6 Philadelphia Eagles who must change their narrative in 2024

The Eagles look to repair the recent narratives that have been written, but that will have to begin with individual players.
Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles
Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

This next statement won't be news to anyone. Playing professional sports in the City of Brotherly Love can be a tough gig. One can make the argument that the Philadelphia Eagles catch the most heat. Though the Philly sports fan is loyal and truly passionate about all sports, most Philly fans love football more than any other game.

Another regular season approaches. This will be the 92nd of this team's existence, and after a collapse ended the 91st, the spotlight will shine even brighter (and hotter).

Here are a handful of Eagles who are looking to change the public's perception heading into the 2024 NFL season.

Three seasons of the Nick Sirianni coaching era are in our rearview mirror. The Birds overachieved in 2021. They earned a Super Bowl berth to close his sophomore run, but we know how that ended. The greatest Eagles team assembled, in a night became the most disappointing.

Year three was... Well... We haven't gotten over year three. Then again, we haven't gotten over the Super Bowl loss.

It feels like there's a thin line the coming iteration is riding, one that separates a Super Bowl contender from another disappointment. So, here we are. The Birds look to shed the suddenly negative perception, but that will have to start with players looking to do the same.

Nakobe Dean. linebacker

Public perception: The product of great teammates in college, injury-prone, potential bust

From NFL Draft invitee to a guy trying not to lose the faith of an entire fan base after slipping to Round 3. Since flicking it up with fellow potential first-rounders at the 2022 NFL Draft, Nakobe Dean has been hustling backward and hanging out on the injured reserve.

He was indestructible at the NCAA level. He was supposed to be the defensive signal-caller as he entered year two in Philly, but two stints on the IR short-circuited that.

And, just like that, it's year three. Calling him a bust would be unfair, but he is slowly trending in that direction.

What's in the cards? No one knows, but it would be nice to see him turn things around.

James Bradberry, cornerback

Public perception: Slow, washed up, a regressing and overpriced veteran

It isn't uncommon to see guys regress, especially as they get older. James Bradberry took things to another level in 2023.

He didn't regress. It was much worse than that. James Bradberry sort of fell off a cliff. Here we are awaiting chapter three in Philadelphia.

We understand why he was extended. 2022 was an All-Pro season. It was worth the gamble. Unfortunately that gamble didn't pay off.

The good news is James normally follows an off-year with a good one. We're expecting a comeback /underdog story in a city that has always been in love with them.

Nick Sirianni, head coach

Public perception: CEO head coach, overly-emotional, possible lame-duck and scapegoat

Frankly, we can live with raw emotion, to a certain extent. No NFL head coach should have a babysitter on the sideline. That's a bit much.

We don't know what Nick Sirianni does, so please stop asking. Yes, that collapse last season was ugly, but here's the thing.

He deserved to return for another season to right the ship. He's earned that. So, here we are, year four of the Sirianni regime.

If someone told you he'd lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons (and a Super Bowl appearance) before his hire, everyone would have signed up for that. We're pulling for you Coach! Don't let us down!

Jalen Hurts, quarterback

Public perception: Honestly, it depends on who you ask

It's funny how quickly people can turn on someone. After the Eagles outlasted the Buffalo Bills in overtime to improve to 10-1, Jalen Hurts had the best odds to win the MVP trophy. People have forgotten that.

One minute, we love his stoic nature because we fell in love with his laser focus. Now, we're hearing that's a flaw and he needs to smile more.

Are you guys serious?

Look, it's hard to play quarterback in the National Football League. Why do you think three or more get selected in the first round of every NFL Draft? Jalen will be fine. He works too hard to fail at anything. You have to remember. Every quarterback sees periods of ineffective play, even the great ones.

We trust Kellen Moore to get him where he needs to go. We know QB1 will put the work in.

Trust us on this one. The Eagles could do a lot worse than fielding Jalen Hurts. Cue the comeback. We'll try not to say we told you so.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson, defensive back

Public perception: Maturity issues, fair-weather employee, selfish in times of crisis

Don't call it a comeback! C.J. Gardner-Johnson has returned for a second stint in Philly, and he's back like he never left in the first place.

This time, he's rocking a number 8 jersey to honor the late Kobe Bryant. The hope is he creates magic like he did in his first run.

Okay, we know how things ended the last time. He apologized. We've let bygones be bygones. Frankly, we're all for letting guys be who they are and live authentically.

C.J. G.J. isn't being true to himself if he doesn't say what he thinks. Frankly, his attitude is some of what the Eagles missed on defense last season.

We hope he stays off social media because although all is forgiven, we may not extend the same level of grace next time there's a blowup.

We just hope he stays off social media because although all is forgiven, we may not extend the same level of grace next time there's a blowup.

A.J. Brown, wide receiver

Public perception: Diva attitude, overly-emotional, talented but high maintenance

In two seasons, A.J. Brown has already proven himself on the football field. He's earned consecutive Pro Bowl nods and is one of the best wide receivers to don an Eagles jersey.

Is he emotional? Yes.... Is he a tad high maintenance? Absolutely... But, show us a wide receiver that doesn't want the ball thrown his way, and we'll show you Mack Hollins.

We'll take him demanding the ball on the sideline, but admittedly, we can live without the occasional media silent treatments. Then again, how can you blame him? The networks would probably just twist his words anyway.

Read more Eagles news from Inside The Iggles