So here we are, days from the start of the NFL season, and our Philadelphia Eagles have a brand new head coach for the first time this millennia. I had always been a staunch Andy Reid supporter, and will never forget the incredible run he had at the beginning of the decade, but it was definitely time to shake things up. And shake them the Birds did, with the biggest head coaching signing of the year, Chip Kelly. It’s hard to even remember the pre-Reid era, but when you do and remember the Ray Rhodes and Kotite years, it’s easy to take what Andy did for granted. But Chip Kelly was a great college head coach, who’s bringing a new philosophy to Philadelphia. College head coaches always make a smooth transition to the NFL, right?
Honestly, I’ve been having Eagles fans and other NFL fans asking me all year, how do you think Kelly’s going to do as the Eagles coach? My answer: I have no idea, but at least it will be interesting. The lack of heart, passion or ingenuity from our Birds the last couple years has been embarrassing. It reached the point the last two seasons that the Eagles didn’t seem to care if they won, so I didn’t either. I am excited to watch Kelly’s fast paced offense this year and a coaching staff that will be able to get the plays on in time, for a change. The offense is going to be scoring a ton of points this year, but they are going to need to with our defense. Now whether or not Vick can play 16 games is another huge question mark.
Most Philadelphia fans and the football world in general, would be shocked to see Vick play a full season. So what do we think? Ten games over/under? That’s about where I would put the number. If Matt Barkley isn’t the starting quarterback for the last game of the season, that would be surprising. I like Foles and think he has potential, but when a new coach comes in and drafts a QB he’s familiar with, it smells that guy is our future. The biggest piece of the puzzle to figuring out who’s going to be quarterbacking during the season is going to be determined by the record. If the Birds go down in flames, and burn out quickly, expect to see Barkley early. If the Birds are in the mix for a playoff spot, which is entirely possible with the NFC East, we may not see him this year. (I think we’ll see him.)
Speaking of the NFC East, do you have any idea who’s going to be good? It’s going to be another one of those years where the division beats up on each other and three or all four teams have eight or nine wins going into the final week. Straightcluster Fudge. Is RGIII going to return to the superstar he was last year? Can he carry the Redskins? And does he plays a little too much like Vick to play 16 games? What about the stupid Cowboys? Their schedule in December is brutal (@CHI, GB, @WAS, PHI), so they are set up for their usual Romo swoon. The Giants? I honestly don’t know anything about them because ESPN and NFLN only talk about the other New York team. (Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit there.) Eli will be competent as he always is and they’ve lost their backup running back to injury, Nicks is already hobbled, and they lost that loud mouth Osi Umenyiora to Atlanta. The NFC East is without a doubt the biggest toss up division in the league this season.
After watching three preseason games this season, I couldn’t name the Eagles starting secondary. Can you? Okay, I cheated and looked them up. It did not make me feel any better. There is not one player back there that fills me with any confidence. With the front seven switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4, you know there will be some growing pains there. So basically the Eagles season comes down to this; they are going to play a lot of 41-38 games. And as I said earlier, it won’t be boring.
The Andy Reid era had some really great times, but it crashed hard and ugly. We are all ready for something new and different, and with Chip Kelly, we will definitely get that. It’s going to be nice to have our Sundays back as Eagles fans. As much as the Rhodes era seems like a foggy memory, the good Andy era seems almost as hazy. For the first time in a couple years, I’m excited to see this Eagles team play on a week in and out basis, and that’s something I know that I had lost, and feel like other Eagles fans have lost too.
Let’s go Birds!!!!!!!