SHOULD we even give a shit?! Sloshing wet behind the ears, rookie head coach Nick Sirianni is under the impression that joint practices are as good as a game. You know who disagrees with that philosophy? Bill Belichick. The same Bill Belichick with six Super Bowl rings, who walked into Lincoln Financial stadium, and waxed Sirianni’s baby-soft ass, 35 to couldn’t even get on the board. Oh, Belichick played his starters, BTW.
A win. A loss. There really doesn’t seem like there’d be any carry-over from this game if the starters sit again. We’ve seen more than enough from the back-ups. What we don’t know, is whether the 22 men who’ll be doing most of the playing, can be better than last year’s 4 wins. Outside of a good showing from those 22, this game will only serve to highlight how badly squandered last week was. Prove us wrong Nick! I dare you.
The point of Four Things isn’t to predict a winner, it’s to discuss which tactics will practically guarantee our Eagles this win. CAUTION: I don’t have the faintest clue as to what a point spread is, and I know even less about how it works. I know football and that’s IT. If you use FT as a gambling tool, you are trying to lose your money, and will deserve it when you do.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Jets:
1) Coach for the Win: We have yet to see what it looks like when Sirianni is trying to coach his team to a win. As a matter of fact, he has yet to see it either. A dry run would give him a base-line of what he wants to work on within himself, over the course of his rookie season.
As a rookie coach, he’s allowed to suck. This year. So he needs to be about the business of figuring out his evolutionary path, as a head coach. Treat this game like a game. Let’s see if we have a coach.
2) Play the Starters for a half: Chemistry isn’t built by wishing. It’s built by reps. While practice time is valuable, ANY additional reps only help. How often do we talk about players who stick around after everyone else has gone home? Meanwhile we have a head coach who downplays the value of game time.
3) Death Row Watches: Guys who we know aren’t going to make the team, shouldn’t steal reps from those who will. RB Jason Huntley, WR’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Marken Michel, DT Marlon Tuipulotu, and S Blake Countess, are examples of guys who have no business getting any snaps. At least not while the game can still be won.
The guys who are going to make this roster, need those snaps. Don’t let them be stolen by dead men walking.
4) Shuffle the Ends: I get it. The Eagles are looking to rely on DE’s Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan. So between the four DE’s of Tarron Jackson, Milton Williams, JaQuan Bailey and Matt Leo, there’s probably only one spot left. The team wanted to get a long look at them. Okay. Got plenty of looks. Now let’s see if we can find another actual pass rusher.
We need to get a look at OLB Patrick Johnson or SLB Genard Avery, lined up at DE on a few third downs. Aside from Johnson, I was not a fan of the Eagles defensive line additions, during the 2021 Draft. I made that abundantly clear in my Draft Report. It’s about time we got a look at him vs the top half of an opposing roster.
If we do these Four Things, win or lose, the coach will have sent the message that it’s time to focus on competing, and getting better as a team. That said, I don’t know how much faith I have in Sirianni doing what needs to be done. It’s why I’ve predicted an Eagles loss in both of the previous games. What I absolutely have faith in, is owner Jeff Lurie putting an arm around young Nick, and telling him “Nick, you’d better win back my %$@#ing fan base. Because wins move merch!”
PREDICTION: EAGLES 20 – Jets 17
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.