An interesting debate has been brewing among fans and bloggers about whether or not the Eagles are "rebuilding."
The Eagles certainly haven't used that word. In fact, they've explicitly said that rebuilding isn't in their vocabulary.
My beef is with the word "rebuilding" and the connotations that come with it. In footballspeak rebuilding means starting over. You're giving up on what you've got, tearing it down, and starting anew. I don't see that as what's been going on.
Tommy goes on to say that's what Andy Reid did in 1999 when he broke the Eagles down and then built them back up, more or less from scratch. Fellow blogger Derek Sarleydisagreed with Tommy's definition:
I think a more appropriate definition of rebuilding would be "making a series of offseason moves whose value, on balance, seems skewed towards future seasons at the expense of the present."
When it comes right down to it, the whole thing is a semantic argument as to what exactly "rebuilding" means.
But what do I think? I think the Eagles are a Boeing 767.
Hear me out.
The Eagles are a huge jetliner. They're flying at 35,000 feet, but the pilot starts to realize that the plane is getting a little bit old, a little bit worn out. It's a great plane, but the time has come to take it into the shop for a little bit.
Most pilots would take their plane down and ground it for a while in a hanger bay. There, the engineers and mechanics would replace all the old parts and get it ready to fly. When everything's done, the pilot would take it back out again.
But not this pilot. This pilot decides he wants to continue to fly the plane -- while the repairs are going on. So he's keeping the jet in the air while also replacing every gear and seat and window and turbine. The task is quite difficult and those who try it often resort to an emergency landing anyway.
But it looks like this pilot might just have pulled off this impossible reconstruction. He's replaced the last big piece, the main steering column.
Everyone can see what the Eagles are doing. They're completely revamping the plane. The proccess is the same no matter what you call it. The only question is whether you have to ground the plane to name that process "rebuilding."
I say no -- it's the process that matters, not the way it's done. The fact that through the turnover the Eagles have managed to keep the jet in the air, keep the team in contention is a testament to their front office savvy.
The Eagles are rebuilding, just with a little more bravado than everyone else.