Which Team Can the Eagles Copy to Find Success?
By Jesse Shuter
Dec 14, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly talks with wide receiverJeremy Maclin
(18) during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 38-27. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Many sports experts and analysts have compared the Philadelphia Eagles recent failures with the final four teams’ success. They agree that the Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly need to pick a successful blueprint and attempt to follow it on the path to success. The question is, which team can the Eagles copy to turn their luck around?
Of the twelve teams in the playoffs, the Eagles can rule out seven teams immediately for their blueprint. The Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Dallas Cowboys all have one thing that is very hard to come by and copy. An elite quarterback. If the Eagles want to win the super bowl they need to find another way there aside from drafting an elite quarterback because I don’t see one available for them any time soon.
Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive endCalais Campbell
(93) celebrates with team mates after holding the San Francisco 49ers on third down at Levi
That leaves five teams. The Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, and Seattle Seahawks. Of those teams, I would say that it would not be wise to copy the mold of the Bengals or Panthers as they usually do not find consistent success throughout the year.
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That leaves the Cardinals, Lions and Seahawks who all have something in common. A high powered defensive unit and some type of playmaker on offense. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is probably a step under elite, or might even be elite given his success in the NFL. However, it is the Seahawks unstoppable defense and running back that make them so hard to beat which is exactly why they are the team to copy.
Dec 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor (31) and safety Earl Thomas (29) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 35-6. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Seahawks have the players who are widely considered the best cornerback, free safety, strong safety, and even middle linebacker in the NFL. The Eagles have cornerback Bradley Fletcher and safety Nate Allen. It seems to me if the Eagles can find away to take their already very solid primary defense, and add an elite secondary, then it doesn’t matter who their quarterback is.
Quarterback Nick Foles is every bit as bright as Russell Wilson and in my opinion has a better arm. They have an elite running back duo and special teams unit. If they could just turn their defense around a super bowl is not far away.
In free agency the Eagles could, and definitely should take a good long look at New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty. McCourty is the best secondary player available in free agency and would be a perfect fit for defensive coordinator Billy Davis‘ scheme.
Davis uses his safeties in an interesting way, he uses one in the slot and one back deep. Safety Malcolm Jenkins was a great fit in the slot, but safety Nate Allen was brutal back deep. McCourty and another cornerback or two would immediately make the Eagles defense incredibly better.