Thursday, September 20, 2012

Have the Eagles just been lucky?

With the Flyers and their corporate masters fully involved in the NHL's tug-of-greed war, where the only real losers are the fans, I wanted to weigh in on a real winning team in Philadelphia.
Yes, the Eagles have started their season at 2-0. But really, how real is it?
You've only had to watch their pair of 1-point wins over the Browns and Ravens -- who by season's end should be on opposite ends of the AFC Central standings (just as they are after two games) -- to wonder something...
Is this a very good Eagles team or a very lucky one?
For perspective on a question most professional athletes probably wouldn't feel comfortable addressing, we went to Trent Cole, who has always seemed comfortable with any and every direct question.
But this one? Not so easy.
"I don't know how to respond to that," Cole said. "But I can tell you I think we're good; a good team."
That was a shared opinion Thursday in an upbeat locker room at the Eagles' NovaCare Center training complex, with backup tight end Clay Harbor noting that some fans would look at the two near-miss comeback victories in the first two weeks and say, "Well, they had four (or five in Week 1) turnovers, so it doesn't count in the end.
"Well, it does count."
Looking ahead to what promises to be a tall challenge against the Arizona Cardinals (and we're not just talking about the Cardinals' 6-foot-8 defensive end Calais Campbell), Cole believes the question of talent-vs.-luck for the Eagles will go away in time, provided they simply take care of business.
"We have to go out there every game and prove that we're a good team, and that's what we need to keep doing," Cole said. "We can't just go out there and win a game at the end of a game, then lose and lose and then win a game. We're out to win every game and make it to The Big Show."
Cole went on to say, "There ain't no such thing as luck in this game," echoing a popular NFL locker room refrain. But among themselves, the players have to wonder about a league-high nine turnovers, and more than a few bounces that went their way leading up to and during the two Michael Vick led drives that created the two comeback victories.
That said, there can be a certain amount of bolstered confidence in the quarterback that can be drawn from the knowledge that despite the offense having such obvious issues ... the wins have come, anyway. 
I'll have more on this subject in a column for the Friday editions of the Daily Times.
In other unchanging news...
Injured lineman King Dunlap reported some progress, but that doesn't mean he's going to rush back in on Sunday. Also, hip-pointer receiver Jeremy Maclin was nowhere to be seen in the locker room, and certainly nowhere to be seen during the closed practices.