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Posted: July 6th, 2021 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 190 Comments

Over the weekend I had a chance to hang out with some buddies. Naturally, the subject of football came up. These guys are Buffalo Bills fans and they are excited for the upcoming season. And why not? They have a franchise quarterback, star receiver, playmaking defense and a coach and GM who work well together. Life is good. They want to see if this group can breakthrough and get to the Super Bowl.

I mentioned that I was also excited for the upcoming season, but that was more about just getting to see the team play. Football is a great game. Even when things don’t look great for an upcoming season, part of you gets excited.

I admitted that I was more curious than excited. We’ve got a lot to learn about the 2021 Eagles. There are a ton of questions. Not all will be fun answers, but the mystery is part of the fun.

There are some things I am excited about for the upcoming season.

I cannot wait to see DeVonta Smith in action. I’m not sure the last time I was this excited about an Eagles rookie. Carson Wentz was the #3 QB up until Sam Bradford got traded in August so I didn’t think I’d get to see Wentz play that year. Maybe Mike Patterson in 2005. Or Corey Simon in 2000. Possibly McNabb in 1999. I think you get the point. It has been a while since I was this excited about a rookie.

Smith was my favorite college football player last year. I’m not an Alabama fan, but they’re on TV every week and in so many big games you can’t help but get to know that team. Smith was a dominant receiver. But he wasn’t huge or some freak athlete. He was a polished player who played with a level of precision that you don’t see that much in college these days.

Each week Smith would dominate. He would be on a field littered with future NFL players, plenty of them bigger and faster than him. Still, Smith found a way to take over games. The coaches schemed him open at times, but Smith made those plays. He caught the ball and usually made good things happen after the catch. When he was covered tightly, he still made some of those plays. Tough. Smart. Skilled. Ultra-competitive. He was just like me on the kickball field in fourth grade.

I think Smith’s game will translate well to the NFL so I’m excited to see him in action. And this team has desperately needed a young receiver to play at a high level for a while. Way too many disappointments in the last decade.

From the young to the old, I’m excited to see Ryan Kerrigan in midnight green. Kerrigan has always been one of my favorite non-Eagles. I love his combination of talent, athleticism and a non-stop motor. I know Kerrigan is nearing the end of his career. I know he is here to be a backup. But he’s an Eagle! I finally get to see a player I genuinely love watching come over to the good guys.

The Eagles are hoping that Kerrigan can be Chris Long 2.0. They want him to be an effective situational rusher and to help in the locker room. Kerrigan is a good guy on and off the field. He’s got the kind of mentality that Nick Sirianni wants in his team. Even if Kerrigan only plays for a year, he can have some impact.

I am excited to see Alex Singleton in Year 2. He proved last year that he can start in the NFL and get the job done. He led the Eagles with 120 total tackles. Heck, his 75 solo tackles were more than anyone else’s combined tackles. That’s crazy.

This coaching staff had success with LBs in both Indy and Minnesota. I’m hoping the new staff will get even more out of Singleton. I don’t think he’s going to be some star, but I’m excited to see what he can do in the new system and with a year of experience under his belt. He talked this spring about needing to prove himself all over again. I don’t see Singleton as a one-year wonder. He still seems very hungry and wants to prove last year was no fluke.

I’m excited to see what Jordan Mailata does this year. I anticipate him winning the LT job, but even if he doesn’t do that, chances are that he’s getting on the field somewhere when somebody gets hurt. Mailata had moments of brilliance last year, but he was very much learning on the job. That was his first real football. Now he’s got a chance to practice this summer and to be even better.

I’m also excited to see the new coaching staff in action. Last year’s staff was incredibly dysfunctional. The stories you hear behind the scenes are not good. The new staff is unproven of course, but this is Nick Sirianni’s staff. He hired them. Doug Pederson had coaches forced on him and the results weren’t…good. Sirianni hired the guys he wanted. Many of them worked with him. Some worked with new DC Jonathan Gannon. This is Sirianni’s staff.

Having a cohesive staff can make a huge difference. They should work well together and the players can feed off their chemistry. Football is tough on a good day, but it is darn near impossible when the coaches are going in different directions and there isn’t a unified message.

The staff had a lot of success with WRs and DBs in the past. Both have been trouble spots for the Eagles for a while. I am excited to see if the new coaches can find and develop talent in those areas so the team isn’t throwing money at free agents every year, trying to solve those problems.


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Thanks pal - nice post. I'm excited to see the Eagles surprise everyone. They're being written off and a bottom 10 team and I just can't wait until they prove conventional wisdom wrong. 

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