Even before they went Jack Torrance-crazy on the free agent market, I was leaning toward the Eagles in the Super Bowl favorite chart that constantly exists in my imagination. So you’d think that I’d be all over Philadelphia right now, but I’m not. I have an uneasy feeling about the stupidly talented Eagles, mainly because as good as they are at most positions, they’re dangerously thin at others.
And while the inexperienced linebacking corps has taken some abuse from the media and fans, the offensive line has clearly become the primary area of concern in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
A line that surrendered 49 sacks last year is in significantly worse shape heading into the 2011 season. Sixth-round pick Jason Kelce has already supplanted Jamaal Jackson at center, with newbies Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans taking over as starters but failing to dazzle. Left tackle Jason Peters is a four-time Pro Bowler, but he’s tremendously overrated.
The real problem appears to be at the right guard spot. The team took Canadian Danny Watkins in the first round of April’s draft, hoping that the versatile and mature British Columbia boy could immediately bolster the line. But Watkins was overwhelmed through training camp and the preseason and, according to Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com, he’s now been benched in favor of Kyle DeVan.
“He doesn’t really want us talking about it,” Watkins told Frank. “I’m not going to get into that.”
Considering that the team only signed DeVan Sunday and the regular season starts in four days, this move is a clear indication that Andy Reid and his staff are worried about the line and its ability to protect a star-studded offense.