The following is a guest post from an ardent Eagles fan and Eagles Addict supporter. He’s also trying to get his own Eagles blog up and running (Eagles Eye Focus Sportstalk) and his goal is to gain some exposure to his writing.
Eagles Addicts, please welcome Lou DiBi to the site because you may see other guest posts from him in the future.
Eagles Secondary A Major Concern
By Lou DiBi
Friday night told us a lot about the Eagles. Offensively, they look as strong if not stronger than last season. Zach Ertz seems to have taken his game to another level this year by showing off his strong hands in the end zone where Foles hit him on a comeback route for a touchdown.
Although the offense seems to be progressing, the defense still seems to be struggling to defend the pass game. Cary Williams had the highlight of the game with his interception of Tom Brady and taking it all the way for a 77 yard touchdown.
Williams had been in the headlines the entire week because of his comments about the Patriots being “Cheaters”. The first team defense had its ups and downs with a lot of yards given up like last year, but when opportunities struck to turn the tide of the game, the defense was able to make a play.
When the opposing offense gets things going though, the defense looks catastrophic. Curtis Marsh and Roc Carmichael got a lot of reps with the first team due to injuries to Brandon Boykin and Nolan Carroll.
Unfortunately, they did little to comfort the Eagles by way of secondary depth. Marsh struggled to stay with the receivers after press coverage and was way too grabby plus had very sloppy technique. Carmichael has been a disappointment this preseason after having a strong few games starting last year when Bradley Fletcher was injured.
He just seems to lack the athleticism to stay with some of the receivers. The Eagles need Nolan Carroll more than we know. If there is more than one injury to the corners, the Eagles will most likely have to go to a player that isn’t on the team now, unless rookie Jaylen Watkins is able to step up in a big way.
However, Watkins did not play against the Patriots due to an injury he suffered at practice. In his first game against the Bears, he showed great poise and confidence by recording his first interception after previously getting beat for a 72-yard touchdown.
To his credit, Watkins has shown improvement within each practice and has gained the respect of veterans such as Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin.
I have confidence in this defense because there is a lot of upside, but all realistic fans know there is still a long way to go and it starts in the secondary. Watkins and Boykin are the building blocks of the future and the current starting tandem of Williams and Fletcher are more like stop-gaps for now.