Now that we're well into the 2017 regular season, these mailbags will become a staple of each weekend. At least, I'll try.
The Eagles are facing a really tough matchup this weekend in Kansas City against Andy Reid's team. Big Red had three extra days to prepare for this one, which isn't good news. For the record, I don't think the Eagles win this one. I predict a 31-24 win for the guys in red.
If the Eagles do pick up a W Sunday, it'll be huge.
Anyway, let's hop into your questions:
Let me preface this by saying Jim Schwartz and the rest of his defensive backs kept their mouths shut about the plan during the week. And the Eagles certainly have some options.
I expect this to be done based on packages; it probably won't be black and white. I think Patrick Robinson will slide inside and outside in this game. He'll be one of the outside corners — along with Jalen Mills — when the Chiefs are in their base package. But knowing Reid's offense, that won't be often. That means Robinson will be inside, and Mills will be outside with …? Well, now that's the real question.
There's been a lot of talk about rookie Rasul Douglas getting some real playing time Sunday, but I'm not so sure. After all, Jaylen Watkins came into the game last week and actually performed well. I'd imagine he'll get a chance to play quite a bit Sunday.
And at times, I think Malcolm Jenkins will be in the slot too. They don't want to completely get away from that, especially with Corey Graham available to take over at safety.
It's too early to say, but it's looking pretty good. The thing with Agholor is that one good game isn't enough to say he's turned it around. Frank Reich made that same point last season. Let's see if Agholor can keep this up for a few weeks.
If you're asking my gut feeling: yeah, I think he's a completely different Agholor. I'm not sure if he'll ever be a superstar, but he can play in this league. He certainly has the talent and I always thought he was a better fit in the slot. I'm not sure why the Eagles were so hesitant to try him there last season.
Talking to Agholor in the week before the opener, he seemed like a completely different guy as he has all offseason. For a guy who needed a personal mental health day last season, he is extremely confident and has been for months. Take a look back at that story after knowing what happened in the opener and it's telling.
That might seem crazy based on one up-and-down rookie season and one OK game to start Year 2. But there's something about this kid. And it's not just my analysis. There are many people throughout the league who think he has the chance to be really special. With Wentz, it's two-fold. He's not just gifted physically, but he has the mental capacity to be great. His recall and football knowledge are off the charts. He has to put it together.
Still, it's really damn hard to win an MVP. And, remember, it's not all on him. The MVP isn't really just an individual award. It usually goes to a player on a good team. The good news for Wentz is that it's pretty much just an award for quarterbacks. Just one time in the last 10 years has it gone to a non-QB. The other thing Wentz has going for him is that Peyton Manning is out of the league and Tom Brady has to be close to the end of his career. Those guys would have been serious roadblocks to getting an MVP of his own. There are five MVPs still active: Brady, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson.
Foles hasn't missed any practice time since the regular season started, so he appears to be fine. For a long time, that elbow injury was a concern. And he might not be completely past it, but the Eagles are probably just hoping that if they need him in 2017, he'll be able to tough it out for a few games at the most.
It wasn't a great debut for Jeffery in Week 1, but he's a better player than that. And I think it's still going to take some time for him and Wentz to get on the same page. I kept hammering on those questions during training camp when Jeffery wasn't practicing for a reason. So much of his game is timing with the QB and they simply didn't have enough time together. The beauty of his game are those back shoulder throws and the fade route. Those things don't come easy with a new quarterback.
I still expect him to have a nice season and the slow start didn't scare me off that. Watching practice every day through the summer, it's clear he's a different animal than the other receivers they have. He's much better and it's not close. He'll get his.
Well, I thought Derek Barnett did some good things in his NFL debut. He certainly doesn't look like a rookie. The problem for him was that Vinny Curry actually had a pretty good game too. And Brandon Graham is going to be a starter as long as he's healthy, so Barnett will need to consistently outplay Curry. Even with how unimpressive Curry was last season, that's not going to happen right away.
Eventually, though, I think you're on to something. The Eagles didn't draft Barnett to bring him off the bench. I think he has a chance to be starting by mid-year. We'll get some warning signs before then though. Watch the snap counts and the situations he's on the field. He was in for a ton of third-downs in the opener. When he starts stealing a bunch of first and second downs, becoming a starter won't be far behind.