By Ryan Wenzell on June 4, 2014
The Philadelphia Eagles should head into OTAs and training camp feeling good about themselves. In Chip Kelly's first year in charge, they finished 10-6 and hosted a playoff game. Expectations will now be higher though. The bar has been set.
Let's take a look at five things the Philadelphia Eagles must accomplish during OTAs.
The Philadelphia Eagles' rookies are getting their first taste of live action. Early on, Jordan Matthews is a guy who has stood out in his work ethic and the way he carries himself on and off the field. Getting him acclimated to the offense will be huge as he will look to fill the slot role right away. It is important that these young players dive into the playbook and are ready to roll in Week 1.
Too often last season, the Eagles had mental breakdowns in the back end, and it led to big plays and head-scratching on the sideline. That needs to stop. Malcolm Jenkins is a force at safety who should be the quarterback in the back end. There is no excuse for the Eagles to be dead last in passing defense again this season.
Jeremy Maclin is back and looks better than ever. Maclin has huge shoes to fill after DeSean Jackson's departure, and it is crucial that he know this offense completely. It is in the Eagles' best interest to limit Maclin in contact drills from here until the regular season. The prized receiver is too important.
The Philadelphia Eagles' kicking unit was far too inconsistent last season. Alex Henery really had trouble with his accuracy, especially on kicks from 40 yards and out. Henery needs to improve. He has competition from rookie Carey Spear, but Henery should beat him out. This may be Henery's final shot to prove he is the Eagles' long-term answer at kicker.
The Philadelphia Eagles offense was a blur for much of last season. Chip Kelly demanded that the offense put the pedal to the metal. The crazy thing is that the Eagles could get even faster. This is their second year in the system, so there is no more learning. Quarterback Nick Foles and the rest of the offense can rely on natural instinct as they know the concepts inside and out. Expect an even faster style of offense in 2014.
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