Philadelphia Eagles: The Biggest Question Marks Surrounding Philly's Offseason
The biggest question mark of the season has been answered, as Jeff Lurie has finally selected a new head coach, Oregon's Chip Kelly. Another big question mark has also already been resolved, as Pat Shurmur has been brought aboard as the new offensive coordinator, replacing Marty Mornhinweg.
But these were just a handful of moves. Many still remain to be seen, and questions remain to be answered. Most of the coaching staff still needs to be filled, and the Eagles have very key personnel decisions to make.
How these decisions in this offseason play out could affect the face and fortunes of the franchise for many years to come. The Eagles have crucial decisions to make regarding some of their most important coaching positions and roster spots if they want to get back into contention. Every move is a big one, but these certainly top the list.
1. The Future of Michael Vick
Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like Vick was clearly out of the picture in Philly, but with the hiring of Chip Kelly everything has changed.
As Kelly takes a liking to mobile quarterbacks and now has one of the best scramblers in NFL history, Vick's future is very uncertain. All signs seem to point to the Eagles paying Vick the $3 million dollars that he is owed, but is that a sign that the Eagles are looking to retain him? Or is it a sign that they are merely keeping him as trade bait?
And if Vick is retained, what will become of Nick Foles? Would Kelly really want to keep a non-mobile pocket passer and develop him for another season? Would Foles then become trade bait?
No matter what becomes of Vick and Foles, will the Eagles look to add a quarterback in the draft? How Kelly chooses to handle the quarterback situation in Philly could very well largely determine his legacy as Eagles head coach.
2. Who Will Be the Next Defensive Coordinator?
Andy Reid set the defensive culture of the Eagles in very distinct ways. Firstly, his hiring of Jim Johnson at the beginning of his tenure made the Eagles an aggressive defense, feared all across the league. Secondly, his hiring of Juan Castillo at the end of his tenure made the Eagles defense an overrated bunch of talented misfits who hardly posed a threat to any opponent.
Will Kelly want to bring in someone aggressive and blitz-happy, such as Steve Spagnuolo? Or would be perhaps want to go in a different direction? Is he hoping to continue to run the 4-3, or will he switch to the 3-4? His decision here will affect personnel decisions in the draft and in free agency for the rest of his career with the Eagles.
3. What to Do with Underachieving Veterans?
To fans, it might seem obvious that some of the failed free agents desperately have to go. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie immediately come to mind.
However, would it really be that simple to release or trade all of them? After all, with a player of Rodgers-Cromartie's speed and athleticism, could the Eagles get more out of him with proper coaching? And while saying Asomugha has been a disappointment is an understatement, he has shown interest in restructuring his contract to remain in Philly.
It's clear the Eagles need to accept that they do not have the lockdown defense they thought they'd have after the 2011 offseason, but that does not necessarily mean the new regime is looking to clean house.
4. What Kind of Offense Will the Eagles Be Running?
Chip Kelly has stated that he does not plan on running Oregon's offense in the NFL and that good coaches adapt their systems to their personnel. But it's hard to imagine Kelly won't be running at least some aspect of the spread offense. The only question is how much of it he plans to run.
He may not have all the personnel, but he does have some useful toys to tinker with. Vick is as fast as anyone else at the quarterback position. And LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are also speedsters. One thing's for sure, expect the Eagles offense to be a fast-paced one.
But would Kelly be forced to adapt due to Vick's injury-prone nature? Or what if he turns to Foles instead? It seems we won't really know the answer to this until training camp.