In the 2009 season, the Philadelphia Eagles had their share of obvious needs on defense. When starting MLB Stewart Bradley was injured before the season had even begun and Brian Dawkins jumped ship to Denver , every Eagles fan knew a true test was ahead of them.
One spot that remained in tact was cornerback with pro bowler Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown heading the squad. Lito Sheppard did get traded and, looking back, it was for the best as his production dramatically decreased and the Jets released him after the season.
That's all in the past now and the Eagles have some players who are ready to elevate their game in 2010 and compete for the other starting position at CB.
It is open competition at training camp this year and the man who shows the most talent and heart will be a starting CB in the NFL for the 2010 season.
Joselio Hanson had his first taste of working with the first team during the Eagles first mini camp and he said of the experience:
"It was great to get out there with the first-team. I feel real comfortable out there and hopefully I can work my way up and build on that for training camp. It's a new year. You have to start fresh. I expect big things out of myself this year".
He has become a crucial player in the Eagles defensive scheme as a nickel and dime package CB, but is he ready to become a full time starter for the Eagles?
Hanson believes he is!
"I feel comfortable at both spots. I feel like I can be one of the best in the league playing on the inside. The outside position, I won't say it's more comfortable. It's a lot more fun. I feel like it's a lot more natural playing outside because I've been doing that all of my life. I feel like I can bring a lot to the table for this team."
The problem with his statement comes in the third sentence—"I won't say it's more comfortable."
I'm not here to say Hanson can't or won't be the Eagles starter opposite of Asante in the upcoming season but his chances are slim to say the least.
He is coming off of a season where he was suspended four games due to the league's substance abuse policy. Hanson tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and he must put all that in his past, learn from his mistake and move forward.
It is my belief that Joselio isn't at the same level as some of the other mentioned players on the roster, which will keep him as the teams third CB, but he sure does seem to ha ve a new motivation to push him.
Could he prove me wrong—absolutely!
Any time a team in this league has an open competition at a position you see stars being born, the best comes out of them in every way imaginable as they try to fulfill their dream.
My problem is the other players on the roster, who I've already mentioned, who are also here to become starters.
Marlin Jackson needs to show that his knees can handle the job but if he can stay healthy I really feel he will win it as he has great size but I question his speed.
If not Jackson, then Hanson also must contend with third year man Macho Harris who has put on some muscle-weight in the offseason . Harris is a natural CB coming out of college so he has a true shot at the job as well.
This is a very good problem to have, folks.
With so many talented players looking to fill just one spot expect to see the best of the best out of every player—and may the best, and toughest, man win!