Glass Half Full

Posted: November 2nd, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Glass Half Full

Eagles fans are extremely passionate. When the team is winning, that is a great thing. Life is really good. When the team is losing, life becomes a sea of negativity. Reading social media last week, you would have thought Nick Sirianni was the worst coach in NFL history. The jury is out on Sirianni and this Eagles team, as I wrote last week. After Sunday’s big win, let’s set aside the negativity and talk about what is right with this team.

The Eagles have shown the ability to play at a high level. They have 2 wins by 26 or more points this year. In the previous three seasons, the Eagles did not win a single game by that margin. I was surprised when I went back and looked, but the previous three teams almost always played in tight games. The biggest blowout was a 31-6 win over the Jets in 2019.

There is no definitive meaning to having a pair of blowout wins, but I think it is a good sign that when things work well, the team is able to take control of games.

Player development is an area where we’ve seen good things from this staff. We love to complain about Howie Roseman making bad picks (and that is an absolute issue), but the previous staff did not do a consistently good job of developing young talent. The current staff has a lot of good teachers and we have seen good results.

Quez Watkins made a huge jump from last year to this season. He’s no longer just a fast guy. Watkins runs good routes and shows real potential. Rookie RB Kenny Gainwell has proven to be a good role player. I think we’re all curious to see TE Tyree Jackson when gets put back on the active roster and hits the field. He looked really talented this summer.

DE Josh Sweat has built on the promise he showed last  year. TJ Edwards is coming off his best game as an Eagle. Marcus Epps played well on Sunday. Avonte Maddox has played well this year now that he’s back in the slot. DE Tarron Jackson had a nice strip sack on Sunday. Milton Williams is coming off his best game.

The previous staff seemed to prefer veterans. This staff embraced the rookies and other young players. They understand you have to invest time in teaching them and then give them a chance to play. That or you’re stuck with hoping for more from Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Corey Graham, Andrew Sendejo, etc.

This staff doesn’t seem to play favorites as much. They brought in LB Eric Wilson because he was cheap, available and some of the coaches knew him. Wilson has not played well  this year so he got benched on Sunday. The coaches put TJ Edwards on the field and he responded with 13 tackles and 2 TFLs. He’s not going to do that every week, but Wilson had to go. Admit when a veteran isn’t working and play the kid.

I like the gameplans Sirianni and Gannon had for the Lions game. I am frustrated that it took them so long to adjust to those plans, but they at least did. Now I’m curious to see if they can stick with them. Obviously the Eagles won’t be nearly as run heavy in the future. Running was easy and the game was a blowout. Still, Sirianni went away from RPOs and embraced actual run calls. He started that was vs the Raiders as well so maybe there is hope for better gameplans.

This is a cohesive coaching staff and team. The 2020 Eagles had more leaks than the Titanic. Players and coaches leaked items to their media friends to skew the story a certain way. This team has been very different. I think Sirianni and his staff have changed the culture. Even when a player like Fletcher Cox voiced his frustrations to the media, it didn’t become a huge thing. Gannon acknowledged the frustrations and tried to get on the same page with his star DT.

I think the team handled the Lane Johnson situation the right way. They let it play out and then let Johnson be the one to address it publicly. Make sure you see the video below if you haven’t already.

The 2021 Eagles are not a good team, but there are some good elements. Last year’s team was old, bloated and boring. They were high maintenance and painful to follow on a regular basis. This team feels different. They are younger and hungrier. There are still plenty of flaws to deal with, but it does feel like the team is in a better place.

We still don’t know if Sirianni is the right coach for the future, but he’s done some good things and that will help the future of the team whether he’s the guy or not.

I’m really curious to see how this team does in the final nine games. They have an easy schedule and could go on a bit of a run. We can argue whether that would be the best thing for the long term, but it is a possibility. At the very least, we’ll get more answers about Sirianni and the roster.


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