The Eagles released key depth players on the expectation of big things from their offense which set numerous franchise scoring records in 2013. With a year of NFL experience now, HC Chip Kelly will need bring the defense up to speed in order to build a perennial contender.
What was even more surprising than the Eagles’ franchise record 442 points (27.25 pts/game) was the poor play of the defense – dead last in passing yards allowed. Head coach Chip Kelly was a master of offensive production back in Oregon but struggled to get the defense to rise to the occasion in his first year in the professional football.
QB Nick Foles shocked everyone with his unreal 27-2 TD-INT ratio. And RB Lesean McCoy, who led the league in rushing, will be joined in the backfield by triple-threat back Darren Sproles (one of the league’s most effective rusher-receiver-kick/punt returners). The return of Jeremy Maclin will be welcome sight after the Eagles cut star receiver Desean Jackson and former starting QB Michael Vick – who the Eagles replaced with Mark Sanchez.
The Eagles drafted LB Marcus Smith out of Louisville in hopes that he can be a disruptive edge rusher, but he is not expected to be the full-time starter.
With perhaps the most star studded offensive unit in the league, the Eagles sketchy defense may not even be an issue if no other teams can come close to outscoring them. But Eagle fans should be wary of Foles’ health – Mark Sanchez is seen by many as a QB who could tank a season if he is forced into action.
The Eagles will report to training camp in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 25.