I love NFL offseason hype.
Every player is in the best shape of their lives. Every team is feeling really good about the guys they have in the locker room. Every fan expects their squad to be better than they were last year.
And then eventually the real games start and everything turns out to be not as great as it seemed. (Or maybe it’s even better!) But that doesn’t matter right now. Because the offseason is for daydreaming.
We mentioned last week that the Eagles see anything they get from second-round corner Sidney Jones in 2017 as a bonus. Good news: Third-round corner Rasul Douglas is impressing early, which could help quell temptation to push Jones.
While we’re there, wideout Alshon Jeffrey has made a great early impression on the Philly coaches. He’s in shape—one staffer said he looks like a “freak”—and all this jibes with what Bears coaches were saying about him last summer, before his 2016 went sideways.
Douglas hasn’t even been practicing in Philadelphia for a full week (rookie minicamp began last Friday!) and he’s already “impressing early.” (So is Mack Hollins, apparently.)
The note on Jeffery actually matches up with what Doug Pederson had to say about the team’s new wide receiver last week.
Well, number one, his attitude. The way he has come in here and really just embraced it and has done everything we've asked him to do. He's competed at a high level. What I mean by that is even though we're not competing against the defense, he's competing in his individual drills. He's wanting to get better. He's taking the coaching from [Eagles wide receiver] Coach [Mike] Groh who he knows and he's showing really, I think, a little bit of the veteran experience and presence out there on the field. He's exciting to watch. He's a big target, obviously, and we've just got to get him and Carson [Wentz] continuing to stay on the same page as we go throughout the whole off-season.
Cynicism aside, it’s nice to see positive reviews on these two players. Jeffery and Douglas could be critical to the Eagles’ success in 2017 and beyond. Jeffery figures to be Wentz’s No. 1 target. Douglas, meanwhile, could potentially be starting at cornerback on the outside as a rookie.
Here’s hoping the hype is true. It’s still very, very early though. OTAs haven’t even begun yet.