Emerging. Two Eagles players.
That is as good of a description as any of the season just ended by the Philadelphia Eagles, emerging. Two Eagles players can make a difference between a team going home from the playoffs, and a team advancing. The Eagles grew quite a bit as a team in 2013, but they are not done yet. Players are still absorbing what they learned, saw, and experienced this season. Young men are back to the weight rooms and tracks to chisel, train, and prep their bodies for their assigned roles in the Eagles schemes. Some players did not learn as quickly as others, or simply did not have sufficient playing time, to make the headlines. But this is a very talented bunch, make no mistake. There are some who show signs of rising to the next level. Two Eagles players: nose tackle Bennie Logan and defensive end Cedric Thornton are two such players. Each of these players made plays throughout 2013, but particularly as the season began to wind down, each began to wind up.
The Philadelphia Eagles were this close to advancing in the NFL playoffs to the second round. After the playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints, I joined thousands of fans and sports prognosticators in viewing the teams that played on the following week, and the next week. My conclusion each week was that the Philadelphia Eagles need to improve to play at that level of speed, precision and game planning football. As I looked at the teams advancing, I did not see any teams with a new head coach. I did not see teams advancing in their first year of new schemes. I did see teams which, over time, had evolved slowly into that caliber of a team through a vision, a draft, free agency, and most of all by the players who grew into that system.
Upon the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVIII, mock drafts and free agency rumors filled the sports pages as this is the closest moment fans have of actually calling the shots for their teams. It’s our chance to give the team directions of “how to get there from here” and we all jump at the chance eager to express our wisdom, or simply our imagination, at the opportunity. Lost in the shuffle to call out the definitive free agent signing or draft prospect is the reality that the real growth, the real improvement, will come from the guys who are on the team and elevate their game. These players are on track to do so: