Philadelphia Eagles News

State Of The Safety Position

As we begin to wind down our look at the state of each position heading into the second half of the season, let's take a look at the safety position.

What They've Accomplished: Strong safety Quintin Mikell was an All-Pro in 2008, a Pro Bowl honoree last season and is well on his way to garnering more accolades after a strong start to the 2010 season. Mikell leads the team with 57 tackles - no one else has 50 - and also has seven pass knockdowns, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception, one sack and a touchdown. Head coach Andy Reid will even tell you that Mikell has been one of the team's – not just on defense - best players this season. What has helped Mikell has been the emergence of rookie free safety Nate Allen. The second-round pick is fourth on the team with 38 tackles and is one of the league leaders with three interceptions. Allen has great range, good instincts, is a solid tackler and can make big plays. Allen has provided everything that the position sorely lacked last season. Seventh-round pick Kurt Coleman has been inserted in three-safety packages and has six tackles of his own this season.

What Lies Ahead: Allen did struggle in the loss to the Titans, but it would be unfair to think that at some point the team would not experience some growing pains. With the Eagles in the thick of the NFC East race, it will be imperative that Allen limits the big plays when he is the deep coverage safety. Mikell is not just one of the best players on defense, but one of the team's leaders as well. Mikell needs to continue to lead by example and make the big plays on the field. But with a young team that is going to be tested in the second half of the season, he needs to lean on the experience gained in the numerous playoff runs to help this team fulfill the potential that it has.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:00 a.m., October 31

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