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Current state of the Philadelphia Eagles: Moving forward or backwards?
By Clayton Ruley

The Eagles have already lost safeties Brian Dawkins and Sean Considine and running back Correll Buckhalter to free agency and tackles Jon Runyan and William Thomas are still out there dangling. The team did go out and seemingly replace Runyan at right tackle by signing Stacy Andrews to play alongside his brother Shawn (assuming his healthy) from Cincinnati and Thomas has talked to Jacksonville but hasn't gotten many other offers thus far so he could come back.

With the way things are going in Philly will McNabb be on this team at the start of the season?

With that being said does this team seem like it's trying to move forward off the success of its unlikely playoff run and eventual loss to the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals or are they trying to rebuild under our noses?

While the answer in reality is probably both I hope it's more of the moving forward than rebuilding.

The team has glaring needs at defensive end and either tight end or wideout (basically redzone help) and now certainly have to add running back and safety to the mix.

The team needed a running back but Buckhalter was a nice backup who actually didn't get enough touches and performed seemingly everytime he touched the ball. Given his injured past, he also had relatively good legs for his age so its funny that the team let him go. I'm sure Buckhalter probably wanted a chance to start and get more money because the league minimum which Buckhalter was hovering over for years isn't going to make you rich in the grand scheme but I thought the team would make a strong push to keep him and draft a running back for the future.

Joe Banner holds the key to the bank vault in Philadelphia.

Considine could leave without people even noticing although he made a decent impact on special teams. The team can draft a special teamer in the late rounds of the draft and pay him less money so that's a ok move. The team traded cornerback Lito Sheppard and lost Brian Dawkins early in free agency. Both were former or current NFL Pro Bowlers. You need to at least replace the depth of the secondary and probably re-up cornerback Sheldon Brown to have some stability back there.

At defensive end, Julius Peppers' name was thrown around before he was franchised by the Carolina Panthers and Cardinal wideout Anquan Boldin being acquired through a trade has been bandied around but seems unlikely.

The team still needs to address these positions along with tight end in the draft (in which they have a boat load of picks including two in the first round) and in free agency. The team has over $40 million dollars in cap money to spend in free agency so being broke will not be an excuse.

I think the Eagles are sometimes too smart for their own good and don't understand what heart, love of teammates and pride can do to a locker room. I hope they bring players in to make one more run with the quarterback who maybe asking for some more weapons and a new contract but we will have to wait and see.

The Eagles so far in the off-season have been too cool and sometimes when you are too cool you will lose!

Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at



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