Here is a breakdown of the defense and special teams following Saturday's transactions ...
Defensive End (6) - Victor Abiamiri, Jason Babin, Chris Clemons, Trent Cole, Darren Howard, Juqua Parker
The Eagles are known for rotating their defensive ends to keep them fresh and to incorporate the numerous pass rush specialists. But the foundation at defensive end is Trent Cole, the relentless, high-motor ironman who is dependable for all three downs on the right side. Cole was second on the team with 9.0 sacks last season, but he is the end that opposing offenses key in on trying to stop.
Victor Abiamiri enters his third year with a wealth of potential for a big year in 2009. Abiamiri is a physical beast at 267 pounds and is natural in stopping the run. He's worked hard on evolving his pass rush technique so that it looks more natural on the field. He battled injury in training camp
Juqua Parker is the incumbent starter at the left defensive end. Parker is a terrific athlete who is best used in specialized situations. Parker was one of the hardest-working players in the off-season conditioning program and started the first three preseason games. However, it is Abiamiri who is listed as the first-team left defensive end on the depth chart.
So, if Cole didn't lead the Eagles in sacks last season then who did? Darren Howard. A big free agent signing in 2006, Howard finally maximized his talent with his highest sack output since when he was a Saint in 2004.
Chris Clemons was signed last off-season as a pass rush specialist. He started slow, but posted four sacks in the final nine games. Jason Babin is the wild card in this mix. Signed on August 4 to add depth to the competition at the position, Babin flourished with an amazing preseason. A first-round pick of the Texans in 2004, Babin was moved from defensive end to linebacker and never fully adapted. With good strength, aggressiveness and a high-motor, Philadelphia might just be the ideal place suited for Babin's talents. Babin was re-signed to a contract with new terms on Friday.
To read the rest of the position-by-position reviews for the defense and special teams,click here.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 8:54 p.m., September 5