In Roob's Observations: A former Eagle Howie Roseman needs to bring back originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
A familiar face Howie Roseman should bring back, a flat-out shocking Jalen Reagor stat, Rodney Peete vs. Nick Foles (what???) and a little Fletcher Cox trade talk.
With free agency just a couple days away, here’s this weekend’s edition of Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Offseason Observations!
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1. I’d bring back free agent corner Rasul Douglas in a New York second if the money makes sense. Watching him in Green Bay this past season, he’s clearly not the same player he was here, and his experience last year – unwanted by the Panthers, cut by the Raiders and Texans, buried on the Cards’ practice squad – must have given him a new appreciation of life in the NFL, maybe one he didn’t have when he was here as a 3rd-round pick. Douglas wasn’t awful his first time around with the Eagles. He was around the ball a lot and made some plays, he just wasn’t consistent enough. The player who had five interceptions and two pick-6’s in 12 games for the Packers last year was a more confident, more consistent, more dialed-in player who would be a perfect fit in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme and a dynamic CB2 opposite Darius Slay (instead of opposite Sidney Jones). Plus, we know Howie loves bringing guys back for second stints here (Nick Foles, Vinny Curry, DeSean Jackson, Jordan Matthews, Jordan Howard, Brett Toth, Blake Countess, Noah Togiai, Richard Rodgers, etc.). Bottom line? Bring back ‘sul!
2. Quez Watkins’ 647 yards is even more impressive when you consider that he had three or fewer targets in 10 of 17 games. Out of 91 wide receivers who had at least 50 targets last year, Watkins ranked 5th with 10.4 yards per target. Behind only Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Lockett. Not bad company.
3. Remember, just because Howie Roseman has been exploring all possible options at quarterback doesn’t mean the Eagles don’t believe Jalen Hurts can take major strides in 2022 and be a very good NFL starting quarterback. Both can be true. But Roseman wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t try to upgrade every position, and if that means going after Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson or even Aaron Rodgers, good for him for trying to add a quarterback who’s already elite to the roster. Let’s be honest, this was already a playoff team in Nick Sirianni’s first year as head coach, and a Hall of Fame quarterback would make the Eagles an immediate threat. Wilson is now a Bronco, Rodgers isn’t going anywhere after signing a new contract, and Watson is a longshot to come to Philly, but good for Howie for at least trying to land an elite QB. And fortunately – unlike some quarterbacks we’ve seen around here recently – Hurts has enough inner strength and confidence not to take it personally and to understand that this is a business and Roseman owes it to the franchise to do everything possible to improve the team. And if Hurts winds up being the guy, which is likely, he’ll continue working as hard as possible to improve his game. It’s possible to value Hurts and appreciate his potential while still trying to find someone better.
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4A. It’s not like Jalen Reagor has lit it up on the road. But his numbers at home are even more shockingly wretched. In 16 career road games, Reagor has averaged 29 yards per game. Pretty awful. But get this. In 13 career games at the Linc, Reagor has averaged 17 yards per game, and he’s reached 20 yards just three times. He averaged 12 yards per game at home last year. In 13 career home games, he’s played 577 snaps and has two catches longer than 17 yards.
4B. Reagor has never had 60 yards in a game. Here’s a list of some Eagles who had at least one 60-yard game in their first two seasons: Reno Mahe, Damaris Johnson, Josh Huff, Chad Hall, Dorial Green-Beckham, Darnell Autry, Mack Hollins, Bryce Treggs, Melvin Hoover and Robert Drummond.
5. It blows my mind that the Eagles haven’t even used the 1st-round pick they got from the Colts, and Carson Wentz isn’t even a Colt anymore. They gave the Eagles a 1st-round pick, then unloaded Wentz before the Eagles even used it! Now they don't have either one! Howie fleeced the Colts so bad, and it’s so great.
6. If I’m Roseman and someone offers me a decent haul for Fletcher Cox, I’m making that move. Cox is an all-time great Eagle and he’s still an above-average player, but he’s also 31 and he’s clearly not the player he once was. Now, another year in Jonathan Gannon’s system I’m sure would help. We did see him grow more comfortable as last year went on. But we’ve all seen a gradual decline over the last few years, and when that happens with a player in his early 30s it generally doesn’t just stop and reverse itself. I still think Cox can play and occasionally we see flashes of the all-pro he once was. Just not that often. Roseman talks a lot about taking emotion out of these decisions, and he’s acknowledged that’s not always easy to do. But if you can get a draft pick or two for a 31-year-old declining veteran you do it, no matter how many Pro Bowls he’s made, no matter his place in franchise history.
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7. I can’t get over the fact that Rodney Peete had a higher passer rating in the 1995 postseason than Nick Foles had in the 2017 postseason. And it’s not even close. Peete was at 132.4 and Foles 115.7. Peete’s 132.4 is 6th-highest in NFL history for a single postseason behind Josh Allen [149.0 in 2021], Joe Montana [146.4 in 1989], Jeff Hostetler [146.0 in 1993], Bart Starr [135.6 in 1966] and Matt Ryan [135.3 in 2016].
8. Here’s one for the “He can’t throw the ball” crowd: In the three regular-season games Jalen Hurts played after suffering the ankle injury that required surgery, he completed 67 percent of his passes [54-for-81] for 709 yards with three TDs, one INT and two rushing TDs, and his 101.3 passer rating was 7th-highest in the NFL during that span. And the one interception was a ball Dallas Goedert dropped and then kicked to Landon Collins. And the Eagles won all three games, averaging 27 points. After averaging 58 rushing yards per game before the injury, he was limited to only 29 per game after the injury and threw 27 times per game. That's efficiency and production in the passing game without being able to move in the pocket like he's used to. And that's encouraging.
9. The Carson Wentz trade to Washington continues a crazy trend that has seen the Eagles and Washington share at least a dozen quarterbacks over the years. Sonny Jurgensen, Mary Rypien, Norm Snead, Roy Zimmerman, Donovan McNabb, Tim Hasselbeck, Rodney Peete, Mark Sanchez, Casey Weldon, David Archer, Nate Sudfeld and Wentz have all been with both the Eagles and Washington.
10. Linebacker Ray Farmer had a sack, interception and two forced fumbles in the Eagles’ 24-0 win over the Giants at the Vet in 1996. In the entire rest of his career, he had no interceptions, one sack and no forced fumbles.