Potential Issues That Could Derail The Eagles Train To The Superbowl

Curt KolpCorrespondent IMay 14, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - JANUARY 18:  Free safety Clinton Hart #33 of the Philadelphia Eagles sits next to wide receiver Greg Lewis #83 during the NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field on January 18, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Panthers defeated the Eagles 14-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The 2008 version of the Philadelphia Eagles were about two minutes short of earning a Superbowl birth.  The sting of that loss lasted well into the offseason for many fans and lead them to wonder what direction the team is going in.

Enter the 2009 offseason...The Eagles lost Brian Dawkins, Tra Thomas, John Runyan, (still unsigned) and Correll Buckhalter all to free agency.  These men all played major roles for the eagles and we certainly be missed.

The Eagles filled those voids by adding Sean Jones, Jason Peters, LeSean Mccoy, Stacey Andrews, and Leonard Weaver.  They also added offensive firepower by drafting speedster Jeremy Maclin and Cornelius Ingram.

Were these offseason moves enough to propel the Eagles into Superbowl favorites?  Many analysts and experts say yes.  Eagles Nation feels the same way....but what could derail this train to Superbowl forty-four?

Many people overlook the loss of Brian Dawkins because the Eagles replaced him with a younger and bigger playmaking safety (at this stage in their careers) Sean Jones. 

Leadership is a huge part of the game of football, and sometimes can be the difference between a good and a great team.  Dawkins often "willed" his defense to success, and didn't ever let the defense get lackluster.

Who will take the role of leader on defense?  Stewart Bradley? Quintin Mikell? Trent Cole? 

Whoever takes over the leadership role will certainly have some big shoes to fill, and if they cannot properly lead the defense, Eagles Nation could be watching Superbowl forty-four with a sad look on their face.

Another possible issue is depth at the running back slot.  Yes, the Eagles drafted LeSean Mccoy...but what if he doesn't pan out? 

 That would spell trouble for the Eagles because the third guy in line for carries would be Lorenzo Booker or Walter Mendenhall...not necessarily attractive options.

The problem with the running back spot is every guy behind Brian Westbrook is unproven, and the Eagles are asking a lot out of the young guys on this team.

Another possible issue could be the health of the offensive line.  Stacey Andrews is coming off knee surgery, Shawn Andrews is coming off a neck/back injury, and Nick Cole is coming off a knee injury.

If some of these guys aren't 100 percent, it could spell trouble for Donovan and the Philadelphia Eagles offense.

If the Eagles can overcome some of the aforementioned issues, then Eagles Nation will be on a train to Superbowl forty-four!!!