Think way back to early September and Week 1 of the NFL season.
Do you remember who was in the starting lineup at left defensive end opposite Trent Cole?
It was Victor Abiamiri. The third-year defensive lineman actually recovered a fumble and took it to the end zone for a touchdown.
For one game, at least, it looked like Abiamiri was ready to take an important step in his development
But looking back months later, it's safe to say that was probably the high point of his season.
In two early-season losses to the Saints and Raiders, Abiamiri struggled against the run, as both those teams effectively attacked his side.
He then missed three games to injury. And when Abiamiri returned, his role became more defined: Enter the game in passing situations as part of the defensive line rotation and get after the quarterback. He often lined up inside with Darren Howard, as the two replaced Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley. But Abiamiri had trouble getting pressure up the middle, something the Birds struggled with all season.
Part of that was due to ineffective line play. And part of it was ineffective blitzing.
Looking back at my game-by-game notes, Abiamiri showed flashes, particularly against the Bears and the Redskins. But overall, it was not the type of breakout season the Eagles probably were looking for when they broke camp at Lehigh.
The Eagles need to address their pass rush in the offseason. It will be interesting to see if Abiamiri is once again just a member of the rotation, or something more.
Stats: Victor Abiamiri
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