With the Philadelphia Eagles training camp about to get under way in Lehigh Valley later this month, there has been wide spread speculation among the fans of potential roster spot battles to watch for.
Continuing along those lines, there are some players that pop into my head who, from the acquisition of new veterans or 2010 draft selectees, could see a huge uphill battle to retain their starting title.
Here is my top five for players who, like the title says, won't be starters in 2010!
"Wow Dan—you're obviously a genius," you might be saying to yourself after seeing Jackson's name on this list, and I appreciate that!
However I include him for reasons other than the fact that he suffered a season ending knee injury very late in the 2009 season.
It is well known that when a player has a severe injury, he has a real good chance to come back stronger than before, but Jackson isn't exactly a small character—he's 6'4", 325 lbs.
With that in mind, when he is ready to come back, I wonder if he'll be the dominant player he was before sustaining his injury.
Here is another thought—what if someone like Nick Cole proves to be just as fierce of a player now that he has a full understanding of the required duties at center?
Jackson isn't expected to return to the team until right around the midpoint of the season, and by that time, if the Eagles are winning, it could very well disrupt the chemistry that was built.
Jamaal Jackson will be a starting center in this league again, don't get me wrong, but will it be in 2010?
Even though linebacker Omar Gaither only started in a handful of games in 2009 before he too went out due to injury, he had the best shot to be the starting WILL in 2010.
That was before Ernie Sims rolled into town.
Now, Gaither will definitely be a solid backup as long as he can remain healthy—but a backup he will be in the upcoming season.
I'm assuming he will be the man in charge of being the defense's centerpiece if, God forbid, something happens to starting linebacker Stewart Bradley again.
He is more than capable of playing the Will, so Gaither is an extremely vital piece to the puzzle, but he too will most likely see most of his time on special teams in 2010.
Even though Juqua Parker put up 8.5 sacks in 2009, the Philadelphia Eagles felt as though that was not enough of a complement to Trent Cole.
So what the Eagles did in the offseason was go out and get three new faces, two of whom are fresh to the league, and the other is an unknown gem.
First the Birds acquired defensive end Darryl Tapp from the Seattle Seahawks and my reaction was: OK, now there is a man who can create serious training camp competition.
I even penciled him in as the starter once I reviewed his career stats and watched some film on him.
Then the 2010 draft rolled through, and the Eagles did what many expected: move up to get a stud talent at one of the remaining positions of need.
Maybe a safety like Earl Thomas or one of the many available and talented linebackers—heck, a good cornerback was needed also right?
Not in the minds of the Eagles.
Instead they selected Michigan Pride Brandon Graham at No. 13, and then followed that up with Daniel Teo-Nesheim just two selections later.
It is obvious the Eagles know the best way to defend a wide receiver is to hit the quarterback—and they have surrounded themselves with top tier talent to do so.
With that said, Juqua Parker is not a starting defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010.
Let me start here by saying Akeem Jordan played stellar football in 2009, but it wasn't quite enough for defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
In his first year as a starting linebacker, Jordan finished third on the team in tackles with 82—a career high.
He also registered two INTs in his first starting season, becoming the first player since Ike Reese (2004) to accomplish that task.
Originally a rookie free agent in 2007, Jordan has worked his way up the ladder from the ground floor—nothing was handed to him.
He came into Philly starting on the practice squad and started showing the front office his speedy, playmaking abilities, which eventually led him to a starting job.
However, with the acquisition of Ernie Sims from the Detroit Lions, who is a stud at WILL in the right scheme, Jordan basically lost his job the second Sims became an Eagle.
Jordan could still prove to be the man who remains at such said position, but it certainly is yet another long road ahead of the man who has already traveled great distances to get where he is.
Macho Harris is entering his second season with the Eagles and is another player who is anticipated to lose his starting job at free safety—but he could end up starting somewhere. More on that later.
That is of course because the Eagles drafted safety Nate Allen out of South Florida with the 37th overall selection in this year's draft.
With a full training camp with a defensive backs coach in Dick Jauron, I expect Allen will be ready to go by the start of the season.
Now if all this works out the way I'm seeing it in my head, then Macho Harris then competes for the starting right cornerback position opposite Asante Samuel.
This is his natural position coming out of college and is where he has the best chance at remaining a starter with the Eagles organization.
He will have some tough competition there as well.
Eagles 2009 return man Ellis Hobbs is a proven NFL cornerback coming from the New England Patriots as a starter there, and he is fully aware that he could return to the field with Samuel—a player he is very familiar with from New England.
Hobbs is going to have to prove that he is fully recovered from his neck injury last season in order to become the Birds' starter, and if he can't, Harris is there waiting!
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