Coming of a disappointing 8-8 season, the 2012-13 campaign seems like a make or break year for the Philadelphia Eagles. While Andy Reid's job is likely safe, barring a complete meltdown, the team opens training camp with a lot to prove in the upcoming months.
I think it is safe to say that a few players will really need to stand out in order for the team to make it their first Superbowl since 2005.
With that being said, here are five predictions for the 2012-13 season.
Maclin makes a one-handed catch against the Arizona Cardinals.
Coming off a solid 70 catch, 10 touchdown season in 2010, Eagles' wide receiver Jeremy Maclin had a somewhat disappointing 2011.
The University of Missouri alum battled injuries throughout the year and only managed to grab five touchdown passes. In fact, all of his major statistics from the previous season dropped off.
However, Maclin is now back to full health and primed for a break-out year.
Even though fellow receiver DeSean Jackson is happy with his new five-year deal, he is really too inconsistent to be a true number one receiver in the NFL.
Maclin, on the other hand, has a bit more size and is more of a possession type receiver. He also flourishes in the short-yardage game, as he recorded more first down catches last year than any other Eagles' receiver.
I see Maclin as easily passing the 1000 yard mark for the first time in his career and pulling down 11 or 12 touchdown passes.
Predicted stats: 85 catches, 1200 yards, 11 touchdowns
Initially penciled in as the team's No. 3 quarterback, the rookie is quickly impressing his coaches and fellow players.
Despite current second-stringer Mike Kafka having two NFL seasons under his belt, Foles seems primed to pass him on the depth chart.
For starters, Kafka has below-average arm strength, while Foles has a cannon. Arm strength can increase gradually, but it is not really a quality that a coach can teach a player. It also helps that Foles has three inches on Kafka.
Kafka certainly is more accurate than Foles in this stage of his career, but fortunately, accuracy can be taught. With quarterback gurus Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg to groom him, Foles' fundamentals will surely improve.
With his prototypical size and strength, it will not be long before Nick Foles overtakes Mike Kafka as the team's backup behind Michael Vick.
Michael Vick will play the 2012 season on the safer side, but it will not be because of advice from his coaches, teammate or fans. It will be because of President Barack Obama.
In a conversation with Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the President said, "tell Vick to slide" (from CSN Philly).
Well there you have it, a direct order from our Commander-in-Chief. If that cannot encourage Vick to slide more, I do not know what will.
Vick said via his Twitter account: "If the President of the U.S is saying I need to slide then I really need to start sliding. Lol. Thanks Mr. President!"
In all seriousness, Vick realizes that he is more of asset to this team in the field than on the sidelines. I truly believe that he will revert to his 2010 form and beat teams with his arm.
It also helps that the offensive line now has another year together and last year's rookies, Jason Kelce and Danny Watkins, have a year of experience under their belts. The loss of tackle Jason Peters is a big blow, but luckily because Vick is left-handed, veteran Todd Herremans is responsible for his blindside.
Eagles running back Bryce Brown probably did not expect his NFL career to begin the way it did. A seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Brown was the top ranked college recruit coming out of high school. Rivals.com called him the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson.
Amid controversy of possible recruiting violations, Brown left the program in the spring of 2010 to join his brother at Kansas State.
After sitting out the 2010 season because of transfer requirements, Brown ran the ball just three times in 2011. He soon announced his decision to leave the program and declared for the NFL draft.
While his college career proved to be less than illustrious, Brown still has incredible upside. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and at 6'0", has solid size for a tailback.
Coach Reid is hoping to avoid overworking LeSean McCoy this season, and with an underwhelming backup in Dion Lewis, Brown looks positioned to see a good deal of time on the field.
It will be interesting to see if the former high school star can propel himself to that level once again.
B-Dawk holding the NFC Championship trophy in 2005.
While Michael Vick's use of the word "dynasty" is off base and at the very least premature, he does have a point.
Despite the consistent grumblings of fans, the Eagles' front office has put the team in a fantastic position. They will once again be one of the youngest teams in the league and can boast the most space of any NFC team.
That's right, even though the Eagles have arguably one of the most talented rosters in the entire league, they have almost $16 million in cap space.
They are primed to win not only now, but also for the next several years.
After the 2011 season, which we will call their year of acclimation, there are no more excuses.
The Philadelphia Eagles need to win now and I think that they will.
The team features playmakers at almost every position and despite an always challenging NFC East, it is their turn to shine.