Eagles Enter 2017 Season With Revamped Wide Receiving Core

The Eagles pic
The Eagles
Image: philadelphiaeagles.com

A program manager for UBS in Chicago, Stanford University graduate Timothy “Tim” Shields has worked in the financial sector since 1993. When he isn’t completing long-term process projects such as modernizing UBS’ video conferencing assets, Tim Shields enjoys following his favorite National Football League (NFL) team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles missed the playoffs in 2016 despite a decent rookie campaign by quarterback Carson Wentz. The second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft threw for 3,782 passing yards, yet only one of the team’s wide receivers finished within the top 50 league-wide in receiving yards. Jordan Matthews finished 48th, with 804 yards, while Dorial Green-Beckham was 124th, with 392 yards. Tight end Zach Ertz and running back Darren Sproles cracked the top 120, but it was clear the team needed help at the wide receiver position.

Recognizing that area of weakness, the Eagles management wasted little time in reaching out to free agents. On the morning of March 9, it was announced that the team signed Torrey Smith to a three-year, $15 million contract. The former San Francisco 49er ranks second among active wide receivers in yards per reception and should provide Wentz with a passing option down the field. The Eagles added an additional threat to its wide receiving core later that afternoon when it signed former Chicago Bear Alshon Jeffery to a one-year, $14 million contract. The 27 year old has acquired 4,549 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns since entering the league in 2012.

Two Underrated Eagles Greats

Irving Fryar pic
Irving Fryar
Image: philadelphiaeagles.com

Timothy (Tim) Shields serves as a program and portfolio manager for UBS, where he provides management for complex long-term process and technology projects. Outside his career at UBS, Tim Shields follows the NFL as a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Though he is more prominently known as a head coach and ESPN analyst, Herman Edwards played nine seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles and was a member of the 1980 Super Bowl team. He recorded nine interceptions over his nine-year tenure with the Eagles, but perhaps his most well-known moment in uniform came in November 1978, when he returned a late-game fumble by Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik for a touchdown. The moment would go on to be called the “Miracle in the Meadowlands” and was the pinnacle of Edwards’ productive, but often underrated career with the Eagles.

Another often overlooked Eagle is Irving Fryar. Though he only spent three seasons with the team, between 1996 and 1998, Fryar racked up a slew of impressive statistics. In his first two seasons, he hauled in 88 and 86 receptions, respectively. His numbers stand as two of the most productive seasons for an Eagles wide receiver to date. Only Brian Westbrook’s 2007 campaign that produced 90 receptions tops Fryar’s efforts. Fryar’s production is even more impressive given that he never had a top quarterback throwing passes his way.

Pederson Happy with Wentz’s Development So Far

Carson Wentz pic
Carson Wentz
Image: nfl.com

Timothy Shields holds an MBA from Stanford University. As a program manager at UBS, Tim Shields handles complex, long-term technology projects. Outside of UBS, Tim Shields is an avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.

It’s not often that third-string NFL quarterbacks garner much press, but when that third-string quarterback is also the second overall draft pick, he tends to attract a little more attention.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has been vocal about the development of Carson Wentz, who the team drafted earlier this year in the hopes of grooming him as a franchise quarterback. According to Pederson, Wentz’s development has been slow, but that pace has been intentional.

Pederson says that Wentz is “on track” and putting in good practices, learning from veteran quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel–both of whom are ahead of him on the team’s depth chart.

The biggest area of development for Wentz right now is his footwork. Pederson says that he can get jump in the pocket, and that coaches are trying to develop more spring and stability in his footwork in the hopes it will make him a more accurate passer.