Philadelphia Eagles News

Mosley Tackles Issues Facing NFC East Teams

The NFC East landscape certainly has changed. Former Eagles' safety Brian Dawkins is in Denver, former Cowboys' receiver Terrell Owens is in Buffalo, and Giants' receiver Plaxico Burress is, well, out of football at the moment.

In Washington, quarterback Jason Campbell's confidence didn't necessarily get a boost amid reports that the team was interested in both disgruntled Denver quarterback Jay Cutler as well as USC's Mark Sanchez.

ESPN.com's Matt Mosley breaks it all down as he addresses five major training camp issues facing the teams from NFC East.

Not surprisingly, in terms of Philadelphia, Mosley addresses the question of whether we should be worried about the fact that defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and Brian Dawkins won't be in Eagles camp?

Mosley's response: "It's a sobering thought to Eagles fans, but it's about to become a reality. I think the Eagles will miss Dawkins' passion and penchant for the big play. His leadership skills were unmatched, but I think they'll be able to replace his production on the field.

"Quintin Mikell has quietly (because of Dawkins) become a really solid player. He's an instinctive player who's capable of having a breakout season in terms of takeaways. Quintin Demps will be an adequate replacement as a starting safety, and players such as Trent Cole and cornerback Asante Samuel will take on larger leadership roles on defense.

"Samuel's sort of mercurial guy, but he's loud on the practice field and makes plays when it counts. What he did last season in the playoffs helps give him even more credibility in the locker room. The Eagles need their young linebackers to continue to improve. That's where Jim Johnson's absence scares me a little bit because I think he's an unbelievable resource for the young guys.

"Fortunately for the Eagles, Sean McDermott has been a highly regarded understudy and I don't think the interim job will be too much for him. The Eagles also brought in an NFC East expert in former Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart. Andy Reid has immense respect for Stewart, so that should be a good fit. Plus, Stewart has extra incentive to prepare for the Cowboys since his good friend and mentor Wade Phillips fired him after the '08 season."

Heading into training camp, Mosley ranks the Giants ahead of the Eagles. He has the Giants winning the division at 12-4 and the Eagles right behind them at 11-5.

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 8:00 a.m., July 11

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