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.
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.
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.
Eagles trusting in their run game…again?
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