Twitter Mailbag: Is This the Year?

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Michael VickTwitter Mailbag, Game Day Edition. That felt good to write. With some (quasi) real football about to be played, we look at some roster battles and camp standouts while tackling the all-important question: Is this the year the Eagles hoist the Lombardi?

But we start off with a question from none other than Kyle Scott of Crossing Broad, who inquires about his favorite subject/target, D-Jac.

From @Crossingbroad: Jaccpot Records: rap-game takeover or one man’s cry for help?

Those are my only two choices?

DeSean Jackson isn’t boring, that’s for sure. And he’s hard to get a read on. He will show a lack of maturity in one area then wisdom and thoughtfulness in the next. He raps, he sulks, he shines, he campaigns for the less fortunate.

I wrote back in June that some close to Jackson were concerned that his ventures in the hip-hop realm may prove to be a distraction and potentially hurt him financially. Recently, Sheil came across an interesting nugget from Mike Freeman of CBS Sports:

This is what you hear around the league about DeSean Jackson: If there was any player who might take a major step backward this season, it’s him. There are concerns that he isn’t working non-stop and that he doesn’t care as much.

I have not seen anything at camp that suggests Jackson is not invested or ready to go. He is as difficult to defend one-on-one as ever, and may have even added a little strength. I believe he’ll take a step forward from last season, not back. But we have learned to count nothing out when it come to No. 10.

From @stashingtonDC: Are there any projected starters or key players who should be watching their backs as training camp progresses?

A couple. Joselio Hanson is being pushed by rookie Brandon Boykin for the nickel corner role. Sheil has Hanson missing the cut, while I think he holds the young buck off for now. Linebacker is the other position to keep your eye on. DeMeco Ryans is secure in the middle and Mychal Kendricks has the strongside  locked down for now. There could be a battle at WILL, though. Brian Rolle is currently listed atop the depth chart. However, Jamar Chaney has taken his spot in the nickel package and is gunning for more.

From @brian_jenks: Anyone surprising really stand out at this point in camp?

Have to go with Dion Lewis. Considering he only played in 19 snaps in the 14 games that he and LeSean McCoy were both active, judgment on the Pitt back may have been passed too soon. What we have seen out of the 5-8, 195-pounder so far is a back with good agility, speed and vision. Appears he can be a weapon in the screen game. I’m very curious to see how he looks in game action, beginning Thursday night.

From @Lakeshowfan247: Prediction for this year…Is this the year we finally get a parade in February down Broad St.?

Has to happen at some point, right?

Part of me feels like this is their best shot at it. LeSean McCoy is in his prime, same for Jeremy Maclin and Jackson. The offensive line is trained by the finest in the game. The defensive line is deep and potent, and there is finally a middle linebacker who can clean up the mess when need be.

Then there is the Andy Reid factor. Year 14 and near the end of his time as head coach of the Eagles, you would imagine. He has been pulled in by the Philadelphia community over the last few days. With all he is going through, the city will be united behind him. Same for his players, who believe the best way to alleviate some of Reid’s burden is to do their job and win games.

There is talent and there is purpose. That is a healthy combination.

It comes down to Michael Vick, then. Is he capable of being conservative when the time calls for it? With a full offseason as the Eagles starter under his belt, is he ready to finally put it all together?

The answer is the difference between a Lombardi and another year as the bridesmaid.