Like the bravado.
Hell, even the B.S. that often accompanies both.
In the high-stakes game of pro sports, particularly with regard to the NFL, those in charge of the inner-workings and personnel decisions of a franchise have to possess a certain measure of confidence, sometimes to the point of cockiness.
Balls are not an option. They are a must.
So, really, got no qualms whatsoever with the “cat that swallowed the canary” pompousness Eagles GM in reality Howie Roseman exudes or the “our roster is better than the Favre-led Super Bowl Packers” posturing by head coach Doug Pederson.
Such stuff is pretty much necessary in order to convince fans, players and, frankly, themselves that better days are just around the corner … and that they are just the guys to lead Philly to a championship.
It’s the right attitude, the right take, the right spin to make.
For themselves … and everyone else who has a vested interest in the Birds.
Just not so sure that better days are just around the corner … and that a title is forthcoming under their watch.
Well, it’s not so much Pederson’s oft-criticized play-calling or Roseman’s supposed diplomacy shortcomings. Plain and simple, it’s their judgment of talent and the emphasis they place on certain players and they believe those players bring to the table.
For example, LeGarrette Blount was the team’s big offseason acquisition. The stud back who was going to super-charge the all-too-unproductive ground game.
With apologies to the stat kids out there who only focus on the positive, sorry, he sucks. Screw the 18 TDs he had for New England last season. They required mostly a half-yard of effort on his part. The dude averaged 3.9 yards per carry behind one of the best lines in football.
He is, and always has been, a very limited player – which does not fit anywhere into the Eagles’ style of preferring Jack-of-all-trades talent.
It was a dumb signing that, fortunately, won’t cost the team much once that level of dumbness it entailed comes completely to light.
Never liked the Donnel Pumphrey draft selection in the spring, either. While everyone was getting caught up into the ridiculous comparisons to Darren Sproles, a guy a good 30 pounds of muscle thicker and light years quicker, they apparently forget to check any video from the youngster’s days at San Diego State.
Pssst, Pumphrey was a nice, under-sized back who knew how to use his blocks. Blocks, by the way, that allowed his backups in both 2015 and 2016 to clear 1,000 rushing yards as well – the latter, in fact, doing so while averaging 1.5 yards more per carry than that “coveted” fourth-rounder for the Birds.
Look, there are positives. Obviously. But even some of those, well, they kinda need to be tempered. The Carson Wentz love is outta control and has been since Roseman made the moves needed to slide up to the No. 2 spot in the 2016 draft in order to take the North Dakota product. Yeah, he’s good. He’s pretty athletic. But this anointing him for quarterback sainthood, with Howie and Doug leading the way … well, it reeks of colossal letdown for those failing to see that the kid’s flaws are just as capable of derailing his trek to greatness as his potential is to ensuring it.
Oh, and gimme a break about his big arm. He doesn’t have one.
Don’t even get me started on Fletcher Cox, either … or how the team’s most talented defender, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, has been totally misused for years.
Thing is, the GM and the head coach may not be directly linked to all of the above. But they do call the shots, and ultimately what happens with each player, and each scenario, falls on them.
They believe in themselves, at least outwardly – which is a good thing.
Just not sure a believer in them exists here – despite an appreciation for the bravado.