An offense that in 2021 showed its ability to win with brute force and a league-leading rushing attack added one of the NFL's prime playmaking wide receivers in A.J. Brown in the offseason, which means exactly what for the Eagles in a 2022 season that starts in just a couple of weeks when Training Camp opens at the NovaCare Complex?
"We added another great player to our offense, a player who can do a lot of things to help us," quarterback Jalen Hurts said.
That's it. That's all. For now.
After coming through a healthy and productive spring, the Eagles hope to hit the ground running and, er, passing when Training Camp opens in South Philadelphia. This is an offense that returns all of its key personnel from a season ago, the offensive coaching staff, a ton of confidence, and adds Brown to the wide receiving corps and second-round draft pick Cam Jurgens to the interior of the offensive line.
"We have a lot of pieces," center Jason Kelce said. "It's more than that, as you know. We have to put in the work and the effort and focus in on the little things and smooth all of that out. We have an understanding of the scheme, so that helps heading into Training Camp. Look, teams have a sense of what we're trying to do and we know what the defense is trying to do, so it comes down to execution of the playcalls and we feel we're going to be in good position to do that.
"I think everyone is looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Obviously, we're excited. When it comes to the regular season, there are a lot of factors in play and that's the fun part, trying to come up with a game plan to attack a defense's weaknesses and then go out and make it work."
Right there is the truth, the essence of what the Eagles want to accomplish on offense in 2022: It isn't about "being a running team," or "having a pass-first offense." The run/pass ratio, the importance of which has been discussed for many decades, really isn't the conversation here. When the question asked is this – What kind of offense are the Eagles hoping to have this season? – the answer is probably best expressed this way: "They want to have an offense that can win against any kind of defense."
That's the idea, right? Defenses spend all week strategizing how to attack Hurts and this offense and they understand the challenges. The Eagles have the ability, as the offense is presently constructed, to dictate to a defense that goes light in the box by running behind an offensive line that is one of the best in the game. Teams that load the box and dare Hurts to win from the pocket have to contend with a receiving corps that includes Brown and second-year man DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert and weapons out of the backfield.
Defenses understand that they're going to have to contend with an Eagles offense that is multi-faceted in the passing game and with a running game that includes Hurts' ability to make explosive plays with his legs. The likely scenario is that defenses will focus on what every defense tries to do in every NFL game – take the quarterback out of his comfort zone. And the Eagles feel that their third-year signal-caller has made positive strides heading into Training Camp, 2022.
"Jalen is, in my opinion, more comfortable in the offense," Sirianni said as the spring work ended. "That's just the part of the process the second year. He knows where the receivers are going to be versus different looks. He knows where to go with the football a little bit quicker. We've done our job as coaches, and I don't want to say we've done a good job, but what we've done as coaches is figured out what he likes and what he's good at and all these different things. It's just accumulating those reps.
"The reason we know Jalen is going to continue to get better is because of the character, and the football character and the personal character that he has. He's just the type of guy that's going to reach his maximum potential because of all the off-the-field qualities he has. I've also noticed just the crispness of the drop. It's been the fundamentals – his fundamentals have improved, and he's really worked hard at that.
"He's working every day to get better, and I'm really pleased where he is right now, but we have to continue to lay the groundwork."
That's what Training Camp is for, to continue to lay the groundwork for the regular season that follows. If you're wondering "what kind of offense the Eagles are going to have this season," don't think about it in such narrow terms as "a running team" or "a passing team."
Think bigger, more broadly.
Think a "winning team," because if the Eagles accomplish what they want to accomplish, they will have built themselves an offense that wins against anything the defense is trying to take away. That's all that matters. That's the bottom line. Nobody cares about stats. Nobody cares about fantasy football.
The success of the offense will be measured in victories, no matter how they are accomplished.