Jimmy Kempski recently did a piece where he calculates the Eagles are one of the oldest teams in the league (if you are going by chronological ages of the players expected to be active on the Final 53).
Yes, some of our guys are getting up there in football life spans. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as experience is critical to top performance. What I do worry about a little is how increasing roster age affects team speed.
Nobody runs or moves as fast at 32 as they did at 22. Father Time catches up with you eventually in this regard. What good players compensate with in that analytic is “anticipation”.
If “anticipation” is an equalizer for declining team speed, we should be okay in 2018, because in the play-visualization sense of the word our veteran guys have seen it all before. They “anticipated” more successful plays than they were beat on last season, that’s undeniable.
Still, speed can make up for some mental lapses. Not always, but youthful team speed is an important insurance policy against getting beat by big plays.
Nobody wants the Eagles to become old and slow, like the Ravens did in awkward increments after their SB win in 2012/13.
So when you look at the current picture of Jason Peters kinda hobbling on his repaired wheel recently, I don’t know about you, but it gives me pause to reflect.
Put Mr. Peters on this old-timers list of Eagles who somehow must defy age with one more savvy run at the Ring:
- Jason Peters (36)
- Darren Sproles (35)
- Haloti Ngata (34)
- Chris Long (33)
- Michael Bennett (32)
- Chris Maragos (31)
- Mike Wallace (31)
- Brandon Graham (30)
- Malcolm Jenkins (30)
- Jason Kelce (30)
And if we do sign safety Corey Graham, well, he’s 32 years old now.
(We’re not even counting punters, placekickers or long-snappers here. Those guys have much longer half-lives than the other position players.)
Only the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders have more 30+ position players projected for their 53-man roster than do the Eagles, assuming we sign Corey Graham. We would be tied with the Saints at 11.
But no real worries—yet. As Kempski pointed out in his piece, the youngest six teams in the NFL in 2017 combined for a record of 31-65.
The NFL team average of 30+ players is 6.5, by the way.