2012 NFL Offseason: Philadelphia Eagles
August 3, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Philadelphia Eagles (Last Year: 8-8)
2012 NFL Season Preview:
OT Demetress Bell, ILB DeMeco Ryans, S O.J. Atogwe.
Early Draft Picks:
DT Fletcher Cox, ILB Mychal Kendricks, DE Vinny Curry, QB Nick Foles, CB Brandon Boykin.
QB Vince Young, FB Owen Schmitt, WR Steve Smith, OT Winston Justice, C Jamaal Jackson, DE Juqua Thomas-Parker, DT Trevor Laws, CB Asante Samuel.
2012 Philadelphia Eagles Offense:
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Philadelphia's quarterback struggled last year. His completion percentage and YPA dropped from 62.6 and 8.1 in 2010 to 59.8 and 7.8 in 2011. He threw 21 touchdowns to just nine turnovers in 2010, but saw that ratio worsen to 18 and 18 in 2011. More importantly, he carried the ball just 76 times; that's the first time in his career that he didn't rush at least 100 times in a season in which he played at least 12 games.
Members of the biased media will never admit it, but Philadelphia's quarterback is pretty much done as a starting signal-caller in the NFL. He's 32, so he's lost the superior athleticism that made him special. Plus, it doesn't help that he's been hesitant to scramble ever since signing a $100 million contract last August. If he doesn't run the ball, he's just a sub-par player. He has great arm strength, but his accuracy is mediocre, and he can't read blitzes and coverages. The Eagles can get out of his contract next year without much of a cap penalty, so they'll probably do that unless he surprises and has a fantastic 2012 campaign.
Another major problem concerning the quarterback is that he's expected to miss at least a quarter of the season because that's what always happens. When he's out of the lineup, who's going to play? Mike Kafka? Trent Edwards? Nick Foles?
It'll really help the quarterback's cause - when he's on the field - that he has a great supporting cast to work with. His best player is running back LeSean McCoy, who is capable of shouldering a full workload and going the distance whenever he touches the football. McCoy rushed for 1,309 yards on a 4.8 yards-per-carry average, caught 48 balls for 315 receiving yards and scored 20 touchdowns in 2011. He only lost one fumble. Andy Reid hinted that McCoy will see fewer touches in 2012 to preserve him long-term, so fellow Pitt running back Dion Lewis will see carries. Lewis is a skilled runner; he should have been getting touches instead of the decrepit Ronnie Brown last year.
As for the receiving corps, DeSean Jackson is more well known than Jeremy Maclin, but the latter will likely be the quarterback's top target. Maclin dealt with a mysterious illness last summer, but fortunately has recovered from that. Now completely healthy, Maclin is poised for a huge 2012 campaign. Jackson, meanwhile, quit on his team at times last season, blaming it on the contract dispute he had with the front office. Jackson has only had three 100-yard performances since taking a hard hit in a Thursday contest versus the Texans late in 2010. He's afraid to go over the middle and was tied for seventh in drops (9) last year. Jackson, Eric Decker and Jerome Simpson were the only players to have at least nine drops and fewer than 60 receptions.