MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.—The Eagles arrived here with a fairly complete team. And they will have to test themselves against a group of Dolphins who, one forgets, have won 19-14 over the last two years, only missing the playoffs after both seasons. Here’s more about what we saw from Philly…
1. Jalen Hurts is getting better in areas that are difficult to improve—his presence in the pocket, his ability to throw with anticipation, and his accuracy, all much better—which is a tribute to the work he’s done. And clearly, that ethic has penetrated into his leadership. I don’t know if Hurts will be the Eagles quarterback in, say, 2025. But I think there’s a better chance than last year, for sure, and it’s going to help that for the first time since high school Hurts has had the same coordinator for two years in a row. come along.
2. Beginner center Cam Jurgens has become one of the stars of the training camp. His combination of size and athleticism is unusual for the position and he could be the answer for a decade for the team at the pivot point down the line. The problem is that, for now, there may be no place for him to play, with 34-year-old Jason Kelce back and Isaac Seumalo and Landon Dickerson manning the stands. So maybe he’ll have to wait a bit for that, but Jurgens’ time will come.
3. Dallas Goedert’s name was brought up over and over in conversation—one staffer estimated that a tight fourth-year end had kept the Eagles in touch during four weeks of camp. He’s really great at grabbing the ball in catch-on situations, and has a really tight late display, which is a great development for offense with Zach Ertz off. Oftentimes, the best finishes take several seasons to develop, and continue to improve past their rookie deals, and that seems to be the case with Goedert.
4. Two Georgia defenders will be interesting. Jordan Davis is a giant, of course, and has versatility that’s rare for a player of his size—defense coordinator Jonathan Gannon would be able to move him around. And Nakobe Dean’s instincts and knowledge were evident. It looks like Philly is waiting for Dean to start trusting his eyes like he did in college (that’s how he ends up playing a lot faster than everyone else) and forcing him onto the court. That hasn’t happened yet. But he doesn’t seem far away. And Kyzir White has a really good camp next door to TJ Edwards, so no rush.
5. It’s fair to have high expectations here, and it’s not because of the state of the skill and secondary position (both need to improve), but Philly’s foundation forever along the lines of practice. In Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson on the attack, and Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox on the defence, Nick Sirianni inherited a solid core of veteran leaders in the trenches, and those guys helped bring in a truly talented crew of young people. In 2017, one of the reasons for the optimism going into the year is how the Eagles are united in the area. The team ended up winning the Super Bowl. I’m not saying this one will, but the formula is similar.
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