Offseason concerns for the Eagles
There is no doubt that the 2017-18 championship season was one for the ages. Offseason concerns, however, threaten to cast a pall over the upcoming season.
Fans in Philadelphia can rest easy that the Vince Lombardi trophy lies safely inside the training facility at 1 NovaCare Way. If the team wants to earn a second trophy there are pressing issues that need to be addressed before the season kicks off against the Falcons.
The Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots was as exhilarating as it was unexpected, but the win masked some deficiencies. If this team wants to repeat, they must overcome these issues facing them. No amount of reminiscing about last season will fix some of the real worries facing Eagles’ management and fans.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 20, 2018
Assessing the numbers
One of the biggest issues facing the Eagles last year was the uneven play of the defensive backs. It’s hard to quibble with a defense that finished giving up the fourth fewest yards overall at 306.5 yards per game. That includes a stingy 79.2 yards on the ground, which was first in the entire league.
The problem is that this also takes into account the 227.3 yards given up through the air. This was good for only the 17th best mark across the league. Teams had to play catch up because the Eagles offense was so prolific.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 18, 2018
Safeties saved this defense
Another reason for the low ranking pass defense this year was due to the uneven play by the corners. Fans remember Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills were often left reaching as an opposing receiver, running back or tight end raced by them.
The safety play overall was inspiring, if not spectacular. The tandem of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod proved their worth repeatedly. They had to, as the cornerbacks in front of them missed tackles and assignments. Other than Patrick Robinson, who left the team via free agency, the cornerbacks played below average.
Perhaps the arrival of last years second round pick, Sidney Jones, will help shore up this soft spot in the ferocious Eagles defense. However, NBC News recently reported on Jones and his uncertain status which could spell trouble for Philadelphia’s secondary. As of now, there is no set return date for Jones.
Training camp answers?
It is hard to gauge player effectiveness with offseason OTA’s. Players are performing in shorts and jerseys with limited contact. It won’t be until training camp that we find out whether or not the Eagles defensive backfield will be enough to carry the team well into the 2019 postseason. One thing is for certain, Eagles fans will be a bit uneasy until we find out for sure.
What do you think the Eagles offseason concerns are?
Featured photo; Bruce Adler Sports Photography via Flickr.
All stats for this story are from (https://www.footballdb.com) & (Sports-reference.com)