When it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles, there’s almost something interesting to talk about once training camp rolls around. And while the 2022 Eagles come into camp with some intriguing storylines, specifically the play of QB Jalen Hurts, there isn’t a lot to get juiced about just yet. In fact, the start to this year’s camp has been... well... boring?
There’s no doubt everyone is watching Hurts’ every throw with baited breath, anxious to see if he’s showing enough improvement as a passer to lead an effective passing offense. But one of the things that makes training camp interesting is watching players fight for jobs, and that’s just not a thing in Eagles camp this year. So yes, this year’s training camp lacks a bit of juice.
That’s OK. That just means they should be pretty good.
Barring an injury, we know Jalen Hurts is the starting quarterback, although everyone is watching him like a hawk. Despite some early drama over Miles Sanders running with the 2s and Kenny Gainwell being with the 1s, Sanders appears to be the No. 1 back in an offense that will mostly be by committee anyway. We know who the receivers are — A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins — with the only drama being Zach Pascal’s bout with food poisoning (he was back on the field Thursday) and what kind of role Jalen Reagor will carve out for himself.
Dallas Goedert is the high volume tight end, and the only real offensive battle in camp is who his backup will be, and the offensive line is both set in terms of starters and with depth. Will Andre Dillard be dealt? Maybe, but until he is, there’s not much to see here.
Defensively, it will be interesting to see how Jonathan Gannon utilizes his players, but we’re not likely to get a glimpse of that until the regular season. Brandon Graham’s return from injury is something to watch and by all accounts he’s looked great thus far, but there aren’t any position battles to be won here. Graham, Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett are the main edge rushers, with Hassan Reddick playing some end as well. The tackle rotation will be interesting, but Jordan Davis, Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox and Milton Williams know their roles. The most interesting spots to watch are the Nos. 4 and 5 corners and the battle at safety between Anthony Harris, Jaquiski Tartt and Marcus Epps.
Nick Sirianni is in his second year as head coach, as is Gannon, so there’s not a lot new to learn there, and the rest of the positional coaches are just doing the work of making the players better. There’s no Chip Kelly-like zany offensive ideas, and if Gannon is going to do some weird things with a hybrid D this year, we won’t see it until the regular season.
So yeah, it’s kinda boring.
Training camps are more exciting when there’s a lot of drama to parse through, but that ain’t the scene in Philadelphia. Most of the starting spots are spoken for and the camp battles that do exist will largely be between players who are unlikely to make a minimal impact in the regular season. Teams don’t play their starters in preseason games anymore, so there won’t be much to glean from those either.
The most pressing worry is injury, and there’s not much anyone can do about that other than limiting contact as much as is sensible, which it appears Sirianni and his coaching staff are doing. In fact, the most controversial part of training camp, and the Birds’ off-season program as a whole, has been the perceived lack of physicality that some fans and analysts worry will leave the Eagles unprepared for the regular season.
Personally, I’m not sweating that until the results prove they were wrong, if they do.
Everyone’s getting along. No one is mad about their contract. Rookies are learning, veterans are getting their work in, and coaches are installing their stuff.
It’s been routine.
It’s been quiet.
It’s been boring.
And that’s just fine.