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Jaws - Eagles need 3 new linebackers

Ron Jaworski was a guest on WPEN 950 with Jody Mac and shared what I though were some very bold and interesting thoughts on what the Eagles need to do heading into the offseason. You can get the audio here.

When asked by Jody Mac if the Eagles need 1, 2 ,or 3 new starting LBs, Jaws responded, "Probably 3." He went on...

Gaither showed he can make some plays. Certainly Jeremiah Trotter is a guy that can make plays in the running game, it's clear teams have attacked him in the passing game. Dhani Jones, a solid LB(and he strained to say that) not a playmaking LB. When I look at these linebackers I keep thinking "when was the last time I saw a big INT, a big sack, a caused fumble, a vicious hit?" When you watch other team's linebackers... they make plays. The linebackers in the NFL are becoming very, very valuable and I think the Eagles need to rethink their profile where they could almost plug anyone into the LB position. I think they have to upgrade the entire linebacking corps

He also didn't sound all that keen on the possiblity of the Eagles keeping Stallworth or that they even should keep him. He thinks Stallworth is a "good receiver" not a very good or great one. He also thinks someone will overpay him and the Eagles will not resign him. Didn't really sound like he thought they should resign him.

Let's go back to his point about the linebackers, which I couldn't agree more with. When was the last time a linebacker made a play on this team? Off the top of my head, there was Omar Gaither's INT in the Redskins game in week 14, but otherwise what have any of them done? A quick look at the stats says almost nothing...

Dhani Jones - Didn't intercept a pass, didn't force or recover a fumble, and registered a whopping half a sack. If he's here by late February, I'll be shocked.

Jeremiah Trotter - Zero sacks, One forced fumble, One INT. He also recorded his lowest tackle total as a starter, although it was still solidy over 100.

Matt McCoy - Kind of interesting here... As a starter he forced 3 fumbles and had 2 sacks. No picks. The problem with him clearly was that despite the fact that he was able to make a big play every other game or so, he got so manhandled on seemingly every down that he really hurt the defense far more than his 3 FF and 2 sacks helped them.

Omar Gaither - One sack, One Int. Zero FF.

Shawn Barber - One forced fumble.

So between them they forced 5 fumbles, grabbed 2 picks, and registered 3.5 sacks. That's flat out terrible. Just to emphasize how terrible, free agent LB to be Lance Briggs had 4 FF, 2 picks, a sack, and managed 20 more tackles than even Trotter(the Eagles leading tackler). Another free agent LB to be, Adalius Thomas registered 11 sacks, and INT, a defensive TD, and a safety. He does play in a 3-4 system however, which lends itself to edge LBs getting more sacks... Still, the guy is undoubtedly a playmaker. None of our LBs are playmakers. If there was ever a time for the Eagles to change this ridiculous philosophy that LBs don't matter, it's now.

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