Andy Reid is gone, Riley Cooper is a racist, and Danny Watkins is not from Germany. Welcome to the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles, led by a high-tempo college coach named Chip. It should be easy for Chip Kelly to satisfy the fans of Philadelphia as they’ve historically been some of the nicest and easiest fans to please.
For the old Chipster it starts at QB, and Philly has just as many rostered right now as the Buffalo Bills. Former Oregon Duck, Dennis Dixon, made the trip to the City of Brotherly Love to reunite with his former college mentor. The Eagles will have to drop one or two of these guys as Matt Barkley, Nick Foles and Mike Vick seem to be the favorites to make the team. Vick has been named starter but Foles and Barkley would be wasted draft picks to dispose of this quickly. G.J. Kinne will get cut and return to the San Antonio Talons or wherever he was.
Here’s a real bright spot on the Eagles, running back. LeSean McCoy will inevitably be the best player on this team and present coverage issues for the opposing defenses each week. He’ll be backed up by fumbling bumbling Bryce Brown. Rotating in on third-string reps should be Chris Polk and maybe a dabble of Matthew Tucker, the undrafted free agent from TCU.
Catching the pigskin will be another story. If Vick or Dixon is under center, don’t expect Riley Cooper to win you any fantasy games this season. Jeremy Maclin is on the IR after a preseason boo-boo along with newly acquired Arrelious Benn. That leaves a pillow-fight at receiver to line up with DeSean Jackson. Likely candidates are Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson and Greg Salas. I’m really pulling for Ifeanyi Momah to make the team. Momah is a 6’7, 239-pound former Tight End from Boston College. Speaking of Tight End, James Casey comes up north from Houston following his 34-catch season for the Texans. He’ll team up with Brent Celek and newly drafted 2nd-Rounder Zach Ertz, from Stanford.
Battling in the trenches on offense will be 1st-Rounder Lane Johnson who should start at Right Tackle opposite of Jason Peters if he can stay healthy (and in shape). Inside at the Guard spots will be Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans with Jason Kelce at Center. I also like Dennis Kelly getting reps at tackle and Dallas Reynolds inside at Center/Guard. This looks to be the end of the line for Danny Watkins as he’ll fight for a chance to re-new that rookie contract. On the opposite side of the ball, the 3-4 Defense will be led up front by Isaac Sopoaga at Nose Tackle flanked by Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan and Cedric Thornton. Clifton Geathers should work in with Antonio Dixon, Vinny Curry and Joe Kruger.
Brandon Graham may move up to DE some, but linebacker will mostly be a mix of new and old. Connor Barwin looks make a strong addition to the LB corps with DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks inside. Trent Cole should rush from the outside which will feature Jamar Chaney, Jason Phillips and Emmanuel Acho as well. Phillip Hunt is on the IR. Casey Matthews should help inside.
In the secondary, new faces will be the playmakers. Patrick Chung (Patriots) and Kurt Coleman should start at Safety while Cary Williams (Ravens) makes his Eagle debut alongside Bradley Fletcher (Rams) or Brandon Boykin. Eagle fans should see a lot of work from Nate Allen, David Sims and Colt Anderson with Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes as well.
Alex Henery and Donnie Jones will kick and punt with Boykin or Damaris Johnson fielding returns.