The Philadelphia Eagles are taking a page out of the New England Patriot playbook with their recent defensive acquisitions. The Patriots have long been recognized for their defense being a real key to the team's ultimate success over the years since Bill Belichick took the reigns. The Eagles now appear to be taking notice of the fact that having a daunting defense like New England's is essential to getting the team back to the Superbowl.
Last year the Eagles finished third in the NFC East and put up dismal defensive numbers. This year they're making the best of the limited dealmaking timeframe created by the sudden, late ending of a long lockout. Already their signings, trades, and drafts are wholly focused on putting together a defensive juggernaut.
Additions like Superstar Cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Defensive Linemen Cullen Jenkins and Jasin Babin could be revolutionary for the Eagles Defense. The team also drafted three more defensive players with their first four picks this year. Defensive Backs Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple) and Curtis Marsh (Utah St.) were the first two selections for the Eagles on defense, and their next pick was Linebacker Casey Matthews (Oregon). These young draftees will now be the understudies for a crew of big name starters.
The Eagles defense already includes ex-Patriot Cornerback Assante Samuel, and the team just lost ex-Patriot Cornerback Ellis Hobbs to retirement. The two teams have a tradition of feeding off each other. The Patriots and Eagles have made a trade in every single draft since Bill Belichick took over in New England. This year, instead of making a big-name trade with New England, Eagles management seems to be adopting the Patriot mindset of "Defense wins championships."
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Still, the Eagles didn't necessarily forget about the offensive side of the ball. Former Titan Vince Young just signed with the Eagles as well. He will be the new backup for Michael Vick, and their similar scrambling and running abilities will make the two a solid tandem. Vick, nicknamed "Starship 7" for his incredible efforts last season, will have more chances to display his exceptional abilities and razzle dazzle thanks to all these new defensive tweaks.
The quick thinking and even quicker spending to shore up the team's defense is sure to help the Eagles post much better defensive numbers this season. Look for their sacks, tackles, and turnovers to increase tremendously. Philadelphia will be every NFL offense's worst nightmare this year if these moves pay off.