Jul 232010
 

July 23 Allentown Morning Call

“Coming off the most unusua,l and likely the most pivotal, offseason in coach Andy Reid’s tenure, the Eagles head to training camp next week with a youth movement that has left them with so many more questions than answers.

They have a new quarterback, of course, for the first time in this millenium. Their offensive line remains in a state of transition and their defense, which has undergone some radical re-shaping, is unproven.

At least none of their defensive linemen were shot or none of their wide receivers are expected to report with a major attitude problem due to contract dissatisfaction. Not yet, anyway. And they didn’t trade Cliff Lee.

Here’s a look at the top five offseason events that, for better or worse, have shaped what we will be seeing at Lehigh University over the next three weeks.

1. The trade of quarterback Donovan McNabb to NFC East rival Washington.

Kevin Kolb, drafted in 2007, is the new starter. He owns a 60.8 completion percentage with four touchdowns, seven interceptions, a 68.9 passer rating and a 1-1 record as a starter.

McNabb brings a 59.0 completion percentage with 216 touchdowns, 100 interceptions and a 92-49-1 record (9-6 in the playoffs) as a starter to the Redskins.

Maybe the Eagles know something.

Maybe they don’t.

“I think there’s great rapport here and great camaraderie,” Kolb said of his relationship with the offense. “I don’t think that will be an issue.”

2. The release of running back Brian Westbrook.

Easily the most versatile and the most valued weapon behind McNabb in the Reid era. Westbrook, at his peak, often played like a computer-generated cyborg designed to be the perfect back for Reid’s version of the West Coast offense. There was nothing he couldn’t do well, and his grasp of the system and his role in it was perfect.

However, he is human, and human bodies break down, particularly after eight seasons of pro football. Westbrook, despite career marks of nearly 6,000 rushing yards and 3,790 receiving yards, remains unsigned as teams around the league have become wary of the Eagles’ nearly perfect track record in sensing when players are through.”

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