Eagles Have Plenty Of Unanswered QuestionsBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Friday, August 23rd, 2013
The biggest question mark was answered earlier this week; the starting quarterback is Michael Vick. I’m sure it was a huge relief to the offensive line and skilled players who were constantly making adjustments within themselves depending on the signal caller when the competition was ongoing. There are some questions remaining, and significant ones to say the least.
Do we have the players who should start at certain positions, or is the coaching staff stuck relying on veterans to step up instead of entrusting rookies and second year players to take on the starting role? I look at what the 49ers did yesterday, trading a wide-receiver they recognized was not a fit for their team, and acquired a wide-receiver that could provide them depth in a “need” area. The Eagles are thin at cornerback, safety and wide-receiver. Are they going to settle for what they have, or look to gamble with the young players or sign a veteran? Will they make a trade to acquire need positions once final roster cuts are made?
Has Trent Cole or Brandon Graham, “demonstrated” or “earned” the starting outside linebacker position? The transition from the defensive ends to 3-4 linebackers has not been smooth for either of these players. I can’t see them staying stride for stride with a receiver. Cole is a veteran who has had a very solid career with the Eagles and is due a nice chunk of change this season. Graham is a former first round pick, one the Eagles traded up to draft, passing on Pro-Bowlers like Jason Pierre-Paul and Earl Thomas. Is this situation one of respect for what Cole has meant to the Eagles franchise? Is it pride and investment with a first round selection with Graham? Or are there no “better” options out there to upgrade this position? The outside linebacker can’t be labeled with question and doubt; so much of what the 3-4 defense is built around is from the outside line-backer spot.
Our secondary was an embarrassment last season; and we over-hauled it completely even though it appears Nate Allen, a former high second round selection will get the starting safety position along-side Patrick Chung. What I have seen from the secondary are specific attributes, but no sense of cohesion. Fletcher is a decent tackler, Cary Williams relies more on trash-talking then actually being better than the man he is responsible for covering. Chung appears to be an intelligent player who demonstrated throughout his stint with New England that he can play in the NFL. Boykin has shown terrific athleticism and is really making an arguement to be more than the 3rd cornerback on this team. With Marsh out for a bit with the injury, Hughes will battle with Poyer for that 4th and very important cornerback spot. Everyone is waiting on how long it will talk for rookie Wolfe to get on the field and start for the Eagles. With the headache that it’s been with the replacement at the safety position since Dawkins left, the stage is very small for incoming potential replacements. The film for showing they can solidify themselves as starters for the Eagles at the safety position is very short. At safety, Phillips can’t stay healthy, Coleman is what he is, Sims too small, and Anderson will be an ace with the special teams unit.
I don’t believe the 5th wide-receiver is too big of an issue with how many tight-ends the Eagles plan on keeping and deploying in their offensive scheme. They will be a more balanced offense, and whether it’s Brown or Polk as the second running-back, the trio provides great depth. I would like the Eagles to keep an eye out for the potential to bring in a veteran wide-receiver as our 5th. I look at a guy like Nate Washington or Kenny Britt in Tennessee, both who are unlikely candidates to return next year with how the Titan have drafted the last two seasons. Could a trade be worked out with the aggressive nature of how Gregg Williams likes to run his defensive lineman to send Graham and acquire an upgrade over rookie Sheppard or veteran Salas?
Even if we witness a defense on Saturday that plays like they did in the second preseason game against the Panthers, keep yourself grounded and look at who they are playing. It’s needed experience for players to gel with the type of defense we will be playing going forward. The likes of Maurice Jones- Drew, Cecil Shorts III and Mercedes Lewis do give the defense an opportunity to shut down some well skilled and diverse players. I want to see dominance. You dominate the weaker opponent in the NFL and make yourself feared by the rest of the remaining teams on your schedule.
It’s time to hit; make the big play, demonstration must be witnessed that this defense will not be the Achilles heel like it was last season.
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