There is a statue that stands in Philadelphia of a fictional character. Rocky Balboa only existed on the tv screen. But this fictional character is a embodiment that describes the mentality of the entire city. Don’t let other people have or set expectations of you. You can achieve anything you want to, but you have to work for it. Nothing in this world is given, and some of us aren’t born with 750 credit scores. This is the case for the Philadelphia Eagles. Often judged harshly, always under appreciated, Philadelphia should be a staple as to how the nation should hold itself in accountability and in strength.
You will be hard pressed to find a more faithful, or more loyal fan than a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Since winning the Super Bowl 3 years ago (2018), the team has went through a downward spiral and coaching change. Neither of the quarterbacks that got them to the Super Bowl are no longer on the roster, new additions everywhere up and down the roster, and there isn’t a sense of hope for contention for such things inside of the city. But we should know Philadelphia better than that; because the City of brotherly Love will also hit Santa Claus with snowballs. This is a city full of fans not afraid to go to jail inside of the stadium or eat horse manure to celebrate history.
The fanbase is built Ford tough: unlike Detroit. Word around fantasy circles and TV pundits, is that Philadelphia is going to struggle this year. Since Miss Cleo is in jail for fraud, no crystal ball is going to peek into the future and let us know how bad Philadelphia will be this year. However, if one were to stop and look at the roster of the offense, there might be a couple of gems that might make you think twice. The defense will always be scrutinized, but when healthy- could be formidable. An aged but wise veteran by the name of Ryan Kerrigan lurks somewhere on that roster to assist the defensive front four. The linebacker core is lead by Eric Wilson; an underrated and talented man. Genard Avery and Alex Singleton will join him in battle on his left and his right for 17 weeks. Darius Slay finally gets some help in the secondary with the acquisition of Steven Nelson. The former Pittsburgh Steeler goes across the state to fly free. As Darius escaped from Detroit, Nelson escapes from the catastrophic crash of the Pittsburgh Steelers from last year; rebuilding behind a manufactured offensive line. A healthy K’Von Wallace needs to be an enforcer at the safety position. The former Clemson product had to deal with adjusting to the NFL. Plus, injuries slowed down the progression. Anthony Harris will be his free to his strong.
The front four of the defense doesn’t need to be talked about. It is actually the strongest unit on this football team. Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham are what make the Philadelphia Eagles a formidable team. Javon Hargrave, by the numbers, is the weakest link of the front four. They are without a doubt the disruptors for the Philadelphia Eagles. The addition of Kerrigan only fortifies the strength of the defensive line and adds more veteran experience to a team that desperately needs it in the NFC East.
The best kept secret is the death that the offense displays after the exit of Carson Wentz. Before The madness of COVID-19, that ravaged the nation and the NFL, the year of 2020 revealed that Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert were the best quarterbacks at that Indianapolis Combine. Herbert went in the first round. Jalen was selected in the second. No one thought that Jalen would be a starting quarterback this soon. That just goes to show his true talent.
Speaking of talent, he is surrounded by it at multiple positions. At wide receiver 1 he gets an old teammate and Heisman trophy winner, in Devonta Smith. A speed demon, who’s big enough to take the hits, could be the best kept secret this year in the NFL. Travis Fulgham, a big bodied specimen, is his backup. At wide receiver 2, the TCU horned frog in his second year is ready to terrorize defenses. Jalen Raegor is a matchup nightmare. His skills and attributes have yet to be tapped, but for some odd reason some should believe that Jalen Hurts could bring out the best in his wide receiving core. Quez Watkins will relieve Raegor, and put his own panache on the field when given the opportunity. At wide receiver 3, the former quarterback turned wide receiver Greg Ward, withholds the last starting position. JJ Arcega Whiteside, who was selected over A.J. Brown, will relieve Ward. If anyone is paying attention, the wide receiver room is not only talented, but embodies short, tall, big bodied, and shifty wide receivers. This team is not offensively weak.
Arguably the strongest unit on the offense, is at the tight end position. Jason Croom was brought into the team to be tight end depth for the Eagles this year. He will more than likely miss the entire year due to injury. And upset and frustrated Zach Ertz was not traded away during the off season. He rejoins Dallas Goedart to lead the wide receiving room, and assist Jalen Hurts in this 2021 mission. Ertz and Goedart will shine a light to first downs and touchdowns for the Alabama-Oklahoma quarterback, who doesn’t accept losing lightly.
Not all athletes can say that when they have no expectations that they are happy. Philadelphia is flying free, with no expectations of winning this season. However, the funny thing about the eagles, is that they fly when you least expect it. What the mentality of rocky, just because you get knocked down once, doesn’t mean you don’t get back up. Keep your eyes on the Eagles.