Philadelphia Eagles Season Preview: Talking Iggles with Jason La Canfora

Jul 28, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of entrance to NovaCare Complex during Philadelphia Eagles training camp. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of entrance to NovaCare Complex during Philadelphia Eagles training camp. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

As a part of our Philadelphia Eagles season preview, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports to talk football. Check out our conversation below.

Jason is a Baltimore native that works for CBS as an NFL insider. He also appears on NFL Today each Sunday. We’re more than happy to present our chat about the Philadelphia Eagles.

Q. The Philadelphia Eagles began the offseason by ridding themselves of Chip Kelly and all things associated with him. How important was that to Doug Pederson starting off his Eagles tenure on the right foot?

Jason: With a new head coach the Philadelphia Eagles had to do it to give Pederson and Howie Roseman their guys. It’s rather clear that  Roseman is the dominant entity of all things within Philadelphia Eagles football operations and there’s really no doubt about that.

The paradigm that they have set up there goes back to what it was before the rise of Andy Ried. Joe Banner was the guy running everything. Now Roseman is in that role, which he was in before they hired Chip, and Doug Pederson is going to be a guy who knows why he’s there which is because Howie and the owner see him as the second coming of Andy Ried. The larger story for me is the return to… the re-ascent of Howie Roseman.

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Q. After being restored to power one of Howie Roseman’s most important moves has been him locking up the core guys of the Philadelphia Eagles to long-term contracts, any thoughts on that decision?

Jason: I think it makes sense. You can go back to ten years ago when the Philadelphia Eagles were signing guys like, Brian Westbrook and Jeremiah Trotter, this is very much how Howie was raised, this is exactly what Joe Banner instilled in him.

It’s manifesting itself, and frankly, it manifested itself immediately after Joe Banner left when they signed a bunch of their own like DeSean Jackson and splashed a lot of money on guys in free agency. Guys like Nnamdi Asomugha and Malcolm Jenkins. Coming out of the lockout the Eagles were very active, they were doing things that had people’s heads spinning.

Just one guy after another, so this offseason was very reminiscent of that and we’ll see. It’s very clear that Howie looked at this roster and certain parts of it were Chip’s guys, and chip’s guys are gone. When you look at guys like Fletcher Cox and other draft picks from the past few years and they’re guys who fit in with what he’s doing.

Q.  If you had to name one player who’s the key to the Philadelphia Eagles season who would it be and why?

Jason: I’d have to say, Sam Bradford. In the mediocre division that they’re in if he plays well, the Eagles are going to have a chance. If Bradford can prove people like myself wrong the Eagles could surprise some people. However, if the Eagles aren’t doing well at the end of the season and Carson Wentz isn’t getting snaps to help his development then it could be detrimental to next season.

Q. Which rookie will have the biggest impact on the team in 2016?

Jason: When you look at the depth chart, Wendell Smallwood. He’s behind Ryan Matthews who can’t stay on the field and Sproles is long in the tooth. I can’t see Matthews getting 200+ carries and those extra carries will need to go somewhere and Smallwood could reap the rewards. He’s going to have to learn pass protection in the league but this is an offense without a true weapon so the Eagles will have to run the ball.

Q. What are your expectations for the team this season?

Jason: Honestly, they aren’t that high. I think the thing to look at will be the last six to eight weeks of the season to see if the Philadelphia Eagles are playing the kids more and how they’re reacting. When you look at the three quarterbacks if chase daniel has the most snaps taken at the end of the season, which I wouldn’t be surprised if he does,  and if that is the case then it will really ratchet up all the scrutiny that Wentz couldn’t beat out those two for the majority of the snaps.

This season to me is more about what the rookies, first, and second-year players do. You look at all of the Eagles deals and those are all three four-year deals. So if the rookies aren’t looking like first-year guys, and the second year guys aren’t looking like third year guys and so on this could be a long season. Some cream’s gotta rise, they’ve gotta have a quarterback of the future on the roster by the end of the season and if they don’t they’ll be in trouble.

While I think they will, their gonna take their lumps and they have so much change. While there’s so much optimism that they’ll be good now that Chip Kelly is gone but its a lot harder to keep that optimism if they struggle out of the gate. We’ll see there’s no juggernaut in that division. While I don’t want to get people’s hopes up but it wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world if they were better than people expect them to be.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles: The Running Back Committee

Q. Record prediction?

Jason: 6-10

As always, we thank Jason for his time in sitting down with us and hope that this will in fact be a good year for the Philadelphia Eagles.