A Prescription for 2008 by Jeff Lyons
It's never too early to start thinking about next year. Sure, it would be nice if the Eagles could beat Buffalo and finish the season at 8-8, but there are some more pressing issues to think about. Like filling needs through the draft and free agency.
The Eagles desperately need a top-flight receiver. Someone like Terrell Owens or Randy Moss. Someone that will force the opposition to make a game plan around. Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown have show glimpses of game-breaking ability, but the Eagles need to have a constant deep threat. A game-breaker who also can take a beating while making a tough catch over the middle.
They can also use some help in the defensive secondary. Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard had some injury problems this year. Dawkins has been an absolute beast over the course of his career, but the years and injuries look like they finally may be catching up with him. The Eagles need a big defensive back who can handle the big wide receivers in the NFC East like Owens and Plaxico Burress.
Tight end would be another spot I'd look to upgrade. Rookie Brent Celek has played well when given the opportunity, but depth is always a good thing to have. Adding some talent at these spots should put the Eagles back in the playoffs.
And speaking of depth, the Phillies are suddenly waist-deep in veteran outfielders. With the signings of Geoff Jenkins and So Taguchi over the last week or so, the outfield is set. Pat Burrell returns in left field and Shane Victorino will move from right to center. Jayson Werth will platoon with Jenkins in right field and Taguchi will fill the defensive replacement-pinch-hitter role. With the exception of the gaping black hole at third base, I really like the way the team is shaping up. If Pat Gillick can somehow manage to deal for a league average third baseman, this team could win more than 90 games. The thought of Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs at third for the year makes me sad. It makes me pine for the days of Mike Schmidt. It even makes me try to fondly remember Charlie Hayes and Rick Schu.
The Flyers are scuffling after their great start. They’re still giving up too many shots and have lost six in a row. If the slide continues, look for general manager Paul Holmgren to make a trade to shake things up. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mike Knuble or Jeff Carter get sent packing.
I'd really like to write something about the Sixers. But I just can’t bring myself to watch the NBA anymore. It's boring.
Jeff Lyons, senior managing editor of the Philadelphia Bar Reporter and Bar Reporter Online, is a fanatical Philadelphia sports fan. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.