Philadelphia Eagles' Offseason in Review: Offensive Edition
While the offseason has certainly been more dramatic for the Eagles' defense, the offensive unit has probably accomplished more in these past several months.
Andy Reid and the Philadelphia organization began the offseason by choosing not to re-sign veteran offensive tackles Jon Runyan and William (Tra) Thomas. Initially, it was a questionable move and didn't necessarily have the support of the Eagles' fan base.
Ultimately, though, it all panned out, as the Eagles signed former Cincinnati offensive tackle Stacy Andrews, brother of Sean Andrews, to take up the right guard/right tackle position.
Stacy Andrews is considered by many to be "damaged goods." Most of these people don't realize that he was part of the 2007 Bengals o-line that allowed only 17 sacks, before suffering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
At that point, most fans were under the assumption that Eagles' left guard Todd Herremans or right guard Sean Andrews would be protecting Donovan McNabb's blind side at left tackle.
Then the Eagles found out that the Buffalo Bills would be willing to deal disgruntled offensive tackle Jason Peters.
Peters didn't come cheaply to the Eagles though.
They traded three draft picks for him—one of Philadelphia's two 2009 first round draft picks, a fourth-rounder in the 2009 draft, and a sixth-rounder in 2010.
But he's worth it. Well...when he's happy, at least.
In the 2008 season—a pro bowl season for the giant—he allowed just two sacks in 14 games.
However, in the 2009 season, that number increased dramatically to 11.5. Many people will attribute this to the fact that he was upset with his contract. Peters' poor 2009 season doesn't seem to worry Andy Reid.
"Jason Peters is the best left tackle in football," Reid stated. "He is a powerful and athletic tackle and I have admired his play over the last few years on film."
Another issue that had been addressed in the offseason was the tight end position. L.J. Smith is gone. For many fans, this was a long overdue decision.
But few fans had any idea what would happen at the tight end position—few thought that Brent Celek would be come the starter; the majority guessed that the Eagles would draft a playmaker—one of the more popular rumors was that Eagles would be picking up Brandon Pettigrew out of Oklahoma State.
There were very few, however, that could have ever guessed that the Eagles would pick Cornelius Ingram from the University of Florida.
Cornelius Ingram is an interesting player. He was athletic enough coming out of high school to be recruited as a quarterback.
He can do just about everything. Run. Catch. Pass. You name it.
Granted, Andy Reid has never seemed to be an advocate of the blocking tight end; he knew that, unless he was using an early pick on a tight end, he wasn't going to get a spectacular blocker. But Ingram's athleticism has Reid convinced that he can learn the trade of the NFL tight end.
"I know I didn't do a whole lot of blocking, as far as being an attached tight end, because we were so into the spread," said the fifth-round pick, "but I know I can do it."
The running back position was a more pressing issue that had to be addressed. With an aging Westbrook being unable to stay healthy, in seemed that a "running back of the future" pick was in order.
The severity of the issue was amplified by the departure of veteran running back Correll Buckhalter.
If there's one man who couldresolve this issue, it's LeSean McCoy.
The Eagles drafted Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy in the second round of the NFL draft. On paper McCoy is a lot like Westbrook.
Neither are heavyweights or otherwise "big guys." If there's one guy that can take Westbrook's job if (when) he goes down, it's McCoy. One of McCoy's most impressive attributes is his toughness. Despite his size, he sometimes seems eager to take on a big hit.
And I saved the best for last. Wide receiver.
Oh boy, could I say a lot about the wide receiver corps this year. But I don't want to bore you; I'll get straight to the point.
The wide receiver corps has definitely improved this year. It might not be what Donovan McNabb or Philly fans wanted, but the fact of the matter is that it didchange for the better this offseason.
Firstly, the Eagles got rid of Greg Lewis. I don't think I need to tell you that this was a great move.
Secondly, Reggie Brown is now fighting for his job. I don't think I need to tell you that this is a great thing. Maybe with more motivation, he will be able to live up to his (supposed) potential.
The Eagles acquired Jeremy Maclin and Brandon Gibson in the draft.
I've never been a big Maclin fan, but it makes all the sense in the world that Andy Reid would pick him. He is the spitting image of Andy Reid's yearly first pick (when he's not trading that pick away).
Freddie Mitchell, Reggie Brown, etc. Unfortunately, this type of receiver has only panned out once for Andy Reid—but it panned out very will indeed for DeSean Jackson.
Which reminds me-DeSean Jackson, Hank Baskett, Jason Avant, and Kevin Curtis should all be returning with another year of experience under their belt.
We're in for one wild year.
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