With the 2012 NFL draft now a few days old, fans can really digest how each team did. In the case of the Philadelphia Eagles, the draft served as the icing on the cake in this fairly strong offseason. In 2011, the Eagles brought in big names that generated a lot of buzz. We all remember Vince Young dubbing the Eagles the "Dream Team." However, the 2012 offseason has been infinitely better despite the lack of big name signings. In fact, this has been the rosiest offseason for the Eagles since 2004. Philadelphia wound up in the Super Bowl that season and fans should expect the same thing to happen in 2012. Here are some reasons to be optimistic about what the Eagles have done so far this offseason.
The defense has gotten athletic
In 2011, the Philadelphia defense was set up to fail. Not only were they breaking in a defensive coordinator with no experience on that side of the ball, but they were doing it with players that lacked athleticism. This offseason has been a clear indication that the Eagles aren't content with that in 2012. The linebacking corps has been the biggest example of an upgrade. DeMeco Ryans gives the unit instant credibility while rookie Mychal Kendricks will provide immediate help. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Boykin also fit the athletic mold of the team. The Eagles have added players that can tackle, something that was a sore spot in 2011.
The drama is gone
DeSean Jackson has a new contract and should be happy. Asante Samuel is gone so he won't be a distraction. The closest thing that this team has to drama is the unsettled future of LeSean McCoy. That won't be as big of a deal as it was with Jackson in 2011, so fans shouldn't worry too much about it. The Eagles can finally focus on football and there should be minimal distractions. For a team looking to rebound and make a big splash this season, that can only help.
It's not over yet
As smart as Philadelphia has been, there might be more moves to come. If there is a player that becomes available during training camp, you can bet that the Eagles will bring him into the fold. I wouldn't be surprised to see the team grab a safety should one become available. I could also see them adding another tight end or wide receiver. The point is that for the first time in a long time, the Eagles aren't feeding us the usual nonsense that the team they have is good enough to win. It is starting to feel like they will do whatever it takes to make the Super Bowl a reality.
* - Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong Eagles fan.
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