Good morning, Eagles fans! Day 2 of the offseason is here. The lockers at the NovaCare Complex were cleaned out and the Eagles have, for the most part, left the nest. Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson will meet with the media today at noon. We will carry the press conference live. Here’s what you need to know in today’s Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with the scene in the locker room yesterday.
1. Clean Up, Move Forward
The Eagles returned from New Orleans and underwent the disappointing task of cleaning out their lockers. Plenty of key Eagles, some with uncertain futures with the team, took time to speak with the media and offered their thoughts on the season.
Guard Brandon Brooks spoke for the first time since tearing his Achilles. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery answered more questions about his rare and costly miscue. Defensive end Brandon Graham gave out hugs and, along with Nick Foles and other potential free agents, spoke about what is to come.
Chris McPherson and Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro broke down who said what in a reflective afternoon:
“I don’t feel pity for myself. I don’t feel down. Surprisingly, I think this is actually what I needed,” Brooks said. “It reignited a fire for me that I haven’t touched in a while. I look forward to it. The recovery, it’s six to eight months so, doing the math, hopefully in June and July I get back out there with the guys (on the practice field). That’s going to be the toughest thing. It’s going to be bittersweet.”
“I’m moving on. It’s on me for that pass and it hurts and it’s always going to hurt,” Jeffery said. “I’m accountable for that drop and I’m going to work hard and move on from it. We’re going to bounce back. I’m going to bounce back. I’m already looking ahead to next season. I’m going to work hard and be the best I can be for next year.”
2. Questions, Questions
Monday was a dose of reality for a team that constantly seemed to defy it. The reality is the Eagles were fortunate last season to be the one team of 32 that ends the season gloriously happy. The other 31 face immediate questions and that’s where the Eagles sit now.
Dave Spadaro listed the most important questions raised heading into what should be a consequential offseason. There are plenty of questions at every position (although, very few at special teams. That’s a plus.), but it starts at the most important position. And it’s more complicated than you might think:
That’s the obvious question, but it’s more than just the next step for Nick Foles and the offseason for Carson Wentz. How about Nate Sudfeld? He’s set to be a restricted free agent and the Eagles are going to have to tender him and that could be costly. What’s vital is how the Eagles see the market for Sudfeld. Are there other teams interested in signing him to a long-term contract? One that would be super-costly for the Eagles to keep him as a backup? And beyond that, do the Eagles address the position in the draft as they build the quarterback room for the future? When you consider everything – what happens with Foles, the future of Wentz, and the depth at the position – the quarterback questions are pretty complicated for the Eagles.
Take a look at the best photos from the locker room clean-out day after the loss in the Divisional Round.
3. Carson Preps For Another Comeback
Carson Wentz addressed the media yesterday for the first time in more than a month since he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back following the Week 14 loss at Dallas. He was able to shed a bit of light on the decisions that came with the injury and how it was a risk of further injury, not anything else, that forced Wentz to sit out for the remainder of the season.
It wasn’t easy for Wentz to watch Foles take over the team again. He knows he has a lot to prove next season, including the fact that he is not “injury-prone,” and previewed the grind to come:
“I realize that's other people's opinions on things,” Wentz said. “I, first and foremost, am looking forward to putting that to rest in the next couple years. But at the end of the day, you play this game, you can't control injuries, things happen, so I'm going to do everything I can to avoid those and my hope and goal is to put those doubts to rest.”
4. Special Honors For The Eagles
The Pro Football Writers of America revealed its All-NFL and all-conference teams and three Eagles were included. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and center Jason Kelce earned All-NFL honors. Both were repeat selections from 2017. Guard Brandon Brooks was named to the All-NFC Team along with Cox and Kelce. Brooks was an All-NFC Team selection in 2017 as well.
And, yes, tight end Zach Ertz was omitted despite setting an NFL record for his position with 116 catches to go along with 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns.
5. Eagles Welcome Back Practice Squad Players
The Eagles worked on their offseason 90-player roster by bringing back linebacker Asantay Brown, center Anthony Fabiano, guard Kaleb Johnson, cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon, wide receiver Braxton Miller, wide receiver Dorren Miller, defensive end Joe Ostman, running back Donnel Pumphrey, cornerback Chandon Sullivan, and tight end Will Tye on reserve/future contracts.