The Semi-Coherent Eagles Preview: Preseason Week One vs. Patriots


Football is back!  After a long, painful six month stretch without football, tonight we shall get our first taste of that sweet, sweet refreshing football which we so desperately crave.

A taste is all we’re going to get though.  If you blink, you might miss seeing the teams’ starters in action.  This game won’t feature a lot of runs by LeSean McCoy or many passes by Tom Brady.  We’re likely to see much more of guys like Dennis Dixon and Ryan Mallett.  Unless you’re really interested in the players fighting it out for the last few roster spots, then you can turn this game off at halftime without fear of missing anything important.

But who cares?  Like I said, we’ve had six months without football, so even this pale imitation of real NFL action is something to get a little excited about.

What’s the Deal with the Patriots?

Bill Belichick runs a tight ship…or so we thought. Image Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Since Bill Belichick became the coach of the Patriots, they have been held up as an example of how a football team should be run.  Belichick may be a thoroughly unpleasant person, and often dresses as if he was homeless, but in terms of running a football team, there are few who do it better.

If you had been given odds on “Which team will have a notable player accused of murder?” the Patriots would have been a longshot.  Yet the biggest story of the offseason was the arrest of Aaron Hernandez.

I’m sure there are some actual football issues that the Pats are dealing with, but who wants to talk about that when there’s a murderific tight end around?

Featured Opposing Player

As anyone associated with the Patriots would be sure to tell you, Aaron Hernandez was released by the team.  But as the previous section illustrates, that isn’t going to stop people from talking about him when they discuss the team.

Fortunately, the Patriots have a handy diversion on hand.  How better to cover up the Hernandez stink than by focusing attention on a man whose morals are beyond reproach?  Of course I’m talking about the league’s most inexplicably famous player –  Tim Tebow!

For the record, I’m a Tebow fan.  There are two main reasons for this:

  1. In October 2011, I won money betting on the Broncos when he led the team to a 4th quarter comeback.
  2. I admire someone who can be so successful despite an obvious lack of talent.

Tim Tebow demonstrates the form that made him such an inexplicable star. Image Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, he may not throw the football especially well, but he makes up for it with…um…intangibles!  That’s right, Tebow brings more intangibles to the game than anyone else.

I realize that all those intangibles didn’t do much to help the Jets last year, but let’s be realistic.  A football team might be able to compensate for one lousy quarterback.  But even the best of teams would be ruined trying to compensate for both Tebow and Mark Sanchez.

For tonight’s game, I’m sure the NFL Network is pleased as punch that Tebow is on the Patriots.  Normally in the second half of these preseason games, the announcers have to pretend to be excited about the potential of a sixth round draft pick defensive end who just sacked a fifth string quarterback.

But with Tebow likely to be playing in the second half, the announcers will have plenty to talk about!

Side note: Since this will be broadcast on the NFL Network, the announcers have likely been given a “Do not, under any circumstances mention Aaron Hernandez” mandate.

Key Eagles Storyline Heading into the Game

Riley Cooper may have his issues, but at least he has all of his ligaments! Image Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots aren’t the only team that has had to deal with off the field issues. The Eagles would love for the focus to be on Chip Kelly’s NFL debut. Unfortunately, Kelly has been overshadowed by the Riley Cooper situation.

The good news is that Cooper didn’t kill anyone.  (Or at least, not as far as we know.  It does strike me as strange that nobody has tracked down the security guard who drew Cooper’s ire.  Is it possible that he’s mysteriously gone missing?)  Unfortunately, it seems that several of his teammates openly hate the guy now, and I don’t think his three-day absence from training camp was enough to make that go away.

On the other hand, Cooper does still have both of his ACLs intact, which is a claim that several of his teammates can not make.

The Week in Andy

After thirteen seasons as Eagles head coach, it feels a bit strange not having Andy Reid around.  I understand that some fans might be feeling a little bit of separation anxiety.  I’ve decided to help by providing you an exclusive behind the scenes look at what Andy is up to in Kansas City.

I’ll admit it: I kind of miss the guy. Image Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The scene: Reid is sitting in Chiefs headquarters, awaiting his introductory press conference.  Team CEO Clark Hunt walks in to prepare him.

Hunt: Hey, Andy!  How are you doing?

Reid: Fine.

Hunt: Are you excited?  Because we’re sure excited to have you as a part of the Chiefs family!

Reid: Yes.

Hunt: Great!  I know you’re no stranger to the whole press conference thing, but I’ll warn you that these KC journalists are a little different from what you’re used to dealing with in Philly.

Reid: I was gonna start off with a joke.

Hunt: That’s terrific!  Want to run it by me?

Reid: What’s the difference between a Chief and an Eagle?

Hunt: What?

Reid: Eagles are birds.

Hunt: …oookay.

Reid: I have another one.

Hunt: That’s great, but maybe humor isn’t the right way to go here.  Andy, I want to be honest with you.  Do you know why we hired you?

Reid: Not really.

Hunt: I’d like to say it’s because you’re a great coach who’s a proven winner.

Reid: Thanks.

Hunt: Let me finish.  We saw what you did those last few years in Philly.  It was like you just got bored with the job and you were trying strange things just to see if they would work.

Reid: Pretty much.

Hunt: The reason we brought you in is because you have the look that the Chiefs fans want in a coach.

Reid: I do?

Hunt: Absolutely.  People want their football coaches to be reflections of themselves.  And if there’s one thing Chiefs fans like, it’s barbecue.

Reid: I like barbecue.

Hunt: I know you do.  Heck, you look like you could polish off a rack of ribs right now.

Reid: I sure could.  Want to go get some now?

Hunt: Maybe later.  We’ve got the press conference right now.

Reid: Oh yeah, right.

Andy Reid: Mustache wearer and barbecue lover. Image Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Hunt: There’s one other reason I hired you: Your mustache.  You’ve got a real powerful mustache there; the type that earns respect.  People see that on their football coach and they think, “This guy is a winner.”

Reid: Thanks.  I work hard at it.

Hunt: Okay, Andy, they’re ready for you.  Knock ’em dead!  And remember, no jokes!

Reid: But I’ve got this really good one about-

Hunt: Sorry, no time!  Let’s go!

Inane Dave Spadaro Tweet of the Week

Dave Spadaro is the Philadelphia Eagles’ in-house reporter.  In theory, he provides fans with insider information about the team, and if you squint hard enough, he can almost seem like a legitimate member of the media.

Most of the time, we just get inanely positive spins on everything like this one:

Tweet that Sums Up the Past Week

Sounds like Tom Brady has been having his way with the Eagles defense during scrimmages between the two squads.

Final Take

I don’t expect to gain much insight from this game.  The Eagles might give their starters a slightly extended run, but it wouldn’t shock me to see Brady and the rest of the Patriots’ starters pulled after a series.

I’m fine with that, because really, tonight is just an appetizer.  The main course will be here in about a month.