5 Offensive Players Who Could Ruin Philadelphia Eagles’ 2013 Season
5 Offensive Players Who Could Ruin the 2013 Season
Chip Kelly has made his first cuts in shaping the Philadelphia Eagles for the new season. We’ve debated the merits of what he brings to the table; the unique practices, the offensive genius, the defensive cue cards showing various cultural icons like Rocky and Ben Franklin. Kelly has a skill set that seems ready for success in this town. The only thing that could derail his efforts is his personnel. Kelly said yesterday that he has final call on the cuts. This is similar to Andy Reid’s dictatorship, and hopefully Kelly will bring his knowledge of the college game to enhance drafts over the next few seasons.
This is a unique year of transition.
The team is a mix of Kelly’s first draft class and veterans left over from the Reid era. There are a few things we know for a fact. Kelly does not have his franchise quarterback. Michael Vick is only a transitional player, and looking forward, more attractive options are coming in the next draft. Some players in the first rookie class are making an impact. Lane Johnson looks solid on the line. Benny Logan has made his presence felt on defense. Zach Ertz has made some prime catches and has shown blocking ability. The remainder of the cuts will show if the other rookies gain a roster spot.
The veterans on this team have the potential to make it or ruin it. As we consider the upcoming season, let’s take a look at five players who could ruin it all for Kelly and the Eagles.
Matt Shaner is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDShanersports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google
Vick has been the subject of debate since his arrival with the team. He has shown flashes of brilliance and maddening displays of poor decisions. He tries to be a hero every time he touches the ball, and this could be his downfall. He needs to learn this offense and realize that he will have another snap to get it right. He needs to learn the value of Kelly’s pacing. If Vick keeps holding the ball and forcing throws, he will repeat last season. I would think that Kelly has him on a short leash, and especially after Nick Foles’ strong performance in the preseason, he would not hesitate to make the switch regardless of his comments to the media.
Jackson is another example of the difference between two seasons. He burst on the scene with speed and consistent deep patterns for scores. He is small and fast with the ability to contribute to the special teams. The only question is if he will regress to last season’s form. Jackson disappeared from the field last year. He made no impact, cut off his routes, and looked like he was upset about his contract. Now he has his paycheck. He must make more plays like the touchdown he grabbed against Carolina. Jackson will return punts this season, and with his small frame he will need all his moves and speed to survive. He will also need to avoid getting frustrated as we saw last year where his attitude prevented his success. With Jeremy Maclin’s injury, Jackson needs to step up and dominate this season.
This all depends on ball security. Bryce Brown is a massive talent. He is a rare mix of power and speed. He has a huge ceiling and could be a star player. The only problem is his fumbling. He must hold the ball. He can’t keep running with it away from his body. Duce Staley has a challenge on his hands as the running backs coach. If Brown’s fumbling continues, look to see Kelly take him off the field and let Chis Polk share the carries with LeSean McCoy.
This goes more towards Johnson’s status as a rookie. He is a player who has shown up so far and made a difference. He had some issues with Jason Babin in the last game and adjusted to keep him under control. The question is if Johnson can keep it up all season. He will be protecting Michael Vick’s blindside and will be facing some prime pass rushers this season. It will be a steep learning curve for a rookie without much line experience. If he can make plays, the tandem of Johnson and Jason Peters will be one of the best in the league.
Celek, like Jackson, vanished last season. He is reliable for a reception and ramble for a chunk of yards after the catch. He has lost a step, though, and hopefully his blocking will not suffer. Zach Ertz and James Casey will both contribute to the offense. Ertz will be the tight end of the future. Clay Harbor has trained as both a receiver and tight end, and his speed may give him an advantage. Celek must find that second level, like Jackson, and be there for Michael Vick. He can reclaim his career if he finds his fit in Kelly’s system. If not, look for a tight end to complement Ertz to come in the next draft.