Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Eagles' youth

How young are the Eagles, compared to the rest of the NFC East? Plus thoughts on Vikings-Saints and the start of the football season.

The Eagles' youth

Eagles GM Howie Roseman has assembled the youngest team in the NFC. (Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer)
Eagles GM Howie Roseman has assembled the youngest team in the NFC. (Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer)

Jimmy K. over at Bleeding Green Nation passed along a spreadsheet earlier this week that compared the ages of players on each of the NFC East teams.

The Eagles are the youngest team in the division with an average age of 25 years, 11 months and 30 days. The Cowboys are second at 26 years, 8 months and 2 days. The Giants are third at 26 years, 10 months and 11 days. And the Redskins are the oldest at 28 years, 3 months and 7 days.

Note that the ages don't include kickers, punters or long snappers.

The Birds' defense (25 years, 11 months, 9 days) is actually slightly younger than the offense (26 years, 22 days). But the projected Eagles offensive starters are younger than the projected defensive starters.

Jimmy broke it down by position also. The Eagles have the youngest starting offensive line and defensive front seven in the division. The secondary is really the only place where the Eagles show a little age. The Giants and Redskins are younger there.

Amazing difference at the skill positions. The Eagles' average age there (for starters) is 24 years, 7 months and 27 days.

The average age of Redskins skill position starters is 32 years, 8 months and 15 days. The difference between the two groups is over eight years.

And finally, the Eagles have three players (kickers, punters and long snappers not included) over 30. The Giants have seven, the Cowboys nine and the Redskins 14.

Thanks to Jimmy for sending his research along.

SAINTS, VIKINGS AND EAGLES

The NFL returned last night as the Saints defeated the Vikings, 14-9, in New Orleans.

Here are some thoughts on the game:

* One play that caught my eye was Brett Favre's 33-yard pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe in the second quarter. The Saints showed blitz with their linebackers at the line of scrimmage, but then dropped them back into coverage. It was too late, though, as they couldn't keep up with Shiancoe, who picked up a big gain over the middle.

During the summer, I've seen the Eagles show a similar look with Stewart Bradley and Ernie Sims at the line of scrimmage during practice. Sometimes they both blitz. Sometimes they both drop back. Sometimes one blitzes and the other drops back. The idea to show the quarterback a different look and try to confuse him is a good one. But the Favre completion shows how difficult it can be to keep up with some of the faster tight ends in the league when a linebacker starts up at the line of scrimmage.

* Did you notice ex-Eagle Lito Sheppard on the field? The Vikings' banged-up secondary called for Sheppard in nickel situations. I can't say I focused on him the whole game, but Sheppard definitely made a few nice plays. Overall, the Vikings' defense did a decent job after the Saints' opening drive.

Drew Brees did an excellent job of avoiding pressure and sliding to his right before finding Devery Henderson for a touchdown in the first. Kevin Kolb showed the ability to do the same thing in the preseason, but will need to prove he's capable of making plays that way in the regular season. It's an underrated skill, especially considering the league is built to pressure quarterbacks.

* Twenty-one pass attempts and three running plays in the first half for the Saints. Andy Reid must have been drooling.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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