|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
|2003 RECORD: 12-4
TEAM RANK (NFL): Defense (20th); Offense (18th)
Free agents -- DE Jevon Kearse (Titans), LB Dhani Jones (Giants).
Acquired by trade -- WR Terrell Owens (49ers), QB Jeff Blake (Cardinals).
Draft picks -- 1. OT Shawn Andrews (Arkansas), 3. CB Matt Ware (UCLA), 4a. S J.R. Reed (South Florida), 4b. OG Trey Darilek (UTEP), 5. FB Thomas Tapeh (Minnesota), 6a. QB Andrew Hall (Delaware), 6b. CB Dexter Wynn (Colorado State), 7a. OG Adrien Clarke (Ohio State), 7b. RB Bruce Perry (Maryland), 7c. C Dominic Furio (UNLV).
LB Carlos Emmons (Giants), RB Duce Staley (Steelers), DE Marco Coleman (Broncos), CB Troy Vincent (Bills), CB Bobby Taylor (Seahawks), OG Bobbie Williams (Bengals), QB A.J. Feeley (Dolphins), QB Brandon Whiting (49ers), WR James Thrash (Redskins), OG John Welbourn (Chiefs).
Eagles 2004: 5 Qs | Team news | Roster | More on Eagles draft
Is Owens a good fit in Reid's system?
His brilliant individual playmaker skills aside, Terrell Owens on paper certainly looks like an incongruous fit for a design in which head coach Andy Reid and coordinator Brad Childress prefer to spread the wealth. Yeah, he gives the Eagles and QB Donovan McNabb a legitimate home run threat, but this is a team that has gotten to three straight conference championship games featuring a lineup of doubles hitters. The fact that Philly hasn't gotten beyond the NFC title game clearly was part of the rationale for adding Owens, but no one should expect radical changes from Reid and staff, not just to satisfy one man's ego. If the Eagles were going to cave, Owens would have been wearing his lycra tights around mini-camp without shorts on, right? Think about this: In Reid's first five seasons as head coach, the "lead" wide receiver for the Eagles averaged 55.4 catches, 697.2 yards and 5.4 touchdowns. Only once did the top wideout on the team have more than 60 receptions and never did he reach double-digit TDs. Over the eight years of his career, Owens has averaged 74 catches, 1,071.5 yards and 10 TDs. Just once, in his 1996 rookie campaign, did Owens have fewer than 60 catches and he has scored 10 or more TDs four times. Owens is a splendid receiver, and the Eagles will love his work ethic, plus he is as driven to win a Super Bowl ring as are all the holdovers on the Philadelphia roster. No doubt, Owens is going to be an explosive presence. The question is whether it will be with his words or with his deeds.
What they've added?
What's that age-old expression? If at first you don't succeed Well, the Eagles keep trying and trying again to get over that hump and get to the Super Bowl. They've lost three consecutive NFC championship games, including the last two at home, but they're going to keep trying. And they've added some pieces for this upcoming season that might be enough to get them to the ultimate game. In fact, many would say the Eagles made the two biggest player acquisitions this past offseason.
Gone are the days Terrell Owens will be considered a first-round pick in fantasy drafts. Owens is still a fine player, but his move to Philadelphia is not likely to help his stats. The Eagles will still throw to Owens more than their other options, and he should score 10 TDs, but he'll also face many double teams and need to hone his blocking skills, for this remains a running team. Draft Owens as your top receiver, but realize his numbers are likely to go down due to circumstance.
-- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com senior editor
What it all means?
It's clear from the offseason acquisitions they've made that the Eagles are really going to go for it this season. They are built to win now. This is their time and they're not going to be satisfied with winning 12 games, their division, or getting to the NFC championship game. Anything but a trip to the Super Bowl will be a bust.
Kieran Darcy writes for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com.