Top-5 storylines surrounding the Eagles’ preseason debut

Eagles Nakobe dean
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 02: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) enters the field during training camp on August 2, 2022 at the Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles are back in action tonight as the preseason is underway. The team will host the New York Jets in their first of three preseason games. Now that we finally get to see the team play after a long but entertaining offseason, here are some storylines to watch for tonight’s matchup:

Jalen Hurts: The growth

We now know that the starters will play one to two series’ in tonight’s preseason debut. Jalen Hurts will be the one player that everyone will have their eyes on. The question surrounding Jalen Hurts this season will be, “is he enough?” 

We know that Hurts is an incredible leader in the locker room and on the field but what about his play? Has he grown at all from last season? Will we see a more diverse offense when it comes to the pass-run ratio? 

Hurts is under a ton of pressure this season as the Eagles brass are expecting big strides in hopes that they don’t have to use any of their first-round picks for a new QB but don’t tempt them Jalen, we know how much the Eagles love to keep their QB factory moving

Nakobe Dean: The revenge tour

While Jordan Davis was the first-round pick that will be the new anchor of the defensive line, it was the Nakobe Dean pick that stole the spotlight. After being declared as a sure thing for the first round, we witnessed Dean fall onto the lap of the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round.

The incredible thing to take away from that is that Nakobe Dean instantly filled a need for the Eagles. The team has been without a superstar talent at the linebacker position for quite some time now and Dean brings that superstar potential. 

It will be interesting to see if Gannon shows his hand in the linebacker rotation tonight as fans will be vying for the preseason debut of Dean as early as possible.

Jordan Davis: The monster in the middle

Jordan Davis is out of this world but yet he is still small enough to fit in Philadelphia for now. The Eagles showed that they are prepared to move on from Fletcher Cox after this season and Davis seems to have solidified that thought. 

One thing to keep an eye on tonight with Davis is how he is deployed by Jonathan Gannon. Will Gannon show his hand a bit and reveal the big plans for Davis or will we have to wait and see? 

I think the main thing is to see how Davis looks at this level. We know he’s a very big defender but what about his technique? Will that translate to the NFL level or does he have a ways to go in his development?

Does Jonathan Gannon have a scheme?

A scheme or not a scheme, that is the question. We know that Gannon was all the rave this offseason as teams were looking for new head coaches but we just don’t understand why yet. Gannon had a rough first season with the Eagles as the defensive coordinator but can he rebound this year?

Howie Roseman went out and stacked the defense with talent in nearly every position except for safety. He was also able to sign the versatile weapon in Haason Reddick. It may not be a complete picture but we can say that Gannon’s defense is more fitting to what he wants to do. 

He spoke about the versatility that he wanted from his players and Roseman went out and got that for him. Now he needs to put his money where his mouth is and deliver the product that was promised to the Eagles.

AJ Brown: The undisputed WR1

AJ Brown is the biggest wide receiver that the Eagles have acquired since Terrell Owens. There is no doubt about that. They also covered themselves by giving Brown the money he wanted by making him the highest-paid receiver from the 2019 draft class.

He is coming to an offense that has the run-first mentality similar to Tennessee but don’t think that the Eagles won’t use their weapon to his full potential. The chemistry that Hurts and Brown have is too special to overlook. We know that the two are best friends and that Hurts had a hand in the Eagle trading for Brown.

Sirianni was once a wide receiver and a wide receivers coach. There’s nothing that he would like more than to show how great this offense will look due to the addition of AJ Brown. I’m curious to see how often the Eagles get the ball into Brown’s hands tonight. 

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire