A Look At The Philadelphia Eagles OLB Situation

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Eagles DT Cedric Thornton (72) celebrates a safety with OLB Connor Barwin (98) during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Cole was a 4-3 defensive end for the Eagles from day one. He was named the right outside linebacker last offseason. He performed admirably against the run, but he found it difficult to get to the quarterback from his new spot. As the weeks went by, Cole was able to find his steps and finished the season with eight sacks – all of them recorded in the second half of the season.

Connor Barwin was singed one of the first free agent signings in Kelly era. He manned the left outside linebacker spot and proved to be one of the most valueable players on defense. Barwin was not sent after the quarterback as often as Cole; he was utilised as a coverage linebacker too. His final production included a career-high 59 tackles, as well as his first interception as a pro.

Even though Cole and Barwin played well in 2013, the Eagles missed big plays from this position. The reason behind that is that there were no other legit options aside the two starters.

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham spent another year balancing between backup and rotational player. Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Phillip Hunt was injured and placed on the IR list before he played a snap and Casey Matthews is an outside linebacker only in words.

The Eagles need a pass-rushing OLB and who is also a natural fit for their scheme.  Ideally, he would have the big frame that Kelly loves, agility and a good first step.

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Tags: Connor Barwin Defense Philadelphia Eagles Trent Cole