Talent: The 2019 Philadelphia Eagles Season (follow up to a series of rants) By: John Burke

Where do you even start with this season. It literally was all over the place. The season was filled with many up’s and a lot of downs. It looked like it was all but over after a horrendous loss to Miami and sitting at 5-7 but then
something happened. It is the same thing that has happened the past 3 seasons down the
stretch,when it matters most. Dougie P had his team focused and ready for a stretch run with
the opportunity to still win the division and make the playoffs.
A lot of factors played into this,
one being the division was historically bad, but the Eagles still had their shot to win it regardless
and needed to win their last 4 to do so. And you know what … they did. They beat the Cowboys
to essentially win the division, with it all online they beat the stinking Cowboys. That in itself
makes evey iggles fan incredibly happy. They win against the Giants in the final week to take
the division and are headed to playoffs. That is the smallest part of the narrative of this season
and this team. Here is the bigger story and one we are all aware of and watched unfold as the
season progressed so I will not harp on these points too long. Starter after starter goes down,
no WR’s left it up to calling up the practice squad players like they were bullpen relief pitchers.
The Greg Ward phenomenon, Boston Scott’s rise to folk hero status in this town, Carson Wentz
becoming the leader and winner this team needed with practice squad players. Almost the
perfect storm. Almost!

I have no issue saying I was wrong about Doug as a coach. I was. What he was able to do with
this team and lack of overall talent was nothing short of amazing. He is the right man for the
job,however, what I do not feel I am wrong about is the fact he and this team need a veteran
offensive coordinator that can reign ole Dougie in when he needs to be. You know what I am
talking about when all of sudden there are simple formations, bad play calls, going for it when
you need to take the points, when the team clearly needs to run more, those times Doug still
needs someone in his ear saying no and a veteran presence that can help with the pass game as
well. He needs to hire real position coaches that can coach up the talent, this is a big one, coach
up the players and develop them. Something this team has lacked recently. But Doug is the
right head coach for this team, they play for him and respond to him. And when it matters
most, in the most important part of the season, he wins plain and simple, the record doesn’t lie,
he simply finds the way to win. For that he is the right man.
Here’s what I am not wrong about and it is blatantly obvious. Talent or lack there of for sake of
argument. I will not come off the fact that this organization has trouble evaluating talent in the
draft. And it starts with Howie. We just witnessed firsthand a mistake this very season in DK
Metcalf imposing his will all afternoon on the Eagles in the playoffs. He was drafted 7 picks after

Arthega Whiteside. 7!!! If you know football and follow the draft like I do then you were
screaming at the TV on the second night of the draft watching Metcalf slide, Eagles picking and
you know they need a wideout , he’s there take him Howie and you then aced this draft already
with only 3 picks … go ahead .. Howie you got this … then Arthega Whiteside’s name is called.
I am sorry what did they say? that is not how you pronounce DK Metcalf. And if your anything
like me you begin to say a few curse words, get annoyed, talk some shit with friends about
what you wanted, wish you were the GM etc. you know... that old chestnut. Here is the thing
that infuriates me to no end, this happens a lot. The talent evaluation for this organization as a
whole when it comes to the draft is suspect at best and that is me being nice about it. I get it
the draft is not a science, it’s not. It is a hit or miss game outside of the top 10 picks usually. I
get all of that. I am a draft geek I love it I watch all 7 rounds; I am engrossed in it. I get there are
misses with every team. This team just misses a little more than a good organization should.
They have historically taken the wrong player more times than not since Roseman took over as
GM in 2010. It’s a problem and has been for some time. For everyone crying to not trade the
draft picks this year for a player like Ramsey because this team needed to get younger, I get it
and I agree with the statement in theory. But why are they one of the older teams to begin
with? Because Howie had to build this team through trades and free agency. Because they
missed too many times in past drafts. I am talking as a whole, not the just the first or second
round picks. How many middle to late round picks have been selected and developed into
quality contributors? Some of that goes back to position coaches not being able to develop the
talent, a lot of that is also not drafting talented enough players to make it. The organization as a
whole for instance has had a history over the last 10 years of not drafting any quality WR’s. I am
not just talking about this past draft and the sting that came back to bite them with DK Metcalf
either. Over the past 10 years since Howie has been the GM the wide receivers drafted are
almost laughable. Riley Cooper, Marvin Mcnutt, Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor,
Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson and then Whiteside.

For every hit since 2010 and believe me I know the “diehard” fans will be quick to point out or
troll with all of them Fletcher Cox, Ertz, Lane Johnson, Goedart, Miles Sanders, Wentz. But what
they forget or simply fail to realize or just plain ignore is for every hit this organization does hit
on, there has been 4 misses. In other words, below average draft grades. And I get it hindsight
is 20/20 and if my grandmother had balls, she would be my grandfather. But for an organization
that considers itself in the upper echelon of the league they cannot continue to miss in the
early rounds of the draft and need to hit on just a few late round picks to sustain future success.
If you are one the fans quick to point out the hits, let me just refresh the old memory for you on
some of the misses.

Howie’s first year in 2010 trades up selects Brandon Graham. I will never come off of this the
pick should have been Earl Thomas then and still now. Graham has been a very nice player, but

the pick was Thomas. What if the same year they do not draft Nate Allen and take say Rob
Gronkowski who was taken 5 picks later, or the player you traded a 3 rd pick for last year in
Golden Tate? While these are all what if’s, they were all still positions of need as well. The
following year Danny Watkins and Jaquan Jarrett was the fist two picks. Literally anybody else
would have been better. 2012 hit with Cox, a home run. I agree. This is the same draft that they
are on record before, during and years after saying how much they love Russell Wilson and they
wait and wait and miss on getting him. Totally fine just pointing that out. But they take
Kendricks in round 2 here instead of the better player across the board in Bobby Wagner. Same
position, same position of need and they do not take the better player. It is not just me saying
that Wagner graded out better on all draft boards. You have the 2014 disaster in Marcus Smith
then take Jordan Matthews over the likes of Allen Robinson or Jarvis Landry. Another example
of not being able to evaluate wide receiver talent.

2015 They take Agholor, position of need yes because one of the worst coaching hires they ever
had, traded away playmaker after playmaker. But I will not get into that right now or say I told
you so because I am above that. Ok I am not I was never more right about anything with this
team, But I digress. I will say the other position of need that year was CB and edge rusher.
Byron Jones and Bud Dupree both went after Nellie in this draft. And just for shits and giggles
because I wanted him Landon Collins is taken with the last pick of the first round. 2016 messes
were cleaned up and Howie was on fire all offseason trades up twice and gets Wentz. The next
year I get it folks they win the Super Bowl. This is the year they draft Barnett, who I was on
record as saying I would be a Soul fan if they did that (thanks a lot Jaws and BonJovi).Here is the
thing I was not wrong .Did they need a pass rusher? Yup, did the edge rush help win a
Superbowl title? Yup it played a big part. But TJ Watt was the better player who went 30 th and is
now an all pro like his brother. Stop already with he 3-4 defense too he would have been fine.
Then jump to this past draft they may have hit on Dillard time will tell; it is too soon to judge we
have to wait until he has a full season as a starter. Even then it may be 2-3 years down the line
on that. But it was the right pick. Miles Sanders the right pick. Whiteside not so much. They
struggle drafting the WR position and evaluating it as I stated before. They pass on Metcalf here
but not only him; Hardman goes the pick before Whiteside, Paris Campbell, Dionte Johnson,
Terry Mclaurin all better years. Christ some of the practice squad players not including Ward
had better years than Whiteside. That is a problem.

Here is the thing the team needs talent to win and needs to surround Carson on the offensive
side of the ball with talent for him to grow and the team to win. We have been through the
years of not investing in skill players and true number 1 wide receivers, missing the Superbowl
partly because of it, the other part was bad play calling and shit like that. But this team needs to
invest in talent and surround Carson with it. That means hitting in drafts on skill positions. The
next two years of drafts are pivotal right now to capitalize on Wentz’s prime. They need to
invest in skill players on defense as well. No more makeshift defensive backfields value the

linebacker positions with real LB’s that can cover and stop the run. This may sound crazy
because they won the Superbowl in 2017 but this offseason is one of the most important in
recent memory and Howie will be, should be, and needs to be under a microscope. He needs to
have a rock-solid draft and smart free agent moves to balance this team out with getting
younger influx of talent and balance it with veteran signings. No more fan boy stuff with loving
former players that helped us win in the past. He is the Gm not their buddy and needs to start
acting as such. He cannot have misses in the first and second round at all. None. He needs to
surround Wentz with a real WR core to allow him to have the success he is capable of and
deserves. I do not care who he needs to consult with to actually draft, not sign or trade for but
draft a talented WR, it needs to happen this year in a draft loaded with them. Talent it is that
simple, hitting in the draft over the next two to three years is imperative for future success. This
team needs an influx of young talent at skill positions. Should be an interesting offseason to say
the least. Time is yours Howie.


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