Tha Sports Junkies 101

Questions You Need Answers To Before Training Camp

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An Outlook On 2017-2018 Before Training Camp starts

The Philadelphia Eagles made a splash in the offseason while also making some noise in the NFL Draft. Training camp is approaching and the team needs to know who they can rely on. Quarterback Carson Wentz didn’t have reliable weapons that could help him out of a tight spot or help him to jumpstart the offense last season. General manager Howie Roseman took notice of these things and decided to bolster Wentz’s arsenal by adding wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Roseman also got Super Bowl LI champion and the NFL’s rushing touchdowns leader LeGarrette Blount to join the “Wentz Wagon”. Roseman, the Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager along with the coaching staff focused on defense in the NFL Draft with five out of the eight players drafted by the Eagles being defensive players. Therefore, expect training camp to be a war between these players and more.

What about the playoffs? The offense will have to carry the load

This team can make the playoffs. But can they survive once they’re there? This team has enough to make the playoffs as a wild card and could maybe steal a game. Philadelphia is relying on their sophomore quarterback Wentz to lift this offense to new heights and have them running like a top-ten offense in the league. The defense is the team’s weakness, specifically, the defensive back position. The defense will be relying on their defensive line and linebacker corps to do their jobs well. Can those defensive backs carry their own weight against the likes of Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers and Cam Newton? That’s not all the quarterbacks this defense has to face, by the way. This upcoming season will be a big task for this Philadelphia defense and its cornerbacks.

Change is here and things will be different from last season

No Ryan Mathews or Nelson Agholor. Ok, there might be some Agholor but not a lot of him, which is still good. The team will have to run the ball more this season to help take some of the pressure off Wentz. The Eagles started the season 3-0 and proceeded to lose the next nine out of eleven games in the season. That’s really bad, like really bad. The Eagles lost six out of seven games when Wentz was asked to throw the ball 42 or more times. The running game will be key this season. The offense has to pound the ball and limit the number of throws for Wentz. Wentz also has to play smarter and avoid those dangerous throws.

The defensive philosophy does work, but it needs to keep on working

Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz brought this defense from 30th place in 2015 to 13th place overall in 2016, according to ESPN. Schwartz joined the Eagles organization in 2016 with some big expectations. The team invested draft picks to help out the defense and make Schwartz’s job easier. It is his job to get these defensive ends and tackles to do their job and help out defensive backs in coverage by putting enormous amounts of pressure on the opposing quarterback. Schwartz’s defensive philosophy has proven to be effective for the Eagles and the numbers back that up. But his toughest job might be this training camp because of the decisions he’s going to have to make. The defense fell apart against the big teams and Schwartz will be the first one to tell you that. His job is just beginning.

The Eagles are built for now and the future

The team that’s currently being built by the Eagles has enough pieces to reach the postseason. What an interesting duo that the Eagles have on offense with Wentz and Blount along with a receiver that wants to prove his worth in a new environment and a new team. The offensive line is a mixture of veterans and guys that need to prove they deserve a spot on the team. The defense is also another mixture of veterans like safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Brandon Graham and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. There are the youngsters on defense like Jalen Mills, Derek Barnett and Aaron Grymes along with Rasul Douglas. The team has a mix of everything on both sides of the ball.

Howie Roseman is doing his job and the coaching staff needs to do theirs

Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman still has the role of General Manager of the team. His relationship with Coach Pederson is so far a good one. They’ve proven that they can co-exist, unlike a former Eagles coach that no fan wants to talk about. The worst days are behind them and the relationships between the coaching staff and front office are healthy ones.

The Chip Kelly days taught Roseman a lot

The Chip Kelly era saw the purge of fan favorite players like wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy. These were highly controversial moves in the organization and it eventually led to the demise of Chip Kelly. The Chip Kelly days taught Roseman a lot about his job and he’s learned that he has to do his job well so the coaching staff can also do theirs just as well.

Pederson’s Eagles background with Andy Reid helps

Pederson’s Eagles background has made things easier for him and Roseman. Pederson was part of the Eagles’ coaching staff from 2009-2013. Pederson spent two seasons in Kansas City as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator before finally making his return to the City of Brotherly Love in 2016. His relationship with the players is seen whenever Wentz is asked about him. He believes Pederson can do the job and can only improve with each game.

Both the offense and defense have substantial position battles

An important battle on defense is between the defensive ends and tackles. While on offense, the important position battle is between the wide receivers. The Eagles drafted two wide receivers in Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson and signed Jeffery and Smith to boost a position that struggled mightily last season. Defensive ends like Vinny Curry and Marcus Smith will have to work extra hard to keep their spots this season because they could find themselves with little playing time during the regular season. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor has found comfort in the slot position so expect him to fight for his life in training camp. Dorial Green-Beckham is being overlooked because he’s failed to show the best version of his game. In conclusion, expect the coaching staff to have a tough job during training camp because the competitions are going to be beyond intense.