Reid has taught McNabb well. -- Peter King
If healthy, L.J. Smith should put up the stats the Eagles envisioned (60 catches, 10 TDs a season) when they picked the Rutgers tight end in the second round of the 2003 draft. Battling lower-back pain, he shared playing time with Chad Lewis last season and had 34 receptions. However, after undergoing disk surgery in February, he has become one of Donovan McNabb's key guys. Look for Smith to become more of a pass-catching threat, with rookie free agent Stephen Spach the blocking tight end.
An Opposing Scout's View: Enemy Lines
Forget all this talk about Brian Westbrook being more important than Terrell Owens to this offense. If Westbrook were gone tomorrow, the rookie Ryan Moats could replace him and play very well. But you can't tell me Reggie Brown could have anywhere near the impact of Owens.... Nobody's talking about Tra Thomas's blood-clot problem, but if he misses significant time, that will be a huge loss. You can't expect a rookie, even one playing as well as Todd Herremans is in this camp, to go from Saginaw Valley State to the NFL and play well right away. Imagine his having to handle the quickness of the Falcons in the Monday-night opener.... A big weakness is depth on the defensive line. If Sam Rayburn has to play much, he'll hurt the run defense. He can't hold the point of attack well enough.... Keith Adams might be their best playmaking linebacker, which doesn't say much. I worry about Jeremiah Trotter and his bad knees holding up for 16 games.... If I had to pick one kicker in football right now, I'd take Adam Vinatieri [of the Patriots]; No. 2 would be David Akers. He's accurate, clutch and long.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2004 statistics
2004 RECORD: 13--3
NFL RANK (rush/pass/total): OFFENSE 24/7/9 DEFENSE 16/12/10
COACH: Andy Reid; seventh season with Philadelphia (64--32 in NFL)