PHILADELPHIA – Not many believe the Eagles have a chance at doing much this season, not after Jeffrey Lurie, sort of, set the expectation that the 2021 season was going to be about building toward a bigger goal in the year or so that follows.
The Eagles owner, on Jan. 11, made statements such as:
- “We're in a real transition period, and it's not unlike 2016.”
- “We have to retrench and rededicate and allocate resources to what can make us the best possible team in the mid-term, in the long term, and hopefully compete in the short term because I think we can, but honestly, that's really where we're at.”
- “We have to accumulate as much talent as we possibly can that is going to work in the long run with a focus on the mid-term and the long term and not on how to maximize 2021.”
Remember those words?
Even Vegas doesn’t believe in the Eagles this season.
After the draft www.BetOnlin.ag set the Eagles’ over-under win total at a not-so-robust 6.5. Now, Vegas has been off before. Just last year they set the mark at 10 and we all remember how that turned out, right?
That was four wins for those with short memories.
So, there’s a chance they could be off again.
Just look at Nick Sirianni. When we’ve glimpsed the new head coach in his handful of media snippets, he is an arm-waving, hand-swinging ball of passion and energy. That may invigorate a locker room that has begun a transition to youth.
There are still enough veterans that know how to win and will pass that tricky recipe on down the young’uns.
Throw in the fact that this is the NFC East we’re talking about, where there hasn’t been a repeat winner since the Eagles did in 17 years ago and smelled like rotten eggs last year, and well, maybe it wouldn’t be wise to count out the Eagles making some kind of playoff push.
The season is also 17 games long, so who knows how that will impact teams?
“In 2016, people were telling us it was going to take five years and we did it (win a Super Bowl) in 12 months,” said GM Howie Roseman earlier in the week on the team’s flagship radio station, 94WIP. “That’s a challenge we want to be better on. We want to do it quicker. We want to win as many games as possible. Everyone is sitting there thinking a certain thing about our football team.
“We have a lot of good players. We have a lot of good people and we have to keep building on top of that to climb that mountain again and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to try to win as many games as possible and we’re going to continue to build the roster.”
The roster building continues a week after the 2021 NFL Draft when the Eagles claimed RB Kerryon Johnson off waivers from the Detroit Lions.
As Roseman added, “We don’t spend all year trying to make this team as good as possible to not try to compete. That’s crazy.”
Washington wears the crown of division champs heading into this year, but they won the East in 2020 with just seven wins.
Dallas is the favorite this year, per Vegas, with an over-under win total set at 9 games.
The Football Team is second at 8.5 with the Giants at 7.
The Eagles are last, that doesn’t mean that’s where they will finish.
Here is what each of their rivals did in the draft:
(No. 12) Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
(44) Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
(75) Osa Odighizuwa, DL, UCLA
(84) Acquired from Eagles in the move down two spots in the first round: Chauncey Golston, DE, Iowa
(99) Nashon Wright, CB, Oregon State
(115) Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
(138) Josh Ball, OT, Marshall
(179) Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford
(192) Quinton Bohanna, DT, Kentucky
(227) Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina
(238) Matt Farniok, OG, Nebraska
(19) Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
(51) Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
(74) Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
(82) Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
(124) John Bates, TE, Boise State
(163) Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati
(225) Camaron Cheeseman, LS, Michigan
(240) Will Bradley-King, DE, Baylor
(246) Shaka Toney, DE, Penn State
(258) Dax Milne, WR, BYU
(20) Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
(50) Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
(71) Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF
(116) Elerson Smith, OLB, Northern Iowa
(196) Gary Brightwell, RB, Arizona
(201) Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.