5 Questions Philadelphia Eagles Must Answer During Training Camp
5 Questions The Philadelphia Eagles Must Answer During Training Camp
A disappointment the last two seasons under Andy Reid, they changed course this year by bringing in former University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and his innovative offense and training methods.
An outside-the-box type of thinker, Kelly will bring his up-tempo style to the NFL, but he also needs the right players to execute his schemes.
The quarterback competition has been an open tryout this summer in training camp, with veteran Michael Vick battling second-year man Nick Foles for the starting job. Neither has put himself head and shoulders above the other, and sooner rather than later Kelly is going to need to make a choice at the most important position on his team.
The Eagles also have question marks at receiver and running back, leaving Kelly and the rest of the coaching staff in the unenviable position of implementing a new scheme while trying to figure out which guys are going to fit in best.
The defense isn’t without its own set of questions. They bring in a rebuilt secondary to replace the overpaid players who didn’t live up to expectations in the last couple of years, and are counting on two second-year pass rushers to take that next step and be difference-makers in their sophomore seasons.
The NFC East is going to be the most competitive division in the NFL this year, with all four teams having an argument that they come into the year with a chance to be on top when the playoffs come this winter.
If the Eagles want to be that team, they’re going to need answers to these five questions this year in training camp.
5. Can The Secondary Stop Anyone?
Chung and Williams will join forces with Nate Allen and Bradley Fletcher in a secondary that needs to prove it can hold off the high-powered passing offenses in the NFC East.
4. How Will The Team Deal With The Riley Cooper Situation?
Riley Cooper brought the kind of attention no team wants on itself when a video surfaced of him using a racial slur at a concert earlier in the summer. The aftermath of the incident sent shockwaves throughout the Eagles locker room and created a distraction that the team had to deal with.
Now they’re trying to put it behind them. After a few days away from the team, Cooper returned to the field, but in no way are they done dealing with the issues he caused. Even if the media backs off on the questions about it, which is unlikely, the bad blood that he created with his teammates and opponents will linger for a long time.
3. Where Will The Pass Rush Come From?
Stopping NFL offenses is all about generating the pass rush. The Eagles did a good job of pressuring opposing passers in years past, but we still don’t know who will be the guy to get in the face of Eli Manning or Tony Romo this year.
Philadelphia would like to see those guys be second-year players Michael Kendricks and Fletcher Cox, both of whom were drafted to be contributors in the pass rush.
2. How Will Chip Kelly Translate Into The NFL?
When the Eagles hired Kelly to take over the head coaching job, the questions started immediately. Will his system translate to the NFL? Can his unorthodox training methods work with professional players?
Kelly has a lot to live up to. The expectations for him are high and depending on who you ask, he’s either a mad genius or just simply mad.
The key for him will be taking what made him so successful in college and tweaking it for the pro game.
1. Who Is The Starting Quarterback?
You can’t win in the NFL without a good quarterback, especially in the kind of offensive system that Kelly is likely to unleash on the rest of the league. His offense calls for a quarterback who’s solid in multiple areas. He needs to be accurate, mobile and most of all smart.
The problem for the Eagles is they have two quarterbacks who, if you put them together, would have all the skills, but neither of them are the whole package.
Michael Vick, the most likely Week 1 starter, is mobile and has a strong arm, but lacks accuracy. Second-year guy Nick Foles, who was good but not great in limited action last year, has the accuracy but isn’t mobile enough.
Vick will likely win the job because of his ability to make plays when the offense breaks down, but simply because this is an open competition, you know that Kelly doesn’t see either guy as the long-term solution.