What they're saying about the Eagles
Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:
Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com ranks the league's offensive lines. He's got the Eagles seventh:
The Eagles might have pushed for this list's top five pre-Jason Peters injury, but they'll have to settle for top-seven billing. Replacement Bell is a terrific scheme fit for OL coach Howard Mudd, who emphasizes athleticism up front. Mathis, Watkins, and Kelce form one of the league's most promising interiors, and each is entering his first full offseason in Mudd's system. Mathis is already a premier NFL guard. Herremans, who protects southpaw Michael Vick's blind side, allowed just four sacks last season while playing all but seven snaps. In Dunlap, Vallos, and Gibson, the Eagles have 23 career starts on the bench, and in Washington they have a potential left guard of the future. If Philly flounders again this year, it shouldn't be due to the offensive line.
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com takes a look at teams that finished .500 or worse last year and identifies five that will make the playoffs next season. The Eagles are one of them:
Just a hunch, but there will be dozens of preseason publications that put the Eagles -- not the New York Giants -- at the top of the NFC East, and there's a reason: These guys never, ever, ever go more than one season without making the playoffs. Not under Andy Reid they don't, and Reid -- like San Diego's Norv Turner -- is under orders to get this team in gear again ... or else. I say he does because there were a couple of nagging problems with last year's Eagles that should be corrected. First of all, the Eagles stunk against the run. At least they did early, with opponents finding holes the size of the Schuykill to run through. That exposed Philadelphia's unprotected and underwhelming linebackers, and it wound up sinking the club -- with Philadelphia blowing five fourth-quarter leads. The Eagles added tackle Fletcher Cox in the draft and acquired tackling machine DeMeco Ryans, and suddenly a weakness doesn't look like a weakness anymore.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com writes that the Eagles might have the best defensive line in the NFL:
Philly's focus on defense will generate havoc for opposing quarterbacks. It's premature to call the Eagles the best team in the NFC East with New York sitting there, but they might be in the running for the division's (and football's) finest defensive line.
The Eagles had the fourth-best sack rate on third down last year, according to Pat Kirwan of NFL.com.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles eighth in his power rankings:
If somebody says Dream Team this summer, they just may get cut. The Eagles have a talented roster, which means it's all on Mike Vick.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com gives the Eagles a B+ for their draft:
Impact front-four defenders? Check. Linebacker help? Check. Slot corner? Check. Bruising running back? Check. Back-up quarterback? They got that, too. The price of a fourth-round pick and a sixth-rounder to trade up in the first round to secure top three-technique Fletcher Cox was reasonable. Small-but-talented linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Cal) and cornerback/returner Brandon Boykin (Georgia) were selected in the right spots and should fill their roles well. Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry was too talented to pass up at pick No. 59, as well.
ESPN.com's Dan Graziano offers his take on where Michael Vick needs to improve:
So, while "recklessness" is and continues to be an issue for Vick, it's not as simple as saying he exposes himself too much to injury based on the way he plays. It's is about Vick's overall decision-making as it pertains to throwing the ball, running the ball and accurately assessing the way he feels and what he can accomplish at a given moment. These are areas in which he has to improve, and just because recklessness wasn't the cause of any of the big injuries he had in 2011 doesn't mean (a) that it won't be in 2012 or (b) that injury is the only way it manifests himself.
Adam Schein of FoxSports.com likes what the Eagles have done this offseason:
In truth, Vince Young was a year late. Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman honestly put together a dream draft class. Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks should start. Roseman told me that defensive end Vinny Curry was the "classic highest player on the board pick" and was a steal at 59 overall. The Eagles plucked Brandon Boykin in the fourth round, and he's a second-round talent.
With a full offseason, the likes of beleaguered defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and corner Nnamdi Asomugha should be more adjusted.