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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – At his annual “state of the team” speech, Jeffrey Lurie said that 8-8 is not good enough, and suggested a repeat performance of last season will cost Andy Reid his job.
“Good for him. I think that he’s right. He’s right on both counts,” Ray Didinger told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “This team does need to show substantial improvement because it is a team that has gone backwards each of the last three years, in terms of wins. The idea that you are going to come off last year, which was a brutally disappointing year, and just tread water at 8-8, no that’s not acceptable.”
All told, Didinger thinks that even though he was surprised by Lurie’s statements, he doesn’t think Andy Reid is going anywhere. “I think they’ll be better than [8-8]. I think they’ll be a playoff team. I think if they’re a playoff team, then the coach is back.”
How will they get to the playoffs? “Pass rush on defense, and boy they have really explosive players in offense—a lot of speed and a lot of really good players on offense, guys that can take the ball and really go. I mean, a lot of it really revolves around the QB, and we’ll be talking about that forever,” Didinger said.
One of those questions about the QB has been, and will continue to be, Michael Vick’s health. Vick has played all 16 games only once in his career, missed three games last season due to injury, and spent much of this preseason sidelined with thumb and rib injuries.
“He’ll miss time because he always misses time. But I don’t see him having a year where he is not a factor. He’ll probably miss a couple of games like most years, but I don’t think it will be any worse than his typical year,” Didinger said.
The emergence of rookie quarterback Nick Foles was the biggest story of the Eagles preseason, and is likely to see important action at some point this season. “He’s been much better than I thought and they’ve done a really good job coaching him and getting him to this point. He’s much, much farther along then I ever thought he would be in, in year one,” Didinger said. “He’s looked very composed in the pocket, he’s shown more mobility than I thought he had, he’s stood up to the pass rush better than he showed in college.”
“As far as what has really impressed me, is boy he can throw it. I mean he really has a big arm. But we kind of knew that, if you saw him play at Arizona. The one caution, obviously, is there a huge difference between what you face as the QB in the preseason and what you face in the regular season, in terms of teams game-planning you and blitzing you, and all that stuff,” Didinger said.