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Offense is positioned to 'grow together' and 'achieve great things'

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

Quarterback Jalen Hurts has been talking about it since early in the 2021 season, the opportunity for the Eagles offense to "grow together" and "achieve great things," and it's clear that the current construct of the personnel on that side of the line of scrimmage – an intensive work in progress for the last three years – gives Philadelphia a chance to do just that.

Grow together.

Achieve great things.

When General Manager Howie Roseman said early in this offseason that he wanted to "build the right way" with this Eagles roster, he meant that it was important to stay disciplined, make good decisions, and not reach for positions or players. Stay "true to the board," if you will. The Eagles did just that, adding one Day 1 free agent in elite pass-rushing linebacker Haason Reddick, who is in his sixth NFL season. They then added wide receiver Zach Pascal (fifth season) and, later, linebacker Kyzir White (fourth season).

In the 2022 NFL Draft, Roseman combined some derring-do on the first night, trading up for defensive tackle Jordan Davis and then pulling off the huge trade with Tennessee to acquire wide receiver A.J. Brown (fourth season). In Round 2, it was center Cam Jurgens and in Round 3 linebacker Nakobe Dean.

For conversation purposes here, the focus is the offense and the way the Eagles have "built around Jalen Hurts," as they said they would do all offseason, by adding Brown and Pascal to the wide receiver room and Jurgens to the offensive line group. Philadelphia now has an offense that combines the dynamism of a great pass-catching combination of Brown and DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins and Pascal and others – the competition in the summer for playing time sure is going to be fun to watch! – along with tight end Dallas Goedert and a versatile and complete running game that led the NFL in ground yards in 2021 playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the entire league.

And, here's the thing: When you take into account the age of the offense, the Eagles really do have a chance to grow together and, yes, achieve great things.

Hurts will be 24 when the regular season begins, Brown turns 25 in June, and Smith has his 24th birthday in November. Watkins also turns 24 in June and Pascal, the "elder statesman" of the wide receivers, will be 28 late in the season. In the backfield, Miles Sanders just turned 25, Kenneth Gainwell is 23, and Boston Scott is 27. Goedert is in his fifth season and in the prime of his career at age 27, tight end Jack Stoll is only in his second season, and Tyree Jackson, the promising prospect in his second season at tight end, is 24.

Up front, the Eagles have some experience, for sure. Center Jason Kelce enters his 12th season and is "year to year," Roseman said. Jurgens is an exciting rookie talent to develop. Right tackle Lane Johnson, still at the top of his game after a terrific 2021 season fully healthy, just turned 32 and is in his 10th season. Isaac Seumalo turns 29 late in the regular season. Otherwise, there is Jordan Mailata at left tackle and still only 25. Left guard Landon Dickerson enters his second season and turns 24 in September. Jack Driscoll and Andre Dillard and Sua Opeta and Jurgens, a strong foursome to consider as backups, are still very young. Le'Raven Clark, who has a chance to earn a roster spot as a backup tackle, is 29.

The point is this: The Eagles said years ago that they wanted to "turn over the roster," and they've done that with the offense (and key pieces of the defense) during the course of three seasons. If you believe continuity and trust are important components in building an offense – and you should – the Eagles are in a promising position.

"It's what we strive to do," Hurts said. "We have a foundation here and we're growing it. We're building it. That's what you want to do."

Some folks chuckled when Head Coach Nick Sirianni used the "growing roots" analogy last season to describe some of the growth he saw in a team that was, at that point, struggling. He felt the team was progressing beneath the surface and, sure enough, the seeds sprouted and the roots spread and the flower bloomed for the Eagles as the team won down the stretch and reached the postseason.

The offense looks to pick up where it left off with the ability to plug in a Pro Bowl wide receiver Brown and a veteran who knows this system already in Pascal to help Hurts and the passing game. Seumalo returns healthy after missing much of last season with an injury, and his return and the addition of Jurgens gives a great offensive line even more depth and talent.

"Building the right way" means the Eagles have a chance to start the regular season in sync offensively at a time when many in the league sputter and cough as they develop continuity. The Eagles have the continuity built in, and they've added firepower. They have turned over the offense seamlessly and now have one of the youngest, most promising and extremely versatile groups in the league building on Year 1 of the offense that Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen have designed.

So, yeah, offense, go for it. Grow together. And achieve great things. The 2022 season is waiting for you.

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