Friday, December 30, 2005

The Pain is Almost Over

This has been a truly painful season for the Eagles. Painful for the 13 players on the injured reserve list. Painful for the coaching staff that has endured the most disappointing season in the seven-year Andy Reid reign.
And painful for the fans, who have had to pay full price to see Mike McMahon operate the offense for what will be nearly half a season.
People can blame a number of factors such as the injuries, the fallout from T.O. situation, but just about everybody on the team also hasn't played as well as last year.
Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter is the one Eagle who has met last year's standard. Cornerback Sheldon Brown has come close.
Nobody else on the team can make a similar claim. So while injuries have been a factor, the inability of the healthy players to meet last year's production has been another matter. And that includes Reid, a proven coach with an enviable track record, who just hasn't had a good year.
Just like the rest of the team.
It's interesting that the New Year will be brought in the Eagles looking to turn the page on a forgettable season.
Whether they make a great effort against Washington or not, this has been a wretched season, one that might take more than just getting players healthy from injured reserve to cure.
That is why the off-season will be so important. The Eagles have to be aggressive in free agency, in the draft and even in trying to make trades, something that doesn't happen much in the NFL.
No matter what they do in the obsession, anybody following this team would agree that the season couldn't end soon enough.
In Philadelphia, where the fans know a thing or two about under-performing sports teams, it's doubtful that one has disappointed the local faithful as much as these Eagles. The expectations were so high, coming off a Super Bowl appearance and that made the crash below the .500 level so alarming.
At least next year, the expectations will subside, while everybody determines whether this year was an aberration, or the beginning of a downhill trend.