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Eagles Chat: Anybody care about the Dallas game?

What's wrong with the Eagles was foremost on fans' minds, as questions came in for Bob Brookover's weekly Friday chat.

Bob Brookover:

Hi everyone. Welcome to another chat and away we go.


The Eagles are what they are today thanks to 6 offseasons of having Tom Heckert in charge. What are the chances he is back after the season?

Bob Brookover:

I don't think you can pin the blame on this season entirely on the shoulders of Tom Heckert. His first draft in 2002 was an outstanding one. The 2003 draft was an awful one. I think when you start talking about draft problems, you need to research what other teams did in that same year, which is a project I plan on doing before this year's draft. Heckert is going to be back.

Boston Eagles Fan:

We live and die with this team, we seem to be dying right now. The big question is: do the Eagles have the ability to be very active this off season in acquisitions? Can Banner, Lurie, and Reid make some major grabs during free agency the way the Pats did last off season? Also- PLEASE tell me they are willing to pay Westbrook. I'd have to burn my jerseys if they ever let him go.....

Bob Brookover:

The Eagles definitely have the ability to be active in free agency, but it remains to be seen what's available. The Pats obviously made great decisions in upgrading their biggest weakness and also added a defensive stud. It would be foolish of the Eagles to add free agents just to add them as the Redskins have so often done in the past. Westbrook is signed through 2010, so that's not a concern.

Rodney Wyffels:

Donovan McNabb has had many injuries, plus, in my opinion, has not been consistent with quality games. Don't you believe his era has come to an end? Dallas, NY Giants, Pittsburgh, and probably a few other teams have young QBs who are performing very well. The team needs to move on without DM.

Bob Brookover:

That's obviously the biggest decision the Eagles have to make this offseason. I think these final three games will figure into that decision. If McNabb can finish with some strong games, it will make the Eagles' decision more difficult. The risk factor is that his problems this season have something to do with his recovery from knee surgery. He obviously hasn't played at the same level he has in the past.

quirk in the navy:

I don't care about our lousy offense; I want more move on the defensive side. We focus too much on offense now-a-days.

Bob Brookover:

I disagree quirk. I think the Eagles need to address offensive needs more than defensive needs, but I do think they need some help in the secondary and possibly another solid pass-rushing defensive end to move into the rotation. But if I'm trying to improve the team, I address needs at wide receiver and tight end before anything else.



Bob Brookover:

Nice exacta on misspelling both of the owner's names, Rich. Anyway, I think the Eagles have had a lot of success under Lurie, but to win a Super Bowl, they obviously need to get a lot better. I actually think the defense has improved and will get better next season as some of the younger players become more experienced. They have some real problems to address offensively.


Do you thing there is anyway Jim Johnson uses the same defense he used against Tom Brady using a mixture of looks to get pressure on Romo? It just seems no one gets any pressure in his face. With different looks, don't you think our defense can rattle him?

Bob Brookover:

Pressure is obviously the key to rattling any quarterback and Romo has only been sacked 19 times this season. To his credit, he gets rid of the ball and makes a lot of good decisions. He has thrown 14 interceptions, but that's fine when you have 35 TD passes. Whenever the Eagles got close to him in the first game, he dumped the ball to Marion Barber and Julius Jones and they made big plays.


How does Donovan McNabb get the wardrobe delivered to the locker room for the post game show? Does his concentration get distracted on game day by concerning himself with this apparent huge effort? He seems more concerned with sellling clothes. When does he get his head shaved so perfectly? Aftyer losing a game he should have won? He makes it look like T. O. was right.

Bob Brookover:

Joe, I think you're too worried about how McNabb looks rather than how he plays. Or is that what you're trying to say about him? Either way, none of that stuff is important.

marty mcc:

are the eagles now in that group of teams that will take years to rebuild. it happens in every sporting circle. age, poor draft picks, and just poor coaching have gotten the birds in this very bad position. what do you think?

Bob Brookover:

Great question Marty and there's no obvious answer. You see teams in this league take a long time to rebuild and you see others that do it quickly. Few teams sustain the kind of success the Eagles had during the first half of this decade. In fact, I think you can include Indy, Pittsburgh and New England in that group and then stop. Maybe Seattle, but not to the same level as the other four. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the Eagles to get back on track and it'll also be interesting to see if Dallas can sustain this year's success.

Art W:

Coaches can actually learn from other coaches. Perhaps, instead of being stubborn, and just sticking to the Andy Reid unflexible coaching stragedy, he may learn other offensive ideas by watching some other NFL games. I'm watching other games and actually seeing receivers getting open. I'm also seeing more creative plays. Again I'm seeing other teams marching down the field on a fairly consistant basis. Reid can learn by watching other teams and gathering more strategic ideas.

Bob Brookover:

I don't know what to say to that other than OK, Art. I do think Andy tries to learn from other coaches, but his system has been pretty successful during his tenure here.


With all the Banner speech about how McNabb and Reid will stay for some time beyond this season. Do you think this a sales pitch or just an affirmation that they intend to keep both of them? And how believable is it that McNabb will even stay after this season? Because I can understand if they keep AR but keeping Donovan is going to be a horrendous move. Its going to take a divine intervention for D Mac to get back to the D Mac of yester-years. Your opinion please!!

Bob Brookover:

Reid is coming back. McNabb, I'm not so sure. Like I said before, these last games will play into that decision. I'm not sure McNabb can return to his previous status here just because of the dynamic of the situation. There are so many factors that come into play.


will admit to being a McNabb fan and supporter. However, last week the wide receivers again became invisible after two pretty productive weeks. Is it indicative of the Giants playing a tighter man-to-man (as opposed to the Patriots zone) or is Feeley more likely to anticipate receivers coming open than is McNabb (admittedly Feeley is not always on the mark with his anticipation).

Bob Brookover:

Great question Jeff. Donovan doesn't seem to want to throw the ball downfield, which is strange because at the start of last season, the Eagles were great at making those plays and it wasn't just because they had Donte' Stallworth. I do think McNabb is having a bit of a confidence crisis and that has to be fixed if he's going to return next season.

Matt Mc:

What are your feelings on the Eagles linebacking core this year? I feel it is the weakest spot on the field. What can they do to upgrade this offseason? Please do not say Gocong in the answer.

Bob Brookover:

I completely disagree. I think Gaither and Gocong have both improved since the start of the season as has Spikes. The Eagles, for the first time in three years, have been able to stop the run. The only thing those three haven't done consistently is create turnovers and that's mostly because of dropped balls. Gocong had a couple tackles for losses last week against the Giants, which I think is two more than Dhani Jones had last season.


Is Kolb ready to play if something should happen to McNabb forcing him to sit out a game or a portion of a game?

Bob Brookover:

Kolb is physically ready to play, but most young quarterbacks, including Tony Romo and Tom Brady, need time to develop and Kolb won't be any different.


how can you defend McNabb in your column earlier this week

Bob Brookover:

I didn't defend McNabb. I pointed out that the problems with the offense go beyond the quarterback, which was an obvious conclusion after I watched every pass and scramble run he made during the game. The only thing I was wrong on about his performance was a pass down near the goal line where he overthrew L.J. The called play was apparently a slant to Lewis. I think McNabb has made some bad decisions and played some bad games this year with the first Dallas game being his worst. But that game against the Giants was a collaboration of awful by the entire offense.


will Donovan reemerge when the eagles are better ala Brett Favre

Bob Brookover:

Great questiion Tim and one the Eagles must answer. I honestly don't know the answer.


I believe in McNabb, he is a great quarterback but I think Andy Reid is trying to do too much. Either he makes good calls these last couple games or he goes. What are the chances of Jim Johnson taking over the head coaching position?

Bob Brookover:

Agree or disagree with Reid, he's not going anywhere. Jim Johnson is not going to be the next head coach.

Eddie Welch:

Do you think theres anyway the birds would tade for A. Hall from the falcons. Possibility using there 1st rd pick to get the sucker.

Bob Brookover:

The Eagles won't trade their first-round pick and they'd be foolish to do so.


Is Akers over the hill - lost his magic leg, or is this just a rough spot for him. Not talking so much about the 57 yarder in the Gints game, but some of the other shorter ones he's been missing as of late. so many games lost by 3 points.

Bob Brookover:

I still think Akers has a strong enough leg, but his last three seasons have been subpar for him. I think he's still pretty good and worth keeping around.

78 degrees in Sav,Ga:

Hi, Bob. I live in Georgia, so I haven't had too much access to all things Eagles, especially Andy's press conferences. As a member of the media, do you notice any "kid glove" treatment of Andy because of who he is and what he has accomplished? It is maddening how he is able to give the same tired responses to the media's questions and completely get away with it. Maybe the questions are simply not challenging enough....your thoughts, sir;

Bob Brookover:

There's no kid glove treatment 78. You can make the questions as challenging as you want with Reid. He's not going to answer them if he doesn't want to answer them.


What are mathmatical chances for the eagels going to the playoffs. If they are not good why don't they give the new quarterback a chance to play.

Bob Brookover:

Slim is the best answer, but I think you continue to play McNabb for the rest of the season because that's the right thing to do.

Bob Brookover:

Sorry I have to go, practice is ending and I need to go to news conferences.