Fact or Fiction for Eagles' Biggest Offseason Question Marks
Football perhaps has the most moving parts of any team sport. Areas of concern can become team strengths overnight.
When the Eagles made the decision to part with Brian Westbrook, many believed the running back position would take a step back. Nothing turned out to be further from the truth; LeSean McCoy thrived when given the reins to the running game.
Which positions on the Eagles' roster are areas of concern? And which of these are legitimate ones? Here are four offseason question marks, whether fact or fiction.
1. Backup Quarterback: Fiction
So far, Mark Sanchez has been unimpressive in practices according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane. There seems to be a consensus that the Eagles' backup quarterback position is a big void on the roster.
It's early, but I would say that's fiction as of now. Sanchez may not have the best reputation, but he is still an experienced player. It's hard to tell how much of his poor performance is attributed to his injury.
Only when the pads come on can we be sure of the situation. But Chip Kelly raved about Sanchez and his role with the team when signing him, calling his addition a "no-brainer." He may not have been the best franchise quarterback, but Sanchez should serve as a decent backup.
2. Pass-Rusher: Fact
The pass-rusher position may be the most worrying position on the team. Trent Cole is not getting any younger, and Marcus Smith is still far from polished.
It is likely the Eagles will not see much improvement in this area this season, which will have great repercussions for their pass defense.
When training camp comes around, it may be easier to see if any progress has been made with Smith and if he can contribute as a rookie.
3. DeSean Jackson Void: Fiction
A lot of attention was given to the loss of DeSean Jackson and the repercussions it could have on the Eagles offense in 2014.
While Jackson will be missed, the Eagles won't miss much of a beat. They have perhaps one of the deepest wide receiver corps in the league at the moment.
It's early but Jordan Matthews is dominating so far in practices, per McLane. Even if Matthews struggles in training camp, Jeremy Maclin can be expected to fill in for Jackson and thrive. And, even if Maclin is not fully recovered from his ACL tear, the Eagles have Darren Sproles.
4. Cornerback: Fiction
Many Eagles fans are worried about Philly's cornerback position. Corner is far from a team strength, but it should be much improved in 2014.
Nolan Carroll, perhaps the most underrated Eagles addition this offseason, has impressed so far in camp, also per McLane. He may very well earn a starting role this season. He was an underrated player with the Miami Dolphins and was overshadowed greatly by Brent Grimes.
Bradley Fletcher is not a great corner but he is a good one. He tackles well and is fairly reliable in coverage. Brandon Boykin is also an incredible talent and could see minutes on the outside in 2014.
The concern with the Eagles defense is their pass rush and their safeties; the corners are adequate.