Well, it’s now been two back-to-back seasons ending in identical (9-7) records for the Philadelphia Eagles since their 2017 Super Bowl run. Say what you want, but 9-7 isn’t quite what we expected when Doug Pederson claimed it was the new “norm” for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now, to be fair, the Philadelphia Eagles did face a whole lot of adversity. The obvious being the injuries. It seemed that every player on the roster would take their turn visiting the blue medical tent every Sunday. The Eagles probably faced more injuries this season than I could ever recall in an Eagles’ season, or for any team for that matter. Injuries, as well as a “corrupt” or “shaky” locker room as one might say, hindered the Eagles for a good portion of this season.
Not to throw any specific players under the bus, but it seemed once a younger group of players were introduced into the mix, the locker room reached a whole different level. There was a level of hungriness and competitive fire back. And that is what helped spark this magical playoff run that ended oh-so-unfortunately.
The Philadelphia Eagles, according to PhillyVoice.com, had the second oldest team entering this season. They only trailed the New England Patriots. This is not good by any stretch of the imagination. Believe it or not, some of the best teams in the NFL have some of the youngest rosters by age. Factor that into all the injuries the Eagles are having, and it leads them to having to approach their roster differently.
Whether it is via trade, free agency, or the draft, the Philadelphia Eagles must get younger. Of course, older players are more susceptible to getting injured. But also, these older players tend to have larger contracts and are generally much more complacent with where they are at in their careers. Some of these practice squad players proved how valuable having young and cheap talent truly is. Not just to your salary cap situation, but also for the locker room.
Due to the events of the last two seasons, I would fully expect Howie Roseman to take on the task of making this Eagles roster much younger. A big step in doing so is nailing your draft picks this offseason. Many people claim that Howie hasn’t drafted well the last couple years. Now, I can definitely see that argument. However, if you really look at some of the guys who contributed this season, a lot of them came from the last couple draft classes.
Miles Sanders looks like a potential star in the making. Dallas Goedert continues to be a great all around tight- end prospect. Andre Dillard showed some flashes this season. Derek Barnett continues to generate a solid pass rush. Now, sure there is some room for improvement. With all of those names I just listed comes a couple players who just didn’t pan out or can’t find consistent playing time at the moment. Regardless, the draft is going to be crucial this offseason.
Coach & QB
Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But, if your takeaway from this season is that the Eagles need to make a change up top, meaning a coach and/or quarterback change, you didn’t accurately watch how the season transpired. With all the drama and chaos going on in this organization for a good portion of this season, Carson and Doug rallied the locker room and made a heroic push to end the season.
There are probably three things that are most valuable in the NFL when building a championship team. Those three things are a good head coach, a good quarterback, and a good GM. Well, the Philadelphia Eagles have all three. And, more importantly, have the two most important ones – the coach and quarterback. You can look at the New England Patriots dynasty over the years and give most of the credit to both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for the success over the years.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the hard part taken care of. So many teams struggle to get the right quarterback and head coach pairing. You can take a look at the other three teams in the NFC East, for example. They all fired their head coaches. Also, those three teams still have question marks at the quarterback spot. The Philadelphia Eagles and its fanbase should feel ecstatic about the coach and quarterback pairing for the foreseeable future.
Besides adding youth to the roster, it became very apparent after this season that the personnel doesn’t quite fit Carson Wentz’s skillset. And that should obviously be a very big priority this offseason. I can’t stress this enough, but this offense lacked speed and big play capabilities so much this season. The Desean Jackson injury provides an excuse. However, it was poor roster construction to only rely on one older player to be your “big play guy.” In today’s modern NFL, it is all about having multiple “big play guys.” The quarterback position is certainly one of them. You are starting to see better athletes play the quarterback position than ever before. Carson Wentz is one of them.
Carson just didn’t have anywhere near enough guys that fit his play-style. Wentz is a big arm, athletic type of quarterback. So you will need multiple deep threat type of receivers. Honestly, they just need faster players all around who can create separation. It is all up to Howie Roseman to execute these moves this offseason and fit the puzzle pieces together. So, hopefully when the 2020-21 season rolls around, you will see a much better, more complete and properly fitting Philadelphia Eagles team.