The 2018 season was a learning experience for safeties coach Tim Hauck once trusted veteran Rodney McLeod went down in Week 3 against Indianapolis with a knee injury. The defense used a variety of players to replace McLeod, including rookie cornerback Avonte Maddox.
It was a lesson in chemistry and coaching for Hauck, and the Eagles made it work. But now that McLeod is healthy and, he says, on track to play in the opener against Washington, the Eagles are looking at a reunion of the McLeod-Malcolm Jenkins tandem, one of the best duos in the league.
And to have quality depth, the team signed veteran Andrew Sendejo in free agency, claimed Blake Countess off of waivers from the Rams, and continued to add depth throughout the spring practices. Tre Sullivan and Deiondre' Hall return looking to ward off the newly acquired competition.
"Andrew is a pro. There's a reason he's been in this league for 10 years," Hauck said. "He's athletic. He's a football guy all the way. He grinds and he constantly wants to know more. He's a good football player who is good for that room."
When the pads go on for the first time next Saturday, everything changes. That's the nature of the game. For now, Hauck is excited about what he's seen.
"I feel really good. I think we've got a deep group. I think we've got some young guys who are going to push each other; we've got an older group that are extremely good football players," Hauck said. "The things we have done in the offseason are all good things. Let's go play football."