Philadelphia Eagles: Just A Safety Away


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The Philadelphia Eagles need a safety. How many times have you heard that since Brian Dawkins left? The Eagles have a very big hole at safety right now. In fact, their hole at safety is about as big as it can get. They don’t have two who are starting calibre. Last time I checked, you need at least two starting safeties on your roster.

The phrase ‘just a safety away’ is a joke among a lot of Eagles fans and writers.

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Normally because it implies that the Eagles are simply just a safety away from competing for the super bowl. I’m not saying that, I think the Eagles still need to improve certain offensive positions before they’re ready to compete with the best. I’m thinking about something else. I think the Eagles are a safety away from having a very good, maybe even great, defence.

Malcolm Jenkins is one of the Eagles starting safeties. They do not have anyone else. Currently the other starting safety is probably Earl Wolff, a former fifth round pick who lost a training camp battle with Nate Allen last year and can’t stay healthy. Wolff and Jenkins are not a good safety tandem. What happens if Jenkins gets hurt? Our starting safeties would be who, Wolff & Chris Maragos?

The depth at safety is really bad. The Eagles currently have Ed Reynolds, a sixth round pick last year who didn’t play a snap. Chris Maragos who is essentially a special teamer, albeit a very good one and Jerome Couplin who is reportedly is a freak athlete but has shown nothing on the field yet.

The Eagles defense looks strong at other positions. They’ve replaced Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher with Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond. They could still draft another cornerback but its already a significant improvement on last years secondary, Maxwell should be a star here.

The Eagles defensive line was very good last season and they’ve retained everyone. Adding Kiko Alonso and re-signing Brandon Graham to a starting role should have a big impact on the Eagles linebackers. Alonso is much better than Demeco Ryans at this point in their careers and Graham played better than Cole who started last season.

However, the Eagles will struggle without a good safety. Maxwell was superb in the Seahawks scheme last year but he had Earl Thomas behind him. The Eagles play a lot of single high and if the deep safety isn’t very good, both the cornerbacks will be left on an island and expected to cover opposing receivers one on one play after play.

Maxwell and Thurmond may be good but you don’t want them both to be without safety help on every play. The Eagles play a lot of cover 1 and cover 3 and without a good deep safety the Eagles defence will not perform as well as I think they can play.

The worrying thing is, I have absolutely no idea how the Eagles are getting their safety. They had no choice but to let Nate Allen leave after the Raiders paid him $11.8m in guaranteed money but he would have provided good depth here even if he was no longer starting. The upcoming draft class isn’t very good, I don’t think Landon Collins is a great fit here. Maybe they’ll put Nolan Carroll or Jaylen Watkins back there, who knows how good they are.

By not signing any safety in free agency so far, I trust that Kelly and Billy Davis have a plan to get their guy but they need more than one safety. I wouldn’t mind giving Wolff a chance even though I haven’t been very impressed by him so far but they still need a plan B. The Eagles need to get better depth behind Jenkins too. Lets hope the Eagles finally get their other safety this offseason.

Next: Is Nolan Carroll An Option At Safety?

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