There's a lot of intrigue building around the Philadelphia Eagles, and for good reason.
So, they were bad last year. 4-12. Lots of turnovers. The head coach, Andy Reid, gets fired. There's no clear answer at quarterback. There's holes all over the roster. Some said Reid left the cupboards bare. Things weren't looking good for the Eagles. After being competitive for so long in the Andy Reid era, that reliable assurance was suddenly no longer there.
Enter Chip Kelly. Suddenly reasons for optimism emerged out of the aforementioned doom and gloom. Intriguing storylines to watch developed. Here's an example of what I mean:
Chip Kelly - Obvious pick, but he's the main man responsible for all of the excitement. The thought that it won't be Andy Reid strolling along the Eagles sideline next year stills seems like a bizarre concept. Then there's all the hype surrounding "his offense".
The QB Situation - Yes, it's truly open. Michael Vick is the veteran. Nick Foles is the second year player looking to rise up. Matt Barkley is a rookie who won't go down without a fight. Dennis Dixon and GJ Kinne are here to fight for a depth job as well.
Bill Davis' defense - I don't like to talk about the front 7 too often because we don't know exactly what it will look like yet until we see it in action. But we know it won't be a pure 4-3 base like it used to be. Davis isn't exactly known for having top ranked defenses, but his units have been known to cause turnovers.
Depth competition all over the roster - The Eagles are probably going to keep 4 tight ends this year. In the Reid era it was common to only see 2 on the final roster. How does the logjam at WR shake out? What is going on at DE/OLB? Heck, even the PUNTER battle between the proven veteran Donnie Jones and complicated rookie Brad Wing is worth keeping an eye on.
And these are just a few examples.
For the first time in what feels like too long, it feels like the upcoming season is an open book. It's not like 2010 when some were willing to take a step back in favor of a retooling phase while an unchallenged Kevin Kolb went through growing pains. It's not like 2011 where the Eagles signed a ton of free agents and there was a ridiculous amount of hype surrounding the team as SB contenders. Anything short of the high expectations would prove to be a failure. It's not 2012 where there was cautious optimism after a disappointing 2011. It's 2013 and it's a whole new era. We don't know exactly what to expect. There's definitely reason to be optimistic, but there are still some legitimate concerns as well.
Whether or not the Eagles will actually be any good in 2013 is a complete mystery, and that's exactly why they're going to be fun to watch.