By Hunter Doyle
Just a few years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles were on top of the world. They’d won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Not only that but they did it with key players injured. The future was bright.
Fans could not have expected the decline that has occurred in the years following. Fast forward to the present day and the Eagles have a record of 3-6-1. Somehow they are still in first place in the lackluster NFC East. Honestly, it might not even be worth winning the East since it will hurt their position in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Head coach Doug Pederson has been a major disappointment. The play calling is stale. Defenses are always one step ahead of him. He stays away from the run game when it is working. There are unnecessary two-point conversion and fourth-down attempts. This is a poorly coached football team.
Every week, fans hear Doug say that they have to improve in his press conferences. Actions speak much louder than words though. He’s not getting it done. It’s the same mistakes every game. Recently, Doug said he was upset with the team’s performance but this is something that should’ve been said much earlier in the season. Not to mention, he tends to laugh off reporters’ questions and give sarcastic answers, something that will not fly in the city of Philadelphia.
Doug Pederson isn’t the Eagles’ only concern
Outside of Doug, general manager Howie Roseman has done a poor job constructing this roster. Aging, injury-prone players have massive contracts and are not producing. Either they can’t stay on the field or they’re underwhelming when they are on the field.
DeSean Jackson has played in one game since his return to Philly last year. Alshon Jeffery hasn’t been the same in recent years and also hasn’t been able to stay on the field. When players like Alshon aren’t performing or aren’t on the field, it becomes difficult to trade them.
Another problem is that it actually costs more to cut Alshon than to keep him on the roster so the Eagles are basically stuck with him. Because of the other contracts on the roster, they are projected to be over 60 million below the NFL salary cap in 2021 too. Roseman has created a mess that he can’t clean up.
Roseman has made horrible decisions on draft day as well. In 2019, he picked J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round. One could argue that J.J. wasn’t utilized correctly in his rookie year but that doesn’t excuse the blatant errors. He hasn’t learned to recognize defensive coverages or run crisp routes. The ball also hit him in the hands multiple times last year and he couldn’t come down with it.
Wide receivers D.K. Metcalf, Diontae Johnson, Terry McLaurin, and Darius Slayton were all still on the board when Roseman picked Arcega-Whiteside. All of them have outperformed J.J. thus far and it’s not even close. This is just one of the many mistakes Howie has made in the draft.
The time is now
There are plenty of other problems outside of Doug and Howie that need to be addressed but they are the biggest issues. As long as those two are still there, this team will continue to be mediocre which does not get you back to the Super Bowl. Since the 2017 Super Bowl win, this team has gone 9-7, 9-7, and 3-6-1 in the following seasons. They made the playoffs in both of the 9-7 seasons but they needed late-season rallies just to do that.
This is a city with an impatient fan base and rightfully so. They’ve endured plenty of failure with all four sports teams. It’s not quite the same as Boston. What the Eagles are putting out on the field this season is unacceptable. Ownership knows that. They need to commit to a rebuild sooner rather than later. That doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on this season but this upcoming offseason has to be a busy one.
There is talent on this team and it’s being wasted. Enough is enough. This city has had enough of it. There are likely to be many changes in the near future but it starts with the roster construction and coaching. It’s time for this team to bring in a new general manager and a new head coach and commit to a rebuild.