PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 12: D.J. Jones #74 of the Philadelphia Eagles hits the blocking sled during rookie mini-camp at their practice facility on May 12, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Three weeks from today, the Eagles will put on the pads for the first time since their "Dream" season ended.
The "Dream Team" comments, the blown 4th quarter leads, the contract situations, and the losing that marked the 2011 season can finally be put behind them and the team can start fresh.
But what will that team look like?
With 21 days to go until the hitting begins and jobs are won, here is an early look at what the roster looks like going into the training camp.
Throughout training camp the roster will change to show how the player has been doing during camp, and how secure their spot on the roster is.
LOCKED: Job locked is marked with bold. These players will make the roster even if they have a horrible camp.
SOLID: Solid job security is not marked. These players will likely make the roster, although with a bad showing at Lehigh could find themselves fighting for a job at the end.
FIGHTING: Fighting for a job is marked with italics. These players will have to play themselves onto the roster, and have to have a good camp to make the team.
QB: (3) - Michael Vick, Mike Kafka, Nick Foles
RB: (3)- LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Chris Polk
FB: (1)- Stanley Havili
WR: (5)- DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Marvin McNutt
TE: (2)- Brent Celek, Clay Harbor
OT: (4)- Todd Herremans, Demetress Bell, King Dunlap, Dennis Kelly
OG: (4)- Evan Mathis, Danny Watkins, Julian Vandervelde, Brandon Washington
C: (2)- Jason Kelce, Mike Gibson
DE: (5)- Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Vinny Curry, Phillip Hunt, Brandon Graham
DT: (6)- Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Antonio Dixon, Derek Landri, Cedric Thornton
LB: (6)- Demeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Brain Rolle, Keenan Clayton
CB: (5)- Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes
S: (4)- Nate Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Kurt Coleman, OJ Atogwe
K: Alex Henery
P: Chas Henry
LS: Jon Dorenbos
ANALYSIS: The Eagles are returning the majority of their starters from last season, meaning very few starting jobs are up for grabs. Safety, punter, SAM and WILL linebacker are the only positions where a change is possible. The team will have new starters at the middle linebacker position and left tackle, but those players- Demeco Ryans and Demetress Bell- are the undisputed starters going into camp.
However more so then other years, a lot of the back up spots are up for grabs. As always special teams will play a role in who makes the cut and who doesn't.
It will be interesting to see how many defensive linemen the Eagles decide to carry. It's hard to see the obvious cuts, as the team is very deep at the position. Defensive line coach Jim Washburn loves to rotate the players in, so he will likely lobby to keep as many players as possible. The Eagles also have a lot of high draft picks and money invested in the defensive line, meaning they could carry as many as 12 players at that position
With so many players being kept on the defensive line, other positions will suffer. The Eagles usually keep 3 running backs, and as of right now I think, but I don't think it's lock. Right now Polk would likely get the spot because of his strength in blocking and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Cornerback and safety is another position that could suffer, as solid players like Joselio Hanson and special teams ace Colt Anderson could find themselves victims to the number game.
A roster spot will once again be handcuffed by Jon Dorenbos, as he is the only person they feel can long snap the ball. They would be wise to teach someone who can also play another position to long snap the ball, but they have not done that so far, so it's hard to believe they will now.
One player to keep your eyes on as a possible surprising cut is Riley Cooper. Cooper has been a solid/pretty good player for the Eagles, but he really has not separated himself as someone who demands a role on this team. Given his height, you would think he would have stepped up as a threat in the red zone, but that hasn't been the case. Cooper really lacks an elite NFL skill- he is good at a few things, not great at any. Rookie Marvin McNutt could step in and take his job if the Eagles decide to only carry 4 wide outs to stat the season, or if they need to keep an extra player at another position.
Another great battle to watch will be in the secondary, as Brandon Boykin and Joselio Hanson battle for playing time. If Hanson losses, he could find himself without a job. At the safety position, the players who will make the team are pretty much set, but who will play is far from decided. More so than any other position, the 4 safeties are battling for who will start and who will be the back up.
Of course, Chad Hall will likely not make the team coming out of camp- but we all know how little that means when it comes to him contributing this season.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks