“Andy Reid doesn’t believe in rebuilding, seasons of transition or lowered expectations. The objective every season is the same for the Eagles’ head coach — win the Super Bowl.
But after the offseason trade that landed his former cornerstone quarterback in a division rival’s jersey, the team’s almost annual habit of making the postseason is being questioned.
The Eagles, who made five trips to the NFC Championship Game in Donovan McNabb’s 11 seasons, will convene at Lehigh University next Monday to start the Kevin Kolb era at training camp.
The shadow of McNabb, traded to the Redskins in the offseason, will loom large for the young gunslinger. With longtime star running back Brian Westbrook gone, too, Kolb will need dynamic third-year receiver DeSean Jackson and second-year running back LeSean McCoy to share in the leadership burden.
But the pressure on Reid and the Eagles to sustain the success they’ve built over the past decade is equally burdensome.
They haven’t won the NFC East — something they did five times during McNabb’s tenure — since 2006 and last year lost three times to division champion Dallas, which remains the trendy pick to stay atop the standings.
“I think it’s clear that if you look at the Eagles’ draft and what they did through free agency — they said, “We’re not good enough schematically to beat the Cowboys,’ ” said Brian Baldinger, one of the NFL Network’s more outspoken analysts. “And almost every single move they made this offseason was geared toward that.
“That’s their challenge, but I would say at this point even just on paper,the Cowboys are a better team.””