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To Whom It May Concern:


Here now are my Top Five Concerns For The 2009-10 Philadelphia Eagles Professional Football Franchise.

Holy Verbosity Batman, could I use a longer title?

Anyway… here goes.

1. The health of Brian Westbrook. He will turn 30 before the season starts. His per-rush average has gone down the last 3 years. And oh yeah, he’ll be coming off ankle surgery in the off-season. That’s the bad news. The good news is that he is not a pounding back like the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs, so he doesn’t get that many “big” hits per se nor does he get many carries compared to other backs in the league. Obviously only time will tell but if BWest is not well… BWest, the Eagles and their fans will be asking a lot of rookie RB LeSean McCoy.

2. The Cohesiveness of the Offensive Live. Everyone knows the greatest offensive lines in NFL history are those that are comprised of players that have played together for a really long time. Really long as in 134 games, which is the number of games Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan played together. On paper (there’s that classic completely useless sports maxim) they clearly are improved, having added former Pro Bowler Jason Peters and Shawn Andrews’ older brother Stacy to the fold. How quickly this unit gels will have a major impact on the ultimate success or failure of this coming season.

3. The loss of one leader. And maybe another. With Bronco Brian now patrolling the secondary in Denver, there will be a huge void left in the on the field leadership department. Of course Dawkins’ loss will also be felt in the locker room and on the sidelines, which is precisely where another significant loss could be felt. As we all know, earlier this year Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson was granted a leave of absence for an indefinite period of time due to his continued treatments for a cancerous tumor on his spine. Secondary Coach Sean McDermott will assume the role of coordinator in Johnson’s absence. It remains to be seen of course how long Johnson will be out and how the Eagles Defense will perform under McDermott. Just another thing to be concerned about.

4. Donovan McNabb. Yes he got a hefty raise. And yes he will be appearing in new TV commercials for IHOP, hawking their new breakfast dish, the QB Scramble. Guess you don’t have to do it to eat it. But I digress. However what Donnnie Mac will we get in 2009-10? One would have to think he’s quite happy with all that new money and all the new toys he got in the off-season, even if one of his “old” toys is not quite like brand new anymore (See #1).

5. The Hype. I have yet to come across an “expert” NFL ranking of all 32 NFL teams that listed the Eagles as any lower than the 5th rated team. The question is why? Is it based on the rest of the NFL and parity and all that stuff? Maybe. More likely, however, it’s based on how the Eagles finished last season. Yes, they made it within one game of the Super Bowl. And yes, they looked very impressive in the playoffs, save for the 2nd half in Arizona. But, you can’t just dismiss the fact they only made the playoffs thanks to a series of very fortunate events. I think the Eagles will be a contender to get to the Super Bowl (I didn’t say win it), but that’s more of a reflection of the current state of the NFC than a glowing endorsement of the Eagles team. There’s simply too many questions right now to consider them an legitimate Super Bowl contender.