With the season only nine days away, its time for the Eagles to meet their expectations.
The defense has improved considerably with major free agent signings like Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, and Jason Babin, and an underrated signing with Jarrad Page.
Major criticism has fallen on the linebackers and safety, but their response to the criticism has been promising.
Here is a ranking of the projected defensive starters by their importance to the team.
If you missed the ranking of offensive starters, check it out here.
Fokou hasn't stood out this preseason, after making the surprising jump from the strongside to the weakside in the second line of defense.
Known for being a run stopper, Fokou is a liability in pass coverage and his flaws will allow the Eagles to run a 4-2-5 defense, with three corners on the field.
I still don't view Kurt Coleman as a starting caliber safety even though he has all but won the job.
Coleman filled in last year for the injured Nate Allen and performed well for a rookie seventh round pick. He fits the mold as a strong safety, but will continue his progression from last season as a free safety.
I feel Coleman does a lot of things well on the field, especially defending the run, but is more of a third safety; a dependable guy, but one who really shouldn't be starting.
The Eagles have been looking for years to find a defensive end opposite of Trent Cole and they struck gold with the signing of Jason Babin.
Babin fits in and is familiar with the scheme the defensive line will run known as the wide-9 scheme, where the ends line up outside the tackle.
With an explosive first step and a great motor, Babin will succeed especially against single coverage with the right tackle.
Playing in under than 60 percent of the Titans defensive snaps last year, expect Babin to rotate out to keep him fresh the entire game.
At 220 pounds, Page is intimidating, hard hitting safety, who can also a playmaker with 12 interceptions and four forced fumbles in 63 games played.
When the Eagles signed him, he was more of an afterthought, but he has quickly grown on the coaches and won himself a starting job.
Page though will play on the left side of the field, where Asante Samuel corners the field. Samuel can be beat on double moves, so it will be Page's assignment to get save big plays.
As much maligned as Quintin Mikell was, his helping of Samuel saved a few big plays from happening.
Page has looked more than solid in the preseason and could fend Nate Allen of the starting job for the rest of the year.
Mike Patterson does not offer much rushing the passer, but with Washburn's scheme, his task isn't really to do that.
Patterson is one of the better run stoppers in the league and he will continue his solid play to help the young linebackers make plays behind him.
With a seizure scare in practice, Patterson has performed very well in preseason playing time, but he will rotate constantly with Antonio Dixon and will not probably play on third downs.
Cole almost always starts off the season in great form.
By mid-season last year, people considered Cole a possible defensive player of the year candidate, that's how dominant he was rushing the passer, and unlike most defensive ends, stuffing the run.
By the end of the year, Cole though wears considerably; this year should be different with a legitimate end opposite of him.
Cole will also not have to worry about the running game which should increase his productivity rushing the passer by season's end.
I wouldn't be shocked at all if Cole has a 14-plus sack season.
Asante Samuel is the best playmaking corner in the league. He is a ball-hawk and can read the quarterback at ease.
Samuel takes chances, but no one is as successful as him.
As one of the least targeted corners in the league last season, Samuel will probably be the target of most quarterbacks with Nnamdi Asomugha playing across from him.
This could lead to either more big plays or more interceptions; I think most Eagles fans are hoping for the latter to come into fruition.
Samuel still struggles in tackling, but with his playmaking ability, the Eagles are content with his play.
Chaney is a versatile linebacker who can play all three linebacker positions.
With his size to speed ratio (242 pounds and 4.51 in 40 yard dash) Chaney can quickly ascend to one of the best linebackers in the game.
His tackling skills are impressive for only a second year player and he will be asked to cover some of the premier tight ends in the league this year.
Coverage though is arguably Chaney's strength and he should excel there.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Eagles will run a 4-2-5 more and more as the year progresses, so Chaney must be a consistent run stopper.
The Eagles have lacked a legitimate inside pass rusher for years.
Former Brodrick Bunkley was supposed to be the presence, but he never worked out here in Philadelphia.
Cullen Jenkins played in a 3-4 as a defensive end, but should smoothly transition to playing the 4-3 and getting up field.
Jenkins had seven sacks in 11 games last season and is a premier inside pass rusher. The reason why the Packers could be so unique with their schemes on defense was because of a player like Jenkins.
It is rare to find a defensive tackle that can pass rush as well as be a run stopper, but Jenkins is exactly that. He can clog up lanes and stuff the run.
Jenkins was a very under-the-radar signing, and he, like Patterson, will have to push the lineman back and create openings for the linebackers to make plays.
If Jenkins cannot prove to be a run stopper, then the Eagles run defense will suffer.
Nnamdi Asomugha not only would eliminate one side of the field on pass plays, but on run plays as well.
Teams would run to the opposite side of Asomugha because of his great run-supporting skills. At 6-2, 210, Asomugha can stick it to defenders.
Asomugha was only targeted 29 times in 14 games last season, an astoundingly low number.
Teams know the capabilities of Asomugha and are smart not to test him because most of the time the ball would not be completed. Asomugha can also play press coverage.
Asomugha's unique abilities will force quarterbacks to make quick decisions with the ball; his unique abilities will allow Samuel to have a career year; his unique abilities allows the Eagles to just rush four and possibly end up with many coverage sacks.
No pressure Casey.
I am still not completely buying into rookie Casey Matthews, but he has shown signs of improvements since his horrendous Steeler game.
Matthews will be key to the defense and will be the one calling out the plays, relaying information to the other defenders if there is an audible, and oh yea, he will have to worry about blitzing, run stopping, and pass coverage.
A rookie linebacker is not suited to play the important position of the middle because he has to worry about so much pre-snap, let alone once the play starts.
Matthews is an intelligent player and looks to be interpreting information quickly.