Boring Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Bodes Well for Regular-Season Chances

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 20, 2014

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles fades back to throw as head coach Chip Kelly, right, stands near during an NFL Football training camp scrimmage of the New England Patriots and Eagles in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

This shouldn't surprise anybody, but the NFC East is a bit of a mess right now. 

The New York Giants are experiencing an offensive emergency, the Dallas Cowboys are experiencing a defensive emergency and the Washington Redskins are seeing their franchise quarterback take preseason beatings as they try to recover from a three-win season while adjusting to a new system.

Well, 75 percent of the NFC East is a mess. 

Because aside from a quasi-tongue-in-cheek quarrel between head coach Chip Kelly and Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy, everything's quiet in Philadelphia, where the Eagles appear to be focused on the goal of becoming the first team in almost a decade to win back-to-back NFC East titles. 

No back-breaking injuries like the one Jeremy Maclin suffered last summer, no racially fueled controversies like the one Riley Cooper ignited 13 months ago. No heated position battles. No questions surrounding the team's ability to adjust to a new coaching staff with completely new systems on both sides of the ball, which was the case last August. 

Top rookies Marcus Smith and Jordan Matthews have thus far fulfilled expectations. Newbies Malcolm Jenkins, Darren Sproles and Mark Sanchez have lived up to—or exceeded—expectations. The receiving corps looks deep enough to replace the departed DeSean Jackson, especially with second-year tight end Zach Ertz continuing to blossom. And nobody else really needs replacing. 

Hell, on Tuesday, the team made its first non-rookie-related transaction in three months. 

As our Eagles featured columnist, Bryn Swartz, wrote on Twitter Tuesday, it's been a perfectly boring summer. 

And that's the way the Eagles and their fans should want it. Because the Cowboys are the ultimate cautionary tale regarding headlines and attention. Maybe Jerry Jones' team gets talked about more than Jeffrey Lurie's, but Dallas has won just a single playoff game this century. 

The Eagles are better off coasting under the radar, just as the division rival Giants usually do. That modest, reserved approach helped New York win two Super Bowls in a recent five-year span.

So the quieter things are in and around the Novacare Complex and Lincoln Financial Field, the better off the Eagles will be. 


Brad Gagnon has covered the NFC East for Bleacher Report since 2012.