What they're saying about the Eagles
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What they're saying about the Eagles
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:
SI.com's Don Banks likes what the Eagles did this offseason and thinks they're poised to win the NFC East:
Typically, I don't turn in my predictions column until late August, but when I do, I believe I'll have Andy Reid's Eagles atop their tightly clumped division, poised for a bounce-back season and a return to the playoffs after the nightmare of last year's "Dream Team'' nonsense.
ESPN.com's John Clayton predicts a 10-6 record for the Eagles:
As disappointing as last year's Eagles were, they still managed to win eight games. Upgrades to the linebacker corps, a tightening up of the coverage schemes and an improved comfort level in the new defense all stand as reasons to believe things will be better in Philadelphia this year.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com (previously a scout for the Birds) says no team is under more pressure than the Eagles in 2012:
The Eagles did have a few legitimate excuses last season. As a result of the labor dispute, the free-agent additions and new defensive coordinator weren't afforded the luxury of an offseason together. No such excuse exists this season. There is a tremendous amount of pressure for this team to make a deep postseason run in 2012. Coach Andy Reid, Vick and Castillo will all be facing intense scrutiny if the season starts poorly.
Jeremiah also looks at which quarterback will be next to win his first Super Bowl. He's got Vick as third-most likely, behind Alex Smith and Matt Schaub:
Vick was very inconsistent during the 2011 season and the Eagles fell one game short of making the playoffs. During the first half of the season, Vick really struggled to avoid costly turnovers. On a positive note, his play did drastically improve down the stretch and he helped lead the Eagles to blowout victories in each of their last four games. After a rough start, the defense really began to jell by the end of the 2011 season. The unit gave up more than 10 points only once in its last four contests. If Vick plays like he did at the end of the season, this roster is plenty talented enough to make a push toward the Super Bowl this season.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has LeSean McCoy 32nd in his top 100 list:
McCoy got paid this offseason and deservedly so. Whereas the “Dream Team” Eagles were considered a disappointment in 2011, McCoy had arguably the best season of any running back in the league. He ran the ball 273 times for 1,309 yards, but also caught 48 balls and scored 17 touchdowns. A threat any time he lines up in the backfield, McCoy is still just 23 years old.
ESPN.com's Dan Graziano writes that Michael Vick needs to follow Eli Manning's example in reducing turnovers:
If Vick believes what he's saying about improved discipline -- if that's the message Andy Reid and the coaches are drilling into him, and if he's really hearing it -- then that's the first step toward putting it into practice. Vick has the raw talent to accomplish anything he wants to on the field. His long-term success will be determined by the extent to which he appreciates the quarterback position as a craft to be honed and perpetually worked on.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com names the most overrated and underrated player on each team. He's got Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as the Eagles' most overrated player and Jeremy Maclin as the team's most underrated player:
Overrated: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He has the tools to be a star corner, but for some reason he just doesn't play to those skills.
Matt Williamson of ESPN.com projects the top 15 offensive linemen in 2015. Jason Peters barely makes the list at No. 15:
Peters was probably the best offensive lineman in the NFL in 2011. He was simply phenomenal in every facet of playing left tackle and teamed with Evan Mathis to form an elite left side of the line. But he turns 31 years old in January and tore his Achilles tendon on two occasions this offseason. He is unlikely to see the field in 2012. Will he return to action as someone in the same mold as when we saw him last?