The Eagles got Nnamdi Asomugha Friday night, and by Sunday, ESPN.com’s front page blared: “Are the Eagles the NFL’s version of the Heat?” Of course not. That’s patently absurd, but it makes for a good narrative, since Miami generated so much (bad pun alert!) Heat during the NBA season.
Will we see an “Eagles Index” at ESPN.com? The site’s Editor-in-Chief, Rob King, who previously worked in Philly and recently hired Ashley Fox from the Philly Inquirer, must be thrilled at the timing of it all. Between Sal Pal, Ashley Fox and Stephen A. Smith, ESPN.com is loaded with former Philadelphia journos who will probably spend the bulk of their Sundays in the City of Brotherly Love.
Perhaps as a result of all the free agent moves (they all added Jason Babin who tweeted comparing the Eagles to the Heat) and the Kevin Kolb trade, the Eagles are being branded as the NFC’s team to beat, even though they lost in the first round of the playoffs each of the last two years and Mike Vick is injury-prone and Vince Young is his backup and the defensive front seven is still reeling from what James Starks did to them in last year’s Wild Card game. Also, Las Vegas still thinks the Packers are the class of the conference.
Philly-as-the-favorite did not sit well with Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan:
“I’ve got three bullies over there waiting for Thursday,” Ryan said of his defensive line additions. “These are proven players, and that’s what we need. I don’t know if we win the all-hype team, I think that might have gone to somebody else, but we’re going to beat their ass when we play them.”
Secretly, you know Jerry Jones loves a mouthy first-year defensive coordinator. Just a guess: in the last 13 years – or since Barry Switzer left – Rob Ryan will be the most-quoted Dallas coach since Bill Parcells. The Cowboys are always one of the most talked-about teams in the NFL, but they barely registered on anyone’s radar in free agency (except for the cuts they made), and one could argue that Dallas is only the 4th or 5th most compelling team in the NFC after Packers (defending champs), Philly (moves!), Falcons (Julio!), and Lions (on the rise!).
Rob Ryan seemingly takes a shot at the Eagles “all-hype” team [Star Telegram]