Philadelphia Eagles: Better On Defense Heading Into 2015?
By Pat Roach
Dec 22, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Kiko Alonso (50) against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo beats Miami 19 to 0. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Key Additions: Kiko Alonso, Jordan Hicks, Brad Jones
Key Losses: None
It didn’t take long for Chip Kelly to make it abundantly clear that he was unhappy with the Eagles’ ILB situation. At the start of the new league year, he quickly added former Packer, Brad Jones, for depth and special teams purposes. Not long after, LeSean McCoy was on his way to Buffalo in exchange for Kiko Alonso, and despite the dearth of volume and talent at the position, the team opted to add yet another player to the mix in Jordan Hicks.
Last season, when healthy, Demeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks formed a formidable duo. Unfortunately, the operant phrase there is “when healthy,” and in 2014 the tandem of Ryans and Kendricks only managed to play one complete game together; that was in the very first week against Jacksonville. Bearing this in mind, it’s easy to understand why Chip made waves to add depth and talent at the position.
The new influx of youth and skill should prove to bolster the position and supplement an already strong front seven. And although Alonso and Hicks both come with injury concerns of their own, the team is confident in both their medical staff and sports science/reconditioning departments. At the very least, the sheer volume of high quality players at the position should ensure that the team has ample depth should they need it. In 2014 the Eagles were not afforded this luxury, and were forced to dig deep down the depth chart for a solution. 2015, given these acquisitions, should present no such challenge.
Next: Outside Linebacker