SOMEONE posted an article in my Facebook group (Eagles Maniacs) talking about which five Eagles players have the most to prove. I won’t pick the list apart but I will say, that with the exception of one player, I disagreed with the players selected in article.
Of the five guys mentioned, not one of them is a starter. This irritated me because A) it ignores the players you’ll actually be watching, and B) it’s a safe place for a writer to plant a flag. It’s pretty hard for a player to prove or try to prove anything, while standing on the sideline as an apparent back-up.
So instead of bringing you weak shit, let me present to you the five Eagles STARTERS with the most prove in 2016.
1) WR Nelson Agholor: As a 1st rounder from last year with more deep speed than Jordan Matthews, Agholor is going into camp with first shot at a job on the outside. Considering that his rookie season reads like an autopsy, he has to catch 56 or so balls or he risks having the word “bust” begin to appear in sentences with his name.
2) LG Allen Barbre: The coach staff has made it clear that they expect rookie G Issac Seumalo to push Barbre for the starting spot. If you play Blackjack you know that the House wins a Push (tie). In this case the coaching staff is the House and the rookie is who they have their money on. Barbre needs to win this position battle outright, or he will be finished as an NFL first stringer.
3) FS Rodney McLeod: If you read local press about our new FS, you’d think he was a perennial All-Pro, who played on a unit with a nickname. In truth he’s played on a Rams defense that hemorrhaged points in each of the four years he was in St. Louis. I am by no means blaming him, I’m just saying that the expectations heaped on this guy are almost silly. YET, if he doesn’t live up to them this year, fans will crucify him.
4) QB Sam Bradford: The arc of his career will be decided this year, as 2016 is an audition for his next team. He is a playoff win away from going to Dallas, Chicago and/or Arizona next year. Oh, or the Jets. A 26 TD, 12 Int season combined with a newly minted playoff win, would be enough to get someone to offer us something for him. However, since we already tipped our hand about our plans with Carson Wentz, expect no more than cap relief and a 5th rounder for Bradford.
5) WR Josh Huff: While Huff hasn’t been a regular starter, if the Eagles go with a 3-WR base instead of a 2-TE base, then Huff has a chance to push for a starting spot on the outside vs speedy WR Chris Givens. He’s proven to be an asset as a return man, but if he gets a chance to play WR in a system predicated on yards after the catch, then Huff has a chance to make some serious noise.
These aren’t the only starters with something to prove. DE Connor Barwin, CB Eric Rowe, and C Jason Kelce also spring to mind. And lets be real, the pressure just isn’t there at the same level for these guys. Similarly, back-ups like LB/DE Marcus Smith, and RB Kenjon Barner, who enter Training Camp already knowing that they’re on the bubble.
Look, every player is under pressure to perform in a league that never stops asking:
However, unlike back-ups, starters go into it with the pressure that if they don’t perform, they let not just themselves down, but also their entire team. So that’s my reason for picking these five players.
Which five players do YOU THINK have the most to prove?