State of Eagles' Offense

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, April 05, 2009
As a team, the offense has always come under the most scrutiny. This comes as no surprise since the quarterback, especially Philly’s, is the most criticized player on the field. Our want, desire, and need for a number 1 receiver hasn’t helped the case much, either.

Let’s take a look at the offense as it stands.

Quarterbacks

We all know that Donovan McNabb will be the starter, Kevin Kolb will be the backup, and A.J. Feeley will have the easiest job in football as the third-string quarterback.

This should not be the case for the Eagles’ quarterback depth chart.

No, I don’t think Kolb should be starting. He should be a backup, but he’s backing up the wrong guy.

Feeley needs to overtake the second spot on this roster for the 2009 season.

While I’m not a Kolb fan, that’s not the real reason I believe this move must be made. I’m a fan of Feeley and believe he is the second best quarterback on this team.

Kolb was simply handed the backup role, and that could cause trouble for the Eagles.

Feeley has always been the backup here in Philly. Even when Koy was here, he was only listed second on the depth chart so that he would be able to hold for field goals; as the rule book says only punters or the backup quarterback may be a holder.

While Feeley has not found much success as a starter, he has found success as a backup. The 2002 season was really his coming out party as McNabb and Detmer were injured in back-to-back weeks, allowing him to take over and finish the season with a 4-1 record and a playoff berth for the Eagles. He also nearly led the Eagles to a win in 2008 over the undefeated New England Patriots.

The quarterback is arguably the most important position in football. However as we’ve seen over the past few seasons, backup quarterback may just be the second-most important position.

Running Back/Fullback

Westbrook is aging and needs a backup/eventual replacement. This needs to be done through the draft and really should be done this year.

There’s a few guys coming out this year who could fit the bill in Moreno, Wells, or Brown. But no matter who the Eagles take, they need to be sure that he can be the starter in two, three years tops.

For now, Westbrook can still get it done as a starter if that must be the case. I am on record as saying the Eagles need to do otherwise, but if that’s how it must be the Eagles are confident that Westbrook can still carry the load. Again, that’s for now.

Lorenzo Booker is a curious case.

Coming out of Florida State in 2007, Booker was looked at as a guy who could have some potential at the professional level because of his quickness and agility. This led to the Dolphins selecting him early in the 3rd round (71st overall) and making him their backup running back.

In spot duty with Miami, Booker was good for 28 attempts for 125 yards to go along with 28 receptions for 237 yards. While those aren’t “Rookie of the Year” type numbers, they’re not bad for a rookie backup.

Evidentially his play was good enough that the Eagles saw enough in him to trade away their 4th round pick for him. Unfortunately however, he was only the third running back and was able to muster up only 53 yards on 20 attempts to go along with a measly 6 receptions for 11 yards.

To date, he has yet to score an NFL touchdown.

With only two years of work, the Eagles will more than likely keep him on board for this year and see how it pans out.

On the fullback front, we’re all excited to see the versatile Leonard Weaver come in and show us what he can do. Whether that’s blocking, running, or catching (in that order) he looks to make a significant contribution to this team.

Quick side note, I loaded an old game of Madden 08 and who was my fullback? Leonard Weaver. He went to the Pro Bowl. Hmmm… Okay, we can hope.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

1. Kevin Curtis, 2. DeSean Jackson, 3. Jason Avant, 4. Hank Baskett, 5. Reggie Brown.

If the season started today, that would more than likely be the lineup for the guys catching the McNabb-thrown passes.

All has been said that needs to be said about this group. Either Reid will upgrade through a draft, the draft, or not at all. I think we all can agree that some sort of upgrade is necessary whether it’s Anquan Boldin, Braylon Edwards, or a rookie in the first few rounds.

Tight end is another position where some added talent is necessary.

Personally I’m a fan of Brent Celek and believe he can be a starter in this league one day. However, I’m not willing to wait for that day and would like a starter right now. Unfortunately I don’t see Pettigrew falling to us and there are no starters floating around in free agency so we may not be able to add a starter.

The Eagles do need to find a way to add a guy who can at least contribute this season in the passing game and, maybe more importantly, the running game. Schobel’s whiff in the Bears game which lead to a loss cannot be allowed to happen again.

Offensive Line

With some movement by the guys we have now, the offensive line is fine and really doesn’t need to be addressed until the second day of the draft, if at all.

Todd Herremans or Shawn Andrews should be able to play left tackle while either Herremans, Cole, or Jean-Gilles play one of the guard spots. Jackson is fine at center but should receive some competition from Nick Cole or a rookie, leaving Stacy Andrews as the starter at right tackle.

And from what I hear, Stacy should be just fine for training camp.

We have a lot of young guys with tons of potential who could push for time in Winston Justice (haven’t given up on him just yet), Mike McGlynn, King Dunlap, and Mike Gibson. If one of them isn’t starting, they should make fine backups.

Offensive line is really the only position on the team that would be difficult to upgrade and really can be put on a backburner as far as I’m concerned. However I would welcome any player Reid believes to be an upgrade. We question Reid on a lot of things, but one thing he definitely knows is his linemen.



In all, the Eagles offense should be extremely explosive and hard to handle for opposing defenses with just a few slight tweaks here and there. If the right moves are move in the draft or through trades, the offense should once again be in the top five. Focusing on running the ball is key. Without a good running game, it’s difficult for an offense to operate.

One or two moves here and there and this offense could be the best that the Andy Reid-era has ever seen.


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