Aug 6, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during a joint NFL training camp at the NovaCare complex. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
Heading into their first preseason game on Friday against the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles have many question marks surrounding them, none bigger than their Head Coach. Friday marks the first time in 14 years that the Eagles will play a game and Andy Reid won’t be on the sideline. Coming from the college ranks and a very unconventional offense at Oregon, Coach Kelly’s system has been placed under scrutiny from the media even though no body knows what scheme he will run in the NFL. Along with Eagles fans, Coach Kelly will have the football world watching his offense and how it will look at the pro level. Though most of the media will have their eyes on Coach Kelly the Eagles have other questions surrounding their roster that will determine their success during the season and here are three of them that fans should keep their eyes on during a fairly meaningless preseason game.
1. The Quarterback Competition: Up to this point in the offseason, the Eagles quarterback competition has been a two horse race between Michael Vick and Nick Foles and according to recent reports, the competition is close, with Vick holding a slight lead. To be clear, the quarterback job won’t be won on Friday, but what coaches will be looking to see how each player commands the offense. Though he seems to be on the outside looking in, Barkley wants to prove that he has command of the offense and he wants to add his name to the competition and Friday will provide Barkley a prime opportunity to do so.
2. Wide Receivers: After the injury to Maclin, the spotlight was instantly placed on the Eagles wide receiver depth
Jul 31, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiverRiley Cooper
(14) addresses the media concerning an internet video at the Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
because one of their highly talented, but unproven receivers would have to step up because, long time veteran, Jason Avant no longer has the speed to play on the outside. Riley Cooper seems to be the most prepared to step into the role, but after his comments, his situation is a bit clouded. behind Cooper sits players like Benn and Sheppard who now have the opportunity to step up and prove they can play at a high level. With this spot seemingly wide open, Friday’s game could reveal the finalists to step into Maclin’s position.
3. The Secondary: The Eagles have a bunch of new faces in their secondary, but most of them have to go out and prove that they can or still can play at a high level, week in and week out. The safety position is wide open and Friday’s game will be a big opportunity for every safety on the roster. Corner back isn’t as wide open as safety, but the nickel corner competition between Brandon Boykin and Jordan Poyer will be a fun one to watch. The Eagles will need much better play from their secondary than last year if they want to have success this year and Friday’s game versus the Patriots will be the first glimpse to see if the secondary has improved.
These are just three competitions that will be monitored on Friday, but if you are more intrigued by any other competition let me know in the comment sections and let me know who you think will each competition.