By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Former Ravens head coach and current Fox NFL analyst Brian Billick places the Eagles #1 in his power rankings, and he knows he’ll take some heat for it.

“In the other 31 cities I’m an idiot, but in Philadelphia I’m pretty smart,” Billick told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The WIP Morning Show on Thursday.

“They’ve got all the explosive weapons offensively,” Billick said. “Defensively, they got better and better with every week. I think they’ll be even better on defense this year. I think picking up DeMeco Ryans was huge…I think they’re poised to have a great year.”

Billick agrees with almost everyone about the importance of Michael Vick’s health being first on the Eagles needs for success this year, but says that doesn’t make them much different than anyone else in the league. “How good is GB without Aaron Rodgers? How good is New England without Tom Brady? Every team, you can’t think of as a legitimate Super Bowl contender when they lose their starting quarterback. Now, the fact the Michael Vick plays the way he does, here is going to be the difficulty,” he said.

As for the defense, Billick says this year is a put-up or shut up type year for defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. “They’ve now had an entire season, they’ve had an entire off season, to integrate themselves with not only their talent, but the scheme in terms of how they are going to utilize the strengths of each of the guys that they have,” Billick said. “They’ll play well or they won’t play well. But Jaun Castillo has deserved, has earned, the point to get to ‘Ok this guy has done it now, let’s move on’.”

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