Position Analysis: Linebackers

It's all about "The D" this off-season for the Eagles. There have to be serious renovations to the Eagles' defensive unit if the 2006 version of football in Philadelphia is going to be better than the 2005 version. The linebacking crew could see a major overhaul.

Starters: MLB Jeremiah Trotter, SLB Dhani Jones, WLB Keith Adams.
Backups: Matt McCoy, Jason Short, Greg Richmond, Mark Simoneau.

This unit is in need of a major off-season renovation. While Trotter was one of the league's better run-defending inside linebackers, both Jones and Adams had disappointing seasons.

The Eagles' decision to turn the undersized Jones into a strongside linebacker has not worked very well. Adams is better suited for a special teams and backup role. The Eagles likely will move Jones back to the weak side and bring in a new strongside linebacker.

McCoy was the club's second-round pick in 2005, but he never got on the field, mainly because of problems picking up coordinator Jim Johnson's defense. The Eagles are expecting McCoy to make a significant contribution in '06.

If McCoy does in fact contribute, that will help, but there are no guarantees there. So, do the Eagles bring in another young linebacker to add to the mix and hope that he can provide the impact that they nned or do they look for a key veteran? Why not both?

San Francisco's Julian Peterson is a free agent and the Eagles are thought to be interested. Also on the free agency list is Carolina's Will Witherspoon. The Eagles' Keith Adams is a free agent as well, so they have to decide what they're going to do there, which could possibly open another spot.

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