NFC East Preview- Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles got into the playoffs and surprised many in the football world, especially beating the New York Giants at the Meadowlands before falling to Arizona in the NFC Championship game. The amazing thing is how the Eagles get the job done with a less than heralded cast of players. Aside from Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook, and a very good defense, and a great coach.

The Eagles though are not going to just settle for a late surge and getting into the playoffs when in reality, they really should have been out. They made improvements to go further and replace and off-set the losses that did occur during free agency.

On offense, the Eagles beefed up their offensive line for Brian Westbrook to run holes through, and protect Donovan McNabb in the pocket, despite losing Correll Buckhalter, they drafted LaShawn McCoy at RB in the second round, and he will make a good RB tandem with Westbrook. One thing Westbrook can do better is catch the ball, and speaking of wide receivers, they got a gift in the form of Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin. Maclin has speed, which will not only be used on the routes, but in special teams on kick and punt returns. He will form quite a duo with DeSean Jackson. McNabb also has tight end Brent Celek for a good security blanket. Don’t forget the huge signing in training camp in the form of Michael Vick. The Eagles are a perfect fit since they have a disciplined coach, a leader at quarterback that can help him get ready, and with the support of McNabb, why would this not work. It will be very interesting to see what trickery the Eagles have planned with these two.

The defense is still full of talent and intact, the only things missing are Brian Dawkins, who left the nest for Denver in free agency, and the unfortunate passing of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson from cancer. New coordinator Sean McDermott takes over from the secondary position, albeit the circumstances. The Eagles give offenses so many different looks on defense that it is difficult for opponents to guess what is happening next. McDermott is going to have to keep that going from what Johnson did.

Overall, if the Eagles can get a lot from their rookies and keep McNabb healthy, they will be very tough to beat and can quite possibly be the team to beat in the NFC East. The offensive line is beefed up, and if a true playmaker can emerge from this squad, they will soar far in the NFC playoffs, perhaps a Super Bowl.

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