YOOOAdrian’s 2010 NFL Preview- Philadelphia Eagles

After an 11 year tenure with Philadelphia, the Eagles decided to part ways with Donovan McNabb.  They traded him, within the division, to the Washington Redskins for a 2nd round draft pick.  In Philly, Nate Allen will be forever connected with D-mac.  All the pressure hinges towards 4th year pro Kevin Kolb. 

Quarterbacks

Kevin Kolb- 62/96  64.6%  741 yds  4 td  3 int  88.9 rat

It’s Kolb’s time, and with the trade of McNabb, the Eagles management have the up most confidence that Kolb can excel in Andy Reid’s west coast offense.  It was an agonizing 3 year wait on the pine.  Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers did the same thing as he learned under the tutelage of Brett Favre.  Rodgers has been quite successful.  Will Kolb have the same success in Philly?

(Kevin Kolb)

McNabb is the better all-around quarterback, but Kolb may be best equipped for the system.  He’s accurate and gets the ball out quickly; the exact traits needed in a west-coast offense.  He doesn’t have McNabb’s arm strength or mobility. 

Others- Michael Vick, Mike Kafka

Vick looks to once again be the center piece in the wildcat.  He improved as the season went along, and even became a top option at the goal line. 

Kafka is a 4th round pick from Northwestern.

GRADE- 7.25

Running Backs

LeSean McCoy- 155 car  637 yds  4.1 avg  4 td  40 rec  308 yds 

The Eagles said goodbye to another long-time Eagle in running back Brian Westbrook.  His career took a turn downhill last season after suffering multiple concussions.

(LeSean McCoy)

McCoy is versatile as he can catch the ball out of the backfield, along with running the football.  He has good vision and speed, but he needs to quick dancing in the hole as if he’s auditioning for Dancing With the Stars.  McCoy, like many other young backs, needs to improve his pass blocking.

Mike Bell- 172 car  654 yds  3.8 avg  5 td  4 rec 12 yds

The Birds have been looking for a goal-line/short yardage back for a few years now.  They may have found that back in Bell.  He’s a one-cut inside runner.  He’s not overly creative and doesn’t break a lot of long runs.

Others- Leonard Weaver, Eldra Buckley

Reid used his former colleague Jim Harbaugh’s philosophy of utilizing his fullback as a running back in ace formations.  Weaver did well.  Buckley was used as a short yardage back last season.

GRADE- 7.25

Receivers

DeSean Jackson- 62 rec  1,156 yds  18.6 avg  9 td

Jackson is the most explosive receiver in the NFL.  He has blinding speed, and in my opinion he’s the best deep threat in the NFL.  Last year, he had an NFL record 8 touchdowns of 50+ yards.

Desean Jackson Wide receiver DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC championship game on January 18, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** DeSean Jackson

(DeSean Jackson)

The only worry I have for Jackson is Kolb’s arm strength.  Will he be able to get the ball down the field like McNabb did last season? 

Jeremy Maclin- 56 rec  773 yds  13.8 avg  4 td

Maclin picked up the complicated intricacies of Andy Reid’s offense quickly; especially coming from a spread offense at Missouri.

Maclin has solid hands and is good after the catch.

Jason Avant- 41 rec  587 yds  14.3 avg 3 td

Avant is the 3rd down go-to-guy.  26 of his 41 receptions moved the sticks.  He plays like Steve Smith of New York.  He’s not fast, but he’s a good route runner and just knows how to get open.

TE- Brent Celek- 76 rec  971 yds  12.8 avg  8 td

Celek likes to run the seam, and makes plays in the open field.  He needs to improve his run blocking.

Others- Riley Cooper, Hank Baskett, Cornellius Ingram

Cooper is a 5th round pick from Florida.  He has impressed during training camp.

Baskett is in his 2nd stint in Philadelphia.

Ingram showed 4.5 speed at the combine, solid speed for a tight end.  The dilemma is will he be able to recover from 2nd ACL injury in as many years.

GRADE- 8.5

Offensive Line

LT- Jason Peters

Peters is the most talented tackle in the NFC, but he needs to show more consistency and cut down on the penalties.

(Jason Peters)

LG- Todd Herremans

Herremans is versatile.  He can play guard or tackle as he filled in for Peters for 2 starts at left tackle.  He’s the teams best run blocker.

C- Jamaal Jackson

The offensive line as a whole mightily struggled after Jamaal Jackson tore his ACL. 

RG- Nick Cole

Cole started at center in Jackson’s absence, but he’s a better fit at guard.

RT- Winston Justice

The light finally clicked for Justice in his 4th season in the NFL.  Management got sick and tired of Shawn Andrew’s “Depression” antics.  Justice filled in and played well.  He was rewarded with a contract extension in the offseason.

GRADE- 7.5

Defensive Line

LDE- Darryl Tapp- 40 tck  2.5 sck  3 p def

Tapp will play on 1st and 2nd downs.  He is a solid run defender who is an underrated pass rusher.

LDT- Mike Patterson- 55 tck  1.5 sck

Patterson isn’t the most athletic, but he has a relentless motor and never gives up on a play.

RDT- Brodrick Bunkley- 37 tck 1 sck  4 p def

Bunkley is a good run stuffer who also does a good job at putting his hands up in the passing lane.  He and Patterson make a solid duo.

RDE- Trent Cole- 57 tck  12.5 sck  2 ff

Cole is becoming a complete end as he’s improved against the run in recent years.  Cole has always been a good edge rusher.  He fires off the ball, really fast off the edge.

(Trent Cole)

Cole is utilized as a stand up rusher in defensive coordinator Sean McDermott’s “Joker” packages.

Others- Juqua Parker, Brandon Graham, Trevor Laws

Parker will be used on 3rd downs to rush the quarterback. 

I love Graham, and if Ray Didinger likes the guy, he has to be good.  He’ll find a way on the field.

GRADE- 8

Linebackers

LOLB- Moise Fokou- 37 tck  1 p def

Fokou is a bit undersized and he’s best against the run. 

MLB- Stewart Bradley- DNP

The biggest blow on defense last year was losing Bradley before the season started with an ACL injury. 

(Stewart Bradley)

Bradley has size and strength and he’s smart and instinctive.  He’s a 3 down guy who’s solid in both the pass and run.

ROLB- Ernie Sims- 49 tck  1 p def

This is a great opportunity for Sims who didn’t fit in the Detroit Lions defensive scheme.

He’s a bit small, but he’s fast, aggressive and good in coverage against running backs and tight ends.  He fits the Eagles need.  The linebacking core struggled in coverage against opposing tight ends last season.

Others- Keenan Clayton, Omar Gaither, Tracy White, Akeem Jordan

Gaither is a versatile player who can play all three linebacker positions. 

Clayton and Jordan will challenge Fokou for a starting job.

GRADE- 7.25

Secondary

LCB- Asante Samuel- 40 tck  9 int  16 p def  1 ff

Samuel is arguably the best instinctive cornerback in the NFL.  He baits the quarterback into interceptions more than any corner in the league.

(Asante Samuel)

People criticize his poor tackling.  Yes, his tackling could be better, but getting picks is what he gets paid for.

RCB- Ellis Hobbs- 11 tck

Hobbs takes over for Sheldon Brown who was dealt to Cleveland.  He missed most of the season after suffering a neck injury in November.

CB- Joselio Hanson- 47 tck  2 int  8 p def  .5 sck

Hanson is a better slot corner than being on the outside.

FS- Nate Allen- ROOKIE

It still baffles me why the Eagles let Brian Dawkins go in free agency. 

Allen is good in coverage, but needs to improve his tackling.

SS- Quintin Mikell- 90 tck  2 int 13 p def

Mikell broke out in 2008 where he was a 2nd team All-Pro.  Without Brian Dawkins playing alongside him last year, Mikell struggled at times missing more tackles.  Mikell is good in coverage and can lay the lumber.

Others- Macho Harris, Marlin Jackson, Dimitri Patterson

Harris played corner in college, but never made the transition to safety. 

Jackson was brought in from Indianapolis to play safety.

GRADE- 7.5

Special Teams

PK- David Akers- 32/37 52 lg

Akers has been consistent for years.  He’s got a booming boot, and most importantly he’s clutch.

P- Sav Rocca- 76 punts  42.4 avg  26 in 20  61 lg

Rocca can get into balls, but he can also miss-hit some balls.

KR- Ellis Hobbs- 20 ret  24.1 avg  60 lg  0 td

Hobbs was missed as the kick returner once he got hurt in November.

PR- DeSean Jackson- 29 ret  15.2 avg  85 lg  2 td

Dangerous!

GRADE- 8

2010 PREDICTION- 9-7

The season rests on the throwing arm of Kevin Kolb.  It’s a changing of the guard in Philly with the departures of McNabb, Westbrook and Brown.  That also includes Dawkins, who didn’t resign a year ago.  Their defense is improved, especially at linebacker, getting Bradley back and acquiring Ernie Sims in a trade.  If anything, offensively,  this will be the “Greatest Show on Grass.”

Offensive MVP- DeSean Jackson

Defensive MVP- Trent Cole

Breakthrough- Jeremy Maclin

Overrated- Jason Peters

Underrated- Quinton Mikell

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