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Former NFL general manager came up with five steps to fix the Eagles

Let’s see what we have here.

Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi, who now works for The Ringer, came up with suggestions on how to fix all 32 NFL teams. You can watch his video about the Eagles by clicking here. Here’s an overview of his proposals with my take on them.

1 - Find the right offense for Carson Wentz

Lombardi says Doug Pederson brought the Chiefs’ offense to Philadelphia last year and it wasn’t the best fit for Wentz.

Hm, I don’t really agree. I don’t think there was a big problem with the offense scheme-wise. Look at how well Wentz played early on in the season.

The problem with the Eagles’ offense is that scheme only goes so far. Early in the season, Pederson was able to scheme wide receivers open. That didn’t last very long because teams caught up to what the Eagles were doing and Philadelphia didn’t have the talent to overcome it.

The right offense for Wentz is one that actually features NFL quality receivers and a reliable running back. Get some talent in here and then we can assess if the scheme is truly an issue or not.

2 - Add receivers who can catch the ball

OK, now we’re talking! Lombardi correctly points out how the Eagles had one of the worst wide receiving corps in the NFL last season.

There’s no question the Eagles have to sign at LEAST one proven receiver in free agency. It doesn’t even have to be a star talent. That would be ideal, sure, but even acquiring some merely mediocre receivers would be upgrades on what the Birds trotted out in 2016. Wentz needs weapons.

The Eagles have been linked to virtually every free agent wide receiver (plus Brandin Cooks) so they’re bound to address the position in some form.

3 - Find a legit running back


Well, I certainly don’t agree with Lombardi’s point that trading DeMarco Murray was a mistake. Yes, Murray had a productive year with the Titans, but keeping him in Philadelphia wasn’t really an option. He clearly wanted out and the Eagles clearly didn’t want him around. It was a toxic situation. Getting rid of Murray also eventually helped the Eagles move up to No. 2 in the 2016 NFL Draft to get Wentz, so I’d say moving on from Murray was ultimately the right move.

But back to the present. The Eagles absolutely need to find a real lead running back. They already have a bunch of rotational, part-time guys. They need to find a legit long-term starter at the position. The 2017 NFL Draft features a lot of talented rushers so the Eagles will probably be able to find one there.

Running the ball is still very important in today’s NFL. Just look at how the Eagles beat the (almost Super Bowl champions) Atlanta Falcons last season. They were able to keep that offense off the field by controlling the clock. This is also the strategy the Cowboys employed during their 12-4 campaign last season. It’s not going to be easy for the Eagles to find their own Ezekiel Elliott, but that shouldn’t stop them from aiming to improve the position.

Improving the run game allows Wentz to throw less. That’s important because he attempted the second most passes for a rookie in NFL history last season. The Eagles can’t ask him to everything at this early stage in his career.

4 - Find a cornerback

Make that “cornerbacks.” Plural.

The Eagles currently don’t have any proven starting cornerbacks under contract. Jalen Mills might turn out to be something but it’s not a lock.

The feeling here is that Philadelphia should avoid spending big money on corners in free agency and instead focus on drafting and developing a few rookies. Howie Roseman suggested this option was the likely route when he said the Eagles might have to be comfortable entering the draft with holes at corner. It’s the right way to go because this year’s class is loaded with cornerback talent.

5 - More depth at defensive line

It’s true that “you can never have too many pass rushers.”

The Eagles will especially need to add bodies at defensive end with Connor Barwin virtually gone. Vinny Curry only played 40.5% of Philadelphia’s snaps last season so it remains to be seen how much they trust him as a starter moving forward despite giving him a big contract extension last year.

Defensive tackle will be a huge need for the Eagles if Bennie Logan isn’t retained. Even if the team feels comfortable with Beau Allen as a starter, which seems like an iffy prospect, they’ll still need to improve their depth at the position.

Overall, not a bad assessment from Lombardi. The Eagles’ work is really cut out for them this offseason. Get Wentz some skill players. Find some young guys to develop at the cornerback position. Fill out depth in the trenches and other positions where possible.

Now, how about actually making some moves so I don’t have to fill my time with posts like these, Eagles?!

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