Philadelphia Eagles: New Eagles Have Huge Role To Play
By Owen Lloyd
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles have overhauled their roster since their disappointing end to the 2014 season.
Gone is their star running back, LeSean McCoy. Gone is the quarterback, Nick Foles. Gone are long term Eagles, guard Todd Herremans and linebacker Trent Cole. Philadelphia Eagles’ Head Coach Chip Kelly was given the reins to run the personnel side of the football organization back in January and now, Eagles fans are starting to see the effect.
In 2015, many new faces look set to play a huge role in the fortunes of the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s take a look at some of the new faces in midnight green.
1) Sam Bradford, QB, acquired in trade from St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford is the new leader of the Philadelphia Eagles. When Chip Kelly traded for Bradford, many people thought it was a move to get towards Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. That didn’t transpire, leaving the Eagles with a QB who is well known to offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. There is no doubt that Bradford is a good player. He is a former number one overall draft pick and won the Heisman Trophy whilst at Oklahoma. Many Eagles fans point to his two ACL injuries as a sign that he won’t be successful, but if Bradford can stay fit, there are few other slights that can be aimed at the QB.
Bradford should be a much better fit than Foles for the Philadelphia Eagles’ up-tempo offense and will give Chip Kelly more options under center in 2015.
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2) Nelson Agholor, WR, 2015 first round draft pick
The Philadelphia Eagles have some of the youngest wide receivers in the NFL. It will be Agholor’s job to compete with second year veteran Jordan Matthews for the number one spot on the roster. Head Coach Chip Kelly turned down a reported deal with the Denver Broncos to stay put at number 20 in this year’s draft and take Agholor. After moving on from DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin in consecutive offseasons, the Eagles need Agholor, Matthews and Joshua Huff to step up and consistently perform at the position for the next few years.
3) Ryan Mathews, RB, signed from San Diego Chargers
Mathews was a first round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 2010. In 2013, Mathews didn’t miss a game through injury and led the NFL with six 100 yard games. If he can be consistently available for selection, Mathews is an outstanding option behind starter DeMarco Murray.
Mathews figures to rotate with Murray for snaps at the running back position and is likely to play a key role, keeping Murray fresh in the backfield.
4) DeMarco Murray, RB, signed from Dallas Cowboys
For the second consecutive season, the Philadelphia Eagles enter the season with the previous year’s leading rusher on their roster. Last year it was LeSean McCoy, now of the Buffalo Bills and this year it is their big free agency signing, DeMarco Murray from the Dallas Cowboys. Murray was a surprise signing, as he was picked up on the same day that the Eagles confirmed the signing of Ryan Mathews from the Chargers.
Murray performed at an outstanding level last season, but his most impressive stat was picking up 998 yards after contact. (As noted by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller)
This shows that it may not be the Cowboys stellar offensive line was not the only reason behind Murray’s amazing season, giving hope of a repeat in 2015. This year he’ll be helped out by fellow stud running backs Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, sharing snaps and reducing the workload, which was not an option he had in Dallas.
5) Kiko Alonso, LB, acquired in trade from Buffalo Bills
The Philadelphia Eagles’ rebuilding started with the trade of running back LeSean McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso. It was a trade that rocked the NFL, seeing two star players swap teams. On the face of it, the Eagles may have got the better of the deal. They lost an outstanding running back, although McCoy may not have been a perfect fit for the Eagles’ culture being built by Chip Kelly. They gained the 2013 defensive rookie of the year. When fit, Alonso is one of the best linebackers in the game. He has the potential to be a long term starter at the position for the Eagles and offers an immediate upgrade over any other player on the roster.
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