From Super Bowl champions to playing one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
The 2020 NFL season for the Philadelphia Eagles lacked a fan presence, consistent health, and a record worthy of discussion. The Eagles finished 4-11-1, taking last place in the NFC East. They lost their head coach, their franchise quarterback, and are now preparing for a slew of cuts due to salary cap issues.
But wide receivers Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor don’t seem to be too concerned. The two took to Twitter last week, stating that they are not worried “AT ALL” about the Eagles’ offense going into the 2021 offseason.
AT ALL. https://t.co/A17veVUz5g
— Reag (@jalenreagor) February 26, 2021
In a time of uncertainty, were these confident comments, or are they tweeting themselves into oblivion?
“IGNORANCE IS BLISS” THEORY
The offense throughout the 2020 season struggled to produce. Reagor endured an injury, finishing as the least productive drafted first-round wide receiver. Fulgham had a string of remarkable plays early on, later disappearing for the remainder of the season. Jason Peters couldn’t protect, and Zach Ertz was the most unproductive tight end compared across the league.
The season may have ended, but the Philadelphia Eagles are still in disarray.
Within a day of each other, Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, and DeSean Jackson was released after two stints with the Birds. In the weeks ahead, the offense will likely lose Alshon Jeffery, Marquise Goodwin, Corey Clement, Zach Ertz, and Jason Peters. Jason Kelce, who has played in 105 consecutive games (the longest streak among all NFL interior linemen), may also retire.
The Eagles’ offense may be left with a few noteworthy players, rookies who haven’t lived up to their potential, and vacancies that need to be filled while paying next to nothing.
The anticipation regarding those vacancies, including one that the #6 draft spot will fill, has many wondering if the potential for a franchise-altering player exists. The pessimist would say no — Howie Roseman’s history doesn’t leave room for much else.
Philadelphia’s rebuild also includes the coaching staff. They are entirely new to the team except for three coaches who will return for another season. Although success starts from the top, realistically no one knows how the “top” will lead.
“CERTAINTY IN THE EAGLES’ ABILITY” THEORY
On the flip side, the unknown doesn’t always have a negative spin. A total rebuild may be exactly what Philadelphia needs.
Let’s first start by assuming Jalen Hurts will be the starting quarterback going into 2021. For the 2020 season, Hurts was ranked No. 23 out of 59 quarterbacks, and he only started in four games. This would lead us to believe that significant potential exists.
Hurts will now also have the opportunity to play more reps in both the offseason and the preseason. With a focus on his younger teammates, Philadelphia will likely see Dallas Goedert, Greg Ward, and Miles Sanders as standouts.
As for the guys with all the confidence — Reagor has the speed to contribute explosive plays, and Fulgham was the Eagles’ leading wide receiver in 2020 with 539 yards and four touchdowns.
The offensive line will likely build around veterans Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, and Jason Kelce (if he doesn’t retire), creating a strong foundation for opposing defense.
Over the last nine seasons, at least one offensive lineman has made the Pro Bowl under offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Stoutland will remain in Philadelphia under new head coach Nick Sirianni and will be joined by Shane Steichen and Brian Johnson. Both are offensive coaches bringing expertise and a passion for unique ideas.
TO AGREE OR NOT AGREE
Whether Reagor and Fulgham truly believe the offense will excel or they are just playing the part, their mindset is in the right place. The Eagles had the right pieces in 2020 to be successful, but they just didn’t fit. The key now is to make them all work together.