Eagles

How much will the Eagles’ offense really change in 2020?

How much will the Eagles’ offense really change in 2020?

If Doug Pederson wanted to make his point any clearer, he could have simply reached behind him and brought forward one of the two life-size replica Lombardi Trophies sparkling in his Zoom background. 

After all, it was his offense that a couple years ago scored 41 points to win the first Super Bowl in Eagles history. 

But make no mistake: Changes are coming to the Eagles’ offense this offseason, even if Pederson downplayed how drastic they’ll be. 

I don't think, from the naked eye, you're going to see a ton of different concepts, different ideas, different things from the naked eye,” Pederson said on a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday. “What you're going to see from our standpoint is subtleties within what we do as an offense: protections, the play action game, screens, even the run game. But those are all things that we're going to work on in training camp. 

“But I think overall, you are not going to see big, wholesale changes. We didn't overhaul the entire offense, and keep in mind, this offense won a World Championship a couple seasons ago, so we are just finding ways to make it better at this time.

Something tells me Pederson is slightly understating how different the offense will be in 2020. Maybe it’s to maintain a competitive advantage; maybe it’s out of pride because he’s the leader of the offense that need changing. 

But why would the Eagles go through the trouble of revamping the coaching staff and adding a bunch of speed to the roster if the offense wasn’t going to change enough to notice it with the naked eye? 

At least a discerning eye ought to be able to see changes, right? 

The fact is that Pederson is an offensive head coach in an offensive league and the Eagles’ offense hasn’t been good enough. Pederson brought up the Super Bowl season, but that year the Eagles averaged 28.6 points per game, good for third in the NFL. In his three other seasons at the helm, that average dips to 23.3 and they haven’t been in the top 10 in any other year. 

Last season, the Eagles were 12th in the NFL in scoring and 14th in yards per game. When they lost DeSean Jackson the offense become plodding. Other times it was predictable. Other times it was just flat-out not good enough. 

That led to the following changes after the 2019 season ended: 

• Former offensive coordinator Mike Groh was fired
• Press Taylor was promoted to pass game coordinator
• Rich Scangarello was hired as senior offensive assistant
• Andrew Breiner was hired as pass game analyst 
• Marty Mornhinweg was hired as senior offensive consultant
• Aaron Moorehead was hired to replace Carson Walch as WRs coach

Again, why make those changes if the offense won’t change at least somewhat significantly? Sure, Pederson is still in charge but these guys should have influence too. 

The most noteworthy addition to the coaching staff was the hire of Scangarello, a Kyle Shanahan disciple who spent last season as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator. While Scangarello was hired to do many things, the main reason he was brought aboard was to help Carson Wentz excel in an area where he has already been very good: Quarterback movement. 

Even in an unusual offseason, the good news is that this process is already underway. 

Before we were able to break and before we had to shut our building down, as the offensive and defensive staff, we were able to meet quite a bit, even with the new coaches and get a sense, get a feel for offensively with Rich and Aaron in particular,” Pederson said. 

“And really now, during these virtual meetings, you see the dialogue that, say, Carson and Rich have, Rich and Press have, myself, Rich and Press have from a passing game side. Even Andrew who is new to the staff and seeing his input.

The relationship between Wentz and Scangarello will be an extremely important one if the Eagles are going to maximize that hire for the reason they brought him in. Think about it: Wentz is 27, he has been a Pro Bowler and has signed a $100 million contract. Now, he has a new coach coming in and trying to work with him without a preexisting relationship and without the two even able to meet in the same room. 

If those two work well together, we could see an improved offense in 2020. 

“To see the conversations evolve and how detailed the conversations are and what Rich has been able to bring to us as a staff,” Pederson said, “and what he has been able to bring to the players.”

Maybe we’ll all be able to see those changes in September, even with the naked eye. 

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Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Jalen Reagor hasn't yet set foot on a football field wearing midnight green, but the Eagles' first-round pick is already a pro at comebacks.

Professional Talker Skip Bayless popped off about Reagor's (admittedly unexpected) draft slot late last week, making fun of the Eagles for taking Reagor at No. 21 overall.

Here's what Bayless had to say:

I about fell out of my chair over that, for the wrong reason. Jalen Reagor went way higher than any draft expert had mocked him. I'm mocking that pick right now, because I thought it was a silly pick, because there were four, five other receivers I would've taken over Jalen Reagor.

There are, of course, different ways to responds when a person like Bayless (loud, looking for attention) singles out a player.

You can try to argue the points made, and point out that while Reagor going at No. 21 overall may have been a surprise, you'd be hard pressed to name four wideouts who went after Reagor and are widely seen as better players.

Justin Jefferson at No. 22? Fine. Brandon Aiyuk at No. 25 is a pick 'em, as is Tee Higgins at No. 33, and most basically everyone would give Reagor the edge over guys like Laviska Shenault, K.J. Hamler, and Chase Claypool.

You can take the petty angle and remind Bayless, a noted Cowboys fan, which team is the reigning NFC East champion. (It's the Eagles.)

Or you can be Reagor, and simply tell Bayless that you heard what he thinks, and keep it moving:

Nice and subtle. Reagor is keeping a list, but he's unbothered. Perfect.

Something tells me this clip will be re-shared plenty when Reagor scores his first touchdown against the Cowboys.

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How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

ESPN's decision to seize on the success of "The Last Dance" by teasing a similar documentary about Tom Brady has grabbed sports fans' attention, even if the doc doesn't come out until 2021.

And while reliving Brady's greatest accomplishments isn't an ideal way to spend several hours, the way the Eagles are intertwined with Brady's Patriots legacy certainly suggests there will be tons of insights for Philly fans in the final product.

Like, maybe, Brady saying he feels the fabled 'Patriot Way' began because of the Eagles.

Here's the doc's producer Gotham Chopra, talking to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, on the way Brady viewed his time in New England:

CHOPRA: There was something we recently did on that 2004 Super Bowl, where he talked about the culture of that team. All this stuff you hear about Patriot Way, and Do Your Job, stuff that Bill has created over the years, the philosophies, this is the year that really happened.

He’s like, ‘First year, kind of a miracle. The next Super Bowl, O.K., now we’re getting our feel. And that first Eagles Super Bowl, this is where the Patriot Way was born.’

Welp.

Odds are good the Patriots would've been great for the last 15 years no matter what, but it's sort of frustrating to know the Eagles losing to Brady helped, at least in Brady's mind, establish New England's brand of success.

Who knows: If Donovan McNabb & Co. managed to pull out the win, maybe we would've had a very different last 15 years.

One thing Eagles fans can get excited for, at least, is Brady's reaction to losing Super Bowl LII to the Eagles.

It's unclear how much behind-the-scenes stuff we'll see from the game - Chopra said Brady suddenly got cold feet about filming in Minneapolis that week - but It sounds like it really changed him as a person:

CHOPRA: What he told me about that Eagles loss, it was dealing with it as a father, dealing with it as a husband. He was a very different person than with the Giants losses, he had a different perspective that I think poised him for that game. I thought, ‘Wow, it’s really interesting how a guy who’s still at it is learning like that.’ Because he’s like [Michael] Jordan, he’s incomparable. There’s no one else who has that story, has that perspective.

It's so strange to think how, despite playing in a different conference, the Eagles have played a pretty significant role in shaping the way the world sees Brady and the Patriots.

For better, and for worse.

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