Well it looks like the Eagles have taken the old football cliche "defense wins championships" to heart, signing their second defensive free agent in as many days. Today it was 26 year old DE Chris Clemons, who led the Raiders in sacks last year with 8. His sacks are also tied for the most of any free agent pass rusher this year.
Plus, I really need to say... Clemons seems like a really cool guy that's genuinely excited to be here. I'd urge you to the official site and check out his press conference and his interview with Spadaro.
He's had an interesting road so far in the NFL. He came into the league with the Redskins as a linebacker. He spent his first year on IR(in true Eagles style!) and then had more injury problems in 05(although he did play 14 games) and 06. That looked like it might have been for his NFL career. However he got another shot with the Oakland Raiders, this time as a defensive end, and despite only playing 37 percent of the snaps racked up 8 sacks. Obviously the Eagles see him as a guy they can throw in on passing downs and send him after the QB. At around 240/245lbs he doesn't look like he'd be able to be much more than a pure speed edge rusher.
With Clemons on the left and Cole on the right, that's a lot of speed for opposing tackles to deal with. Hopefully int he next few days I'll be able to get some thoughts from a Raiders' blogger and get some inside fan perspective on Clemons.
As excited as I am by this aggressiveness on defense, and as much as I do agree that defense wins championships... I can't help but shake the notion that the defense was the strength of this team last year. Despite the fact that they forced an NFL low in turnovers and let teams gain a lot of yardage, they still only allowed under 19 points a game. That's top 10 in the NFL. Their offense however, sputtered most of the season and scored around 21 pts a game, pretty much middle of the road.
Like I said, I'm 100% behind the effort to bolster the defense... but let's not forget the other side of the ball either. We have needs there too. I suspect the needs at tackle will be addressed in the draft, but there's still the glaring need of another guy to get the ball into the end zone...