How the Eagles are Utilizing the Patriots’ Old Plan to Design a New Dynasty.
It isn’t typical to talk about a dynasty when you have just lost the Super Bowl, But the Eagles are plenty good enough to be in this conversation.
In August 2001, the New England Patriots lost their quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein, who died of cardiomyopathy prior to the season beginning.
Then lightning struck the Patriots again.
The New England Patriots did have success under Bill Parcells in the late 1990s. In 1996, they went to the Super Bowl with Drew Bledsoe, only to lose to the Green Bay Packers 35–21.
Earlier in 2001, the Patriots had agreed to a new contract with Drew Bledsoe. When he went down in week 2 of the season, Michigan quarterback Tom Brady, drafted 199th overall in 2000, was pressed into action and became the starter. Coupled with the ingenuity of Head Coach Bill Belichick, who had also held Head Coaching positions with the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots finished the regular season with an 11–5 record.
The combination of Tom Brady’s play and Belichick’s scheme allowed the Patriots to beat the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl that year. Belichick used his experience with the great defenses of the New York Giants under Parcells to shut down opposing offenses. Just two weeks earlier, the Eagles had lost the NFC Championship Game in St. Louis 29–24. Andy Reid was the coach of that team.
Brady and Belichick would go on to win six Super Bowls in New England together in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
The Eagles would crash into the Patriots juggernaut twice more after a near miss in 2001. The 2004, Philadelphia came up short against New England in the Super Bowl 24–21. In 2018, the Eagles out-dueled Brady and forced a late fumble in the fourth quarter to finally bring Philly its first Lombardi and to defeat the 58-year drought.
Today, we’ll see the dynasty of old facing one of the NFL’s hottest teams. Tom Brady is no longer in the league, and New England has lost its share of coordinators.
Many have moved on to elevated positions with other franchises.
The Eagles have built their team using Belichick’s principles. They have a franchise quarterback and a dominating defense and have assembled a coaching staff with both research and care. General Manager Howie Roseman has utilized the NFL draft to perfection. The Eagles only sign free agents that fit the mold of good-character teammates as well as major contributors in key positions of need.
They capture talent from top colleges and university football programs like Georgia, Clemson, and of course, Alabama.
This week, Bill Belichick spoke about Jalen Hurts, “you’re talking about arguably the best player in the league or one of the top two or three best players in the league,” he said.
Later tonight, we’ll see how right he was.
And just maybe, the beginning of a dynasty like the New England Patriots of old…