Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Mistakes To Avoid – Part II

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Nov 10, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end

Brent Celek

(87) makes a catch on the one yard line against Carolina Panthers strong safety

Roman Harper

(41) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

X.  Defining Player Worth To Team From Box Score Alone

Sometimes a  player is selfless.   Yes, it can happen.  The player who doesn’t complain when his number is called to block, rather than catch.   The player who plays their heart out on special teams.  The player who does exactly what a coach asks of him.
But when the game is over, the fans look for the statistics and there are none.   Only certain plays are recorded and tracked –  passes caught, balls carried, passing yards thrown.   There is no stat for “great block down-field”, or “chewed up three blockers so his teammate could make the play”, nor “was a great decoy on three plays”.   Even the cerebral player who coaches up teammates, makes valid game time observations and shares those observations with the coaching staff. That type of information is not missed by the coaching staff, but is never recognized by the fans.

So when the off-season happens, guess which players draw the most interest for contract negotiation?  You guessed it.  The players who never show up in the box scores invariably show up in a cap casualty report in the off season.

Why is that bad for the team?  Because the special teams play led the NFL in performance and productivity, but nobody checks the box scores to see who made which block to spring the return guy.  The Eagles running game excels because receivers and tight ends know how to block, and offensive lineman know how to block down-field.   There are few times when those plays show up anywhere but the coaches film room.

But it’s those plays which define a championship team.  It’s a game of inches.  It’s a game of getting a helmet on a helmet.   Sure.  It’s cliche’.  But any military member can attest to the power of many acting as one.   It’s called the armed “forces” with good reason – they group that can move as one becomes a force that is virtually impossible to stop.   And it’s the selfless player, the one who does not whine to get their moment in the spotlight, who can accept whatever role the team has for them.

That’s why rotational players are so important.  That’s why this Eagles team is so very close.   The mindset is there.  Players are NOT selfish on this team.
That’s why this off-season, the team and the fans need to weigh personnel changes carefully.  Change only for the sake of Upgrade.   Don’t change for the sake of change.

Except the outcome.  Change that, for goodness sakes!