With the regular season over, we decided to look back on the season around the AFC East. The Eagles lost their Wild Card matchup 26-24 against the Saints, so we figured we’d head over to Philly to chat with cover32 Eagles Managing Editor Troy Weller about what went right and what are some improvements Philadelphia will look to make in 2014:
Who was the one person this year that had the most positive impact on the Eagles 10-6 regular season record?
Nick Foles without a doubt. There were obviously concerns once Michael Vick got hurt as to how Chip Kelly would handle the quarterback situation, but if we learned anything it was that the Eagles are a better team with Foles as the starter. They lost three straight games with Vick—while you can’t say he wouldn’t have turned it around, you can’t say he would have, either. The Eagles probably don’t make the playoffs if not for Nick Foles.
Who is the most overrated Eagle and why?
Cary Williams was a disappointment. The Eagles went out and spent big bucks on him, but he really didn’t do much other than drive fans crazy. He gives way too much cushion to receivers and surrenders too much yardage to be considered the team’s top cornerback.
What is your overall feeling on the job done by Philadelphia’s entire coaching staff?
They did a tremendous job. Chip Kelly was basically playing with house money, and not much was expected from a team that went 4-12 only a year ago. He proved that his system works in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis did a great job, too. The defense was poor to start the year (which was expected), but he turned it around into a decent unit. The Eagles are a few pieces on defense away from being real solid.
Which side of the ball do you think made the most progress as a unit in 2013?
The defense. They let up 93 points in the first four games, but turned it around dramatically after that. At one point, they were the only team in the NFL to have given up 21 points or less in seven consecutive weeks. Like I just mentioned, they’re a few draftable pieces on defense away from being a complete team.
Where does Philly need to draft in order to improve in 2014?
Defense first, specifically cornerback and outside linebacker. Brandon Boykin was fantastic and Bradley Fletcher was solid, but Cary Williams didn’t follow suit. The Eagles need a true No. 1 cornerback, and they’ll need to find that early on. An outside linebacker that can cover in space is also another need. Despite having a good second half of the year, Trent Cole is just too old and is owed too much money to be back in Eagles Green come 2014. On the offensive side of the ball, they need to get another receiver.
NEXT: Early Scouting: Quarterback David Fales