The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a disappointing season, in which their head coach was fired.
A promising offensive coordinator deemed a “QB whisperer”, who had previously coached under a hall of fame head coach, comes to Philadelphia to take the reins.

With the second pick in the NFL draft, the Eagles select a quarterback from a smaller school to be the guy of the future. There is a newfound excitement and optimism amongst fans about what could be.

Feeling an all-too-familiar feeling Eagles’ fans? That’s because this happened in Philadelphia in 1999 and 2016.

One resulted in long-term success, while the other resulted in short-term success with the future much up in the air.

Previous season3-136-10
Fired coachRay RhodesChip Kelly
Hired coachAndy ReidDoug Pederson
Coached underMike HolmgrenAndy Reid
1st Round QBDonovan McNabbCarson Wentz

There is no question that the Reid/McNabb tenure was a huge success. Raking up a record of 92-49-1, five NFC East championships, eight playoff appearances, three NFC Championship appearances, one Super Bowl loss, and a partridge in a pear tree. Some would argue the run was not a total success due to the lack of a Super Bowl victory, but not many teams were able to beat the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Eagles’ fans were spoiled for so long, that anything less than a playoff appearance was considered a failure, which ultimately lead to Reid being fired in 2012.

Photo: Jon Durr/Getty Images

Let’s fast forward to 2016 (mainly because who wants to reflect on the Chip Kelly era?).

Pederson is named the head coach of the Eagles and Wentz is selected with the second pick in the draft, being the first quarterback taken by the Eagles in the first round since McNabb. With Pederson being a Reid protégé and a highly drafted quarterback, this lined up for Reid/McNabb part II.

Five years into this experiment, it is safe to say it has not been as happy-go-lucky as fans had hoped. Although Pederson was able to bring a championship to the city of brotherly love, the confidence in this team is not the same. For being a previous offensive coordinator, the offensive play calling has not been strong enough to maintain success. For being a number two draft pick, the offensive play has not been consistent enough to win a lowly NFC East. We have young receivers and running backs who are ready to excel but are not given a fair shot at being successful. I predict a change (larger than Wentz being benched for Jalen Hurts) is on the horizon for the Eagles, but where does the change come from? When things turn sour for a franchise, it typically starts with turnover at the general manager, head coach, or quarterback.

Howie Roseman

This guy was the reason the Eagles had all the pieces in place to win a Super Bowl a mere 34 months ago. Now he gets shamed for picking JJAW over DK Metcalf, Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson, and drafting Jalen Hurts in the second round.

Let’s be honest, Roseman deserves the hassling.

The lack of development from our draft picks, as well as questionable personnel decisions, appears to the tipping point for Eagles fans. I did love the JJAW pick at the time, but that’s because I watched him catch touchdowns in the red zone at Stanford. Not that he has earned his keep in Philly, but I do not think he was being used to the strengths of his game. Plus he needs to learn the whole catching thing. I refuse to be upset about Reagor/Jefferson yet, as Reagor missed some time due to an injury, and is stuck being a pawn in this unproductive offense.

Photo: Kiel Leggere/Philadelphia Eagles

Let’s save this one to get mad about down the road. However, I refuse to let Roseman off the hook for the Hurts selection. Hurts could go on to be a prolific NFL quarterback, but this selection muddied the quarterbacks’ group. Wentz lost his confidence, McCown and his veteran presence was forced to take a step back (to practice squad, then subsequently signed by Houston), and has anyone checked on Nate Sudfeld lately? This draft pick is going to have lasting effects bigger than just a quarterback controversy.

Doug Pederson

“Big Balls Doug” was on an absolute play-calling heater during the 2017 season on the way to a Super Bowl victory. Now he punts twice in opposing territory late in overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals, which resulted in a tie. If the play calling got any better since that game, the Eagles would likely be in a comfortable spot in the NFC East. Instead, Alshon Jeffrey has vultured Travis Fulgham’s snaps, Miles Sanders is being used as if we are down multiple scores at all times, and the packages that included Hurts (prior to Wentz benching) were so sporadic and unproductive.

Pederson has lost his creative juice, for an offense that desperately needs a spark. Rather than adjust to the franchise quarterback, the second-round draft pick quarterback is the hopeful spark (and I hope he succeeds). But for a long-term solution, I am hopeful we begin to see Big Balls Doug come back. “You want Philly-Philly?”

Carson Wentz

Carson was on his way to a sure MVP trophy and a huge part of why the Eagles were able to secure home-field on their way to Minneapolis. Now he plays under duress in the pocket when he clearly has time, tries to squeeze the long ball in between multiple defenders, and appears to have lost all confidence because the pressure was applied, which is the most concerning. Wentz has already thrown a career-high in interceptions (15) this season while continuing his fumbling issues (10 fumbles resulting in four losses).

With reports that Wentz was unhappy with the Eagles taking Hurts, Wentz has put enormous pressure on himself to try and be the superhero Philadelphia does not necessarily need him to be. If a highly-drafted second-string quarterback is going to cause this much insecurity, you have to be concerned Wentz is soft. The Green Bay Packers took a quarterback in the first round of the draft, which has light a fire under Rodgers and has him playing at an MVP caliber level. Not saying Wentz and Rodgers are comparable quarterbacks, but you have to be mentally tough to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Disclaimer: I am a Wentz stan and I’m not ashamed to admit it. To call him a bad quarterback or think his starting days are over is insanity. Yes, he has been atrocious this year, but his statistics over the previous four years prove he has more to offer. One year is not going to define Wentz, and I am excited about his future, whether that be in midnight green or another jersey. My off-the-cuff prediction is Eagles listen to trade offers for Wentz, but nothing sparks their interest enough to pull the trigger (mainly attributed to the dead cap Eagles would have to eat).

Eagles try this circus one more year, and Roseman and Pederson are fired.
A creative offensive coach is brought in to allow for successful Hurts packages and Wentz maintains the starter role until one of them is ultimately traded.

Featured Image: Michael Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer
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