Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Eagles Defense Shined In First Day of Hitting

BETHLEHEM, PA -- It was only the first day of live contact at Lehigh, but the Eagles defense was well ahead of the offense. And for a team that allowed a generous 24.2 points per game last year, that was a positive sign.
Newcomer Darren Howard was a disruptive force on the defensive line. Howard's presence seemed to energize booked defensive end Jevon Kearse, who also made a few big plays. Getting Kearse back to his old Pro Bowl level should be a major priority for the Eagles. Kearse has recorded 7.5 sacks in each of his first two years with the Birds and that just isn't enough. He has to be more of an impact player.
"I think we are going to have some fun this year," Kearse said.
If the defense shows the intensity, and nose for the ball as it did in the opening workout, maybe the Eagles will again be feared by opposing offenses.
Last year it was just too easy to move the ball on the Eagles. The lack of pass rush put the secondary on an island and opposing receivers caught passes at will.
So much is said about replacing T.O., but if the Eagles defense can revert to form, it would put much less pressure on the offense. And starting from the first day of live contact, the defense appears intent on regaining its former dominant status.

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