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There Are Reasons to be Excited about the 2009 Season

  By: Michael J. Cheal

  On September Thirteenth, a new season that will most likely be filled with highs, lows, cheers, jeers, and tears will begin. To Eagles fans, the above is an all too familiar pattern, but it goes with the territory of a Philly sports fan. They become almost required.


  The number one issue this off-season for fans was the departure of Brian Dawkins. The man did so much for the team and the city. He will be missed. Many fans have stated when he comes back with Denver to play in December, they will be wearing the orange jersey with number twenty on the back. That statement alone I think signifies how much this city loved him. Was the organization wrong in letting him go? In my own personal opinion, I think they could have done a lot more to keep him, but the unfortunate thing is that’s the NFL era of the cap room. There are going to be fatalities in the off-season.


  The Eagles secondary, however, is going to be far from disastrous without Dawkins. They lost Lito Sheppard in the off-season as well, but they still have Sheldon Brown, Quentin Mikell, and Asante Samuel, who led the secondary in interceptions last year. Quentin Demps was a rookie last year, and he made some mistakes, but which rookie didn’t make any mistakes in the NFL? He’s presumably learned from his mistakes and pushed himself to get better. Plus, with the signing of Ellis Hobbs, the Eagles secondary will be okay. Not to mention the defense overall was ranked third in the league last year.


  The offense had some problems also. The wide receivers had a habit of dropping the ball when they were wide open. They have a potentially deep threat now in Desean Jackson. Who could ever forget that miraculous catch in the NFC championship game at Arizona? Of course, it ended up being a moot point, but he has the potential to be their first home-run hitter since T.O. in the future. With the drafting of Jeremy Maclin, they have another potential home-run hitter. So, McNabb will have one more weapon to throw to.


  Brian Westbrook isn’t going to be here forever. If last year was an omen, then it’s not a very good one with all the injuries. Having said that, he was still extremely productive. We needed a back to help him and replace him if it came to that. We got that with Leonard Weaver, and Lesean McCoy. We needed another back to fill the loss of Correll Buckhalter, who also went to Denver. If Andy Reid sticks with the run this season, which all Eagles fans are hoping, and doesn’t decide to get pass-happy again, the running game should do fairly well.


  Overall, there are more positive things than negative to look forward to this season. Let’s just hope it’s worth the wait and hype.






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