The 2017 offseason is officially here! This is the time for evaluation. When 31 teams are looking up at the champions of the football world (Patriots) and asking themselves “What can we do to get there?” When teams are faced with tough decisions, both in free agency, and the Draft.
By now you have all heard the take on what the Eagles need to develop into the NFC East Champs again,and we all have our own opinion of what they should do, if they are to get back into the playoffs.
Opinions aside, the Eagles need help. The narrative as of now is they need CB and WR help more than anything. Although, as you look at the roster, you could make an argument for multiple spots that should be addressed, either through the Draft, free-agency or via trade.
With so many difficult decisions for the birds’ to make this year and speculation now riper than ever, we decided to ask someone who has been in the middle of it all, someone who is known for his hard work, and to never hold his tongue.
Enter Hollis Thomas. The 14-year veteran spent 10 seasons as an Eagle, including multiple NFC Championship games and 1 Super Bowl run. The Texas native went Undrafted out of Northern Illinois and landed with Philadelphia in 1996, going on to have a stunning of a career, as a space-eating Defensive tackle. With a resume like that, we figured who better to ask about the state of the Eagles and the 2017 offseason?
Surprisingly, when asked about how the Eagles should approach free agency, he only mentioned one of the Eagles most prominent holes. Thomas simply stated “We need to add a WR and LB”. However he didn’t shy away from later addressing the cornerback position. “We need DB help!” said the former DT who amassed 20 sacks in his career. “I like (Jalen) Mills, he needs work, but he’s tough”.
From there, I asked him what he would do in the Draft, in which he answered quickly “CB, O-Line, and a Running Back”. This answer stuck out to me. We have all heard about the Eagles need for a CB, but the idea that they should not address it in Free-agency and instead look to the Draft, made sense. Also, if the Eagles decided that this was the road to take, it is the perfect Draft for it, seeing as depth at the Corner position this year is abundant.
The 2016 pass-rush, also left a lot to be desired. Littered with talent, the expectations were high. With decisions to be made on a few players, who stays? who doesn’t?, will Vinny Curry get a chance to start? I asked Thomas, what his thoughts were on the Eagles front four.
“Vinny Curry and Fletcher Cox need to develop a counter move to add to their arsenal and really become the problems up front, they have shown to be at times.”
Thomas knows the front four and what it takes to shine better than most after becoming a staple in the Eagles Defense. The impression seems to be that that the potential is there, but it just needs to be steered in the right direction. Something he re-itterated when discussing the upcoming season.
“2017 is, and will be a work in progress, key parts and difference makers need to be added for the Eagles to take the next step in building a bully.” Something all Eagles fans would love to see again, in the City of Brotherly Love!
Mandatory Credit: Photo By Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports Copyright (c) 2005 Byron Hetzler