The 2013 Philadelphia Eagles may not lead the NFL in wins, but they should be among the game’s more interesting teams. Chip Kelly brings a new brand of football to the Eagles, one that could revolutionize the league, and one that could fail miserably.
The ensuing summer months will provide the 90 current members on the active roster with the opportunity to showcase their skills for Kelly. Considering the Eagles went 4-12 under Andy Reid last year, no job is safe, and the offseason buzz will be rampant.
Kelly has been trying offensive players at defensive positions, which certainly makes life interesting. Along with the ongoing quarterback controversy and the allure of a high-speed offense, the Eagles should be well-covered in the news. The following are the top news stories thus far from the offseason.
If you wanted Chip Kelly to name a starting quarterback on his first day as head coach, you didn’t get your wish. And if you wanted a clue as to who will start, OTAs haven’t helped you out much.
Kelly has been rotating Michael Vick and Nick Foles throughout spring practices, giving Vick more snaps one day and Foles more snaps another day. He has said he sees no reason to name a starting quarterback so early in the season, citing it as an open competition between the veteran Vick and young Foles.
Two quarterbacks with more different skill sets couldn’t exist.
Vick is a 13-year NFL veteran who has seen his highs (four Pro Bowls) and seen his lows (prison time). His speed still makes him a threat to score every time he has the ball in his hands. Although, inconsistent passing and a propensity to fumble aren’t working in his favor.
Foles is entering year two in this league, having started six games as a third-round rookie. He won just one game, doing so on a last-second touchdown pass. His numbers were fine for a first-year starter, and he could be much better getting to play with DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy, each of whom were injured down the stretch in 2012.
Vick probably has the higher ceiling for next season, although Foles is younger and offers more long-term security. The internal debate will rage on until the campaign starts, and don’t expect Kelly to announce his quarterback more than several days before the season starts.
After three consecutive seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback, Michael Vick may start again in 2013. And he may not.
No one really knows. Chip Kelly may know, and he may be keeping it a secret. Or he may not have a clue. Either way, Vick doesn’t like not knowing. Vick said it is tough and he has had to put his feelings and emotions aside.
To be fair, Nick Foles would probably like to know too. But that doesn’t seem likely to happen for either quarterback, which means Vick and Foles better get used to sharing reps.
The Philadelphia Eagles can’t possibly afford to lose Jason Peters again. The team’s All-Pro left tackle missed the entire 2012 campaign due to a torn Achilles tendon, meaning the Eagles haven’t had him play a game for them in about 18 months.
And that streak may extend longer if Peters is suspended. Peters was arrested for drag racing and allegedly fleeing the police. That’s his second arrest in two years, and that may lead to Peters being suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Given that the first arrest was for an offense as minor as playing his music loudly, it’s not like he has a poor track record. But Goodell has been strict about players getting into trouble recently, and the fact that Peters was fleeing the police this time won’t bode well.
Should Peters get suspended, it will likely be for just one game. That’s one game too many, though. The Eagles need Peters’ strong play at left tackle, especially given that he’s played with no ill effects from his injury this spring. The Eagles face the dynamic pass-rushing duo of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan to start the season, so having Peters is a must.
Like Jason Peters, LeSean McCoy has also had some legal troubles in the offseason. McCoy is reportedly being sued for assaulting a woman, an incident that occurred on a party bus in December 2012.
That’s not good news for the Philadelphia Eagles, given that Peters and McCoy are probably their two best players. McCoy’s incident won’t likely lead to a suspension. It will probably be settled quietly with money exchanging hands.
And hopefully, McCoy settles down after that to the tune of 1,500 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns.
As of now, the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to contract extensions with all of their draft picks except for first-round offensive tackle Lane Johnson.
That shouldn’t be a cause for concern, given that it’s been just two months since Johnson was drafted. There are still 45 unsigned rookies, and 24 of them come from the first round.
That means Johnson is normal up to this point. Let’s just hope his contract negotiations get cleared up before the start of the team’s official training camp so that he can participate in preseason contests and prepare for his rookie campaign.
Fresh off a Super Bowl ring, new free-agent cornerback Cary Williams hasn’t made coming to OTAs his top priority. Even though he’s playing on a new team, Williams has missed OTA practices for his wedding, building a house, getting dental work done and attending his daughter’s recital.
It fuels the debate of whether players should have to attend OTAs. They are, after all, deemed "voluntary", although no other Eagle had near the excuses Williams did.
Appearing on 97.5 The Fanatic, Williams wasn’t very apologetic when talking with host Mike Missanelli. Williams said it's no one else's business whether he goes to OTAs or not.
If Williams plays well this season, no one will care if he attended OTAs. But considering he allowed six touchdowns and the fourth-most yards of any cornerback in the NFL in 2012, Williams may not be as good as he thinks he is.
The Philadelphia Eagles are doing everything they can to host a Super Bowl in the near future. The Eagles are reportedly spending over $125 million in an attempt to upgrade Lincoln Financial Field, a facility that already ranks among the NFL’s finest.
Plans to improve the stadium include adding 1,600 seats and two high-definition video boards. The Eagles also want to add Wi-Fi installation, murals honoring the greatest players in the history of the franchise and several new escalators.
If the Eagles can get a Super Bowl in their future, it won’t be for awhile. But, it will be a big step for the team.