Yes, flat out, the season-ending torn ACL to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is absolutely devastating — no question about that. With the necessary disclaimer aside, there is still plenty of excitement and buzz surrounding this 2013 Eagles squad. Whoever emerges as the starting quarterback will still have plenty of targets to distribute the ball to. With Riley Cooper, DeSean Jackson, and Jason Avant already in the mix, and the additions of Zach Ertz and Damaris Johnson, it is very clear that the Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley trio will have no problem picking apart the opposing defense.
Injury is no stranger to training camp and around the NFL this weekend. Devastating injury news has spread like wildfire. Not just the Maclin injury, but Dennis Pitta, tight end for the Baltimore Ravens is out for the season with a dislocated — possibly fractured — hip. Even Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went down with a bruised knee on a seemingly harmless deep route at Bengals camp.
The point is, teams have to be ready for this, and plans have to be in place for backups to be ready and to perform when they are called upon. Look for Chip Kelly to already be ahead of this, and already notified his receiving corps that they have to step up and make a difference, which given the talent and style of offense, maybe easier to do then was originally thought.
Beyond that, there has definitely been a different feeling at this year’s Eagles training camp — that feeling is excitement.
Yes, the only wins that matter come in the regular season. Yes, no one is 100-percent sure who the starting quarterback is going to be. And yes, the Eagles defense has gone to a completely different scheme from the Wide-9 (thankfully).
The excitement regarding what this team can do once it unlocks its offensive and defensive potential is certainly in the air. It is exciting to know that players will have more accountability. It is exciting to know the defense will be working a scheme that allows them to speed rush the quarterback. Lastly, it is exciting to know that this tempo and this attitude can be taken into the regular season, and come Week 1 against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, the Eagles offense and defense should be pumping on all cylinders, looking to make a winning statement at FedEx Field.