Sunday, July 23, 2006

Low Expectations, High Hope For Eagles

BETHLEHEM, PA -- The Eagles face a season of extremely low expectations. Not from the players, coaches, and of course the diehard fans. Yet the people who pick with their heads and not their hearts for the most part have the Eagles slotted for fourth in the NFC East.
A check of last year's standings shows that is where the Birds finished in 2005 during a disappointing 6-10 season.
The players, for the most part seem amused and more than a little motivated by the preseason slight they have received.
Coach Andy Reid says he doesn't pay attention to what others say and he is likely telling the truth. Somebody as focused as Reid probably hasn't heard what has been said because it's doubtful that he has read preseason publications, or listens to talk radio or watches ESPN. The only thing Reid is likely watching is game film.
The theme for the entire Eagles off-season has been to put 2005 behind them.
The combination of the poison that T.O. spread, a rash of injuries, plus just subpar performances by many veterans contributed to last year's train wreck.
The players all seem to have the old "we will prove everybody wrong attitude."
There will be no shortage of people to prove wrong. As high as the expectations were coming off the 2004 Super Bowl season, they are just as low this year.
And the players don't seem to mind one bit.
It might be viewed as less pressure, but make no mistake. Despite what preseason publications are predicting, anything less than a playoff appearance should be considered highly disappointing by anybody with any interest in Eagles.