Plus: When will Landon Dickerson play?
The second mailbag of the week! If you have questions for a future mailbag, you can tweet at me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the next round of questions…
@sssetz: Birds looked a bit rusty on D but buttoned it up by the end, Offense looked pretty great all game. Play-calling seemed creative and ball was spread around. How the F do they keep all of that up!?!
If I truly knew that answer, I would be working on an NFL sideline instead of working for an Eagles blog and podcast network, wouldn’t I? I’ll give my best shot though!
The element of surprise worked for the Eagles’ offense. Nick Sirianni has never been a team’s main play-caller in the NFL before. Would he mirror Frank Reich? Mike McCoy? An amalgamation of the two? Or something completely out of left field?
No one knew what a Sirianni-led offense looked like, but it looked pretty damn good down in Atlanta, at least for one game.
More than just anything concrete in terms of Xs and Os, an overarching philosophy from Sirianni needs to continue. It was clear against the Falcons that Sirianni was putting his players in positions to succeed, asking them to do things specific to their skill sets rather than putting them into uncomfortable and unfamiliar roles.
Kenny Gainwell? Boom. You’re the running back for the two-minute drill offense.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside? You might not be able to catch, but you’re going to destroy some defensive backs in the running game and on bubble screens.
Quez Watkins? Let’s get you the ball in space and hope that you can create some magic.
Jack Stoll? Welcome to the NFL, you undrafted rookie tight end out of Nebraska. Get ready to battle some legit professional defensive ends and linebackers.
These players are all unheralded and they’re executing at a high level!
Nick Sirianni: “Before you can think about scheme, you need to think about the players and what they do well.” Daaaaaaamn, that’s just lovely … a coach with a clue
— Anthony Gargano (@AnthonyLGargano) September 15, 2021
Sirianni’s scheme and play-calling were awesome in Week 1. If there’s a takeaway to be learned from the end of the Doug Pederson era, it’s to never settle, to never get stale. Pederson’s play-calling led the Eagles to the promised land in 2017. By 2020? Yikes. We’re literally only talking about Sirianni after a single game as an NFL head coach, but this league catches up QUICK.
Always maximize your guys’ talent. Always keep innovating.
@LEE_YUM_GR80: Will Isaac Seumalo be the starting left guard all season?
It’s all relative because the offensive line can be an ELITE unit when healthy, but Isaac Seumalo is the one guy out there who doesn’t have as much name cache. Jordan Mailata just signed a huge contract and looks like a future Pro Bowler. Jason Kelce should get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day. Brandon Brooks is a three-time Pro Bowler. Lane Johnson is an All-Pro.
The presence of second-round rookie Landon Dickerson looms large over the interior offensive line. Dickerson was a full participant in practice on Wednesday for the first time as an Eagle following a knee injury he suffered at Alabama.
Kelce and Brooks are obviously entrenched here. Fans might want Dickerson inserted into the lineup quickly, but I wouldn’t necessarily be in a rush to do it.
I was initially of the mindset that Dickerson should be play ASAP when he’s healthy, but I’m backing off that a tad.
By my personal eye test, Seumalo didn’t have an incredible game or anything, but as a cohesive unit, the offensive line was awesome. Maybe my eye test was wrong though, as Seuamlo was PFF’s second-highest graded pass-blocker in Week 1. If he looks good out there, why should the Eagles look to bench him?
Brandon Brooks didn’t finish the 2018 and 2019 seasons and missed the entirety of 2020. The Eagles started approximately five billion different offensive line combinations. Injuries are going to happen and having a depth piece as talented as Dickerson is huge for any of the interior OL spots.
A friend of mine made a good point as we were discussing Seumalo and Dickerson this week: it’s the sign of a good team if you have starting-quality players behind your starters. That’s evident for the Eagles at offensive line, tight end and maybe even running back with how well Gainwell looks.
Let things play out!
@gobirdsEsqu: Is this Week 1 fortune or a sign of things to come?
I mean, no one knows the answer to that question. That’s part of the fun, right? The consensus was that the Eagles weren’t ready for a playoff push this year, but they looked exciting as hell in Week 1 and are in an easily winnable division.
As I discussed on BGN Radio earlier in the week, the vibes for the Eagles are tremendous right now. There is JUICE.
Can the fans enjoy a huge win without thinking that it’s misleading and they could be doomed going forward?
It’s a non-answer, but let’s ride this wave, shall we?
@notmichaelwrght: Which AFC team do you think is most likely to lose to the Eagles in the Super Bowl?
Back in July, like a true sicko, I bet on an Eagles-Chargers Super Bowl at +65000, wagering $5 to win $3,250. I’m going to be RICH!
@danmcgukin_: Shamus, do the Eagles finally listen to us and wear white on green next week at home?
My feelings on the Eagles’ white-on-green uniform set are well known. They’re my favorite look for the Eagles.
If the team’s at home, just wear midnight green (unless Dallas is here). It’s the standard.
If it’s a hot as hell game in September, wear all white.
White-on-green should be the road staple though.
The Eagles will, I assume, wear green on Sunday against the 49ers. They’ll wear green on the road next Monday at Dallas because the Cowboys always wear white at home. Kansas City then comes to Philly, so that’s definitely a green jersey game. Will Week 5 at Carolina be the first time we see the Eagles use white-on-green this season? I can only hope!