• September 27, 2023

Thinking Back To November 7, 2004

As I watched the Eagles second preseason game unfold, I couldn’t help but reminisce back to the most successful season during the Andy Reid era.

The 2004 season started with extremely high expectations.  After 3 straight NFC Championship losses, Philly acquired DE Jevon Kearse and traded for WR Terrell Owens.

Hugh Douglas and Jeremiah Trotter also returned after brief stints in Jacksonville and Washington, D.C, respectively.

The atmosphere at Lehigh University was electric and fans just knew the Eagles were going to the Super Bowl from the beginning.

After a 7-0 start to the regular season, Philly was flying high on their way across state for a match against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

My, how quickly things came back down to earth.  Reid and Co. were given a quick reality check via a 27-3 rout at Heinz Field.  The Eagles regrouped and eventually made it to the Super Bowl, but that game in western Pennsylvania was definitely a trying moment.

Thinking back to that game, maybe a preseason loss to the Steelers was a good thing. The 24-14 defeat likely would’ve been a 49-0 beatdown if this game were played in the regular season.

Normally, the Eagles are able to get through the regular season and end up getting exposed towards the end of the season and in the playoffs

The defending AFC Champs exploited multiple weaknesses, giving the so-called “Dream Team” a huge wake up call.

No, Hines Ward wasn’t imitating T.O.’s “flapping the wing” celebration.  You didn’t see Owens yelling at Donovan McNabb up and down the sideline.

What was similar was Pittsburgh’s time of possession (They held the ball over 41 minutes in the 2004 game).  The Steelers didn’t gash the Birds for 252 yards, but they did show that this defense isn’t equipped to deal with a power running game (Surprised??).

After that loss on November 7, the late Jimmy Johnson made Trotter his starter at middle linebacker.  Will rookie defensive coordinator Juan Castillo make the same adjustment?

I’m sure Michael Vick would like to forget this game.  I don’t if it was the GQ interview or the fact that King Dunlap was protecting his blindside, but it looked like he left all of his

improvements in Bethlehem, PA.

This was DeSean Jackson’s first game appearance.  Soon, he’ll be joined by Jeremy Maclin and Steve Smith.  The interior line will eventually be manned by Mike Paterson and Antonio Dixon which will improve the run defense.

The right tackle position will be addressed and possibly 2-3 new faces will be part of this squad.  If this organization is known for its stability and the free agents are truly of high character, than this type of beating will only bring the Eagles closer and help them in the long run.

It happened in 2004.  Let’s hope it happens in 2011 with even better results!!!

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Haran Knight

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August 20, 2011 2:15 am

Opponenets are going to watch the tape of this past week’s game and emulate the same formula to attack this smallish group and that’s right up the middle between the Tackles and a short/patient passing game which utilizes Slants,Screens,Bubble routes and the TE in the middle of the Field.
I am concenred not only of MAtthews play (who clearley not ready) but the entire play of t heLB Corps along with the Safety.. It’s like Baseball, if you are weak up the middle, you cannot expect to be a good baseball.. The Eagles DC CAstillo has a lot to pull together in a short period of time and is he capable of not only getting new players to adjust but putting game plans together versus specific opponents anf opposing OC and QB”s.. He has his work cut-out for him to say the least…
Good article Haran..

August 20, 2011 6:41 am

Good article Haran I feel ya…Lets hope this is the wake up call that was needed to put things back into perspective for our boys.

August 20, 2011 7:44 am

As bad as it looked on Thursday the defense still has to be better than the 10-6 defense of last year, right? I mean we added 4 pro bowl players on our 10-6 defense so I cant imagine it being worse. Not every team is Pitts. Im first removving Matthews. Eithier Chaney is moving back or we sign a vet MLB. Nate Allen is next. Hes on a short leash. Then Im telling Nnamdi and DRC we are going press coverage most of the time and Im sticking 8 in the box. Your #1 and #2 reciever wont beat us. You wont run. I just have to worry about your # 3 and your te and rb out of the backfield.

August 20, 2011 7:54 am

Nate Allen hung Asante out to dry. Nate Allen cant blitz. Remembering from last year he did the same shit. He would blitz get faked out jump and never get there. Asante knew the qb had to get rid of the ball right away if the CB would actually keep running to the qb. I watch some of the games from last year and listen to the announcers talk about a good looking young safety as he got steam rolled or lit up by Britt.

August 20, 2011 8:17 am

It’s much too early for me to make critical judgments. After all, many teams have gotten their heads handed to them in the pre-season, then have gone on to have successful seasons (and vice verse). In fact, Pittsburgh looked nearly as bad against Washington the week before. One thing I’ve learned about Andy Reid’s teams is that they will be prepared to rebound. Now, whether we have the right personnel, and that sort of thing, is certainly open to speculation. At least, the FO is trying to win. You can fault the Dan Snyder’s and Jerry Jones’s of the NFL for the personnel they’ve hired and acquired, but you certainly can’t say that they haven’t tried to win a championship each and every year.

August 20, 2011 9:59 am

HEy Drummer, hope all is well for you…
It’s looks like the Redksins are much improved and Free-Agent RB T Hightower looks like the RB they’ve haven’t had in years… This is a deifferent Redskin team who has a top defense and will not be an easy out this Season…
( I wanted the Eagles to pursue HIghtower as a nice complement to McCoy and thought he was the most underrated RB out there in Free-Agnecy..expect big #’s from him)

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
August 20, 2011 10:23 am

Ray Didinger of nfl films and eagles insider for comcast did the analysis on the game and he said that the things that happen on that field are very very small and correctable. There not long term issues. He pointed out that the DLine had so many holes that the guards had a clean release and were able to block the LBs off the bat like 5-6 yards up the field. Thats not normal. Thats what leads me to believe that the eagles were just trying to have a teaching tool going forward, some game tape from a strong running team. That was probably the best thing that could have happen to this team..

Also, about Casey Matthews. He also showed how Casey was in position to make a play but the guards were able to get a hand on him so fast because they didnt have a defensive lineman opening up lanes for the LBs. It made it look like the birds couldnt stop the run at all. But you gotta look deeper than what it looks. Also they didnt have patterson or dixon playing two of their very best run stoppers… We have another test next week with the browns who are a run heavy team, look for the eagles to establish control on the Line and have as their top priority to stop the run…

August 20, 2011 10:39 am

Hope and change. Sounds familiar. Allen jumping twice on the blitz looked like a girl playing football for the first time. He needs to get a job at Mr. Softee or Dairy Queen. Mathews doesn’t have the strength or quickness ot be a MLB. He stood there like a bowling ball and let the guards block him like a deer in the headlights. You think the coaches would make simple adjustments to stop the run. It didn’t take the Steelers long to figure out the Eagles weaknesses and exploit them.

August 20, 2011 11:13 am

We may have added 4 pro bowl players on defense, but we also decided to add an offensive line coach with zero experience calling a NFL defensive game, making a defensive gameplan, for our defensive coordinator.

Crystal Ball Andy saw what no other coach in NFL history saw.

We are so smart. Smarter than every other organization. I believe the quote was “the gold standard”. No you just got blown out by the real “gold standard”

Gimmick football loses to good football teams and coaches. Undersized Fastballs, peewee WRs(pinkston jackson, slow gimmick guys (chad hall, reno mahe), rookie MLB calling plays. We just have to be different.
Two 14 play scoring drives says it all. Fundamental mix it up, play calling verses flash and dash. Wore out the defense and frustrated the offense.

Flash and dash works on weak stupid teams. Come NFC championship or superbowl, the bums are all gone.

And to think, about 5 days ago someone was calling my idea of 8-10 drive offense ridiculous.

August 20, 2011 11:15 am

Browns will be a good test for they like to run the ball and will throw a lot of short passes from McCoy to their TE’s and RB’s out of the backfield and will test the Eagles LB’s and Safeties. McCoy has gotten off to a very good start this Pre-season working under Coach Shurmur who like Holmgrem, uses more a pure West Coast Offense..

andrew p
andrew p
August 20, 2011 12:09 pm

Hey everybody we just resigned Reggie Wells, Are O-Line problems are solved lol, Serious, I think this means were gonna see Herrimens over at RT and Wells at LG, Wells started 80 games there and about 10 at RG, For him to start that many games there shows he must of been ok there, We’ll see.

August 20, 2011 12:22 pm

cant say i agree with u this time bsm
give castillo a shot 1st
2nd preseason game with a bunch of new players and shortened camptime
i like him to get it together
i still think we need linebackers but we’ll see when our starting tackles play on run downs dixon and patterson

im not 1 for excuses but 3rd and 19 we sack qb but get 15 yard facemask give up 7
then we blitz rodgers and assante gambles and loses on 3rd down (this is good to get burnt now on that he will learn)
then with leftwich in game we had them 3rd and 21 and played a silly cover 3 (this again is good my freind castillo will learn from this)
so im not too worried yet

August 20, 2011 1:01 pm

if you have already jumped to a conclusion, you are greatly mistaken and wrong.
nothing is settled or clear cut, besides your personal panic meter and impatience.
preseason football is to work on different things, try new things, test the players individually and collectively as units, and see who is going to make this team (depth is important, as demonstrated by the Superbowl Champions in GB)

i don’t understand your “prisoner of the moment” obsessions and “end of the world” comments
id much rather come across all my ex-girlfriends at the mall with my current girl because i can handle myself and be a man and nut up

since you all come on here, i assume you are a die hard Eagles fan like myself
so i would hope the best and expect nothing less than die hard knowledge and discussion
we should be holding this site and the comments to a higher standard
just because G is busy with life and the blog is sliding a little bit, doesn’t mean the content of our discussions have to dip as well

were a winning franchise, and a good team that makes the playoffs more times than not
we are coming off an exciting season, and improved our playoff team by adding pro bowlers and depth
not to mention we supposedly have the best staff in the league (reid, morningweg, april, mudd, washburn leading the way)
its not like juan is the ginny pig, he has former players coaching the safeties, cbs, and lbs
give the guy his due time to make things work, and the players some time, and the coaches, especially with a shorttt offseason/camp and we only play 2 preseason games

any judgement placed after week one’s victory against the rams (positive or negative) is valid and deserved.
anything official, in the standings, and in the books can be debated and elaborated on
just remember, the panic should remain low because we are one of the elite teams in the league year in and year out
we scored 27 ppg last season and i expect the same if not more with vick knowing he’s the starter, increasing his endurance (for a whole season), studying like a QB should be doing with film and the playbook

we are usually a 2nd half team (final 8 games of the season)
which means we finish strong, and we are in an overrated division
the nfc east is no longer the beast
dallas has gotten worse on the defensive end (imo), and a good offense only takes you so far (jason garrett doesnt run enough for dallas to succeed with one-dimensional playcalling)
the redskins dont have the defense to rely on an unstable/unproven qb, let alone a dismal o-line
not to dismiss their rb talent, but shanahan has to prove he knows what he is doing in this day and age
as for the G-men, they are tough every year regardless of circumstances
but i do see a defense that aged a little bit and didnt do much to improve besides their first rd pk
we have had their number (fortunate to win a couple of those) but they have issues internally and it shows every year

those are my thoughts, take em or leave em
but i do mean the earlier comment about this site and commenting
i like this site, obviously on my favs, but i see it going downhill and i dont wanna leave it!

have a great Eagles weekend fellas.

August 20, 2011 1:36 pm

John hart right on, funny how everyone knows that casey mathews can’t play. There’s not a linebacker in the league who can get off of a free guard and center on every play. Go back and look at the way the d line was lined up. The minute they came out you could see that was a problem. There’s no way they will leave him unprotected like that, I don’t know if that was the plan to test him or what, but that will not happen in a real game. It’s a preseason game and they got there ass kicked big deal. Vick stunk, the defense stunk, and if you really want to be concerned about something the steelers offense was one step ahead of our defense all night. All that ra ra shit with the d coaches is gonna wear off real quick if this dude does’nt make the right calls. Don’t jump just yet

August 20, 2011 2:55 pm

The 2 biggest things that worry me is the Turnovers the Vick is having and the lack of balance and not running the ball more (especially with top WR’s out and with the influx that the OL is still in)
Teams that can’t run will have a harder time sustaining long drives and with this stupid Kick-off Ball, you can almost assume that you will start at the 20 YArd line 75-80% of the time.. The Eagles Offense is built for the quick strike, big plays deep down the field until it proves to me that it can efficiently have long drives that are balalnced and eat up some clock.. And without these and combine with VIck’s increase in turning the ball over, this Eagles Offense will really put the Defense behind the 8-ball starting out the Season could really put the Eaagles behind any playoff chances in the first 6 weeks or so.. It’s improtatnt that the EAgles run th eball more and try to shorten some of these early games to allow the OL to gel, to allow the TOp WR’s to get into game shape and to allow the Defensive unit to gel together.. Opening up vs the Rams,Falcons,GIants and 49ers, The Eagles will see ball-control,run first type of offense who like to establish the line-of scrimmage and eat up clock.. If the Eagles are planning to throw the ball 55%-65% of the time, they will be playing right into the hands of these teams Defenses and will probably lose a couple of them. I think the EAgles should start the Season conservative and allow the question marks and health of this team work itself out before going game planing 45-50 Passes a game..

August 20, 2011 4:35 pm

As reported by PFT. 1. The Eagles appear to be sticking with rookie Casey Matthews at middle linebacker. He remains with the starting unit.

2. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson returned to practice for the first time since suffering a seizure early in camp. The Eagles said they weren’t sure if he’d be ready for the season opener.

3. Rookie sixth-round pick Jason Kelce will take all the first-team snaps at center this week, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Reuben Frank. If that sticks, veteran Jamaal Jackson is headed to the bench.

4. Wideout Jeremy Maclin won’t practice for a week. He said he feels “fine” and fully believes he’ll be ready for Week One, but it’s hardly a sure thing. It’s also not up to Maclin and the Eagles will surely be careful with him.

5. Recently signed offensive lineman Reggie Wells will play at right tackle, where the Eagles are still looking for an answer. In related news, Ryan Harris returned to practice Saturday

August 20, 2011 4:56 pm

A couple of things Daggolden

#1) He remains with Starting unit for there is no other option right now, I think another LB will be brought in
#2) M Patterson status is a complete crap-shoot at this time, I am sure the Eagles will love him to be able to play, but it’s touch and go, how hard do you push him practice, I think he starts the Season on PUP list
#3) J Jackson is on his way out, I’ve said since the off-season that he does not fit the OL Coach’s Mudd type of OL and that he’s too big and his endurance is a real question ??.. If Kelce practices and plays well over the next 2 weeks, than Jackson is a goner and they will slide McGlynn as the Back-up Center..
#4) Maclin will start practicing next week and will maybe see a little action in the final Pre-Season game, I expect him to be on the Active Roster opening Game but probably only play a limited role the 1st game or 2 as he builds up his strength and stamina.
#5) OL R Wells signing tells me that Todd Herremans will slide out to RT and Wells,McGlynn will battle for the LG Spot.. Wells is not quick enough to play Tackle and 65 of his 80 career Starts have been at LG. I think WJ will be shelved and remain on PUP list for a while . I think the Eagles would love to have R Harris actually win the job, but with his constant bback problems, they probably are not counting on him …

August 20, 2011 6:45 pm

Hey, Paulman. I keep hearing people talk about Lofa Tatupu. What do you think?

August 20, 2011 6:52 pm

Paulman, the analysis of the eagles deficiencies is correct, but they do not become apparent until they play the elite teams in the playoffs, but I agree, the lack of balance on offense, coupled with teams on to containing Vick’s big play potential, will translate into a lot of three and out, turnovers, and pressure on the defense when the weather turns cold and the better teams bring real football to Reid ‘s gimmickry,that’s why the eagles display against the steelers is troubling as it is a precursor of things to come

August 20, 2011 8:59 pm

Larry Fitzgerald 8 years 20 million with 50 million guarenteed? Are you kidding me? Are you friggin kidding me? He better be catching 150 balls and 30 tds a year for that money. lol. Noway . For a stinking reciever? What Arizona did was screw every other team with a #1 reciever. Wes Welker catches 100 balls a year and probably makes 3 million.

August 21, 2011 11:19 am

You just heard Eagles Joe Banner swallow his tounge… D-Jax and Agent Rosenhaus are really licking their Chops now.. Better enjoy D-Jax in 2011 for it will be his final season in an Eagle Uniform…
EAgles will offer 4 Year $40-$50 Deal which Rosenhaus will laugh at..