A textbook "W" for the New Orleans Saints and the NFC over the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV is something all Philadelphia Eagles' fans can appreciate... I amost said "envy", but it's beyond jealousy...more in the realm of admiration, as in "let's study and learn from the Saints' formula for success", which has evolved since head coach Sean Payton's spectacular debut in 2006.
Our own Alex Whiteleather here at Eagles Eye called the Big Win for the Big Easy almost perfectly. It played out almost exactly as Alex forecast it would. Nice job, Alex.
You may remember the Saints' regular-season win over the Eagles almost five months ago, a drubbing which it turns out was no fluke. Back then we wrote about coach Payton's deliberate statements of intention for his team. All his offseason moves had been made with the idea of "winning Now" and striking while 30-year-old Drew Brees' right arm is still hot. "Our time is now with Brees," Payton said, in a direct quote made to AthlonSports.com.
And so it is for the New Orleans Saints and their Super Bowl-starved fans. Way to go...
Kinda makes Philly fans wonder: "Is it our time now with McNabb? Or did the moment pass us by four or five years ago?"
Probably not a fair comparison. I will say only that McNabb's right arm is still very much alive and capable of generating heat.
Meanwhile, Andy Reid continues to restock his coaching staff with old friends and associates who recently were disemployed by the Buffalo Bills. First it was Bobby April taking over special teams; the latest is Dick Jauron taking over as secondary coach. Jauron was most recently head coach of the Bills for the last three years, compiling a 24-33 record before being fired in November. He and Reid go way back together to their days in Green Bay under Mike Holmgren. Jauron then coached Chicago to a 35-46 record from 1999 to 2003.
Jauron replaces Brian Stewart, who resigned from the Eagles after one season to take the DC job at the University of Houston. Stewart had previously been the secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, the Eagles' secondary became somewhat of a mess in 2009, not all of it Stewart's fault, of course. Stewart never had a chance to establish a comfort level with the Eagles or his depleted personnel, and was constantly challenged by having to play his guys out of position. At one point late in the year, he was forced to play safety Quintin Mikell at both nickelback and the corner.
As for the hiring of April and Jauron from Buffalo, I will say the Bills had a pretty decent defense with what they had to work with up there. Maybe the Eagles really will be more about the "D" this year and less about "#5"...On the other hand, I picked up a bizarre tweet from Terrell Owens on Friday night, stating he was "chillin' at a party with McNabb and Donny's brother and cuz'...' Hmmmmm. Is it possible there's more to come with the Buffalo Shuffle?