Eagles special teams

Philadelphia Eagles Special Teams Needs to Contribute More

  • Philadelphia Eagles
By Dakota Pratscher October 28, 2020 0 Comment
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The Philadelphia Eagles special teams needs to be more productive during the 2020 season.

It seems that the Philadelphia Eagles are starting to pull it together on the offensive side of the ball. The offense has  compiled over twenty points in the last five games. However, it has not been pretty. The offense must rely on grinding down the field with ten plus play drives to score any points. With the amount of injuries the team has endured, what can the Eagles do to make it easier for the offense to capitalize and score? The answer is simple, the Eagles Special Teams need to make more contributions.

 

From Riches to Rags, Eagles Special Teams 

The last time the Eagles special teams scored a touchdown was in 2016 against the Washington Football Team from Wendell Smallwood. In case you haven’t noticed, that was quite some time ago. The Eagles special teams have not had a reliable threat since Darren Sproles, before injuries started to plague him. Greg Ward is simply not the answer at punt returner, as he is averaging just 5.6 YDS/RET (philadelphiaeagle.com), with a long of 11 yards. Kick returns have been as underwhelming as punt returns, with Boston Scott averaging just 18.6 YDS/RET (philadelphiaeagles.com), and a long of 25 yards. Set return from injury, Jalen Reagor , we can expect the punt return game to get some much needed juice, as Reagor is faster and offers more explosiveness than Ward.

But what has caused the downfall of the Eagles special teams?  That has been on my mind for the past few seasons. Dave Fipp is highly regarded as a special team’s coach. Back in 2014, the Eagles scored on two punt return touchdowns from Darren Sproles, and two kick return touchdowns from Josh Huff and Chris Polk. I remember watching the Eagles in 2014 and you were more excited to watch the returners play than the offense itself. Commentators were even talking about how fun the Eagles special teams was to watch. The Eagles re-signed Fipp because teams were clamoring to have him coach their special teams. So, what exactly happened over the last few years that has made the Eagles special teams just so… blah? There are two main factors that come in to play for the regression of the Eagles special teams, injuries, and a lack of explosive talent.

Solutions

It is no shocker to Philadelphia fans that their team is once again, ravished from injuries. Amassing enough players on IR to make a starting offensive roster. That includes core special teams players such as Jalen Reagor. The other problem Dave Fipp and the Eagles special teams as a whole face is, a lack of dynamic weapons at the returner positions. As stated earlier, Darren Sproles was the last reliable threat. There has not been an emphasis on speed and explosion in the draft until the 2020 NFL Draft. Greg Ward is a sure handed returner but offers no juice on his returns. What the Eagles can do is have Quez Watkins try returning punts and kickoffs. He has the speed, and does not get many snaps to begin with. Let Watkins show you what he can offer. The fourth and fifth string WR’s are usually guys who contribute on special teams anyways, so, get rid of JJ Arcega-Whiteside who offers nothing on special teams or on offense, besides some down field blocks for running backs, and let Watkins prove his worth.

Here’s to a Brighter Future

If the Eagles want to become a formidable team again, they must get contributions from all three phases of the game. If the Eagles special teams can create some juice on returns, they will ignite the offense which in turn, will create shorter fields for Carson Wentz to work with. This allows the team to score quicker, and limit Carson and the offense from committing a costly mistake.

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I cover, report and write about the Philadelphia Eagles.

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