Asante Samuel / Nate Allen / Quintin Mikell / Ellis Hobbs
Houston we have a problem!
Last year the Eagles ranked in middle of the pack finishing a respectable 17th overall in the NFL in passing. They finished fourth in interceptions.
Those facts alone would create the impression that there should be little reason for angst in regards to the Eagles secondary, still they allowed QBs to complete better than 61% of their passes and allowed an average of 215+ yards per game in the air.
Remove the most reliable tackler (Sheldon Brown) and you are left with a highly explosive but highly combustible defensive back unit.
Eagles fans know what to expect of Asante Samuel; a ballhawk with the tackle ability of a punter.
Quintin Mikell is work horse and leader in the secondary but his ability to cover and tackle in the open field leave much to be desired.
Now factor in an unproven Ellis Hobbs and rookie safety Nate Allen. Hobbs played in eight games last year and came away with just eight tackles. Those are his stats for 2009. Seriously they are!
Nate Allen is a athletic and talented rookie taken with the pick acquired in the Donovan McNabb trade. All reports are that he is a disciplined, agile, hard worker. One must assume growing pains will occur once he straps on the gear in his first Real game, but he is a player with a lot of potential and reason for Eagles fans to hope.
Round the DB's out with a cast of characters including Macho Harris, Joselio Hanson, Quintin Demps, rookie Trevard Lindley, etc, etc. and there isn't much room for excitement in the secondary.
Eagles fans will have to hope the defensive line and linebackers can create enough pressure on QB's to cause erratic passes. If the front seven can force QB's to throw before ready it will cause fewer completions and therefore fewer chances for our poor tackling secondary to be exposed, if not look for teams like the Cowboys who are deep at WR and TE to exploit the Eagles' defensive backs.