In 2010, the Philadelphia Eagles went 10-6 and won the NFC East. Although they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, the Eagles by all accounts had a successful season. Just two years removed from prison, Michael Vick re-emerged as an NFL superstar by having the best statistical season of his career. Appearing in just 12 games, Vick accounted for 30 touchdowns and a career-high passing rating of 100.2. Vick threw for over 3,000 yards and ran for over 650 yards while throwing just 6 interceptions. He finished second in the MVP voting behind New England’s Tom Brady.
Accompanying Vick, running back LeSean McCoy ran for over 1,000 yards and had nearly 600 receiving yards, reminding many of former Eagles’ do-it-all running back Brian Westbrook. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson continued to make his case for being the most exciting player in the league with his aptitude for the dramatic. Jeremy Maclin emerged as one of the top wide receivers in the league, and Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel finished with an NFC-high 7 interceptions.
Had the Eagles not added to their already stout roster, many NFL experts would have dubbed the Eagles as a Super Bowl contender; however, the Eagles worked the offseason perfectly by adding several superstars to their roster.
The Philadelphia-based squad acquired Pro Bowl corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round pick from the Cardinals in exchange for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. More importantly, the Eagles added this year’s most coveted free agent, Nnamdi Asomugha. Regarded by many as the best cover corner in the league, Asomugha is capable of shutting down any receiver in the league. Teaming these two superstar corners with Pro Bowler Asante Samuel gives the Eagles the greatest cornerback depth in recent memory. As NFL offenses have begun to run heavy amounts of three and four wide receiver sets, the Eagles’ cornerback depth will prove invaluable this season.
Additionally, the Eagles signed Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin, former Miami running back Ronnie Brown, and former Texas standout quarterback Vince Young.
Before even playing a down for his new team, Young proclaimed the Eagles the “dream team.” Although many NFL players took offence to this statement, Young’s proclamation holds true. There has not been an NFL team with this much stardom and firepower since the Dallas Cowboys teams of the early 90’s.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Michael Vick the person, everyone is a fan of Michael Vick the football player. He does things at the quarterback position that no one else in the league can do. He is undoubtedly the most exciting player in the NFL. DeSean Jackson, perhaps the most explosive wide receiver in the league, has touchdown celebrations that are must-see-TV. LeSean McCoy has become one of the best dual threat running backs in the league, and double-digit sack artists Jason Babin and Trent Cole will surely deliver again in 2011.
Because of Vick’s resurgence, Philadelphia is the place players want to be. Management has delivered, and coupled with the coaching genius of Andy Reid, the Eagles look to be well on their way to Super Bowl Champions. Despite all of the new acquisitions, the success of this season rests squarely on the shoulders of Michael Vick. Vick’s style of play often sees him taking big hits, but in order for his team to go all the way, he will have to withstand these hits and exceed his magnificent 2010 performance. The NFL is a quarterback league, and as we have seen with the success of the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers, superstar quarterbacks win championships. Is Michael Vick ready to take the next step and win the ultimate prize? I believe so, but Vick staying healthy and on the field have to be the Eagles’ biggest concerns this season.
Although they did not want or need any added pressure, Vince Young’s comments put the Eagles squarely in the spotlight. Clearly, Young’s comments are accurate; the Philadelphia Eagles are the NFL’s “dream team.” Like the Miami Heat, the Eagles have a plethora of superstars and big names; however, Miami was unable to deliver on their championship guarantee. Will the Eagles meet a similar fate, or will they prevail? Ultimately, the play of Michael Vick will determine the team’s success. So sit back and enjoy watching this Eagles juggernaut. Oh, and Vince, let the stars of the team do the talking!