For the first time in over a decade, Philadelphia Eagles fans will enter the season expecting their team to fall short of the playoffs.
It's a strange feeling for Eagles fans. Though they never saw their team hoist the Lombardi Trophy under Andy Reid, a postseason berth and usually a win was the norm.
That could all change under new head coach Chip Kelly. The signing of Kelly was one of the biggest signings of the offseason, as general manager Howie Roseman lured the Oregon coach away to the tune of a five-year, $32.5 million contract. That already makes Kelly one of the highest-paid coaches in the league, even though he's never even worked at this level as an assistant.
Kelly will have his hands full in training camp. He still has to pick a quarterback, citing an open competition thus far between Michael Vick and Nick Foles. Kelly is transitioning to a 3-4 defense, one Eagles fans haven't seen in their city for over 25 years. As many as six new players could be starting on defense, and this is for a squad coming off a dismal 4-12 campaign.
It could be a long season for Eagles fans. Then again, Kelly could surprise and lead Philadelphia to a playoff berth right away.
August 9 (Friday) 7:30 p.m. vs. New England Patriots
August 15 (Thursday) 7:30 p.m. vs. Carolina Panthers
August 24 (Saturday) 7:30 p.m. at Jacksonville Jaguars
August 29 (Thursday) 7:00 p.m. at New York Jets
July 23-24 (Tuesday & Wednesday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
July 26-27 (Friday & Saturday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
July 28 (Sunday) 12:30 p.m.—Lincoln Financial Field
July 29 (Monday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
July 31, August 1-2 (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
August 4 (Sunday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
August 5 (Monday) 12:30 p.m.—Lincoln Financial Field
August 6-7 (Tuesday & Wednesday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare (practices with New England Patriots)
August 8 (Thursday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
August 9 (Friday) Game 1 vs. New England Patriots
August 11 (Sunday) 12:30 p.m.—Lincoln Financial Field
August 12-14 (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
August 15 (Thursday) Game 2 vs. Carolina Panthers
August 17 (Saturday) 12:30 p.m.—Lincoln Financial Field
August 18 (Sunday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
August 20-23 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
August 24 (Saturday) Game 3 at Jacksonville Jaguars
August 26-28 (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday) 12:30 p.m.—NovaCare
August 29 (Thursday) Game 4 at New York Jets
The Philadelphia Eagles have six weeks to trim their roster from 90 players to the mandated 53.
What will be interesting about this year's training camp is the new head coach. For the first time since 1999, someone other than Andy Reid will be leading the franchise. That means the veteran players have as much to prove as the rookies and undrafted free agents do.
The defense is transitioning to a 3-4 under coordinator Billy Davis. The offense doesn't have a starting quarterback yet. All this means for an interesting training camp. For complete analysis of the roster, click here.
When a team goes 4-12 and loses 11 of the final 12 contests, there's a question about every position.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in that exact situation. A new head coach, quarterback controversy, overmatched defense, injury-plagued offensive line and scheme change on the defensive side of the ball could spell for a long season.
Even if all those go according to plan, there are still other questions. How good will the rest of the NFC East be? Can the Eagles really expect to compete right away? Will Chip Kelly's offense even work in this league?
For answers to those questions and more, click here.
The quarterback competition has already been addressed, and until Chip Kelly figures that out, the Philadelphia Eagles won't have their identity. The quarterback is the leader of the offense, and Kelly is still deciding between Michael Vick and Nick Foles.
Other than that though, a slew of positions will have camp battles. The final receiver spots are undetermined. The switch to a 3-4 line could really shuffle the front-seven starters. And the secondary positions are pretty much up for grabs.
For the expected players to win the starting spots, click here.
The Philadelphia Eagles will need an immediate impact from many of their eight draft picks. The team was just 4-12 last season, and the talent on the roster is thin. Getting strong contributions from high draft picks such as Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz and Bennie Logan could be the difference-maker in the 2013 season.
But what could really add a few extra wins are the undrafted free agents. Every team wants to find the next undrafted-rookie superstar, a la Tony Romo or Victor Cruz.
The Eagles have a handful of undrafted-rookie free agents in camp, including notables such as Alabama's Damion Square or LSU's Russell Shepard, as well as relative unknowns like Nic Purcell or Kyle Quinn.
Click here to read more about the rookie draft picks and undrafted-rookie free agents.
Of the 90 players on the Philadelphia Eagles' roster, some have to know they're making the team no matter what. There's really nothing LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson could do to be cut during training camp.
Likewise, there's not a whole lot some of the undrafted-rookie free agents could do to make the roster. They're so buried on the depth chart that it is seemingly impossible that they find the playing time needed to prove themselves.
But a handful of players have to know they're on the bubble. Kurt Coleman comes to mind instantly. A starter a year ago, the Eagles added two free-agent safeties and drafted one, putting Coleman's place on the roster in serious jeopardy.
Click here for the rest of the players on the bubble.
With all the talk about players on the bubble and camp battles, here's a look at the Philadelphia Eagles' projected 53-man roster.
This looks at the 90 players on the roster now and examines their projected impact, along with contract situations that could lead to veteran cuts.
Click here to read the 53 players most likely to make the team.