It’s been a very transitional few weeks for the Philadelphia Eagles who now have a new Head Coach in Doug Pederson as well as new Offensive and Defensive Coordinators. The moves may have been surprising, but the direction certainly isn’t. Here are the five current Eagles players who could well enjoy career years in 2016.
Like it not, DeMarco Murray is here to stay. An intimidating contract is going to keep him in Philadelphia for the short term at least and with Pederson in charge, that isn’t a bad thing. Kansas very rarely ran the ball from the Shotgun which is a massive breath of fresh air for the running backs. Murray’s progress was consistently stunted as the downhill expert was forced to run outside after hitting brick walls far too often. Pederson helped mould Jamaal Charles into a fantastic running back and even without him, the Chiefs were still able to be a force on the ground. Murray is similar to Charles in many ways and that can only bode well for 2014’s leading rusher..don’t write him off as a midnight green mistake just yet.
Prior to his injury, Hicks was easily a candidate for Defensive Rookie Of The Year. Leading his team in tackles, dominating Quarterbacks and even calling plays at one stage. The Simba of the Eagles Defense exploded onto the scene and his absence when injured was felt by the entire unit. Under a 4-3 however, Hicks could be the perfect candidate to burst through the trenches and make even more big hits. He’s fast, physical and has sensational block shedding abilities..the best part is he’s only entering his second season! He will thrive under such an established Defensive Coordinator.
We haven’t said Sam Bradford here purely because we don’t know if he’s going to be here next season or no..but whoever starts at the helm is likely going to enjoy a lot of success. With Frank Reich helping to nurture Phillip Rivers, DeFilippo having worked with the now pro-bowler Derek Carr and Pederson helping turn Alex Smith into a consistently dangerous weapon, this Offense is set to be very Quarterback friendly..something Chip’s Offense really wasn’t despite it being arguably one of the Offense’s greatest strengths. If it’s Sam Bradford leading the unit onto the field..it’s going to be an incredible season..if it’s a rookie or a free agent, expect the unexpected and don’t be so quick to play down the idea of once again seeing a future Franchise legend throwing the ball down the field.
After recently signing a five year extension, it’s clear that Ertz is in the Eagles long term plan..and he absolutely deserves to be. Despite a slight injury concern at the start of the year, Ertz had a career season in Philadelphia. Now who else do we know that Frank Reich worked with in San Diego who happens to be an NFL Elite? Antonio Gates. He may be 35 but under Reich in 2014 , Gates had his highest number of touchdowns since 2004 and a year later still had more yards than he did in 2012 despite missing five games. The problem with Chip’s Offense is that it didn’t play to the strengths of the individuals and Ertz is one incredible talent..under Reich and Pederson, Ertz is almost destined for greatness.
Of all the players on the Eagles Defense, only one publicly showed how he felt about reverting to a 4-3 Defense before the move for Schwartz was even finalised..it’s no coincidence that Fletcher Cox had yet another incredible season and will now make his Pro Bowl Debut. Cox is a brute force as a DE and in an attacking 4-3 formation and a Defense that is treated with the same priorities as the Offense will almost certainly enjoy his best season yet..which coming off this season..is scarily impressive. Cox might finally get the credit and applause he deserves for being one of the most impressive talents in his position throughout the NFL under Schwartz.