The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to rebound after a disappointing 2014 season. Last year, they led their division through the regular season, until three straight losses took them out of contention, allowing the Dallas Cowboys to run away with the division title for the first time since 2009. The Eagles, who were the defending NFC East champions from the previous season, looked as thought they would walk away with the division crown, until the late season implosion. The Eagles finished 2014 with a record of ten wins and six losses, which by most accounts is a fairly successful season. The Eagles actually won the division the previous year with the exact same record, but it just was not enough this year with a conference that included the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Arizona Cardinals.
One may think, what would the Philadelphia Eagles need to do to get back into the discussion of elite NFC teams? Well, the answer lies with their coach Chip Kelly. Kelly is the Eagles’ best hope to wipe away the past year and look forward to this upcoming season. Kelly has already started to try and change the “culture” inside the Eagles locker room. He started this the previous year with his decision to let go DeSean Jackson. It seems he has continued the trend this year. He started with trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. The Eagles have also decided to part ways with Jeremy Maclin, who has been a major player in their offense for the last few seasons. Though, that is only on the offensive side of the ball. On the defensive side, the Eagles have decided to release defensive end Trent Cole and cornerback Cary Williams.
With these departures, the Eagles may look as a team that has thrown in the towel and is just content with a rebuilding year, but this so far does not seem to be the case. It could be argued that the Eagles have put themselves in a better position to win next year, after freeing up a large amount of cap room to make some big splashes in free agency drafts. Since the deals can not be officially released until this Tuesday, and although the sources who have confirmed this remain anonymous, it would appear that the Eagles have made deals with former San Fransisco 49ers runningback Frank Gore and cornerback Byron Maxwell, a standout in the Seattle Seahawks organization. The Eagles have also acquired former New York Jets player and backup quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Chip Kelly definitely did not waste much time in filling out the glaring needs on both sides of the ball after the team’s recent departures. Though, the most interesting rumor surrounding the Eagles has to be that Kelly, former head coach of the Oregon State Ducks, is looking to trade up in the NFL draft to select quarterback Marcus Mariota. Most say the Eagles will definitely be an interesting team to watch this upcoming season as they look to rebound after a very disappointing year.
By James Dixson
Photo by Matthew Straubmuller – Flickr License