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News » Philadelphia Eagles Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-27

Philadelphia Eagles Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-27

Philadelphia Eagles Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-27
The Eagles will be focusing primarily on the offensive side of the ball in free agency and the draft. Their only real concern defensively is finding an eventual replacement at free safety for 35-year-old Brian Dawkins. And they may already have that replacement in '08 fourth-round pick Quintin Demps


If the Eagles don't re-sign veteran left tackle Tra Thomas, who has been protecting quarterback Donovan McNabb's blindside since he was a rookie in 1999, the Eagles will have to decide whether to move one of their two starting guards -- Todd Herremans or Shawn Andrews -- outside, or go outside for a replacement. There aren't really any left tackle options in free agency, so they would have to consider using one of their two first round picks in the draft on an offensive tackle.

Running back Brian Westbrook, who will turn 30 before the start of next season, led the league in rushing and receiving yards two years ago. But he played much of last year with a sore knee, and the Eagles know they need to find somebody to rotate with him. Whether they will look for that guy in free agency (Derrick Ward?) or the draft (Knowshon Moreno? Donald Brown?) remains to be seen.


1. Offensive tackle: Both of their starting tackles are in their mid-30s and are unrestricted free agents. There are no obvious replacements on the premises.

2. Running back: Brian Westbrook is 30 and has a degenerative knee. The Eagles need to bring in someone, preferably a bigger guy, who can share the load with him.

3. Tight end: The Eagles have no intention of re-signing L.J. Smith. Brent Celek is developing into a decent pass-catcher, but he's not much of a blocker. Eagles need someone to compliment him.

MEDICAL WATCH: DE Darren Howard had abdominal surgery late last month but is expected to make a full recovery and should be fine by the spring minicamps.

--RT Jon Runyan, who is an unrestricted free agent, had microfracture surgery on his knee and will be on the shelf for at least 4 months.

--RB Brian Westbrook didn't need surgery on his injured knee. He's been rehabbing it.




--RB Correll Buckhalter had a solid season as Brian Westbrook's backup, but the Eagles probably will bring in someone younger to replace him.

--S Sean Considine was replaced last season at SS by Quintin Mikell. But he was one of the team's better special teams players. Might return in that role.

--S Brian Dawkins still is a productive player in Jim Johnson's defense and wants to finish his career with the Eagles. Probably will be back.

--OT Jon Runyan had microfracture surgery on his knee after playing hurt the entire season. Unlikely he'll be re-signed.

--TE L.J. Smith was franchised by the team last year. They won't make the same mistake twice. Definitely won't be back.

--OT Tra Thomas still is a productive LT despite his age. Eagles don't really have a successor in the wings. Probably will be re-signed.


--WR Hank Baskett (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) saw his production tail off in the second half of the season. But at 6-4, he's a big target for Donovan McNabb. Will likely be back as the team's No. 4 wideout.

--G Nick Cole (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) replaced Max Jean-Gilles, who replaced Shawn Andrews at right guard and played well. If Eagles move Andrews to right tackle, Cole likely will be the starter inside, ahead of Jean-Gilles.


--LB Tank Daniels (tendered at $460,000) ranked fifth on the Eagles with 18 special teams tackles after being claimed off waivers from the Giants last August.


--CB Joselio Hanson: Potential UFA; $21M/5 yrs, $3M SB/$6.4M guaranteed.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 27, 2009

Scott Young Name: Scott Young
Position: OG
Age: 27
Experience: 4 years
College: Brigham Young
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