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  • Brian Baldinger

WITH SAQUON BARKLEY & KELLEN MOORE ON BOARD, EAGLES FANS SHOULD HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS



Brian Baldinger - On the Eagles

Saquon Barkley burst onto the NFL scene in 2018 unlike most.

 

He came in as the No. 2 pick by the NY Giants and in four months became one the league's biggest stars. He led the entire league that year amassing more than 2000 yards in his 16 starts. 

 

The Eagles were coming off a Super Bowl win and had few weaknesses.

They would see Saquon at Metlife Stadium in week six and although the Birds would dispose of the Giants with ease that afternoon, they would have no answer for Saquon as he ran for 130 and he would catch passes for 99 more.

 

He would nearly duplicate that in week 12 in a much closer matchup at the Linc .

 

Saquon was the real deal and the Eagles would have to deal with him for the next decade or more.

 

That was 2018 and the landscape is far different six years later. Not much has gone right for Saquon or the Giants in that time span. They have changed GM'S, they have changed multiple head coaches and staff members throughout.


Eagles new running back Saquon Barkley gives the Eagles more options than ever to create a high-powered, high scoring offense. Photo by Terence Lewis

Even last season, coming off a successful 2022 under rookie head coach Brian Dabol, where the Giants finished strong to qualify for the playoffs and win a playoff game before the Eagles would shred them in the Divisional Playoff round on their way to the Super Bowl...there was high hopes heading into 2023.

 

Less than seven minutes into the season on a SNF in America telecast their best offensive lineman, Andrew Thomas, would tear his hamstring on a field goal block. They would lose 40-0 to Dallas that night and the injury bug to the offense just got started.

 

It would affect Saquon as well as he would also get injured in the fourth game of the season and would be relegated to watching the next three contests. That happened too much over the past five seasons.

 

The injuries and the instability of the Giants have hurt Saquon's career.


Saquon Barkley and Kenneth Gainwell give the Eagles one of the best one-two punches in the league. Photo by Andy Lewis

Fortunately for him, Howie Roseman and the Eagles see great value in Barkley and rewarded him with a contract and a team that is loaded with talent and the stability of an organization that every player craves.

 

The Eagles are uniting Saquon with Kellen Moore who is installing an offense that is practically new to everyone.

 

But Moore has shown that he crafts his offense around the talent that he has. To start with, this is unequivocally, the best offensive line that Saquon has ever played with.

 

Watching him at the Eagles final minicamp he is still very big and very powerful. He has never been the type of back that can make three quick cuts to elude defenders and then hit the gas pedal.


Eagles new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is coaching arguably the most talented roster he's ever had. Photo by Jesse Garber. 

He is best if he gets a good runway where he can build his breakaway speed and unleash his power.

 

He should see plenty of good size holes to squeeze through unlike almost anything he saw in NY.

 

He is also a three-down back where he can stay on the field in all passing situations because he is such a dependable receiver whether out of the backfield or lining up in a receiver position. His one weakness as an every down player is he still needs to improve in his pass blocking.

 

THE Excitement for Eagle fans is…how are defenses going to play the Birds that line up with AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, together with a dynamic QB in Jalen Hurts.

 

Kellen Moore has never had all these components to work with as an offensive coordinator in either Dallas or LAC. If Jalen comes to the LOS and sees two deep safeties on first and 10 it is most certainly time to run Saquon.

 

The idea that you cdan run a variety of options with a QB that is a great runner is reminiscent of Saquon in 2022 when the Giants leaned heavily on the run game to go to the playoffs and beat Minnesota in the twin cities.


Saquon Barkley has never had this talented group of teammates during his six years in the NFL. Photo by Andy Lewis

In that season, QB Daniel Jones, ran for over 800 yards while Saquon ran for a career high 1312 yards. The point is that Saquon and Hurts are going to be difficult to defend in tandem and if teams want to try and slow that train down the receivers on the outside should feast on MAN coverage.

 

These are some fun problems to deal with and the Birds for the 3rd year in a row should get off to a hot start.

 

The great thing about Saquon is they are getting a great teammate. He will always outwork most players; he will always do whatever is necessary to put him in the best physical shape to get the most out of himself. His goals will always be TEAM first.

 

The expectations that the Eagles enter the season, win the NFC East and make a march to the Super Bowl, are expectations that Saquon has never really had.

 

This idea that they look like a final four team on paper should only get Saquon more jacked up.

 

That and the Eagles have shown him the love and the respect that every player covets. 

 

I remember in 2004 when T.O. came on board and the Eagle faithful couldn’t wait to sing the T.O. song and how that transcended that season all the way to Jacksonville and the Super Bowl.


I believe Eagles fans will be shouting a Saquon Song on his first highlight run which might happen in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

 

This might be the perfect storm between Kellen, Saquon, Jalen and all of FlyEaglesFLY Nation. *

 

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