NFL Team Preview: Philadelphia Eagles
Pigskin Heaven's Sascha Bartels is breaking down every single team in the NFL prior to the season. Here is his analysis and forecast for the Philadelphia Eagles. Click on a team to read their preview.
*Editors Note: Opinions expressed in this article were formed prior to the signing of Michael Vick.
AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ
AFC North: BAL | CIN | CLE | PIT
AFC South: IND | HOU | JAX | TEN
AFC West: DEN | KAN | OAK | SDG
NFC East: DAL | NYG | PHI | WAS
NFC North: CHI | DET | GBA | MIN
NFC South: ATL | CAR | NOL | TBA
NFC West: ARI | STL | SFO | SEA
Let's start off with the sad part.
A few weeks ago, Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson lost his battle with cancer, meaning the Eagles will now have to rely on Sean McDermott to carry the load. But is he up to the task?
He does get a few new toys to play with, safety Sean Jones, corner Ellis Hobbs, as well as DE/LB Jason Babin. However, he does lose the Eagles defensive leader, Brian Dawkins, to the mile high city.
Other than Dawkins leaving, the Eagles really only made news twice during the off-season. Once, when they made a trade with Buffalo to acquire LT Jason Peters, and again during the draft, finding some gems who went later than expected like LeSean McCoy and Cornelius Ingram.
Add WR Jeremy Maclin and last year's top choice DeSean Jackson to the mix, and it's very apparent that the Eagles main quest right now is to overhaul the offense in an attempt to get Donovan McNabb back to the Super Bowl.
Three burning questions
Will the Eagles suffer with the recent loss of MLB Stewart Bradley?
Even though Andy Reid hasn't confirmed it yet, it seems apparent that Bradley will miss most or all of the season.
Bradley really emerged on this team last season, and was set to make a name for himself this season.
With the loss of Bradley, an already very inexperienced linebacker core becomes even more so; as Chris Gocong and Omar Gaither become the most experienced LB's on the team.
The Eagles have always found talent at the position though, so in the end, they should be okay.
Can Donovan McNabb repeat last season's rare feat?
What's the rare feat you ask?
Playing in all 16 games.
That's something McNabb has only done 4 times in his career, and until last year, none since 2003. For the Eagles sake, let's hope, because with McNabb, they're a title contender, without him for a long period of time, they don't contend at all.
And that's not just meant as a knock on Kevin Kolb, it's directed much more at the level of competition in the division.
It looks like McNabb finally has all the pieces in place.
An offensive line that now feature Peters, Jamaal Jackson, Gilles, Herremans, and Stacy and Shawn Andrew.
The play-maker positions are just as loaded, as long as Brian Westbrook proves healthy. McCoy will provide a nice change of pace for him, while Kevin Curtis, Jackson and Maclin should all be able to roam free in the secondary. Brett Celek and Ingram will also be mired in competition at the tight end position.
With Dawkins gone, who will be the “QB” of the defense?
Again, not only Dawkins, but also the probable loss of Bradley leads to this question.
Seems like the logical answer to the question is Quentin Mikeel, who is joined in the strong secondary by Jones, Asante Samuel, and Sheldon Brown, as well as a couple youngsters in Victor Harris and Trae Williams.
But the question is still there. It's not a question of talent on the Philly defense, but it could be a question of leadership.
For the prognosis and final record, read the originally posted article, here.
This is an original article by Pigskin Heaven Staffer, Sascha Bartels, you can read it, more of Sascha's articles and more from the Pigskin Heaven staff, here.
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