With Odell Beckham Jr. still available, Eagles aren’t looking to upgrade at receiver
As the NFL world continues to wait with occasional glances toward Odell Beckham Jr., one premier team doesn’t appear as interested in the receiver as some of its rivals.
The 11-1 Eagles are content with what they have at the position, or at least that’s the public stance head coach Nick Sirianni is taking when asked about Beckham’s availability and extended free-agent tour.
“Everybody knows what A.J. (Brown) and DeVonta (Smith) are doing,” Sirianni said on Wednesday. “And then you have Quez (Watkins), who is continuing to come on and continuing to make plays and continuing to be that big speed receiver that we need. And then you have Zach Pascal, who is very critical to a team, the type of play he brings. And then your fourth has to be a special teams contributor, which Zach is. And he’s got to be willing to do the dirty work and back up every single position, which he does and have a specialty role, which he does too. And then your fifth guy better play special teams. And our fifth guy (rookie Britain Covey) is our returner, who had his best game as a professional last week.
“I’m really excited about that room. I’ll leave it at that.”
Sirianni’s summary of his receiving corps is accurate. Philadelphia didn’t vault into the top three in total offense by mistake, riding a dynamic, versatile offensive attack that starts with MVP candidate Jalen Hurts and can end with the ball in a number of different pairs of hands. The Eagles currently rank fifth in the NFL in rushing yards per game and 13th in passing yards per game, and very well could finish with two 1,000-yard receivers in Brown and Smith.
As Tennessee learned last week, Brown is capable of exploding for a 100-plus-yard, two-touchdown game every week. And he’s far from their only option.
The difference here, though, is the Eagles don’t feel as if they’re in need of another weapon at the position. As Sirianni summarized, they feel they’re already stocked well enough to win a Super Bowl as long as they continue to trend upward. The focus, then, remains on improving, not adding to their roster.
“We think we always have room to get better and get better and get better and get better, and that’s why we’re trying like crazy to stay in the moment and how we get better today, to put ourselves at 1-0 this week,” Sirianni said. “You always can get your detail better. You always can do something a little bit better, so that’s what we’re on them about. … That’s the constant thing you’re trying to do as a coach and just trying to do as a player is just improve, improve, improve, improve, improve.”
The Eagles haven’t been timid when it comes to upgrading their roster during the season. Philadelphia traded for defensive end Robert Quinn ahead of the deadline, and when an injury to Jordan Davis left them uncomfortably thin at defensive tackle (by their standards), the Eagles signed not one, but two veterans in Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph.
“You want to be as fresh as you can at those positions and keep a wave of guys coming at them,” Sirianni said. “As you know, we’re really deep at that position. That’s huge.”
They’re deep up front, and they feel they’re deep in the pass-catching department, meaning there might not be a seat at the table for Beckham. That’s perfectly fine for the Eagles. At 11-1, it’s hard to blame them — even if it doesn’t produce the juiciest headline.
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