All during the off-season, what has the NFL given us? Well, pretty much the usual, with some extraordinary events thrown in the mix as well. We all sat through the usual OTA reports. We even got to see Tim Tebow go to another team where there’s no chance he’ll play quarterback. Speaking of that particular team, they certainly have had their share of off-field issues, but, that’s not really the point. Soon, it will be time for teams to dust off the pads, water down the fields, and let the hitting begin.
The biggest question going into this season for the Eagles is: Will Chip Kelly’s offense be able to translate to the NFL? I mean, we all saw how Steve Spurrier famously said his college offense would beat any team in the NFL. How’d that work out for you, Coach Spurrier? But, lately, it seems every media outlet is reporting that players like LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are all saying this offense is not only going to work, but it will gas opposing defenses like never before. Color me intrigued.
When the team chose to spend their first draft pick on OL Lane johnson, I was ecstatic. Finally, the team was looking at the offensive line, which, last season, was just offensive. Once the team announced Jason Peters would miss the season, it seemed as if the four remaining linemen then began a competition to see who could go out next, and for how long. And, before people respond to this post, and say it wasn’t their fault, I get it. Nobody in the league sets out to get themselves hurt. But, it all played itself out last season in the most peculiar way, to the point where you almost felt as if the football gods would not allow the Eagles to catch a break.
The breaks were looking pretty good for the Eagles after Week 2. Two wins, by a total of two points. I don’t care if they were close games…..two wins is simply two wins. After Week 4, the team was sitting 3-1, with a big win over the Giants, who still refuse to punt to Desean Jackson. Then came the Steelers game. Painful. Then the Lions game. Even more painful. It’s called coverage, Asomghua. Try playing some at your next stop.
So, after the bye week, I kept telling myself, that this was where the run would start. Well, I was correct, just not the run I wanted to see. Six straight losses out of the bye week really sank everything for the team. But, the thrilling win against Tampa Bay gave me a ray of hope, that turned out to be fleeting. Three more losses to end the season, in games where it seemed as if some had already packed their lockers and checked out, well….in a word, that hurt. One win in ten games after the bye week. As a fan, I was sticking with the team, but, on another side, I wanted to see some change.
Enter Chip Kelly. Now, I will admit, I was not a fan of this hire at first. But, also, as a fan, I have to go with what the ownership says they feel is best, so, here we go. I’ve read some reports about the offense from OTA’s. Pretty much vanilla stuff, though, since OTA’s and mini-camps aren’t what they used to be. But, if the offense is as up-tempo and exciting as what Kelly ran at Oregon, then this season should be fun to watch.
On the other side of the ball, Nnamdi Asomghua is gone, as is DRC, and Juquan Jarrett. And, I won’t miss them. I mean, really……does anyone remember the busted play, late in the season, that Santana Moss and the Redskins turned into points, and the secondary was just standing there? Really? Patrick Chung comes over from the Patriots. Decent, but not earth-shattering, by any means. But, an upgrade over Jarrett.
All this all really means is one thing: In a few weeks, all 32 teams in the NFL will hit the field for training camps, all believing they have a shot to take possession of the Lombardi trophy when its all said and done. And, in the immortal words of Bart Scott, I can only think of two words for it all: Can’t wait!
Fly Eagles, Fly!!!!