5 Philadelphia Eagles Who Failed To Step Up In 2012

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

John Breitenbach takes a look at the top 5 Eagles who have failed to step up in 2012

The 2012 Eagles are a prime example of the futility of offseason predictions. Projecting performance from one year to the next is incredibly difficult and perhaps even impossible. There are five young Eagles who exemplify this. Before the season everyone was excited about their prospects and looking forward to them taking that next step but that hasn't happened and, if anything, their performance has declined. The injuries on the offensive line are obviously a significant reason for the offense underperforming but the struggles of the skill players have contributed too. On defense many of the same issues remain with the back seven totally lacking an ability to tackle. Here are the five players.

WR, Jeremy Maclin

Expectations for Maclin were low entering 2011 when he was coming off a health scare and had no offseason to prepare and he exceeded them with a fine season where he racked up 860 yards. Entering his fourth season much was expected of the Missouri product but thus far he's failed to deliver. It's not just his receiving ability that has been below average but his poor run blocking and penalties have cost the running game a number of big plays. Lesean McCoy has broken into the open a number of times only for Maclin to make a terrible block attempt and see his man make the tackle. Perhaps it's being overly critical to consider the run blocking of a man made to catch passes but he's not a great receiving threat at the moment as the numbers show.

Year

Targets

Receptions

Catch %

Yards

TDs

INTs

Dropped passes

Missed tackles

2011

94

63

67

859

5

2

6

1

2012

49

28

57.1

356

3

2

3

2

* All statistics courtesy of PFF

As you can see, Maclin's numbers are down across the board. He is averaging four receptions per game but has a much lower catch percentage of 57. The yardage is down from last year too and he's had the same number of INTs when targeted than he had in all of 2011. Clearly Maclin's got a long way to go before he can claim to be a good NFL starting receiver and the Eagles draft pick looks even worse when compared with their rivals' Hakeem Nicks. The Eagles even had an opportunity to take him at the end of the first round but chose Maclin instead.

TE, Brent Celek

Celek is another guy with bounds of potential but too many critical mistakes. He's done well to improve his run blocking but his receiving skills have seemingly regressed to offset that. Dropped passes are really the main thing with the former Cincinnati Bear as a number of picks have deflected off his hands. Those balls he's put down in the endzone have also been very costly especially in the Detroit debacle. Let's take a look at his receiving numbers.

Year

Snaps

Targets

Receptions

Catch %

Yards

TDs

INTs

DPs

MTs

2011

445

94

62

66

811

5

5

6

10

2012

244

55

33

60

436

1

3

6

1

The numbers on the left five rows aren't too bad at all. Not much improvement but at least the same as 2011. The four right hand rows really are poor though. Celek has just the solitary TD and he's also been targeted on five picks with six dropped passes. The forced missed tackles are also way down as he's been physical but not broken away. Now for pass protection.

Year

Snaps

Sacks

Hits

Hurries

2011

151

0

2

6

2012

95

2

2

4

And when you consider his poor pass protection in addition it really suggests that Eagles fans do overrate Celek. He's been really poor protecting the QB this year when the Eagles needed him to step up with all the line injuries.

RG, Danny Watkins

It always amuses me when Howard Mudd drafts lineman high when he's had so much success with picks in the later rounds. The same is also true of Reid who has always missed high but gotten great value low. Think of Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson or Jeff Saturday on Mudd's side. Compare those guys to Winston Justice or Tony Ugoh. So far Watkins is definitely continuing the trend as whatever improvement he's supposed to have made hasn't happened. There are times when he looks good, but at his age, that's really not good enough. His run blocking has actually been solid but his lapses in pass protection have been regular and sometimes embarrassing.

Year

Snaps

Sacks

Hits

Hurries

2011

502

0

3

23

2012

283

1

6

9

It really is pretty depressing to see a high draft pick of his age regress so significantly in his second year. At least in 2011 he did a good job of sustaining blocks when beaten to only give up hurries, now he's being beaten immediately as shown by the seven QB knockdowns. The foot issue only adds another element to the disappointment.

S, Kurt Coleman

I really don't like writing about Coleman all the time but I just don't see what good an in the box safety with poor tackling does for a team. He's not good in man coverage and he has terrible instincts when forced to play zone. This is less of a surprise for me as I've never been a fan but that Jaiquawn Jarrett failure has really set the team back. Let's look at his tackling first.

Year

Snaps

Tackles

Stops

Assists

Missed tackles (run game/total)

2011

286

34

18

8

4/11

2012

208

21

9

4

7/10

Fewer snaps, fewer tackles, fewer stops and more misses, says it all for Coleman this year really. I'm not sure why the coaches have ever seen him as more than just a special teamer to be honest and I think these numbers reflect that. And his coverage numbers ...

Year

Snaps

Targets

Receptions

Catch %

Yards

TDs

INTs

PDs

QB rating

2011

31

19

61.3

396

5

4

1

105.2

2012

16

11

68.8

208

1

2

2

92.7

So he has got a little better in coverage which is something. He's not improved so much to say he's been good but he's not been a liability either. The 15% improvement in QB rating is a solid feat but sample size is something to consider.

S, Nate Allen

This is really the biggest disappointment for me as I picked Allen as a breakout candidate back in the summer. He was coming off a fine string of games and looked to be well on his way to becoming a key defensive player. Reality has been quite different, as the South Florida product has been on the verge of terrible. I assumed Allen would be the best tackler in the secondary this year but he's managed to surpass the terrible trio of Coleman, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha.

Year

Snaps

Tackles

Stops

Assists

Missed Tackles

2011

287

25

12

4

2/6

2012

173

15

8

2

6/9

In nearly two thirds of snaps Allen's missed three times as many tackles in the run game as he did in all of 2011. He's also surpassed his total 2011 total already. In fact, he's missing a tackle every 2.5 attempts.

Coverage:

Year

Snaps

Targets

Receptions

Catch %

Yards

TDs

INTs

PDs

QB rating

2011

28

12

42.9

194

1

2

6

48.8

2012

33

15

45.5

128

0

0

2

56.1

The poor run defense is such a shame because Allen has a chance to be very good against the pass. He hasn't had many big plays this year but he's done well against a high number of targets and has a very good QB rating allowed of just 56.1. Coverage is certainly the strongpoint of Allen's game.

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