More Questions Than Answers

Posted: July 19th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

Eagles fans haven’t had to go through many disastrous seasons. The 1998 team went 3-13. The 1999 team went 5-11, but showed they were on the rise. The 2012 team went 4-12. Those were tough seasons. There was one bit of good news. We got to see young, talented players show their stuff.

That wasn’t exactly the case in 2020.

Young players got on the field, but their performances were highly inconsistent. You can’t point to many players and say “That guy is our ______ of the future”. Losing is never fun, but you at least want to find out about the young talent on your team when things go horribly wrong.

I think Nick Sirianni and his staff will do a much better job than last year’s staff. That group was worried about job titles, power, money and their careers. Not everyone, but too many. I’m obviously painting with a broad brush. The staff had a lot of agendas and too many of them were about the coach and not the players.

Beyond the staff, there were issues with some veteran players and the front office.

That atmosphere isn’t conducive to winning and it sure doesn’t help young players to develop.

Jalen Reagor was supposed to add an explosive element to the offense. Instead he walked into a soap opera. Carson Wentz had a head full of issues. Zach Ertz wanted a new deal. Alshon Jeffery was Alshon Jeffrey. The gameplan was being put together by 37 coaches, who all had different ideas. Ugh.

I’m not trying to excuse Reagor’s struggles. He struggled in a big way. But playing in that environment is tough on a rookie. You expect veteran players to help you. Instead, they are bringing a lot of baggage onto the field each week and you’ve got to deal with that.

Reagor wasn’t alone. We hoped J.J. Arcega-Whiteside would show some improvement in Year 2. Instead, we got more of the same. We hoped Quez Watkins and John Hightower could contribute as role players. Both showed speed and potential, but also lots of issues.

Travis Fulgham looked like a Pro Bowl player for a month and then disappeared. The coaches seemed more interested in playing Jeffery than fixing Fulgham. Great thinking, fellas.

Miles Sanders was explosive as a runner and had some great moments. He was awful as a receiver, an area that had been a strength in his rookie year. It was surprising to see him forget how to catch the ball. He and Wentz just couldn’t connect. It was torturous at times.

Davion Taylor might as well have been in the witness protection program. It sure didn’t seem like the coaches wanted anything to do with him.

K’Von Wallace barely played. It would have been nice to get a better feel for what he can do.

Genard Avey got to watch a lot of Vinny Curry in action. Casey Toohill didn’t even get that. He was cut early on. The team hoped to put him on the practice squad, but the WFT claimed him.

When  you go 4-11-1, you at least hope to come away having a good feel with the young talent on your team. Who can play? Who can’t?

We did see promising things from Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig and Jack Driscoll on the OL. Josh Sweat played his best football. Alex Singleton had his breakthrough season. You hope for more from your young/new talent than that in such a bad season.

I think the new staff will do a better job at developing young talent, but not all of the guys will work out. That’s just reality. JJAW’s struggles have a lot more to do with him than his surroundings.

It will be interesting to see how different this group looks a year from now.

And of course we have a rookie class to add to the mix. DeVonta Smith, Milton Williams and Zech McPhearson all have a chance to play a lot as rookies. A strong showing from a couple of them would go a long way to helping the team and making everyone feel better about the future.

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How did Ike Reese already look 29 when in college?

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