5 Biggest Effects on Philadelphia Eagles Turnaround in 2013
Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Biggest Effects on Turnaround in 2013
A new head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles was just the first change on a laundry list of items that need to be accomplished in order for them to turn things around in 2013. Finishing in last place in the NFC East at 4-12, there are tons of room for improvement on both sides of the ball in the City of Brotherly Love. A change in both offensive and defensive designs should make for an interesting approach in finding answers to all the difficulties that plagued the Eagles last season, but Chip Kelly will need to make sure they are firing on all cylinders before he can get the fans too excited about a possible return to prominence in Philadelphia.
The Eagles have shown, regardless of the arrival of Kelly and the spread offense, that they can be explosive on offense and toy with opposing defenses with speed and verticality. The recent loss of Jeremy Maclin will hinder that a bit, but with plenty of weapons still in hiding, Kelly and the Eagles should be able to keep opposing defenses guessing. In addition, the movement of the spread offense along with the tempo which Kelly will create should create a buzz in Lincoln Financial Field which the players have missed out on for some time now.
As far as the defense is concerned, a hybrid look will create some confusion for opponents, but questions remain about whether there’s enough depth and experience to change the low output from a year ago. Although some signs of improvement showed through toward the end of last season, only time will tell if youth will provide the necessary jump to improve a middle of the pack defense from 2012. The Eagles will probably need to show an upgrade to becoming a top-10 defense if they are to make the statement they are looking for a return to the playoffs in 2013.
#5 3-4 Defense
The arrival of Chip Kelly in Philadelphia not only employed the spread offense, but also a change to a 3-4 defense. The change should provide more help with middle of the field coverage, but may create more problems pressuring the quarterback. Youth will be a highlight that the Eagles need to work for them, but with that comes inexperience with which they will have to deal. Look for the Eagles to improve upon their middle of the pack defense from 2012 and provide some help for an offense which will flourish.
#4 Replacing Jeremy Maclin
A huge loss to the core of great receivers which the Eagles possess, Jeremy Maclin, lost to a season ending ACL tear, will sorely be missed in many aspects of the offensive attack this season. Although it may be a committee of players that help to provide support for Maclin’s lost production, the Eagles will need one of the younger receivers to have a breakout year for them to truly find the success they are searching for. Look for Damaris Johnson, Riley Cooper or Arrelious Benn to be that guy.
#3 Chip Kelly
Making the transition to the NFL from the college game has proven to be difficult for the majority of coaches making the jump. In order for the Eagles to move up the ladder in the NFC East and compete for a playoff position, Kelly will need to take the reins of a young team and have his innovative spread offense working perfectly from the beginning.
#2 Defensive Backs
A sore spot for the defense from 2012, the departures of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha opened up starting spots at both corners. Youth and inexperience are two things that will definitely be found in those starting spots, but will need to see improvement for the Eagles to be successful. In addition, the support from the safety position will also need to progress for the defense to upgrade from last season.
#1 Limiting Turnovers
A major part of the disaster that was the 2012 Eagles were the turnovers which occurred, regardless of the quarterback under center. Both Michael Vick and Nick Foles had the tendency for an ill-timed interception. That paired with the 10 lost fumbles which the offense had did not set Philadelphia up for much success. Limiting the turnovers and protecting the ball through sound decisions in the new spread offense will be the key to the Eagles turning things around in 2013 and making a statement that they are back.