Philadelphia Eagles News

Big Question: What To Expect In Golden Tate's Debut?

Dave Spadaro: He's going to have a huge role. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery called Tate "our secret weapon," but I'm not so sure how secret this is going to be. Tate is going to get the football. He's going to move around the formation. He will be in the slot, outside, perhaps even in the backfield. Estimated touches on Sunday night? I'll say 10-12. That's how significant a role I think Tate is going to play, even with limited prep time in this offensive scheme.

The Eagles want to take advantage of Tate's superior skills with the ball in his hands. So they will get creative making sure he has his touches. You will see him in the screen game, on shallow crosses, finding space against zone coverage, and just about any other route the Eagles can use him on. It's going to be fun to watch. The Eagles acquired a productive, durable, and big-play receiver that the offense needed to keep pace with the league's high-scoring offenses.

Fran Duffy: I believe Golden Tate's role will be as a starting receiver in this offense. I don't expect him to be worked in slowly. He's had a week to learn the game plan, and the Eagles didn't give up a third-round pick for him to come along in chunks. He'll be used inside and outside as a receiver, in the quick game, on jet sweeps, and all of the ways he's been used in the past throughout his career. I think he'll mesh in extremely well with players like Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor, who have done most of their work over the middle of the field. I think Agholor will get more looks in the deep part of the field with Tate in tow.

Chris McPherson: I expect to see a healthy dose of Tate in his Eagles debut. Tate's skill set is an ideal fit for what this offense already does. Tate can get vertical, and is outstanding with the ball in his hands whether it's on intermediate routes, screen, or jet sweeps. Going into the Eagles' bye week, Tate led the league in YAC (yards after the catch) per reception with 6.6. He is consistently one of the best YAC receivers in the game. That will come in handy as head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh can use Tate as an extension of the run game to keep the Eagles in third-and-manageable situations. The Eagles lead the NFC East in scoring but rank 21st overall in the league. They scored more than 24 points just once in the first eight games. The Eagles didn't eclipse the 24-point plateau only four times all last season – and one of them was the Week 17 game against the Cowboys when most of the starters rested. Philly has been able to move the ball well but needs to generate more explosive chunk plays and get the ball in the end zone. The trade to acquire Tate hopefully accomplishes both.

Fran Duffy: I think getting people healthy will be critical. Getting Carson Wentz back into the fold in the first half was important, and now that he's fully healthy, along with Alshon Jeffery, the offense can operate at full tilt, especially with the Tate addition. The offensive line is banged up, as are the running backs and secondary. Can the Eagles overcome injury like they did a year ago? We'll have to find out. This year's journey was never going to look EXACTLY like the 2017 season. They'll have to find different ways to win games. What's most important is to play your best football in the second half of the year on the way into the playoffs, and if they can iron the details out on both sides of the ball, stay relatively healthy, and get a couple of key pieces back into the fold, we'll see big things from this team.

Dave Spadaro: I think there's a sense of urgency with the Eagles. Any early-season malaise we saw – sluggish offensive starts, too many penalties, late-game defensive breakdowns – should be gone. The Eagles know what's at stake. They know the NFC East is there for the taking. Also, having quarterback Carson Wentz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in the lineup for the start of the second half of the season makes a big difference from September 6 when Atlanta came to town for the opener.

Look, this is a team that understands where it stands right now. The Eagles are 4-4. All of the couldas, shouldas, and wouldas from the first half of the season are behind this team. It's time to make a run this season. I just think that the sense of urgency will be greater, the focus will be more intense, and the Eagles will play a higher brand of football than they did at times in the first eight games.

Chris McPherson: Despite all of the miscues in the first eight games, the Eagles are where they need to be in order to make a postseason push. I think it was fair to expect September and October to act as sort of an extended preseason coming off the shortened offseason and the players who did not see the field much in Training Camp or the preseason. Injuries have taken a toll on this football team and continue to do so. For the most part, however, the top players are full-go (Lane Johnson being questionable for tonight is a prime exception). The offense needs to put up more points so the Eagles acquired Tate to aid with that. The defense has been largely the same as last season except for the lack of takeaways (31 in 2017, seven in '18) and fourth-quarter breakdowns. I'm intrigued, we all are, to see how this team comes out of the bye week. A win gives the Eagles back-to-back victories for the first time all season and jump-starts the second half of the year. Plus, the Eagles could be tied for first place with Washington at the end of the day with two games against the division rival. The atmosphere at the Linc will be electric tonight. Let's see if the Eagles respond accordingly.

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