During the NFL’s annual spring meetings in West Palm Beach this week, we’ve been able to hear directly from the Eagles’ brass including Jeffrey Lurie, Nick Sirianni, and Howie Roseman on the upcoming season and what the franchises’ plans are. The major theme seems to be that running it back is the plan. All three of Sirianni, Lurie, and Roseman have all had ringing endorsements for Jalen Hurts and have made it very clear that he will be the starting quarterback in 2022.
Nick Sirianni says the Eagles show Jalen Hurts that he’s their starting QB with their actions and communication
— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) March 29, 2022
Specifically Nick Sirianni sounded extremely confident in Hurts’ capabilities and the type of quarterback he can become. Here’s the full quote of Sirianni’s ringing endorsement for Hurts:
“I couldn’t be more excited about Jalen Hurts, again, the type of player he is, the type of person he is… “I know he’s going to continue to develop because of who he is, so I couldn’t be more excited to work with him. I know he knows that. I know that he’s excited to work with us to build on the good year that he had last year. He knows that he’s our guy, and we show him that with our actions day in and day out.”
After some offseason buzz that the Eagles were possibly looking in other directions at QB, those rumors have finally been put to bed. It appears Jalen Hurts has the full support of the franchise behind him heading into this season.
Jeffrey Lurie explaining that the Eagles are "committed" to Jalen Hurts: pic.twitter.com/2mp55oqwQ9
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) March 30, 2022
Howie Roseman similarly had raving reviews for Hurts and once again confirmed that the team is fully committed to him. Here’s what he had to say about Hurts:
“ I don’t know that we’ve ever wavered from the level of commitment that we’ve had in Jalen. When we say that he’s our guy and that he’s our starter and we believe in him and we’ve got to do whatever we can to help him and give him a chance to reach his potential, I don’t think that’s changed one bit.”
It’s clear Roseman is trying his best to do what he’s saying and give him a chance to reach his full potential, but up to this point…. He has not delivered on that promise. Haason Reddick has been the one bright spot in an otherwise bleak free agency period for the Eagles. They have notably have missed out on guys like Calvin Ridley (nothing they could do there), Allen Robinson, Marcus Williams, and others.
Aside from signing Haason Reddick I have no idea how to explain this Eagles free agency?
– Post-June 1st cut Fletcher Cox
– Sign him back days after to a 1 year-$14M deal
– Bring back Anthony Harris, Derek Barnett, Greg Ward, and Boston Scott
– Signed Zach Pascal
— Philly Nation (@Philly__Nation) March 24, 2022
The only new offensive weapon that Roseman has given to Hurts so far is Zach Pascal. And while Pascal is a solid slot receiver that could potentially give this offense a little more juice, it’s definitely not enough. The lack of new offensive weapons, particularly in the receiving game points to the idea that the Eagles are contempt with running it back with a similar roster to last year.
Sirianni and Roseman have both spoken this week about how the young receivers on the roster need to take a step up and improve this season. A nice concept in theory, but ultimately we know the ceiling of the other receivers on the roster. It’s not very high. The Eagles’ interest in Ridley and Robinson shows that they’re aware the position needs some major upgrades. But for now Devonta Smith is still this team’s only proven option at WR, and it seems it’s going to stay that way for the time being.
Jalen Reagor only slightly higher at 91st.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) March 21, 2022
The draft could shake some things up, but my biggest takeaway from this week’s press conferences is that the Eagles are going to try and build off the success they had last year through a similar run-heavy approach. The Eagles notably led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in 2021.
That’s why the concept of running it back isn’t necessarily a bad one. The idea that coming back in 2022 with a similar roster and young players improving along the way isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. But it’s definitely not the exciting team altering offseason that many fans were expecting.
One thing is clear though. The Eagles passing offense and specifically Jalen Hurts need to improve if this team wants to win multiple playoff games come January. Last year by all metrics was a major success, but my question is: Have they gotten better? And if the answer to that question is no, is this team’s ceiling in 2022 any higher than a first or second round exit? If running it back is the plan for the Eagles, Jalen Hurts will be the biggest key to improving on last season’s results.
Featured Image: (Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports)