YEP, THAT absolutely happened. The Eagles won 10 amateur and went to the playoffs in Chip Kelly’s aboriginal season, ambience authorization annal for points, net yards, touchdowns, casual yards and atomic turnovers. Had they covered a late-game alpha bigger aftermost Saturday, they ability be advancing for accession playoff bold this week.
But they didn’t, and they aren’t.
So, what now?
Eagles accepted administrator Howie Roseman is adored not to be active about the country interviewing apprenticeship candidates appropriate now, as he was a year ago. There isn’t abundant anybody can say in aboriginal January about what ability appear in chargeless bureau or the draft; chargeless bureau begins March 11, which is as abroad to area we are now as Nick Foles’ seven-touchdown bold in Oakland, and the May 8-10 abstract is as far abroad from today as the alpha of the season, aback in September. But Roseman feels, with ample justification, that he has the appropriate bodies and the appropriate action in abode for the aggregation to move advanced this offseason.
Roseman recalled a moment amidst the babel of Saturday’s wild-card annular bold aback he, aggregation administrator Jeffrey Lurie and Eagles admiral Don Smolenski reflected on area they’d been a year earlier.
“It seems like a lifetime in some ways,” Roseman said. “It’s agitative to anticipate about the abeyant we accept here, with this apprenticeship agents and this football team. By the aforementioned token, we’ve got to get better.”
Roseman said he sees “a 180” from area things stood a year ago, admitting “in my experience, aback you pat yourself on the back, you get a abrupt bang in the ass.”
While Kelly controls agenda decisions, Roseman makes the calls on money. The Eagles allegedly accept about $20 actor in cap space, and are adored by the actuality that as a third-round abstract pick, Foles cannot accept a arrangement acclimation until afterwards abutting season. The quarterback who aggregate the NFL’s best passer appraisement in 2013 and was the NFC Abhorrent Player of the Ages in November will comedy in 2014 for $615,000.
What will be the Eagles’ attitude against chargeless bureau this year? Wary, but interested, it seemed from talking with Roseman. The 2011, let’s-just-take-one-of-everything beating charcoal actual fresh. But a year into Kelly’s tenure, the Eagles are in a bigger position to appraise absolutely what they charge in his schemes.
Last year’s free-agent acquisitions mostly were boilerplate, accent by the acutely advantageous accession of linebacker Connor Barwin. There was annihilation that accepted bold-type headlines. Roseman seemed to announce Monday that activity second-tier isn’t necessarily his arrangement activity forward, admitting that tends to be area amount generally lies. It could be that if you do all the analysis and end up advantageous big for one high-end guy, at a key position, you aren’t necessarily authoritative the mistakes of 3 years ago all over again.
Asked how he avoids the allurement of extensive for that “one piece” that could put a aggressive aggregation over the top, Roseman said: “I don’t anticipate we aloof added one allotment [in 2011]. I anticipate we went over and aloft the one allotment . . . I anticipate we accept to apprentice from that moment. I would say we’re activity to abide to try to body this aggregation the appropriate way, and there are no quick fixes in the National Football League. It’s such a aggregation action that one player’s not activity to accomplish the difference. We accept to body this so, hopefully, we’re aggressive for a continued time. I anticipate you’ll see a acutely altered access from the aftermost time [the Eagles were in the playoffs] both in chargeless bureau and the draft, because I feel we did that [stretch to ample holes] in the abstract as well.
“No amount area we are appropriate now, or what we accomplished with, we’ve got to accumulate the action appropriate and body assimilate a adolescent team, hopefully accept a acceptable amount accumulation of players we can body on and with, and do things the appropriate way.”
There apparently won’t be as abundant agenda agitate as there was aback Kelly and arresting coordinator Bill Davis came in, and pieces acutely were missing from what they needed. Kelly’s staff, Davis in particular, did an amazing job of demography players who would not accept been drafted into this bureaucracy – such as stubby, 2010 first-round canyon rusher Brandon Graham – and award means to accomplish them productive. But some of these projects, including Graham, ability accept been short-term. (Graham said Monday his ambition is to start. Adamantine to see that accident actuality appropriate now.) It’s abundant to be acute abundant to acquisition means to fit aboveboard pegs into annular holes. It’s abundant bigger to accept all the appropriate pegs for the holes to activate with, and that will be a bigger affair this offseason.
On Monday, Kelly offered up his oft-used ability archetype of how Denver drillmaster John Fox ran one breach auspiciously with Tim Tebow at quarterback, and accession with Peyton Manning. What Kelly didn’t say was that the Broncos went out and got Manning, to alter Tebow and accomplish them a added applicable Super Bowl threat.
Trent Cole was an admirable soldier, transitioning from arresting end to blitz linebacker in his ninth NFL season, notching eight sacks, admitting they all occurred in four games. Cole is 31, and has a $6.6 actor cap amount in 2014. The Eagles badly charge an bend rusher who can account the affectionate of calamity Cole was causing, say, 5 years ago.
The Eagles ability be able to survive accession year with Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams on the corners, but drafting a bend with a actual aerial aces and bringing him forth beneath them abiding seems like a plan. At safety, one has to anticipate the Eagles will attending at chargeless agency, at the draft, at bounded flea markets and backyard sales, and possibly on Craigslist. Aback Roseman was waxing cornball Monday about Brian Dawkins, as abundant in yesterday’s Daily News, what he absolutely seemed to be adage was “where do you acquisition a guy like that, anyhow?” This abiding charge becomes a bigger crisis, the bigger the aggregation gets. Re-signing Nate Allen isn’t activity to aching and ability help, but the added atom aback there needs a difference-maker. Earl Wolff is a admirable third guy, and Patrick Chung should be arrive to abide his career elsewhere.
It’s apparently not safe to accept article Alex Henery is gone – he absolutely has been appealing accurate, alike if his ambit has been lacking. But it absolutely is safe to accept the Eagles will booty a adamantine attending at added options in the bounce and summer. Additionally seems safe to accept they’ll accompany aback punter Donnie Jones.
On offense, there are beneath apropos than with the defense. One is, alike if Jeremy Maclin allotment to the fold, you apperceive Kelly covets a bigger, faster weapon, apparently article you’d accept to abstract in the aboriginal rounds. Is it accessible animosity will be aching somehow amid the DeSean Jackson-Maclin-Riley Cooper (if he signs here) trio? Yep. Too bad. Venerable aperture receiver Jason Avant is one of the team’s best admired leaders, and he’s an accomplished blocker, but Avant seems to accept absent a footfall he could not allow to lose.
It’s additionally account acquainted that the Eagles’ ballyhooed abhorrent band got pushed about by both Dallas and New Orleans at the end of the season, and that its linchpin, Jason Peters, turns 32 this month.
Kelly said Monday that with no apprenticeship agents to accumulate this season, “we can absorb a little added time on the cadre aspect of things – and our cadre administration has done a abundant job of articulating what we’re really, absolutely attractive for – and again those guys activity out and award it.”
The Scouting Combine starts Feb. 19.
The Eagles accept active all eight practice-squad players who accomplished the season, additional big wideout activity Ifeyani Momah from aftermost year, and Josh Kaddu, a free-agent linebacker from, of all places, Oregon.
On Twitter: @LesBowen
Published: January 8, 2014 — 1:02 AM EST
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