Five Important Questions That Must Be Answered By The Eagles Before Week One
22 July 2021 Eagles News
We’re a week away from the start of the NFL season and the Eagles are still in a situation where multiple questions still remain with the team as a whole. The organization has not provided its fans with concrete facts and commitments in certain areas, and have failed to upgrade positions of need. There are 53 days until week one and I have five important questions that need answering before September 12th, 2021.
Is Jalen Hurts QB1 or not?
Listen, it took me a while to get on board with Jalen Hurts becoming QB1 and I’m okay with him as the man under center this year. Like me, there are many fans who are right on board with giving the keys to Jalen Hurts this season, but it seems to me that the organization isn’t quite there yet. I understand Hurts rookie year and the four games he started wasn’t enough to hand him the franchise, but they haven’t even named him QB1 yet.
What’s the hold up? Is a Deshaun Watson trade on the horizon? That could take a while and we’re not sure if he is even going to win his case. Is Aaron Rodgers leaving his cheesehead behind in Green Bay to come to Philly? We all know he is unhappy in Green Bay and is reported to want out. Could this mean Howie Roseman may pull the trigger on the 36-year-old vet?
All I know is they either need to announce Hurts as QB1 soon or make a deal elsewhere. Hurts is a strong minded individual so I know he’s going to put the work in regardless of being named QB1, but for his confidence and the city’s sanity, Nick Sirianni, please help us out.
What is this team’s identity moving forward?
Under Doug Pederson this team was known for being an offensive based team, but in reality they’re defense kept them afloat. I would like to know the ‘identity’ of this team moving forward because it’s nice to know the style of football this team is going to play.
Will they be a smash mouth bully team where they are aggressive both offensively and defensively? Will they be a finesse-type-of-team where the offense and defense is all about fluidity? Or can this football team be a well balanced machine where they have no weaknesses in their game.
You look at the best teams in the league, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore, and Buffalo and these teams all have one thing in common, and that’s a well balanced offense and defense. The Eagles and Nick Sirianni have to capitalize on that and do it consistently. With guys like DeVonta Smith, Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert, Jalen Hurts and Jalen Reagor this team shouldn’t have a problem being a well oiled machine offensively. Though its an older group leading the way defensively, with guys like Fletcher Cox, Ryan Kerrigan, BG, Darius Slay, Rodney McLeod, and Ant Harris. This team defensively should lay some thunder and be able to play well in coverage.
What is the move at CB2?
I have to say addressing the CB2 position is the biggest concern moving forward. Darius Slay is basically a one-man-army in that cornerback room. Don’t get me wrong, Avonte Maddox has his moments, but he isn’t an outside corner. Zech McPhearson is a rookie and hasn’t proven anything quite yet, and again he is built like a nickel corner. Guys like Grayland Arnold, Craig James, Josiah Scott, Michael Jacquet just will not get it done.
There are a few free agents they should be in contact with including Steven Nelson, Josh Norman, and Gareon Conley.
The obvious choice would be would be Steven Nelson. He’s the guy who is a difference maker in the above-mentioned group. I understand that cap space is tight at the moment and the Eagles currently have around $4.7 million dollars remaining with Landon Dickerson left unsigned, but Howie Roseman is the “cap wizard” right? You have to find a way to bring Nelson island to Philly, it is as simple as that. Nelson has 7 INTs, and 177 tackles over the past 3 seasons and that combined with Darius Slay playing at his normal capabilities, this secondary would be one of the better ones in the NFL. Finding a way to sign Steven Nelson seems like a no brainer.
Get it done Howie.
In April’s draft the Eagles selected Heisman Trophy winner WR DeVonta Smith with the 10th overall selection after a trade up with the Cowboys, which is still so odd to me, but I’m not complaining. Having a potential WR1 who can take on a lot of volume moving forward is huge. It takes so much stress off of Jalen Reagor who will be able to match up against the opponents CB2 and give him a better match up. It also gives Reagor the ability to move inside and out.
The real question is who does Nick Sirianni see as his WR3? Will he go with the guy who is shifty with reliable hands in Greg Ward Jr? Will he go with the big bodied slot man who has shown big play ability in Travis Fulgham? Or will he go with a speedster in Quez Watkins or John Hightower? This decision is going to be an important one as the season goes on.
My opinion would be to stick with Mr. reliable in Greg Ward Jr. Jalen Hurts and Ward Jr have built quite a rapport and have chemistry they can build off of from last season. We’ve seen the touchdown connection from Hurts to Ward Jr and you can tell there is some trust there and the best way to help your young QB is to surround him with guys he trust.
That being said, I feel there is going to be a bunch of four receiver sets that will give WR4/5/6 a chance to get on the field.
Will Miles Sanders finally become this teams workhorse?
When the Eagles drafted Miles Sanders, I was stoked. I was a huge fan of this kid while he played for Penn State. Everyone was enamored with Saquon Barkley and rightfully so, but my eyes were always on number 24 when he had the ball in his hands. Sanders showed such a well balanced rushing attack. Great body control, ability to bounce off first contact and fight for more yards, an amazing dead leg and cut move, and always was a threat to take a rush to the house. His senior year he rushed the ball 207 times for 1223 yards and 9 touchdowns. In two NFL seasons he hasn’t rushed the ball more than 179 times (2019). Granted he dealt with some injuries, but this tells you he simply wasn’t used enough.
Doug Pederson failed to use Sanders correctly, and Sanders still showed flashes of greatness. In games that Sanders carried the ball 20+ times he ended up incredible numbers (172 yards & 2 TDs, 156 yards & 1 TD, 131 yards & 1 TD, 107 yards, 105 yards & 1 TD). His lack of usage was a crime to Sanders, this team, and this city’s fanbase.
I understand a running back by committee increases a running backs longevity, but Miles Sanders hasn’t been used much so he has a lot of juice left in them tires. I do like Boston Scott and Kenny “G” Gainwell, but these two aren’t Miles Sanders and we need Nick Sirianni to lean of him more than Pederson did.
Miles Sanders break out year? I can smell it.
I’m sure I’m not the only person with these questions, and I’m sure we all want them answered as soon as possible. The sooner these questions are answered the better this fanbase and myself will feel about this season. I have high hopes for this season. This team may be better than expected, or maybe not, but I’m pumped for this season to get underway and with all that being said let me get a GOOOOOOOOOO BIRDS!!!!!
Nick Sirianni- PhiladelphiaEagles.com
Jalen Hurts- NJ.com
Miles Sanders- 247sports.com