The Philadelphia Eagles front office should get an award. A major award. Like a Nobel Prize-type award. Any front office that can shut up the cantankerous Philadelphia fan base deserves to be canonized. Eagle fans were ready to foam at the mouth this spring.
Their team had just gone to its fifth conference championship game in head coach Andy Reid’s decade-long tenure and, for the fifth time, come away without a Super Bowl ring.
For most fan bases, the sting of their team’s fourth conference championship defeat may have been ameliorated by the fact that the 9-6-1 Eagles had made an improbable run to even get as far as they did, and by the fact that the next door neighbor Phillies, three months before, had brought a World Series to the title-parched City of Brotherly Love. But these are Eagle fans we’re talking about. The most fervid, impatient and unreasonable bunch in sports.
Heading into this offseason, these fans were ready to bark. The personnel moves Philadelphia needed to make were obvious. Three beloved veterans were to become unrestricted free agents: safety Brian Dawkins, left tackle Tra Thomas and right tackle Jon Runyan.
Running back Brian Westbrook would be 30 in September and battling a degenerative knee and bad ankle. The star wide receiver that had been eluding this offense since the breakup with Terrell Owens had just shown up in the form of electrifying rookie DeSean Jackson, yet, for some reason, Philly fans were adamant that their club still needed to trade for a veteran like Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards.
Say this about Eagle fans: honorary as they are, they’re not completely ignorant. All of their concerns were shared by Andy Reid, GM Tom Heckert and team president Joe Banner. We know they were because before the fans could scream about their team’s problems, these men fixed them.