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  • Anyone have ESPN Insider

    If so, any chance you can copy and paste?


  • #2
    Here it is:

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006
    Eagles face many burning questions

    By Keith Kidd
    Scouts Inc.

    After a disappointing 2005 season, the Eagles are driven to get back into playoff contention in the tough NFC East. The Terrell Owens experiment has ended and quarterback Donovan McNabb is more focused than ever on returning Philadelphia to prominence.

    Last year was a year the organization would like to forget. With high expectations coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the talk in Philadelphia centered on a disgruntled player (Owens) who divided the locker room and disrupted team leadership. Will the Eagles return to their winning ways in 2006? Even though they have a solid foundation in place, it won't be easy. The NFC East has improved from top to bottom.

    Let's examine what the Eagles have done this offseason.

    On paper the Eagles compiled an impressive draft. Once again, they focused on building the interior of their team. Five of the Eagles' eight selections, including their first four, were spent on offensive and defensive linemen.

    First-round pick Brodrick Bunkley should have an immediate impact playing in the Eagles' defensive tackle rotation, along with starters Mike Patterson and Darwin Walker. Bunkley has a unique combination of strength, speed and the ability to push and collapse the inside pocket as a pass rusher.

    Offensive tackle Winston Justice is a versatile player who isn't expected to contribute in his first year as he sits and learns behind Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan. He should be the Eagles' third active swing tackle on game day.

    Third-round pick defensive end Chris Gocong is an intriguing young prospect who had 19 sacks last season for Cal Poly. The Eagles are converting him to outside linebacker; he'll play behind Dhani Jones as he develops. However, he should be a situational player in his rookie season and a core special teams player.

    Donovan McNabb needs a No. 1 receiver to emerge, and more help from his running game.

    On the free-agent front, the Eagles were very active and addressed some major needs on both sides of the ball.

    After finishing with just 29 sacks last season, Philadelphia went out and upgraded its four-man pass rush by signing unrestricted free agent Darren Howard. He will start at right defensive end and add another explosive force off the edge opposite Jevon Kearse. Howard is a very productive pass rusher who relies on speed and explosiveness to bend the edge and close on the quarterback.

    Linebacker Shawn Barber was brought back after being released by the Chiefs to upgrade a position of need. The Eagles have used Nate Wayne, Mark Simoneau and Keith Adams at weakside linebacker since Barber's departure in 2003.

    An under-the-radar signing was wide receiver Jabar Gaffney from the Texans. Gaffney had an impressive year in 2005 on a bad football team. (He had 55 receptions for 492 yards.) He should work in the rotation with Todd Pinkston, Reggie Brown and Greg Lewis.

    Offensively, the Eagles are a pass-first team that relies heavily on the feet and arm strength of McNabb to run the West Coast offense. The Eagles finished 19th in the NFL in total offense last season, averaging 319.3 yards per game. In addition to better overall production, one of the Eagles' main goals this season will be achieving more balance.

    The Eagles attempted 255 more passes (620) than rushing attempts (365) in 2005. If they are to improve on offense they must find a way to have success running the ball with the combination of Brian Westbrook, Ryan Moats, Reno Mahe and often-injured Correll Buckhalter.

    Another concern for the Eagles' offense is wide receiver. The biggest question heading into training camp is who will replace Owens as the No. 1 receiver. Pinkston, a No. 2 in the past, missed all of last season after injuring his Achilles in training camp. Brown finished last season with 43 receptions, while possession receiver Lewis contributed with 48. Brown is the wild card in this race based on his value as a former second-round pick (2005). He has great athleticism, body control and the versatility to be utilized in multiple spots in spread formations.

    The Eagles also will need their offensive line to be more consistent. It allowed only 42 sacks last season but helped generate an average of just 89.5 yards rushing per game. Thomas and Runyan are still solid players, but the interior of Philly's offensive line is cause for some concern. Center Hank Fraley isn't physically imposing and tackle Todd Herremans has played in only four games since being drafted in the fourth round in 2005.

    Defensively, the Eagles focused on improving their pass rush, along with adding depth. Due to their poor pass rush, the Eagles relied on an attacking style that pressured with multiple blitzes from different angles. With the addition of Howard and Barber, opponents now will be forced to rely more on protection schemes than multiple spread formations. However, defensive coordinator Jim Johnson will continue to create pressure packages while creating mismatches along the interior when matching up with offensive personnel.

    The Eagles have one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL when creating game plans and personnel matchups. They had a productive offseason and should be somewhat improved based on the simple fact that Owens is now living and playing in Dallas. However, make no mistake about it, the Eagles' success hinges on McNabb's performance.

    Can the Eagles match up and win the tough NFC East in 2006? Have they improved their running game enough? Can they pressure the quarterback and hold up in coverage? Can they stay healthy throughout the regular season? These are all tough questions that must be answered if the Eagles have a chance of making a run at the NFC East title in 2006.

    Keith Kidd spent 14 years in NFL front offices, including key roles in the personnel departments of the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots..


    • #3

      ESPN charges for that?


      • #4
        That is why Insider is a joke...all they do is recycle local/national articles and share gossip/rumors that usually have no basis in any reality known to humanity...typical ESPN...
        Eliminate distractions, create energy, fear nothing, and attack everything.

        -Andy Reid


        • #5
          ESPN Insider and CBS Elite Service are both silly. They just pick from Papers like VFK said. You can just go to GOOGLE and look at national papers too!
          Carson Wentz ERA

          NFC East Titles:
          Playoff Appearances:
          NFC Title Games:
          Super Bowl Titles:


          • #6
            The official Eagles Messageboards wont let you copy-paste Insider content anymore...let alone any other paid material (i.e. Magazine content, SN WarRoom, etc.).

            Its a joke.


            • #7
              I guess Eagle Diehard just violated the copyright law of 1976 at my request.

              Sorry ED (I guess I should use those initials), I will donate a 6 pack for your legal defense if needed.