Philadelphia Eagles: Starting 11 on Defense Will Be the New "Gang Green"

Geremy GrahamCorrespondent IJune 18, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 07: Stewart Bradley #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 7, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

"Gang Green."

No, I'm not talking about the disease, I'm talking about the Philadelphia Eagles defense during the Buddy Ryan era.

Philadelphia built their franchise around the all-time greats like Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner, and Eric Allen.

This defense defined the Philadelphia Eagles.

It's time to bring that ferocious nature back.

This year, with the return of Stewart Bradley, the arrival of Ernie Sims, and the incoming draft class ready to contribute right away, look for this defense to terrify opposing offenses like the days of the original "Gang Green."

If I was Sean McDermott, I would tap dance my way to practice everyday knowing the talent that I have at my fingertips.

Here it goes, starting on the defensive line.

At right end, at 6'3" 258 pounds, no surprise, it's Trent Cole.

Cole is a complete dominator, a pro bowl caliber player capable of getting a couple sacks a game now that he has this man at left end:

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Brandon Graham.

I think Graham will be the starting left end come season time, and no, I'm not being biased because he has the same last name as me.

From what I hear, everyone believes that this young kid from Michigan will relieve pressure for Trent Cole, and wreak havoc in the backfield every game.

At defensive tackle, Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley will be the starting duo.

Both are solid starters and of similar talents at their position and I believe one of them is capable of making a trip to the pro bowl this year.

One thing I would like to add is the Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, the fourth round draft pick out of the University of Washington, is someone to keep an eye on as the season draws near.

He has the size and potential to start at either the defensive end or tackle position.

The Eagles just inked Te'o-Nesheim to a four year deal, so watch out for him.

At the linebacker position, the Eagles have many possibilities and lots of depth.

However, Stewart Bradley is the leader of this defense and will start at middle linebacker.

Returning from a season ending injury, Bradley will return as the general and the silent play caller for Sean McDermott's schemes.

At weak side linebacker, Ernie Sims will be a huge addition for the Eagles and will provide the big play impact for Philadelphia fans.

The Eagles recently acquired him from the Detroit Lions in a three team trade and now that he is with an organization like the Eagles, look for him to flourish.

Strong side linebacker is a question mark for the Eagles at the moment, but I think Moise Foku will fill this void.

The second year man out of Maryland has hit the weight room and has matured over the past year, and will be ready to make an impact for the Philadelphia Eagles.

As far as the cornerback position goes, it is obvious who is the number one guy here: Asante Samuel.

Despite the recent criticism of his selfish attitude toward the team, Asante Samuel makes plays for the Eagles, and he will continue to this year.

It would be nice to see a change in his mentality, but if he is as good as he thinks he is, he will keep getting interceptions and helping this team.

Who will be starting across from Samuel?

This is a big question mark for this defense, but I think in the end, it will be Joselio Hanson.

Now as time progresses, Ellis Hobbs, Macho Harris, and even the rookie out of Kentucky Trevard Lindley could all possibly start across Samuel.

But right now and come the first game of the season, I think Hanson has the spot.

At the safety position, there is much promise in both players.

At strong safety, Quintin Mikell will be the starter.

He is a very solid safety in the NFL and has the potential, if he stays healthy and does the right things in the offseason, to be one of the premier strong safeties in the league.

He is a proven leader and one of the better tackling defensive backs on the team.

Starting at free safety, the player that I am most excited about watching this year, will be Nate Allen.

The rookie out of South Florida is expected to come in and contribute right away for the Eagles, and I think he has the physical and mental ability to do so.

Allen's nine interceptions rank fourth on South Florida's all-time list. He is a proven athlete and will be one of the best free safety's in the league.

The Eagles are in need of someone to step in and fill the void left when Brian Dawkins signed with the Denver Broncos.

Allen will pleasantly surprise many Philadelphia fans with his skill and knowledge of the safety position.

There you have it. That's my starting 11 for the upcoming season.  

Look for the Philadelphia Eagles to find their inner "Gang Green" and unleash the beast that is their defense.

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