THE SAFETY DANCE.

Posted January 22, 2013

SAFETY is an area that MUST be addressed this offseason. I said back when Reid was here and I'm saying it now. As Eagles fans (at least since I became a fan in '89), we've come to expect good-to-great Safety play. Whether it was as great as Andre Waters and Wes Hopkins or as middle-of-the-road as Greg Jackson and Mike Zordich, it was always an area you could check off and then go work at improving other spots.

Then Brian Dawkins left. A gaping hole is still at the very spot he vacated. Free Safety.

This is partly due to the bad luck of guys simply not panning out (Nate Allen, Macho Harris) when they DID go after a cover Safety; but it also has a LOT to do with their recent obsession with chasing primarily run-support players (Jaiquawn Jarrett, Kurt Coleman, even Michael Lewis). They just haven't put much stock in grabbing a cover first/hit second type player at the position. Even Harris and Allen were advertised to us as guys who would stick their face in there. I was thrilled when we got O.J. Atogwe last year, but he never really got a shot.

What has me paranoid is the write up on the Eagles website where Spuds is "evaluating" the Safeties.  

http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/article-1/Offseason-Preview-Safety/c0ebaf5f-563f-4035-ace3-93e25334d5ad

He seems eager to give these guys a pass for the way they played even though he himself says they would come up to play the run and let a receiver run by them. You cannot excuse blown assignment after blown assignment, week after week. At one point Todd Bowles dumbed it down for them and threw them a HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL COVERAGE SCHEME. And they blew their assignments even on that. 

As far as Nate Allen: How many seasons does a guy have to suck before the Eagles declare a guy a bust? We sat through Victor Abiamiri. Jerome McDougle, Jon Harris, (some might say) Mike Mamula, Kevin Kolb, and a few others (Winston Justice and Brodrick Bunkley just to give you two more.) Why can't we just cut our losses and move on like sane teams do? It's not missing on guys that bugs me. All teams, in all sports do it. But WE hold on to the Chris Gocongs, and the L.J. Smiths longer than most teams.

It's true that most of these can be laid at the feet of the Reid regime, but Nate Allen, Casey Matthews, and Clay Harbor are now on deck under new management. I say one season under Kelly to see they can blame Reid, but if not we already need to have their replacements on the roster.

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