Addition By Subtraction Could Make Eagles Better
While the scoreboard at FedEx Field on Sunday night showed the Eagles had lost, 17-10, what it didn’t show is that those who want to bury them in the NFC East without Terrell Owens may need to wait, at least for two weeks. Unless you have just awoken from a coma-like sleep, you know that the Eagles suspended the outspoken Owens before the weekend match-up with the Redskins. With the Eagles sending Owens home, perhaps they can get back to doing what they do best, playing football. By removing Owens from the equation, McNabb and the team gets a respite from a team cancer unlike anything the NFL has ever seen.
While there is no question that Owens has tons of talent on the field, it is his off the field antics that have made his NFL career one of the most tumultuous in league history. It remains to be seen when and if Owens gets back on the field. The Eagles, however, need to stick to their guns and move on without Owens.
After watching the game with the Redskins, the Eagles have a rookie wide out that could prove to be more than just an adequate fill-in. Reggie Brown has speed, hands and great field awareness and if allowed, will grow into a solid NFL receiver. While he may never reach the level of Owens on the field, few ever will. He doesn’t have the baggage that “T.O.” carries, so some would say that to the team itself, Brown is a better player.
In addition to Brown, the Eagles still have tight end L.J. Smith and wide out Greg Lewis. In the backfield, they just locked up Brian Westbrook with a contract extension and they have the motor that drives the offense, Donovan McNabb. The defensive side of the ball is still solid and with their defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, they use schemes that keep offenses off guard. The Eagles are still a good team; they are just trying to keep from imploding due to a soap opera that has been going on since training camp. Let’s also give credit where credit is due: the Redskins, Giants and Cowboys have simply gotten better. The fact that the Eagles dominated the East for so long had as much to do with the quality of the division as it did the Eagles being a good team.
The next two weeks will tell a great deal about the Eagles “life after Owens”. They will host the Cowboys next week, the same team that dismantled them just a few weeks ago. The Eagles will then travel to the Meadowlands to face the NFC East leading Giants. The Eagles are in danger of losing their NFC East throne if they can’t salvage a win in one of the next two weeks. But then again, the Eagles have always been a dangerous team when they have their backs against the wall.
This article was released on 2005-11-08.
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