Philadelphia Eagles' Kurt Coleman during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Here is the ninth in a series of looks at the Eagles roster:
On the roster: The Eagles’ evaluation of safeties in recent seasons has been poor, and general manager Howie Roseman must figure out this position. The team was exceedingly high on Nate Allen in 2010, and the coaching staff must determine whether his struggles were because of scheme or talent. Kurt Coleman shows good effort and leadership, but he’s not a standout at the position and might be better as a key reserve.
Colt Anderson is a restricted free agent who is a strong special teams performer. David Sims was acquired last season and had little effect on defense. Don’t be surprised if there are two new starters next season.
Not on the roster: Pay attention to the Bills’ Jairus Byrd in free agency. Byrd, a former Oregon standout, is 26 and a two-time Pro Bowler. He’d be the best player at the position for the Eagles since Brian Dawkins, although the Bills might not let him walk. The 49ers’ Dashon Goldson is also a free agent, as is the Patriots’ Patrick Chung, another former Oregon player.
The Eagles have whiffed on safeties in the draft. If they dip into that pool again, they must be sure. Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro and Florida’s Matt Elam are the top players. Neither is a candidate at the No. 4 pick, and the next two months will determine whether one slips to the second round. Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo and LSU’s Eric Reid will also get their names into discussion in an early to middle round.
Coming tomorrow: Specialists