CLEARLY the Eagles Special Team Kick Coverage unit has lost something since last season. In my opinion what they lost was OLB Bryan Braman. In fact, it already looks similar to the falloff we experienced when we foolishly let LB Ike Reese go to Atlanta, after the 2004 Super Bowl.
For the last three years, Braman was a ST demon for this team under ST Coordinator Dave Fipp. Funny thing is, while we’re experiencing a slide in our kick coverage, Braman is sitting at home. Unsigned. Last I heard, he was visiting with the Saints earlier this month, but apparently that didn’t work out.
Typically football fans undervalue the importance of great Special Teams kick coverage. They don’t realize how it sets the table for a defense. Forcing poor field position, followed by a three and out (or a turnover), sets up an offense with a short field and an ability to score quickly.
Frequently the only yards fans and pundits discuss, are what an offense produces or what a defense allows. The “hidden yardage” of Special Teams generally gets ignored. Not investing in a kick coverage unit, can cost a team that hidden yardage battle, many times over the course of a season. Losing that battle can easily contribute to losing the game. With that in mind, it seems like someone in our Front Office needs to make a phone call, and get Fipp a guy he can work with.