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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Is this finally the year for Sidney Jones?


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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Is this finally the year for Sidney Jones?

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https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/eagles-2020-breakout-candidate-sidney-jones

By Dave Zangaro June 03, 2020 8:00 AM

Over the next two weeks, I’m taking a look at 10 Eagles players who might be primed for a breakout season in 2020. I have already looked at Boston Scott and K’Von Wallace. 

Up today: Sidney Jones

Age: 24

How acquired: 2017 2nd-round pick 

Entering: Year 4

If you haven’t figured it out, Sidney Jones is going to end up on this list until one of two things happen: 

1. He finally has a breakout season 

2. He’s no longer on the team 

Because the important thing to remember about Jones is how much promise he once had. When the Eagles drafted Jones, torn Achilles and all, with the 43rd pick in 2017 it was because they thought they were getting a no-doubt-about-it first-round talent. That hasn’t quite worked out. 

Jones came back from that Achilles injury but has never looked like a first-round pick in Philadelphia. Other injuries have really hampered him and even when he’s healthy, he hasn’t been able to turn into a star or even solidify a starting job. 

It’s really not fair to look at Jones’ 2017 season because he played in just that regular season finale and we all kind of expected that to be a lost year as he recovered from the torn Achilles he suffered at Washington’s pro day. But 2018 and 2019 have been disappointing. 

In the last two seasons, Jones has played in 21 games and has started eight. There have been ups and downs in the last two seasons but Jones hasn’t played well enough or consistent enough to earn a full-time starting job and that’s troubling because the Eagles have really struggled at the cornerback position for the last few seasons. 

So why is there still a chance for Jones? 

Well, he just turned 24. He came into the NFL young, so he’s not as old as many players who were drafted that season. 

And there have been glimpses of the player Jones can be. We saw it during the 2019 season. Jones made two clutch plays in December against the Giants and the Cowboys in crucial games for the Eagles. After the big play against the Cowboys on Dec. 22, Jones spoke about his early-career struggles and said the support from his teammates means a lot. 

Jones needs to stay healthy and then find consistency. There’s still a hope he can do that. 

"Adversity builds character," Jones said to John Clark in April. "I feel like I have weathered the storm. I am ready to show what I can do and prove it."

Coming into the 2020 season, Jones will likely be battling with Avonte Maddox for the Eagles’ CB2 job opposite Darius Slay. It’s an important role for the Eagles, especially if teams choose to not throw at the perennial Pro Bowler. 

Back in March, Eagles GM Howie Roseman said it’s time for Jones to prove it. 

If he does, he could finally have that breakout season. 

 

 

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Every year is the year for Sidney Jones... Until it isn't.

Maybe it will be, maybe it won't be. He made a couple of big plays for us in key spots last year but that's such a small sample size that we really can't pin anything to it.

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Jones vs Barnett for most consecutive mentions as possible breakout candidate.

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I did like what I saw from Jones in the last few games last year. DB, esp corner is all about confidence in yourself. He looked like he had that confidence. We have to hope he is coming back with it. 2017 he never played, 2018 lets be honest it takes a year to a year and a half to get healed. 2019 I saw some glimpse. i am hoping for the best of course, I do like him and I was thrilled to get him in the 2nd round. 

To give him the best shot, he needs to play outside. He is not a inside corner. Some players need that sideline as a helper, he is that kinda of player. So if the Eagles want to give him the best chance they can at success they need to let the dice role with him outside and stick with it for min 6 games to give him his chance. With Coleman, Maddox and LeBlanc locked as the best inside guys we have, Jones should not even be talked about on the inside.  

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It's now or never for Sidney.  He's a UFA after this season. Honestly, I think the biggest issue is that Sidney needs to stay healthy.  If he can stay healthy, then he will contribute.  If he cannot, then it'll be another wasted year for him, and probably will be moving on next season.

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3 hours ago, EricAllenPick6 said:

It's now or never for Sidney.  He's a UFA after this season. Honestly, I think the biggest issue is that Sidney needs to stay healthy.  If he can stay healthy, then he will contribute.  If he cannot, then it'll be another wasted year for him, and probably will be moving on next season.

Given the lack of real options yeah he'll get opportunities. If he can stay healthy and if he can at least be solid then he may stay beyond this year. I think he's capable of that, not much more though. 

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Not sure why I'm more positive than anyone else here, but I still have faith in this dude for some reason.  He made multiple plays when it counted against the Giants and Cowboys especially last year while he was left on an island (thanks Schwartz).  I was definitely encouraged by those plays in big moments. 

My biggest fear with him is his strength.  That sounds silly for a CB, but I'm talking about pencil leg strength.  His core/legs are probably the weakest in the entire NFL (I read an article last season that stated he was nervous about squatting 135 lbs.............).  I'm sure this has to do with his achilles, but it's time Sidney!  With Slay on the other side, his job will never be easier.   

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I think Sidney's problems in year 2 and 3 might be attributed to coaching, the medical staff, and the training staff. 

Think about it - who has improved under the coaches they've had over the past 3 years. Seems to me like Douglas, Mills and Maddox have regressed. Then there's the scheme - is it being built to fit the players best skills or are the players having to play in less advantageous defenses. 

How about the replaced strength &conditioning staff along with their medical people. If it were just Jones I'd completely agree the issue is Jones. But, for 2 years in a row the Eagles have had record numbers of injuries and missed games in their secondary. Seems like they don't know how to keep their players well OR to get them well. 

I remember Jones chasing Cooper touchdown into the end zone while limping on a pulled hamstring. That might be his signature moment so far and I sure don't think it was his shortcomings that caused it. 

Finally, I think there is a lot of reason to point a finger at many fans favorite  - Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles haven't been able to play double high safety and give the corners help for at least 2 years for one reason - Jenkins can't run and he can't cover deep (oops that's 2 reasons). Our corners have consistently been on a =n island because Jim Schwartz has had to play Jenkins close to the line of scrimmage which is the only place he could be effective. Yeah - you're right I don't like the guy, he's "all hat and no cattle". Leader my a**, e stifled the young guys - who could speak up when Jenkins the self-pronounced locker room leader who never met a microphone or a camera he didn't love was the problem.

Sidney might be a bust, but he's had a lot of help along the way. 

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21 hours ago, Rob331 said:

I think Sidney's problems in year 2 and 3 might be attributed to coaching, the medical staff, and the training staff. 

I think there's certainly an argument to be made that those coaches and the medical staff haven't helped him yes. Undlin stayed in a job far longer than he should have. 

That said I'm sure Jones rejected advice from the team to put on some muscle bulk? That's really not the attitude he would of had given the problems he's had.

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I’m mostly pessimistic about Jones but still have a sliver of hope that he pans out. Those two big plays late in the season should serve as real confidence builders for him. 
 

Probably won’t happen but if he does break out and turn into the player he was expected to be, we’ll be looking real good in the secondary with Slay locking down the other side. 

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10 hours ago, nipples said:

I’m mostly pessimistic about Jones but still have a sliver of hope that he pans out. Those two big plays late in the season should serve as real confidence builders for him. 
 

Probably won’t happen but if he does break out and turn into the player he was expected to be, we’ll be looking real good in the secondary with Slay locking down the other side. 

I think there's still hope because he's now got a new positions coach and I'm sure I read that he was working this off season to add a little bulk?

The issue though is that he's not going to get a full off season, or any real time, to work with his new CB coach and the could really hurt him. 

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