As teams head to training camp and the NFL season approaches, The 33rd Team asks its experts to preview every team's outlook for the 2023 season. In this installment, Marty Mornhinweg takes a deep dive into the Philadelphia Eagles.
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Eagles Team Preview
What to Know: Offense
The biggest storyline for the Eagles' offense is their offensive coordinator, Brian Johnson. He's replacing Shane Steichen, who became the Indianapolis Colts' head coach. Johnson has only called plays in college, so this season will be a big adjustment.
However, Johnson has one of the best offensive lines in football. He's got one of the greatest quarterbacks in football. He's got talent throughout the roster on offense. I suspect this transition will be seamless. However, if it doesn't go well early in the season, be aware of the rumble.
What to Know: Defense
The Eagles' vaunted defense nearly broke the NFL record for sacks last season with 70. (The 1984 Bears had 72.) They were ranked highly in almost every category that matters. Now, they have new defensive coordinator Sean Desai taking over for Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon.
Desai will be challenged because the Eagles lost several excellent defensive players this offseason, including Pro Bowl DT Javon Hargrave. Plus, general manager Howie Roseman has decided to rebuild that defense a bit through the draft. It'll be interesting to see how Desai handles that influx of new, young talent on defense.
Biggest Off-Field Storyline
Be aware of the Super Bowl-loss hangover. Here's what sometimes happens, only if you allow it. The players, sometimes subconsciously, get pulled from every direction, and they think they can show up on the field and just get it done. I'm assuming coach Nick Sirianni is going to be all over this.
He's going to have to be hard on the details. He can't let anything slide, and they'll be back in the big game this coming season. They'll be back to where you want to go if they can avoid the dreaded Super Bowl hangover.
Breakout Player Prediction
DT Jalen Carter out of Georgia is my breakout player prediction. What a pick Carter was. The young man slid to No. 9 overall because of some off-the-field reasons and the Eagles may have picked up the very best player in the draft. Expect him to start and to be highly productive as a rookie.
Move the Eagles Should Make
They've got Sydney Brown, Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds and K'Von Wallace at the safety position. Some of the Eagles' opponents could think the safety position is one of the weaknesses this defense didn't have last year. Let's see if the Eagles infuse some more talent at that safety position.
2023 Season Expectations
Well, it's obvious. Anything less than winning in a Super Bowl will be underappreciated. The expectations are sky-high, maybe too high. Be aware of the Super Bowl hangover. Make sure that your hard work and preparation are getting done.
Then, you'll be right back there in the Super Bowl with a chance to win it with the great Jalen Hurts at quarterback and talent all over the roster. As long as the Eagles stay healthy, it looks like they're poised for a deep playoff run.
Marty Mornhinweg is a former head coach of the Detroit Lions and a longtime NFL offensive assistant. He was the quarterbacks coach on the 1996 Green Bay Packers team that won Super Bowl XXXI. Follow him on Twitter at @MartyMornhinweg.