Are There Enough Stars on the Eagles Defense?


Me and my pal Sean had another of our infamous chats last night. He kept lauding how great the HBO show True Blood is for over two hours. I dig the series, but it’s not the “most awesome show of the century” as he claimed. Of course the topic of our beloved Eagles came up as well. For once, Sean raised an interesting question which I thought I’d share with the fans.

Do the Eagles have enough star players on defense?

After a heated debate, I’m not certain that they do. First, the biggest star is now playing in Denver. Second, the budding star tore his ACL over three weeks ago. So, what’s left?

Asante Samuel – The one true elite player on defense. A top 5 corner in the league. Yeah he gets beat now and again, but ask the Vikings and Giants if he shows up for big games.

Quintin Mikell – The de facto leader of the defense. In my opinion, Q should have made the Pro Bowl a season ago, not Adrian Wilson. He’s a smart and fierce player who can play both safety positions if needed. If he continues to play at his current level, he will receive legit All-Pro consideration.

Trent Cole – I’m not sure I would place Trent in the elite category. He’s close to getting there. He’s very good. I love how he plays the run. However, I need to see more sacks. 29.5 in his last three seasons is solid, but guys like DeMarcus Ware (45.5) and Jared Allen (37.5) are dominant. I want to see Trent dominate. Sure he faces a lot of double teams, but so do Allen, Peppers, Freeney and Mario Williams. If he can record 12-15 sacks this season, he will graduate to elite status.

Those three are the only guys in the superstar discussion. Sheldon is a respected cover corner, but he’s never been a star. Bunkley and Patterson are excellent run-stoppers, but unless they find a way to get to the quarterback more consistently, they will never be All-Pro material.

Do they really need “superstars” to be a feared defense? Last season they ranked third overall, but that was with Dawk and Stew. Will their absences cause a significant drop in production? Time will tell.

I watched the Cardinals-Chargers preseason game a few nights ago and came away impressed by both first-team defenses. The trio of Darnell Docket, Calais Campbell and Karlos Dansby pushed around a decent Chargers’ O-line the entire first half.

That’s what I want to see from the Birds. Guys flying around making plays with energy and passion. Show me something on Thursday besides catatonic. Save all the exotic blitz packages for the regular season. But please prove to me you have a pulse on Thursday. Then I’ll stop worrying. Then I’ll be happy.

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Tags: Eagles Defense Star Players On Eagles Defense