The Eagles are leaning on a proven recipe for success in 2023

Howie Roseman
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 24: Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is pictured during the National Football League game between the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles on November 24, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

This offseason the Eagles have proven that they are focused on winning at all costs. They’ve rebuilt a defense that seemed like it would be a liability for them in 2023. With a new defensive coordinator and defensive staff, the defense seemed like it would take a huge step back but that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

While the defense was a huge focal point for the Eagles, they did some necessary tinkering on the offensive side of the ball that will make a huge difference this year. When free agency first kicked off, the team only had Kenny Gainwell and Trey Sermon on the roster.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 21: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) hands off to Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell (14) during the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants on January 21, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Boston Scott was almost guaranteed to return while Miles Sanders was likely to leave. Scott returned and Miles Sanders signed a 4-year deal worth up to $25 million with the Carolina Panthers. This left a huge hole that needed to be filled with effective running backs.

Howie Roseman did just that in the most dramatic way possible. First, he signed Rashaad Penny to a one-year prove-it deal with the hope that Penny can stay healthy for a deep playoff run. Penny is a big back that has been plagued by unities for most of his career.

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 02: Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny (20) runs with the ball during the third quarter of an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions on October 2, 2022 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

He had his best year in 2021 when he rushed for 749 yards on 119 attempts while averaging a league-leading 6.3 yards per carry in 10 games. In 2022, he only played 5 games but rushed for 346 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry. Throughout his career, he has been very efficient when the ball is in his hands and he’s made defenders pay for standing in his way. 

Howie’s next move at running back probably deserved a standing ovation. After the Lions reached for RB prospect Jahmyr Gibbs, the NFL world questioned what this could mean for D’Andre Swift. Well, the Eagles answered that question after trading a 2023 seventh-round pick and a 2025 fourth-round pick for young running back. 

Swift has yet to have that true breakout season but pairing his explosiveness with the Eagles offensive line could very well pave the way for that to happen this season.

Eagles trusting in their run game…again?

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 03: Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Darren Sproles (43) muffs a punt in the second half during the game between the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles on November 03, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

While many may think that the Eagles have a log jam at the running back position. It seems that Philadelphia has pulled out one of their old family recipes that led them to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win. In 2017, the Eagles had LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, and Corey Clement on the roster.

Once Sproles went down with a season-ending injury, the team traded for RB Jay Ajayi of the Miami Dolphins. Ajayi and Blount paired together very well and gave the Eagles a very respectable run game.

Fast forward to 2023 and the Eagles now have one of the more explosive run games in the league. From the running ability of Jalen Hurts to the receiving abilities of Swift and Gainwell. The Eagles are packed with firepower out of the backfield which will allow Rashaad Penny to stay fresh and wear down defenses late in the game.

The Eagles know what it takes to win and are doing all it takes to get back to the Super Bowl. While these players are instant impacts on paper, their health will be very crucial to the team come playoff time.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire