I never know what to write at the top of these mailbags, so here it goes.
I answered some of your questions yesterday (see story).
I'll answer more now:
Do you expect Doug to continue making gutsy calls this year or play it more conservative?— WizardBiscuit23 (@Tyahla23) May 19, 2017
I think Pederson will continue to be aggressive. I guess the real question is, how much? At times last season, Pederson pretty much admitted he was being so aggressive because the Eagles weren't really playing for much, so maybe he'll reel it in a little bit this season. But I think if Pederson really is aggressive by nature, he's going to continue that.
It's funny you ask this now because I actually thought about some of those gutsy play calls when the team signed LeGarrette Blount last week. The Eagles weren't great in short-yardage situations in 2016, but Blount is very good in those same spots. Maybe Blount will be able to bail out his head coach this season.
How many games will Wentz throw the ball 40+ times this season? Really hope the number is low.— Picking the Games (@Dont_be_wrong) May 19, 2017
This is a tough question to answer because there are so many factors that go into it. For instance: If a team is down early in a game, the quarterback is gonna throw a ton of passes. And even though the Eagles signed Blount, will Pederson abandon his pass-run ratio? That seems unlikely. And how much of a difference-maker is Blount at this point in his career? Probably not enough to make the Eagles a run-first team.
Let's start with the numbers. Last year, on his way to setting a rookie record for pass attempts, Wentz threw 40-plus passes in seven games. The same number of games as Matthew Stafford and Carson Palmer. Only Joe Flacco (11) and Drew Brews (10) had more.
Guess what? I think that's just going to be Wentz's game under Pederson. Wentz is the Eagles' biggest weapon and they're going to live or die by his arm. He keeps airing it out in 2017.
Do we stash Clement on the practice squad? Will four RBs make the team?— Pete (@petewynn129) May 19, 2017
The Blount signing might have been good news for the Eagles, but it was terrible news for Corey Clement. The big back from Glassboro, New Jersey, might have actually had a chance to make the Eagles' 53-man roster, but that chance pretty much evaporated when Blount's pen hit paper.
So, yeah, the practice squad would probably make sense. After all, Blount is on a one-year deal, so maybe Clement can be that big-bodied running back of the future. I'd say Clement has a pretty good shot of landing on the 10-man practice squad.
As for the running backs on the roster, I'd expect four: Blount, Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey.https://twitter.com/_primetime27/status/865566012976099330
Well, I haven't even seen the team practice together in shorts yet, so this is a bit early. But I'll play along.
I think there's a good shot the Eagles win anywhere from seven to 10 games. Is it possible they win fewer games than they did in 2016? Sure. But I think it's unlikely as Wentz and Pederson enter Year 2 with some actual weapons.
For the most part, I think the Eagles have improved this offseason, but there are still notable question marks, starting with their corners. That's a huge worry. The offense should be better in 2016, but what about the defense? Even though Jim Schwartz's unit was actually the strength of the team during most of last season, that's where many of my question marks are.