What are they talking about: Only three teams in the NFL have a worse lineup than the Eagles
I know I know. You are about to leave work early, head to the beach, and start the holiday weekend, which is not the title you want to see.
But it should not spoil your mood. why? Because it seems obvious. Isn’t it? I mean, the Hawks are undeniably in a transition period, and apart from a few people here and there, there is nothing to brag about on their roster. And it’s not like they used overwhelming depth to make up for their lack of star power.
Hey, because this is a holiday weekend, look on the bright side-it’s hard to go anywhere except upward (though even when I write this article, I feel like I’m tempting fate).
Anyway, you saw it in the title and might be curious to know the reason, so let’s go straight to the Friday edition of what they are talking about…
Start from (close to) the bottom
Ben Linxi | ESPN+
Before you start tweeting me about the Hawks’ rankings, we should note that it was actually ESPN’s Ben Linsey who compiled the rankings of each NFL roster before training camp.
Three teams worse than the Hawks? The Jets (30th), Lions (31st) and Texans (32nd). The next nearest NFC East team? The Giants led the Birdies by 10 places at 19th, while Washington and Dallas both ranked in the top 12.
Here is Linxi’s comment on the Philadelphia roster…
29. Philadelphia Eagles
Maximum strength: In the past three seasons, Philadelphia’s defense is second only to the Steelers in team pressure rate (39.5%), although it only ranks 29th in blitz rate (20.2%). Their defense is fully capable of generating pressure on their own, which should not change this season. The addition of Javon Hargrave gave the Eagles another legitimate pass threat next to Fletcher Cox. Since 2019, Hargrave’s passing sprint winning percentage ranks 95th among qualified inside defenders.
The biggest weakness: The Eagles rank third in defensive pressure rate in 2020, but only 21st in average yards allowed per pass. As you might guess, it was because they sent one of the worst minors in the NFL. In this regard, the situation in 2021 does not look much better. Avonte Maddox (Avonte Maddox) has a coverage rate of 37.1 in 2020 and is still the team’s second cornerback after Darius Slay. Philadelphia will also rely on fourth-round rookie Zech McPhearson or unproven players such as Craig James or Michael Jacquet for starting contributions.
X factor in 2021: Damn size. In the game in Alabama last season, Devonta Smith could not participate in the SEC or the biggest stage of the game. He ran from an already impressive 3.5 yards in 2019 with three other first-round talents to an average of 4.4 yards per route in 2020. Smith now has the opportunity to promote the lowest-rated wide receiver unit in the league since 2018 as a member of the Eagles. PFF expects Philadelphia to have 60 catches in the first round of the draft this season. [espn.com]
Doug Pedersen’s Revenge Tour?
Mike Kay New Jersey Net
We will adjust here a bit and talk to former Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who participated in Ron Jaworski’s celebrity golf earlier this week Challenge. While he was there, he played live with Anthony Gargano in 97.5 The Fanatic and discussed his desire to return to coaching.
“Internal competitors want to continue to compete,” Pedersen said. “Hope I have the opportunity to lead another football team, do the same thing again and learn from the past five years-what a great teaching moment for me. I always talk about how we learned from failure and similar things. I don’t want to say that this is a failure, but at the same time, I want to learn from the past five years and move forward in the next opportunity.”
The Eagles ended last season with a 4-11-1 record. After several meetings with boss Jeffrey Lurie, the two came to the conclusion that it is best for both parties to go their own way. Pedersen said that he understands how the company works, but he is happy that he has achieved some success in the team.
“We achieved what I wanted to achieve in Philadelphia, and that was to win the world championship. I wish everyone, Nick (Sirianni) and everyone good luck, and I am focused on my future.” [nj.com]
Sandwiched with you
Brandon Lee Gordon | Bloody green country
Earlier this week on BGN radio, Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski Discussed their biggest concerns about the Eagles, And BLG expanded on his two concerns in a recent article. Although his first one is also a valid concern for me, the second one about Jalen Hurts putting the Eagles into QB purgatory may be my biggest fear, especially because they are in a unique position to be in next year’s draft. Get QB (or through trading) and if they don’t get a reliable answer about what the harm is this year, they may not have this opportunity again.
For most teams, seeing your starting quarterback look like the worst quarterback in the NFL (related feelings) is the worst-case scenario. This is not the case for the Eagles in 2021! If Hertz was really, really bad in his first season as a full-time starter, it is obviously not ideal. But at least the Hawks must know they need to leave him and find a new long-term option. Moreover, due to Rothman’s mobility, the Eagles may have three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to help them quickly get rid of injuries.
But what if the damage is not super terrible but not super awesome? He is too good for the Hawks to be easily transferred from him, but not enough to inspire confidence as a champion quarterback? The quarterback purgatory is one of the worst places in the NFL. Look at Derek Carr’s Las Vegas Raiders or Kirk Cousins’ Minnesota Vikings.
This year’s injury between very bad and very good feels like a realistic result, which means that the team may make difficult decisions about his long-term viability. The idea here is that the Hawks have high demands on what Huters has to accomplish this season. If he does not eliminate all doubts about him, they are likely to move on. But if his teammates, coaches and Hawks fans really love him in the end, could this decision become chaotic? Maybe the front desk will eventually be broken by the quarterback’s decision? Hey, this certainly won’t be the first team whose leader is not on the same page. [bleedinggreennation.com]
Zach Berman | Sports meeting
At The Athletic, their writers break down the best moves for each NFL team. Here is what Zach Berman thinks of birds…
The Hawks’ best offseason move was actually two related transactions. They decided to trade from 6th to 12th in the draft, adding a 2022 first-round pick in the process, and then rising from 12th to 10th to ensure they get Devonta Smith. If the Hawks remain in 6th place and select the Heisman Cup champion, few people will complain. Debates for Jaylen Wardell or Penne Seville, or even quarterbacks, but once Kyle Pitts and Jamal Chase leave the board in 4th and 5th positions, Smith will be considered a very good result. So it should be considered a boon for the Hawks to still land on Smith and the first-round pick next year. Smith intervenes as the Hawks’ number one receiver and will need to quickly start a poorly performing receiver team. If Jalen Hurts can’t prove to be a long-term quarterback choice for the team, then the Hawks’ draft picks can be used to help find a quarterback in the next offseason. [theathletic.com]
Field Yates | ESPN+
Finally, now that we have seen the best move the Eagles have made, let’s go back to ESPN, where Field Yates outlined the moves that every NFL team must still make. The Hawks have two options: do something with Zach Ertz, or find someone to start against Darius Slay. Yates went with the former.
Trading tight end Zach Ertz
We earlier used Buffalo as a logical landing point for Ertz, but regardless of the destination, the franchise transaction seems to be the best for all parties involved. I understand that Philadelphia is reluctant to simply give up Oetz, but for a team that can use some cap space to complete the season (and possibly extend Oetz’s heir to Dallas Goldt), a trade will help.
The Hawks have a very interesting and young technical team on the offensive end, and Eltz can provide motivation for teams elsewhere. [espn.com]