By Kevin K
The time is upon us, football season is here again as the Eagles look ahead to a new Era in Eagles Football. Donovan McNabb is now a memory in Philly as the Kolb Era is ready to officially begin in 2010. Much like every season the Eagles enter 2010 with strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the football.
The offense, although they had trouble scoring in the preseason, looks explosive and ready to score at will. Kevin Kolb has a talented group of Wide Receivers and Running Backs he is ready to work with. DeSean Jackson may be the most electrifying player in the NFL today, but it’s Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, and Brent Celek who will benefit more from Jackson’s speed. Kolb could become a master of the quick pass. It is up to him to have a quick release when dropping back to pass. 2010 will tell us what the future holds for the Eagles QB position.
The worry for the Eagles offense isn’t Wide Receiver or Half Back or Quarterback (like it has been in the past). No, the weakness is the Offensive Line. The Eagles have officially ended the Andrews Brothers Era on the Offensive Line and have decided to go a different route. With Jason Peters (T), Todd Herremans (G), Jamaal Jackson (C), Nick Cole (G), and Winston Justice (T), the Eagles Offensive line is a huge weakness for them. Jackson, Herremans, and Cole are all coming off of injury and played little to none in the preseason. Jason Peters, although a “Pro Bowl Player”, is still very questionable as the Eagles Tackle. He did not impress any fans in 2009 (a Pro Bowl Season) and has to work better on protecting his Quarterback. The jury is still out on Winston Justice, who filled in for the “mentally disturbed” Shawn Andrews in 2009 and played well for the Eagles. Nick Cole has been moved constantly, from Guard to Center, and now back to Guard from Center. Cole had trouble in the last few weeks of the season in 2009 and is a player to look out for on the Offensive Line.
Andy Reid, however, should not be afraid of an OK offensive line. Reid expects other teams to blitz, and when then do, all Kolb has to do is get the ball out to one of his many playmakers.
Contrary to what people think, the Defense actually does not look bad. Stewart Bradley and Ernie Sims truly change the style of play for the Eagles Defense. Bradley, a true leader, steps up to make the big stop and will actually help defensive backs, like Quintin Mikell, excel this season. Ernie Sims is a hard hitting Linebacker who is ready to stick his nose in any situation and make the big stop. These two additions to the 2010 depth chart makes the Eagles Linebacker position a lot better than it was in a 2009 season where the Eagles made the Playoffs.
The worry may be the two starting Cornerbacks. Asante Samuel is one of the best corners in the league, however, he sometimes has trouble tackling and jumps passes too much (which now leads to having the Rookie Nate Allen do more). Ellis Hobbs is a good Nickel corner and for some reason I still can’t see him as the starter for 2010. The Eagles, however, have good backups with Trevard Lindley and Joselio Hanson. Look for these two to play well and step up to make a big stop here and there.
On the Special Teams side, Sav Rocca has looked increasingly better this preseason then he has at anytime during his Eagles career. Sav is punting well and is going to be a big help eating up yards on a punt.
When in doubt, trust David Akers. Akers made all but one field goal in the 2010 preseason and looks great again for the 2010 season. Akers has been the most consistent kicker in the NFL throughout his career and looks to continue that trend in 2010.