A lot is being made, by fans and media alike, about the Philadelphia Eagles' massive free agent shopping spree. From shutdown cornerbacks, to bruising running backs, to interior pass rushers to athletic offensive tackles and former Top Ten pick quarterbacks, the Eagles have gone out and reeled in just about everything they could ever need. Heck, they even made a pitch to bring in the recently retired Randy Moss.
To add to all this is a media machine that can't get enough of what the Eagles are doing. In the span of 12 hours on Monday, I must have seen 5 separate features on what has been dubbed "The Dream Team" by some.
Charles Woodson has the proper response to this nonsense:
I know one Dream Team and that was with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. That's the only one I know. They were unstoppable. Now, if they (the Eagles) do that, that's fine. But this is, is it even August yet? Forget about all that talk. The Dream Team beat everybody by 40 points. That was really a dream team. This is the National Football League, and there's going to be a lot of people who have something to say about that.
I know we've got a good team, and we look to be there at the end. So they can grab the headlines, that's fine. Does it help us in any way? Nah. What helps us is what we do out there on the field. There's no excuse for us not to do it again. Yeah, we've lost a few pieces, but of course we'll gain a few. With the guys we have in place, there's no excuse for us not to do it again.
This is the diplomatic version of what I heard more than once when talking to several different members of the Packers, player and staff alike. There's a palpable disdain for all the attention being paid to a team the Packers beat twice last year.
Even after their free agent haul, its hard to see how the Eagles could be considered NFC favorites over the Green and Gold. The Packers have a better quarterback, a better defense, a better receiving corps, a better secondary (yes, even with the Eagles adding Asomugha)...the list goes on. Add in the fact that the Packers will be going into their third year under defensive coordinator Dom Capers while the Eagles will be overhauling their defense without a regular offseason, under the tutelage of their former offensive line coach, well, it really isn't even close.
The Eagles, by admission of their ownership and general manager, are in it to win it, either this year or next. That's not a dream - that's a nightmare, for everyone from Eagles head coach Andy Reid, to starting quarterback Michael Vick and all the way down the roster. The pressure to not only win the NFC but to bring home the Lombardi Trophy now rests squarely on their shoulders.
Meanwhile, the Packers are a picture of long-term stability. A general manager who builds through the draft, doesn't overpay for veterans whose best days are past, a quarterback just entering the upper echelons of the position, not to mention an incredibly deep and talented roster which is mostly locked-up for the next four or five years - that, my friends, is a dream scenario.
One might even say, a "Dream Team."