Philly Sports Network Eagles Mailbag: The debut of Sidney Jones and an offseason ponder

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The Eagles have had an explosive start to the new NFL season, so I thought I’d inject a new weekly series into our Eagles coverage here at Philly Sports Network. Every week I’ll take a selection of questions that you can ask me through twitter and answer them in detail. Hopefully it makes you feel a part of Philly Sports Network and adds a weekly piece that is dictated by you! Here are the questions for our first edition:

 

This is an interesting question. The good news is that Sidney Jones is eligible to practice once again, but the Eagles don’t want to rush him back. Doug Pederson opened up on this very topic in the press conference following Thursday Night’s win over Carolina.

“I don’t want to rush him back. He’s still doing a good job with his rehab and his conditioning.” Pederson said. “Again, want to make sure that he’s fully cleared, medically, before we stick him back out on the field.”

The Eagles cornerbacks have been able to survive without Ronald Darby. If the position was leaking yardage and struggled as they did one year ago, this may be a different answer. But with Darby likely returning soon, the Eagles will want to take it slow with their second round pick and ensure he’s at 100% before he first takes to an NFL field.

The same approach is being taken with the former Buffalo Bills cornerback however. Darby is also nearing his expected return date, but don’t want to push him back into the firing line too quickly. While the Doctors may give the all clear on the newly signed starting corner, no report can account for confidence.

“He’s been running a little bit more now.” Pederson said of Darby. “Again, he’s another one that could be close, but at the same time, just want to make sure he’s 100%. We have some guys like [S] Jaylen Watkins [who] is getting healthy now, getting him back. We’re getting some more depth there, so I don’t want to rush any of these guys back without them being fully healthy [and] fully healed.”

How Darby will look during practice in terms of putting weight on his ankle, getting out of breaks and transferring his weight when changing direction will play a huge factor on when he does return to action, but the big thing to preach here is patience.

 

I wrote an article on this just earlier today. The Birds have sixteen pending free agents, many of whom are balling out this season. Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, Patrick Robinson, LeGarrette Blount, Nigel Bradham to name just a few. With just $8.3M in cap space, re-signing all sixteen is incredibly unlikely, especially with such a high level of production that will demand the big bucks.

Prove-it deals have worked wonders for Eagles, but how many big names will return?

It’s not so much whether or not the Eagles can afford to be having such a successful season, but whether or not they have the resources and plan to keep the level of efficiency regardless of who stays and who goes. We saw a Super Bowl hangover with Carolina most recently, but it doesn’t need to be the grandest stage of all that sparks a rebuild process. The prove-it contracts dealt by Howie Roseman have pushed the Eagles into a realm of contention that is almost hard to believe…but that’s the thing. The players HAVE proved it…so what happens next?

This is going to be an incredibly interesting offseason and one that will test the integrity and mindset of Howie Roseman like never before.

 

This is a tough one, but I think you’ve got to give it to Carson Wentz. The Eagles quarterback has been sensational this season and his numbers reflect that. In fact, he’s thrown just as many touchdowns as he did in his rookie season ALREADY this year. The mechanics, the footwork, the confidence in his deep ball that was always a little stray, the poise, the clutch….Wentz has taken a veteran’s leap in a rookie’s body.

 

The Eagles have three more games until their bye week which include a home-stand against Washington, the Niners, and the Broncos. It’s not hard to see the Eagles winning all three of these games considering how the Redskins and Niners performed this week and how Denver seemingly were overwhelmed by a misfiring New York Giants. It’s all about discipline and I feel like the Eagles have enough talent and drive to overthrow all three teams. Eventually, I can see fatigue setting in and potentially a loss to Denver due to a very annoyed Defense. Overall though, I think the Eagles could easily sneak into the Bye with eight wins under their belt.

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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