Personnel Mistakes Philadelphia Eagles Did NOT Make In 2014

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May 9, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns first round draft pick Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) speaks during a press conference at the Cleveland Browns Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Personnel Mistakes The Philadelpia Eagles Did NOT Make in 2014 Off-Season

In the 2014 NFL Draft, there were a myriad of opportunities for each and every NFL team to improve their performance. Each team made choices which affected the other teams’ options, and as free agency and the 2014 NFL draft have concluded, now is the time for fans, pundits, and analysts alike to grade the performance of each team.  It’s an annual ritual in which I fully participate, and the discussions that ensue are the stuff that keeps my football appetite satiated until the Birds take to the field for another NFL season.

In the course of the 2014 “grading” system, far too many have come with lukewarm interest in the doings of the Philadelphia Eagles choices.  From free agency to the NFL draft, I encounter opinions of persons who truly believe that the Eagles have left value on the table which other teams have grabbed.

Let’s eliminate the hype for a moment, however.  Let’s take the Eagles for the blue collar team that they are.   Let’s embrace the entire “We’re from Philly and we fight!” persona, discuss what that means, and then translate the moves of the Eagles to see if we truly are staying true to the theme.

Blue collar is physical.   It’s a lifestyle filled with bumps and bruises, heavy on labor and less than heavy on fame and stardom.   Blue collar takes pride in working hard and playing harder.  But most of all, blue collar is the opposite of stardom.   In a blue collar environment, it’s “put up or shut up”.   It’s less about the glamor, and more about the competition.   In a blue collar town, the greatest thrill is showing up big when you are the underdog.  It’s the “putting them in their place” that really gets the team and the fans excited.  It’s being a double digit underdog, but winning in complete dominating style.  That’s the kind of game that is memorable.

Now, in that context, there are many choices a team can make which will be fine, but there are some choices which would be immediate alarms and cause problems.   Thankfully, in this offseason, the Eagles avoided the biggest pitfalls:  signing a star, drafting  the headliner,  following along blindly, or repeating past success.

Let’s examine each and why that mistake could have been disastrous for the Eagles.