For the most part, the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles shouldn’t be too much different from the 2011 Eagles team that went just 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
The team will be relying on quarterback Michael Vick to bounce back, the defense to gel in the second year under Juan Castillo’s system, and young linemen Danny Watkins, Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham to step up and make more of an impact.
There is the looming question as to whether DeSean Jackson will be back in 2012—if the team will franchise him or sign him to a long-term deal—but, ultimately, most of the 22 starters will be the same.
There are several positions that need to be upgraded, though. The linebacking corps was a notable weak spot for the Eagles last season. The team relied on unproven players that ultimately struggled in pass coverage and on tackling.
Safety was also a subpar unit of the Eagles. The team still hasn’t recovered from letting Brian Dawkins walk after the 2008 season or Quintin Mikell after 2010.
Making a few changes in the right areas of the team could make all the difference and determine whether the Eagles finish in the middle of the pack at 8-8 again or win the NFC East with 10 or 11 wins.