Remember the days of the Andy Reid era when a player got injured and the next player would step in and do his job efficiently? What happened? This season when a player gets hurt all hell breaks loose. Jason Peters and Jason Kelce are lost for the season and the offensive line falls apart. Jeremy Maclin misses the Arizona game and the offense does nothing. Nate Allen gets hurt in the fourth quarter and the Eagles blow a 10 point lead, twice in the fourth quarter. Let’s not forget how bad the coverage units were on special teams without Riley Cooper, Akeem Jordan and Colt Anderson.
Depth is the biggest key to any team trying to compete for a Super Bowl. This is football and injuries are a big part of it. Most players are trying to inflict pain on another player. Injuries are just a part of the game. This is why your backups are so crucial to your success. For some reason, Andy Reid has forgotten that.
There was no plan in place for an injury to left tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce or any of the starting safeties. This offseason the Eagles brought in Demetress Bell to take over for Peters at left tackle after he injured his Achilles in March. Bell was castoff from a bad Buffalo Bills offensive line and had never played in Howard Mudd’s blocking scheme before. Obviously there was going to be a learning curve.
Last season Jamaal Jackson and Jason Kelce were competing for the starting center spot. Kelce one and Jackson was a solid veteran backup. This season the Eagles brought in Dallas Reynolds and Steve Vallos to compete for the backup center spot. Neither has much NFL experience, and neither should be a starting center in the NFL. Because of Kelce’s knee injury, one of them will have to be from here on out.
The lack of depth at safety you can blame on O.J. Atogwe’s injuries and Jaiquawn Jarrett being a horrendous second round draft pick back in 2011. The Eagles traded for backup safety David Sims from the Cleveland Browns and made Colt Anderson, who is really nothing more than a special teams ace, the backup for Nate Allen at strong safety.
Because of some bad drafts on the defensive sad of the football lately and a new blocking scheme brought in by Howard Mudd last season, the Eagles have been a very thin team. In the past with this Eagles squad it was always “send the next guy in” when someone got hurt. These days it seems that every injury is one step closer to sending this team to the cellar of the NFC.
Andy Reid is still a good football coach, but he and his front office have really left this football team vulnerable to injuries lately. As bad as Juan Castillo, Michael Vick and the special teams unit has been, it has been the injuries that have really crippled this team.