After removing other wide receiver options, the Philadelphia Eagles eventually added to the position by signing Zach Pascal. Considering her relationship with Nick Sirianni, it was a move we all saw coming.
In order to learn more about Philly’s new wide receiver, I thought it would be beneficial for Bleeding Green Nation readers to get some insider insight on Pascal. And so I contacted Chris Blystone of Scramble Blue. Here’s what the Indianapolis Colts blog reps from SB Nation had to say.
1 – How would you sum up Pascal’s time with the Colts?
In a word? Unlikely. Zach Pascal was an undrafted free agent who fought tooth and nail to be the Colts’ No. 2.n/a rated receiver in yards in 2020 and 2021. He led the team in 2019. He’s the kind of player who will keep his head down, work hard and give you reliable production in anything you ask of him. You won’t hear any players or coaches say mean words about Pascal, as he is such a valued member of the team and the community.
2 – What do Colts fans think about the team not re-signing him? The right move to let him go?
Overall, Colts fans are happy to see Pascal go. It’s not really a reflection necessarily on Pascal himself. As relentless as he is, there are clearly limits to his ability to achieve separation. Much of his output can be attributed to Frank Reich’s ability to open up receivers, and when faced with good defensive backs in games when they badly needed someone to play, Pascal didn’t stand out as a guy who can do that.
During his 2019 season, Pascal had some of the best hands on the team and consistently made clutch plays in critical tries. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen this same player that regularly. In fact, its position of 2n/a receiver in yards over the past two seasons says more about the state of the Colts’ receiver room than Pascal himself.
Colts fans want the team to move on and level up with players who can really test defenses, and they just don’t believe Pascal is that guy.
3 – Pascal was literally PFF’s worst WR last year. How do you think that reflects his quality as a player? Do you think Carson Wentz’s struggles caused him to take a step back in 2021?
It’s hard not to be lenient with everyone in the wake of Carson Wentz’s 2021 season. Despite the numbers and incredible highpoint throws, he was horribly bad and his receiving weapons suffered as a result. I certainly don’t need to explain these frustrations to Eagles fans (you’re welcome to the 1st round pick, by the way). I think Pascal is absolutely better than his 2021 season, as are most offensive weapons on the Colts roster. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s much better.
I believe Pascal brings real value as a member of the dressing room, and if the team has a good understanding of his real value. He shouldn’t be seen as some sort of savior, or even a real WR2. If you need solid depth at the position and a reliable player who can play special teams and is a willing blocker, you’ve got the right guy.
4 – What are its strengths?
Pascal’s greatest strength lies in his desire to become physical. He’s a very good receiver-blocker, and he’s not a guy who will hesitate when asked to mingle with the defenders on the line. Although he’s not a prolific athlete, he has solid hands and won’t make mind-boggling mistakes. Moreover, he works well in special teams and is well liked by the guys in the locker room.
5 – What are its weaknesses?
Unfortunately for Pascal, he’s just not a spectacular athlete. He has no physical attribute that really sets him apart and lacks the polish as a road runner to compensate for that when charged with significant offensive responsibility. He had a career-high 44 receptions and 629 yards in 2020 with Philip Rivers deliver the ball in a season with a waning TY Hilton, a rookie Michael Pittman Jr., and no real deep threat to speak of.
If your vision for Zach Pascal is as a WR3 or WR4 who can be a dependable, physical player who helps you move the sticks on short plays and gives you good middle hands in the short to middle zone, you you probably have it in the right place. Have it face the top corners on the outside and you’ll be disappointed.
6 – Anything to know about him off the pitch?
The most important thing to know about him is how much Nick Sirianni loves him. Sirianni told his eldest son that he wanted him to grow up to play football like Zach Pascal. It’s a real “lunch bucket” type that will do whatever it is asked of it and who you can count on to work hard. Eagles fans should absolutely love him as a man, and he will undoubtedly be a positive influence in the community.
What can he be as a player? I’m guessing he’ll be a guy who’s worth around 400-600 yards, a few touchdowns, and a valuable part of the running game as a tackle. If that’s what the Eagles need, he’s a good choice. If not? Well, at least he’s a good guy, right?
BLG’s opinion: Pascal’s signature is fine. This is nothing to celebrate enthusiastically. Adding it pushes Jalen Reagor and Greg Ward down on the depth chart – in theory, at least – and that’s fine. Pascal lifts the floor for the Eagles at wide receiver but he doesn’t do enough to significantly raise the ceiling. He will add value as a culture guy, tackle, special teams guy and receiver who can contribute with two or three catches per game. He can be a solid player for this team. But signing Pascal in no way solves the need for better long-term answers to the job. DeVonta Smith belongs as WR1. Quez Watkins might have WR2 potential but he might be better as a WR3. Ideally, Pascal should be WR4…but he currently projects as WR3 in this offense. It could be much worse, it could be much better. God forbid the Eagles suffer a serious injury and suddenly he is WR2.