The Philadelphia Eagles made a signing that no one was asking for or expecting on Tuesday, October 17th. They picked up free-agent wide receiver Julio Jones. The future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee has certainly enjoyed a Hall-of-Fame caliber career, but now he’s 34 years old. His effectiveness is a question, but it’s a question that will probably get answered sooner rather than later.
It’s a surprising signing because this season we’ve seen the Eagles’ new wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus showcase some ability when called upon in his role as WR3. Depth at wideout wasn’t necessarily something that was on anyone’s mind. Sure, a veteran backup at the position made a lot of sense, but there were other needs that were more pressing.
There's a lot to love about Olamide Zaccheaus, and the Eagles should put him on the field more.
It’s hard to say why we like Olamide Zaccheaus as much as we do. Could the reason be that he’s got pretty reliable hands? Could it be that he gives 100% on every single snap? Might we still be buzzing about the fact that he ran downfield to block for A.J. Brown on the star player's first TD of the season?
Maybe it's all of those things, or maybe it's this. Maybe it's as simple as he ISN'T Quez Watkins,
Whatever the case may be, O.Z. has earned a spot in our hearts, so when news came across our timelines that the Eagles signed Julio Jones, it gave everyone kind of a weird and shaky feeling. Yes, Julio Jones has been super sick in his career, but also we want to keep seeing more of Zaccheaus.
Luckily for us, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to the media on Wednesday, October 18th, and eased our potential fears. He was asked about the Jones signing and after he answered the question, he went out of his way to speak about Zaccheaus. You can listen to that statement below:
That’s good to hear. It’s good to know that Nick values Olamide the same way that we do. He sees him play with grit and effort the same way that we do. Sirianni knows that OZ has been, can, and will be a valuable part of this offense.
There was never a huge chance that the 34-year-old receiver was going to take a huge snap share from OZ. This Eagles offense isn’t really creative and a lot of the plays are ‘smash you in the face’ kinds of plays. That’s where a physical guy like O.Z. thrives.
If there ever becomes a time when the Eagles decide to actually get a little spicy with their play design, a sure-handed threat like Jones does add more value than Zaccheaus.
You can watch Nick Sirianni's entire press conference from Wednesday below.