Number One – FS
So far Macho Harris is running with the starters, but I can’t see that lasting too long unless 2Rd draft pick Nate Allen has trouble picking up the playbook. It’s been said Harris has added weight & is trying to show his improvements. He currently is ahead of Q. Demps on the depth chart (if there was one for this time of year) Head Coach Andy Reid has said if anyone would move to corner, it would be Harris, but if he continues impressing, he may be our starting FS week 1.
Number Two – CB
Which brings us to the biggest question on defense – Who starts opposite Samuel? Hanson started in the last mini camp, but I’m not sure the coaches want him on the outside. He was great playing the slot, until his 4 game suspension last season where his play fell off slightly. Maybe they give him a shot to win the job, but I have to believe they would rather have Marlin Jackson or Ellis Hobbs start. Hobbs is a medical question mark after his neck injury last year, and Jackson is coming off 2 seasons of ACL injuries so I’m not that confident in either option.
Number Three – DE
How long does J. Parker hold on to his starting spot? I believe the Eagles would like the 1st Rd pick B. Graham to eventually take over & start opposite Trent Cole, but I don’t know how much they’ll push. Parker might start the beginning of the season but by season’s end, I expect the rookie to step into the role. They rotate the D linemen anyway, so they all should see time.
Number Four – The LB’s
With Bradley back in the middle, the defense should be improved from the musical chairs it was last season. But who starts with him? So far, Fokou is starting at SAM and it’s his job to lose, but there are some interesting rookies to get a look at once training camp starts. Keenan Clayton & Ricky Sapp will get looks there, but I would prefer to keep Sapp as a pass rushing force. He already has that skill set, and asking him to play in space vs Witten, Cooley, & others could be too much for the rookie. I believe it comes down to Fokou or Clayton.
Number Five – OL
Who starts at center? The company line is Nick Cole is the starter until Jackson returns, but we all saw how that went last season when he went down and Dallas exposed our line. That’s not all his fault, but there’s got to be concern that maybe Cole is better suited to play the guard position. Even though Andy is saying Cole is the starter, but in the last camp Mike McGlynn took more snaps with the 1st team. McGlynn was referred to as a “Baby John Runyan” when he came out of college and has not played much. Maybe it’s his time and Cole can become the insurance we need at the guard spots since he can play both sides.
I didn’t mention Kolb because the only real question there is, Is he ready? The coaches think so, so we’ll see. I believe there will be some bumps in the road, but he will show everyone what he learned watching McNabb. A lot is riding on his shoulders, and he must come through…..or the Linc will start chants of “We want Vick!”