Over the next couple of weeks, as we try to get some perspective and understand just what is going on with this team, I want to call attention to other people's good theories. Here's one today by beat writer Les Bowen (the one reporter Andy consistently refers to by name in his press conferences):
"My latest theory on the strange ups and downs of the Eagles: It's all about Donovan McNabb. Maybe this team is really just McNabb and a bunch of mediocrities, and when McNabb is really good, the team looks viable. When McNabb isn't good, the team looks like what it is - way short on difference-makers, on both sides of the ball."
I think this at least has to be on the table as a possibility. It occurred to me a couple of days ago that this is a strangely assembled team. Right now there are nine guys who are either in their first or second years as starters. (And if things don't turn around soon, that number could soon increase.)
But there are also a fair number of guys who are definitely in the declining stages of their career. I count Runyan, W. Thomas, Trotter and even Dawkins as guys who aren't quite what they used to be.
The only guys really in their career primes are McNabb, Westbrook and Smith on the offense and Brown, Sheppard, Jones, Walker and Howard on the defense. I'll have to look around the rest of the league for comparison, but it almost looks like a team that gets to deal with the inexperience of youth and the declining skills of age all at the same time.
So when McNabb is out there doing his MVP thing, somehow he makes it all work by lifting everyone else around him. When things are a bit off, he's suddenly down to Westbrook and LJ and things grind to a halt.
Something to ponder...