We’re back ladies and gentlemen! Football is back! The Philadelphia Eagles reported to training camp yesterday with practices beginning today.
And like the beginning of any training camp period, every team has a number of questions that need to be answered. For Philadelphia, there aren’t many pressing questions like who is going to be the starting quarterback or how they replace a certain player.
The team does still have questions that need to be answered.
Here are the five biggest questions the team will need to be answered during training camp.
5. Who starts at Right Guard?
Almost all of the Eagles’ starting spots are filled with top-end talent. The only position that isn’t is at right guard. Isaac Seumalo, after being outplayed on the left side by Landon Dickerson, is in a contract year and will be competing with Jack Driscoll for the starting spot.
As it’s the one position battle on offense worth observing, the right guard spot will be the one position worth monitoring.
The Eagles historically have the best offensive line but the right guard position has always been a challenge to fill at times. With Seumalo in a contract year and Driscoll being able to play anywhere on the line, how the Eagles proceed will be extremely telling on what they do at the end of camp.
4. What does the team do with Jalen Reagor?
Before the 2022 NFL Draft, it appeared that the Eagles were ready to give Reagor one more shot. The front office had only signed Zach Pascal and had a path to a roster spot for their former first-round selection.
Then the Eagles traded for AJ Brown. A Pro-Bowl receiver with All-Pro potential joined the mix and has made Reagor’s future even more cloudy.
Reagor has had an abysmal start to his NFL career but has also dealt with off-the-field mental health issues as well. He’s had friends pass away over the last few years that would make any of us struggle if we were in the same situation.
Still, the NFL is a results league. Reagor has, unfortunately, not produced adequate results, and is certainly on the roster bubble. How he responds in camp will be very interesting and will be something everyone will be watching.
3. Do the Eagles need Jessie Bates?
Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office have a penchant for making end-of-training-camp trades that bolster a particular position before the season starts. Usually, the trade is to bolster a position that was lacking throughout camp.
One name that Eagle fans have been pushing to trade is Bengals safety, Jessie Bates. Bates had an excellent playoff run last season and is holding out of training camp from Cincinnati.
The safety position for the Eagles is one of potential. Anthony Harris and Jaquiski Tartt are two veteran players that understand and fit into the concepts that Jonathan Gannon wants to run. But this training camp is all about Marcus Epps.
If Epps dominates in training camp and plays the kind of football worthy of a true starting safety, it’s unlikely that the Eagles trade for Bates. If Epps struggles though, it could force Howie Roseman’s hand to make a deal to fix the one position that wasn’t exactly noticed in free agency.
2. What happens at linebacker?
For the first time in a long time, the Eagles have a deep, competent, and aggressive group of linebackers. Nakobe Dean, Kyzir White, Davion Taylor, and TJ Edwards will all be competing for playing time and all have their merits to start.
How the position looks at the end of camp will be fascinating. Rookie linebackers do not normally start right out of the gate, but Dean is such a cerebral player that it would not be surprising. How he looks in camp will greatly influence the rest of the starting group around him.
Kyzir White is an excellent coverage linebacker, while Davion Taylor and TJ Edwards both have their merits as two players who have been in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme for over a year.
It’s important to note, that, unlike his predecessor, Gannon needs good linebackers to successfully run his scheme. Whoever starts the Dean/Taylor/White/Edwards mix will be under a lot of pressure to step up and produce like a top linebacker in the league.
1. What does Jalen Hurts look like by the end of camp?
It’s important to remember that a week of practice or a couple of bad drills do not dictate how a player is going to look when the season starts.
This is Philadelphia though. There isn’t a single athlete in the city under more pressure than Jalen Hurts. The Eagles’ front office thought of him highly enough to surround him with top talent, and his best friend. He needs to repay them with his best season in what essentially could be considered as a contract year (even though he has two years left on his deal).
If Hurts shows steady improvement throughout camp, I think it’s a good indication that the team is ready for the season to begin and won’t be worried about the quarterback position. But if Hurts struggles and doesn’t improve, it could complicate things for Nick Sirianni and the coaching staff.
While there are position battles that will be fun to watch, all eyes will be on Jalen Hurts and his overall development throughout camp. The future of the Eagles franchise will be dependent on that.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire