Training camp is drawing closer and that means the Philadelphia Eagles will soon be back at the Novacare Complex and practicing in preparation for the 2023 season.
Every team has questions going into the first true competitive tests of the new season but luckily for the Eagles, theirs are not as pressing as some from other teams. That’s what happens when you return a high percentage of starters from a conference championship team.
That being said, what questions center around the offense heading into camp? On the offensive side of the ball, it all relates to depth.
How good is the depth of the offensive line?
Whenever the Eagles have had bad years over the last 20 seasons, the big culprit has been because of the offensive line sustaining injuries and not having enough quality depth behind their top starters.
With the talent currently on the offensive side of the ball, the team can’t afford to waste years due to poor offensive line play. Injuries happen in the NFL all the time and having good backups to prepare for injuries is what has made Philadelphia such a good football team in recent years.
Figuring out what they have at right guard is big, but making sure they have the right depth pieces in place is extremely important.
How quickly does the offense get in stride with the new OC?
It took a while last season for the Eagles offense to dominate the defensive side during training camp. That didn’t mean much when the season started though because it was the Eagles offense that started out fast. With a new offensive coordinator in Brian Johnson now at the helm, will it take longer for the offense to get into gear in training camp?
Outside of the depth questions, how Johnson and Hurts work together in this new season will be the question that ultimately determines how far the defending NFC Champions go in 2023.
Who wins position battles at guard and slot receiver?
There are really only two position battles on the offensive side of the football that has yet to be determined. The team better have an answer for who starts in both slots.
Whoever starts at right guard and the slot will be under the microscope to start the 2023 season and for good reason. On a group that is full of All-Pro players, the group can only be as good as their weakest link.
What do carry differences look like at running back?
Philadelphia has wanted to run their offense with a “runningback by committee” approach and it’s worked for them over the years. The same will be the case during the 2023 season with DeAndre Swift, Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott all expected to get playing time.
The real question in training camp will be how the snaps look for each of the four backs. Head coach Nick Sirianni will want to keep his runners fresh to start the season, but whoever gets the most carries to start camp could be seen as the starting back during Week 1. It’ll be an interesting focus to keep an eye on during training camp.
Should the team be worried if Hurts struggles to start camp?
The age-old secret of Jalen Hurts is that he’s considerably different than most other quarterbacks when it comes to practice. While a former player like Carson Wentz usually used training camp as a precursor to his season, Hurts’ numbers in camp/practices just aren’t that important. Last season, there was concern about the offense’s inability to beat the Eagles’ defense while Hurts had an ok training camp.
That “ok” camp turned into an All-Pro season and Super Bowl berth.
So if Hurts were to struggle to start training camp, there shouldn’t be too much concern from the Eagles or the city – this is simply how the team operates without competition that they’ll face throughout the season.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke