WE’RE heading into the 2021 season with a largely unproven QB in Jalen Hurts. Long established NFL wisdom is that a strong running game is QB’s best friend. This goes double for a young QB. Even if our run game isn’t particularly strong, Hurts needs it to be at least convincing.
The difference between strong and convincing? If an offense can typically rely on their run game in running situations to produce decent yardage, that is a strong run game. A convincing run game means that the offense calls enough run plays, to keep the defense from playing exclusively in pass rush mode.
The Eagles have to call enough runs to keep the defense from teeing off on our QB, and give him enough room, and time, to operate. Our Offense has to keep opposing defenses guessing. This also helps make play-action more credible. (See: THE 12 #4)
Last year Hurts looked at his shakiest while IN the pocket. Without a convincing run game, defenses will scheme to keep him there, all at once taking away what makes Hurts dangerous, and forcing the Eagles to rely on him strictly as a passer.
If the Eagles expect to see any measure of success from our QB, he needs a convincing run game to set the table for him. Especially since he’s going to run a lot of play-action bootleg, and RPO stuff. If it develops into a strong run game, great. Excellent! But even if it doesn’t, we need to stick with it for four quarters.
EAGLES QB Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts on February 18th, 2021. At that point, all talk of the drama could cease. The was nothing left to do for the Eagles organization and fans, but look towards the future.
With that in mind, I stepped back and observed. I watched. I listened. I waited to see what the new coach envisioned for the team. I waited to see what the fans would chatter excitedly over.
Two excruciating weeks have dripped by, and there’s been practically nothing about the team. Most peculiarly, from the organization itself. It’s 3:04a.m., March 4th as I write this, and these are stories on the Eagles website:
Now don’t get me wrong. I understand not tipping your hand, but to say nothing? Are they telling us that no one, has an encouraging word for presumed starting QB Jalen Hurts? Are they telling us that “Where Are They Now?” articles are more important than “This Year’s Break-out Player Will Be” articles?
Aside from my THE 12 series, there doesn’t seem to be much passion for football in this city, anymore. Sad. Maybe we traded it away on February 18th.
NOW that the Carson Wentzsaga has concluded, everyone is staring directly at new Head Coach, Nick Sirianni, and expecting him to have detailed answers on how we’re going to not end up 4th in the division this year. Whatever those answers are, this team is going to need spokesmen to pitch it, not just in the locker room, but outside of it.
Under Doug Pederson, the Eagles voices to the public were most often DE Brandon Graham, S Malcolm Jenkins, S/CB Jalen Mills, and C Jason Kelce. All of which were outspoken and who brought and energy of enthusiasm to interviews.You always felt that these guys were totally “bought in” to what the coaches were preaching. Pederson’s program had great salesmen.
Sirianni needs to find salesmen who bring both energy, and verbal agility to promoting the team. Jenkins left before last year, Kelce keeps hinting at retiring, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Mills will be shown the door. Graham would seem a likely candidate, but he may become a cap casualty. TE Zach Ertz would be a great pick, but he won’t be here so…
When the time comes for Sirianni to have answers, he’s going to need players to sell fans on the notion that things are going as planned. He’ll need players that fans find credible. He’ll need players who the locker room won’t tune out, or dismiss as a coach’s pet. There aren’t a lot of great options on the roster, but THE 12 is making do, with what we have.
Ideally with Sirianni being an offensive guy, you’d want an offensive player. QB Jalen Hurts would be one of the default options. Provided that he ends up being the starter. WRJalen Reagorseems ill at ease, and almost annoyed when talking with the press.
Possible candidates would be RB Miles Sanders, TE Dallas Goedert, and LB Alex Singleton. Sanders is animated and personable. Goedert gives quick answers and remembers to smile, but he doesn’t usually help steer the discussion. Singleton brings energy and enthusiasm, and unlike the other two, promotes the team beyond parroting company lines.
Getting everyone to buy into what the new coach is selling, (once he knows what it is), would help him out immensely. Besides, this new regime is going to need strong voices. Just in case the Eagles luck runs out, and we finally have to face some adversity. You know, injury bugs, locker room divides, lunatic accountants who are allowed to run a whole franchise into the ground, because he either gives spectacular blowjobs, or has video of owner Jeff Lurie hanging out with Jeffery Epstein and Jerry Sandusky.
THE 12 focuses on how to use what we already have, to win the division. Rumor has it that QB Jalen Hurtswill have competition for the starting role. That’s just plain stupid. Just make the kid the starter, and get to the business of fine tuning the rest of this banged up team. Team meaning players AND coaches.
Announce him as the starter and stick to it. (Unless we can somehow draft QB Trey Lance.)
Head Coach Nick Sirianni doesn’t come in with an established system. He’s developing it with his freshly assembled coaching staff. In the past he’s been a play designer, never a play caller. He says that he develops plays to the strengths of his players. Well right now, Hurts is the only QB on the roster. So who else could they develop the Offense to suit? Quit dicking around and build the guy a system.
Some of the players on this roster have already expressed enthusiasm about working with Hurts. He’s supposed to be spending time with some of the receivers, sometime in the near future. Use that! If players like him and trust him, make that a building block!
The Eagles have shown Hurts that they will cut a starter’s throat, and then sell him for peanuts. As an organization, that may make it hard for them to earn Hurts trust. They need to send the message that he will be supported, not thrown under a bus.
Starting Hurts will go a long way to getting the youth on this team to trust the Front Office, and the coaching staff. While the Wentz era didn’t end the way it should have, that doesn’t mean that the Hurts era should start under a cloud, or with him already bewaring the ides of March.
TRADING QB Carson Wentz officially ends the media drama that has surrounded the team since his benching in Green Bay on December 6th. As of now, all of the focus is on HC Nick Sirianni and QBJalen Hurts. How do they power the Eagles to win the NFC East and championships? Oh, and how long will we suck?
Don’t lie to yourself about “re-arming” or “re-stocking” or “re-loading”. The Eagles are re-building. The team that told us in February of 2018, that deep runs into the playoffs would be the norm, has been officially tossed onto the scrap heap. Gone is the coach who led us in ultra ballsy fashion. Gone is the upstart triggerman, and the wily gunslinger who stepped in for him.
For God’s sake, please stop talking about that Super Bowl, and the almost MVP season. All the important vestiges of that era have been striped away. 2017 is gone. It is dead. General Manager Howie Roseman clubbed that baby seal to death.
This is 2021, and this rebuild means that for Eagles fans, it may as well be 1999 all over again. In 1999 when Andy Reid first got here, he’d never been an NFL head coach, nor an offensive coordinator. During the interview, Reid blew Eagles owner Jeff Lurie away with how meticulous his plans were for rebuilding Eagles entirely. Lurie hired Reid to resuscitate a team that had just lost 13 games, and a legend was born.
Fast forward to 2021 and playing the part of Andrew Walter Reid, is one Nick Sirianni. (Gemini.) Also never been a head coach. Also never called an NFL game. Lurie however, loves that “he cares”. I’m not kidding. It’s the first thing Lurie mentioned when asked about why he hired Sirianni. So Sirianni is on the hook to be the next Andy Reid and revive this team based on uhhh, him caring? So okay, he cares. Did the other candidates not?
Having stepped barefoot into this warm pile of rebuild, the first thing that comes up, is that the Eagles are reportedly not anointing Hurts the starter. Instead, they intend to bring in competition for him. Or at least that’s the rumor that ESPN is reporting. Until there is a source next to a statement, me representing it as more than a rumor, would be irresponsible.
But trust and believe, we will discuss it in THE 12 tomorrow!
The second thing that crosses my mind is: Who are we losing? Rebuilds mean blood on the floor. Usually the blood of formerly sacred cows. I’m thinking names like C Jason Kelce, DT Fletcher Cox, DE Brandon Graham, TE Zach Ertz, G Brandon Brooks, and FS Rodney McLeod. Those six players represent a cap figure of 82.3M$. Six guys, 82 mill.
For a team that is projected to be 50M$ over the cap, 82.3M in cuts would clear out a lot of space. Quick, fast, and in a hurry! It would devastate the team, of course. Especially given the combined and individual leadership of the guys on that list. However, if it’s a rebuild, then fans already expect the team to suck. The only question is now: How long will the sucking last?
Eagles Head Coach, Nick Sirianni says that he can design an offense around either QB Carson Wentz or QB Jalen Hurts. He says that he will design the system according to the player’s strengths. Sounds like he’s got mad skills, right? Sounds like we’re on our way, right?
Sirianni says that he doesn’t even know who his starting QB is yet. He said that spot will be decided by competition. I think it’s fair to assume that such a competition will begin with OTA’s, and conclude during training camp at the earliest, or following the preseason at the latest.
So Sirianni has to wait to see who wins the competition, to know who the QB is.
Until he knows who the QB is, he can’t design an offense.
So what are the QB’s running while they compete?
If the two QB’s are competing using a system that is designed for neither, how can Sirianni feel that he got the best look at either man?
What system is being taught to the rest of the players during OTA’s, Mini-camp, Training Camp, and the preseason?
Will we have to wait until 2022 to see a demonstration of Sirianni’s reputed offensive genius?
This is like when Sarah Palin was John McCain’s VP candidate. We were all so curious. Then she finally spoke, and it was like the Hindenburg from there on out.
That’s how I feel about our head coach right now. His press conference has left me with that noise in my ears. You know the one from the Emergency Broadcast System? That empty, ringing annoyance? That’s what reading about the Eagles feels like since that presser.
HEY! Did you hear what Jalen Hurts said, when asked about who the starter would be in 2021: “I’ll tell you that I’m putting the work in on my end, trying to build those relationships with my guys.”
Did he say “my guys”? Is that what they are now? His guys? Choice cut of pert, that there!
You know, one of the hallmarks of Carson Wentz’s tenure, has been the Eagles organization constant turning a blind eye to the Eagles locker room being divided over the QB. Many fans see this as a weakness on Wentz’s part, but that’s blaming the teacher for the kids lobbying for the substitute. If the school makes it clear that ‘This is Ms. Such-n-such’s class, end of story’, preference be damned, when Ms. Such-n-such comes back, you give her full effort. That’s not been the course we’ve charted though.
The Pederson staff looked the other way on those issues. Carson’s guy was TE Zach Ertz. QB Nick Foles guy was WR Alshon Jeffery. Jalen Hurts likes WR Greg Ward. Some guys just seem to play better for QB’s they like. Maybe you’ve noticed? Instead of addressing this, the coaching staff allowed it. Allowed shrines. Hemmed and hawed about who was playing. And similar type bullshit.
And here we are today, with more of the same. This is starting out as a divided locker room under Sirianni, even before anyone sets foot in the locker room. That’s what happens when a man has no idea what being a leader is all about.
Look. Listen. Leadership is about three things. 1)Setting a goal that you get others to pursue with you. 2) Getting people to agree to be responsible for reaching some part of that goal.3) Being, and holding others accountable, for how you are all handling your individual responsibilities to the group effort.
So far, Sirianni isn’t even attempting any of these. 1) We have no idea what his vision is.2)That means he can’t get anyone to contribute to the group effort. In fact, right now the spirit of competition is all about each man trying to serve his individual interest. 3) With everyone serving themselves, and no system to speak of, there is no way to measure how each man is contributing to the whole.
Then again why would we expect this from Sirianni, when he clearly isn’t the leader of the team?
This is not me dumping on competition. Back in November, it was me who said that competition was the easiest way to fix the team. So I’m on-board with competing. However, competition only works when the finish line has been established, and everyone knows what the goal is. Otherwise, it’s just chickens running in a yard.
Football is about more than X’s and O’s. It’s about more than a player’s 40 time. Every team has brilliant minds, and great athletes. What sets some teams apart, is their character. Their leadership. That thing that has allowed the Eagles to be a team that never knew what “quit” was. Until the Washington game. Back when they were Jalen’s guys.
HE’S a diva! He’s babied! He’s uncoachable! He hates Doug Pederson! He’s insubordinate! He wants out of Philadelphia! Why is it that everyone with something bad to say about QB Carson Wentz, isn’t man enough to own his words?
We’ve been reading rumors for over two years now, but strangely, everyone is afraid go on record. I could understand if Carson had gotten a coach fired in the past. Or if he’d gotten WR Alshon Jeffery (largely suspected of being a rumor source) booted off the team. But none of that has ever happened.
On the field, we see a guy with an injury history, playing as hard as we’ve seen ANY QB play. (And yes I’m including Jim Kelly.) We don’t see Carson arguing with teammates on the sideline. When he congratulates them, they don’t pull away from him, or give him the cold shoulder. We watched him give QB Jalen Hurts pointers, even after being benched. We watched that!
So what’s with this “other” Carson Wentz that we keep reading about, but that no one can give us proof of? I have a theory about that.
Carson Wentz is boring. Especially if you’re a sportswriter in a city known for colorful personalities. Like Andy Reid, Carson goes about his business, and then… You don’t hear from him. It’s football, family, and his Audience Of 1 food truck(s). Unless the local scribes want to write about Carson’s love for God (and they don’t), he’s of no use to them. Put bluntly, Carson doesn’t sell papers or generate clicks.
That is, until the media creates a situation where they can portray him as a bad guy. Ah-ha! Now they can challenge him, even force him, to defend his name. Except he doesn’t. He never responds to these rumors. He knows who he is, and he truly has no interest in the circus. Thus, he doesn’t participate in it. Ever. Which is only more infuriating for the media.
Remember the trade that NFL.com reporter Adam Schefter said Carson wanted? Here’s the link to refresh your memory. Remember when Schefter had to walk that shit back, because it wasn’t true? Here’s that link too. Remember when ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen said that Carson would force a trade? Here’s one more link. Since Pederson was fired, Mortensen has been eerily quiet on the subject of Carson Wentz. How ‘bout that?! Carson doesn’t respond. He just lets the truth find it’s own way to us.
Carson had nothing to say about last year’s rumors, and had even less to say about this year’s speculation. In fact, he’s been radio silent since his December 6th benching at Green Bay. He did skip his year-end exit interview with then Head Coach Doug Pederson, and the local media took off running with that.
Now don’t get me wrong, that move says a ton. But it says so much, that it’s important to clarify EXACTLY what Carson himself, meant by it. His intentions are subject to speculation by us fans. His intentions are not subject to speculation by reporters who are supposed to report facts.
Just as the media is taking liberties by speculating on his intent, I suspect that they may also be exaggerating some of his teammate’s comments. Any statement by an “anonymous source” allows the media to write whatever they like, however they like, while avoiding “lying” specifically.
Let me give you an example from NFL.com itself. This is an excerpt from yesterday’s Michael Silver article. This is his interpretation of an Aaron Rodgers quote, after losing to Tampa Bay. Keep in mind, this section was copy and pasted, with no alteration by me, save for the orange font color:
And when he spoke, I believe he delivered a message to his bosses, one I’d roughly translate thusly: Your way of doing business has to change, or maybe I should be on my way.
“[There are] a lot of guys’ futures that are uncertain,” Rodgers told reporters, “myself included. That’s what’s sad about it most … getting this far. Obviously there’s going to be an end to it at some point, whether we make it past this one or not. Just the uncertainties, (it) is tough, and the finality of it.”
In that quote, Rodgers says dick about the Packers way of doing business. Also, at no point does he suggest that he would leave. Silver entirely ignores both the text, and the subtext of Rodgers words, in order to superimpose his own. Sadly, fans will buy it because a guy at NFL.com wrote it!
There’s an awful lot of character assassination going on, based solely on rumor, from people who are supposed to be experts at verification, and factual reporting. Yet they keep coming up snake-eyes on facts. And as long as we keep letting them substitute rumor for scoop (or letting John Clark get away with reporting what he sees on ESPN) this will keep happening.
Damned shame when a fan/blogger has higher operating standards than professional journalists.
WHAT did I tell you back in November? I told you that (then) Head Coach Doug Pederson,couldn’t bench QBCarson Wentz. Well he did. And he was fired. I also told you that Wentz was the 2021 starter. Owner Jeff Lurieseems to be backing my assessment, and fueling rumors that the next HC hired, is largely based on the candidate’s desire to work with Wentz.
Not to say “I told you so” but…
For the last couple weeks I’m out here on a day-to-day, reading interactions between fans who want to argue about the QB. I don’t engage much. I mostly hang back, because I don’t want to get any stupid on me. Some are arguing that Wentz can’t play anymore. Some are perpetuating rumors that he’s “uncoachable”. Like he’s friggin Johnny Manziel, Ryan Leaf, or Jay Cutler. Can you believe this?
The truth? No matter what has come up, Wentz holds his head up, doesn’t embarrass his team, feeds his community, honors his marriage, and never makes you feel like he’s dogging it out there. In fact, he’s been routinely criticized for (Superman ball) trying to do too much. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit C. Exhibit D. etc.
Meanwhile, all the shit talk about him is spouted by “ grown men” who won’t even apply their name to their words.
Making matters worse, are fans out there who gobble up those rumors, and spread them. This lends the illusion of merit to the rumors, due to the absence of truly substantive discourse. Honestly, the only thing that keeps this all from being sad, is that fact that:
I WAS RIGHT!
Instead of focusing on the soap opera that the local media has been trying to push, I pulled out my calculator, and applied some common sense. Philadelphia fans have long been reputed as some of the country’s most knowledgeable fans. While many have grown soft, lazy, and no longer deserving of that mantle, I work to ensure that it’s still true.
This allows me a sort of joyful, and well-earned smugness, because no matter what argument some fans make about Wentz’s 2020 season, barring injury, in 2021 he’s The Man. It won’t be QBJalen Hurts. Wentz won’t be traded. There won’t be an “open competition”. None of that bullshit.
Carson Wentz is your 2021 starting quarterback. Period. End of story. Like I TOLD you. In November. Anyone who wants to root for him to get hurt or play poorly, that’s their business. That however, would say a ton more about their character, than it would about Wentz’s skill or coachability.
I guess they’re waiting until we’re above .500. Then all those Eagles casuals will stop rooting for the Cowboys, and hop back on the bandwagon, shouting stuff like “AH bleed green no matter wut!” and “Never lost faith in Wentzlvania!”
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for the Four Thingsarticles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
1) Lose the damned game!: We did a great job of doing this. Luckily, the giants were counting on us to win, so they could get into the playoffs. So yeah. Yeah. Fuck those guys. (DONE)
2) Evaluate Kelce’s heir: This never happened. C Jason Kelce played the whole game. (NOT DONE)
3) No Razzle-Dazzle:The Eagles ran not one but two WR Option passes. Neither was a big play and both were almost disasters. Then there was that ugly, and incomplete Back-side WR Screen… Silly. Just plain silly. (NOT DONE)
4) The Pocket Hurts: Hurts pocket presence was even worse this week. Yardage notwithstanding, it seems to be getting easier and easier to shut down our passing game, as Hurts fundamentals as a passer, have deteriorated with every subsequent week. Do you know the last time QB Carson Wentz completed just 35% of his passes? The answer is never. Not even as a rookie. (NOT DONE)
On The Whole:
This whole narrative that the Eagles tanked, because Head Coach Doug Pederson pulled Hurts in the 4th quarter, for third string QB Nate Sudfeld, is ridiculous. True story, nothing in Suds history indicated that he’d look as bad as he did in this game. In fact, last night he threw his first career interception.
Meanwhile, Hurts had most of the game and was horrendous out there. In most cases fans would be SCREAMING to have a QB pulled for looking as bad as he did.
What people around the NFL don’t like about the loss, is that the Eagles profited so handsomely from it. We came into the game slotted 9th in the Draft. We left it slotted in the 6th spot. Normally moving up three slots in the first round of the NFL Draft will cost you your 1st and at least a 2nd rounder.
Instead, we moved up three slots in every round, all for the price of a game that was meaningless to us. And all we had to do was disappoint someone that we already hate (the giants). So we moved up essentially for free! And let’s be real. Isn’t hilarious to be able to talk about a QB controversy that involves Suds but not Wentz?
If tanking was such a bad thing, then where was all this league-wide clamor when the Jags decided to bench QB Gardner Minshew so that they could “Tank for Trevor!” Dead silent on that one right? Dear NFL. Eat my ass, you raging fucking hypocrites.
We had a shitty season, but we ended it like a boss.