Clark Judge of CBSSports.com recently named 10 players who will be the biggest difference-makers in 2009.
One Eagle made the list, and the name might surprise you.
New left tackle Jason Peters.
The Birds acquired Peters from the Bills, and Judge believes he'll have more of an impact this season than draft picks Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy:
He's a more significant pick-up than Jeremy Maclin, Stacy Andrews or LaSean McCoy. The reason: He protects Donovan McNabb's back, and the Eagles go only as far as McNabb takes them. A year ago, tackle Tra Thomas wore out as the season wore on, with Thomas overpowered by bull rushers. Still, the Eagles hung around through the NFC championship game and might have made it to Super Bowl XLIII if their defense didn't melt down. Now, they have two new tackles, a new running back and a big-time playmaker as their latest wide receiver, but I still think Peters is the key addition. Coach Andy Reid believes you build championships from the inside out, and it's hard to disagree. A year ago, he had aging tackles who had little left by season's end. Now, he has one of the best in the business at left tackle, especially now that Peters is happy with his new contract. Look for the Eagles' rushing and passing attacks to benefit, which translate to Eagles in the playoffs again.
One of the interesting story lines during training camp and early in the season will be how quickly the offensive line comes together. With the new talent and Juan Castillo, I have little doubt that the line will be one of the Birds' strengths. We'll just have to see how long it takes for everyone to get on the same page given the turnover.
FoxSports.com's Peter Schrager calls the Peters addition the Eagles' buzz-worthy move, but he says the addition of Stacy Andrews was a good under-the-radar move:
There's no doubting the impact Jason Peters should have in Philadelphia. Replacing the departed Tra Thomas, some even view Peters as an upgrade at the position. But let's not sleep on the rather quiet and rather significant signing of Stacy Andrews, Philly offensive guard Shawn Andrews' older brother. The elder Andrews blew out his ACL in the second to last game of the 2008 season, but is reportedly ahead of schedule in his rehab work back. There was great fear in Philly heading into the offseason about the team's offensive line. They were getting old. They were banged up. A few months later, the Philly offensive line looks even better than it did in '08.
Meanwhile, as Eagletarian pointed out yesterday, Jon Runyan thinks, if given the opportunity, he could win a starting job with the Birds.
"No matter what they did in free agency or moving guys around, [players] are going to get the opportunity to compete for the starting job," he told SI.com. "I know me, and I will win that competition."