A couple weeks ago I wrote my first fanpost, in which I examined what still needed to be done after the first hectic days of free agency. Quite a bit has changed since then. Going into the second preseason game tomorrow, what still needs to be done?
My previous list included making DeSean Jackson happy, signing Danny Watkins, and adding competition for right tackle, safety, and running back. Those have all been taken care of (for a year), as long as you substitute "show up" for "happy." But potential issues remain, and new ones have developed.
As before, let's take a look at my To-Do list.To-Do List:
- Find a right tackle
- Get Jeremy Maclin playing football again
- Add some veteran competition at linebacker (preferably MLB)
- Find out who has been cursing the defensive tackles
Right Tackle: My last post was before Ryan Harris had been signed. Winston Justice and King Dunlap were the only candidates and neither gave me warm fuzzy feelings. To the best of my knowledge, Justice is still on the PUP list and hasn't been able to practice in Howard Mudd's new system. King Dunlap managed to struggle against 3rd or 4th string players in the first preseason game. While the Baltimore Ravens are known for good defense, most club "door men" could probably do as well. Harris should have fixed all that, but struggled somewhat in the game. In addition, he has been skipping practice due to back problems and will miss tomorrow's game. On most teams, having a shaky situation at RT would not be devastating. On a team with a lefty QB and a pass-first (and second) offense, it's a major concern.
Maclin: What can I say? I don't even understand what's been happening. Jeremy Maclin has missed all of camp with an illness more mysterious than Agatha Christie's entire body of work. I'm not even clear if he knows what's going on, let alone the Eagles organization. Everything was supposed to be explained yesterday, but all that we heard was "nothing yet." At this point, I have to wonder if he's been spending time at Princeton-Plainsboro. If that's the case, at least we know it isn't lupus. ***UPDATE***: It wasn't lupus.
Linebacker: Going into the second preseason game, it looks like the starting lineup at LB will consist of Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, and Moise Fokou. As I said in my previous post, they aren't exactly an experienced group of high draft picks. The two 7th round OLBs at least have some experience, but that was for a different coordinator. My biggest concern would be MLB. Matthews hasn't done anything terrible yet, but that's because he hasn't really done anything at all. The 4th round rookie may be an effective starter this year. He certainly has the pedigree. Having said that, I think a lot of people -- myself included -- would be a lot more comfortable with a veteran MLB on the roster. Would Lofa Tatupu sign on to be a backup for a rookie?
DT: At the end of last season, the DT rotation consisted of Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Trevor Laws, and Antonio Dixon. Patterson had a seizure during camp and was diagnosed with a condition that possibly involves brain surgery. Bunkley was traded twice, eventually resulting in whatever the Broncos had between their sofa cushions. Laws and Dixon have been banged up for most of camp, and won't be playing tomorrow. Good thing the Eagles signed Cullen Jenkins, Anthony Hargrove, and Derek Landri. Between the constant injuries at DT and the inexperience at LB and S, I'm expecting every team that plays the Eagles this year to set up camp in the middle of the field.