The Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2013 free agency period in need of major overhaul in all three phases of the game. They began that rebuilding process with the signing of Patrick Chung and Bradley Fletcher. The additions of Cary Williams and Kenny Phillips could prove to be huge additions in the complete rebuilding process of the defense.
In 2012, the Eagles secondary was a huge disappointment, as former Pro Bowl players Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie gave up an extraordinary number of big plays and made very few. The Eagles gave allowed a league leading 33 touchdown passes, and their 8 interceptions tied for second worst in the league. To noone’s surprise, Asomugha and Cromartie are no longer with the Eagles.
Patrick Chung and Bradley Fletcher should be solid pieces to the Eagles’ secondary in 2013. Chung played for the New England Patiriots from 2009 through 2012. Last season he had 44 tackles and 2 interceptions in 12 games. Bradley Fletcher played for the St. Louis Rams from 2009 through 2012. He contributed, mainly off the bench, with 28 tackles and an interception.
The big pieces of the puzzle for the Eagles’ secondary came with the signing of free agents Cary Williams and Kenny Phillips. Williams was a 16 game starter for Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens in both 2011 and 2012. He is a physical cornerback who had 76 tackles and 4 interceptions in 2012. One of those interceptions was returned for a touchdown. Williams alone had half of what the Eagles entire defensive had in interceptions in 2012. He can get beat for the big play at times, but brings a physical presence and winning attitude that the Eagles need.
Kenny Phillips is a hard hitting safety who played the last 5 seasons with the New York Giants. He missed 9 games last season due to a knee injury, but that should not be an issue for the Eagles in 2013. Phillips had 82 tackles and 4 interceptions in 2011, and should rebound off the 2012 injury and have a similar impact with the Eagles. Like Williams, Phillips brings a winning attitude, having won a Super Bowl with the Giants.
The is much work left to be done with the Eagles’ defense as they move to a 3-4 system, but the additions of Williams and Phillips are a big step for the Eagles in tightening up the pass defense. What may be even more important is that both bring a much needed toughness and winning attitude to the Eagles that has been missing for several seasons.