Philadelphia Eagles: Is Andy Reid Relying Too Heavily on Youth?

Mike BurkeCorrespondent IMay 11, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 04:  Kicker Alex Henery #90 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrates after kicking a field goal against the Oklahoma Sooners at Cowboys Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

During the 2010 offseason, there was a lot of talk about a new feeling with the Eagles because of the youth on the team.  Kevin Kolb was about to take over the offense and was surrounded by a dynamic core of play-makers who were just as young as him, if not younger.

Kolb was replaced by an older Michael Vick, but there's still a lot of youth surrounding him. 

Looking ahead to the 2011 season, it looks like the average age on the team will be coming down with David Akers and Quintin Mikell likely leaving town.

Now, is it bad to have young players?  Absolutely not, especially if they're producing.  The Eagles have had a lot of young players jump right into their lineup and make an impact.

Looking at last year's draft class alone, they had two rookies who were starters on opening day and had five or six more make significant impacts as well.  All these players will contribute again in 2011, and there may be even more from the class who make an impact this season.

This all sounds great, but there has to be an element of risk that's understood.  Not every young player will blossom in their first season.  Some guys need more time to catch on to the speed of the game and learn the system they're placed in.

In 2011, it looks like the Eagles will again rely on youth to step up.  As mentioned, it looks like veterans Akers and Mikell will not be retained, and the expectations are that Alex Henery and Jaiquawn Jarrett will fill those holes.  Both of those players haven't even suited up as Eagles yet.

Those are big shoes to fill.  Both Akers and Mikell have been selected to the Pro Bowl and have gone to the Super Bowl with the Eagles.

Undeniably, Andy Reid and his staff are infusing this team with youth.  A lot of it has been pleasant so far, and that could be a good sign for years to come.

However, coming off two large draft classes (24 players total), are they trying too hard to get younger?  Are you worried about the reliance on these young players?