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Are the windows closed on both birds? | Locked on Eagles

The 2021 season feels and looks a lot different than recent years for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons.

PHILADELPHIA — Editor's note: The above video is from May 14.

For the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons, the 2021 season looks and feels a lot different than in recent years.

These were two teams that had title windows open, both playing in one of the last five Super Bowls. 

Now, it seems that the birds are on the outside of a closed window, looking at a reflection of what was.

There is a tough balance teams need to find in the NFL when it comes to building for both short-term, and long-term success. But, when a team feels like their time is now in the "Not-For-Long" football league, they are going to do everything they can to maximize that chance.

That is exactly what Philadelphia and Atlanta did, building their rosters with proven, veteran talent, around a franchise quarterback.

Now, these Week 1 opponents are trying to figure out who they are, and how to find that next window of competitive opportunity.

For the Eagles, the focus has shifted more towards the long-term.

The organization replaced many veteran foundation pieces, including their head coach (Doug Pederson), franchise quarterback (Carson Wentz), franchise left tackle (Jason Peters), and two starting wide receivers (Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson).

Taking their place all are young, potential-filled, yet inexperienced pieces in Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts, Jordan Mailata, DeVonta Smith, and Jalen Reagor.

As for Atlanta, their window closed before the Eagles, missing the playoffs in three straight seasons. And yet, the Falcons haven't committed as much to the future.

The franchise traded away star receiver Julio Jones in the offseason, but they passed on the opportunity to fully reset when they took Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

They could have selected a top quarterback prospect, but instead chose to continue building around their current franchise signal caller in Matt Ryan.

Maximizing Ryan's remaining years also included hiring new head coach Arthur Smith, a play caller that made his name off reviving Ryan Tannehill's career in Tennessee.

It is understandable to not push a rebuild when you have a veteran signal caller still playing at a high-level.

Even the Eagles, with question marks at the league's most important position, kept and added proven veteran talent on both sides of the ball. No NFL team ever completely "blows it up" the way some franchises rebuild in other sports.

Veterans are a key part of a rebuild.

However, teams also must be real with who they are. 

Even having a top quarterback doesn't always mean the best course is to go all-in on winning now. There is a balance teams must strike. 

Some teams go farther towards one side of the spectrum, while others lean more towards the opposite end.

For the Eagles and Falcons, both find themselves in very different positions of that spectrum than where they've previously been in recent seasons.

Sunday will help to tell these teams even more where they are headed.

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