A Year Ago

Posted: June 18th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 43 Comments »

There is a lot of optimism with the Eagles right now. Carson Wentz just had his two best practices of the spring. The WRs have played well and look to be an incredibly improved unit. The defense has looked outstanding. Rookies Rasul Douglas and Derek Barnett might challenge for starting roles. And Donnie Jones is still around to carry the team on his back if needed.

Is this bogus hype?

That’s a fair question to ask. All 32 teams are feeling good right now. Players are running around in shorts and everyone looks fast. Teams are healthy and the players are happy. They aren’t worn down by long practices in the middle of summer. This is the time for optimism. Everyone sees the glass as half full right now.

I went back and re-read some posts from last June to offer perspective. Things were not ideal.

  • Carson Wentz, the #3 QB, was up and down. We were mainly excited that he threw deep more often than Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel.
  • Nelson Agholor was struggling. Drops were an issue already.
  • Reuben Randle, T.J. Graham and Chris Givens were a mess.
  • There was hope that Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll could be solid starters. Oops.
  • Eric Rowe was really struggling.
  • Josh Huff, like the rest of the receivers, was disappointing.
  • There was a buzz that TE Chris Pantale and LB Quentin Gause would make the roster. Neither did.
  • Taylor Hart was a DT.
  • Myke Tavarres potential existed. Sort of.
  • DGB was underachieving for a different team.

I’m not saying the team was a trainwreck last spring. There were some highlights. But there were also some real issues.

The 2017 Eagles are far from perfect, but do feel significantly improved, in terms of talent and performance. I would say Mike Groh has upgraded the coaching staff as well, but we need some more time before we know that for sure.

I think it is okay to feel good about this team right now.


Jimmy Bama has listed five players who impressed him this spring.

Donnel Pumphrey

Spring practices in helmets and shorts are set up perfectly for players like Pumphrey, who is a small but shifty, elusive player. In spring practices, Pumphrey got more reps than any other back on the roster, and the Eagles moved him all around the formation. It seems pretty clear that they want to get him involved in the offense in a dynamic role.

Additionally, Pumphrey looked comfortable fielding kicks and punts. That’s not something he did much of in college games, since he essentially was San Diego State’s offense, and they didn’t want to risk getting him injured on special teams. However, it is something he worked on in practice every day at SDSU, which is already serving him well at the pro level.

This young man has really grown on me. The Eagles list him as a RB, but he really should be called ATH. Pumphrey is an athletic playmaker. They expect him to be a weapon. At this point, I’m not sure the comparisons to Darren Sproles make sense. Pumphrey is going to move around and do a lot of different things. He won’t get a ton of touches, but he can offer impact.


43 Comments on “A Year Ago”

  1. 1 ColorSgt said at 12:49 AM on June 18th, 2017:

    Awesome post Tommy. Great to look back at last year for reference/perspective.

  2. 2 增达网 said at 4:07 AM on June 18th, 2017:










  3. 3 SteveH said at 7:05 AM on June 18th, 2017:

    I feel good going into this season. Last year was a total mystery and I think most of us had resigned ourselves to a sort of lost season while we waited for Wentz to mature on the bench. Guess it goes to show that anything can happen, so maybe there will be some big surprises in store for us this year too.

  4. 4 Dave said at 4:42 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    I feel similar to how I felt in 2000 when Donny started his 2nd season.

    I have confidence in the QB and I’m feeling pretty confident the coaches and front office will put him in a position to succeed.

    It’s a good time to be an Eagles fan and I welcome all future bandwagon fans.

  5. 5 CrackSammich said at 5:35 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    I think you’re accurate to preseason feelings. Then we went 4-0 to start and people let themselves feel happy, which led to the inevitable Philadelphian cynicism taking over once the season we expected came to be.

  6. 6 A_T_G said at 8:44 AM on June 18th, 2017:

    “Myke Tavarres potential existed. Sort of.”

    I had forgotten about last year’s fringe player who I doomed to failure by rooting for his success. I wonder who will get the kiss of death this year.

  7. 7 Tumtum said at 6:33 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    You like bar fly untalented receivers? Would love to see a couple get the kiss of death.

  8. 8 Corry said at 8:48 AM on June 18th, 2017:

    I’m optimistic about the season. Which means we’ll have all the injuries ever and finish at 1-15.

  9. 9 P_P_K said at 10:25 AM on June 18th, 2017:

    I’m not the first to say it, but 2-14 will be a success as long as the two wins are over the Cowboys.

  10. 10 RogerPodacter said at 9:32 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    bonus if either of those wins comes late in the season and keeps them from the playoffs!

  11. 11 P_P_K said at 11:29 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    Last game of the regular season, 12/31, at home. NFL drama at its best.

  12. 12 SteveH said at 1:55 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    I had a dream a couple nights ago that Blount pulled a hammy in our first game. Weird ass dream.

  13. 13 Gary Barnes said at 10:20 AM on June 18th, 2017:

    I think it is fine to feel good now, but this team does have issues and those issues are not going away until they are effectively addressed by Roseman & Co.

    So, optimism is perfectly reasonable, but making sure to hold them accountable and staying realistic is as well. There is no one way to be a good Eagles fan.

  14. 14 SteveH said at 12:39 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Wow, sounds like Fultz to Sixers is happening. So now who do they take at #5?

  15. 15 FairOaks said at 10:57 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Last I saw we only have protection if its #1 overall. Boston gets protection if it falls out of the top 5, which is when they get the sac pick instead. Not sure it’s a fleecing — they only drop two spots in a deep draft. Especially if they decided they were not going to draft fultz anyways — they may well prefer trade chips to get an established veteran. This may let them keep the nets pick next year and still make a trade. There may also be salary cap complications for them — less sure on that but they have a player or two they want to re sign.

    Hopefully it’s just a deal which made sense for both sides. Ainge often gets much the better of trades and at least this isn’t that. I’m guessing Boston didn’t have many suitors if they wanted to trade down just a little which may have meant Ainge did not have a ton of leverage.

  16. 16 scratcherk said at 1:21 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Happy father’s day fellas!

  17. 17 daveH said at 2:20 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Happy Dads Day Dudes

  18. 18 Will Defence Win Championship said at 2:20 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Feel really good about changes to the D=Line, WR’s, RB’s positions…not crazy about the CB’s position but we’ll see time will tell. Overall if they keep working hard and stay healthy this team should be really really good…at least play offs, SB maybe but the Defense still needs tweaking to get there I think.

  19. 19 Ankerstjernen said at 5:46 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    …still a lot of unknowns out there. Torrey Smith, Curry, Barnett, Jernigan, Mills, Douglas and Blount are all pretty much unknowns that may or may not be succesful here – and who really has to be good for us to even get into position for the playoffs. I think they might be. But, would you be very surprised if none of them had a good year?

  20. 20 Tumtum said at 6:30 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Can we definitively say that this team is more talented than any other team in the NFC East? Better coached?

  21. 21 Crus57 said at 6:49 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Even if we could say that, none of it will matter it we’re not also healthier than our rivals.

  22. 22 Insomniac said at 7:23 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    We’re better than the Redskins.

  23. 23 DJH said at 7:28 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Sure, but we need to show it by beating them. They’ve owned us the past couple years. We’ll have an opportunity to send a message week one!

  24. 24 Tumtum said at 9:30 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    I would like to think so too. I would like to think that we are the best team in the division. I can’t say with any certainty that we are better than the Redskins. We haven’t shown it lately.

  25. 25 Insomniac said at 2:14 PM on June 19th, 2017:

    It hasn’t shown recently (I blame Chip Kelly) in results but the games last year ended up being pretty close.

  26. 26 daveH said at 8:45 PM on June 18th, 2017:

    Listened to Giants radio a week ago..they feel their biggest weakness is O Line. .and perhsps coaching

  27. 27 D3FB said at 7:55 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    No but I also don’t think they’re definitively worse either.

  28. 28 Tumtum said at 2:13 PM on June 19th, 2017:

    Right, and I wasn’t trying to imply that either. Just not sure anyone should be counting eggs before they are hatched.

  29. 29 D3FB said at 3:56 AM on June 20th, 2017:

    I don’t think anyone is. I think there’s a general sense of optimism due to overall improvement headed into this year. I’d say most people expect playoffs but won’t be shocked if we just miss out.

  30. 30 Tumtum said at 8:26 PM on June 20th, 2017:

    I think I am letting my disappointment in last year’s team cloud my judgment a little, to be honest. I just feel like I have no clue what this team is really gonna do. Could they sweep the division, well no, win it? Sure. Get swept? Heck yes. My thermometer feels broken. I dunno.

  31. 31 D3FB said at 9:21 AM on June 21st, 2017:

    I think we’re roughly where the Giants were last year. 7 wins wouldn’t surprise me but neither would being an uninspiring 11 win team.

  32. 32 eagleyankfan said at 8:21 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    definitive in June? lmfao……

  33. 33 Tumtum said at 2:11 PM on June 19th, 2017:

    I guess you missed the point.

  34. 34 eagleyankfan said at 7:14 PM on June 19th, 2017:

    Guess so..blanket comments tend to lose people…

  35. 35 CrackSammich said at 2:08 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    Why are the #Jets considering Josh McCown?“Even when you go to kindergarten, someone has to be the teacher.” – Todd Bowles— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) June 13, 2017

  36. 36 kajomo said at 9:34 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    I agree that we are a better team than last year, but I think our fan base has a lot of false optimism right now.

    1) We have a brutal schedule
    2) 2nd year QB.
    3) no dominant unit. A dominant unit can mask a lot of weaknesses (Dallas OL, Denver defense masked poor WB play 2 years ago, Aaron Rodgers, Falcons offense, etc)
    4) Glaring weakness at CB

    If you are someone who can enjoy the ride, be excited. This is going to be a fun season. This is a team in the upswing. We get to see Carson and the team grow and develop.

    If you expectation is playoffs or bust, I think you are in for some serious disappointment. We will be a much better team without a significant improvement in our W/L record.

  37. 37 Michael Folk said at 10:08 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    Agree, I think we have a very solid team that will beat lesser teams almost always but it will be close (most of the time) against good or similar competition/opponents. If we had a good corner (or two) I would feel very good about making the playoffs.

  38. 38 Rellihcs said at 10:14 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    DL is arguably dominant

  39. 39 kajomo said at 10:21 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    We will have a good DL, but Im fairly confident we won’t look back at our 2017 DL 15 years from now and be like “that DL was unbelievable.” That is not dominance.

    Add in the fact that our CBs are so bad that we will again see teams employ a quick passing attack to minimize our DL’s effectiveness.

  40. 40 FairOaks said at 10:26 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    If Barnett turns out well, and significantly improves on Barwin (who was not as good as anticipated in the 4-3), then yes we could be very very good there. Even with Barwin, they were good early before teams figured out how to attack the secondary.

    It’s the CB thing which has me most concerned, for sure.

  41. 41 Rellihcs said at 10:28 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    We’re clearly talking in unknowns here but I’m not so sure that we won’t be saying that in 5 years.

  42. 42 FairOaks said at 10:23 AM on June 19th, 2017:

    I think having Lane an entire season last year would have affected the W-L then (in a good way), even given last years’ WRs. And we had a 1st year QB then. I do think our offense will be substantially better than last year.

    The CB thing is still concerning to me. That (plus losing the slot corner) made the secondary bad enough to negate the DL last year, and there’s no guarantee we are even as good as we were last year there. There is hope, certainly (maybe Robinson bounces back and is better than McKelvin, and Douglas is better than Carroll, and Mills/Brooks can play the slot just fine.)

  43. 43 Iggles Blitz » Blog Archive » All 53 Matter said at 1:06 PM on June 19th, 2017:

    […] We spent a lot of time the past few weeks discussing Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Derek Barnett and other key players. The Eagles are going to need all 53 guys on the roster to find a way to contribute. With that in mind, I wrote about some role players on the rise for PE.com. […]