By Tylor Walden on July 17, 2014
Training Camp is only a few short days away, and every team is preparing for the 2014 NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to build off their 10-6 record in 2013 and winning the NFC East. Training camp for the Eagles begins in late July and fans will be watching to see how their team shapes up. Can the team make a deeper run in the playoffs in 2014? The final leg before the season will determine that.
The Eagles first have rookies reporting on July 22, while the full team arrives on July 25. First practice then begins one day later on July 26. The team practices with the New England Patriots before both team's first preseason game on Aug. 9. The Eagles then wrap everything up on Aug. 29 with their final preseason game against the New York Jets.
Nick Foles is without a doubt the starter heading into training camp after his strong performance last year. The question is how far will Foles take them in his first full year as a starter? Foles will look to build off his stellar 2013 campaign and be even better. Mark Sanchez will be his backup while Matt Barkley will be the third string as he learns from both quarterbacks.
The Eagles have a dangerous tandem at the running back position. The 2013 rushing champ LeSean McCoy leads the way with Darren Sproles sharing time. The strength of McCoy and the speed of Sproles makes the Eagles' running game very intriguing in 2014. Chris Polk and Henry Josey are the backups in case something happens regarding injury or availability.
The wide receiver position is stacked this year, but veterans Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper look to headline the receiving corps. 2014 second-round draft pick Jordan Matthews will likely become the slot receiver. As far as tight ends are concerned, Brett Celek will resume his role as the starter while Zach Ertz will become the backup and should have a bigger role.
The entire offensive line for the Eagles was a consistent unit as all five players completed a 16-game season without a hiccup. Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson will look to repeat that performance in 2014. But with Johnson facing a suspension, according to reports, Allen Barbre will take his spot if the report ends up being true.
The defense is what ultimately led to the turnaround for the Eagles in 2013. The 3-4 defense will be led by the three linemen Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan and Cedric Thornton. These three men became a solid front despite Thornton's lack of pass rush ability. Each will resume the starting positions going into camp as they look to improve the defense even more.
The Eagles are led by longtime player Trent Cole anchoring the right side with Connor Barwin on the left side. DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks will lead the inside. Cole will look to disrupt the quarterback while the Eagles plan to use Barwin in a variety of situations. Ryans and Kendricks developed a flow towards the end of the season and will look to build off that going into 2014.
Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher will be leading a group that had some weaknesses in 2013. Brandon Boykin will look to get some time in as well. Free agent acquisition Malcom Jenkins will be the starting free safety while Nate Allen looks to lock up the strong safety position. The safety spot was the weakness of the defense, but it looks like they got stronger.
Alex Henery will be the placekicker for the Eagles in 2014, but Carey Spear could push him if Henery does not perform up to the task. Donnie Jones will resume the punting duties after his spectacular punting in 2013. Jon Dorenbos will return as the long snapper. He has yet to botch a snap, so his consistency is valuable to the team. Brad Smith could see some time as the returner with the departure of DeSean Jackson.
Because of the depth of the wideout corps, this figures to be the most competitive position in training camp. While Maclin and Cooper are locked into their spots, the remaining positions at wideout are up for grabs and should give fans something to watch as training camp develops. With 13 wideouts on the roster, there will be a lot of cheers and broken hearts after training camp is completed.
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