Here’s a question that’s fair but may start trouble. Have Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas surpassed Sidney Jones in their development?
This story should come with a disclaimer. You might find something in it that you’ll disagree with. You might say the timing is bad seeing as how the Philadelphia Eagles are still in a playoff push (believe it or not, it’s true). What we’ve all seen recently has led to some conversations around social media and a few offices and water coolers. Have Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas surpassed Sidney Jones in their development?
Come on. Let’s face it. We all want the Eagles to be successful, but this probably isn’t a Super Bowl-caliber team. That means most of what we’re seeing is about developing key pieces for the future, and some of what we’ve seen by some is better than what we’ve seen from others.
Don’t give up on Sidney Jones yet.
In what, sometimes, looks like the first actual season for Jones in the NFL, there have been, well, challenges. If you listen to Joe DeCamara & Jon Ritchie‘s Midday Show on 94 WIP-FM in Philly, you could state that their analysis of what they’ve seen from Jones, at times, has been less than complimentary.
Yes, he’s played only ten games in his young NFL career, and he’s only started in four.
Douglas had pretty good coverage on Amari Cooper during that game-deciding catch in overtime of that final game versus the Dallas Cowboys. Douglas got his hands on the ball. Cooper caught the deflection. Things happen in professional football.
Other than that, Douglas has been solid. If you like stats, check this one out:
When the Eagles needed to stop a drive, gain some momentum, and create a game-changing play in the opener versus the Atlanta Falcons, it was Douglas that got the interception. Throw out a play here and there, and he’s been better than average.
You could also argue that you couldn’t ask for more from Avonte Maddox than what we’ve seen from him in his first season of pro football.
Check this one out. This actually happened versus one of the best offenses in the NFL, in a game where Maddox had no Mills or Darby or Jones to rely on.
Bleeding Green Nation‘s Michael Kist put out an amazing piece on Maddox’s night versus the Los Angeles Rams. Try 57 on-field plays, six balls thrown in his direction, one reception for eight yards, and an interception on for size.
“I don’t know if we win that game without Avonte” said Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. We, at ITI, asked earlier this season if Sidney Jones was injury prone, and the world went bananas. Fast forward, and he’s hurt again.
No, players shouldn’t be evaluated for ‘bust’ material unless they’re healthy. We can only go on what we’ve seen from Jones when he’s on the field, and when he’s been on the field, it hasn’t been pretty. Douglas and Maddox have proven to be trustworthy.
Have Douglas and Maddox shown that they’re, at this point in their careers, better than Jones? You tell us. The debate table is open.