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NFL Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles New to the Nest Will Impact 2013

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Philadelphia Eagles New to the Nest Will Impact 2013

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When the 2012 season ended for the Philadelphia Eagles, ‘change’ was the word that described what they needed more than any other. The arrival of a new coach, Chip Kelly, was the first of those to take effect, beginning the dominoes plummeting in the City of Brotherly Love. The baggage that came with Kelly from the University of Oregon included a new high powered spread offense, one of the most innovative minds in football today and a hybrid defense which would have the Eagles splitting time between a 3-4 and 4-3. Without question, drastic changes like those being made to the NFC East’s last place finisher from a year ago would need to include personnel. Turnover in the NFL is common, but adding the right pieces can have a great impact on the potential success of a team, especially one with a new philosophy.

The Eagles used the offseason to not only add depth and talent in the draft, but to hit the free agent market looking for specific players to fill holes and mold a team for a new direction. Veteran leadership and experience are always important but even more so when a young team (especially on defense) like the Eagles is trying to rebuild from the ground up.

Making additions on both sides of the ball, Philadelphia brought in players who would fit right into the new Kelly setup. Impact will be a key to changing the Eagles from a year ago, and playoff experience is a large part to unlocking the mystery. It was common among many of the new Eagles landing in Philadelphia, something Kelly was obviously searching for to go along with the youth he already had. Only time will tell if the mixture will create a solution to the problems that plagued Philadelphia a year ago, but with the right pieces, the puzzle just may fit together.

Bob Francis is a Philadelphia Eagles contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rfrancisjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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Patrick Chung

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Chung most likely steps into a starting role at safety for the Eagles, after spending his last four seasons with the New England Patriots. Added in the offseason as a free agent, Chung can be considered experienced among the safety corps and will be counted on to produce what has lacked for some time now. His largest impact will probably come through his vocal leadership which the Eagles have struggled with in past years.

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James Casey

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

James Casey joins the 2013 Eagles after spending the past four seasons with the Houston Texans. He is a multi-faceted tight end who can not only catch the ball but can be counted on to block in the running game as well. His largest impact will be his versatility which allows him to stay on the field for any situation the new spread offense may present.

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Felix Jones

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Felix Jones comes to the Eagles after spending his first six seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. He adds another dimension to the running back position, with his versatility in both the run and pass games. The biggest impact Jones may have will be with the experience and leadership he can provide.

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Connor Barwin

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Barwin joins the Eagles linebacking crew as the outside linebacker opposite Trent Cole. Similarly to Cole, Barwin is coming off a sub par season but is capable of adding up sacks in bunches. Look for him to impact a mediocre Eagles defense from 2012, helping improve upon their pass rush and stopping the run.

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Cary Williams

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Williams joins the Eagles a year after winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. He instantly put himself in a starting role with both cornerback positions vacant in Philadelphia. Williams should be able to impact both the coverage and physicality of the defensive backs, but keeping himself out of the negative spotlight will need to take shape. If he can straighten things out, he should be a huge asset to a previously shaky secondary.

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Isaac Sopoaga

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Isaac Sopoago is possibly the biggest offseason acquisition to join Philadelphia. He becomes the nose tackle for the Eagles after spending nine seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. In order for Kelly to run the 3-4 defense it was necessary to find the proper pieces, and Sopoaga definitely fits the bill. Look for his biggest impact to be on anchoring the three man front, taking up space in the middle.