Eagles Training Camp Preview: OffenseBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
July, the month in which Eagles training camp officially begins. The list of songs blasting from the loud speakers is as “hush-hush” as most things with Chip Kelly. What we do know, expectations for this football team are very high. Every single player on this roster embodies what the head coach preaches and teaches.
There is no starting quarterback controversy going into the season. The battle for the back-up spot between Sanchez and Barkley is as exciting as a place kicker practicing extra point attempts. If Foles were to go down for any significant period of time, whether or not the “Chip” system works with “any” quarterback would be put to the ultimate test.
Last season we had 60% of our offensive line returning from major surgery and rookie Lane Johnson starting at right tackle. Johnson was eager to start his sophomore campaign, but will first serve a four game suspension to start the season with the news yesterday that he tested positive for PED use. This will obviously impact the offensive line, but the Eagles do catch a break in the first four weeks of the season, both Aldon Smith and Robert Mathis will also be suspended.
The wait and see in regards to Jeremy Maclin, his health is a key component for the offense. His status will be monitored as closely as anyone on the team, when the pads go on and the hitting begins, Maclin can expect the questions from the media after every practice regarding the status of his knee.
Our offense will continue to be a run first scheme, a steady dose of Lesean McCoy, the addition of Sproles and third year veteran Chris Polk. Nick Foles steps in to his first “full” season as the starting quarterback; some are still skeptic of how he will produce. The adjustment to new passing threats and adjustments by the opposing defensive players and coaching staff will be a mere few obstacles he will have to overcome.
As for the players catching the passes thrown by Foles; we know what Celek brings to the team. There is a good sense with how Cooper fits in. Projecting the roles of the rookies, second rounder Matthews & third rounder Huff will certainly be fun to watch unfold. Then there is Sproles , not to be confused as a “receiver” although he is expected to play a major role in the passing game. Will Ertz make the big leap going into his second season? Has tight-end Casey learned what he needed to learn to be used in this offense with the versatile skill set he was “thought” to have? The rest of the offensive weaponry remains unclear. Will a veteran like Smith or Benn make the team, or will a “wildcard” like Momah fill out the rest of the wide receiver depth chart?
The offense is going to be quick and will score a lot of points. Will they also be able to control the clock better than last year and not force the defense to lead the league in total snaps played? Will the Eagles convert better on third downs and will Foles minimize the costly sacks he was taking towards the end of the season?
Early reports are the offense will be faster than what we saw last season, even after we cut our fastest offensive player on the roster. Time will tell, but in the meantime, we can only envision how all of the new offensive toys that Chip Kelly has will be mixed and matched.
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