There will never be a more exciting season for Eagles fans than the one we witnessed in the past year; the storylines, the excitement, the drama, and the storybook ending can never be replicated. With that being said, it isn’t unreasonable to believe that the Birds can be as, if not more, productive on the field as they were last season.
The front office, led by Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas, were able to upgrade the starting position at DE and TE by trading for Michael Bennett and drafting Dallas Goedert – all while really only downgrading the LB position by cutting oft-injured Mychal Kendricks, who didn’t see the field enough to validate his cap number. Adding deep threat Mike Wallace to replace the always unreliable Torrey Smith could wind up being very key this season. Second year corner Sidney Jones, who likely would’ve been an early 1st round pick last season if not for an unfortunate injury, will also now be stepping into a starting role.
All things considered, the Eagles had a solid offseason. Even though they weren’t able to add too many big time players, they held onto just about every key piece of the 2017 team, which is very important not only for continuity, but for the ability to continue their success. Although the team looks great on paper, everyone knows the nature of football is its unpredictability, so how can the Eagles continue their success?
Stop riding the high
No Philadelphia athletes have ever been able to ride a bigger high than the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles after their Super Bowl win, and I can’t imagine it’s easy to ever get down from there. As crazy as it might sound, this could potentially be a limiting factor for the Eagles this season. It’s is a large reason why many believed the Eagles would defeat the Vikings in the NFC Championship game, since the Vikings were coming off of such an emotional, walk-off win against the Saints. Eagles players need to be able to move on and treat every game with the same importance that they had in previous years.
Keep the foot on the gas
The coaching staff, led by HC Doug Pederson, looks quite a bit different this year than it did last. Frank Reich and John DeFillippo were both huge factors in making the Eagles’ offense lethal, but both left and were replaced by Mike Groh and Press Taylor, respectively. Last season, the Eagles were aggressive regardless of the score, which forced the team to never settle. The new coaching staff needs to continue to keep opposing defenses on their toes, no matter the situation. This shouldn’t be a problem, as Pederson is still at the helm, but it will still be interesting to see how the offense looks this year.
Wentz uses his legs
The most devastating point of last season was when Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL against the Los Angeles Rams. Up until that point, he was on track to become the Eagles’ first MVP since Norm Van Brocklin won the award in 1960. What made Wentz so difficult to defend was how he was able to use his legs; he was able to avoid pressure in miraculous ways, throw on the run, or even scramble for a first down if he needed to. The ACL injury has some fans worried about Wentz leaving the pocket as much as he has in the past 2 seasons, as it could leave him more susceptible to injuries. Even though this might be true, Carson Wentz needs to play football the way he’s used to, as tinkering with him will likely make him a less effective QB.
Many fans say that the moment they knew that the Eagles would win the Super Bowl was after the teams entered the field; the Patriots came out to “Crazy Train,” while the Eagles came out to “Dreams and Nightmares.” The contrast between the two songs did nothing but show the differences of culture among the two squads, showcasing Philly’s ability to stay loose. Whether it was dancing on the sidelines, celebrating touchdowns, or wearing dog masks, this team was always able to have fun. At the end of the day, sports are meant to be fun, and it’s awesome to see players treating it as such rather than a job.
Hopefully the Birds will be able to run it back this season, and although it will be difficult, they should be able to if they follow these steps. This season will be a ton of fun, and it’ll be very exciting to see how the players are able to follow up last season.