Is it possible that COVID-19 can help the Philadelphia Eagles?
The Philadelphia Eagles are known for making the most out of bad situations. We all remember how they rallied around backup quarterback Nick Foles in 2017 and beat the greatest quarterback of all time on the biggest stage possible. Just last year, fans of this illustrious organization witnessed as the Eagles made the playoffs with practice squad players that had just joined the team. At this point, we’re used to seeing the Eagles overcome obstacles.
The difference this year, however, is that all 32 NFL teams will have to overcome one common obstacle: COVID-19. It has already forced the league to cancel all of its preseason games, and it will strip stadiums of their fans for the season. This fact is especially heartbreaking for the Eagles, as their fans are extremely passionate and impact the game in many ways. But there is a bright side to this situation. In fact, the positives may even outweigh the negatives.
All of the NFC East teams fired their head coaches except for the Philadelphia Eagles.
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It takes time for a team to fully acclimate to a new head coach. When Doug Pederson was brought in as the head coach in 2016, it took a year before Eagles fans saw a winning football team. The entire structure and routine of a team is interrupted when a new head coach is brought in. Now, this may be for the better, but there are still some growing pains. OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) and preseason games are usually where these new head coaches earn the trust of their team. COVID-19 has canceled both of these activities.
Now for the Philadelphia Eagles, this is no big deal. Besides a few minor coaching changes, the staff remains the same. But for the rest of the NFC East? This spells trouble. All other NFC East teams fired their head coaches and in any other year, this would’ve been a minor cause for concern, but this isn’t just any other year.
The Dallas Cowboys spent ten seasons with Jason Garrett as the head coach. The sudden change to Mike McCarthy will be hard for players to adjust to, especially for those who have only played under Garrett, like Dak Prescott. Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins have to completely abandon what they learned during their rookie years and adopt a new style under a new head coach, but Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson get to build off of last year’s gameplan and with new weapons this time around.
Now, it was a good decision for these NFC East teams to move on from their previous head coaches. However, it will be tough for them to iron out all of the kinks on such a short training camp. The Philadelphia Eagles should get a head start on their NFC East counterparts and it might just be big enough to help them win the division. After all, the Eagles only have to perform better than 3 other teams to make the playoffs. As odd as it sounds, COVID-19 may be the first step in that process.