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How to Fix the Eagles

When training camp start up in Lehigh this year for the Eagles, there were high expectations. Desean Jackson was coming into his second year after having a successful rookie season. Stewart Bradley was poised to become a very good middle linebacker and the draft yielded some promising young talent. The Eagles spent the offseason shoring up an offensive line that at the time looked to promising as well. But all good things must come to an end.

The Eagles allowed Brian Dawkins to leave for Denver leaving a huge unknown at strong safety. Stewart Bradley tore an ACL in ‘practice game’ at a promotion the Eagles called Flight Night where they invited fans to the link to watch practice. Shawn Andrews never saw the field but we did see an awful lot of Andrews on youtube. Stacey Andrews who was brought in as more of a babysitter than a player saw very limited action all season. Brian Westbrook had a rash of concussions. The list goes on and on. But here are some ways the Eagles can correct their problems.

Defense: Two glaring issues here. The defensive line and the strong safety position. I know I know, the linebacker position was a mess this year. But keep in mind that Stewart Bradley will be back which allows these other guys to play their more natural positions. The defensive line needs help however. Trent Cole had 12.5 sacks having been double teamed most of the year because of no help on the other side. The Eagles need to find bigger d-lineman to combat the troubles they had against a Dallas Cowboys line that completely dominated them all season. You have to take care of your division first.

The safety position is a mess. Letting Brian Dawkins go was a huge mistake. Quetin Mikell was not ready to take over that spot and Quentin Demps was hurt most of the year and admittedly did not work hard this offseason. Between the linebackers and the safety position they were prone to tight ends all season long. This is something that HAS to be a priority.

Offense: The Eagles were as explosive a team as anybody in football. Desean Jackson became a full fledged star and Jeremy Maclin picked up the offense quicker than most thought. Brent Celek became a very good tight end and Leshon McCoy showed signs of being a pretty good running back. Leonard Weaver was signed in the offseason and became a pro bowl fullback. Donovan McNabb for all of his faults had a decent season. So whats the problem you may ask?

The offensive line was doomed from the start. First Shawn Andrews decided to take a leave of absence from the real world while nursing his troublesome back. Then Herramen’s went down for 6 weeks. Jason Peters didn’t pick up the offense quickly and Stacey Andrews was for all intents and purposes a bust. The Eagles could not sustain any long drives and when they weren’t hitting the homerun their offense became stagnant. They are going to have to address the offensive line this offseason and most notably the quarterback position. Does Donovan stay or go? That is a topic for a later date but this is an area where the Eagles are going to have to make a decision. With no CBA in place and an uncapped year in 2010 they may decide to hold on to Donovan for the final year of his contract.

So where are the Eagles? Are they on the rise with their 11-5 record? Or was that record all smoke and mirrors and hiding an awful lot of holes. Only the offseason will tell us where they are headed.

Arnold Greene
Wilmington, DE

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