There was nothing like watching Donovan McNabb prance around the pocket and throw bombs to the likes of Freddie Mitchell and Terrell Owens. Under former head coach, Andy Reid, the Philadelphia Eagles had the best winning percentage (.609) and the most wins (120) in Eagles history. Also tallying six division titles, and five trips to the NFC Championship. There is no doubting Reid’s success but it was time the Eagles moved in a different direction. A direction the NFL has never seen before. A faster direction. A direction that would put the Eagles in “win now” mode.
There was no denying that Chip Kelly’s offense thrived at Oregon, but would it work in the NFL? Many questioned “Daddy Duck” for grooming his former ducklings into Eagles, but what coach moving to the next level wouldn’t want players they are already familiar with? The Eagles finished 10-6 and still ended up missing the playoffs last year. Sub-par QB play late in the season could be responsible… or was it the secondary? The bottom line is Chip knew what he was dealing with this past offseason and was determined to address those needs, whether the fans agreed or not. It’s easy to see that Chip handles his job as a business, and is willing to put it all on the line to take himself and his company to the top.
Quarterback Sam Bradford
Bringing in star cornerback Byron Maxwell, who has been to the Super Bowl the past two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, will bring that “championship mentality” that the defense needs. Shipping LeSean McCoy to Buffalo seemed blasphemous to Philadelphians but trading him for a former Duck was the icing on the cake. The 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year runner up will add depth to an already stacked linebacking core of DeMeco Ryans, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham and Mychal Kendricks.
No one saw the trade of Nick Foles for Sam Bradford coming because it was obvious that Kelly was going to trade anyone he could to draft Marcus Mariota! Whether those draft day rumors were somewhat true or a complete smokescreen, bringing in Bradford was an extremely smart move at the quarterback position. Fans are focused on Sammy’s bum knee but do not forget that when Bradford attended Oklahoma, he became the second redshirt sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy. After being drafted number one overall in 2010 by the St. Louis Rams, Bradford set the record for the most completions by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.
When it comes to the backfield, Chip and company added not one but two backs in Ryan Mathews and DeMarco Murray to make up for the lost of “Shady”. Even though Murray played for the Dallas Cowboys last year, Eagles fans should be excited for he led the NFL in rushing yards a year ago. Nelson Agholor was the fifth wide receiver taken in this past draft but is out to prove he should have been the first. He and second year receiver Jordan Matthews have preformed well this preseason and are going to be exciting to watch for years to come. On top of adding these guys Chip and the Eagles might have had one of the best and smartest off seasons due to the added depth. It was obvious The Birds needed secondary help, so they went ahead and added six new defensive backs (three through free agency, drafted three). SIX! And the addition of Tim Tebow was genius because lets be honest, who doesn’t like Tim Tebow?
The Eagles offense is going to be eye opening throughout the 2015-2016 season. The Birds have managed to out score their opponents 115-53 through the first three games of the preseason. Domination throughout the preseason is giving hope to Eagles fans, as it should, but can they keep this offensive tempo consistent moving into the regular season? Chip Kelly has an entire city on his shoulders and the new additions have only supported his desire to win. Every season, the Philadelphia Eagles fans are always looking to win the big one, and with the talent they have on their roster, it doesn’t seem too far of a reach for Chip and the Birds.
Spark Sports NFL Analyst