Thursday, August 10, 2006

Eagles Defense Already Rounding Into Form

The Eagles first-team defense has now been on the field for five series during the preseason and has yet to allow a point. A cynic would suggest that the two games were against two of the worst offenses in the NFL, Oakland and Cleveland.
An optimist would say that the defense is vastly improved, no matter who the Eagles play.
While the defense will have much bigger tests, the addition of Darren Howard has seemed to rejuvenate a group that couldn't buy a consistent pass rush last season.
And the defense should get even stronger when first round defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley rounds into shape.
The defensive line has much more depth and that should greatly improve the pass rush, which will take pressure off the defensive backs.
Teams with power rushing games might still be able to hurt the Eagles, but there is no doubt that barring injury, the defense will be the strength of the team.
It's not just that the Eagles first-team defenders have looked good in two preseason games against subpar teams. All during training camp, the Eagles defense has played with a purpose. In fact the one constant on the team should be the defense, which from an Eagles perspective is a good thing because the offense still has plenty of questions and holes.
That is why at least in the early part of the season, the defense will likely have to carry the team, something it appears very much capable of doing.