Dear Coach Kelly,
Let me start off by saying thank you for giving us back to back 10 wins seasons. We should have made the playoffs last year, but it was a fluky year. You have garnered more trust and respect than any Philadelphia coach in two years than I can ever remember. The craziness of the moves you’ve made in the last week hopefully shows that you have a master plan. I, like a lot of Eagles fans, have a lot of trust in you and hope that you do. I ask only one thing: If your plan fails and this team blows up, please don’t bail on us and go back to college.
After getting over the shock of trading the Eagles all time rushing leader for a player with an injury history but a ton of potential, I understood it. Shady will join Dawkins, Hugh Douglas and Westbrook as an Eagles’ fan favorite for life. But we all know that running backs hit the wall suddenly, and are no longer worth the kind of mega contracts that McCoy has. Frank Gore seems to be a good fit for your offensive scheme. The biggest question mark is whether we received fair compensation in a player returning from an ACL tear.
Releasing or not resigning fan favorites Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Jeremy Maclin are all risks that hopefully will not blow up in your face. Maclin received more money than you were willing to offer from Andy in KC. I know that there has to be a plan to replace Maclin, because as good as Jordan Matthews was last year, we cannot go into a season with him as our number one receiver. Whether it’s Torry Smith, Vincent Jackson, Andre Johnson, Dwayne Bowe or some receiver who went to Oregon I can’t think of, it’s likely that we will sign someone for better value than Maclin. (I know, I know, Maclin was a great player for the Birds, but no one can blame him for going after the money.)
As for Byron Maxwell, love the signing. Please keep up the good work on the defensive backfield.
I understand the Sanchez signing, but don’t like it. All the talk in Philadelphia is will he or won’t he go after Mariotta. The Sanchez signing points strongly to that you are. I really hope I’m wrong. Not that Mariotta may be a great quarterback or the perfect fit for your system, but the price tag to get him will just be too big. Can you tell me what team has been successful trading a boat load of draft picks, including multiple number ones, for a big name college QB? That move seems to always hamstring the team in the future.
So Coach Kelly, that brings me to my biggest fear. What are you going to do if the Eagles mortgage the future to draft Mariotta, and the rest of these big signings leave us with the “Dream Team 2”? Are you in for the long haul? Are you going to stick around and rebuild the team that you have left in rubble? Or are you going to do what too many former college coaches do and bail back to college?
The NFL is littered with teams with former college coaches that have tried to build Super Bowl contenders, and then jump back to the NCAA when they fail. It’s fine for the coaches, who receive a huge new contract, and build power houses at a new college. But the fans are left behind there dealing with the aftermath of the catastrophe.
Coach Kelly, I pray that you have a plan. I pray the plan is more successful than any Eagles fan could imagine. But I’ve been a Philly fan for too long, and can’t help but to be skeptical. I think I speak for most fans when I say, we have faith in you and believe you want to build a stellar team, but we just need some confirmation that you won’t leave us with the smoldering wreckage of a franchise.