State of the Team Philadelphia Eagles The Eagles main beliefs are that they like to build through the draft and get missing pieces via Free Agency. It has been a solid and winning approach most of the way through the Reid/Laurie Era. This year the Birds opened Free Agency with a bang causing some to recall the same period in 2004 when the Eagles signed Jevon Kearse and acquired Terrell Owens and felt their missing pieces were finally found. That bang was the acquisition of star CB Asante Samuel on day one and they have been involved in discussions with many other players and teams throughout the entire process. It has to make fans feel good that their team does what it takes to have a chance to win in this league. Coaching Changes There were no major changes in coaching philosophy. 2008 Team Needs The Eagles, based on talent and free agent signings, are going to be playing a lot more 3-4 Defense next season. Guys like Trent Cole, Juqua Thomas, Chris Clemons, Victor Abiamiri are some serious edge rushers. They will also employ a 4-3 nickel defense with 3 of the best corners in the game on the field at the same time. One weakness would be the safety position, Brian Dawkins is a rock but is getting up there and next to him has been mediocre play at best. Offensive line could have some concern with Winston Justice being blown up by Osi Umenyiora for 6 sacks last season, but Westbrook was also out of that game and he is an excellent blocker and aids the Oline. Id cough that up to first game and Osi being a beast, but again Andy always likes to be deep in the trenches. Wide Receiver has been a position of concern since Terrell Owens departure. Kevin Curtis and Donte Stallworth have been adequate, but they still lack that true #1 playmaker that Reggie Brown has not lived up to thus far. Special Teams was another problem a year ago. I could site two examples of games where it cost them victories, one being opening day at Green Bay. A KR/ WR would be ideal for them Possible Free Agent Solutions The only player that I could see them targeting is Bryant Johnson. He has the talent, size and skills to be a big time guy, but with a guy like Antonio Bryant signing before him makes me really question if he can put it all together. D.J. Hackett is another option, but has just scheduled his first meeting of the Free Agency period today, 3/12/08. As for other areas of concern, their options are to overpay in Free Agency or draft and pay cheap. The latter wins that debate everytime. Possible Drat Solutions: The Eagles currently hold the Following picks 19(1st Round) 49(2nd Round) 80(3rd Round) In addition they have a 4th (111), 5th (146), 6th (177) & 7th (208). The Eagles are also going to receive 4 compensatory picks. One each from rounds 4-7. With the 1st rounder, They could go in a couple directions depending upon who is available. If Kenny Phillips is there, he is the no-brainer pick, even with everyone pegging the Eagles as taking a WR. Im telling you the Eagles value DBs a lot and Safety is a major need. If Phillips is gone, then a couple of the WRs are a possibility, one likely target being DeSean Jackson. Dont rule out the Oline as Chris Williams of Jeff Otah could be taken and then target a WR like Thomas, Hardy, Nelson in the 2nd round. If they are not looking for a WR, then shift it back to Oline/S. Also, the Eagles have many middle-late round picks and have never been shy about moving around. So, expect some of that. The 3rd round pick will be used to further fill holes not addressed in the first 2 picks. Possible selections are Chris Ellis as an edge rusher or Craig Steltz a great SS prospect who has had problems staying on the field, however played the entire season and led the Championship Tigers in tackles and would be a nice pickup should the Eagles miss out on Phillips. Conclusion: The Eagles have definitely improved in some areas where needed and have been aggressive in their quest to return to the top of the NFC East. This gives fans something to believe in and get behind with confidence. They are by no means complete, but the upcoming draft should fill a few more holes with a few more found pieces.