Saturday, January 29, 2011

Defensive Considerations for the Eagles

Let me start things off by breathing a sigh of relief. After I published Thursday's post, Twitter was suddenly ablaze with reports that an anonymous league source had said that Andy Reid told all DC candidates (who?!) that the job was closed. Immediately, it morphed into the belief that Jeff Fisher was indeed heading back to Philly. Not true. Thankfully, Les Bowen cleared everything thing up:

So with that out of the way, let's talk about the Eagles' needs. I don't think anyone would disagree that there are issues on defense that need to be addressed ASAP. Cornerback is the top position that needs to be addressed the most. For years, the Eagles had high-quality cornerbacks grounding the secondary, allowing them to make big plays. Now Asante Samuel stands alone, with Dimitri Patterson's performance this season being less-than-stellar. Until Nnamdi Asomugha is picked up by the Eagles or another team, there will be a lot of talk about him. The Eagles could use his speed and ability on the field, and the Eagles could draft a later-round pick to add depth to the position.

Depth would definitely be a good thing to have should the Eagles pick up Al Harris instead of Asomugha. Harris is an excellent CB, but has suffered his share of injuries lately. While this likely won't affect his ability to make plays, it is a concern.

Linebackers are also a concern, as their performance this season was underwhelming. There is hope that Jim Washburn can help fix this problem, but either a standout linebacker needs to be drafted, or there needs to be a pickup on the free agent market, coupled with a later-round linebacker. Carolina's James Anderson could shift Moise Fokou to a backup, and adding Minnesota's Chad Greenway or Kansas City's Tamba Hali would beef up the Eagles' linebacker corps immensely. Another good move would be to bring in Takeo Spikes for a year to help get Jamar Cheney up to elite status.

I'll focus on offense in another post. The biggest offensive assets, Mike Vick and DeSean Jackson, will not be going anywhere if the Eagles want a chance to win the NFC East again and go further in the playoffs. There's a way up, Eagles Nation. Let's hope Big Red, Joe Banner, Jeff Lurie and the rest see it.

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