Which player or players, new or who did not play in the postseason, will have the most positive impact on this year's Eagles team? Four of our writers weigh in.
Yeah, I'm not going to overthink this. It has to be Carson Wentz. Asking Nick Foles to win the Super Bowl again is a bit much.
Only slightly less chancy would be trying to win it again without Jason Peters, but really, that's still more conceivable than rallying around the backup QB again. What the heck, I'll stipulate that they won't repeat if either Wentz or Peters goes down.
The word "unique" gets overused, but the Eagles' path to their first Lombardi Trophy was unique. It's hard to replicate unique.
Look, the easy and obvious answer here is Carson Wentz, assuming he remains healthy. But it really is remarkable that the Eagles won last season's Super Bowl without him. And without Jason Peters. And Jordan Hicks. And Darren Sproles. And Chris Maragos.
For the sake of being both logical and a little offbeat, I'll go with Maragos, for this reason: The Eagles were excellent on offense and defense last season, and even with Wentz and those other accomplished players returning to the lineup, it's difficult to imagine that they'll make a substantial improvement on either side of the ball. But special teams, where Maragos was their captain and one of the best players, is another matter.
For one thing, the Eagles could stand to be better in covering punts and kickoffs in 2018; they were 17th in the NFL in opponents' starting field position last season. For another, every team, including the Eagles, will have to adjust to the league's new kickoff rules, and Maragos' experience and intelligence can help the Eagles there.
Trick question, right? Answer has to be Carson Wentz. If he turns out not to be the answer, that's going to be really bad news for the Eagles. If you want a second pick, I'd go with rookie tight end Dallas Goedert. He's been very impressive in all aspects of that position.
Even though Nick Foles turned in a superhuman effort in the postseason and was the Super Bowl MVP, I'd have to put Carson Wentz at the top of this list.
When he got hurt in Week 14, he had thrown a league-high 33 touchdown passes and was leading the league in third-down and red-zone passing. If Wentz hadn't shredded his knee against the Rams, Tom Brady would have one less league MVP award right now.
Wentz's mobility and ability to extend plays just bring something unique to the table that Foles can't replicate.
Two new players who I think are going to be important factors this season are defensive end Michael Bennett and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert.
Bennett, acquired from Seattle in a trade, will turn 33 in November. But his age didn't seem to hamper him last year, when he had 8 1/2 sacks for the Seahawks. And it shouldn't be a problem here either since Jim Schwartz's fondness for rotating eight players up front will keep Bennett's snap count well below the 931 he played in Seattle last year. His ability to slide inside and play tackle also will come in handy, since Tim Jernigan is out until at least November. Bennett and Fletcher Cox should work well together inside in nickel and dime packages.