Saturday, May 3, 2014
Adding pass-rusher not priority for Eagles
By Andy Jasner
PHILADELPHIA -- While the Philadelphia Eagles finished 10-6 and won the NFC East title in coach Chip Kelly’s rookie season, there are a number of holes to plug heading into 2014.
Addressing their ability to rush the passer is a huge concern.
Or is it?
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman indicated he was OK with standing pat in terms of pass-rushing.
But the Eagles managed only 37 sacks last season, which ranked 20th in the league. In seven of those 16 games, they had one sack or fewer.
The NFL draft opens on Thursday and the Eagles hold the No. 22 pick in the first round.
“You’re always looking to add pass-rushers,” Roseman said. “There’s no doubt about it.
“But at the same time, you don’t want to sign or draft someone that you don’t think is a good player and that you don’t think is worth the resource that you put out there, whether it’s a pick or money. Those are hard guys to find.”
“Trent Cole was a 4-3 defensive end who came in his first year and had eight sacks and most of them were in the second half of the season when everyone would say, ‘Well, maybe he’s gonna start to wear down,’” Roseman said. “When you look at his production over the last couple of years versus the better pass-rushers in the NFL, it’s pretty good. I don’t think he gets enough credit for his transition into this defense and the production he had.
“And then Brandon Graham has shown he can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4. We’re always gonna be looking for those guys. Obviously we brought in Connor, who we think is a really good fit. And we have some young guys that are here in the offseason that we’re excited to see, that we almost feel like are extra draft picks.”