Quick turnaround in Philly?

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
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We went team-by-team through the NFC East last week with Matt Williamson's offseason grades Insider, but the one team we didn't get to was the Philadelphia Eagles, to whom Matt gave an "A."

Matt says he's expecting "big things from the Eagles," since he expects fewer mental mistakes in the overhauled secondary, likes that they used their first-round pick on an athletic tackle to help with Chip Kelly's planned up-tempo offense and expects an interesting rotation of skill-position players on offense that could help newcomers like Arrelious Benn and James Casey make more impact than some might expect:
I also expect Kelly to rotate a lot of bodies in at the skill positions to constantly have fresh personnel on the field, which could make Benn's role more substantial. The Eagles appear to be overloaded with quality tight ends, but Kelly has a plan and guys like Casey and Zach Ertz can align all over the formation and create mismatches in the passing game. This staff did re-sign Michael Vick, but Matt Barkley was just too good to pass up in Round 4. He isn't a great runner, but Barkley is a very quick decision-maker who has the football intelligence to operate this offense.

On defense, Matt thinks the personnel still fits a 4-3 front better than a 3-4 one. I agree, and along with the quarterback situation it's part of the reason I'm not overly optimistic for the Eagles from this far out. I think they're going to need a year to evaluate what kind of players they have on defense and how they fit into the defense they want to build. And I think the quarterback situation with Vick, Barkley and Nick Foles remains a muddle of insufficient options and they'll still be working on that next offseason. I agree with the consensus opinion that Kelly's offense will be fascinating to watch, but until he has his long-term answer at the most important position, I don't know how much success he can expect his schemes to have.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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