January 16-April 24:
After last years debacle, it was assumed by most Eagles fans that incumbent quarterback Michael Vick would not return to Philadelphia this season. But this quickly changed after Chip Kelly was named the Head Coach of the Eagles and Michael Vick’s contract was restructured. Though Chip Kelly preached that he didn’t need a mobile quarterback to run his system, the retention of Michael Vick and the signing of Dennis Dixon seemed to suggest otherwise.
Leading up to the draft, the Eagles were reportedly shopping Nick Foles for draft picks and the Eagles were rumored to be seeking a mobile quarterback in the draft, such as: Geno Smith, EJ Manuel, and Matt Scott. All of these rumors sent signals to Eagles Nation that Chip Kelly felt he needed a mobile quarterback to run his offense.
With the draft over and done with, Chip Kelly has left us with more questions than answers about the offensive scheme the Eagles will run this year. Not only was Nick Foles not traded, the Eagles drafted USC’s Matt Barkley, another quarterback not known for his speed, in the fourth round.
What we learned from this selection is that: 1) To trust Chip Kelly that he doesn’t necessarily need a mobile quarterback to run his system, and 2) The Eagles will most likely run a up-tempo spread offense rather than the read-option. if you want an example of what an up-tempo spread offense looks like, look at the New England Patriots. The Patriots average the most plays-per-game in the NFL and they do so with a pocket passer, not a speed demon. Both Chip Kelly and Bill Belichick love to utilize their tight ends in many ways and the both effectively use the hurry-up offense to tire the opposing defenses.
I feel very optimistic about this because the Eagles have all the pieces to make this system work and in a ll actuality the Eagles may be better equipped to run the offense than the Patriots, minus the quarterback. The reason I say this is because the Eagles have the speedy receivers on the outside, a luxury that the patriots don’t have, and have three athletic tight ends to attack the middle of the field. If the Eagles can get good, not even great, play from their quarterback, the Eagles offense could be very, very dangerous.