Over the past five months, the Philadelphia Eagles have been heavily praised for getting a real number one wide receiver for Carson Wentz as they signed Alshon Jeffrey. In fact, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report said on twitter that “Carson to Alshon is football porn.” Although Jeffrey joining the team seems like a move that would help them reach the playoffs, that is not the case.
Throughout last season, the Philadelphia Eagles repeatedly noticed that Carson Wentz would leave the pocket at the immediate sign of pressure. This is because Wentz was extremely focused on getting a positive result on every play that he would scramble in hopes of finding an open window to throw into or an open running lane to gain a couple of yards. However, the team knew that this tendency would put him at risk of getting hit because he was in the open field by himself which means that the defense has a wide open path to hit him. Furthermore, if he decided to throw the ball, it would most likely be an inaccurate pass because his feet are not set. As a result, the team decided to implement an offensive system that was centered around the quick passing game. For instance, the team called a substantial amount of quick passing plays that focused on slants, screens, outs, and routes to the flat. These plays take a short time to develop which means that Wentz released the ball in a short amount of time thus the defense didn’t have a chance to apply pressure.
Therefore, Alshon Jeffrey will do more harm than good because he needs to take a few steps to build up to full speed. Due to this, I expect the team to have him run deep in, corner and streak/ fade routes to allow him to get to top speed. As a result of this, Wentz will have to hold the ball for a few extra seconds to give him the opportunity to reach full speed and complete his route. This gives the opposing team more time to apply pressure to Wentz which opens the door for him to scramble. The trickle down effect will once again put him at risk to receive additional hits or make ill-advised throws. Furthermore, the acquisition of Jeffrey will also affect the performance of the defense because if Wentz does everything mentioned above, it will result in shorter drives. As a result, the defense would have to go back on the field without the proper amount of rest which leads to the defense being more susceptible to giving up yards and points. Since they would be unable regain some energy between possessions to be able to stop the opposing offense.
Although some people may think that the Eagles could avoid this problem by spreading the ball around. The front office and ownership will put pressure on the coaching staff to regularly throw him the ball because they want to give Jeffrey as many chances as possible to prove that signing him was a worthy investment. As a result of this, the demands from the front office and ownership should cost the team a playoff berth in 2017.