Posted: May 28th, 2024 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Better

The offseason generally boils down to one simple question. Did the team get better? Let’s take a look at what the Eagles did and figure out if they improved.


Jalen Hurts is healthy and is going to be laser-focused after the disappointing end to last season. The Eagles traded for Kenny Pickett to be their backup QB. I think he’s an upgrade over Marcus Mariota, last year’s backup. Mariota was a good athlete and had a ton of experience, but was an inconsistent passer. Pickett didn’t live up to his potential in Pittsburgh. He’s in a much better situation now and that could help him to show real improvement. Pickett is a solid athlete and played well in late-game situations with the Steelers. Tanner McKee is in Year 2 and should be able to build on what he showed last summer.


I don’t think anyone questions if the Eagles got better here. The addition of Saquon Barkley gives the team its most dynamic RB since the glory days of LeSean McCoy. Barkley has big play ability, but also could prove valuable late in games when the Eagles are trying to work the clock and close things out. Barkley has a thick build and is a powerful runner. Everyone is excited to see what he can do in a better offense and playing behind a much better OL. Kenny Gainwell returns as the backup. Rookie Will Shipley is here to replace Boston Scott. Shipley could prove to be an upgrade, unless they’re playing the Giants.


AJ and DeVonta are back. Last year you had Quez Watkins, Julio Jones and Olamide Zaccheaus behind them. This year you have Parris Campbell and a pair of rookies, Ainias Smith and Johnny Wilson. The Eagles could be better this year, but we have to see this group play. Last year’s trio caught 36 passes and 6 TDs so the bar isn’t all that high. For now we can’t rate this group as better or worse. Wait and see.


Like WR, the starter is back and the focus is on the backups. Jack Stoll left in free agency. The Eagles signed CJ Uzomah, a veteran with good size (6-5, 271) and 82 career starts. Stoll caught 5 passes last year. Uzomah has five seasons with 20 or more catches. He can block and catch. Uzomah is a one-year answer, but he could be an upgrade on Stoll. The coaches talked highly of Stoll, but he caught 20 passes in 50 games. Either the QBs didn’t trust him or the coaches didn’t call plays for him or he wasn’t getting open. None of those is a great choice. Grant Calcaterra is entering his third season. It is crucial for him to show he belongs. Albert O will battle for a spot. I’m calling this a slight upgrade with Uzomah over Stoll.


The Eagles love focusing on the line so it is funny that one position where there is a clear downgrade is the OL. Jason Kelce is gone. Cam Jurgens will slide from RG to C and he should be fine. Tyler Steen is the projected RG. He has to win the job in camp and then show what he can do during the season. Beyond the starters, the Eagles lost proven backups in Sua Opeta and Jack Driscoll. The backup OL this year has potential, but is largely unproven.

Fred Johnson – Trevor Keegan – Dylan McMahon – Matt Hennessy – Mekhi Becton

Johnson has little experience. Keegan and McMahon are late round rookies. Hennessy is new to the team. Becton is a reclamation project. Jeff Stoutland has his hands full this year. The OL should still be one of the best in the league. There are just more unknowns than in recent seasons.


This group could take a step back, mainly due to the retirement of Fletcher Cox. Milton Williams has a major opportunity with that spot open. Williams has shown outstanding potential in the past, but he’s never been a full time starter. Jalen Carter is primed for a big season. Jordan Davis looks to be in great shape. Moro Ojomo and Marlon Tuipulotu could be good backups. If the group stays healthy, they could be fine. Howie Roseman could be looking around the league to see if he can find a veteran backup to throw into the mix.


Haason Reddick is gone, but the overall position is in good shape. Bryce Huff takes his spot as a starter. Josh Sweat is on the other side and will be playing in a contract season. That could bring out the best in him. BG and Nolan Smith are the backups. Rookie Jalyx Hunt is the wild card. He is a project. He’s also an outstanding athlete with good size and a ton of potential.


How could it not be better? LB was a mess last year. The Eagles signed Devin White, hoping he can get back to his previous level of play. White struggled in 2023. We don’t know who will start beside him. Zack Baun got those reps in the OTAs. Nakobe Dean isn’t healthy yet so that factored in. The Eagles are going to let everyone compete and see who deserves to play. The backups are Oren Burks, Jeremiah Trotter Jr, Ben VanSumeren and Brandon Smith. Burks has experience. Trotter has potential. VanSumeren is the best athlete. Smith is also a good athlete. I like the depth better this spring, but we need to see how these guys play. I do feel like the position is improved.


CJ Gardner-Johnson is back and that will offer a big boost to the safety position. He is a leader and a playmaker. Reed Blankenship is entering his third season and should be ready to take another step forward. Sydney Brown is still coming back from injury. He is ahead of schedule. Mekhi Garner and rookie Andre’ Sam could be fighting for the final spot. Tristin McCollum could challenge there as well. Cooper DeJean and Avonte Maddox are corners with safety experience. They could move if needed.


Corner might be the most improved position on the team. Darius Slay will be the key starter. Isaiah Rodgers, first round pick Quinyon Mitchell and Kelee Ringo will battle for the other spot. James Bradberry hasn’t been cut yet, but that feels inevitable. Avonte Maddox could be the slot. He’ll be pushed by rookie Cooper DeJean and Tyler Hall. Josh Jobe and Eli Ricks will battle for spots as well. There is a lot more talent this year and better depth.


The key specialists are all back. Britain Covey will have challengers in Ainias Smith and Cooper DeJean. Will Shipley could be the KOR. VanSumeren showed a lot of promise on STs as a rookie and it could help him secure a spot this year. Baun could also be key for Michael Clay’s units.


The addition of Kellen Moore and Vic Fangio could prove to be a major improvement. The Eagles also added some key positional assistants. Moore brings new ideas to the offense and has a good background. Fangio is one of the top defensive coaches of the past 30 years. He should be a serious upgrade on the defensive coaching from last year. If you insist on running the Fangio scheme, go get Fangio to do it.


The Eagles feel like a better team going into the 2024 season. They added a dynamic playmaker in Saquon Barkley. They added key players on defense. The overall depth of the team is better. It is ironic that a team that preaches the importance of line play could be weaker on both the OL and DL. Losing star players like Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox is tough. Kelce is one of the best centers in league history. Cox is almost a Hall of Fame candidate.

Last year’s team seemed to have a sense of entitlement after the Super Bowl run in 2022. The front office focused on finding guys who are highly competitive and play with an edge. They want to learn from last year’s mistakes.

I think this team will be better on the field and off it.


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