Writer way too high on Redskins

(Grinding My Gears writer Eric Schwartz will be getting married on October 9th and because of this he will be forced to smile much more than he would like to. The only way for this to be plausible  is for him to unleash on all that is wrong in the World of Sports over the next 10 days. This is Part 2 of 10 straight days of Grinding My Gears.)

You may have heard that Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick have been in the headlines this week. If you haven’t, well then you are not reading this because you are clearly in a coma.

At times the media can get too obsessed with a story and play it to a point where even the most die hard fans are sent diving into the cushions of their couch to block out the chatter.

With so much attention going to the McNabb-Eagles, Vick is back drama, some reporters will go to any lengths to prove they do not get stuck in the eye of the media’s hurricane. Sometimes this leads to new information, an interesting take, or a breath of fresh air.

Other times it leads to print that has no other purpose than to fill up a blank page. And that’s when the gears start grinding.

Take for example this piece of journalism courtesy of this piece from the Express-Times.

In the article the author gets completely lost talking about the Redskins. Try these few graphs for size.

“The Eagles’ defense, after all, will be the one confronting McNabb, not Vick. The Birds’ defense dominated Jacksonville last week but even Temple’s defense would have had a decent day against the inept David Garrard, the Jags’ overmatched line and an ordinary bunch of skill players.”

News flash, Temple isn’t a punching bag anymore. They took Penn State down to the wire and could be looking at a Bowl Game this year. Temple jokes are so 2007. However it gets worse folks.

McNabb brings some much more impressive friends with him than Garrard could. Wide receiver Santana Moss is one of the NFL’s best at getting open in the clutch, and his fellow receivers Joey Galloway, Anthony Armstrong and Roydell Williams may only have eight catches between them but they are averaging 22.4 yards a catch.

Tight end Chris Cooley, like Moss, is in the elite at his position and could torture the Eagles especially if the Philadelphia linebackers let him get off the line of scrimmage with momentum. Clinton Portis may be on the downside of his career but can still be an effective and efficient running back.

Someone please explain to me when Santana Moss was ever considered elite? Last season he was 29th in the league with 902 yards and caught a measly three touchdowns.  Last time I checked the word “elite” was saved for the best of the best.

And how about the Portis reference? Portis got one second-half carry last week and is in Mike Shanahan’s dog house. Yet he is one of these “impressive friends” that McNabb is bringing with him this week? How can you seriously say the Redskins are more dangerous at the skill positions than the Jaguars when it’s Portis running the ball for Washington and Maurice Jones Drew getting the ball for Jacksonville?
The article gets worse but I will spare you the details unless you wish to click the link yourself.

Listen, I’m glad someone wanted to look at a story other than McNabb and Vick, but doing a little research might help next time. Throwing slop like this down, doesn’t do anything to help a reader, much less the writer’s reputation.

Vick now the man for the Eagles – for a week at least

What should we expect from Michael Vick?

This has been a question asked by Eagles fans since Michael Vick was first acquired by the team last preseason. The question has had different values of significance placed during that time. Last year, fans wondered if Vick would, or should even see the field at all. With Donovan McNabb set as the starter and Kevin Kolb as the backup, fans didn’t have to expect much from Vick.

Now with McNabb in Washington and Kolb trying to get the cobwebs out of his head, it is Vick who will take the field for the first time as the starting quarterback since 2006.

Just like his place in the QB pecking order, the expectations have now been raised for Vick — largely due to his 18-for-24 175 yards passing, 103 yards rushing performance in a half of football against the Packers.

Many fans were quick to dismiss Vick’s performance, pointing to the notion that the Packers had not game planed for Vick and if they had the results would not have been close to the same.

That could be true. However assuming that is a slight to Vick, who does have three Pro Bowl appearances to his credit. Dog fighting ring aside, the man does know how to play the position, even if he does it unconventionally.

So what can be expected of Vick?

Personally I expect to see Vick perform well, if not eye-poping against the Lions. For all of the hype about   Detroit being a team on the rise the Lions are still a mess defensively — well outside of Big Ndamukong Suh. That man is simply a beast. The rest of the defense is bellow average and I think Vick will again be able to use both his arms and legs to move the chains.

My guess — 65 percent passing, 210 yards and another 75 on the ground in an Eagles win.

You don’t have to like or respect Vick, but as an Eagles fan who wants to see their team win, you do need to root for him — at least this week, because the ball will be in his hands.

Kolb, Bradley fail concussion tests

Kevin Kolb failed his concussion test on Wednesday making it look increasingly likely that Michael Vick will get the start at QB this Sunday at Detroit.

ESPN has a full report here:

Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb and linebacker Stewart Bradley did not pass concussion testing Wednesday. Coach Andy Reid, however, said both players have “made progress” since Monday.

Reid said quarterback Michael Vick will run the offense in practice Wednesday and Thursday and “we’ll take Friday as it comes.”

Reid had said Monday that both Kolb and Bradley would not practice before Friday. However, Reid did not rule out either player for Sunday’s game at Detroit.

Bradley sustained a concussion when he collided with Ernie Sims during Philadelphia’s 27-20 loss to Green Bay on Sunday. Yet somehow, the Eagles’ middle linebacker returned for a few plays before he was pulled for the rest of the game.

Again with the Eagles already facing heat regarding the way they initially handled Bradley’s concussion on Sunday, I would be very surprised to see either player activated against the Lions.

Reflections on Eagles Week 1 loss

Now that the Eagles opener against the Green Bay Packers has come and gone it’s time to reflect on what was Sunday and what could be in the future. The Eagles did a few things right and a few more things wrong in a 27-20 loss that leaves the team still searching for answers at several key positions.

Kolb struggles: After starting his career with back-to-back 300-yard passing games last season expectations were high for Kevin Kolb — maybe a little too high. Like many young quarterbacks, Kolb had his struggles on Sunday, passing for just 24 yards after having his day come to an end before halftime due to a concussion. Injury aside, Kolb looked shaky on his first game since Donovan McNabb was traded to the Redskins, going 5-for-10 and finishing with a QB rating of 56.2. The Eagles are saying there is a chance the Kolb could play this Sunday against Detroit, but with the NFL now more cautious about head injuries I would be surprised to see him active.

Vick Impresses: Sure it was against a defense that wasn’t expecting to see him for more than a few gadget plays, but it is undeniable that Vick sparked the Eagles offense. For all of the criticism that Vick has taken since arriving in Philadelphia last preseason — and rightly so — he reminded fans why he was a three-time pro bowler at the position.

With the offensive line struggling, Vick improvised his way to 103 yard rushing on 11 attempts. He also was quite accurate with the football, finishing 16-for-24 for 175 yards. No matter what way you shake it, 275 total yards for a QB in just over half of a football game is a great day.

We may also get to find out what Vick can do against a defense that game plans for him this week if Kolb can’t go.

Still no running game: I’m not sure how the Eagles are going to find out what they have in LeSean McCoy if they don’t give him an opportunity to run the football. McCoy got just seven carries on Sunday. He did factor in the passing game, as expected, with six catches and 47 yards, but the Eagles looked very one dimensional, especially in the first half. Reid has never been one to focus on the run, but for a team in transition finding out if McCoy is the right guy for the job should be a priority. It would be nice to see what McCoy could do with 15-plus carries but that doesn’t seem like a reality with this coaching staff in place.

Defensive aggression: Don’t let the fact that the Packers score 27 points fool you; the Eagles defense played well Sunday. The Bird racked up three sacks and pressured Aaron Rodgers early and often. Had the offense done a little more with the football the defense may not have worn down in the second half. I liked what I saw in terms of blitzes in this game and it was good to see Juqua Parker make a couple of big plays.

The Packers are expected to be one of the best offensive teams in the league so it is hard to scrutinize this unit too much. Holding Rodgers to 188 yards passing is something many defenses would be envious of.

Detroit will be no walk in the park: Do I expect the Eagles to win on Sunday? Yes. Do I think it will be easy? No.

The Lions look much improved from their two win 2009-10 season and would have beat the Bears if not for a controversial late call on what have been a game-winning touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson before the ball came lose from his hand on the way down.

Even if Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford can not go, which looks very likely given his shoulder injury, I don’t expect the Lions to go down easy. This will be the team’s home opener and the team is sure to be fuming after the way Sunday’s game ended.

The good news for the Eagles is that Detroit still looks very vulnerable through the air as Jay Cutler torched the Lions’ secondary for 372 yards. If Cutler can do that with only one interception, Vick or Kolb should be able to do the same.

Look for the Lions to hang in the game, but an aggressive Eagles defense to take advantage of backup QB Sean Hill and put this one away in the second half.

Overall: The Eagles have the look of a .500 squad right now. They have some pieces to be a plyoff contender but with question marks at key positions a lot will have to go right for that to happen.

Beating Detroit would be a good start.

Former Eagle Tra Thomas retires

Former Eagles’ offensive lineman Tra Thomas has retired according to an Associated Press report. Thomas was a stud tackle for the Eagles from 1998-2008, helping protect Donovan McNabb. Thomas made three Pro Bowls during that time.

Bellow is the complete AP report:

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Chargers say 35-year-old left offensive tackle Tra Thomas has retired, leaving the team woefully thin at a crucial position.

Thomas was signed as insurance when it became apparent that Marcus McNeill might stage a prolonged holdout. Thomas, a 12-year veteran, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

General manager A.J. Smith didn’t return a call seeking comment Saturday.

Even if McNeill ended his holdout, Smith placed him on the roster exempt list on Friday, meaning he’ll be suspended for three games once he signs his contract tender.

McNeill is unhappy that he hasn’t been given a long-term deal. Instead, the Chargers tendered the restricted free agent a one-year deal for $3,168,000.

49ers are the perfect fit for Westbrook

The NFL can be a cruel place for running backs who are at, near or past the age of 30. At an age where most guys are still living out what’s left of their college juices, running backs are told they are too old, too slow and no longer relevant.

This was the reality for Brian Westbrook. Despite nearly a decade of hard work, production and at times excellence with the Philadelphia Eagles, Westbrook, 31, was sent packing after last season. His body worn down by injuries, Westbrook no longer had a place in the Eagles plans — and for a few months there was no place for him anywhere in the league.

Rumors were persistent for the better part of two months that the helpless St. Louis Rams were interested in bringing in the aging back. This was sad news to say the least. The Rams aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and Westbrook only has so much mileage left on his legs and shoulders. If he joined the Rams he would get a job and paycheck, but I doubt any real sense of enjoyment or accomplishment.

Then came news yesterday that Westbrook had signed – not with the Rams, but rather the San Francisco 49ers. He will compete for the backup job which was vacated when 23-year old running back Glen Coffee shockingly announced his retirement last week after just one NFL season. With a hole in their lineup the 49ers reached out and gave the veteran a chance – and it is a chance I believe he will thrive in.

Unlike the Rams, the 49ers figure very much to be in contention this season. They have one of the best coaches in the business and a tough S.O.B in Mike Singletary. Singletary demands that his team run the football and with Frank Gore leading the way that is the obvious direction to go. With the 49ers Westbrook should be more than serviceable. Gore will take the bulk of the carries, attention and glory. Westbrook will be fine with that.

Westbrook didn’t go to San Fran for glory or money – he making just $1.25 million this season – he went for a chance to prove that he can still produce, and do so for a winner.

In his eight seasons with the Eagles Westbrook rushed for 5,995 yards and 37 touchdowns and caught 426 passes for 3,790 yards and 29 TDs. Up until last season every time he touched the ball Eagles fans knew something big could happen. Many times it did. San Fran fans get to experience the same feeling every time Gore touches the ball. Now they can also experience that when he takes a break.

Westbrook won’t be playing in the Pro Bowl and almost certainly won’t sniff 1,000 yards rushing this season, but he doesn’t have to. Instead heshould be able to keep his body fresh, while helping the 49ers ground game get even better.

The Eagles made the right decision by moving on and almost nothing Westbrook will do can change that. The team is featuring youth and Westbrook no longer fit in their plans.

But with the 49ers, Westbrook has the perfect opportunity to show that even at 31, he can help a team win, and maybe even win big.

Are the Eagles suddenly booring?

Many Eagles fans have been excited about the ongoing training camp do to the fact that the team that will take the field on Sundays starting in September will be vastly different than the ones that have proceeded it for the better part of a decade. We don’t know if it will be better, but right now the word “different” also stands for “hope.”

Then there are those who are not so excited about training camp. Without McNabb shooting off his mouth or Sheldon Brown looking for a bigger check, this preseason has been more about actual football and less about drama. To me that’s a good thing, yet  some people just need their taste of daily drama.

Philadalphia Inquirer writer John Gonzalez is one of those people. He misses the old Eagles already. Check out his take on the current group compared to that of years ago.

Here is an extended clip from Gonzalez’s piece, which can be read in entirety here.

The Eagles’ locker room was once stocked with oversized personalities willing to yammer in front of a television camera until the battery lost its charge. If Lito Sheppard wasn’t grumbling about his contract, there was always the possibility Sheldon Brown might pop off and say something of note. They’re gone now. So are Shawn Andrews and Terrell Owens, Freddie Mitchell and Hugh Douglas and others. And though it was time to move on as far as football goes, those of us who enjoy a solid sideshow will miss Donovan McNabb’s often ridiculous one-man Party of Five.

Compared with some of the guys who once served under Andy Reid, the current crop of Eagles is about as entertaining as Michael Strahan’s short-lived show on Fox. Who is going to hold the driveway workout/news conference? Who’s going to catch a locker room beat down courtesy of the team’s ambassador? Who’s going to get his Michael Phelps on or thank his hands for being so great or rock an air guitar at the worst possible moment?

Who’s going to give us something to talk/complain/laugh about?

Maybe most of what happened in the past was detrimental to the team, but it was also entertaining. If the Eagles have any shot of continuing the town’s best Off-Broadway production for a 12th-straight season under Reid, only one man can make it happen – and he’s not talking.

DeSean Jackson has gone into the sort of disciplined communication blackout usually reserved for covert military missions or the morning after a one-night stand. The once outspoken wide receiver hasn’t said much during training camp. On the day he arrived, Jackson said he had nothing to say (how very Meta of him). And on Monday, he told The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane that he’d “talk with y’all closer to the regular season.” It didn’t seem possible, but the preseason just became even more unbearable

So how do you feel. Is this preseason an exciting one for you because of the uncertainty surrounding the changes or is it just a little too bland for your taste?

Full Training Camp now underway

The veterans are all in. Eagles Training Camp has officially begun.

As the Birds usher in a new era with the likes of Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Sheldon Brown no longer on the roster, this camp has a feel unlike any other in the last decade. For the first time there is a bit of uncertainty as to what to expect from this team. Will the youth movement result in the Eagles taking a step forward or back? Is Kevin Kolb the real deal at QB? What can we expect from the Eagle’s defense in Sean McDermott’s second season?

Over the next few weeks phillysportsblogs.com will examine those questions and many more.

But for today, here is a look at some highlights from last season as football fans get pumped up for their favorite time of year.

Marlin Jackson injured again

Fears felt by Eagles fans the day the team signed Marlin Jackson unfortunately seem justified as Jackson reportedly suffered a serious leg injury today at practice. Bellow is a blog by ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio:

Eagles starting free safety Marlin Jackson appeared to suffer a serious injury to his right leg at practice Tuesday.

Jackson, who has a history of knee injuries, had to be taken off the field in a cart. The Eagles are officially calling Jackson’s injury a right ankle injury.

Jackson, who left the Indianapolis Colts to sign with the Eagles in March, suffered season-ending knee injuries the past two seasons and had surgery on both knees.

He missed the second half of 2008 with a torn ACL in his right knee and tore the ACL in his left knee in 2009.

Not that we expected big things out of Jackson, but he would have provided quality depth in the secondary. This is why teams stay away from players who have a history of serious injuries. I looks like the Eagles may not get anything for the investment made in Jackson.

Writer labels Dawkins as overrated

Pete Prisco picked the wrong guy to pick on. In his article on cbssports.com, Prisco chooses the players he feels is the most overrated and underrated on each NFL team. What he wrote wasn’t so bad about any current Eagle, but rather an Eagle that is still No.1 in the hearts of Philadelphia fans.

Yes, Prisco choose Brian Dawkins as the most overrated player on the Denver Broncos. Of Dawkins he said: “He’s a good player, but he’s not nearly as good as his reputation. No way should he have been in the Pro Bowl.”

As if that wasn’t naïve enough cbssports has gone as far as to put up a poll on its main page about the most overrated players in the NFL and sure enough they chose Dawkins as one of its five choices, joining Brandon Jacobs, Matt Light, Anquan Boldin and John Abraham.

When I read that list I see a lot of winners. Overrated never even comes to mind.

As for what Prisco thought of the Eagles, he had Asante Samuels as the overrated player and Jason Avant as the underrated guy. You get no complaints from me there but by the time I got down to the Eagles picks it was far too late to salvage Prisco’s work of garbage.

So does anyone here think Dawkins has suddenly become an overrated player? He sure didn’t seem overrated when the Cowboys lit up the Dawkins-less Eagles secondary the last two games of the season.

And how about the Eagles picks? Did he get it right?

Joe Gibbs doesn’t understand

Remember when Joe Gibbs was retired from football and just stuck with his racing team?

Yea, those were the good days.

Gibbs threw in his two sense about the Eagles trading Donovan McNabb. Naturally the former Redskins coach can’t understand the move and think the Eagles are fools. Bellow is an except of his conversation with ESPN’s First Take courtesy of our friends at Profootballtalk.com:

“I didn’t quite understand that one,” Gibbs said when asked about the trade in an interview on ESPN First Take. “Because what you’re doing is you’re taking someone in the division and giving them a quarterback.”

Gibbs said that he has first-hand knowledge of McNabb’s abilities from coaching against him, and that the Eagles just gave the Redskins exactly the kind of quarterback they need.

“My problem with Donovan was when we played against them, he hurt us,” Gibbs said. “He’s a big man, he scrambles out of the pocket, he’s hard to get down, and when he gets out of the pocket, he makes big plays down the field.”

Added Gibbs of McNabb in a Redskins uniform, “I think Philly’s going to be holding their breath on this one.”

Well Gibbs, we here at PhillySportsBlogs think you’re old and should have been out of the game years ago. … Speaking of that, take it away Jim Carry.

What will Eagles do?

Now im no GM, nor do I play one on the internet, unless it’s fanatasy sports but I want a few things from my favortie sports team in all the land.  I’m not objective when it comes to the draft I am a true blue Eagles fan and my wings sprout this time of year.  Just to give you a little back round I was the guy who made 17 trade in 8 weeks in fantasy football.  So I am a little insane.  A few of the things on my “resonable” wish list are Eric Berry, Maurice Pouncey, Jason Pierre Paul, Earl Thomas, Derrick Morgan, and last but not least Rolando McClain.  That’s just my first round.  In all seriousness I would love to trade up and get Berry, but I wont get my hopes up because it will cost a lot to move up that far.  I am fine with Earl Thomas though.  Maurice Pouncey would be a great pick as well.  In a draft when Olineman are a little scarce, maybe it’s the direction to go.  Unfortunatly Rolando McClain probably wont be pick by the Birds.  Seeing how they just traded for Ernie Sims.  I am exstatic that the Birds got Sims for a 5th Round pick.  I love Jason Pierre Paul.  Everyone is saying he played at a small school, but he has a motor and speed like a CB.  Also there was the guy the Eagles had play DE from a small school with a crazy motor and he was pretty good.  Eh hem Hugh Douglass eh hem.  Plus it’s not like South Florida doesn’t play good schools.

Let me just say Tyson Alualu I want you in Philly.  This kid looks like a beast.  Having watched a ton of Pac-10 games.  You know late at night or just when I should have been doing work around the house and I wasn’t.  I have seen him play a few times and thought “I wouldn’t want to have to block that guy”.  This should be a defense heavy draft, but dont count out Andy’s need for Oline and his love of drafting players who where hurt or have questions but tremendous talent.  Maybe Jermaine Gresham, or do they countinue the spin that Cornelius Ingram is just like another draft pick this year.  Getting Ernie Sims is like a second first round pick this year.  I still think another LB is necessary.  As well as CB, S, and DE.  Also the Birds need Oline help.  We will see what happens tomorow night, and I have a strong feeling that Andy will trade up in the first round maybe twice early and late.

On a seperate note, I am sickened by McNabb’s politicing for TO.  Mcnabb let this man and the fued destroy the team for a year.  I loved TO and wanted McNabb to go and not him but for Mcnabb to come and make a plea for him angers me to no avail.  Maybe they will get him and TO will cry for McNabb, that’s my teammate, that my Quaterback.  I know I come across as a angry Philly fan, but this isn’t the norm.  This is McNabb playing his cute little games to take shots at the Philadelphia sports nation.  Lastly I cant wait to see how the Washington fans react to 3 and 8 when Donny throws it 5 yards and the punt team runs on.  Or 3rd and 3 and he throws it at the feet of one the three running backs on Mike Shanahan’s revamped team.

Eagles 2010 schedule released

The NFL has released it’s complete schedule. Here is a glance at the Eagles schedule.
Sun.      12      Green Bay               4:15 PM*            FOX
Sun.     19     @ Detroit                  1 PM                    FOX
Sun.     26     @ Jacksonville        4:05 PM              FOX
Sun.     3     Washington               4:15 PM*            FOX
Sun.     10     @ San Francisco     8:20 PM*          NBC
Sun.     17     Atlanta                      1 PM                   FOX
Sun.     24     @ Tennessee           1 PM                   FOX
Sun.     31     Bye Week
Sun.     7     Indianapolis               4:15 PM*            CBS
Mon.     15     @ Washington        8:30 PM*           ESPN
Sun.     21     New York Giants     8:20 PM*+         NBC
Sun.     28     @ Chicago                1 PM+                 FOX
Thurs. 2     Houston                     8:20 PM*            NFL Network
Sun.     12     @ Dallas                  8:20 PM*+          NBC
Sun.     19     @ NY Giants           8:20 PM*+          NBC
Sun.     26     Minnesota              1 PM+                   FOX
Sun.     2     Dallas                        1 PM+                   FOX

The first thing that jumps out as the the Eagles have just six games scheduled for 1 p.m. They also are set for six prime time games, meaning the nation will get to know this time quite well. A couple of those Sunday Night games could change as NBC has a flex schedule over the final seven weeks of the season.

After a tough game against Green Bay in the opener the Eagle shave some winable games, a good sign for a team with a young quarterback in Kevin Kolb getting the nod,

What do you think of the schedule.

Eagles trade for LB Ernie Sims

I remember when Erie Sims was drafted in 2006 thinking that the Detroit Lions had just gotten a big steal. At Florida State Sims was a beast and a tackling machine.

Things didn’t work out quite that well in Detroit where Sims has been up and down while playing on a horrific defense. Sims certainly wasn’t the problem, but he wasn’t part of the solution either.

Maybe a change of scenery can help him reach the potential that so many saw in him in his college career.

The Eagles acquired Sims in a three team deal that saw a fifth-round pick go to Denver Denver, who sent tight end Tony Scheffler to the Detroit Lions.

Sims is a run stopper, plain and simple as we was never called on in blitzing situations. His rookie year he had 124 tackles, with just one-half sack and one pass deflection.

Eagles linebackers have struggled in the passing game for years and I’m not sure this move address that. It does help in the running game, where the core has been most consistent.

All of that considered, this was a good move for Philadelphia as it only gave up a fifth round pick for a talented football player.

This was needed move for the Eagles. Both quality and depth has been needed at the position as the team released Will Witherspoon and traded Chris Gocong. Plus there is little chance Jeremiah Trotter will asked back.

Early indications are that Sims was brought in to start. Looking at the current roster it certainly appears that he will be a favorite.

The Eagles still have a ton of picks and certainly will address the LB position some point in the draft.

I still remember seeing Sims tear up the ACC during his three years with the Seminals. After all, it was only a few years ago

Maybe he can have the same type of impact in the NFC East.

Looking at the best possible scenario

Why the Washington Redskins?

Why trade a Pro Bowl quarterback to a team that plays in the same division?

These types of things just don’t happen.

Actually it has. And Eagles fans can only hope that the result repeats itself.

On April 21, 2002 A Prowl Bowl quarterback was shipped out of his longtime home to a struggling team in the same division. That quarterback was Drew Bledsoe. The reason he was replaced was, of course, Tom Brady.

Brady had become the city’s Golden Boy overnight as he led the team to a Super Bowl after replacing the injured Bledsoe in Week 3 of that season. The Patriots had two valuable quarterbacks and one of them had to go.

People think of this move as a no-brainer because of what Brady has done over the last decade, but it was by no means an easy decision.

In 2001 the Patriots awarded Bledsoe the richest contract in NFL history – 10 years $103 million. In nine seasons with the Patriots, Bledsoe rewrote the team’s record books, setting the franchise’s career passing records with 4,518 attempts, 2,544 completions and 29,657 yards while starting 123 of 124 games. He also had 166 touchdowns. He was the reasons fans showed up to games.

But the team had to make a decision – and there was no way Brady was the one who was going to go.

While happy about the title their team had just won, Patriots fans were apprehensive about sending a quarterback with Bledsoe’s resume to a divisional rival. When the Bills whipped them by 30 points in the season opener, and Bledsoe became an MVP candidate at the seasons midway point, fans really started to wonder if their management had made a terrible mistake.

It didn’t take long for Patriots fans to settle down. Brady led New England to two more Super Bowl wins, while Bledsoe never got the Bills to the playoffs and later fizzled in his final years with the Cowboys. The decision was the right one on every level.

Eagles fans can only hope for similar results.

The stories are not exactly the same. Brady won a title prompting the need to make a move, while Kolb simply won a pair of games. But much of the story is similar. For a decade Bledsoe was the Patriots; For a decade McNabb was the Eagles. Most people believed that while getting older Bledsoe still had plenty left in the tank; People feel the way about McNabb. The thought of Patriots fans seeing Bledsoe in a Bills uniform twice a year was hard to swallow; McNabb wearing a Redskins jersey makes people around here sick.

All fans can do right now is hope that management made the right decision here.

And hope that somehow, someway, the Kolb-McNabb decision turns out like the Brady-Bledsoe choice did.

That’s not too much to ask is it?