[Note by JasonB, 05/26/11 12:43 AM EDT ] Promoted from fanposts
The Philadelphia Eagles have depth. There is no doubt about it. We may not have a RCB yet. We may not be the vegas favortieto win the Superbowl, but we have depth. Two things that are true with depth: For one, a deeper team can survive a lot of injuries to starters(we face that obstacle every singleyear). Two, the difference between starting and not making the team on a really deep team can be a very small margin for a lot of players. The top 10 Eagles with the most to prove in order after the jump.
10. Brent Celek- He more than doubled his yardage from his first two years in his third season in 2009 with 971 receiving yards along with 76 receptions and 8 TD's. Last year those numbers dipped tremendously to 511, 42 and just 4 touchdowns. It was pretty obvious that his numbers had to do with staying in to help in pass protection, but Celek did have 7 drops last season. Celek doesn't have a big contract to play for in 2011, as he is signed thru 2016, but he does need contribute more in the offense as he can and should be a reliable 3rd down/red zone weapon.
9. Marlin Jackson- Remember him? Very good player when healthy, unfortunately he hasn't been healthy in over 3 years. The last 3 years he has torn both of his ACLs and last year he tore his Achilles tendon. He hasn't played a full season since 2007. This is probably his last chance to prove he can stay healthy and make a team. He can still play at a high level, he just needs to prove he can stay healthy. The last 4 games he did play in, he had 16 tackles, an interception, 1 forced fumble and a pass defensed.
8. Broderick Bunkley- The former 14th overall pick in 2006 really took a turn for the worse in 2010. He had 20 tackles and a grand total of 0 sacks. Bunk has never really thrived on our previous DL scheme, accumulating just 6 total sacks in 5 years with 0 forced turnovers. He played in a more aggressive scheme at Florida State and could benefit the most from Coach Wash. He is in the final year of his contract so he is not only fighting for a starting spot, he is fighting for a long term deal.
7. Moise Fokou- Stats don't really tell the whole story with MoFo. He got a lot of playing time at the end of 2009 and played really well. For some reason, Akeem Jordan got the start at SAM over Fokou in 2010 and the defense got run over the first 4 games. He started every meaningful game after that at SAM and the run defense greatly improved. However, with Chaney possibly starting at MIKE, Fokou could be battling with Stewart Bradley at the SAM spot.
6. Mike Patterson- 13 career sacks since being drafted 31st overall in 2005, but just 4 total sacks in the last 3 seasons. Patterson was a dominating force in college, earning him the nickname "Baby Sapp", but has been used more to just take up space rather than wreck havoc in the backfield. Patterson, like Bunk, is another DT who could thrive under Jim Washburn but maybe have to lose weight to get some of his quickness back.
5. Juqua Parker- Started the year off hot, getting 4 sacks in the first 3 games but finished the year with just 2 more in the final 13 games. Lack of a true rotation at DE and the injury to Brandon Graham played a part on his decline sure, but he is 33 now and entering the final year of his contract where he is set to make 4.3 mil. If he shows any decline is his ability in training camp, he could be gone.
4. Chad Hall- Didn't really wow anyone in 2010, but he was removed from football for two years serving our country in the Air Force. Maybe a full year in the NFL will get him back physically to where he was at Air Force in 2008 where he lead his team in both rushing and receiving as a senior. The Eagles are already loaded at wideout with DeSean, Mac, Avant and Cooper, along with the rumors of adding Plaxico Burress. Making the team as a wideout won't be easy, but if he can show us something as a kick returner, he has a very good shot at making the team again.
3. Jamaal Jackson- Our starting center for 3 1/2 years after beating out Hank Fraley in 2006, and after taking over for an injured Hank in 2005. However, he tore his ACL in the 2009 season and tore his triceps in 2010. Before his injuries he proved to be one of the top center in the league. Now he must not only show he can stay healthy and that he hasn't lost a step, he must prove he can fit in Howard Mudd's OL system. He also must beat out his replacement Mike McGlynn who filled in admirably last season despite having no experience at the position. Jackson is signed through the 2013 season but isn't set to make anymore than 1.8 mil in a given year.
2. Stewart Bradley- Once thought of as a future multi-pro bowler is now a injury concern who could be moved to the outside or could be be on his way out altogether. In 2009 he tore his ACL at Flight Night and in 2010 he suffered both a concussion and a dislocated elbow. When healthy, he has the ability to be one of the best 4-3 linebackers in the league and is capable of playing MIKE or SAM. His contract status is a complete mystery. Depending on the new CBA, he could be tendered on a one year deal or he could be a unrestricted free agent. The question is will he be brought back or not, and if so will be moved to SAM to make room for Jamar Chaney?
1. Winston Justice- Pretty obvious right? He had knee surgery in the off-season and was benched in the playoffs last year. That right there gives him a lot to prove, factor that with a new but very very highly regarded OLcoach, and he has a 2011 season that will make or break him as an Eagle. The Eagles didn't draft one offensive tackle so that may be a sign that the team has a ton of faith in him, or maybe they're just waiting on free agency. Justice has had an up and down career already from that SNF game where Osi Umenyiora made him his bitch(there really is no other way to put that), to the 2009 season where his high level of play earned him a 4 year 18 million dollar extension. A healthy knee should go a long in getting him back to his 2009 form, this team won't stand for another year of mediocre play on the right side for a team that's new motto is Superbowl or bust.