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The Packers Are The Real "Dream Team"

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The Packers Are The Real "Dream Team"

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."

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (30) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Ceallaigh's picture

It's rather appropriate that the Eagles are referring themselves to the Dream Team. The continued use of that term is almost universally a cautionary tale of don't let fame get to your head. Aside from that first 1992 team that truly was an Olympic Dream Team, the US national basketball team became a caricature a greatness and a train wreck to watch over the years. With that name came a bloated sense of self-entitlement. There came an assumption and an expectation to take the gold without true work to get achieve it. In 2000 I was cheering for the USMNT to lose to some nobody country because I didn't care anymore.

By the 2000 and 2004 games it was pretty obvious there was nothing dream about it. Those teams had as much cohesion as an NFL probowl team--a bunch of great guys that could put on a half-decent show. Sure, it was chock-full of the best of the best, but would that team win a Superbowl?

I think the Miami Heat proved throwing a bunch of talent in a room can push the limits of a salary cap. It can make for a nifty magazine cover. But where is their championship that they had promised.

The common factor is obvious that all of these dream teams lacked was cohesion and character, that cliche of Team before Me. So let the Eagles declare themselves a Dream Team because, unless you're Michael Jordan, those types of monikers never amount to much of anything.

misterj's picture

uhh... the miami heat was in the bottom half of the nba in terms of payroll last year.

(the mavericks were #2 behind the lakers by less than a million, for reference)

spiderpack's picture

Ceallaigh, That passage was as good or better than Aaron's, as good as Bob McGinn's even. Thank you.

Adam Czech's picture

No way the Eagles are a dream team until they hire a specialist to take over for Andy Reid during the last two minutes of the first half and the final two minutes of the game.

Chris's picture

Any kid who plays Madden video game regulary can manage the 2 minute drill better than Andy Reid. Can't be a matter of $ to spend on someone, must be ego issues.

bryce's picture

Agreed. The NFL is different than other sports, because players aren't just interchangeable pieces that are all but guaranteed to perform at the same level that they did with their previous team. It depends a lot on the scheme and the coaching. I predict the Eagles to flame out in the playoffs once again.

Edward's picture

I agree--you can buy a championship in MLB with rental players and then dismantle the roster. NFL is whole team-scheme game.

When is the last time a franchise bought enough free agents to win a championship in the NFL?

The beauty of the Packers is that they have the coaching, scheme and talent scouts to plug-in and coach-up the guys to win. That's why the Packers are the #1 organization in all pro sports.

misterj's picture

the nfl is still very much about purchasing championships, honestly. the teams in the most salary cap trouble in 2009 were the saints, colts, steelers, patriots, and.... (take a guess) redskins. four of those teams were recent super bowl winners. one has dan snyder in charge.

the difference in the nfl and other sports leagues is that these purchases require due diligence and heavy scrutiny. you get that through the draft and by extending your own players. in free agency when you're competing against 31 other teams to get rights to a player, the balance is screwed up too much. emotions seem to get in the way and people push to limits that aren't worth it.

spiderpack's picture

I think the difference is that in the NFL, players are linked into more of a moment to moment reality where you have to know the ins and outs of your immediate neighbor's mannerisms and your opponents body language. This is true in baseball but in baseball its not as continuous and there are more mental breaks and space to get new and "coached" information.

Ct Sharpe Cheddar's picture

Yea but the backup quarterback said they were a "Dream TeaM"

MarkinMadison's picture

There is no doubt that the shortened off-season will hurt the Eagles. That said, they've generally been a pretty good organization over the years. The guys that they have brought in are not well known as ego-maniacs, they are not huge ME over TEAM guys. Young is a bit less mentally than you'd like in a QB, but he knows his place on this team. With Reid at the helm sooner or later I'll bet a large amount of cash that these guys will gell. Probably sometime in December. I'm looking forward to the Packers beating them in late January, in Lambeau. But if they get off to their usual halting start, they just may have to go to Philly and get it done there again this year.

JohnRehor's picture

Dream team huh? Let's see if they're still all smiles if/when all the egos on that team start to clash. Or when the pressure of having spent all that money backfires and they don't sweep through the league like a firestorm. Or finally when Andy Reid fails to succeed after all of their additions and finds himself unemployed after this season.

Probably won't be a dream as much as it could become a nightmare.

One thing to remember-paper champs in August don't mean a thing come playoff time in January

Ceallaigh's picture

Unless you're last year's Packers. Weren't they the early favorite?

Luckily it quickly transformed into a "stick a fork in 'em. They're done" which was, in my mind, one of the motivators to overcome that loss at Detroit and turn things around.

jaydubya's picture

I'll agree that the Eagles are dreaming.

IdiotFan's picture

Anything that takes the media's attention away from us and actively makes our players feel angry and slighted is a good thing in my book.

seekr's picture

It's been a re-running show since the Superbowl. Attention is being taken away from GB because of all the other stuff going on in the league i.e. lockout, dreaming team etc. This all spells m.o.t.i.v.a.t.i.o.n for GB!

Edward's picture

+1 good point :)

Doesn't it seem that anybody other than New England (over the last decade) isn't respected much the year after winning? The Giants and N.O. come to mind...

BubbaOne's picture

The latter half of last year teams seemed to have figured out how to beat Vick; make him one dimensional, a pocket QB.

This, along w/ Q's at LB and OL, new D scheme and getting team chemistry make the Iggles a dream in pipe dream.

PigFaceJoe's picture

NO NO... apparently he was hurt, that is why Vick started looking human towards the end of the year and why they had their season ended by the Pack, at least that is what their fans keep squawking about. It has nothing to do with the fact that he is not a great QB.

fishandcrane's picture

Dream Team, America's Team...only one title we are concerned with and it's: Titletown, USA.

maxginsberg's picture

Anything that takes the proverbial target off of the Packers back is a good thing.

Besides, don't we go through this every year with the team that makes the biggest splash in free agency? I think we all know how this ends...

Ken's picture

If the Washington Redskins would've added these pieces, all folks would have done is laugh.

We're better than those guys in Philadelphia, Green Bay, a neutral site field Omaha, on a frozen Lake Winnebago...on and on.

PigFaceJoe's picture

Agreed. I love all the hype for this new "Dream Team". I personally feel that this is the best thing for the Packers because they can play the disrespect card now, which would have been hard to do before. They are still going to obviously have a target on their back but I think it will really motivate them more to prove everyone who already has the Eagles in the Super Bowl completely wrong. It will be fun to watch the Eagles implode when Ron Mexico, aka Vick, gets hurt YET again.

mark's picture

Someone is going to take out their herpes-infested, dog-torturing QB. The way he plays, it's bound to happen. When it does, bring on Vince Young, who, like every black QB in the Rocky-complex city of Filthadelphia, will be thrown to the wolves once he loses his first game or throws his first pick (bring back Koy Detmer or Bobby Hoeing or AJ Feeley!!). Philadelphia sports fans are sometimes (usually in Philadelphia) celebrated for their "passion" but that's bullshit. Really what they are, is a stadium full of assholes. Not everyone--I hate to generalize, but I'd say 75% of philly sports fans are complete garbage. Just awful, awful, often violent human beings. Being a Sabres fan, I went to a Flyers/Sabres playoff game this year, and I hadn't even made it up the escalator to my seats when a fan (not knowing I was a Sabres fan) lamented to me about how you couldn't beat the shit out of the opposing fans, and how it was somehow related to us having "a black president" (???). When I got to my seat, another fan, holding his young boy in his arm, was yelling at a player for Buffalo, calling him a "faggot" and every other name you could imagine. Yes, this is Philadelphia. I went to Villanova (outside Philly) for college back in the late 90s, so I got to see up close, the true putrid and disgusting core of Philadelphia sports. I hate the Eagles more than I hate the Bears. I wish their teams, their fans and their city nothing but a lifetime of failure and frustration.

Idiot Fan's picture

Every fan base has its share of idiots, and I'm sure you could find some GBP fans who would make stupid comments like that. I wouldn't characterize the whole fan base as racist idiots.

That being said, I do live in Philadelphia now, and I can say first hand that Philly fans are something to behold. They swing from irrational exuberance to spiteful venom towards their team at the drop of a hat. The emotion that they express towards their team(s) is not what I would call "love." It's more like how a domineering parent treats their child.

There's a Simpsons quote that perfectly sums up what Philly fans are like. Homer is having a flashback to when he was in gymnastics in high school. Before his routine, he says to his dad, "wish me luck!" And his dad responds, "just don't screw it up like you always do." When he gets to the part in his routine where he has to do some flips, right before he starts his jumps, his dad yells "You're gonna blow it!" Hearing this, Homer falls and botches the routine. His dad then comes up and says, "That's what I get for believing in you!"

PackersRS's picture

This is the best that could've happened in this offseason. Another team to steal the spotlight and make our players even hungrier.

This almost guarantees there won't be any kind of complacency.

The only possible downside is that they'll be too focused on the Eagles instead of the next game.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Well said Aaron.


Tommyboy's picture

It seems like you see this every few years. Usually, the Redskins find themselves stocked with washouts and former first-round picks on their last gasp. Last year, the Bengals were full of elite athletes that were going to run into the playoffs. Teams that teem with talent from a random buffet always seem to fall short. The Packers were carefully designed with players and coaches complementing each other in synergy.

I'm not saying the Eagles don't have the potential to take it all the way, but I won't be stunned if they flame out either.

Mojo's picture

It appears Chairman Lurie of the Eagles is already tying to deflect some of this Dream Team crap.

Let the Eagles live with the extra burden, while disrespecting the SB champs.

packsmack25's picture

Am I on crazy pills or something? Nnamdi and Jenkins are the only 2 guys they've signed who have been consistently good. So 2 solid free agents make them unbeatable? Also, no one mentions that they lost their kicker, punter AND best 2 linebackers. How are they so good?

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