The Eagles made a plethora of moves this offseason, improving both the offense & defense to a great extent. But who on the Eagles has the most pressure to succeed?
An obvious answer is Jalen Hurts. Hurts showed flashes of great & bad last year. He was middle of the pack-bottom half in almost every statistical passing category. He was, as expected, elite on the ground. But what does Hurts need to do to prove himself? Depends on who you ask. In my personal opinion, he needs to show steady improvement in a few areas. His decision making wasn’t great last year. That’s something he’ll need to improve on going forward. His pocket presence wasn’t all that impressive either. His timing on throws was inconsistent all year. Luckily for Hurts, all these are more than fixable.
Miles Sanders, entering a contract year, has a lot of pressure on him, especially at the HB position. Sanders was a 2nd-round-pick in 2019 showed tons of promise as a rookie. He showed great flashes in both the running game & the passing game. In 2020, Sanders struggled. He missed 4 games and his production dropped overall. His role in the passing game diminished as he struggled with drops. 2021 wasn’t much better. Sanders missed 5 games and ultimately landed on IR. His passing game production dropped even more. He didn’t find the endzone at all last year. Whether that’s his fault or not, it’s uninspiring. Heading into 2022, the pressure is on as Sanders as he looks to earn a big money contract, whether it’s from the Eagles or another team.
It seems like Marcus Epps, 25, will get his shot at safety this year. The Eagles let longtime veteran S Rodney McLeod walk this offseason. It’s not like he was given a big-money contract, as he got a 1-year, $1.7M contract from the Indianapolis Colts. Epps is getting his chance & will have to perform to earn a long-term role on the Eagles, or anywhere for that matter. It should be interesting to see how he plays this year & if he can be a starter going forward.
The 31-year-old DT has been with the Eagles his whole career & his career has been nothing short of great. He has won a Super Bowl and has been the anchor of the Eagles’ defense. But Cox’ production has taken a pretty severe hit the past few seasons. The Eagles also cut and re-signed him to take away the remaining years on his contract. They also used a top 13 pick on DT Jordan Davis. So, if Cox doesn’t have a bounce back year, this season could very well be his last as an Eagle.