Yeah, but…

Posted: June 2nd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Yeah, but…

The Eagles won the NFC East in 2019. They return a lot of talent and have made some good additions in the offseason. There are still some legitimate questions about the roster. How good will the Eagles be?

Peter King put out his spring power rankings and had the Eagles 15th in the league.

What a hard-to-read team. So many “yeah, buts.” The biggest: Eagles were 5-7 last year and needed to win four in a row to ensure a playoff spot—and did . . . but the beat-up offense scored 10, 9 and 9 points against playoff teams in the last eight games. Everything was a struggle last year. But quarterback Carson Wentz had a mostly redemptive season, playing all 17 games after missing the ends of the previous two years with injuries.

Wisely, GM Howie Roseman decided to stock up to help the offense, drafting wideout Jalen Reagor, who needs to be impactful from day one, and quarterback Jalen Hurts, who needs to be impactful in season one. For five years, the Eagles kept hoping Nelson Agholor would be something more than a complementary piece, but he never was. He’s gone, and now Reagor needs to show up from day one.

I’m amazed at the anti-Hurts sentiment out there. Dinosaur thinking, I believe. Baltimore loved Jalen Hurts, for instance. Not saying the Ravens would have taken him, particularly with J.K. Dobbins left on the board, but Baltimore wouldn’t have been afraid to insert him in the offense six or eight plays a game to scare the crap out of the defense. Same with Doug Pederson, who can handle the mental state of Wentz and be sure he knows that all Hurts can do is make Wentz better. With some teams, the backup quarterback is a top-10-important player on the team. When the franchise quarterback has missed 13 games due to injury in the last three years, that makes the backup QB much more important. Oh, and a sentence for the defense: Darius Slay is a heck of a pickup for the secondary, particularly with the non-division slate of quarterbacks on the way—Niners, Steelers, Ravens, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, Cardinals. I say Week 16, Eagles at Cowboys, is the championship game of the NFC East.

That is a pretty fair assessment.

He focused a bit more on Jalen Hurts than I would have expected. Hurts is going to be the #3 QB and a role player on offense. I don’t think he’s going to have much impact on how the 2020 season plays out.

King says Reagor needs to contribute right away. There will be a lot of pressure on the rookie to do his part. I don’t know that he’ll start, but I expect Reagor to play a good amount.

One advantage I think Reagor has over Agholor is intangibles. Agholor went to USC and played in a program that consistently puts out star players at the college level. He came to the NFL and struggled with the step up in competition and the dog-eat-dog nature of the game. College football was fun. The NFL is business.

Reagor was a tough, aggressive player at TCU. That school has their share of good players, but they tend to be overachiever types more than 5-star recruits who go and excel. Reagor also has the advantage of having a father who played in the NFL. Jalen will have a better idea of what to expect and the mental toughness you need to have.

King puts the Cowboys at 9th in his rankings. He thinks the division will come down to the late PHI-DAL game, as it did last year.

This is a talented Eagles team. I hope we don’t lose sight of that when talking about the holes and potential flaws. This team could go anywhere from 6-10 to 12-4, depending on how things play out.

I do like the overall theme for the offseason. Get younger. Get faster. You must take some chances when putting together a roster. Howie and his staff have done that this offseason.

T.J. Edwards over Nigel Bradham.

Andre Dillard over Jason Peters.

Jalen Mills over Malcolm Jenkins.

Greg Ward over Nelson Agholor.

They are building a WRs corps. A LB corps. They are trying to develop depth on the lines with mid-round picks.

This wasn’t an offseason of stars and huge moves. They wanted youth, speed and better depth.

It will be interesting to see if they made the right moves. Instead of this being a “yeah, but” team it could turn out to be “if only”.


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