ASIDE from possibly getting a Wide Receivers coach who can actually coach Wide Receivers, this team won’t be much different from last season. In fact, it’s basically the same team it’s been since 2016. And that’s sort of a problem.
Regardless of who is named our Offensive Coordinator, what we run on Offense will still be built on Head Coach Doug Pederson’s TE-based West Coast concept. What we run on Defense will still be Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz’s Wide 9/Single-High concept.
In failing to move on from Schwartz, we missed an opportunity to level the playing field, by wiping the board clean of all of our tendencies, keys and “tells”. We also missed an opportunity to stabilize the Defense. Honestly, even the most ardent Schwartz supporter, would have to admit that the week to week product of this unit is anything but consistent.
And it’s been that way for years.
While on one hand it’s great to have a solid identity, we’re in a division where every one of our rivals will be brand new in 2020. We are the only known quantity in the division, and the only team which has plenty of film on what we run, how we run it, and how we want to run it.
Though it’s true that Dallas and Washington’s coaches have highly trackable histories, radically different personnel will change how thee coaches implement their favorite concepts. Those conditions put us at a MASSIVE disadvantage in terms of initial intelligence gathering.
New York’s head coach comes with no trackable history whatsoever. However, if they sign Jason Garrett to be their offensive coordinator, there will be a definite power shift in the middle of the division, since he has a deep working knowledge of every roster in our division. New York goes from third place, to threatening for first.
Garrett also has an intimate familiarity with every weakness and mental flaw possessed by each of the Cowboys key players, as well as knowledge of how Dallas likes to cover or hide those flaws. It would then be a matter of the rest of us watching NY vs Dallas, to learn how to take the Cowboys apart.
Understand, if New York can pull off signing Garrett, it will be seismic for the division, and the aftershocks will not be survivable for Dallas in particular.
Our saving grace may be the preseason. Since these new coaches need to make sure players understand the concepts and their own roles, smarter coaches will run some of their concepts. Thereby tipping their hand. and giving us a sneak peek. Idiot coaches will decide not use the practice games for practice, and likely get off to slow (sputtering) starts.
All this basically reduces the importance of our assistant search, to near nil. That is, unless the Eagles promote from within. (HEY DOUG! PROMOTE DUCE STALEY!! IS THIS TOO SUBTLE!!!? AM I DOING IT AGAIN!? BEING TOO SUBTLE, I MEAN?)
There’s a ton of chatter about the Eagles needing a new voice in the room, but a new voice doesn’t necessarily mean a trusted voice during high pressure moments. Getting a person to listen against what their instincts tell them, is no easy sale. It’s harder when they don’t implicitly trust you.
While yes, Staley is part of this old regime, his elevation would allow him to put a more definitive stamp on Doug’s system. Play design, play install, package assignments, formations, and rotational patterns, are all things that would subtly impact a system that was only the same, on the surface. Regardless of who calls the plays.
As of today, the Eagles are behind the curve in terms of intel and element of surprise. Without any new wrinkles added, the story of 2020 will be of how the rest of the NFC East has caught up to/caught onto us.