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Eagles' Success Rests on Vick and the O Line

This NFL season will get underway in just 5 days. The Philadelphia Eagles will begin the season with a number of questions needing to be answered, but also with a lot of expectations placed on them. Whether the Eagles live up to those expectations or not remains to be seen.

The key to this season rests squarely on Howard Mudd and the play of his offensive line, and one Michael Vick. While these are two very different keys, they are inexplicably linked.

As I have discussed before, the Eagles signing Michael Vick to a huge contract concerns me on a number of levels. Vick's durability issues have been well chronicled. Last year, Vick was an MVP candidate for most of the year, until teams began to blitz him and exploit the Eagles inferior offensive line. Once that began, Vick began wilting.

This season was supposed to be different. Howard Mudd was going to come in and vastly improve the offensive line that Juan Castillo left behind to become the Eagles' defensive coordinator. While Mudd has certainly remade the offensive line, I don't know that anyone would call it vastly improved. Not even Howard Mudd.

Todd Herremans has made the move to right tackle to try and sure up the right side of the offensive line, and now has to re-learn the nuances of that position. In the meantime, with rookies Danny Watkins projected to start at right guard and Jason Kelce at center, it concerns me that maybe the Eagles and Howard Mudd are biting off more of a challenge than they can chew. Especially when you factor in Mudd's completely new system and the short offseason.

This offensive line is going to need time to grow together and play together. Unfortunately, time is a luxury the Philadelphia Eagles may not have. If the O line takes too long to gel, the Eagles may have Vince Young starting at quarterback instead of their $100 million man, Michael Vick.


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