Inside The Birds NFC East Pre: Quarterback, Secondary Question Marks For Birds
The ITB NFC East preview podcast series wrapped up Thursday with a look at the Eagles and expectations for them in 2021.
On the latest Inside the Birds Podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan were joined one final time by Greg Cosell to recap specific players and positions from last season and examine the Eagles’ potential this upcoming season.
Cosell: “If I’m being totally honest, I was disappointed in the tape when I was able to watch all four starts in one day, just one after the other. We know that he has very good movement ability, that you can have a designed run game with him and that was clearly a featured part of what the previous Eagles coaching staff did. I would imagine that Nick Sirianni and staff will do much of that because he can do that well. There’s much you can do with Jalen Hurts in the quarterback designed-run game. It was the pass game where there were clear concerns that the tape showed. Quarterbacks who’ve always had the ability to move … they almost all show a tendency to break down and leave the pocket prematurely. Now, at times you can compensate for that with a great improvisational run and everybody gets excited, but the result of that too often is that you leave throws on the field.”
Cosell: “I liked what I saw. I can’t speak to work ethic, I can’t speak to professionalism, I can’t speak to any of that … but Fulgham is a big kid, runs well, I thought he showed good cutting ability, I thought he made contested catches. There were traits there to like. I can’t speak to what happened after [those four weeks], but there is talent there, clearly.”
Cosell: “In the four games I watched Hurts, and I’ve watched Reagor obviously throughout the season, but I thought in those four games Reagor looked really explosive. The numbers weren’t there for obvious reasons. Hurts was up and down, so the pass game was not efficient overall, but I thought Reagor looked really explosive. Now, I think he needs some work vs. press. I think he has a tendency to get squeezed to the sideline and not provide room for the quarterback to throw the ball on vertical routes, off of press when he’s a split receiver. These are details but just watching him move, he’s an explosive athlete. and I could see a little TY Hilton in the way [the coaching staff] sees Reagor. Moving him around, getting him free access, getting him into routes where he can use his explosive bursts, I could see them seeing him that way.”
Cosell: “Smith to me is a fluid long-strider, he’s just 160 pounds, but he’s much more of a strider, he’s not a loose-hip, quick-in-and-out-of-brakes receiver. He’s a guy you want to get off the ball, let him get into a stride lane, he’s a long strider. I’m not comparing him to this guy – I’m talking about style, OK – I remember the first time that I saw Randy Moss. I think it was 1998, and obviously Moss was 6-foot-4, but Moss is very thin, like 195 pounds and I remember watching Moss and I remember seeing him in motion on one particular play where he motioned from the outside into the formation, and then the ball was snapped and he took three steps and it seemed like he covered 20 yards in three steps. Smith to me is that kind of guy.”
“I think Goedert is much more of an intermediate and vertical threat than Ertz. Ertz, to me, is a master at the short to short-intermediate type routes where he just understands leverage, he understands how to get open, he understands how to play off defenders. Ertz is a master at that. Goedert is a vertical receiver, much more so, even in the screen game he can stride out. Ertz is not that kind of mover. To me, Goedert is a complete tight end, he just needs to be able to play a full season and stay healthy.”
Cosell: “If everything works the way it’s supposed to, [they] just have to figure out who is gonna play left tackle and I’ve got to tell you, in watching the four Hurts games at the end of the year, I thought Mailata struggled a bit in those four games. Obviously [this coaching staff] did not draft [Andre] Dillard, but Howie Roseman did and Howie is still there. I personally would view this as a competition.”
Cosell: “I actually thought that he ran harder last year than in any previous season. He was playing behind makeshift offensive lines. I thought he improved last year, I don’t care what the numbers say. I’m watching the tape and I thought he ran hard. The big question with Miles Sanders and this may not be a factor because of the people they drafted and signed is: I don’t know if he’s truly an 18-20 carry per game back. He’s not as good as this player, but he may be more of an Alvin Kamara-type that he gets 180 carries, and is ideally really good in your pass game as well, but he’s not a foundation, 270-carry-a-year back. He may be more that guy.”
Cosell: “I think that they’ve gotten really good depth. I thought Josh Sweat really played well a year ago. Every year he’s further removed from that really bad injury he had just before college he’s getting better and better. I really like Milton Williams coming out of Louisiana Tech, I think he can play tackle or end. They signed [Ryan] Kerrigan, who I still think if you’re playing 20 snaps a game or 25 snaps a game he can really be a factor. He just knows how to rush the quarterback. He knows how to play. Ridgeway is an intriguing player as well as a rotational player. This is a very deep defensive line group.”
Cosell: “I think Davion Taylor was a third-round pick because they saw him in this league where you play in your sub 70 percent of the time, if not more. I think the Eagles saw him as a guy that has great speed, which he does, and can play in your sub and perhaps can run with tight ends, can match up with backs. They saw him as that guy. Off [of] his rookie season, I can’t speak to anything, the guy hardly played any snaps. But Davion Taylor is a really, really good athlete. I mean he can play in space, he can play sideline-to-sideline with speed and range. He doesn’t have great play strength, he doesn’t play with power, but he did play with aggression. He did take on blocks when he had to. I thought he played with competitiveness. I kind of liked his tape, but he’s a certain kind of player”
Cosell: “I think Darius Slay is a good corner. I think that corners – when the ball is thrown to them a lot – they’re gonna get beat, and it’s a very visible, lonely position. So, I don’t think Darius Slay is a problem. I think he’s a good corner, I think he’s got the mindset to line up and play man. I think he wants to line up and play man. When you do that you get beat once in a while. There’s a lot of good receivers in this league. The league is set up for corners to get beat. So, I don’t think there’s any problem with Darius Slay, it’s the rest of the corner position that is a huge problem because right now they don’t really have any corners. They do not have a starting quality outside corner on their roster right now, unless somebody that we don’t know about has a great camp, and all of a sudden you go wow that look at that guy, but they do not have a starting quality outside corner opposite Darius Slay.”
Cosell: “I don’t think he was as good as  but I think he’s a solid NFL safety who knows this system, you know there’s a lot of split safety in this system, there’s a lot of cover four, quarters coverage, Harris is good at that so that’s why they got him, because you always love to get players who in a sense can teach the other players because he knows this system. You know you don’t have to teach him how to play this system. I think he’s another one of those guys – he’s like [linebacker] Eric Wilson – he’s not a star, but you can line up and play with him, he won’t make mental mistakes. He does have some ball-hawking ability. There’s a guy that normally plays with his eyes well, he sees things.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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