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Comparing the Philadelphia Eagles 2013 Opening Day Roster to 2012

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows the story of the 2012 Eagles by now. The team was horrible and head coach Andy Reid was fired. Incredibly successful college coach Chip Kelly was brought in to revitalize and morph the team into a Super Bowl contender again.

A new coaching staff meant a new era in Philadelphia, and with a new era comes personnel changes. The Eagles made a number of signings in free agency along with adding some rookies from the 2013 draft class. They have also traded for a couple of players.

So how does the Eagles roster look now with all the changes that Chip and Howie Roseman have made?

Before even looking at specific personnel, the Eagles schemes have obviously changed. On defense, it's much closer to a 3-4 than the 4-3 with the fan favorite wide 9 alignment. With that change, there are differnet positions on the defense (OLB, NT, 3-4 DE). On offense, there is no more true fullback position. Instead, the Eagles are going heavier at tight end: it's listed twice on their depth chart.


2013: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley

2012: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards

Judgement: Better. In the limited time we've seen Chip Kelly's offense, it looks very QB friendly. Michael Vick looked downright lethal in the first two preseason games. The personnel are the same but the coaching could help improve the players.

Running Backs

2013: LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk

2012: LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Dion Lewis, Chris Polk

Judgement: Better. Shady McCoy is still Shady. Bryce Brown needs to prove he can stop fumbling but still he has good ability. Maybe carrying a weighted ball around with him in the off-season will help Bryce. Lewis is gone, but Polk looks better than his 2012 form. He's lost weight and gained speed. Chip loves to run the ball and will get these guys plenty of touches.

Wide Receiver

2013: DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson, Jason Avant, Jeff Maehl

2012: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson

Judgement: Worse. Losing Jeremy Maclin to season ending injury hurts. Damaris Johnson could look improve upon his rookie season. Jeff Maehl is probably just a guy.

Tight Ends

2013: Brent Celek, James Casey, Zach Ertz, Emil Igwenagu

2012: Brent Celek, Clay Harbor

Judgement: Better. As you can see, this position is valued more in Chip Kelly's offense. Celek is still a good starter and the Eagles added Casey who can line up in a number of positions. Ertz has WR skills at TE and Igwenagu offers blocking.

Offensive Line

2013: Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson, Matt Tobin, Allen Barbe, Dennis Kelly, Julian Vandervelde

2012: Todd Herremans, Danny Watkins, Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, King Dunlap, Demetress Bell, Dennis Kelly, Nate Menkin, Dallas Reynolds

Judgement: Better. Jason Peters is back, which is huge. Herremans is now playing RG and rookie Lane Johnson has flashed in the preseason. Allen Barbe and Matt Tobin look like capable backups at OT. Dennis Kelly performed held his own at OT last year after struggling at OG. Julian Vandervelde is a question mark behind Kelce at C, but did beat out Dallas Reynolds for a job.

Defensive Line

2013: Cedric Thorton, Isaac Sopoaga, Fletcher Cox, Clifton Geathers, Bennie Logan, Vinny Curry, Damion Square

2012: Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Phillip Hunt, Brandon Graham, Darryl Tapp, Vinny Curry, Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton

Judgement: It's hard to compare because of the scheme change, but I'll say the Eagles 2013 DL isn't bad. Cedric Thornton is a solid player and Fletcher Cox could be a very good player. Vinny Curry has looked dominant in preseason as a backup.


2013: Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Casey Matthews, Jake Knott

2012: DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Akeem Jordan, Brian Rolle, Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews

Judgement: Also hard to compare because of the scheme change. Connor Barwin is the Eagles best OLB but there are question marks about Cole and Graham in coverage despite their pass rushing ability. The ILBs look about even since there hasn't been too much change there.


2013: Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin(g), Jordan Poyer, Shaun Prater, Brandon Hughes

2012: Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes

Judgement: Even. It's possible that the starting CBs are better, and Boykin looks improved from last year. But the depth at CB is absolutely horrible right now.


2013: Patrick Chung, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson

2012: Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Colt Anderson, David Sims

Judgement: Even. Patrick Chung should be an improvement but the rest of the secondary might not be any good.


2013: Alex Henery, Donnie Jones, Jon Dorenbos

2012: Alex Henery, Chas Henry, Jon Dorenbos

Judgement: Better! Donnie Jones is a legit punter. Henery has been booming kickoffs into the opponent's endzone for touchbacks.

Special Teams Coverage

Last year's ST unit was bad and Chip has put an emphasis on special teams this year. I'd be surprised if they're not improved.

Overall Judgement:

The Eagles look better in 5 of these areas, even at 2, and worse at 1. Defensive line and linebacker are the big question marks with the scheme change.

On paper, it may look like the Eagles have improved in some areas but the defense is far from a sure thing yet. The offense figures to have real potential under Chip Kelly, but it's essential they have good QB play.

How many wins do you think the Eagles will have this season?

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