Eagles coach Andy Reid is enjoying a strong offseason. He denies threatening to walk away from the team if he didn't get more personnel control, but that's to be expected. Denying or obscuring anything juicy is simply what Reid does.
The Eagles are well-positioned to improve this season because of continuity and a few key moves. Bringing in linebacker DeMeco Ryans will solidify a position group that Reid admitted to mismanaging a year ago.
"We had young guys there, and so I knew that going in," Reid said Wednesday at the NFL Annual Meeting, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The plan that I had, I didn't execute it very well. Right? That's my responsibility. I goofed on that one, right? I expected the young guys on defense to get where they're getting by the end of the season sooner, particularly the middle of the defense -- linebackers and safeties.
"I expected the offense to carry it through. So that part didn't take place. But to tell you, yeah, your linebackers -- the more gaps you open up, the more physical they have to be. That's how it is."
The Eagles did a much better job playing physical and controlling their gaps late in the season. The dramatic change of both personnel and defensive philosophy was too much for the team to overcome last season. Philadelphia was a poorly constructed, poorly coached team for much of the year. All of that change is partly why I predicted before last season the Eagles would miss the playoffs.
Reid knows where he made mistakes last year. He brings back a talented team with better continuity and knows what to expect out of his schemes. That's why I believe the Eagles will beat expectations and win the NFC East in 2012.