The Eagles are a Long Way From the Super Bowl

This rebuilding is for the long haul

The Super Bowl takes place Sunday and the Eagles will not be participating. Breaking news, everyone.

But in all seriousness, this is the height of the sport, and the Eagles are far, far away from getting back there. Let's just take a moment to realize how far. Look at the 49ers roster and try to think of players on the Eagles who could start for the NFC Champs. It's a short list.

On offense, San Francisco has two quarterbacks who are better than anyone on the Eagles roster. They have an athletic freak of a tight end, and two Pro Bowlers on their mauling offensive line. 2011 Jason Peters could play for them, but not sure you take the 2013 version over Joe Staley. Evan Mathis, the Eagles' best offensive lineman in 2012, is probably a notch below former first-round pick Mike Iupati. I would take LeSean McCoy over Frank Gore, certainly. And DeSean Jackson beats old Randy Moss. But that's all.

Moving to the defensive side brings an even worse comparison. The 49ers have two of the best linebackers in the NFL, Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman. They also have two Pro Bowl pass rushers, Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, and both Pro Bowl safeties, Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson. I love Fletcher Cox and maybe he can sneak in on the defensive line if we're being generous, but that's all.

That's three players -- make it four with Alex Henery over the dearly departed David Akers. You'll get the same results if you compare the Eagles to other championship teams, even the 2004 squad that made it to the Super Bowl. You wouldn't be able to sneak many 2013 Eagles on to that roster.

All of which is to say: this isn't a quick-fix job, it's a long-term rebuilding process. Set your expectations accordingly.

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