Getting Back a Piece 

Questions surround the Eagles defense heading into the offseason. A unit in need of an upgrade first awaits the status of its defensive coordinator. Jonathan Gannon has had multiple head coaching interviews and could be in line to get a job elsewhere as a head coach.

Despite the uncertainty of the defensive coordinator, the Eagles defense will get a boost heading into next season. The Eagles lost Brandon Graham in week two of the NFL season to an Achilles injury. Brandon Graham was missed by the Eagles defense all season. It feels like people have forgotten about the injury to Brandon Graham. The Eagles longest-tenured player has been a vital piece of the Eagles defense for years and coming off his first Pro-Bowl season, Graham was set to have another big year. Before any trades or the draft happens, the Eagles are upgrading on defense with BG coming back.

Why the Eagles Missed BG

Brandon Graham is the heart and soul of the Eagles team. His energy is unmatched and he is the motor that makes the defense go. Graham has been a leader on this team for years and was a key piece of the Super Bowl run. The Eagles defense seemed to lack some juice this year and that’s no surprise with no BG out. He brings a different vibe to the team and often talks trash to opposing teams keeping things loose for the Birds.

Graham is also arguably the Eagles best defender. Last season, he led the team in sacks with 8, which would have led the team this year (Hargrave: 7.5; Sweat: 7.5). The next highest sack total was 3.5 sacks from Fletcher Cox. The Eagles clearly missed Graham’s production and the depth he added to the D-Line. Especially from the outside, the Birds struggled getting to the quarterback all year. Hopefully getting BG back can be one of the solutions to the problem. His presence can also take pressure off players like Cox and Hargrave. Graham makes the defensive line more dangerous.

Although the Eagles need to bolster the defensive line, they still have some pieces. Hargrave and Sweat are coming off good seasons. Fletcher Cox has taken a step back, but he can still be an impactful player. Before the injury Graham was a great player; hopefully, he can regain his form coming off a tough Achilles injury. If the Eagles add some talent via free agency or the draft, they will have a much improved defensive line.

Next Season

How much should we expect from the returning Eagle next season? The defensive line needs help, so Graham will need to be an impactful player. I haven’t seen many signs of him slowing down and I expect him to have a good year. Graham will come back with a chip on his shoulder and be one of the Eagles sack leaders next season. A defense in need of a boost will get back one of its own next year, adding to what will hopefully be a much improved defense.

Regardless of his on-field success, we know that Brandon Graham’s impact as a person on this football team will be a difference maker next year. He will forever be an all-time Eagle and has the biggest play in Eagles history. I know Eagles Nation can’t wait to see him on the field next season. 

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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