EAGLES ARROGANCE SHOWS
The first sign the Eagles would have problems with their kick return game came at the first minicamp in early May when Bethel Johnson, a guy supposedly with track star speed, showed up with a track injury in the form of a stress fracture in his foot. He was supposed to be the answer.
For some reason the fact that Johnson didn’t pass his physical (he was released) made Jeremy Bloom, the converted skier who hadn’t played football since before the last Winter Olympics, much more appealing.
How anyone could project Bloom as a punt and kickoff return man based on watching him field kids in the non-contact atmosphere of minicamp was beyond me. Yet every day or so I heard raves about what a great minicamp or OTA Bloom was having – even from reporters who are supposed to be unbiased but obviously had swallowed the whole company line. Unbelievable.
Bloom, more likable than a good neighbor, looked like the answer for exactly one – that’s one – return in the preseason. But he turned passive virtually each and every chance thereafter, and at least a couple of his former teammates who can play good football opined that they basically felt all along that Bloom – with the cover boy looks – just didn’t like to get hit.
It was so obvious we weren’t the only ones who noticed.
Plan B wasn’t much better although to his credit, Greg “Muff” Lewis at least attacked the duty he had been given for the first time in his career.
To put Lewis on the field when he was so obviously overmatched is something Andy Reid will have a tough time living down. The same can be said of Reed although in all fairness, most of us would have tried anyone but Lewis after watching him flounder.
Truth be told, Lewis’ arrogance in dismissing punt returning as an art wasn’t his opinion alone. Reid, who oversees personnel decisions, felt the same way or he wouldn’t have thrown the journeyman receiver into the fold.