Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com recently put out his top-25 position battles. And guess who’s at No. 1?
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback: Michael Vick vs. Nick Foles. It’s No. 1 on the list because it’s a starting quarterback job for a team that might make the playoffs. It’s easy to forget Vick was getting MVP consideration only three years ago. He’s the favorite because of his salary and experience, but Foles has a legitimate chance.
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com looks at 10 burning questions going into camp:
How will Chip Kelly’s offense translate to the NFL? Not sure. One thing we do know, though: His players will be in shape. Kelly runs practices as if he were late for dinner — with several drills going at once and all at a frantic tempo. Does that make the Eagles better? Nope. It just makes them a vastly improved fitness class. But I don’t care how fast the Eagles practice; I just care how carefully they protect the football. Over the past 32 games they committed 75 turnovers, and look no farther when you wonder what happened to this franchise.
Ashley Fox of ESPN.com offers up 10 pre-camp storylines and includes the Eagles’ QB situation:
The bet here is that Vick, despite his inconsistencies, will win the starting job. But how long he will hold on to it likely will be an ongoing story.
Adam Schein of NFL.com lists the most important player on every NFC team. For the Eagles, he goes with Jason Peters:
For all of last year’s talk about the Eagles’ awful defense and the issues with Mike Vick’s health and play, I thought the biggest group of underachievers in Philly was the offensive line. Vick can’t stay healthy if he doesn’t have protection. Losing Peters for the season was a crushing offseason blow last spring. For Vick and the potentially dynamic passing attack to have a chance, for LeSean McCoy to have room to run, the Eagles need stability up front. Peters’ return — and his return to greatness — is paramount to Philadelphia’s success. This should be a vastly improved line (and Eagles team) in 2013.
Matt Williamson of ESPN.com looks at three camp issues for the Birds, including the health of Peters:
Before his Achilles injury, I thought Peters was the best offensive lineman in the NFL. He missed the entire 2012 season, a year in which the Eagles’ offensive line was simply horrible. Other injuries certainly factored into that ineptitude, but getting Peters back in the form we saw pre-injury would go a long way to making this a potentially excellent unit, especially with the addition of Lane Johnson. But therein lies the question: What kind of movement skills will we see from the 31-year-old Peters, a tight end in college who once possessed exceptional quickness, balance and agility?
Chris Burke of SI.com previews the Eagles and the NFC East:
Some people are expecting Chip Kelly to work magic from the get-go. Others believe he’s doomed to fail in the NFL. The bar should be set somewhere in the middle for Year 1. This is a team in transition, especially on defense. Plus, even the best coaches struggle when trying to implement radical scheme shifts, as Kelly may on offense. It’s possible a Michael Vick-led offense absolutely explodes under Kelly’s tutelage. More likely, the defense will continue to struggle a bit in 2013 and this team will be ready to contend again in 2014.
Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld looks at the best- and worst-case scenario for LeSean McCoy:
Best Case: The beast is unleashed in year five. With coach Andy Reid no longer around to waste touches on Jason Avant and Clay Harbor, “Shady” pilots the most run-heavy offense in the league, making 2013 the heir apparent to his elite 2011. McCoy’s injury-marred, ineffective 2012 is but a distant memory as he leads the league in both yards from scrimmage and total touchdowns.
Worst Case: McCoy’s touches per game actually go down as coach Chip Kelly, intent on utilizing the powerful and explosive Bryce Brown, employs a two-back attack. Shady barely squeezes by 1,000 yards on the ground, and is actually out-scored by Brown. He’s a waste of a first-round pick.