As we wait for training camp, I thought I would reach out to the other SB Nation NFC East bloggers and find out how they feel about their teams.
In each case, I am asking each blogger 5 questions about their teams. The first installment of the 'Five Questions With' series appears today. The focus of today's 'Five Questions With' is the defending NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles. Thanks to Bleeding Green Nation's BleedGreen for the quick response.
By the way, if you guys like this and I get good response I'll reach out to some of the other SB Nation bloggers and see if I can expand this beyond the NFC East.
Oh, and if you haven't checked them out already, I answered five questions for Hogs Haven, our Redskins blog, yesterday. Go see what HH wanted to know.
Anyway, here we go.
1. Big Blue View: Donovan McNabb's health is obviously a key to Philadelphia's season. How much concern is there in Philly that McNabb can no longer stay healthy for a full year?
• Bleeding Green Nation: There's plenty of concern given the fact that he's ended the last 2 years on the DL, but it's not as doom and gloom as it used to be. The team showed it can win games without McNabb last year, although they probably aren't a superbowl team without him.
Basically there's 2 schools of thought with McNabb and his injuries that people waffle back and forth on around here. First, he's just plain injury prone. He's been hurt 3 of the past 4 years and finished the year on the DL the last 2. The second feeling is that it's basically just bad luck. He doesn't have one chronic injury that keeps putting him out of action. All of his injuries have been to different parts of his body and so far he's come back 100% from every one. Plus, many of them were kind of "fluke" injuries. The knee injury was on a play he was barely touched, no one knows where the sports hernia came from ... Those people feel that basically he just needs a run of good luck.
2. Big Blue View: Andy Reid took a leave of absence to attend to family issues during the offseason. Is there any concern that Reid will either be distracted by those issues, or have to leave the team during the season?
• Bleeding Green Nation: It doesn't seem like it. All signs point that whole situation being pretty much over. Frankly, Reid hasn't given anyone any quotes or thoughts on the matter at all so it's almost impossible to tell what he thinks about it. At this point I can only venture a guess that he came back to the team because he felt his family situation was straightened out.
I highly doubt he'd ever leave the team during the season. I think a very big part of the reason he took a leave of absence when he did is because it was basically the easiest time in the NFL year for him to do so. There was very little going on that he couldn't monitor from home. Plus, most reports had him at the Eagles complex or at dinner with free agents on many of the days he was supposed to be "on leave."
3. Big Blue View: Is there one player the Eagles acquired during the offseason who they expect to be a real difference-maker?
• Bleeding Green Nation: Probably Takeo Spikes. If there was one painfully glaring weakness on the defense last year it was the lack of a weakside linebacker that could get off blocks and stop the run. The D in general struggled with the run, but the weakside position was especially poor. Spikes, if he's back healthy, will be a dramatic upgrade. The Eagles haven't had a real playmaker on the weakside in a long time now. Early reports from the OTAs seem to suggest he looks in top form, so we'll see when season kicks off where he's at.
4. Big Blue View: The Eagles will win the Super Bowl because?
• Bleeding Green Nation: They stay healthy. In 04 the Eagles got through the year with no key injuries and ended up 3 points away from winning the superbowl. I think they've shown that talent wise they are good enough to get here, but they've been absolutely killed with injuries the past 2 years. They just have to get lucky and stay healthy once? Right? Please?
5. The Eagles will miss the playoffs because?
• Bleeding Green Nation: See my last answer ... Injuries. Based on the core of the team that has won this division 5 of 6 years, based on how they played year it's hard to say that this Eagles team if healthy won't make the playoffs. On talent alone I think they've proved themselves to be at least that good. Injuries however ... they trump talent.
Many thanks to 'BleedGreen' for taking the time to answer our questions.