Story first appeared on examiner.com on June 4, 2015.
In the short-lived Chip Kelly era, there have been two 10-6 seasons. One which resulted in an NFC crown, the other, leaving the Eagles on the outside of the playoffs, looking in. The latter happened just a year ago.
The lack of postseason play may or may have caused it, but the longer offseason was a busy one for Kelly and the Eagles, resulting in a plethora of personnel changes, including the splash signing of defensive back Byron Maxwellto a $63 million deal.
According to the former-Seahawk, the roster alterations will escalate the Eagles from a team on the fringe of the postseason to a Super Bowl champion.
In an interview with Jenny Vrentas of the MMQB, which surfaced late last week, the former Super Bowl champion guaranteed a trip to Super Bowl 50 for Philadelphia, and stuck to his guns even after Vrentas gave him an out.
VRENTAS: Is that similarity in the team culture a big reason why you believe the Eagles will go to the Super Bowl this year?
MAXWELL: We will, though.
VRENTAS: That sounds kind of like a guarantee.
MAXWELL: You can take that as a guarantee. That’s just me believing in my team and the product we’re going to put out there on the field. I really do believe that. I have no choice but to think that way.
That’s fine and dandy, but the Philly faithful aren’t going to be so quick to jump on Maxwell’s pilgrimage to the promise land so quickly as they have been here before. Let me remind you of Vince Young, back-up quarterback, Vince Young and his bold statements back in 2010 when asked to describe the players Philly brought in that offseason.
“Dream team,” he said. “Nnamdi [Asomugha] to [Dominique Rodgers-]Cromartie, to Jason [Babin] to myself. I know they are going to do some more things. […] It’s just beautiful to see where we’re trying to go.”
The Eagles went 8-8 that season, finished second in the NFC East and missed the postseason. The beginning of the end, essentially, of the too-long Andy Reid era in the City of Brotherly Love.
Now just five years later, following another free agency frenzy, Maxwell makes similar comments. His certainly do hold more merit than did Young’s as Maxwell has played in the last two Super Bowls, winning one, and losing one on a foolish play-call (You run the ball inside the five-yard line, Pete Carroll).
Yes, Eagles fans are hyped for the upcoming season, not as excited as if Marcus Mariota was in Philly and not Nashville right now, but the intrigue around Kelly and his offseason moves have created quite a stir. Plus, have you seen a Phillies, Sixers or Flyers game lately? Yikes. However, they are not silly enough to back Maxwell’s “guarantee,” promise, team building act, PR stunt, whatever you want to call it. Eagles fans are apprehensive to trust or back any player that has not yet proven himself in Philly, especially one whom was arguably overpaid.
Welcome to Philly, Byron, we welcome you with open arms (wings, if you will). However, it’ll take more to win us over than a bunch of far-reaching promises. We like presents, preferably a Vince Lombardi Trophy.