Finally, the long and dreary post season is over; players are grabbing their helmets and cleats as they head down to places like Lehigh University. And while optimism is strong and the faces new, the young age of the Eagles draws another comparison.
While my comparison of the Eagles to a kiddie pool has little to do with the Eagles young roster, it refers to the lack of depth the Eagles has at many positions. While the wide receivers, quarterbacks, and defensive line cores have excellent depth, the rest of the team have minimal depth at best.
As most heard, Todd Herremans will begin training camp and maybe longer on the PUP list. The blow is significant beyond the fact that he may be the best offensive linemen on this team. There has already been a shift for the loss of starting center Jamaal Jackson, who will likely miss this year due to a ACL tear. Most anticipate that Nick Cole, our best back up guard, will fill in at center this year for Jackson. The inability of Herremans makes a major strain on a already weak core of back up offensive linemen. We will lose many games if we do not have sufficient depth. Last year we all remember how insufficient depth hurt us deeply during the season. From the loss of Jason Peters in the Raiders game to the six different middle linebackers for Steward Bradley. Few teams can pull out victories with inadequate depth.
The Colts and Patriots are one of the few teams that are able to do this. Last year the Colts lost emerging WR Anthony Gonzalez and Bob Sanders for the majority of last season. While some might argue that Garcon and Collie weren't seen as sufficient depth; they have a rare quarterback that can make do with almost any playerin Peyton Manning. And while Kevin Kolb may be the best thing since corn, he won't be at that level any time soon and therefore will need all the help he can get from his line. I don't think that McNabb could handle a loss like Herremans with our current line, but then again, he has his own problems in D.C. The Patriots are the other team that can also win without decent depth. Two years ago, Tom Brady went down for the season and they had average quarterback in Cassel. He was able to lead them to an impressive 11-5 that year. But it is apparent that their success came from their amazing offense with a average quarterback, as Matt Cassel led the Chiefs with poor starters and depth through a piss poor season. And while we have a very high powered offense, we are very far from having all the need pieces.
Solution One: Use what we have in our 80-man roster. A possible offensive line could be Peters, Cole, Shipley, Andrews, and Justice. I gave Shipley the nod with his impressive first day over putting backup Max Jean-Gilles.
Solution Two: Sign free-agent Chester Pitts. He is one of the most popular guards in free agency as he worked out for several teams in Arizona not to long ago.
While Herremans' may be fine and play from week one to week sixteen. It has brought to light the lack of depth not only on the offensive line. Our secondary is also very weak, we saw today as Allen was not their for camp that the Eagles had to put in a seventh round guy in. I really think that Coleman is going to be great, but it just shows how deep the Eagles are. The same situation goes for the CB's. If Hobbs isn't ready, the nickle/dime corner becomes Trevard Lindley, who he himself is coming off injury his senior year. I give the Eagles an F this off-season in overall depth. If we lose Andrews as well...I would really like to know Kolb's 40 time.
(Crap...I hope Vick comes in for Wildcat next play...)