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Banner raises the stakes in Philly

During a couple of recent appearances on WIP radio in Philly, we’ve commented on the high — and potentially unrealistic — expectations that the media has foisted onto the Eagles.  We so-called “experts” realize in our hearts that there’s no way of knowing which teams will be good and which teams will struggle weeks before the real games start, and so many of us tend to look to last year’s final outcome as a safe harbor for this year’s prognostications.

The chances, for example, of the Cardinals and the Redskins making it to the Super Bowl in 2010 are roughly equivalent, with the ‘Skins in our view actually having a better shot.  But most “experts” would pick the Cardinals over the Redskins, since it’s harder to look like a complete doofis by trusting the team that made it to February to cap last season.

The fact that the Eagles dug out of a deep hole in late November (sparked possibly by a Thanksgiving night dismantling of the Cardinals) and made it all the way to the NFC title game (where they lost to the Cardinals) has made plenty of “experts” think that the Eagles will finish the job, finally, in 2010.

And perhaps they will.  But if they do it will mean that they overcame the loss of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, the departure of safety Brian Dawkins, a 60-percent reshuffling of the starting offensive line, the increasingly rickety legs of tailback Brian Westbrook, and a quarterback who seems to puke whenever he plays in Florida, the site of this year’s Super Bowl.

Instead of pointing out these realities in the hopes of reeling in the kind of high hopes that can get people fired if they aren’t fulfilled, team president Joe Banner has declared that the Eagles are ready to dominate.

“I feel this year we have the best roster in the league,” Banner told Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  “That’s assuming everyone is healthy and standing at the end.  You can
only make a statement like that on the first day of training camp. 
After that, anything can happen.”

Frankly, a statement like that can be made at any time.  And it’s a statement that we’d never make. 

It increases expectations, making a 9-7 record and a near-miss at the playoffs in the tough NFC East something that might now be grounds for a cleaning of the house.  Also, it potentially creates friction between the coaching staff and the front office, since a failure to win the Super Bowl will now be blamed on something other than talent — barring a devastating outbreak of injuries.

So while we respect the Eagles organization, which has remained competitive over an extended period of time, we wonder whether boastful statements about the quality of the team will do more harm than good.

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35 Responses to “Banner raises the stakes in Philly”
  1. screaming sheep says: Jul 26, 2009 12:46 PM

    I love it, but your going to get bashed hard Mike.
    They are paper champions every year.

  2. dandrol says: Jul 26, 2009 12:49 PM

    I hate that so many pundits are picking the Eagles to do well. I’m an Eagles fan, and I would much rather be considered an average team…not so far to fall if you stink, not so surprising if you succeed.
    Thanks Banner for adding more pressure than needed!

  3. Akshun says: Jul 26, 2009 1:11 PM

    Florio you’re a horrible writer…
    Steve Spagnuola, Jon Harbaugh, Brad Childress all coaches under Reid and now all HEAD COACHES.. i think they know a little something about replacing talented, smart coaches on their roster…
    and to think the Redskins have a better shot at the Bowl just shows your lack of knowledge about football and you’re gonna look like a real idiot after they falter again..
    Not saying the Eagles WILL win it all, but they def deserve the credit they’ve been getting..

  4. iceman says: Jul 26, 2009 1:15 PM

    joe banner is an accountant, he has no idea what he’s talking about, he needs to focus on being a shiesty contract negotiator and ripping off veteran players

  5. RedskinPete says: Jul 26, 2009 1:26 PM

    I agree with you florio skins will be in the superbowl & the pigeons will be horrible

  6. Dustin Chandler says: Jul 26, 2009 1:29 PM

    it’s impossible for anyone to go the distance in the NFC East anymore. They beat each other up just enough to fall short everytime. Now with the NFC South coming up in the ranks… the NFC is up for grabs. The only teams I can think of that wouldn’t make it to the superbowl this year from the NFC are the Rams, 49ers, and Lions. You could even make some what of an argument for the 49ers.
    Goodluck predicting the NFC.
    You won’t.

  7. Dustin Chandler says: Jul 26, 2009 1:30 PM

    Oh, and the Bucs won’t make it either. lol

  8. CtownBleedsGreen says: Jul 26, 2009 1:32 PM

    It is so awesome the way you wove the puking part into the story! I’m sure you’re just waiting for a chance to lampoon the Romo shower faint, or the Clinton Portis cross-dress, or the T.O-verdose. The puking bit is played out Mike, kind of like writing LOL.

  9. CJR says: Jul 26, 2009 1:37 PM

    The Eagles will do what they always do……choke. They might as well sign Tony Romo at qb and let either him or McNabb choke in the big game.

  10. CtownBleedsGreen says: Jul 26, 2009 1:38 PM

    To be 100% correct Akshun, he puked in Jacksonville in a regular season game versus the Jags that they lost back in 02 I think. But the puking deal is f-ing lame.

  11. mad555 says: Jul 26, 2009 1:38 PM

    @ Akshun
    Mcnabb puked when he played at the bucs in 03 and then in jacksonville SB in 04

  12. Buschman says: Jul 26, 2009 1:47 PM

    McNabb actually puked in Jacksonville during a regular season game against the Jags in 2002 (the Super Bowl was also in Jacksonville). I remember clearly because I was there and the Eagles certainly should have won. I also remember Antonio Freeman laying out and missing a TD grab. And I remember it was so hot that I had to put ice in my Yuengling to keep it cold long enough for me to slam it. Then I realized that you could get a double Crown and Coke for $11 in the stadium. Come to think of it, I puked that day too.

  13. Patsfanin Philly says: Jul 26, 2009 1:54 PM

    And he did it vs Virginia Tech back in 1998….
    Go to the 2:45 mark when they had to call a timeout. I give him credit for…leaving it all on the field…as they say.

  14. wgw27 says: Jul 26, 2009 2:07 PM

    McNabb had a chance in the championship game last year to drive the Eagles down the field with over 2 mins left and he couldn’t handle the pressure – he missed wide open receivers.

  15. Smush Rodrigez says: Jul 26, 2009 2:35 PM

    wgw27 says:
    July 26, 2009 2:07 PM
    McNabb had a chance in the championship game last year to drive the Eagles down the field with over 2 mins left and he couldn’t handle the pressure – he missed wide open receivers.
    Do you mean the game that the defense could not stop the Cardinals and got their asses handed to them. When Dawkins bounced off Larry Fitz? When McNabb clawed them out of the grave the the defense dug? YOu mean the drive that McNabb hit Kevin Curtis with a perfect pass out of bounds and the NUMBER 1 WR let it bouce off his hands?
    If you watch that game and blame it all on McNabb you are either: an idiot, looking for a reason to hate McNabb, or think that he is the best QB ever to play the game and should be able to win every game he plays with NO help from anyone else…
    All of this Westbrook talk is over the top. THe guy doesn’t do anything in the playoffs (unless it is a couple of plays against the Giants). McNabb puked and out performed Brady and Westbrook did nothing. Nothing. McNabb in SB = good. TO is SB good. Eagles D is SB = bad. Westbrook in SB = Did not show up for the game. All of the same could be said for AZ game last year.

  16. wgw27 says: Jul 26, 2009 2:51 PM

    Smush Rodrigez :
    How about the wide open Hank Baskett out to the left – he would have scored if it was on the money. I’m not blaming him for the loss jacka$$ I was just stating the fact that he has a history of coming up short in big situations – like last min drives in big games. It’s not like the Cards have a great def. Drive stats below.
    1-10-ARI 47 (2:09) (Shotgun) 5-D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to 84-H.Baskett.
    2-10-ARI 47 (2:06) (Shotgun) 5-D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle to 10-D.Jackson.
    3-10-ARI 47 (2:01) (Shotgun) 5-D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to 84-H.Baskett.

  17. Route36West says: Jul 26, 2009 2:56 PM

    I enjoy this statement actually. Im with you guys on the media front . Id rather go into the season under the radar and suprise people. I dont like the media saying how good the Eagles will be.
    But I do like our front office talking with someone confidence for once. Usually there like one game at a time, lets see how this plays out, “Im not going to get into all that”. Usually they show alot of false confidence like in years with the wide reciever play, Mcnabbs injuries, DAWKINS signing a new contract its nice to finally see them showing some actual confidence.
    I dont believe Banner can put anymore pressure on the Eagles with what he says then there already is. The Eagles fans need a win. The Phillies are pushing them for fans, dollars, and respect in the city. And like you said the media has them crowned paper champs of 2009-2010.

  18. Bigbluefan says: Jul 26, 2009 3:02 PM

    Yes egirl fans its preseason and your all on a high this is your year blah blah blah
    Come December or early january you can all sit back watch the mummers on broad street and know that your team like your city are 3rd rate.
    Go get drunk eat your scraple and and get ready for another year of crummy football in the city that wishes it was
    Lets see how good mcscab is this year againest the upgraded giants D nothing better then seeing him on his butt in the Meadowlands
    Fly Egirls Fly

  19. as big as a hat says: Jul 26, 2009 3:10 PM

    Doofis? Is that a word?

  20. dldavidlong says: Jul 26, 2009 3:19 PM

    So while we respect the Eagles organization, which has remained competitive over an extended period of time, we wonder whether boastful statements about the quality of the team will do more harm than good.
    his statements won’t affect the team’s perfomance either way.

  21. Vidiotz says: Jul 26, 2009 3:25 PM

    The Eagles are obviously in turmoil after returning 10 of 11 starters on the defense, turning the DC over to the DC’s heir apparent (having 10+ years in the Eagles’ system to boot under the great Jim Johnson), with a defensive line and linebacking core that gelled in the second half of last season (no. 3 in the league, tops in the NFC).
    Offensively, the Eagles have added 4.4 and 4.6 speed at WR (with the 2nd best receiver available in the draft) and TE positions, respectively, and have drafted the heir apparent to Westbrook in the draft with one of the highest rated RB’s available. Oh yeah, they also added a legitimate fullback with West Coast experience.
    There is a new look to the O line, yes, but on paper, it’s an improvement over the line that allowed the fewest sacks in Donovan McNabb’s tenure in Philly. The new look offensive line is arguably the biggest concern the Eagles have right now, and there were even some pundits ON THIS SITE who said their line is improved based on the offseason moves. That said, the ability of the 5 players (3 of whom a good friends from college days and/or brothers) to gel together will be a big key to the preseason.
    On the other hand, the Giants did a great job of adding more depth to their D Line (which the Eagles already had – sacks were evenly distributed along the line last year), they have addressed some of their LB worries (but not all), and are moving into their 3rd DC in 4 seasons.
    Offensively, the Giant have lost over 60% of their production from last year (Burress, Toomer, and Ward). They have an RB that hasn’t lasted a full 16 game season, and has fumbilitis when he does play. Also, while their QB hasn’t thrown up on the field (where it’s seen), he also looks rather human when not throwing to someone with Burress on their uniform – see the numbers from the final 6 geames of the season. The offensive line for the Giants is awesome, but how much depth do they have after the starting 5 (as of today, the best starting 5 in football, based on last season). Oh yeah, the Giants also lost 2 of the last 3 games, including a home playoff game after two weeks of rest, to the Eagles.
    Once you’re in the playoffs, it’s anyone’s game. The Eagles are a team that typically gels towards the end of the year, and have proven that they can get to the big games… it’s still up to them to win it, but there should be no denying that they have the talent to get there.

  22. Buschman says: Jul 26, 2009 4:21 PM

    Nice post, Vidiotz. Go Birds!

  23. tom skiffington says: Jul 26, 2009 5:52 PM

    “McNabb PUKED”
    actually, the only proof we have of that is freddie mitchell’s word. and we all know how much credibility that guy has.
    amazing how the alleged puking incident has lived on for so long. NOT ONE of the gazillion cameras at the super bowl caught it, but if freddie mitchell said it, then it must be true.

  24. tom skiffington says: Jul 26, 2009 6:25 PM

    Bigbluefan says:
    your team like your city are 3rd rate.
    says a guy who’s team plays across the river from a city that needed a terrorist attack to get some respect. really dude. no one actually loves new york. we just feel bad.

  25. ☻☼CBS, FOX, ESPN, NFLN nbc says: Jul 26, 2009 6:29 PM

    IGGLES- 0

  26. Alpheratz says: Jul 26, 2009 6:55 PM

    The early 90’s Buffalo team never punched through.
    Odds are against it here, I should think.
    I’m waiting for the new regime.

  27. mustbechris says: Jul 26, 2009 7:28 PM

    Nice to see you found a way to stick the puking in there. Always great to rehash something that happened 5 seasons ago.
    Basically, Banner said this because the Phillies, for once, are more talked about right now than the Eagles. Not sure that’s ever happened before. They’re the reigning WFCs and the Halladay trade rumors are the buzz right now rather than Eagles training camp. Banner needs to be the center of attention, and wants the spotlight back where it always has been (squarely on the team he’s president of), so he made an outlandish, inaccurate, and unnecessary statement to get the sports radio stations in the city to talk Eagles again. And it will work because Howard Eskin essentially serves the same purpose for the Eagles that Dave Spadaro does. Thank God for Mike Missinelli.

  28. mustbechris says: Jul 26, 2009 7:29 PM

    tom skiffington, I dislike New York as much as the next person, but your comment was tasteless.

  29. BorisBulldog says: Jul 26, 2009 8:00 PM

    Can we just say no to McNabb and NFC Championship games?
    He’s becoming the one man version of the BUF SB futility!

  30. EskinSux says: Jul 26, 2009 8:46 PM

    Personally…..I can’t stand Banner……..He’s a pretentious little douchebag. But what the hell do you expect him to say? I have heard enough “Gold Standard” speeches from the other schmuck to realize this is their modus operandi, and with the Phils reigning Champs and looking good to at least make another run again, he’s using his connections to get the Eagles some press…..This is after all the same buttwipe who actually calls the newspapers when he thinks the birds aren’t getting enough face time…..

  31. TheDPR says: Jul 26, 2009 10:29 PM

    I don’t think Andy Reid is too concerned about whether coaching is blamed instead of management, since he’s in charge of both. He runs the entire show there and it’s always his fault and his credit when they lose or win.

  32. Smush Rodrigez says: Jul 27, 2009 11:29 AM

    wgw27 says:
    July 26, 2009 2:51 PM
    Smush Rodrigez :
    How about the wide open Hank Baskett out to the left – he would have scored if it was on the money. I’m not blaming him for the loss jacka$$ I was just stating the fact that he has a history of coming up short in big situations – like last min drives in big games. It’s not like the Cards have a great def. Drive stats below.
    1-10-ARI 47 (2:09) (Shotgun) 5-D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to 84-H.Baskett.
    2-10-ARI 47 (2:06) (Shotgun) 5-D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle to 10-D.Jackson.
    3-10-ARI 47 (2:01) (Shotgun) 5-D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to 84-H.Baskett.
    HMMM, you left out the part before the 1st and 10 when the Eagles were winning and the defense let AZ RUN THE BALL DOWN THEIR THROATS for 80+ and a touch.
    You also left out the fourth down play in Curtis’ hands at the sideline that he dropped. A perfect pass in his hands – dropped.
    Why is the defense never held accountable for the losses? Why is Westbrook given a free pass? Why is every game on the shoulders of McNabb and only McNabb.
    McNabb has flaws, like every player. But his coach refuses to take pressure off of the man with a running game. Look at Brady’s numbers pre Randy Moss. He was pedestrian with a great defense. He could put up 160 yards and one TD and win. McNabb cannot do that.

  33. JL says: Jul 27, 2009 3:08 PM

    Lets not forget about Akers costing the team 4 points, how in the he** do you miss an extra point in the playoffs!!

  34. atowwn says: Jul 27, 2009 3:46 PM

    i dont think Brady would have been able to win vs. the cardinals with just 160 yards and a touchdown…..That cardinals team was a scoring machine, no team woulda stopped Fitzgerald hes a monster specially with Boldin at the other side….. now the eagles offense didnt score a touchdown in the first half… cant really blame the defense for that 1st half let down i mean the eagles offense wasnt giving them any rest time they were exhausted they got their rest at half time and throught the third quarter they gave up that last touchdown but McNabb had the ball in his hands with like 2 minutes and a half he couldnt come through he couldnt do what kurt warner Just did. He gets the blame cuz hes the quarterback, hes the leader he had the ball in his hands and he couldnt produce..

  35. Lesean and Desean 09-10 says: Jul 27, 2009 4:17 PM

    I am LOLing at the Giants fans right now. Your team won the superbowl because of your defense and your running backs, what did Eli do that year besides a mediocre job. Don’t hate on McNabb when you have worse. And for the record the Giants this year being better than the Eagles? They were not certainly better than the Eagles last year, we played 3 games, the Eagles took two. And your offense, no Plaxico, no Toomer, your relying on Hakeem Nicks, someone from an ACC school, that never wins the conference, and he was drafted on one catch, and your defense isn’t going to do much, they may gave gotten better, but who has the best O-Line in offense this year, the Eagles, so Giants fans, stop talking garbage. And good luck Redskins, you have the defense, and a better Jason Campbell, lets see you guys ride first or second now, and Cowboys let’s build up guys we want some more competition. The Giants aren’t really considered it if we beat them at 9-7 in a playoff game and once during the year thats right ELI choked this year, and as I said the year they WON the superbowl, was because of their Defense(which really isn’t better) they had targets for Eli, yes talk crap on McNabb and T.O…. but stats show Eli needed Plaxico, and they also show McNabb didn’t need T.O…. so Giants fans your stats that McNabb apparently has bad and Eli’s are good, your just plain stupid. And Skins, this is your year for the division I feel, Cowboys rebuild.

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