Patrick Chung came off from the New England Patriots and was billed as a guy who could potentially give the Philadelphia Eagles a steady, sound tackling presence in the back end at safety. In the preseason, he sure showed that. He laid off a few nice hits, was a sure tackler and seemed to always be in the right spot.
This has not been the case when it counts on Sundays. Chung has failed to stand out in any way or make many plays. He has also been missing tackles left and right, and doesn’t look like the same guy that looked to be a great addition to the secondary. Granted, it is early in the season and Chung is getting acclimated to an entirely new defensive. However, this isn’t a great start.
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis asks a lot from his safeties: to cover, to play the run and to generate turnovers. Chung looked like the man for that job. Through three weeks, he has been anything but. It is not as if the Eagles have any other great options at the position to lean on either. Nate Allen is coming off a few down seasons and looks to be having another one. His hold on a starting position is tenuous at best.
Fifth-round rookie Earl Wolff is very green to the league and is still learning on the job. It could be half way through the season before he is ready to fully contribute. Chung was supposed to be the veteran to hold the fort down at safety, and be a steadying presence back there. He needs to get his act together in that department. Safety can be looked at as the weak link for the Eagles.
It doesn’t look like the development of Allen or the quick-fix signing of Chung are panning out so far. If the arrow keeps pointing south for these two, expect the safety position to be addressed heavily in the draft and free agency next offseason.