Someone at the NovaCare Complex must be playing Fantasy football or EA’s Madden NFL game on the Ultimate Team mode. It’s probably the vice president/general manager, Howie Roseman. The Philadelphia Eagles‘ resident mad scientist got busy this offseason, constructing and simultaneously upgrading a roster in a manner that would make the best Fantasy owners/MUT eAthletes proud.
If you’re optimistic, don’t apologize. You should be.
The Birds are better at every position now than they were at this time last year, but that can’t be proven until September. Some have hopes of a deep playoff run. Some are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, so every time we’re told about how great this Eagles team will be, the latter segment of the fan base cringes. Perhaps this will help.
If you’re looking for a few press clippings to put a chip on this team’s shoulder, ESPN may have added the fuel. There may not be any on-field workouts to report on, but The Worldwide Leader In Sports has given us plenty to discuss.
The Eagles are noticeably absent from lists of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, linebackers, and safeties.
Think back to January and how you felt after the Philadelphia Eagles were beaten soundly by the then-defending Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wild Card Weekend. That wasn’t much fun, was it? The final score wound up being 31-15, but the game was never as close as the score would indicate.
Following a solid offseason, Philly is ready to give it another go and, hopefully, make a second consecutive playoff appearance. Still, despite being seen as the NFL’s most improved team by CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo, recent polls of NFL executives, players, and coaches led to top-ten rankings by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Many of Philly’s best players failed to earn mentions.
The top-ten ranking of the best edge rushers was unveiled after July 4th. Reddick was ignored as was Josh Sweat. The latter was a Pro Bowler last season.
Defensive tackles were named next. Fletcher Cox wasn’t mentioned. Neither was another of Philly’s Pro Bowlers, Javon Hargrave. At the time of this story being written and published, ESPN has since named their top off-ball linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties. Again, Philadelphia got the could shoulder as no Birds were named.
Interior offensive linemen, quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and offensive tackles will be unveiled from July 10th to July 15th. We expect to see Jason Kelce. A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert, Jordan Mailata, and Lane Johnson earn mentions when that happens. If not, cue the pitchforks.
We’re teasing of course… Sort of.
No one should be worried though. NFL stars play for their teams and fans, but they also play for each other. Sure, how coaches and peers view them is important to them, but is any of this a cause for concern? It shouldn’t be!
There were solid additions in free agency (Haason Reddick, James Bradberry). There were underrated signings that will wind up producing more fruit than originally expected (Kyzir White, Zach Pascal, and Jaquiski Tartt). The best part about all of this is those were just appetizers and items on the dessert menu. The main course was the best part.
Howie and his staff pieced together a solid draft that brought five new Birds into the nest: Jordan Davis, Cam Jurgens, Nakobe Dean, Kyron Johnson, and Grant Calcaterra (Keep an eye on that last guy. He’s going to be good). There was even a trade that landed one of the game’s best young receivers, A.J. Brown.
You can’t take away from the offseason that this team has had, and with a favorable schedule, Philly should be in contention for the NFC East’s crown and maybe more during the coming campaign.
Lists are fun. The same can be said for debating how good this team is on paper. At the end of the day, however, games are won and lost on the field of play, and the Eagles figure to win more than they lose during the 2022-2023 NFL season.