The trade of Zach Ertz consumed Friday, but there were other bits of business that need to be tended.
Mainly, this struggling Eagles offense.
It’s widely assumed that as soon as the Eagles play teams like the Detroit Lions on Halloween and the two stumbling New York franchises in the two games coming out Thanksgiving, everything will be OK.
It doesn’t work that way.
Things only get better with work, and unless rookie head coach Nick Sirianni and his youthful staff work to correct their game planning, this team could be headed toward oblivion and a top-five draft pick next spring, not to mention a fire sale leading up to the Nov. 2 trade deadline.
So, while the players will take the weekend off after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, Sirianni and his staff will spend that back at the drawing board.
“We have more time, obviously, this week to be able to not only go into the run-pass ratio of things but also into marrying some plays together and also go into just what you do well as a team and what your identity is as a team and who you are as a team and what you've succeeded in as a team,” said Sirianni on Friday, shortly after news of the Ertz trade broke.
“Sometimes on a normal week or even on a short week, you don't get the opportunity to do that as much. With these extra three days that we have, we are looking at that.”
There is plenty to look at, but it starts with an offense that goes as Jalen Hurts goes – without exception.
Sirianni is asking a lot from him, with all the RPO stuff falling on his QB’s shoulders.
The coach, who has no plans on surrendering play calling, conceded somewhat that he wants to have a better balance of run versus pass.
“We look at our self-scout, and we're constantly trying to think, particularly more so than anything, our run-pass ratio within different looks,” the coach said. “Now, we've been heavy pass, as we all know, but we always want to get that closer to at least 75 percent. Never be above 75 percent in anything because we know that's where defenses really look at that and make plans off of that.”
Defenses already have done that.
They know what’s coming.
They know it Jalen Hurts and not much else.
Miles Sanders had one carry at halftime. By then, the Eagles trailed 21-7.
DeVonta Smith managed just two catches against a Bucs pass defense that was ranked last in the NFL and lost cornerback Richard Sherman early in the game with a hamstring injury.
The Lincoln Financial Field crowd gave the Eagles a Bronx cheer when Sanders picked up five yards for a first down late in the second half, showing just how thirsty they are to see more of their running back actually running the ball.
Maybe Sirianni heard, and this offense will look different coming out of this mini-bye.
Offensive tackle Jordan Mailata indicated in Thursday night’s postgame interview that the Bucs seemed to know what the Eagles’ offense was doing and the coaches were slow to adopt.
On Friday, SI.com Eagle Maven asked the coach for his reaction to that.
Basically, Sirianni said it takes more than one play to determine when to make adjustments.
“You just can't see one play and say, ‘This is exactly what they're doing,’” he said. “It's just like when you watch tape of a team and you watch a couple plays on tape, this is before you even go into game planning, you can't just watch a couple plays and be like, ‘Oh, this is what they're doing,’ and devise your whole game plan for that.
“I'm not saying that you go 10 plays before you make an adjustment, but it has to be more than one or two before you make an adjustment. I thought the offensive coaches with some of the adjustments that they made, that we made as a staff, were pretty good. Like with some of the runs that we got to.”
By then, it was too little too late.
MORE: Analyzing the Zach Ertz trade with story and video:
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.