The release of former Eagles wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant led many people to wonder what head coach Chip Kelly’s Eagles offense will look like in year 2. After all, Jackson accumulated 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns and Avant added 447 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own. That’s a lot of production from two guys who are no longer with the team. However, the Eagles have shown throughout the offseason that overall production will not decline this year.
It seems as though many people seem to forget that Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin did not play a single down last year. The question has seemingly been “what pieces will the Eagles add this offseason to make up for the loss of Jackson’s production?” Maclin, a former 1st round pick, will atone for most of that production on his own. While he does not have any 1,000 yard seasons under his belt, I fully expect Chip’s offense to bring out the best in Maclin, as it did with DeSean. I, for one, fully expect Maclin to have his first 1,000 yard season this year.
Eagles 2nd-year tight end Zach Ertz is an emerging star who will also help compensate for the loss of production. In his rookie year, Ertz had 469 yards and 4 touchdowns. He will likely see more time on the field this year, and doubling his stats from last year is not out of the question. Not only will Ertz step up his game, but it is likely the Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper will as well. Last year, as the number 2 wide receiver, Cooper accumulated 835 yards and 8 touchdowns. Keep in mind, those numbers were mostly accounted for in the last 10 games of the season, after Eagles quarterback Nick Foles took the starting job. Over the course of a full 16-game season, we can definitely count on those numbers increasing substantially.
This offseason, Chip Kelly went out and got some new players to atone for the loss of production and make the dynamic Eagles offense even more dynamic. In free agency, the Eagles traded a 5th-round pick to the New Orleans Saints to acquire running back Darren Sproles. Sproles is one of the most dynamic weapons in the league, and should see time in the slot or coming out of the backfield. Sproles will likely be giving Eagles All-Pro running back LeSean Mccoy a breather in the backfield, as he is a reliable backup running back.
In the draft, the Eagles also acquired 2 new receivers in former Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews and former Oregon receiver Josh Huff. Between the two of them, Matthews and Huff should more than account for any loss of production from the 3rd and 4th receivers last year. In fact, the Eagles didn’t really have a reliable 4th receiver last year, as most of the production after Jackson, Cooper, and Avant was negligible.
If Chip Kelly has shown us anything this offseason, it’s that we shouldn’t worry about his offense. The Eagles offense should continue to put up historic year in Chip’s second year as head coach. In Chip We Trust!