The Same Page

Posted: June 25th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles made a concerted effort to get younger, faster and more explosive in the offseason. I think this was the right decision and that the team did a pretty good job of adding the right type of players.

In order for this to work the coaches must buy in.

The Eagles offense focused on bigger pass catchers in previous years. They traded for Dorial Green-Beckham in 2016. They signed Alshon Jeffery in 2017 and drafted Mack Hollins. Last year they drafted J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Those guys are all 6-3, 220 or so. Some even bigger.

This spring the Eagles drafted Jalen Reagor (5-11, 195), John Hightower (6-1, 189) and Quez Watkins (6-0, 185). They traded for Marquise Goodwin (5-9, 183). Tons of speed, but not much size.

I think the coaches saw the fatal flaws in the 2019 roster and will embrace the new receivers, but we do need to see this in action.

Last year L.J. Fort had a terrific preseason and looked just like the kind of athletic playmaker the Eagles needed at LB. Once the season rolled around, Fort sat and sat and sat. He was cut at midseason, then went to Baltimore and played well for the Ravens. Ugh.

There was some sort of disconnect between the coaches and personnel staff. I don’t know who liked Fort and who didn’t. Nate Gerry and Nigel Bradham were two of Jim Schwartz’s favorite players and I’m sure that was a factor. I don’t think Fort was going to be the next Seth Joyner, but he could have added some speed to the middle of a defense that had some struggles.

Now Schwartz has a pair of athletic rookies in Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley. He’s got a speedy free agent in Jatavis Brown. Will Schwartz and the coaches embrace the new LBs?

The defense has a pair of veteran pass rushers in Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. In recent years the Eagles have had veteran backups like Chris Long, Michael Bennett and Vinny Curry. This year couldn’t be more different. You have Josh Sweat, Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Joe Ostman, Casey Toohill and Daeshon Hall. That group has a total of 10.5 career sacks.

Will the coaches be okay with that much youth at such a critical position?

The front office built a young, speedy roster. There usually is good communication between the coaching staff and personnel staff with the Eagles, but 2020 will be a big test. All these young guys don’t mean a thing if they don’t play.

Coaches love veterans. They trust veteran players. They see experience as an invaluable asset. One of the old axioms in coaching is that it is better to play young guys two weeks too late instead of one week too early.

This will be an especially challenging situation due to the lack of passing camps and minicamps. Those are critical periods for young players. There is no hitting and limited contact so young guys can get good coaching and be exposed to a lot. There are also a lot of reps available, with veterans skipping some of the workouts. Young players get a chance to show what they can do.

This year players will learn in online meetings. They have to condition and practice on their own. And then they have to show up for Training Camp ready to roll.

It will be incredibly fascinating to see which rookies and young players handled all of this well and can contribute right away.

The Eagles could still add some veteran backups. Sure sounds like they made a run at RB Carlos Hyde. They are keeping in touch with Jason Peters. Vinny Curry and some other notable rushers remain unsigned.

Howie Roseman and the front office want a younger roster so they are going to push for the young players to get a chance to show what they can do. If things don’t look good in mid-August, calls will be made.

I really do hope the coaches embrace the young players. 2020 is going to be an odd season with the pandemic looming over everything. And 2021 could be affected as well. The salary cap is based on revenue and we know that will be down this year. Teams might have to focus on younger players next year.

The Eagles could be ahead of the curve if they embrace the kids this year and work to get the most out of the young players.


Here is a young player doing everything he can to be ready for a big 2020 season.

Sanders was terrific as a rookie and can be even better this year.


One Comment on “The Same Page”

  1. 1 The Same Page | SportSpyder | said at 12:41 AM on June 26th, 2020:

    […] The Same Page […]