Might a larger role in the Philadelphia Eagles offense hamper Greg Ward’s development?
Head coach Doug Pederson and newly acquired wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead have both endorsed the idea of Greg Ward being a leader in the wide receiver corps. That doesn’t mean that he’ll do so successfully though.
Credit Ward’s newfound success to determination, but let’s be honest. The Eagles haven’t parted with him so many times for no reason. Sure, normally, he was a victim of the numbers game, but regardless of how you slice it, the team’s brass didn’t think enough of him to give him a short until they were desperate.
Sure, looking back, it turned out to be the right call. Ward ended up starting the last three games of the 2019 season, and he beat Washington cornerback Josh Norman to come down with a clutch touchdown reception (his first) in a 37-27 win against an NFC East division foe, but no one was satisfied with this unit heading into the most recent offseason. During the draft, Philly selected not one, not two, but three receivers, and they traded for a fourth.
We could argue that Jalen Reagor and John Hightower are the only two with a legitimate chance to see substantial playing time this year (Marquise Goodwin has opted out of the 2020 season), but Quez Watkins is a nice depth option if anything tragic happens. It appears Ward’s job is now secure, but how will he manage expectations? Success in 2020 isn’t a guarantee, and here’s another reason why.