Some off-day Eagles musings…
If nothing else, it was intriguing to hear Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie talk about what could happen should an outbreak of COVID-19 hit the team in-season. Lurie suggested there could be players who may have to play out of their normal positions, with receivers possibly moving to tight end and cornerbacks playing receiver.
“We know going in that there's going to be some unusual games where players might be playing positions they've hardly ever played,” said Lurie. “But that's part of being a professional athlete. We embrace it.
“We know that in any given game, there might be one quarterback available or maybe there will be no tight ends and the wide receiver will have to play tight end, or our defensive end is going to be a defensive tackle; or a cornerback is going to have to be a receiver; our long snapper may not be there.”
Based on his ability to catch interceptions – 19 in his career - I’m guessing Darius Slay has the best hands in the secondary, and it would be cool to see him line up as a wideout, though the circumstances in which he would do so would be anything but cool.
- All the concern over Jalen Mills’ transition to safety seems to be for naught. The former cornerback has looked like a natural at his new position.
- Tight end Zach Ertz has looked sharp in camp, as he always does. It just needs to be mentioned, especially as he and the team have re-engaged in contract extension talks.
The Eagles would be wise to get a deal done with Ertz prior to a season that should see him become the organization’s all-time leader in receptions, breaking a mark that has stood for nearly 40 years and owned by Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael, who had 589 in an Eagles career that ran from 1971 through 1983.
Ertz has 525 catches.
Also, look at the Phillies holding off on signing catcher J.T. Realmuto. The price tag has gone up with the season Realmuto is having. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman should use that failed Phillies strategy as a lesson learned and get a deal done before the team goes to Landover, Md., to meet Washington.
- Malik Jackson could be in line for a special season. The defensive tackle, who turned 30 in January, may even threaten his career-high in sacks of 8, achieved in 2017. An early prediction: he will lead the team in sacks.
- Speaking of predictions, I have been thoroughly impressed with Arcega-Whiteside, so much so that I’m calling for a 45 to 50 catch season for the second-year player. Give him four touchdowns, too.
“In college, I think I had about 10 touchdowns just putting my body on people and jump-balling,” said Arcega-Whiteside. “You can still do that in the NFL, but it’s not as easy, so I have to learn some new tricks, some new techniques to get myself open and still get in those same positions. It’s not like I can run up to (a DB) and body him up. I have to do different things.”
Arcega-Whiteside has looked strong in the red zone, too, and could become a favorite of Carson Wentz when the field shrinks. Wentz has shown all the confidence in the world in him during camp.
- Rasul Douglas’ strong camp has gone mostly under-the-radar, but the fourth-year cornerback, who was on the trade block in the offseason, has not let that get to him. He has shown up and is doing everything he can to stick around. To me, he should be on this roster. Sidney Jones, on the other hand …
- Something to consider if you think the Eagles could trade one: The Jaguars shopped running back Leonard Fournette, a former fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft and still just 25-years old and got no offers.
Speaking of Fournette, the Eagles would probably like to have a power back, and somebody to spell Miles Sanders, but Fournette probably would balk at being a part-time runner. Keep an eye on the Patriots with Fournette.
Get the latest Eagles news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of EagleMaven page. Mobile users click the notification bell. And please follow me on Twitter @kracze.