Philadelphia Eagles: Questions the Eagles Still Must Answer in Training Camp
OTA’s may have provided some insight, but there are still plenty of questions that remain unanswered with this Philadelphia Eagles team.
There is a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the team, and with that comes many questions that need answering.
For the next month all anyone can do is speculate as to how certain situations will play out. But until training camp starts, there is really no certain way to determine the answer to the following questions.
Who Will Back Up Michael Vick?
There is perhaps no more important second-string player than the one backing up Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick. It is almost a certainty that the oftentimes reckless QB will find himself missing one or two games this season.
This makes it paramount for the team to quickly decide on who their second-string quarterback will be.
Third-year player Mike Kafka seems to have an early edge and has by all accounts appeared stronger and more polished. Still, there is no reason not to believe that either rookie Nick Foles or free agent pickup Trent Edwards can start off strong during training camp and push Kafka for the position.
Whoever does win, the fans are hoping they will be talented enough to win a game or two while Vick nurses an injury on the sidelines.
Will There Be a Vocal Leader This Season?
Since Brian Dawkins' departure a few years back, the Eagles have sorely lacked a strong vocal leader in their locker room and out on the field.
Some fans and analysts like to write off the importance of strong leadership on a team. Bad idea.
Not only does a leader help form unity and chemistry among an entire team, but they also get the fans excited. It is always a treat watching the game from the stands or at home and hearing the team captain bark orders out on the field or get his teammates pumped up on the sidelines.
From the looks of things, it seems as though the Eagles may have found a vocal leader in newly-acquired middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans. During his tenure as a Houston Texan, Ryans was known to be a strong voice of the defense. Now, it seems he has brought that trait with him to Philadelphia.
It will be exciting to see if Ryans – or anyone else for that matter – can become the voice of this team.
What Is O.J. Atogwe’s Role?
After months of the front office of saying they were satisfied with their options at safety, the Eagles went out and signed free agent O.J. Atogwe.
So was he signed purely for depth purposes? Or is he expected to battle for a starting gig?
In an ideal world, Atogwe would turn in a strong training camp and flash his former big-play potential while battling Kurt Coleman for the starting safety position opposite Nate Allen. It remains to be seen, however, if Atogwe has anything left.
The team will have a better idea of Atogwe’s abilities once training camp begins a month from now.
Which Unheralded Player Will Surprise?
Every training camp, there seems to be one or two players who surprise us all and end up earning playing time. Brian Rolle fit that category last year, as did Jason Kelce.
So who will shock us this year?
The Eagles have quite a few prospects that have intriguing skill sets. A strong training camp from anyone of them could mean significant game-time action once the season rolls around.
Will Full Offseason Prove Beneficial to This Year’s Crop of Rookies?
The consensus around the league is that last year’s rookies were robbed of a full offseason, which stunted their growth and transition to the NFL. This year’s rookies do not have the luxury of using that excuse.
But will it make a difference?
Hopefully, a full offseason will allow rookies more time to learn the playbook and tweak their techniques so that they can contribute more during the season. With promising players like Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin and Marvin McNutt, it will be exciting to see how this year’s crop of rookies produce.