The Counselor is IN:
I wrote this article for a great series previews with the Cowboys Pride. This is one of four previews of the NFC East. We love to call it the "Beasts of the East".
Beasts of the East-
The Philadelphia Eagles were the only NFC East team to miss the playoffs last year. They want to change that this season. They are hoping that this pass happy offense can lead this team deep into the playoffs. They face the challenge of having 6 games in the toughest division in the NFL.
New Free Agent Addictions
CB - Asante Samuel (NE)
DE - Chris Clemons (Oak)
FB - Dan Klecko (Ind)
LB - Rocky Boiman (Ind)
TE - Kris Wilson (KC)
RB - Lorenzo Booker(Mia)
2 - Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame
2 - DeSean Jackson, WR, California
3 - Bryan Smith, LB, McNeese State
4 - Mike McGlynn, T, Pittsburgh
4 - Quintin Demps, DB, Texas-El-Paso
4 - Jake Ikegwuonu, DB, Wisconsin
6 - Mike Gibson, T, California
6 - Joe Mays, LB, North Dakota State
6 - Andy Studebaker, LB, Wheaton
7 - King Dunlap, T, Auburn
CB William James (Buf)
DE Jevon Kearse (Ten)
DT LaJuan Ramsey
DT Ian Scott (Car)
LB Takeo Spikes
FB Thomas Tapeh (Min)
Previous Season Record:
The Eagles regular season record was 8-8. They missed the playoffs. They lost by eight points or less in five of their losses. They believe that they can win at least two more of these games this season.
The Eagles were 6th in told offensive yards in 2007. They were 10th in passing and 8th in running. But they were only 17th in points scored.
Projected 2008 Record:
I predict the Eagles to have a winning record this year but just barely. I can see the Eagles going 9-7 for the 2008 season.
QB Donovan McNabb is finally healthy this season. He should be much more efficient this year. He may not be able to run like he could in his youth but he still can move around in the pocket well.
RB Michael Westbrook should continue to be a stud as a slashing and receiving back. He runs with great speed and elusiveness. He has great hands and is one of the best targets for McNabb. He led the league in total yards from scrimmage last year.
The offensive line for the Eagles is very solid. They have maintained the same starting five for three years. They may not have the mammoth line of the Cowboys but the Eagles can protect McNabb and open holes for Westbrook.
McNabb’s top receiver last year was Kevin Curtis. Cutis is injured and expected to miss several games. It is tough to find that go to guy when your favorite target is not available.
Eagles have lacked a top tier wide receiver since McNabb was drafted. They did draft DeShawn Jackson this year that might develop into that top tier guy but probably not for a few years. They were unable to land any top level receivers in free agency again.
The Eagles do not have the bruising running game to run out the clock. Westbrook is not a typical between the tackles runner. They will have to rely on the passing game at the end of a game and that can bite them in a close game.
Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson is a master at the defensive scheme. He can get into the head of his opponents. He likes to blitz and blitz often.
The addition of CB Asante Samuel should solidify the secondary. Safety Brian Dawkins should have a few more good seasons in him. The pass defense will dominate a lot of teams.
The front four are tough and solid against the run. DE Trent Cole put up 12.5 sacks last season. They should be able to get to the quarter back and stop the run equally well.
The Eagles could only force a league low 19 turnovers last year. The addition of Samuels should help but they will have to perform much better this year.
The linebackers are a young group. They have a lot of potential and talent but have yet to put it all together on the field. Their linebackers are sure to struggle at times. In a few years, these men might be monsters, but they are not there yet.
Special teams were a glaring issue for the Eagles last year. They had issues from field goal kicking, to kickoffs, to kickoff returns.
Last year the Eagles lacked an explosive return guy. They draft
As much as I dislike the Eagles as a Cowboys fan, I have always liked Andy Reid. I think Andy is a good coach. Often he does not see the need for a good running game when he could pass every down. With that said, Reid is a good coach.
How I see it:
I think that the success of the Eagles rides on the health of McNabb. To some extent, it also rides on the legs of Westbrook but not as much as McNabb. This team loves to air out the ball. McNabb has proven that he can get the ball to his lackluster receiving corps when he is healthy. If McNabb can play 16 games, this team may have double digit wins. Without him, they will likely be sub .500. The most likely scenario has McNabb only playing in 14 games and finishing around 9-7.
If the Eagles miss the playoffs again this year, both Andy Reid and McNabb will be gone form Philly next year.
The Counselor is OUT: