I don’t know about you but I find myself at an unusual place when thinking about the Eagles’ biggest concerns. It’s usually easy to look at their roster at this time of year, point to an obvious area of weakness, and find yourself stressing about how that flaw could unseat the team’s entire season.
I’m not really in that mental space, though. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize CB2 is a huge hole that needs to be addressed. But, unlike most years, I’m just not of the mind that the Eagles are seriously competing for a title in 2021. So, I instead find myself thinking about more long-term concerns as they still relate to the upcoming season.
I touched on some of those very troubling things in the latest BGN Radio podcast. My partner in crime, Jimmy Kempski, talked about more of the short-term issues (such as the cornerback position) that he also addressed in written form in his annual “10 reasons the Eagles will be a dumpster fire this season.”
But before you accuse us of only being too negative, please note we’ll be back with “reasons to be excited about the 2021 Eagles!” for our next podcast. For now, you non-podcast people can read on for some of my own Eagles concerns in written form.
1) Howie Roseman is probably safe no matter what.
Barring some unequivocal disaster where the Eagles become the first team in NFL history to go 0-17, it doesn’t seem like Roseman is in any jeopardy of losing his job. Jeffrey Lurie already set the stage for lowered expectations by saying the Eagles are in a “real transition period” that is “not unlike 2016.”
A key difference from 2016, however, was that Roseman was returning to power to fix the mess that Chip Kelly created. This time, Roseman is being tasked with coming up with solutions to self-created problems. And it’s natural to think if he actually had the right answers, the Eagles wouldn’t be in the poor shape they currently find themselves in.
In fairness to Roseman, he did successfully push the right buttons five years ago. He created a Super Bowl champion before and maybe he can do it again by getting this iteration of the Birds back on the right track.
But there’s reasonable concern that Lurie is just wasting time by being hesitant to move on from his longtime general manager. And even if the Eagles do show promise this year, to what extent can we truly trust a bright future is around the corner? What if another string of bad offseason(s) is simply waiting for us instead?
Seeing Roseman ultimately skirt blame for the 2020 season was pretty frustrating. It’ll only be even more so if the Eagles continue to struggle and Lurie continues to hold Roseman above reproach.
2) Jalen Hurts entices the Eagles to enter quarterback purgatory.
For most teams, seeing your starting quarterback play like the worst quarterback in the NFL (relatable feeling) is the worst-case scenario. Not so for the 2021 Eagles! It’s obviously not ideal if Hurts is really, really bad in his first season as a full-time starter. But at least the Eagles would know for sure that they need to move on from him and find a new long-term option. And, thanks to Roseman’s maneuvering, the Eagles potentially have three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to help them quickly pivot away from Hurts.
But what if Hurts isn’t super terrible but also isn’t super awesome? He’s too good for the Eagles to easily move on from him but not good enough to inspire confidence as a championship-caliber quarterback? Quarterback purgatory is one of the worst places to be in the NFL. Just look at the Las Vegas Raiders with Derek Carr or the Minnesota Vikings with Kirk Cousins.
Hurts falling somewhere between really bad and really good feels like a realistic outcome this year, meaning the team could have a tough decision to make about his long-term viability. The thinking here is that the Eagles have a high bar for what Hurts must accomplish this season. They might very well look to move on if he doesn’t erase all doubts about him. But maybe the decision gets muddied if his teammates and coaches and Eagles fans really end up loving him? Maybe the front office ends up being fractured on a quarterback decision? Hey, it sure wouldn’t be the first team the people in charge weren’t on the same page.
One can only hope Hurts keeps it simple for the Eagles and plays either really well (most ideal outcome!) or really poorly so the decision is easier for them.
Once again, you can check out the rest of our biggest concerns in pod form. Our question for you is: What are YOUR biggest concerns about the Eagles?