With the additions of players like wide receivers DeSean Jackson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, along with running backs Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, and the development of tight end Dallas Goedert, the Eagles' offense has a potentially different personality from 2018.
How does the Eagles' coaching staff fit in the new pieces seamlessly with the already-talented returning pieces in the offense?
That's the puzzle the team is starting to put together in this Organized Team Activities period at the NovaCare Complex.
"We certainly feel really good about the guys that we have from a skill-level standpoint when you talk about tight ends, the receiver position, the running back position," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said on Tuesday. "We like the weapons that we have on offense and kind of just blending them all together is the process we're going through right now."
As the offense looks on paper – and on the practice field, for that matter – the Eagles should have a lot of ways to attack a defense this season. Jackson brings the needed element of game-breaking speed to the passing game, Howard is a durable, hard-running back with a history of success in the red zone, and rookies Arcega-Whiteside and Sanders are promising talents.
Combine those players with the returning playmakers the Eagles have, including Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz and his partner at the position, Goedert, along with wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, and the Eagles have a plethora of skilled players. The offensive line returns intact – Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks continues his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon – and quarterback Carson Wentz is on the field and fully cleared for the OTAs.
It's all very exciting. Promising. Potentially explosive.
And we're only in May.
So slow down on the hype until the Eagles see the offense in pads and against defenses that are permitted to tackle. This is the discovery phase of the offseason, as Groh well knows.
"We're certainly going to evaluate ourselves and what we do in our system, how we fit the pieces that we have here into our system," Groh said.
There is only one football to go around, and Groh says his players "understand that," so there is going to have to be a high degree of unselfishness for this offense to function at its highest capability. That said, the Eagles have pieces to go after defenses in a lot of ways. They can play with two tight ends on the field and run or throw out of that personnel package. They can move their wide receivers around the formation – both Jackson and Agholor have experience playing in the slot and on the outside. Howard is more of a move-the-chains running back rather than a home-run kind of player, but his three years of play in Chicago – with 3,370 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns – speak to a highly productive back.
Rookies Arcega-Whiteside and Sanders are still learning the offense and the ways of the NFL, but they have impressed the coaching staff early in their time here.
The future, then, is bright for this offense, with the understanding that there is a whole lotta work to do before the Eagles get to where they want to be on that side of the football.
"We're going to keep working and keep getting better," Groh said. "That's what we're doing every day out here."