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January 26, 2024

What they're saying: Howie Roseman has nowhere to hide

The Eagles finally have their guy to run the defense in Vic Fangio, but that leaves the onus on Howie Roseman to ensure they have the talent.

Eagles NFL
121723HowieRoseman Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Howie Roseman glares menacingly at a linebacker.

Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman spoke. Sirianni's staying. The coordinators are not. The Eagles are effectively wiping the slate clean with their staff and hoping to re-establish some kind of structure on either side of the ball. 

They already got Vic Fangio on the way to try and clean up the defense. On offense, the search is underway. 

But once that part is figured out, where the Eagles go from there is going to come down to the talent they have. But it's going to be a while before we know that part. 

Here's what they're saying about the Eagles heading into a long offseason...

Nowhere left to hide

David Murphy | The Philadelphia Inquirer

With Fangio on board, the Eagles finally have the guy they always appeared to have wanted running the defense following Jonathan Gannon's departure for Arizona. 

But it's after a year and a disastrous collapse later. 

The organization has its ideal scenario for the defensive setup now, but now it becomes a matter of does the team have the talent, which leaves GM Howie Roseman with nowhere to hide in that regard. 

Wrote David Murphy:

Roseman has invested a ton of reputational capital in Fangio’s ability to fix things. The Eagles brought the veteran defensive coordinator in as a consultant to help them prepare for last year’s Super Bowl, then threw a thinly-veiled conniption when they weren’t able to hire him full-time to replace Jonathan Gannon. In doing so, they ensured that everybody would suspect that things would have turned out better if they’d gotten their guy. The chips are now on the table.

Fangio’s reputation is well-deserved. Forget the numbers for a second. There is a certain level of competence, of competitiveness, that a championship-caliber team needs out of a defense. The Eagles did not have it this season. Fangio’s units always have, regardless of the era.

Still, it comes down to talent. Fangio’s units have always had that, too. The big unknown is how much the Eagles will give him to work with. [The Inquirer]

Point of impact

Tim McManus | ESPN

There's a lot that Fangio is going to have to fix, but the area he can make the biggest impact on is in player development, particularly with the growth of Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter on the inside. 

Wrote Tim McManus, accounting for the strong possibility that Fletcher Cox won't be returning:

The Eagles need help at every level of their defense, so free agency and the draft are going to be critical. But maybe even more important is that the young talent on the team shows significant growth.

It all begins with defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter, who were primary forces on a historic Georgia defense. Carter looked unstoppable during the early portion of his rookie season and Davis showed marked improvement initially during his second year with the team, but their production fell off dramatically down the stretch.


With Cox's playing future in doubt -- he said he hasn't decided anything, but Davis suggested Cox wouldn't be back during locker clean-out day last week -- it makes it all the more imperative that Davis and Carter reach their potential. [ESPN]

Come back better

Reuben Frank | NBC Sports Philadelphia

On the player side of things, obviously, many of them need to come back better next season. 

Reuben Frank highlighted 10 in particular, but it was his points on Dallas Goedert and Jalen Hurts that we want to specifically key in on here.

On Goedert:

Goedert had 15 games with at least 50 yards in 2021 and 2022 but only two with more than 50 yards this year. His yards per game dropped from 57 the last two years to 42 this year and yards per catch dropped from 13.8 to 10.0. Goedert had the 4th-most yards of any tight end in 2021 and 2022 but was 14th this year. He wasn’t awful – he did set a career-high with 59 catches despite missing three games – but he wasn’t the elite tight end that we’ve seen the last several years. Goedert is 29 now, but tight ends can play at a high level well into their 30s and the Eagles Goedert to raise his play back to 2019-2022 level. [NBCSP]

On Hurts:

Hurts wasn’t the same guy in 2023 and it wasn’t all his fault. The offense was often an uncreative jumbled mess, his injuries were definitely a factor, the play calling often didn’t help him out and drops were often an issue, especially in the Jets and Cowboys losses. But 15 interceptions is 15 interceptions, even if they weren’t all his fault, and 19 total turnovers is just an unacceptable number. That was 3rd-most in the NFL this year, behind only Sam Howell (24) and Josh Allen (22). Hurts also had the 2nd-most touchdowns in the league with 38, so it wasn’t all bad. But late in the season, when the Eagles needed Hurts to be great and help lead the Eagles out of their funk, he wasn’t. When you’re a perennial MVP candidate and one of the highest-paid players in NFL history, you just have to be better than Hurts was. He’s got to improve his decision making, his pocket awareness and his work against the blitz. But he remains a singular talent. [NBCSP]

Goedert missed time with injury in the middle of the season, but before and after, he never saw the ball as much as it felt like he should have. 

Back in training camp, he was catching everything and bodying his assignments out of their coverage constantly. He looked unstoppable and set for a monster season. Then Week 1 arrived and the Eagles just didn't really utilize him, almost like Brian Johnson and co. forgot he was even there, and that always seemed to linger as the year went on, getting worse even as the offense seemed to increasingly forget about everything that wasn't an RPO or go route. 

And on Hurts, yeah, he just wasn't what he was in 2022. The offense devolved into a nonsensical mess and he couldn't do much to establish any sort of flow with it or bail it out after so long.

He hit a wall. Things have to change in 2024, obviously starting with the next offensive coordinator, but he'll likely need to adjust a bit too, and how he does it will be a sticking point to watch into the summer. 

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