Philadelphia Eagles: From Dream Team to Dynasty?


Like many members of the Philadelphia Eagles, this past week I squeezed in some last  moments of relaxation before the start of training camp. For the first time ever, my laptop wasn’t opened for almost a full week. I didn’t check Google Reader for Eagles news. I was blissfully unaware of most things happening in the world.

But somehow, two bits of news still made their way to me. The first was news of Mike Vick’s autobiography, set for release in September. The other item? The quarterback’s statement in an interview with CSNPhilly’s Derrick Gunn (which you can watch below) that, “I think we have a chance to develop a dynasty.”

Here we go again.

But is the statement really an outrage, or is it what we should hear from the leader of the team?

On the one hand, you must have a starting quarterback who believes in himself and his team 1000%. Perhaps Vick’s statement is a wager that he is placing publicly. By his own admission, the 2012 season is a critical one for Vick. The whole NFL universe will look on to see if Vick can stay healthy, a critical factor in how much of a threat the Eagles can be this year. In the same interview with Gunn, Vick again stated that he was committed to playing safely and that he “can’t be making crazy, hasty decisions.”

This season will show us if the Mike Vick of 2010, the one who eluded NFL defenses and in 12 games notched 21 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, can make a comeback. Or is the Vick of the 2011 season here to stay, the one who constantly tried to do too much and whose 18 TDs were met with almost as many interceptions (14)?

Vick has made it known that he is putting this, his first full season as a starting quarterback with the Eagles, to full use, studying film like crazy, being a constant presence in the weight room and being a force at OTAs and minicamp. He’ll drive himself and his team hard at training camp. He knows this year is big.

At 32, Vick sees his window of opportunity to lead his team to a Super Bowl narrowing. And depending on what happens this season, there could be big changes in what happens with Philadelphia’s coaching staff. Vick wants to win for himself, his team and his fans, but he also wants to do it for head coach Andy Reid, the man who gave him a second chance. He wants to get that win for and with Big Red.

It reminds me of when Jimmy Rollins said that the Phillies were the team to beat in 2007. For that comment he drew scorn, ridicule and criticism. Until the team won the NL East that year and went on to finally win it all in 2008. Rollins looked like the skilled leader whose bold comment raised the bar for himself and his teammates and helped lead them to a championship. Yes, we knew it all along, J-Roll!

Vince Young’s “Dream Team” comment last year turned into such a debacle because of the Eagles’ pitiful performance. Had we not gotten off to a 1-4 start, our hatred of VY would be just a little bit less. On paper, they should have been an incredible team. But due to a variety of circumstances, the Birds started off as a horrendous squad who ended up being just so-so.

Will it be a long, awful season and subsequent offseason if the Eagles again underperform and the national media has a heyday with Vick’s dynasty comment? Yes. But looking at it another way, it could be similar to Rollins’ call to arms for the Phillies in 2008. And that would be amazing. The difficult part of Vick’s statement is that a year of going all the way (magical as it would be) does not a dynasty make.

Vick has set the bar for the organization high for not just for this season, but for a succession of seasons. In the end, is that really so bad?

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6 Responses to “Philadelphia Eagles: From Dream Team to Dynasty?”

  • J-Roll made that comment in January 2007, before Spring Training, in an honest assessment of his team’s chances for the upcoming season. He had a good feel not only for what the Phillies were capable of for the 2007 season, but what the rest of his division were not able to do. He was responding to a question from a reporter about THAT specific upcoming (2007) season. Vick needs to limited his focus on THIS upcoming season and forget about cocky talk like dynasty.

  • Right you are and I modified the date above. But even with Jimmy’s statement being in response to a question, he still faced a lot of criticism for it. The Phillies delivered by winning the NL East in ’07, then the championship in ’08. As is always the case, the only thing that matters is how a team performs on the field and that’s nothing but a question mark right now. You’re absolutely right, though, they have to play at a high level this season before there can truly be talk of dynasties. If they don’t, we have years to look forward to of that remark coming back to bit us in the behind.

  • The only thing that any Eagle player or coach should say is, “If we play this year like we played last year, we aren’t going to go anywhere.” And they ought to leave it at that. No hype, no excuses, no overload.

    • It certainly wouldn’t have been a bad approach to try, I agree with you there, as all that matters is what they put together come game time.

  • Elsewhere, saying this would be a non-issue. However, two factors prevail. One, this is Philadelphia and the rabid fan base now completely understands this organization has been living in complete delusion they have been the “gold standard” in the NFL for years now. Two, they are coming off the “Dream Team” debacle. Why not just stay humble, stay quiet and go play it out? It seems to me if you say this kind of stuff you really don’t feel everyone around you is as confident and you are trying to get their buy-in. I agree with Robert’s comment above. How about one year the front office and the players all just stop telling us how great they can be…and actually be great?

    • It would be nice. But as that’s not going to be the case I’m just going to hope against hope that we aren’t tortured by those words for much of the season. I guess this is the only time of year that I’m an unbridled optimist…

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