted out the previously seated #2 before a snap has been taken. This team reminds me of the 90s raiders teams that had a ton of talent & ability but no humility and that will lead to more distractions.
Washington Football team: This is still hard to get used to. “Riverboat” Ron Rivera has taken over a team with arguably the worst front office in the east and maybe all of football. Daniel Snyder makes us all wish for the ghost of AL Davis to return. It literally starts with the name, for years the argument to rename the Redskins to something less offensive or new seems to have come to a head,like the head of a giant whitehead zit that will explode all over the mirror and distract the Washington football team like a senior on prom night. The hits haven’t stopped there, the Washington football team has had sexual misconduct, as well as hostile work environment for women stories that have leaked recently as well. Again this is the owner who can’t seem or want to figure out a name, good luck with this polarizing and important issue. The one thing that won’t be a distraction for Rivera is his defense, my early prediction is they will have the best front 4 on defense in the NFL this year. (sorry Cox & Crew)
New York Giants: Joe Judge like the other NFC east “newbie” coaches tries his take over during a pandemic. Judge who is a local guy (Lansdale Catholic) has the steepest hill to climb. He is the youngest, which could show how well he can adapt to being “the guy” who all of a team’s issues, schedule, scheme, etc.. Fall under. His distractions will start with players being flat out dumb and making horrible decisions off the field. First his kicker, yes the kicker. Aldrick Rosas decided that in his version of bad decisions day, he tried for a trifecta and came up lame. Rosas (allegedly) drove drunk on a California highway in June (bad decision #1) he then had a car accident which usually seems to follow, but his fleeing the scene blooded & shoeless was bad decision #2. It didn’t get any better from there. Add to that in May a young part of the Giants secondary in DeAndre Baker went to a cook out, where a card game broke out, that led to guns being pulled out. Try implementing a new offensive or defensive scheme during a pandemic while playing defense attorney for your kicker and CB. Good luck Joe, you’re going to need it.
So, in closing all teams have distractions every year and every team will have to deal with the pandemic as well. I think that with experience, familiarity and a mature roster of vets it gives our Eagles a clear advantage going thru the “Pandemic” Preseason.