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Breaking Down the Eagles Safety Position

Considine

As Training Camp nears, let’s review the Safety position. With all the offseason focus on the secondary with the addition of Asante Samuel and the unknown status of Lito Sheppard, the Safety position is going to be intriguing if we come out of the preseason healthy and have to make some hard decisions on who stays. Below are the safety’s currently on the roster in no particular order. The only locks to make the roster are Brian Dawkins & Quintin Mikell, and if Dawkins doesn’t show the skills that earned him the nickname “Weapon X”, the front office has demonstrated in the past they have no problems dumping fan favorites. { Ask Jeremiah Trotter & Troy Vincent} A lot depends on Dawkins health, but if he returns to form, that doesn’t leave a lot of spots left for the other 5 on the roster.

1. Brian Dawkins – The unquestioned leader of the defense, has a resume that can not be denied. He became the 1st player ever in NFL history to record a sack, an INT, fumble recovery, & a TD reception in the same game. This 6 time Pro Bowl selection, since being drafted in 1996, has recorded 33 INTS & 26 FF’s for a combined 59 “disruptive plays” which ranks 2nd in the NFL in that span. He currently is the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia and shows no signs of that stopping this season.

2. Quintin Mikell – This 2005 & 2006 Special Teams MVP was given the chance to start last season with injuries to Dawkins & Considine, and showed he can be more then just a great Special Teams player. He only played in 14 games {11 starts} and led the entire secondary with 98 tackles, which also was a career high for him. Signing as a rookie free agent in 2003, Mikell has proved to the coaching staff, that he can play at a Pro Bowl level.

3. Sean Considine – Has been the focus of a lot of fans rage, but is a quality player with a high football IQ. He started the 1st eight games in 2007 before a shoulder injury landed him on IR. He lost his starting position to Mikell, but will be right there in the Training Camp competition to try win it back. Most fans still have flashbacks of him getting run over by Deuce McAllister in the 2006 playoff heartbreaking lost to New Orleans.

4. J.R. Reed – Reed’s story is touching to say the least. He shined his rookie season as the primary kickoff returner and even started the Super Bowl in 2004. Expected to be the heir to Dawkins, until a freak accident damaged the perennial nerve affecting the use of his lower leg and foot. Thanks to a special personalized brace, he resumed his career and is now in his second stint with the Eagles. Last season, he played in 15 games tallying a career high 33 tackles, while returning 31 kickoffs for a 22.6
average.

5. Quintin Demps – This 2008 draft pick is one of the top playmakers of this year’s draft class. There’s no guarantee he will make the team considering how the front office let go of C.J. Gaddis last year after
expecting him to succeed Dawkins, but I feel he may be the 1st safety to make the roster other then the starters. He holds the school record for INT return yards with 404, and is the 1st player in school history to have 2 – 100 yd INT returns in both Conference USA and school history. His 17 INTs were the most among this years draft class. I expect him to make the roster and possibly make an impact this season as a kickoff returner.

6. Marcus Paschal – This rookie free agent signed with the Eagles last year and spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad. He was promoted in November to the active roster and appeared in 3 games last season. The defensive backfield mate of Eagles safety Sean Considine at Iowa in 2003-2004, showed enough to the coaching staff to earn a spot in 2007. It might be hard for him to have the same fortune in 2008 with Demps on the roster. Without an injury, he could possibly be on the practice squad again if he does not show the coaching staff enough in Training Camp.


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