Eagles training camp preview: Safeties

Nate Allen - USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles' safety competition should be wide open, as there aren't any players in this group who have a starting spot on lockdown.

The safeties were a much-maligned group in 2012, and a likely weakness heading into 2013. Here they are, one-by-one:

Nate Allen: This is Nate Allen's "make or break year." This season, the safeties will have less run responsibility, as their focus will be on stopping the pass. That should play nicely to Allen's skill set. If the Eagles go with a starting duo of Nate Allen and Patrick Chung, Allen can play a lot of center field, where he's a more natural fit, with Chung being the enforcer.

Patrick Chung: I have yet to fully study Chung on film, and I can't tell you that he's going to be some kind of ball-hawking coverage machine. But after one look at his highlight reel on YouTube, one thing is clear... He'll actually hit people!

The Eagles haven't had anyone in their secondary that hits like this, since... well, you know.

Kenny Phillips: There was a thinking around the league that Phillips could be done, as his knee is believed to be degenerative. There's certainly a reason why the Giants just let him walk without appearing to have made any effort whatsoever to re-sign him, not to mention the fact that the Eagles were able to get him on a 1-year deal. When Phillips was right, he was clearly the best safety in the division, and it wasn't even close. Way back in OTAs last offseason, Ebenezer Samuel of the NY Daily News was able to coax an interesting story out of Giants safeties coach Dave Merritt about Kenny Phillips:

"(Cowboys tight end Jason) Witten told me when I went to the Pro Bowl two years ago when Antrel invited me, Witten said, when 21′s in the post, we don't ever throw anything deep because we know he can go and get it. He said, ‘But if I see anybody else back there, (Tony) Romo knows, we're going deep.'

It's important for Eagles fans to keep their expectations in check. I remember watching Marlin Jackson in training camp a few years ago. He couldn't run. You could almost tell he knew his career was over. And it was. Phillips isn't at that point, but certainly he'll be a player that people will be looking at in training camp.

Earl Wolff: Wolff is a very athletic safety, and it's not out of the question for him to compete for a starting job. Here were Wolff's numbers at the Combine:

Danta Klaus asked Wolff who he patterned his game after, and he said Dashon Goldson. Danta himself compared Wolff to Giants safety Stevie Brown in the 2013 Eagles Almanac (GO BUY IT NOW!!!! /PLUG MCPLUGGY).

Kurt Coleman: Ah, the athletically limited one. I actually really like Kurt as a 4th safety who can play special teams, but with Colt Anderson being so good on kick coverage, this could be the year that Kurt finds himself off the final 53, if the Eagles don't keep 5 safeties.

Colt Anderson: Special teams maven.

David Sims: This is the lasting image of David Sims that stands out in my head.

Eddie Whitley: Camp body.

Previous training camp previews:

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