Assessing the Philadelphia Eagles Safety Position

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Lions WR Jeremy Ross (12) runs a kickoff back as Philadelphia Eagles S Kurt Coleman (42) gets ready to make the tackle. Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2013 NFL season officially over and the teams creating their offseason strategies, we continue to examine the Philadelphia Eagles roster. After taking a look at the outside linebacker situation, the focus has shifted to the backfield and the riddle that is the Philadelphia Eagles safety position.

When the final 53-man roster of the Eagles had to be selected, head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis decided to keep five safeties. The chosen ones were Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson, who were carried over from the Andy Reid era, together with Patrick Chung and Earl Wolff, who came to Philadelphia through free agency and the 2013 NFL Draft respectively.

Allen was the best of the group and never lost his starting spot. In what was his best season as a pro, Allen set a new career record in tackles with 82 and managed to play in all 16 games for the first time. Despite his improvement, he remains an average-at-best safety.

Coleman and Anderson made the team for their special-teams skills and as backup options, in case one of the starters went down with injury or was decided to be benched . They finished the season with 13 and 11 tackles respectively and played a handful of snaps on defense.

Earl Wolff and Patrick Chung both played opposite Allen in the Eagles backfield. The coaching staff planned to use them in a rotation, but both struggled with injuries for the biggest part of the season. In most games, only one of them was active.

Overall, Wolff was decent as a rookie, but missed the last six games of the regular season, with the lone exception being a few snaps against the Chicago Bears. Staying healthy was an issue for Chung too, who missed games in September and October. Unfortunately, this wasn’t his only issue. Chung was one of the bottom-ranked safeties, according to Pro Football Focus.

How can the Eagles improve their back end in 2014?

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