Ask ITB: Will Jalen Hurts see the Field in 2020?
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Question from InsideTheBirds.com (from Katie)
A follow up question to 2020 offensive changes: I’ve heard lots of speculation about Jalen Hurt’s role that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Carson Wentz’s numbers on red zone, third and fourth downs are among the league’s leaders so why would you mess with that formula? I don’t think you do so what’s left? First and second downs are all that’s left for Hurts to provide value at.
So what do you guys think of the notion that Hurts’ comes in on 1st and 2nd downs; not every 1st and 2nd downs of course just a few drives a game. What do you think?
Adam Caplan: I get the feeling that there’s going be a role for him get him on the field this season, albeit in limited fashion.
No, they won’t rush him, but once he feels comfortable with his role for this season, look him for to get on the field occasionally in a situational role.
That role will take advantage of his athleticism, especially in space.
Now, that role won’t mean he’ll be on the field every week, but using him that way will give the defense something to think about.
From Customer Reviews on Apple (FrankG032466):
I love Geoff and Adam and I trust these guys opinions more than anyone. Both guys are awesome and are so reachable and they do answer your questions better than anyone else. Great job guys!! Also Geoff you know me and my questions this is Frank Gradia from your video mailbag lol Adam has answered many for me as well.
Do you guys think Miles Sanders can do 1,700 yards from scrimmage this coming season? I think he can but curious what you guys think?
Adam Caplan: Yes, for sure.
He’ll get the majority of the touches and snaps this season at RB. He wasn’t drafted so the coaches could limit him. You don’t spend a 2nd-round pick on RB to have him be a rotational player. That’s not going to happen this season, which I noted months ago on our show. I find it funny that some reports locally state that there’s going to be an RBBC because HC Doug Pederson said that’s what he prefers. I’m still waiting for coaches to say sure, that’s what I want when I have a special talent to work with in Sanders. Coaches use a committee approach only when they don’t have a talented enough lead RB. That’s not the case with Sanders.
The reason why they took a committee approach (as Pederson calls it) until Jordan Howard got hurt was because Sanders wasn’t ready to assume the starting job. He earned it coming out of the preseason, but got his role reduced in a Week 2 loss at the Falcons after making some mistakes.
In his last 7 games (after Howard got hurt), Sanders averaged 18.7 touches per game and looked like special RB they thought they were drafting.
Assuming he plays 16 games, look for him to average 15-18 touches/game with around 70-80 yards (1,100-1,300 for the season) on the ground per game and another 450-500 yards receiving.
Here’s the map for the RB rotation:
Sanders gets the majority of the snaps (15-18 touches/game), veteran RB backs him up (5-8 touches/game), Boston Scott (3-5 touches/game).
From Customer Reviews on Apple (Hatfield PA):
Loved the Greg Cosell reviews on the Eagles 2020 draft picks. Also really enjoy the insight you guys provide to how some of the new players may be used in the 2020 season. Looking forward to the 2020 season to see if your predictions on how players will be used (Jalen Reagor in slot with djax outside) actually play out.
Question about what role (WR) Greg Ward will play in 2020? My opinion was that Ward and Wentz had a connection because of the QB background. I hope it can flourish like (Tom) Brady-(Julian) Edelman connection did over the years.
Adam Caplan: As of now, he would be their #1 slot WR, but look for Reagor to also see some snaps inside from time to time.
I would tend to agree with your assessment of Ward and Wentz developing chemistry (2nd half of the season) and it makes you wonder why they didn’t use him earlier in the season.
One note I would add is that if rookie WR John Hightower makes the roster, he also could see time inside as a vertical slot.
Question from Inside the Birds Facebook Eagles Group (Anton Estrella Arellano)
What do you guys think the plan is for Alshon moving forward?
Would it be possible to transition him into playing TE given his size? I mean, he’s got to be an upgrade over Perkins, right?
If so, a TE trio of Ertz-Goedert-Alshon might be the most dangerous in the league!
Adam Caplan: Well, I noted on our show back before the draft that I expected him to be an Eagle this season. Of course, I didn’t feel that way to end last season, but from checking into it, the amount of fully guaranteed money left in his contract (over $11m) plays into it as well as the dead money charge they would take if they cut or release him this year. No other team will take his contract via trade because he’s coming off suffering a major injury (9-12 month rehab) and it’s uncertain when he’ll be able to play.
No, he won’t be playing TE, but if he can help the team before mid season, he won’t have to begin the regular season on reserve/PUP. He’ll start training camp on active/PUP and then they’ll just evaluate him on a weekly basis to be able to put a timeline on his return.
Let’s assume he’ll be back on sometime in October, Jeffery would be able to help them on the outside as the Eagles don’t have anyone with size and experience who can play there.
So he definitely can help them (if healthy).
Question from Inside the Birds Facebook Eagles Group (Charlie Rael)
On (DE) Josh Sweat: I know he had a horrific knee injury and recurring issues in College, how is his health in 2020?
Adam Caplan: No issues that we’re aware of, but keep in mind the knee injury that dates back to his high school days, prevents him from being 100% of what he once was. He’s not far off, but from talking to people who have graded his game tape, he’s not quite explosive enough to be a starter. He’s in the perfect role for what he has the ability to handle (22 snaps/game).
He’s been a good story so far and made big improvement last season.
Question from InsideTheBirds.com (Danny)
Who are some likely contact extension candidates?
Adam Caplan: Not many, but Zach Ertz (by the start of training camp and after 49ers TE George Kittle gets his done), Dallas Goedert (after the season is over–he’s eligible after year 3), Nate Gerry, Derek Barnett.
If the Eagles approach Goedert, it will be interesting to see what the deal looks like especially if Ertz gets his done before hand.
As for Gerry, he’s eligible for one now and if it’s cost effective, I can see that getting done by training camp.
As for Barnett, comes down to how well he plays this season (and assuming they don’t add a signifcant piece at that position via a trade). I could see them trying to get a deal done in November or December if he’s playing well. That would help them lower his salary cap number significantly for 2021, where they have some challenges with the cap.
Question from InsideTheBirds.com (Brett)
Good morning from Portland OR (Grew up in Philly suburbs). Huge fan of the podcast and all the new content. I always tell anyone who is a birds fan this is the must listen to podcast on the eagles.
I have a question for a future podcast about the specifics on how unused cap space rolls over into the next year. Are there any limitations on what can rollover, any loopholes GMs use etc, and have always wondered can you continue to rollover the space i.e. if you have 20mm that isn’t used in 2020 and it rolled into 2021 do you have to use it or lose it or could you continue to roll that along with more unused cap space into future years?
Appreciate what you guys are doing.
Adam Caplan: Rules are similar to the previous CBA. If you have $20m in space to close the season, you have to notify the league that you’re rolling it over to the next season to make it official. If you don’t roll it over (only team I can recall not doing it was the Bengals years ago), it says in the current league year. There’s no reason not to roll it over that I can think of.
There are some new nuances to the cap that I’m starting to look into that I’ll share on a future show.