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Eagles fans and the front office need to be patient if the Eagles want to become winners again.
I was trying to think of a worst case scenario for the Eagles reboot in 2013. And besides some sort of "one more year" scenario, I think the worst thing that could happen to this team is for the front office to decide they really only need to reload rather than rebuild.
There will certainly be the temptation to avoid the hard choices that come with committing to a full purge. Even with coach Andy Reid gone, general manager Howie Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie may look at the large complement of veteran players that they've shelled out big money for and decide to hire someone promising a quick fix.
Whether or not the hire would actually be him, Jon Gruden provides the inspiration for this selection. He went into Tampa Bay and in a year turned the Bucs from consistent contenders to Super Bowl winners. (Honestly, the outgoing coach in that scenario, Tony Dungy, makes a lot of sense in this role as well.)
On paper that sounds great. Why waste a year or two rebuilding the team when you can hire someone who promises to get you right back into the hunt? But to go this route would be to ignore the large structural problems this team is loaded with. You would be giving the Titanic a new coat of paint rather than addressing the larger concerns.
What are those concerns? How about a team that has far too many players in critical positions who are on the downhill slope of their careers. Players like DB Nnamdi Asomugha, who Todd Bowles is now blitzing on third down, and QB Michael Vick, who isn't getting any better (or younger). There's also an over-reliance on rookies and second-year players, some of whom are talented but all are inexperienced. There's a complete lack of depth at, really, every position, most notably offensive line.
Reid built the most sustained period of success this franchise has ever seen, but he didn't do it overnight. He came in with a three-year plan, and he executed. He cleaned house, picked the right quarterback, made a few key free-agent signings but mostly built through the draft. This Eagles squad has been without that hard reboot for years -- and delaying it will only prolong the inevitable.
Just another reason to start rooting for losses...