SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14: Marques Colston #12 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates his touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Sports Illustrated's Jeff Diamond recently sketched out a road map for all 32 NFL teams this offseason. He has the Eagles' need as middle linebacker, strong side linebacker and wide receiver. Here's what he had to say.
Four straight wins to end the season was more like the team everyone expected after their flurry of free agent signings. The first concern is to vastly improve the -14 turnover ratio. That starts with QB Mike Vick, who needs to stay healthy and protect the ball better. The Eagles' biggest needs are at middle linebacker and strong side linebacker, and Curtis Lofton of Atlanta would be a good free agent addition. At WR, it's time to say goodbye to me-first DeSean Jackson and sign Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston or Vincent Jackson in free agency. Andy Reid needs to get back to the playoffs or it's probably time for a change. He'll need the Eagles refocused from day one to avoid the poor start that doomed them in 2011.
Obviously I can't agree more with his #1 point. Anyone who watched this team last year knows that turnovers were the absolute killer. We can debate the merits of Juan Castillo and how culpable he was all day, but it can't be denied that the league leading amount of turnovers this offense had put his defense in a tough spot time and time again. The team simply can't win without improving in that department.
However, I don't really agree with the "me first" characterization of DeSean Jackson. As I've said several times here, he's been a model citizen and a good teammate his entire career until last year. And while I certainly can't defend him showing up late to meetings and not giving max effort, but there's every reason to believe that if he was financially secure, he'd be the DeSean we all saw over his first three years.
Having said that, if he left and any of the other guys mentioned came in... That would certainly help soften the blow.