October 29 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch:
“THIS WAS a couple of weeks ago, right after the Eagles announced that they had swapped running backs with the Cleveland Browns, exchanging little-used Mike Bell for Jerome Harrison.
Somebody asked general manager Howie Roseman to explain how he and head coach Andy Reid could have been so wrong about Bell, who they had signed less than 7 months earlier to be the changeup to LeSean McCoy’s fastball.
In five games with the Eagles, Bell rushed for just 28 yards on 16 carries and was of little use as a receiver or a blocker.
“You’re not going to bat 1.000 in this business,” Roseman said. “You hope you’re right a lot more than you’re wrong. You’ve got to keep swinging.”
While the Eagles have done a reasonably decent job of staying above the Mendoza Line as far as their draft decisions are concerned, they’ve done an inordinate amount of swinging and missing with their 14 most significant free-agent signings and trade acquisitions the last 2 years.
The only two veteran acquisitions by the Eagles since March 2009 that you can really give clear thumbs ups to at this point are quarterback Michael Vick and fullback Leonard Weaver. And who in God’s name ever thought we’d be saying that about their decision to sign Vick last year? Weaver had a terrific first season with the Eagles after signing with them last year, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1.
The jury still is out on linebacker Ernie Sims, who the Eagles acquired in an April trade with the Lions, and defensive lineman Darryl Tapp, who was picked up from Seattle in March for a fourth-round pick and defensive end Chris Clemons.
Sims has played pretty well as their starting weakside linebacker. But they wouldn’t have needed Sims if they had hung on to Will Witherspoon. Witherspoon, who was acquired last October from the Rams, was released 7 weeks after they traded for Sims, mainly because he was scheduled to make $5 million this season. He has been one of the keys to the Tennessee Titans’ defensive success.
After a slow start, Tapp is starting to make a contribution as a decent pass-rushing tackle in their nickel package. But Clemons already has 5 1/2 sacks with the Seahawks, which is just 1 1/2 sacks fewer than he had in two seasons with the Eagles.”
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