I’m back! After my sabbatical I’ve had a relapse and have decided to talk Eagles again. At this moment they are in a bad place, one of the oldest and most expensive rosters, schemes have gone stale, and the front office has miss-handled draft picks and free agent signings. After some thinking I made a short list of how I think the Eagles should go about fixing their current situation.
Restructure the Front Office and Coaching Staff Dynamic
As of now, reports make it seem like coaches have a strong say on players they want while other reports say otherwise. Either way, the process needs to be streamlined to ensure that scouts and front office officials are taking the coaches evaluations into account. It should not override their evaluation of a player. Stay true to the board and thrust responsibility on coaches to take the player and coach them up. This would elevate accountability on everyone from front office to coaches.
Fire Bad Coaches & Hire Better Ones
For the record, I don’t think Doug is a bad coach. He has a good rapport with the players but his scheme has gotten a bit stale or has not evolved enough. One way to fix that if Doug is to stay (which seems most likely) is surround him with better quality coaches.
Press Taylor, Ken Flajole, and Dave Fipp all have to go.
From what I can see Taylor has not done much but become friends with Carson Wentz. Instead of him being pushed and challenged Wentz has been coddled by his new buddy. No matter who is under center, a change needs to happen at the QB coach spot. Taylor was also given the passing game coordinator title and may have gotten some play call duties as well.
Flajole hasn’t developed anyone besides maybe Alex Singleton. He’s gotten great athletes at the position but those players have not done much of anything. At some point the position coach has to be held responsible.
Dave Fipp was a hold over from the Chip regime and looked to be a pretty solid Special Teams coordinator but like everything else it went stale and declined.
As for who they should look to hire, they should go after a mix of younger and veteran coaches. Offensively, coaches like Pep Hamilton, Ken Dorsey and Mike Kafka should be given an immediate call to be the new OC. Though the current set up means they won’t get to call plays, they would be heavily involved in play design and game scripting. It could still be a beneficial job to prepare a coach for their next step. I haven’t done a deep dive yet into QB Coach options but Jim Caldwell would be a nice addition as a veteran coach.
As for the defensive staff, I think the focus should be a coordinator who is creative and has a more modern approach to defense especially in the secondary and position coaches who have proven to be able to work with the style of LBs on the roster.
In the league there’s been a shift to the passing game and some good defensive coordinators have responded by employing less DL & LBs and more versatile DBs. It would also be great to see a variety of coverages and blitzes not just the same cover 3 rush with four we have been used to seeing. In terms of special teams coordinator, I don’t have any names that automatically come to mind but getting a different voice in is necessary for the team.
Turn the Roster Over
Let’s get this out of the way, is Carson Wentz talented? Yes. Can he play at a high level again? Maybe. Is the relationship fixable in Philly? I do not think so. It’s a tough situation but I think a fresh start is definitely needed for Wentz and might light a fire under the coaches. The Eagles should take the best compensation they can, bite the bullet for 2021 and likely all the money will be off the books by 2022. It is a future move, but one that would benefit both parties.
As for the roster the eagles need to just dive head first into getting younger, no more Jason Peters or Alshon Jeffery. They should release veterans like Malik Jackson and DeSean Jackson, while moving on from someone like Zach Ertz. It’s hard but it must be done in order to get under the cap and give the younger up and coming players a chance to shine.
Overall this may not be what everyone expected but realistically this is how the Eagles can fix the situation they’re in and set themselves up for success in the future.