Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Needs
Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Needs
The Eagles’ season came to a close last week, losing 17-9 at home to the Seattle Seahawks. It was disappointing to say the least, not in their performance, but because Carson Wentz left the game very early because of a concussion caused by a questionably dirty hit by DE Jadeveon Clowney. With Wentz out of the game, the makeshift offense that he carried on his back for the last four games of the regular season was left to the backup, 40-year old Josh McCown. McCown performed admirably, even on a later to be found torn hamstring, but didn’t have enough to make the plays down the stretch needed to overcome Seattle. Let’s take a look at what the Eagles should do this offseason.
-Fire DC Jim Schwartz
Schwartz has done a pretty decent job as defensive coordinator, coaching the defense to its first-ever SB in 2017. But in the two seasons since, the defense has gotten progressively worse and predictable. His scheme of a wide nine front and single high safety has gotten the secondary burned. The Eagles were the worst in the league this year with 8 passes allowed of 50 yards or more for touchdowns and an additional 7 passes allowed for over 40 yards. The defensive line is not getting to the QB like it once did forcing Schwartz to call more blitzes and leaving the below-average secondary vulnerable. I would bring in Marvin Lewis as his replacement. I know. You hear Lewis’s name and immediately cringe. But he’s coming in as coordinator, not the head coach. Players love playing for him and he immediately brings a level of respect. The Lions did the Eagles a favor hiring DB coach Cory Undlin as their new DC. Let Lewis have full control of the defense and the staff.
-Bring back John DeFillippo as OC
With Mike Groh being fired and DeFillippo not returning as Jaguars OC, it seems fitting that the former Eagles QB coach should come back to fill the vacant OC role. “Flip” was notoriously tough on Wentz’s throwing mechanics, something was woefully amiss during the early and middle parts of the season. If they decide not to bring Flip back, promote RB coach Duce Staley or OL coach Jeff Stoutland, arguably the two best position coaches on the staff on either side of the ball. Did you see the way the Titans ran it down Baltimore’s throats this weekend? Power football is back.
-Hire Hines Ward as WR coach
Ward is just getting his feet wet in coaching as he just completed his first year with the Jets’ staff. Who better to coach up these young WRs than a guy who had a stellar career through hard work rather than natural ability.
-Do not give Jenkins new deal
Safety Malcolm Jenkins wasted no time in negotiating for a new contract as he spoke up about it the day after the Eagles’ playoff loss. Look, the guy is still in his prime and is the unquestioned leader on defense, but the biggest problem on this team is age. They have to get younger everywhere and with that comes cheaper contracts. Jenkins has been stellar in run defense and in his role as a box safety, but there needs to be a change in scheme and with that a need for a better cover safety. The bottom line is, he won’t be worth what he going to ask for.
-Let McLeod, Mills, Darby walk
Yes, this means the entire starting secondary wouldn’t be back. Darby can’t tackle, can’t stay healthy, and gets burned too often. Mills is a decent player but he’s looking for his second contract which means he’ll want more money than what he deserves, and might get on the open market. McLeod has had health problems of his own lately and has seen a decline in his play. The Eagles need to see what they have in Sidney Jones. The former second-round pick is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He has shown flashes amongst a career that has been, so far, marred in injury and disappointment. I’d like to see him start on the outside opposite a highly drafted rookie CB with Avonte Maddox and Crevon LeBlanc as the slot and fourth corners, respectively. As for the other corner in the mix…
-Move Rasul Douglas to safety
This position change has been mulled about for a while now. The big-bodied corner is probably best suited for a safety role as he has decent enough speed and can also tackle well. The problem with leaving him at corner is that he’s gotten consistently burned by the faster receivers in the league.
-Trade Ertz, Jeffery
Trading the best pass-catcher on the team might seem ludicrous, but hear me out. There are a lot of holes elsewhere on the roster, and if you can get a premium pick from another team, say a second-round pick from the Colts and former OC Frank Reich who have already said they’re not resigning Eric Ebron, you do it. Dallas Goedert has proven he can handle the TE1 role. As for Alshon, there is no way they can bring him back after the tumultuous season he just had. Rumors swirled and were all but confirmed, that he leaked his frustrations with Carson Wentz to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Trading him instead of cutting him would only cost $1 million extra in dead cap money. He is injured, so he won’t fetch a high pick, but at this point, you take what you can get.
-Draft WR, CB, and S
Clemson’s Tee Higgins seems to be the pick in most mock drafts but I think he’s gone by the time the Eagles pick at 21. I would be targeting Justin Jefferson from LSU. Similar build, but Jefferson put up superior numbers against stronger competition. In the second round, I’m looking at CB A.J. Terrell from Clemson and S Ashtyn Davis from Cal.
-Sign MLB and veteran power RB
The Eagles should have enough cap room to make one major signing. If Blake Martinez doesn’t re-sign in Green Bay, he would be my top priority. He is a tackling machine. This team has overlooked linebackers for far too long and it has cost them. He’d be a great fit in a revamped defense.