Yes, there’s still hope for Sidney Jones with these Philadelphia Eagles.
In a world where instant gratification rules the day, we all want that immediate payoff. No one wants to work for anything. No one wants to wait for anything. Everyone wants things now. Who knows why it’s that way. Blame microwaves, streaming television, and fast food, but in our microwave society, there are signs that patient people exist. Look no further than the Philadelphia Eagles fan base and some of the media that have covered this team forever.
Patience was formed long ago in this brotherhood as they suffered through five NFC Championship Game appearances and one Super Bowl loss during the Andy Reid era. No sign of a championship could be seen as men and women who had only heard of three championships but never saw one with their own eyes suffered through Reid’s decline and an era that was Chip Kelly’s.
Patience finally paid off, to an extent, even with the former disappointments. Brandon Graham was a late-bloomer (we forget that), but he pulled it together. The ‘Birds’ got that ring too as that Super Bowl finally came in a year where we weren’t looking for it.
Still, as most of us have gotten over its buzz and have transitioned from ‘wanting one’ to wanting another one’, it’s easy to look around and start pointing fingers as to why it hasn’t happened. The most common theory? ‘This team can’t draft or evaluate talent’, and that’s where our angst lands on guys like Derek Barnett and Sidney Jones, Philly’s first two picks in 2017’s NFL Draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator lays out what’s needed to get Jones to where everyone wants him to be.
Recently, one of the Eagles’ most undervalued hires of the 2020 offseason, Marquand Manuel, spoke with several members of the Philly media. As you might expect, it didn’t take long for Jones’ name to come up. So, what will it take for this young man to finally reach his potential? Manuel shared his thoughts on that, as well as a few other things. Here’s a quote from him as he detailed a conversation both he and ’22’ had when he arrived in Philly:
"When I first took the job, we had a good conversation, and me, being in Seattle when he was in college, I saw a lot of things that he was capable of doing. In this league, as you guys already know, it’s a lot of scouting that goes about. However, I told him the three things that I really needed him to do. when we had that dialogue on how he needed to do it, when he needed to do it and how consistent he needs to be at it, I think, from that standpoint, the competitive edge and understanding (that) how you play in this league, what you do in this league to be successful, and the things of that nature and how confidence plays in everything else."
So what will it take for Jones to turn this around? Coach Manuel said that he’s looking for three things from the young man now entering his fourth NFL season: He needs to ‘be accountable’. He needs to ‘compete daily’. He needs to ‘be willing to learn’. According to Coach, “If you consistently do those three things in this league, you can have success”. Might it be as simple as that? Could we finally have unlocked the doors standing between him and his true potential? Hopefully, Manuel can get the best out of him.
Currently, Jones is competing for a backup role, which isn’t ideally what you want to see from a second-round draft choice. Those guys are supposed to develop into starters. Jones’ career is hanging on by a thread, and in 2020, he’s attempting to prove that he needs to be a part of this team’s long-term future or he’s good enough to play for someone else.
Eagles fans have been patient. It worked in the case of Brandon Graham. It eventually paid off with a Super Bowl win, but that patience is visibly getting thinner with Mr. Jones. Will their prayers be answered? Only time will tell, something Jones, seemingly, is running out of.