The Impact of the Philadelphia Eagles New Offensive Line
The 2008 season had extreme ups and downs for not just the Eagles but fantasy football owners that had Eagle players on their teams. One week Brian Westbrook would come out with 3 td’s and a 100 yard rushing day and the next 3 weeks you couldn’t find him. Then only to come out of the wood work have another great game and then run back into his hiding place. Truth of the matter is that the Eagles great comeback late in the season and through the playoffs was never really one of great offensive stats but how they came together as a team in hard times. A group of seasoned veterans that had played together many years and road it out together.
After the season ended and free agency began the Eagles part ways with long time vets like LT Tre Thomas, RT Jon Runyan, SS Brian Dawkins, RB Correll Buckhaulter and TE LJ Smith. At first these key loses had me very concerned about the Eagles for 2009. Too be honest I was ticked off about it all figuring that poor Donovan McNabb was going to get the shaft again with even less support around him.
As free agency’s gone forward I’ve grown to be very pleased so far with what the Eagles have added not only for 2009 but beyond as well. First signing Shawn Andrews big brother RT Shane Andrews away from the Bengals. Then made a quite but good move in snagging FB Lenard Weaver away from the Seahawks. And now the big trade to get LT Jason Peters away from the Bills for a 1st (28th overall) and a 4th round pick this this years draft. Just the thought of Peters and Shawn Andrews lining up on the left side of the line makes me droll about the holes they will open for Westbrook. With Shane Andrews on the other bookend side McNabb should be well protected for a long time to come in Philadelphia.
The Eagles still have their 21st overall pick left in the first round. Many analysts seem to think they will use that pick on a running back like Knowshon Moreno from the Georgia Bulldogs. I think they would be better served getting more defense or a tight end possibly Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma State Cowboys to replace LJ Smith (gone to the Ravens). Then later in the draft (they have four 5th round picks) select a serviceable backup for Westbrook. One that hopefully isn’t too good of a goal line runner so old Westbrook can still get those touchdowns. Then again odds are I probably won’t have Westbrook on my team next year so hopefully they do draft a great goal line voulcher.
From a fantasy football perspective
In the end it may seem trendy to say but it’s true, “It all starts up front.” This holds true in any good offense and for any effective fantasy player. So to me as great as it would be to see the Eagles trade another high pick for lets say Anquain Bolden. It’s still nice to say it’s safe to rank Westbrook as a top 7 runner this year. Also while McNabb and DeShaun Jackson shouldn’t be high draft picks on your team next year they do have a good chance to contribute to a successful season for your team.
Written By: Sean Douglas- fantasy-info.com
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