Preseason isn’t about the score and although the Eagles have lost all three of their games so far, that’s not what’s sparking the rapidly growing concern around the team. There have been plenty of reasons to be slightly apprehensive about what we’ve seen, or haven’t seen, from the Eagles so far, but amidst it all, there are some reasons to be excited.
Wait, there’s a hole at linebacker?
Can you remember what happened on one rainy day in May? If nothing springs to mind, it’s probably a good sign. The Eagles lost Paul Worrilow to a torn ACL and cut Mychal Kendricks that same day. The hole at linebacker was gaping and caused quite the frenzy among fans. But days and weeks passed by and not a single signing was made. Eventually, those concerns were all but silenced.
As Training Camp and preseason went on, the linebacker position actually became an area of anticipation. Kamu Grugier-Hill, last year’s leading special teams tackler on the team was dueling with Nate Gerry all offseason long and to this day, the two are still trying to gain any kind of advantage possible heading into next week’s preseason finale.
Nobody knows who will start at Weakside linebacker just yet, but Gerry and Grugier-Hill bring contrasting skillsets to the table, making it very likely that they’ll split reps between them. This is going to be a very fun season to watch the defense thrive and both players are going to be huge reasons behind that.
No Fly Zone:
The cornerback competition has been incredibly fun to watch develop this offseason. It’s crazy to think that two years ago, the Eagles were heading into a season with Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll as their starting cornerbacks. Now, they have more talent than they know what to do with. Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, do I even need to go on?
The re-addition of Corey Graham to the Safety position is a huge asset as well. Leading the team in tackles against the Browns, Graham’s presence allows for Malcolm Jenkins to run rampant inside the box and we’ve seen that on numerous looks from Jim Schwartz this offseason.
For a pass rush to be successful, the secondary has to stand tall and Philly’s has an infrastructure made of stone.
Rookies take flight:
Whether it’s the leaping athleticism of Dallas Goedert, the interception from Avonte Maddox or the stunning progression seen in the game of Jordan Mailata, this year’s rookie class have wasted no time in getting their feet wet. The scary thing is, we’re only just scratching the surface. None of the players drafted were selected and expected to start right away. They’ll learn, marinate and develop under the Eagles coaching staff and veterans at their respected positions. If this is a sign of what’s to come in a few year’s time when they climb their positional thrones, the future of Philadelphia is in very good hands.
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