Organized team activities have begun at the Novacare Complex for the Philadelphia Eagles and there are plenty of questions surrounding the defending conference champions.
The good news is that most of the questions that need to be answered won’t fully be answered until the start of the 2023 regular season so there’s plenty of time for the team to find solutions to major problems.
That being said, it’s the first time this off-season we will be able to see the Eagles in action since Super Bowl LVII. That’s something everyone needs. But whether it’s figuring out who is going to start at certain positions or if the team needs to bring in a free agent to help out, there is plenty to watch heading into this week.
Which Eagle starts at Right Guard?
If you find that this question seems repetitive, that is because it is the same question we asked last year! While Isaac Seumalo took the reigns and had his best year in 2022, the team let him sign a free-agent deal with Pittsburgh. That leaves a very big hole in one of the best offensive lines in football.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 18: Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jack Driscoll (63) sets up to block during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 18, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)
Whether it’s Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, or Tyler Steen, the Eagles need an answer as to who is going to start in between Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. The right guard position has always been one that the team has tried to fill in at the last minute but the competition this year could be the toughest in recent memory.
How quickly does the defense buy into Sean Desai?
Philadelphia has two new play-calling coordinators but Sean Desai will be under the most pressure with plenty of new faces on a defense that was top-five last year. Players will need to buy in quickly with a very difficult 2023 schedule on the horizon if the team is going to be as successful as they were last season.
Add in some of the young players that desperately need to develop under Desai and there is plenty to watch for going into the start of practices.
What’s different on offense with Brian Johnson?
Shane Steichen is gone and that leaves a major play-calling vacuum on offense. While Sean Desai can run the defense in his image, new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson is tasked with expanding on one of the best offenses in football last season.
FILE — Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts celebrates a touchdown run by Kenneth Gainwell during the first half of the team’s NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts is set to sign one of the richest deals in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $255 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles, including $179.3 million guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The Eagles announced on Monday, April 17, “QB1 is here to stay,” but terms were not yet announced, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)
So what would that look like? His relationship with Jalen Hurts is strong which leads many to believe he’ll be perfect for this role, but Johnson needs to show he can call games as well as his predecessor did. Whether it’s a recommitment to the running game or an over-abundance of short passes, the Eagles’ offense could look different than it did last season.
How quickly does Nakobe Dean take the linebacking reigns?
Jalen Hurts may have the most pressure on him for the offense but it’s Nakobe Dean that holds the sole pressure on the defense. Philadelphia hasn’t had a linebacker with this much potential in close to a decade. Yet the former third-round pick didn’t see the field a lot in 2022 due to the team’s overall dominance.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 02: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) enters the field during training camp on August 2, 2022 at the Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)
That’s going to change in 2023, and how Dean performs throughout the year will be a major barometer for the defensive unit as a whole. If Dean can produce as he did at Georgia, the defense for Philly could be even better than last year’s unit.
Having former Bulldog teammates like Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis in front of him certainly should help him out as well.
What does continued development for Jalen Hurts look like?
The Eagles go as Hurts goes. That much was clear in 2022 and that much will be clear in 2023. The second-highest-paid player in NFL history has shown that a new contract won’t change how he operates on and off the field.
Even with all the success, Hurts has seen in the last few months, what does development look like for a 24-year-old phenom? In the end, limiting turnovers, increasing efficiency, and earning victories will be how Hurts is judged.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last few years is that no one should be betting against Hurts to improve.