November 20, 2020
In our Eagles chat on Wednesday, there were a lot of questions that we could not get to in time or other questions we did answer but could use more color. And so, let's do a mailbag post to answer some of the overflow, as well as some commonly asked questions on Twitter and via email.
Question from Gird Bang: Jalen Reagor had comments about people comparing him to Justin Jefferson (which he will always hear) and basically said that Jefferson hasn't dealt with injuries and he's focused on himself, not others, or something like that. Is he a bad pick already? Or is it too soon to tell?
Well, he "had comments" because he was asked question about Jefferson. The full exchange:
Is it hard to ignore what Justin Jefferson and other rookie WRs are doing?
“I mean, that’s the only person that people bring up. So I mean I don’t really, like I said it’s not for me to watch another man’s success and be like, ‘Oh, I wish I was —‘ ... I mean, it is what it is. He hasn’t had any injuries, I have. I can’t watch another man’s journey, I just have to be ready to conquer mine when the time comes. Like I said, what’s life without scars? You know what I’m saying? It is what it is.”
Does it bother you? It seems like it gets brought up quite a bit?
“I mean, it is what ... that’s life. The longer y’all bring it up I’m just going to keep giving y’all the same answers. So I mean y’all can keep bring it up, y’all can keep saying, ‘When guys like, when guys like.’ What else do you want me to do? I can’t go make those things happen when .... You know, it’s just certain things you’ve just got to know ... when your time is coming it’s going to come and when it’s meant to be, it’ll be.”
Should the Eagles have taken Jefferson? Yes, clearly. He was the better prospect, and I think that even the Eagles thought that he was the better prospect. However, they drafted Reagor instead of Jefferson for three reasons:
It was a bad pick in the sense that they got the Jefferson evaluation wrong. Some in the draft community felt that Jefferson was a low-ceiling slot receiver, because that's primarily where he lined up during his extremely productive final season at LSU. Others felt that his skills would translate outside, where he was less successful early in his career in college when he was still a teenager.
The Eagles thought he was a high-volume slot guy, which in their opinion was not more valuable than an outside receiver in a west coast offense. They erred there, bigly. As Jefferson has shown, he can play anywhere, and he is already tearing up the league. He has 42 catches for 762 yards (18.1 YPC) and 3 TDs, and is a star in the making.
That said, Reagor has played FOUR games so far. He's not super polished as a route runner, so that's going to take some time, but he has clearly shown ability. On the season, Reagor has 12 catches for 159 yards and 1 TD. Extrapolate that over 16 games, and he’s at 48-636-4, which isn’t stellar, but certainly isn’t bad for a high ceiling rookie playing in a stagnant offense with a struggling quarterback. Go ahead and be upset with the Eagles' evaluation of Jefferson, but maybe let Reagor breathe?
Reagor deleted his Twitter account this week. Surely, morons far and wide aggressively let him know that there's a receiver somewhere else doing more good stuff. Better to just avoid all that, and as he said, focus on his own journey.
Question from greenwithenvy: Where do you stand on the issue of benching Carson? Some folks are, understandably, clamoring for this to happen. Others argue that this actually lets people like Roseman and Pederson off the hook somewhat for how the year has gone? What say you?
The Eagles can't just outright bench him at this stage, having no reasonable idea what they have in Jalen Hurts. If you bench Wentz and Hurts is just as bad or worse, a very possible scenario given the overall state of the offense, then what?
They are married to Wentz, pretty much through the 2022 season, so ideally, Wentz will regain his old form, or something close to it. All the staff can do is try to help him find his way back to that place.
That said, I do think it's time to at least get a better look at Hurts, and start to get a feel for what he is as a player. This nonsense of bringing him in to run a zone read or two with Wentz lined up at WR is farcical. Give him a series, and let him run the offense. If it's clear that he is better and can spark the team, then I think you consider making that switch. But that's the first step, for me.
As for "letting people off the hook," I don't see that. We can compartmentalize the jobs that each of the notable individuals have done, right? We can handle things. We're smart.
Question from Rob NYC: Why didn't the Eagles kick the tires on Deandre Baker, a young stud CB?
According to pro-football-reference.com, opposing quarterbacks had a 116.2 quarterback rating when they targeted Baker during his rookie season, completing 54 of 88 pass attempts (61.4%) for 850 yards (9.7 YPA) and 6 TDs. Soooooo, I wouldn't go as far as to call him a stud.
That said, I think it would have been smart for the Eagles, or any team, really, to kick the tires on Baker, a 2019 first-round pick. Certainly, every team at least discussed him when all charges were dropped against him.
From Baker's perspective, however, even if the Eagles did show interest, what's the better situation to rehabilitate your career? Philadelphia, where the team is a mess currently from top to bottom, orrrrrrr... Kansas City?
Question from abc: What is easier to find? Good WRs, or good CBs?
There are no shortage of good WRs in the NFL. The same cannot be said for DBs. The Eagles haven't done a good job finding either.
Question from Bird Gang: Do you think opposing teams are purposely having their kickoffs go short of the end zone because the Eagles' kickoff return team stinks, plus the chance of getting a block in the back penalty?
For sure that's what opposing teams are doing.
By the way, the Eagles have 14 kickoff returns this season. They are averaging a 18.6 yards per kick return (fourth-worst in the NFL), and they have a long kick return of 25 yards (worst in the NFL).
Question from Fritz: Time to declare a winner in the Carson Wentz trade-up with the Browns. Who got the better of the deal?
Wentz, as we all know, has been very bad this year. BUT... Would the Eagles have a Super Bowl if Wentz hadn't led them to an 11-2 record and the 1 seed in the NFC? In my view, almost certainly not.
Assuming you're an Eagles fan, do you like that they finally won a Super Bowl? Would you put that at risk to go back in time and not do that deal?