Philadelphia Eagles News

Reid: Ready For Plenty Of Competition

Andy Reid and the Eagles did exactly what they set out to do when the NFL Draft commenced on Saturday.

With the additions of players like Ellis Hobbs (trade with New England) and Victor "Macho" Harris, the Eagles are once again deep in the defensive backfield.

The team also strengthened itself on special teams with the addition of return men like Hobbs, Harris and Jeremy Maclin.

That's just one example of how Philadelphia improved itself on draft weekend.

"Right now, I wanted to create as much competition as we can," Reid said. "I think that strengthens you as a football team."

Hobbs, who was acquired for two fifth-round picks in this year's draft, was a starter at cornerback for the Patriots and finished first in the AFC in kickoff return average in 2008. In other words, the Eagles now have an option to replace Quintin Demps' kickoff return production just in case he wins the full-time free safety job out of training camp. Furthermore, Maclin was just two yards shy of setting a new NCAA single-season record for kick return yardage in 2007.

"I think we have good competition there," Reid said. "I think that's important, as long as it's good competition, as long as the players are good. We try to create some kind of competition. I think we did that. I thought we needed to bring in some offensive players, so that's the direction we went."

That's also the kind of competition that Reid likes. Look at the Eagles' secondary. After losing Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard in the off-season, the Eagles have reloaded by re-signing Joselio Hanson, trading for Hobbs and drafting Harris. Add that to the possible emergence of last year's fourth-round pick Jack Ikegwuonu and the return of veteran corners Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown, not to mention Demps and Quintin Mikell, and the Eagles feel as if they are just as good, if not better, than they were last year.

"You can't have enough corners in this league," Reid said. "We'll see how everything works out. I feel like I got three solid starters and I know Jose can step in there and also start. He hasn't had to do that, but I know he can. I think we have four solid corners with some young guys to work for positions after that."

Reid was quick to caution people not to anoint any of these players as franchise-saviors just yet. After all, football isn't played on paper.

"I think its gone well, but I want to see these kids and how they function in our system," Reid said. "I don't want to christen these guys before we see how they perform. But on paper, it looks good. It's important that we gel together as a football team. We have to go through that whole training camp experience, keep the injuries out of the picture, that type of thing. See how these young guys grow in our system here."

Reid said that this draft afforded teams the chance to maneuver more than others because of the quantity of quality players available from top to bottom.

"I think it was a solid draft," Reid said. "That group of players presented you with a solid draft. However, I don't think you had that number of great players, that people consider great players, as you would in past years although they might turn out that way. I think the players were a little more condensed and you had a bigger volume of them, where you didn't have the separation, so it allowed you to trade down and get all those fifth-round picks."

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