Say it slow and pronounce every syllable: stability. It’s not a bad word.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson gave an impromptu interview Friday, in between holes during the team’s 25th annual coaches’ golf tournament, and pounded home the message that the organization finally has stability after extending quarterback Carson Wentz through 2024. Pederson is very familiar with the term having spent the majority of his playing days with one team, the Green Bay Packers, and then parlaying his relationship with former boss Andy Reid into a fruitful coaching career. Now entering his fourth season in charge of the Eagles, the 51-year-old has seen it all and he’s excited about the future.
“You know, in this league, a lot of things revolve around your quarterback,” Pederson told Dave Spadaro, “and for us to have been blessed, obviously we moved up in the draft to get Carson at the No. 2 spot a few years ago, and now to extend him gives us stability on offense. It gives our organization stability and I’m very excited about that, and to continue to work with him [Wentz].”
The Eagles are loaded for bear, as the hunters out in central Pennsylvania say. After Wentz, the team has 10 more of what would be considered “core players” signed to deals of at least three years: Zach Ertz, Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery, Malik Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Nigel Bradham, Isaac Seumalo.
The group’s average age rings in at 28.8, slightly on the wrong side but the talent level should scare the rest of the NFC East. Especially when you consider the most valuable player on offense (Wentz) is just 26 and his counterpart on defense (Cox) is only 28. They also injected the roster with a spiked adrenaline shot full of youth in the draft by adding Andre Dillard, Miles Sanders, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Shareef Miller.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was asked about the state of the team at Friday’s golf tournament, pausing to reflect on the roster that Howie Roseman (Executive Vice-President of Football Operations) and Joe Douglas (Vice-President of Player Personnel) have concocted.
“We’ve got a great young core and we got a great core that we’ve been able to extend,” Lurie told Dave Spadaro, “and it gives you the best chance to win and they’re great people and I can’t be more excited about our season. I wish September were here now.”
Of course, Lurie saved his most gushing prose for Wentz, the player he just handed a midnight-green colored check for $107 million in guaranteed money. He has absolutely zero regrets about that. But did Lurie take a purposeful shot at the quarterbacks that came before No. 11? The same owner that has doled out big paydays to Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick has always been a calculated orator and he ended his comments rather awkwardly.
“We always wanted a terrific quarterback and a terrific person, and he embodies it in every way,” Lurie said, referring to Wentz.
We always wanted, but never had? Interpret any way you like. Lurie has an obvious fondness for his new $154 million man, similar to the one Robert Kraft and Tom Brady have enjoyed for years and years in New England. It’s a mutual respect that can be felt from the owner’s box all the way down to the 50-yard line.
There was one more interesting tidbit heard on the golf course, too. The winning foursome for the tournament consisted of Lurie, Pederson, Douglas and quarterbacks coach Press Taylor. Interesting that Douglas was in that group as rumors continue to swirl about his possible departure. He was considered a leading candidate to take over as New York Jets GM, but a new opening in Houston may have jumped ahead on his radar. Douglas was in the running 17 months ago to be the Texans GM before the Eagles blocked the interview.
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