The Philadelphia Eagles have just grazed the surface of their problems by firing head coach Andy Reid, after 14 years on the job.
This 2012 Eagles team did not only have an awful record (4-12), but it was truly painful to watch them play week after week. For the second consecutive season, the Eagles’ defense was expected to be an elite unit heading into the year, but proved to be a soft, cupcake squad all season long.
In fact, while the Eagles defense was in the middle of the pack (15th) in total yards allowed per game, they were actually one of the worst units in the NFL (29th), allowing 27.8 points per game.
The Eagles made their first hack at transforming their defensive roster by cutting All-Pro DE Jason Babin with four games left in the season. Babin led the league with a monstrous 18 sacks just last year, while being named first-team All-Pro, and a second-time Pro Bowler.
The next big change for the Eagles needs to be at cornerback, where Nnamdi Asomugha again had a miserable campaign in 2012, after he was widely regarded as the best cornerback in the NFL when he became a free agent in 2010, following a lengthy eight-year stint with the Oakland Raiders.
In a very significant and news-worthy trade before the 2011 season, the Eagles acquired CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie along with a 2nd round draft pick from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for QB Kevin Kolb.
While Asomugha has struggled mightily in Eagles’ green so far, Rodgers-Cromartie has shown great promise in his athleticism as well as his decision-making abilities. I strongly believe that the Eagles need to either bite the financial bullet and cut Asomugha, or search the league for some other team that will take on what is left of his absurd five-year, $60 million contract in a trade.
Eagles QB Michael Vick is just waiting for his inevitable release, as the birds are sure to continue cleaning house by moving on at the quarterback position.
The Eagles are expected to roll with the inconsistent and unimpressive Nick Foles at QB for the near future, but I would not blame the organization for looking elsewhere.
Even though the Eagles’ offensive line was easily their biggest problem this season, their struggles were due mostly to injury. But barring any setbacks, the Eagles expect LT Jason Peters, C Jason Kelce and RT Todd Herremans to return before next season, after all spent time on the Injured Reserve (IR) this year.
While a mix-up in the wide receiving corps would be warranted in Philly, I don’t think that it is one of the team’s necessities in getting better. The Eagles’ backfield is also more than adequate with an elite RB in LeSean McCoy, and a rising youngster in Bryce Brown.
As the off-season presents a great opportunity to start fresh, the Eagles need to continue making significant changes in attempt to move their franchise in a new, positive direction.
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