Friday, February 13, 2009

Heckert: Eagles to target offensive line, not wideouts

While all the rumors about Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh coming to the Eagles are intriguing, they're only rumors unless the Birds actually do something about it. Ever since the Eagles had the T.O. experience, they have been hesitant to go out and acquire a big name free agent wide receiver. It appears that will be the case again this offseason, at least according to GM Tom Heckert.

Heckert sat down for an interview with Fox 29 and laid out the Eagles plans for the offseason. He said the number one priority for the Birds is to "figure out the offensive line situation", whether it's through the draft or free agency. The team has two aging, unsigned tackles and will need to find a way to build for the future while still protecting Donovan McNabb next season.

The only other area of need that Heckert said the team will address is at backup running back. With Correll Buckhalter likely out the door as a free agent, the Eagles will need to find someone else to get 5 touches a game when Brian Westbrook is healthy and be able to carry the load for those 2 games that Westbrook misses every year. Lorenzo Booker is not the answer for the Eagles and they know it, so I would look for them to draft a running back with one of their first round picks.

The line and the running backs were the only needs addressed by Heckert, meaning the wide receivers aren't a priority for the Eagles. Heckert even said that with the drafting of DeSean Jackson last year, the team has already gotten all the receiver help it needs. I hope you are all comfortable with another year of Jackson and Kevin Curtis as the main targets because that looks like all we are going to get.

While none of this news comes as a shock, it's still disappointing. The Eagles saw what having a top wideout did for the Cardinals and you would think they would do everything they could to give Donovan McNabb that kind of weapon. Unfortunately, they just don't view wide receivers as being as important as other positions. They are simply happy with the depth they have at wideout and aren't concerned with adding top-end targets. McNabb has proven that he can flourish no matter who he is throwing to so the Eagles feel like they don't need to waste their resources on playmakers on the outside.

None of the statements made by Heckert completely rule out the Eagles acquiring a wide receiver this offseason. Even if the Birds were going all-out in searching for a wideout, this wouldn't come out and say that was an area of need. The Eagles have always played things close to the vest so Heckert is likely not playing all of his cards in this interview. He stuck to the more obvious needs that everyone already knew about and kept any other thoughts to himself. That's just the Eagle way.

Watch the Heckert interview for yourself:


Anonymous said...

thats what they said last year and they still went after moss and reportly after fitzgerald. Plus the eagles didnt allow Heckertt to go to the senior bowl. He is on the outs, but i would like them to adress the Oline first. He aslo said no Free agent wide recievers. Why not say no wide recievers, so maybe trade or draft is possible.

Anonymous said...

Housmanzadah and Boldin are not Moss and Fitz, they do not represent significant upgrades over curtis or jackson. The Eagles should be targeting the top available OT in free agency (and I think it's the guy from Carolina). Make a splash? Sign Julius Peppers.

Phillyfan22 said...

TJ and boldin are multi-time pro bowlers and we have no probowl recievers, so i consider either of them a significant upgrade. Personnally, i want Gonzo or Kellen Winslow more then any wide reciever. Jordan will probably be tagged. I think we will get either Peppers or Gross, and if we get Peppers, i can see Juqua parker in a deal for another big time player lie Gonzo or Boldin.