A spotlight shines on the Eagles top weakness ahead of training camp

Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

July 4th is in our rear-view mirror, and with that, comes the knowledge that the football fan’s equivalent to Christmas in the summertime is upon us. According to NFL Communications and the Eagles themselves, on July 26th, veterans and rookies both report to the NovaCare Complex.

Some of the faces are familiar. Some are new. If nothing changed between the time of this story being written and published and the dawn of another training camp, 90 Birds, both young and old, will make their way to South Philly.

For some, there’s no stress. They know the playbook. They know their places on the team are certain. For others, there’s cause for concern. They know that this could be the final time they hang out with teammates in a locker room. That is if they aren’t fortunate enough to land on another roster.

How ironic is it that what’s long been seen as the weakest roster link in this team’s chain doubles as the area where we may be discussing the least amount of competition? Yes, we’re still discussing these Eagles’ safeties, and recently, Pro Football Focus put their spotlight on the unit.

Pro Football Focus labels the Eagles’ safety position as the team’s most glaring concern.

Always a spot to find some good reading material and/or create debate in your circle of friends, Pro Football Focus, who recently labeled the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster as the NFL’s seventh-best, gave us another take that we can toss back and forth among one another.

Ben Linsey cooked up “strengths, weaknesses and X factors for every starting lineup”. Many of you probably already know where this is headed. The offensive line is the Eagles’ best unit on both sides of the ball. QB1, Jalen Hurts, is obviously the X factor. Philly’s safeties are the question mark.

Here’s what Linsey had to say on the topic:

"While the Eagles have done a good job of bolstering this roster over the past year, they’ll go only as far as Jalen Hurts takes them. Hurts showed real signs of progress in his second season out of Oklahoma last year, as he finished the season ranked 14th out of 32 qualifying quarterbacks in overall grade — a performance that offered real value on a rookie deal. However, his 45.3 PFF grade in their postseason loss to the Buccaneers highlights the issues that the Eagles will run into late in the campaign against defenses that force Hurts to beat them if he doesn’t take another step forward in 2022."

Arguments can be made that, while we’ve at times, we’ve argued over whether or not Philly sees the linebacker position as valuable, they haven’t invested tons of resources in the safety position either. Philly’s only taken three defensive backs in the first round of any NFL Draft since they began participating in 1936: Roynell Young (1980), Ben Smith (1990), Lito Sheppard (2002). That’s it. That’s the list.

They enter training camp with seven bodies: Anthony Harris, Jaquiski Tartt, K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere, Marcus Epps, Jared Mayden, and Reed Blankenship. It would seem that Harris, Tartt, Wallace, and Epps are locks to make the roster.

Philly’s had a history of keeping five safeties on the 53-man roster with one being a special teams ace (think Chris Maragos and Rudy Ford). Maybe that’s an indication that Chachere is in. Maybe not, but the last line of defense has been labeled as the problem area on the Eagles’ roster for a while. Tartt’s addition didn’t change that.

Don’t be shocked if the Eagles make another move. Don’t be shocked if they don’t, but only one of these statements can be accurate.

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Either the Eagles will carry the question marks they have at safety through camp and the regular season or they know something that we don’t and these guys are better than advertised. Let’s hope the latter theory is correct, but you know what?

The more we look at Marcus Epps and how he’s developed and the more we look at Tartt, Chachere, Harris, and Wallace, something tells us that everything is going to be okay. That’s the story this way, and we’re sticking to it.