Philadelphia Eagles News: 5 Players Under the Radar Heading Into Camp.
On offense the Eagles have one of the most dynamic collection of players in the NFL, including quarterback Michael Vick, running back LeSean McCoy, and wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles have a strong one-two defensive punch of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, two of the best defensive backs in the league.
But as the football world saw last season, star power alone doesn't necessarily translate into a winning season. Chemistry is what makes good teams great, as well as exceptional performances by players who aren't perennial Pro Bowlers. Here is a list of players to watch who will go into next season under the radar:
Perhaps the most consistent receiver on the Eagles, Avant caught 52 passes last season for 679 yards. 33 of those catches were for a first down, while the ex- Michigan Wolverine caught 15 of those 33 completions on third down. Embracing an increasingly larger role on the Eagles, look for Avant to continue performing well in pressure situations and help his team to a playoff berth next season.
Casey Matthews, the younger brother of All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews, plays with the same tenacity as his more famous brother. Although he only started four games last season, he recorded tackles in every game. Matthews, like his brother, has an incredible football sense and is always in on the action. Don't be surprised to see Matthews start all next season and emerge as a leader on defense.
The Eagles received a lot of criticism last season for not re-signing veteran kicker David Akers, but found a new bright spot on special teams in Henery. Last season, he went 24 for 27, and his 88.9 percent field goal percentage was good for fifth in the league. He came into Philly after being the NCAA's all-time most accurate kicker.
Hanson gets a big opportunity to compete as the Eagles' third cornerback after the team traded All-Pro Asante Samuel to the Atlanta Falcons. He suits up next to two Pro Bowlers, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and could give the Eagles the best secondary in the NFL if he plays anywhere near the level of his two more accomplished teammates.
Defensive lineman will have their hands full getting past Evan Mathis, a 6-foot-5, 302-pound right guard. He will look to bring stability to an offensive line that s struggled last season. However Mathis, along with teammates Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, should do a better job this season at giving Vick the time he needs to make plays downfield to reignite the dynamic offense.
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|Publication:||International Business Times - US ed.|
|Date:||Jul 2, 2012|
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