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Weapon X Mailbag: What reasons do Eagles fans have to feel good about 2021?

Plus: What would Josh McDaniels do with his staff?

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles stink! Time for the questions...

@AgilataJake: What is one reason (a player, a coach, something, anything) to feel good about the Eagles going into 2021?

I... I don’t know! You’d normally find some young guys to latch onto. Jalen Reagor’s lackluster rookie campaign didn’t foster enough goodwill to make me cool with suffering what may be another disastrous season. Miles Sanders, I guess? He’s missed 10 games over his first two seasons though and his ability in the passing game in 2020 was a major disappointment coming off the strides he made in Year 1. Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith if one of those guys is the pick for the Birds in April?

I’m out on The Carson Wentz Experience and have made my high hopes for Jalen Hurts well known, but everything seems to be lining up for Wentz to be the starter this upcoming season. I could’ve become enthralled with the mystery box that is a new quarterback, but if Wentz is still your guy, his reclamation process is obviously enticing.

What is there to be excited about really? Outside of Lincoln Riley, there isn’t a “splash” hire (note: those aren’t always a good thing) they could make to pique my interest from a coaching standpoint. The Eagles were 4-12 in 2012, but hiring Chip Kelly got people all worked up, ya know?

When your team is devoid of young talent (and increasingly lacking in older talent too...), it’s hard to get amped up throughout the offseason. I mean, I’m going to still be bringing it and writing and recording and I’ll be rocked up before kickoff in Week 1, but who (or what) do we foster our hopes upon right now? I got nothing!

@Wolfishgrin0: How long do you think Josh McDaniels is being guaranteed the job for? 3 years? Are they talking QB strategy beyond Carson?

If they hire Josh McDaniels, my prediction is that he last two years. They’ll win six or maybe even seven games in 2021 and everyone will proclaim it as a “culture reset” and the “beginning of the program” and then 2022 will end in flames that have both Joshie and Howie Roseman packing their bags.

@kjbrophy: When is your interview for the Eagles head coaching position?

It was from 11:30 p.m. last night to 5:30 a.m. this morning. I’m concerned that it only lasted six hours and not the usual 36-hour grinds the Eagles prefer.

@renas_o: Do you think moving to a 3-4 defense can help the cap space situation?

Not particularly?

Malik Jackson is probably getting cut either way. Let’s say in this theoretical 3-4 look they play Fletcher Cox inside and then Brandon Graham (I know he played OLB in a 3-4 under Billy Davis, but probably is more fit for this role at this stage of his career) and Javon Hargrave at defensive end. Are you playing Josh Sweat in a two-point stance at outside linebacker or are you swapping him with BG?

Derek Barnett may be an unfortunate cap casualty with his fifth-year option of $10 million even in a 4-3 look, but I suppose you probably don’t want him playing 3-4 edge rusher for that amount. The downside there is that you’re going to need to find a premium edge rusher to replace him and the team has little wiggle room to do so.

If we’re cutting costs at the defensive line, 4-3 still seems like the best move. You can part with Jackson and Barnett, leaving Graham and Josh Sweat, who’s still on a rookie deal, on the outside with Cox and Hargrave inside.

@ZechsLuthor: Any idea how the rest of the staff shakes out after the HC is in place. Most new hires want their own guys...

Would an outside hire mean the end of Duce Staley in Philly? I don’t think the organization wants Duce gone completely, though they are quite reluctant to give him a try as head coach. Are you going to tell the new guy that they can’t hire their own offensive coordinator or assistant head coach because of the franchise’s loyalty to Staley? I can’t see that happening. You also can’t demote him to solely running backs coach on a new staff. That’s just demeaning.

Carson Wentz could certainly benefit from new blood all around, so fresh faces at quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator will be welcomed regardless of who is steering the ship.

The report that McDaniels was eyeing Adam Gase as offensive coordinator and Matt Patricia as defensive coordinator when in talks for the Houston Texans head coach position terrifies the shit out of me.

@knappattackk: Do you feel that we’re being a bit overly cynical about the future prospects of the team given there aren’t any young quarterbacks in the NFC taking control like a Patrick Mahomes/Josh Allen/Lamar Jackson and given the division is also still bad? Could this rebuild be coming at just the right time?

I don’t because it starts up top. “Process over results” ultimately wins out. The Eagles had bad process in the 2018 and 2019 offseasons, but were able to hide that a bit as they limped into the postseason. When that bad process continued in 2020, the bottom finally caved in during the regular season.

Their bad decision-making has caught up with them and they’ve given us no indication that this behavior is stopping anytime soon. If anything, the future of the franchise is more worrisome to me than I originally thought following Jeffrey Lurie’s press conference earlier this month. I want to be optimistic! I’m usually that dude in the offseason, always talking myself into the cards breaking right, but things just feel bleak right now.

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