How Loyalty is Preventing Progress
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This week has been infuriating as the Eagles began planning for the despised Dallas Cowboys this week. One thing became crystal clear: the Eagles can't move on from past success. Rafiki from the Lion King said it best when asked about the importance of previous events:
The NFL is an insanely fast moving league and the organizations that have the most success are the ones that adapt and change with the times. Chip Kelly was a flash in the pan with success with his "innovative" offense but then NEVER changed a single thing and kept relying on his old players (The Oregon Eagles by the time he was done). He was laughed out of the league. The same was true for Steve Spurrier and his high powered offense. If you don't change with the time, you remain stuck in the mud. That is what is happening to the 2020 Philadelphia Eagles. Yes they will most likely win the division. But at what cost of future development? Here are a few examples of where the Eagles are not planning for a dynasty.
Starting Jason Peters over Jordan Mailata:
Jason Peters is going to go into the Hall of Fame one day as one of the best Left Tackles to ever play the game. He's been selected to 9 Pro Bowls in his 17 seasons. Jordan Mailata, after sitting on the sidelines for 3 seasons has become a solid addition to the offensive line. On paper, it makes sense that Peters starts at LT tonight. Except, he can't stay healthy and many years over his Eagles tenure ends the season on IR. Mailata is an athletic anomaly. The offensive line is a position that gets stronger the more reps a team has TOGETHER. Our line is never healthy but they were starting to get some continuity in the most important position: blind side tackle. Peters was signed this season to play RG. That is a position that is available this weekend. COMMON SENSE: Play Peters at Guard (less strenuous on the body so he stays healthy) and leave Mailata at Left Tackle. Keep developing for the future instead of playing into the elder's ego.
On the betting side, Peters will get hurt tonight and Mailata will go in at some point in the game. It will just be without a 10 days of first team reps.
Giving Alshon Jeffery a Roster Spot for the Last 8 Weeks:
The link is from December 13th, 2019. It says very clearly that Alshon Jeffrey is facing a 9 month recovery and could be ready for the start of the season. As soon as it was very clear that he wasn't going to be ready, Jeffery should have been jettisoned to the IR. Unlike previous seasons, there alternative to the season ending IR. It was crystal clear that he was going to miss the first 6 games and yet each week, Alshon was on the injury report. The weekly "will he or won't he" is a joke. He still hasn't been a full participant in a practice yet. He is a ways off from coming back and I am doubtful he ever suits up in an Eagles uniform again. AND THAT IS OK. The Eagles have been developing legit weapons from the practice squad who Carson is gelling with. Let him get reps and experience with Fulgham-Ward-Reagor-Watkins (yes I am leaving off JJAW who is a total bust). That is a fearsome 4some. Instead, because he was signed to an astronomical contract, Alshon will at some point get healthy and start to take reps away from one of these young talented kids.
Desean, Clement, Gerry, Curry,...the List Goes On
Every coach has players that they like. Every coach has players that they trust to get the job done because at one point they got the job done. Desean was a weapon in the league for years. Clement was a hero in the Super Bowl. Gerry stayed healthy last season when nobody else on the defense could. Vinny Curry keeps getting resigned because he can blitz. Zach Ertz is Carson's favorite target. Doug won a Super Bowl "calling his own plays" so this season he doesn't need an offensive coordinator. Things worked at one point. 4 of the 5 listed players are currently on IR and 1 is taking snaps away from young RBs with success. Yet the team lets go of players like Malcom Jenkins who never missed a snap even at his age. The team did the same thing with Brian Dawkins all those years ago. They let go of PROVEN CONSISTENT vets for players that were good for a portion of a season or were good 4-5 years ago. This has to stop. I think that Howie is a large culprit but Doug and Schwartz get their share of the blame as well.
This team will never become a dynasty because they are too focused on winning in the immediate. Teams win long term by looking at the bigger picture. Developing young talent. Signing players that are not too pricey but make meaningful impacts. No matter whether or not they win the division this year, the organization needs to look at their philosophy of running an organization.