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NFL Philadelphia Eagles

5 Players the Philadelphia Eagles Need to Replace Before 2014 Season

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5 Players the Philadelphia Eagles Need to Replace Before 2014 Season

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are still lightly treading water to stay afloat in the NFC East division race. It seems more and more difficult for them to get ahead when they continuously drop games they should win. The possibility may be though, that they are just not good enough in some key spots to make a true run at becoming a contender and taking a shot at the playoffs this year.

The injury bug never helps, but regardless, the Eagles are lacking some depth and production at major spots on both sides of the ball. They haven’t exactly gotten what they expected out of many of the players that they tabbed to step up during the 2013 season. Although turnover is tough, because the easiest way to restock is through the draft, Philadelphia will have to find any means necessary to begin and find productive players to fill gaps. This way Chip Kelly can actually begin implementing the offense he wants to run and Billy Davis can continue to build on what the defense has done over these first eight weeks.

It will help immediately to get players back from injury like Jeremy Maclin, however, with him being at the end of his contract, the Eagles will have a decision to make. Without even knowing his numbers, he cannot be any worse than what has been produced from the No. 2 receivers this season.

Finding players to fill holes and move in the right direction will be a key to keeping the fans involved and supportive, while Kelly rebuilds a team that can play his style of football. It may be some years before the Eagles reach the promised land, but making strides in the right direction will mean making some hard decisions on players up front and moving on.

Bob Francis is a Philadelphia Eagles contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rfrancisjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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#5 Bryce Brown

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There was a huge upside to Bryce Brown after he took over for LeSean McCoy at the end of last season, due to McCoy’s injury. Brown showed glimpses of greatness and there was true hope, regardless of his tendency to put the ball on the ground, that he could help carry the load at the running back position. He has been invisible thus far in the 2013 season, gaining less than 100 yards on the ground halfway through the season and having yet to score a touchdown. Although much of his demise can be attributed to McCoy’s success, Brown has been a disappointment, and the Eagles need to move on and find another back that can support the run and provide some pop in small doses when given a carry here or there.

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#4 Michael Vick

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The experiment that has been Michael Vick is about to come to an end. Although Chip Kelly gave him another opportunity to lead and be the starter of the Eagles, there’s virtually no chance that Vick will be re-signed to be the quarterback position in Philadelphia next season. His tendency for injury coupled together with his age make him difficult to keep around. Most likely he’ll catch on somewhere as a backup, but in order for the Eagles to move into the future and begin building, they need to part ways with Vick and make some type of decision at the quarterback position before the start of the 2014 season.

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#3 Nate Allen

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Although in the past few weeks he has been much better than the beginning of the season, Nate Allen should not be a starting safety in Philadelphia, or anywhere for that matter. He has not provided the consistency at the position which the Eagles believed they were getting years ago when they selected him. Year after year, he’s been given chances to become the man in the secondary and he still continues to struggle with simple reads and tackling. If the Eagles are to move forward and really improve over the next few years, they need to begin to eliminate players from the roster who have been given plenty of opportunity and are still not performing to expectation. Allen is part of that group and although he could stick around for spot time, he should not be given any chance to start again next season.

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#2 Riley Cooper

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

More trouble than he’s worth is a great way to describe Riley Cooper this year in Philadelphia. Cooper has probably had more negative headlines this year than catches. He continues week after week to be invisible and although Nick Foles found a way to involve him in the offense, he still disappoints. His production has been a far cry from that which the Eagles need of their No. 2 receiver, what Jeremy Maclin would have produced. He has never provided the necessary support for DeSean Jackson to be given any type of breathing room, proving that he realistically is not what the Eagles are looking for. Finding a comparable replacement that would simply come out and work hard without the drama would be a better idea for the Eagles moving forward.

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#1 Trent Cole

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Father time has caught up to Trent Cole, along with the change in position. Cole has been another player covered with question marks for most of the season. He transitioned to outside linebacker in the offseason to accommodate the new 3-4 setup in Philadelphia, but hasn’t produced what the Eagles really need from the position. His past reputation for pressure hasn’t occurred and he has really looked lost for most of the season. Along with the fact that his lack of production may be due to his lack of understanding playing a new position, the Eagles simply need more from such an important spot on the defense. The time has mostly likely come for the Eagles and Cole to part ways, because at this point it looks to be the best answer for both parties involved.