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State of the Eagles - Training Camp Preview
David Dorey
July 29, 2009
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This series of analysis on the 32 NFL teams takes a look at where teams have been over the last three years for each position - where they have ranked in the most notable categories and the hard statistics produced. This is to give a view of each team heading into training camp and what they most likely need to improve on this season and where their strengths lie that likely won't need any changes. Ending each team review is a brief summation of what to watch in training camp in August to uncover those developing situations that you can take advantage. Combining where teams have come from and what they have done in free agency and the NFL draft gives you the very same thing that NFL coaches are looking at as they attempt to improve their team for 2009.
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Training Camp Opens: July 26 (Rookie), July 29 (Veteran)
Head Coach: Andy Reid (11th year)
Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field  Surface: Grass
2009 Schedule   2009 Roster   2008 Statistics   2008 Record: 9-6

QB Carries Rush YD Rush TD Pass Comp Comp % Pass YD YPP Pass TD Int Rank YD Rank TD
2006 56 301 3 541 322 60% 4298 13.3 31 8 4 2
2007 60 257 0 576 350 61% 4005 11.4 24 15 10 12
2008 52 149 2 605 362 60% 4060 11.2 23 15 6 8

Quarterback - Donovan McNabb finally enters a season where there has been no trade talks, no moaning about how injury prone he is and no speculation about how satisfied McNabb is in Philly. All it took was his first 16 game season in the last five years to shut everyone up. He remained a solid top ten fantasy quarterback and even had a career high 3916 passing yards in 2008. And infusion of young blood will hopefully keep the receiver ranks stocked but this offense and McNabb's numbers will take a hit whenever Brian Westbrook no longer plays.

RB Carries Rush YD YPC Rush TD Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD Rcv TD Rank YD Rank TY Rank TD
2006 354 1658 4.7 9 170 121 71% 1058 6 16 6 21
2007 355 1680 4.7 12 153 111 73% 919 5 13 5 6
2008 357 1446 4.1 12 129 98 76% 815 7 24 17 11

Running Backs - This unfortunately is an interesting area. Brian Westbrook had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in mid-March and then another procedure in early June to clean out bone spurs from his ankle. So while reports have him becoming fully healthy during camp, that remains to be seen and no doubt the Eagles will take it easy with him regardless making him an even bigger risk. Correll Buckhalter is gone but the Eagles drafted LeSean McCoy who is a clone of Westbrook is size at 5'10" and around 198 pounds. Lorenzo Booker will contend for the primary backup spot and camp will be needed to see who the #2 back will be this year and that may be rather important to the team thanks to Westy's injury. Since all the running backs here are so small, Leonard Weaver could fill in as the short yardage back.

WR Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 271 137 51% 2421 17.7 18 14 7
2007 325 190 58% 2564 13.5 16 10 12
2008 361 197 55% 2618 13.3 11 9 19

Wide Receivers - While there is no Terrell Owens equivalent on this team, that doesn't mean it has completely reversed back into not having any decent wide receivers at all. DeSean Jackson had a very solid rookie season and is expected to return as a second-year starter. Kevin Curtis required groin surgery in the offseason but is reported to be ready for training camp and could start as well. Jason Avant remains as nothing more than a slot player but has at least marginal value to this unit. The biggest addition this year will be Jeremy Maclin who the Eagles nabbed with their 1.19 draft pick. Early returns suggest he'll have a hard time becoming a starter by week one but it's only a matter of time before this playmaker should earn a starting role.

TE Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 102 64 63% 825 12.9 7 9 6
2007 87 49 56% 522 10.7 3 23 27
2008 105 66 63% 626 9.5 4 20 15

Tight Ends
- This unit has been emphasized in the last two years and L.J. Smith is now gone. Brent Celek is expected to be the primary pass catcher for tight ends this year but that's only marginally interesting from a fantasy standpoint. The Eagles have added firepower in the wideouts and the tight ends are in decline here.

Training Camp Fantasy Angle - The health of Westbrook will be paramount to judging this offense but that will be hard to determine since the Eagles will take it easy with him and besides - he only gets more frail with every year and he is turning 30 years old. That makes LeSean McCoy a must watch to see if he can step up to cover for Westbrook or even offer relief. If Westbrook is not healthy or breaks down, McCoy could end up as one of those rookie runners that are very nice to have on your team. It will also be notable to see how well Jeremy Maclin progresses in camp and if he appears to warrant much playing time early in the season. So far he's not wrapped up anything and needs a really good camp to hope his rookie season is productive. This is a good camp to watch because there will be good fantasy points coming from this team.

The death of DC Jim Johnson will cast a shadow on this camp naturally and the Eagles lose one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time. That will affect the defense to be sure but could have a major impact on the entire team.

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Ease of Schedule for Quarterbacks
Ease of Schedule for Running Backs
Ease of Schedule for Receivers
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