Participation Counts for Little for the Eagles

What will Philadelphia management learn from 2016’s gaffes as the season draws to a close?

Let’s all stand and shout a resounding “Nice try!” to our Philadelphia Eagles, who have shown significant effort and want-to the last couple weeks. Nonetheless, performances have resulted in two near-misses and a continued plunge into the NFC dungeon.

A current 5-9 record guarantees the franchise’s first back-to-back losing seasons since 1998-99. Delighting the Cleveland Browns and their fans with each successive loss, the Eagles have two games remaining and nothing really left to play for, except to impress the people making decisions about the construction of next year’s team.   

Jeffrey Lurie

Speaking of Howie Roseman, this is it for him. If he has another rotten off-season, during which he showers cash on underperforming defensive ends and fills the cornerback ranks with sorry cases who play like they want opposing receivers to put up big fantasy numbers, he should be removed from his position and sent to the NFL employment line. He won’t be able to count on San Francisco’s hiring him, as Maximum Leader did when he was canned last year.

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When Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie re-upped Roseman before last season, Eagles fans should have descended on the NovaCare Complex like an angry mob. Putting Roseman back in charge of the personnel decisions was almost criminally negligent. Yet there was Roseman, running the operation during the off-season and setting the Eagles up for failure. Granted, once the decision was made to go with Carson Wentz as QB, any real hopes of contending in the NFC East evaporated, especially once Dallas, New York and Washington started playing good football.

It’s easy and fun to pick on Roseman, but the real culprit is The B-Movie Producer, who made the decision to hire Maximum Leader in the first place and then replaced him atop the personnel org chart with Roseman. The first move, done because Lurie was mesmerized with a coach who had never stood on an NFL sideline before and whose Oregon teams looked great while bum-rushing Washington State and Oregon State, set the franchise back considerably and necessitated a rebuild that Roseman can’t execute.

Given the team’s play the last few seasons, Lurie’s “Gold Standard” comment looks even more laughable, if it weren’t so damn sad for Eagles fans. In a town where winning a Super Bowl is viewed as the ultimate possible sporting goal – and perhaps even the most important civic accomplishment – Lurie has failed to deliver on the only goal that matters.

The good news for Lurie is that the franchise’s value has soared during his ownership, so it really doesn’t matter whether the Birds have won it all or not. He will still cash out eventually for billions. Meanwhile, his gaffes and mismanagement have provided fans with zero championships and put the team behind its more accomplished rivals.

As the 2016 season staggers mercifully to its close, the Eagles roster is devoid of playmakers, extremely weak at receiver and cornerback and in need of upgrades at every position group except quarterback. Despite the improved effort in the last two games, the Eagles were unable to win, a condition that demonstrates their lack of talent and understanding of how to succeed. That’s something that haunted the Eagles in Detroit, Dallas and New York.

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It matters not whether the Birds beat the Giants or Cowboys, or both, over the next two weeks. The 2016 season will be remembered for Carson Wentz’s debut and little else. As the team tries to sell us on the rebuilding process, remember that there was no need for this to have happened. Had Lurie hired a real coach before the 2013 season, rather than a college charlatan, the Birds wouldn’t have sunk into the morass and would likely still be relevant. But Lurie wanted to revolutionize the NFL. Instead, he crippled the team.

But he keeps on making money.

EL HOMBRE SEZ: The big year for Cardinal O’Hara’s football program continues. First, B.J. Hogan led the team to 10 wins and a Catholic League title. On Sunday, O’Hara grad Tom Savage came off the bench to lead Houston to a 21-20 victory over Jacksonville, the Texans’ 10th straight divisional triumph. It kept Houston in a tie for first place in the AFC South and positioned Savage as a candidate to start the final two games of the season.

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!