Optimism runs high this time of year around the NFL. Whether it’s current players staking their claim at a championship or old-timers with a sound bite, everyone has a prediction. Eagles legend Ron Jaworski is no different.
Speaking at his annual celebrity golf tournament, the 68-year-old said he believes this Eagles team can “threaten to win a Super Bowl.” The former quarterback-turned-analyst credited all phases of the organization, including the offense, the defense and the coaching staff.
“When I look at what this team has right now, on offense, defense and special teams – and with an outstanding coaching staff and front office — they are going to be a very good team and threaten to win the Super Bowl,” Jaworski told 6abc’s Jeff Skversky.
Legendary Eagles coach Dick Vermeil also chimed in on his expectations for the squad, and while he stopped short of predicting a Super Bowl, Vermeil did say he thought they would be a “better team than they were last year.”
People without any ties to the franchise are stoking the fire as well. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt put the Eagles at No. 1 on his annual list of the most talented teams in the league, putting them above the Dallas Cowboys (No. 2) and Chicago Bears (No. 3). Brandt’s reasoning for rating the Eagles so high wasn’t just reserved for the immense talent on the roster, but he also referenced the way the front office had locked the core group up with contracts through 2021.
What puts the Eagles in the top spot isn’t just the roster assembled by GM Howie Roseman — it’s the fact that so much core talent is locked into contracts through at least 2021. That core includes several who are considered among the best at their respective positions, like quarterback Carson Wentz (signed through 2024), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (2022), tight end Zach Ertz (2021) and center Jason Kelce (2021). The Eagles are also at the point where the NFL draft can be used to build for the future rather than being relied upon as a source of players who can provide an immediate impact. For example, Philly was able to snag offensive tackle prospect Andre Dillard, who can essentially redshirt for a year while being groomed to replace Jason Peters next season, in this year’s draft.
Of course, those within the locker room aren’t giving out too much bulletin board material. While tight end Zach Ertz did say he thought this year’s team was better than the Super Bowl-winning one from two years ago, his teammate on the other side of the ball wasn’t quite buying into the preseason hype.
“That’s all on paper,” safety Malcolm Jenkins told reporters. “We have fun in, what is it, June now? Talking about what team is better, but this team in this locker room hasn’t won a game yet.”