The Philadelphia Eagles certainly have enjoyed a very successful offseason. General Manager Howie Roseman has managed to sign six former pro-bowl players just within a few weeks.
But what all do Justin Babin, Ronnie Brown, Nnamdi Asomugha, Vince Young, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Steve Smith have in common? Oh yeah, neither one is a linebacker. This position was by far the the Eagles weakest link going in to the offseason, and thus far remains the same.
The Eagles most experienced linebacker is Moise Fokou, who is entering his third year as a pro. Next, are five linebackers who were all drafted within the last two years with not one getting drafted sooner than the fourth round.
Andy Reid is putting a lot of faith into rookie linebacker Casey Matthews who will likely start at middle linebacker and will be responsible for relaying defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's play-calls.
Jim Washburn, the Eagles defensive line coach, likes to play his line rather wide which generates in to a vicious pass rush, but will put a lot of pressure on the Eagles unproven linebackers to close the gaps. Game-planning against the Eagles therefore will be a given. Run the ball until Castillo has no other choice but to move up the safety for desperate run support, at which point the offense can counter with going over the top via play-action.
Nnamdi Asomugha is a great corner back don't get me wrong. But he also is a tad bit overrated. The passes that Asomugha does give up usually go for big yardage.
A weak run-stopping defense is not something you want to burden yourself with in a division like the NFC East where you have to face the one-two-punch combinations of Bradshaw-Jacobs and DeMarco Murray-Felix Jones twice a year.
How about their offense? You don't really know what to expect from a thus far underachieving Ronnie Brown who is looking to revive his career. Definitely look for Vince Young to get some playing time due to the dangerous playing style of Michael Vick who seems destined to get injured at some point.
Even with the arguably the best running back in the game, Chris Johnson in his backfield, Vince Young still was far from an effective passer in Tennessee. Speaking of passing. Sure Michael Vick is poised to produce another MVP type season, but that depends on his luck just as much as it does his talent.
According to KC Jones of ESPN, Michael Vick ranked first in the NFL for having only 19.4 percent of potential interceptions turn in to actual interceptions.
Even Philadelphia's wide outs enter the season with some serious question marks. You already know DeSean Jackson will give you mind blowing extraordinary performances. But his sidekick Jeremy Maclin reportedly has lost over 15 pounds due to a mono-like illness, and has yet to step on the practice field.
And brand new signee Steve Smith comes into this season rehabbing from micro fracture surgery in his knee. The New York Giants medical staff predicted that Smith would start the season on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he would miss the first six games. But after Smith's departure to the Eagles camp, he was re-evaluated and it has been said that he could make his return in early October.
Champions are decided on the grid iron and not on paper. And even though the Eagles enter the season as the defending NFC East champions, look for the Giants to step out of the Eagles shadow and take back the division. The New York Giants and Giants fans alike do not mind flying under the radar. We all remember the Giants last achievement as underdogs back in 2007 right? If not, ask Tom Brady and the Patriots. I'm certain they haven't forgotten.