Thursday, January 27, 2011

Asomugha, Pro Bowlers, and Jeff Fisher

In a shift of discussion from coaching to players, there has been no talk from the Eagles about roster movement, but we can be sure they will (hopefully) move quickly during the slim window between the Super Bowl (Feb. 7) and the date the current collective bargaining agreement expires (Mar. 4). In that time, the Eagles would be wise to browse this top free agents list to pick up talent ahead of the 2011 NFL Draft. One name on it keeps coming up is the Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. If the Eagles can pick him up, he could complement Asante Samuel in the Eagles' secondary, solidifying the backfield and beefing up the defense for any potential DC candidate. With this consideration, hopefully people will back off of the speculation that the Eagles will move to a 3-4 defense, since the Raiders also run a 4-3 defense, and keeping this system intact would provide a better potential transition. Asomugha has already been passed on by the Colts as a poor fit for a Cover 2 defense.

In offensive news, Michael Vick told reporters in Honolulu that he hopes to be back in Philly next year, a rehash of his statement that being the Eagles' quarterback gives him the best chance to win a Super Bowl. All of this is really just pep talk at the moment, since there is no way the Eagles will get rid of Vick. The organization has been contemplating giving him a franchise tag, though it is good to know that the cornerstone to the Eagles' rebuilding is happy in his position.

DeSean Jackson is also in Hawaii, and was prepping for the Pro Bowl until he tweaked his knee at a practice, later ruled to be a sprain. He refused to talk about his contract today, but has stated he believes that the Eagles will offer him an extension over the offseason. With his production this past year, especially in divisional games against the Redskins and Giants, it would be foolish not to extend his contract past the one year he has left. Jackson's spot in the Pro Bowl will be filled by the Dallas Cowboys' Miles Austin. That's kind of like sacrilege.

Finally, because the DC drama won't die, news recently broke that Jeff Fisher has been let go by the Titans. Because nature won't allow a vacuum or silence on speculations, many have immediately jumped into the conversation with the idea that Fisher will return to Philly to reprise his role as defensive coordinator. Much of the speculation comes from the recent hiring of the Titans' Jim Washburn and the fact that Fisher spent four of his first five coaching years on the Eagles' defensive staff, serving as DC from 1988-1990. However, at the moment it's doubtful that Fisher will be a candidate, having been a head coach since 1994, way back when the Titans were still the Houston Oilers. Smart money (barring an evaporated candidate pool) is on Fisher looking for a head coaching job for 2011, or short of that, I see him taking the Jim Mora route, perhaps taking a commentating job and job hunting for the 2012-2013 season.

Sure to add to the fuel of the rumor fire is the news that former Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner is interested in the spot left vacant by the firing of Bill Shuey. Joyner played for the Eagles from 1986-1993 under Buddy Ryan and DC Jeff Fisher.

Long story short, the Eagles have a lot of spots to fill and decisions to make. Unfortunately, the clock is quickly ticking on these decisions.

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