2009 Philadelphia Eagles Preview: Safety, Part One

Dan BandekowContributor IJune 15, 2009

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 28:  (L-R) Asante Samuel #22, Quintin Mikell #27, Brian Dawkins #20  and Stewart Bradley #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate after Mikell intercepted a pass in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 28, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

With our first eagles preview we took a gander at the QB position and how McNabb may look in the 2009 season. With our next preview I’d like to switch sides here and take a look at The Eagles Defense. More precisely, the Safety Position.

I can’t start talking about Eagles safeties and not mention Brian Dawkins. No Eagle has made as much impact on a team and fan base than Brian Dawkins. Not just through his play, which was spectacular at times, but also through his energy and determination on the field. The intimidation some players must feel when they cross paths with Dawkins must be unreal. He is a flat out legend.

With him in mind, lets go ahead and take a look at those who have the momentous task of living up to his example. We will start with the two Q’s.

Quintin Mikell

Signed by the Eagles as a rookie free agent out of  Boise State University back in 2003, Mikell has shown great work ethic and determination in his years as an Eagle, working his way up from the practice squad. This year he will be returning as he has every year so far, coming off his best season statistically.

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In 2008 he managed 93 tackles and two sacks, driving opposing offense’s back 29 yards. He also forced two fumbles, had three interceptions, and deflected nine passes.

This will be Mikell’s seventh season as a Philadelphia Eagle, so it is no stretch of the imagination to expect Quintin to take on more of a leadership role with the defense and in the locker room.  When asked about leadership on this Eagles team in a recent interview, Quintin had this to say:

“I’ve been looked at as a guy that has to step up in that area and I feel like so far I have. Its about doing what’s important when nobody is watching.  At the end of the day I’m that guy who is willing to do what it takes”

I see Quintin Mikell having another solid year, once again, improving on his stats from the previous year. Look for Mikell to be a physical presence in the backfield as I see him getting a few more shots at opposing QB’s in 2009. 

This is based on the fact that Demps and Samuel have a better grasp of coverages and schemes with two years in the system. This should lend a hand to Mikell focusing more on run stops and blitzing.

In the next 2009 Philly Eagles Preview, we will take a look at the other Q,  returning 2008 rookie Quintin Demps.

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