Eagles offense ready to fly following speed infusion

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Through four years under HC Doug Pederson, the Eagles offense has been relatively productive. Known best for its proficient rushing habits, unorthodox playcalling, and relentless aggression on fourth down, Pederson’s offense usually grades out in the top half of the league. This includes a masterful, Super Bowl-winning campaign in which the team finished top three in rushing yards, passing touchdowns, and points per game.

Although the team is still discovering themselves and solidifying their identity, the offense has already established itself as a force to be reckoned with under Pederson. One thing that has always seemingly alluded them during the Pederson era, however, was a consistent vertical threat at receiver.

Pederson has maximized and made use of all sorts of wideouts over the years, but for one reason or another, his offense has practically always been void of a consistent, elite deep threat.

Now, before the Torrey Smith and DeSean Jackson truthers pull out their pitchforks, notice that I said the offense has been void of a ​consistent deep threat. Smith, to his credit, kept defenses honest for the most part with his speed but I’d hardly consider him consistent during his short stint in Philly. He showed up in the postseason when it mattered most, no question, but his dynamic moments were too few and far between to have a dramatic effect on the offense.

DeSean Jackson, on the other hand, was injured for all but three games last season and wasn’t able to elevate the offense the way the team desired when they reacquired him.

Dissatisfied with operating with less than ideal speed the last few years, Eagles GM Howie Roseman and the front office brass decided to corner the market and ensure that the team acquired a heavy dosage of speed. And, man, was it a heavy dosage of speed they got.

Entering the draft, the team’s sole deep threat was 33-year old DeSean Jackson, who, as I mentioned earlier, missed nearly the entire 2019 season with a core muscle injury. Following the draft, and an absolute clinic put on by Eagles roster engineer Howie Roseman, the Eagles now boast one of the fastest receiving corps around.

In just three days’ time, Roseman converted a major flaw to a source of strength when the team drafted fleet-footed wideouts Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. They also acquired former Olympian and lightning-quick wide receiver Marquise Goodwin for pennies on the dollar in a deal with the 49ers.

Once completely sapped of speed, the Eagles now carry more speedsters than a season finale episode of The Flash on CW. Expectedly, much has been made of the Eagles sudden influx of speed, but it should not come as much of a surprise.

For starters, the lack of a consistent vertical threat to take the top off the defense been a sore spot in the offense since Pederson arrived. This was a frustratingly-routine issue for the Birds and Roseman has proven by his actions so far this offseason that he was sick and tired of it being a hindrance to the offense as well.

After seeing his offense get put in a box or bottled up far too often for his liking, Roseman has stockpiled a slew of speed for Pederson to inject in the offense.

The league is trending in the direction of faster, more explosive offenses and Roseman is making sure his championship-winning head coach is well-equipped for the adaptation. Candidly, the Eagles didn’t just acquire a little speed this offseason, they not have it in DROVES. Take a look at the metrics of Pederson’s new weapons.

That loud sound you just heard was the speed force portal opening. The Eagles wide receiver corps just ran back in time to tell me that Carson Wentz threw for 5,000 yards and that life is great.

All jokes aside though, partnered with the influx of game-breaking speed, the offense will contain layers previously unattainable in the Pederson era. And, despite operating without a formal offensive coordinator, the Eagles are confident that they have the proper offensive minds in place along with the staff and they will have no shortage of weapons at their disposal.

Jumpstarted with a fresh infusion of unrivaled speed, the Eagles air raid is now primed to take off in 2020.

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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