The 2014 NFL offseason has begun for the Eagles, which means Chip Kelly and his staff will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2013 roster. While the team was able to manage a 10-6 record along with an NFC East crown, there are still many ways the Eagles roster could be improved upon. By the time NFL free agency starts on March 11, the Eagles will have a good idea of which players they'll want to bring back for the 2014 season. Today we'll continue this offseason review series by looking at the nose tackle position.
Stats: 242 snaps, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 4 QB hurries, 8 tackles, 3 assists, 0 missed tackles, 5 stops
Review: Some will deem the Spooky signing as a failure, and that's fair to an extent. But the truth is the team probably never expected Sopoaga to be a big contributor. When the Eagles signed Sopoaga, they didn't have a true NT on the roster at the time. They needed a body, and who better to sign than a player that VP of Player Personnel Tom Gamble was familiar with from their 49ers days. Sopoaga played and started at nose tackle for the Eagles in the first eight games of the 2013 season before being traded to the Patriots (along with the Eagles 6th round pick) for a 5th round pick. The trade made a lot of sense because Sopoaga was completely ineffective and the Eagles wanted to give rookie Bennie Logan a chance to start. Sopoaga continued his ineffective play up in New England, where he ended up being a healthy scratch towards the end of the season. So maybe Chip Kelly didn't get "snookered" in that trade after, huh?
Stats: 313 snaps, 1 penalty, 1 sack, 3 QB hits, 11 QB hurries, 1 batted pass, 19 tackles, 4 assists, 1 missed tackle, 14 stops
Review: Logan really stepped up after Sopoaga was traded and he became the new starting nose tackle. Logan's combination of athleticism and size, as opposed to a mammoth-sized NT, fit what defensive coordinator Bill Davis likes out of his NTs. I have seen some suggest that Logan doesn't demand and/or can't handle double teams, but that simply isn't true. Many will point to the end of the Saints playoff game where Logan was driven off the ball as the Saints ran it down the Eagles throats to run the clock out and win. It's true that Logan needs to improve, but he did show a lot of promise in his rookie year. Logan will have a full off-season to work on his game and add some weight. Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz has stated the Eagles want Logan to get up to around 320 lbs, which is about 10 pounds heavier than he played at in 2013.
Stats: 118 snaps, 0 sacks, 0 QB hits, 3 QB hurries, 2 tackles, 1 assisted, 2 missed tackles, 2 stops
Review: Square, a rookie undrafted free agent, won a roster job after a nice showing in preseason and training camp. When the games started, Square didn't appear particularly effective in limited playing time. The most memorable play of Square's rookie season was when DeMarco Murray used his helmet to destroy Square.
Who Could Leave
If Damion Square isn't cut before training camp, he will have to fight for a depth job.
Who Could Sign
There are only two nose tackles on the Eagles roster. The team is very high on Logan, but depth is needed. A veteran signing would make sense here.
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