Despite What They Say, Eagles Are Building to Win Now - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Despite What They Say, Eagles Are Building to Win Now



    Despite What They Say, Eagles Are Building to Win Now
    Despite what they say, Eagles are building to win now

    What they're saying is not what they're doing.

    They're saying patience. They're building for today.

    They're saying grow through the draft. They're adding big-name free agents.

    They're saying they have a long way to go. They're actually closer than you think.

    "You feel like you're doing the right thing when you don't have a lot of Band-Aids," Howie Roseman said earlier this offseason.

    Meaning build with young guys and not quick-fix free agents.

    Then they go out and sign Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Chris Long and now LeGarrette Blount.

    This is a team built for 2017. The Eagles just haven't admitted it yet.

    They want you to be patient in case they don't win in 2017, but make no mistake about it. This is a football team that can win in 2017. That should win in 2017. That needs to win in 2017. 

    If you really believe in building for 2018, 2019 and 2020, you go with Jordan Matthews, see what you can get out of Nelson Agholor and play the rookie receivers as much as possible. You don't sign Jeffery and Smith.

    If you really believe that 2017 is a bridge year, you give Marcus Smith and whatever defensive end you draft - it turned out to be Derek Barnett - as much playing time as possible. You don't add 32-year-old Long.

    If you really believe 2017 is a total rebuild, you give Wendell Smallwood 12 to 15 carries and see what Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement can give you. You don't sign Blount.

    Not that I don't like the moves. I do like the moves. A lot.

    The Eagles got better when they signed Jeffery, they got better when they signed Long, they got better when they signed Blount.

    There's no question the Eagles should be dramatically improved in 2017. Their secondary will be better with a couple young, hungry corners instead of Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll. Their defensive line will be better with Barnett and Long. Their linebacking corps will be better just because those guys are now in their second year under Jim Schwartz.

    They're obviously better at receiver and clearly better at running back with Blount replacing brittle Ryan Mathews. They'll be better on the offensive line just with Lane Johnson back for the season at right tackle (presumably) and somebody more athletic and talented than Allen Barbre at left guard.

    And they're going to be drastically better at quarterback, as Carson Wentz enjoys a full offseason and preseason as the No. 1.

    When I look at this roster, I see a team that should be fighting for a playoff spot, not a team that's mired in a rebuild.

    The Eagles are actually one of the oldest teams in the NFL. They had the oldest roster in the NFL when 2016 ended, and they've added a number of veterans since (and shed several as well). 

    This is not a three-year plan or a five-year plan. The Eagles are building for today, and with an elite young quarterback that is absolutely the correct way to go.

    Surround Wentz with as much talent as possible and go win some football games.

    Is this a finished product? Of course not. But it's a team headed in the right direction around a quarterback with superstar potential.

    I give Roseman a lot of credit for this offseason. The Eagles went into it with very limited cap space, and he's managed to add several important pieces without having to shed the roster of anybody who really was going to play a part in the future (although in a perfect world you'd like to keep Bennie Logan).

    The Eagles came out of 2016 with questions at receiver, running back, cornerback, pass rusher and offensive line, and they addressed every one of them either with draft picks or inexpensive free agents.

    It's been nine years now since the Eagles' last playoff win and four years since their last winning record, and it's time for those droughts to end. 

    The Eagles are building the right way with a roster that's nicely balanced with young homegrown players who should keep improving and veteran acquisitions who didn't break the bank who should contribute from Day 1.

    That's a winning formula.

    In fact, I agree with just about everything Howie's done. 

    Just not everything he's said.