The Eagles' "Other" Offseason Needs: Eight Areas Philadelphia Must Address
I've stated in a previous article that I believe this offseason Donovan McNabb should be traded. Some people agree with it. Some don't.
This topic is subject to debate until he is either traded or his contract is extended to remain in Philly.
That being said, the quarterback position is the least of the Eagles' worries right now.
Saturday's blowout loss in Dallas was a manifestation of the fact that the Birds have many holes to fill. Moves need to be made so that the coaching staff isn't forced to shuffle multiple players because one guy went down with an injury.
The good thing about the Eagles' quarterback situation is it is not a position they are weak at. The bottom line: Once it's official (Andy Reid's remark that McNabb will be back is far from the final word) who the Eagles will go with in 2010, the other two should be dealt to other teams for draft picks and/or positions to fill other needs.
It makes no sense to keep the other two in the final year of their contracts only to let them walk with no return compensation. If a position seems to not have a void, there needs to be adequate depth to ensure that one man's injury doesn't result in being a huge loss.
Reid has plenty of work cut out for him. For the first time since 2006, he'll have to get it done without Tom Heckert as his general manager. According to reports, Reid will be working with newly promoted Howie Roseman to improve this roster.
It is possible for the Eagles to make moves to achieve the status of "The Best Roster in the NFL." Whoever they bring in must be able to fit well with their offensive and defensive schemes.
Along with players recovering from injuries, these are the areas of need.
1. An every-down left end
I thought Victor Abiamiri could be this guy, but I have my doubts now. Even though the injury bug has hampered his progress the past two years, he doesn't seem to possess the high motor Trent Cole is known for. Abiamiri may be better off as another part of the rotation, not the starter. Jaqua Parker is a third down pass rusher who wears down by week 12 every year.
2. Starting strong side linebacker
If Stewart Bradley returns back to health in the middle and Will Witherspoon handles the weak side, the Birds would then need someone to help wave goodbye to Chris Gocong. Gocong is better off being part of a 3-4 defense. The Eagles haven't had a good strong side starter since Carlos Emmons.
3. Free safety
It was bad enough to watch Brian Dawkins leave for Denver, but to halfheartedly replace his position was absurd. Sean Jones and Quintin Mikell are both natural strong safeties. Quintin Demps made the assumption that he was a preordained starter (you know what happens when you make assumptions...). What do the Eagles do? Start a rookie who spent his college days as cornerback.
4. Sheldon Brown's eventual replacement
Brown may be one of the better press corners in the league, but he's 30 and starting to get his share of nagging injuries. Brown was drafted to learn from Troy Vincent; now it's his turn to show someone the ropes.
5. Right guard
Shawn Andrews isn't likely to return to the Eagles, and his brother Stacy better work hard to get his knee to 100 percent or he'll be leaving with him. Philly can't afford to wait on either. They need to look to acquire someone to control the right side of the line with Winston Justice.
Every professional athlete should understand that this is a business. Brian Westbrook knew it when he let everyone know he was unhappy with his contract two years ago. He should understand that with his salary combined with him obviously losing a step, the Eagles are better off moving on without him. That said, the Eagles need a reliable running back to share the load with LeSean McCoy.
Sav Rocca will be a free agent in March. The only punting in this area involving him should be the Eagles front office booting him out of town. Too many times has Rocca caused the Eagles defense unfavorable field position. Finding a reliable punter is difficult these days, but I'm sure the Eagles can improve in this area.
8. QB depth
Whichever QB stays, the Eagles need to make sure they have a reliable backup. The Birds normally keep three QBs, so the idea situation would be to have one veteran who could immediately produce if the starter were to ever get hurt and a rookie who could patiently learn the system as a third stringer.
Who these players will be remains to be seen. Many situations have to occur first, but the Eagles need to address these positions by any means necessary
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