Long has intriguing critique of Eagles' roster, 2020 failures originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
A large chunk of the blame for the Eagles' struggles through three weeks has fallen on Carson Wentz, who has looked like a shadow of his MVP-level self. Injuries certainly haven't helped.
But with the team, as a whole, struggling at virtually every level, blame is also starting to be placed at the feet of general manager Howie Roseman for constructing an objectively bad football team.
And in the latest episode of his Green Light podcast, former Eagles defensive end and Super Bowl LII champion Chris Long certainly didn't call out Roseman... but he at least glanced in that direction.
During a really good and nuanced segment about the state of the 2020 Eagles, Long wasn't shy about what he thinks of this team, and why it's gone bad. Let's see what Long had to say, and then break it down:
"It is time to panic.
"Even if they got the win [vs. the Bengals], it's not a good football team. If they'd won that ballgame, I'm still feeling the same way about this team.
"The roster has fallen off, really suddenly. It's compounded by being the most snakebit team in football, when it comes to injuries. I get that. Reagor, DeSean, Goedert yesterday - they've gone youth, and the youth hasn't stayed healthy. I know I'm biased, I'm the old guy who moved on and it might sound like sour grapes. I'm only airing this out because I'm analyzing the game. You know? 2017 was f***ing lightning in a bottle, and that's maybe magic we can only recreate. We didn't build to that. I say we, I wasn't there before. We didn't build to that, it just happened. Then there was a regression to the mean, and now it looks like the window's kind of closed. They're not a good football team right now."
I think what Long is saying here speaks to concerns that a lot of Eagles fans currently have about the team, and the organization's direction.
Was 2017... just a fluke?
It felt, when the Eagles won the Super Bowl after an MVP-level season from Carson Wentz, like the beginning of another Andy Reid-like stretch. Always good, always in the Super Bowl conversation. Instead, the team has regressed with each coming season.
Some of the issues are tied to injuries. (That's what happens when you add a number of injury-prone veterans.) But other issues are decidedly not injury-related, like building a team without any talent at linebacker, getting rid of your defensive leader without a firm succession play at safety, and failing to develop quality depth at offensive line despite an aging OL corps. There's also Roseman's uninspiring draft record.
You can survive one glaring flaw as a team builder, but you can't survive an entire stockpile of them.
Long went on to say he's worried about "heat upstairs" causing "out-of-character decisions", potentially about Carson Wentz. One thing's for sure: this season is going to be far more formative for the Eagles' future than fans initially expected.