As the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles have a pretty stacked roster. They still have a few questions to answer in 2018.
For the most part, the Eagles have avoided the massive roster turnover that generally follows a Super Bowl victory. That doesn’t mean everything is set in Philadelphia though. Doug Pederson still has his fair share of issues to work out during the 2018 campaign.
No other NFL coaches are feeling sorry for him though. He’s blessed with a ton of talent to work with on both sides of the ball. Pederson needs to worry more about keeping each member of his squad happy than trying to find players who can contribute. His ability to manage egos will play a big part in determining whether or not this team can win another championship.
Most everything went right for the Eagles last year, but that might not happen two seasons in a row. The first question we’ll examine is whether a talented defensive end can take a big step forward.
5. Can Derek Barnett step up?
Barnett made a massive strip sack to help the Eagles win a Super Bowl, but his rookie season was pretty uninspiring overall. Jim Schwartz and the rest of the defensive coaching staff will want to see Barnett take a big step forward in his sophomore season.
He’s never going to be a dominant run defender. What Barnett does well is get after the quarterback. Unfortunately, he only notched five sacks in his rookie campaign. It’s not a stretch to say he has the talent to hit double-digits in 2018.
The former Tennessee defensive end will get plenty of opportunities. His offense is going to give his unit a lot of leads to protect next season. That means opponents will be forced to try to catch up via the pass. Every time a quarterback drops back, Barnett’s job is to hunt him down. His ability to do so will have a big effect on how good this Eagles defense can be in 2018.