On the website today, ESPN has running one of the dozens of obligatory "will Kearse rise again" offseason features.
In this age of perennial athlete fluffing, I was pretty amazed to catch the relatively unsympathetic take by the writer:
The defensive end hardly sells himself as a victim in what unfolded in Philadelphia. Still, he says the two-gap style he was asked to play -- the way he was asked to start with his feet parallel rather than in a sprinter's stance with one foot forward -- and way the Eagles deployed him were largely responsible for his poor showing.
But coach Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson are smart and successful coaches who surely would have adjusted things to better suit Kearse had they believed something else would have worked better for a player given an eight-year, $66 million contract with $20 million in bonuses in the first three years.
Here's Kearse on how he's approaching the 2008 season:
Kearse has adopted the chip-on-his-shoulder cliché with a twist, turning the chip into a boulder. He said there isn't a player in the league looking forward to the season more than he is. At the end of the 2008 season, what will Eagles fans think of him?
"They'll say, 'Why the hell did we let that dude go?'" Kearse said. "'What were they thinking?'
"But everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was a good reason: So I can get pissed off and get more motivated."
First off, no, we're not ever going to wonder that.
And secondly, if you'd been that motivated while you'd been here ... you might still be here.