Jun 4, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams (26) during minicamp at the NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Position Battles: Defensive Backs

Two offseasons ago, the Philadelphia Eagles, reportedly, were going to have the best secondary in the NFL, after the acquiring, Pro-Bowlers, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to play with incumbent Pro-Bowler Asante Samuel. Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned. After the 2011 season, after the Eagles went 8-8, the Eagles shipped Samuel to Atlanta for a seventh-round pick and in 2012, the Eagles went 4-12 and, well, you know the rest.

With no “clear cut” number one corner or safety on the roster, the competition for a starting job in the secondary should be very interesting.

The competition at corner is less mysterious than the one at safety, but there are just as many questions. Only new-comer Cary Williams seems to have one of the starting corner jobs locked up. The competition to be the second corner seems to be Bradley Fletcher‘s to lose, but, second year player, Brandon Boykin and, rookie, Jordan Poyer will challenge him for the job. The nickel corner competition will seemingly be the hottest, with incumbent Brandon Boykin and Jordan Poyer set to duke-it-out all training camp and preseason long. The Eagles definitely have talent at the corner position, but the Eagles coaches need to find out which of their many “unproven” talents can rise to the top and give the Eagles the best chance to win on Sundays.

The battle to earn one of the starting safety positions is very wide open with, seemingly, no favorites. Last year’s starters,

Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, were two of the worst tackling safeties in the league and they

Oct 14, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) escapes the grasp of Philadelphia Eagles safety Nate Allen (29) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Lions defeated the Eagles 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

weren’t much better in coverage. Knowing this, the Eagles front office signed safeties Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips in the offseason to, hopefully, improve the teams safety play. With this being said, their are red flags that come with these players, the biggest is their health. Both have suffered injuries over the last few seasons and in order for them to be a staring safety for the Eagles this year, they will need to stay on the field and out of the gym. If it weren’t for injury concerns, both Chung and Phillips would be penciled in at the safety positions, but there health concerns have made the safety competition much more interesting.

Preseason and training camp will be very interesting this year because of all of the competitions on both sides of the ball, headlined by the one at quarterback. Though they’re flying quietly under the radar,  the battles in the secondary are to of the most important ones of the preseason because of all of the question marks. As August roles into September, the best of the bunch will emerge, but as of now, the Eagles secondary is shadowed by the failures of last year.

Let me know in the comments who you think will win the starting jobs and your expectations for the Eagles secondary are this year.


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