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Addressing Some Of The Important Questions About The Eagles

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This feature is a weekly piece on titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.

As Chip Kelly conducts the search for his football man, his evaluator of talent who sets up the draft board and aids in the process of every personnel decision the Eagles make - exact title to be determined - there are some other questions that fans have about the team as the playoffs continue and the Eagles look toward 2015.

So while I'm not here to provide any clues as to who Kelly chooses - the truth is, the situation is fluid and I don't have insight other than it is an active process - there are some other topics to touch on. Here we go ...

Topic 1: Who Will The Quarterback Be In 2015?

We know that both Nick Foles and Matt Barkley are under contract, and that Foles has every intention of being the starting quarterback. I don't see how that situation changes, to be honest. Trading up to the No. 1 pick for the right to select Oregon's Marcus Mariota is, frankly, a pipe dream. Fans have suggested to me all kinds of scenarios to do a deal, and none of them are the least bit plausible. How about Florida State's Jameis Winston? He's likely to be a top-3 selection, but beyond the obvious challenges of mortgaging so much to go that high, there are questions about Winston's character and his game.

I'm fine with Foles. I like Nick Foles. A lot. I see a young quarterback with a bright mind, a big arm, toughness and the understanding that he has to work on some of his mechanics and his decision making.

I'm happy if the Eagles have Foles as the starter, bring back Mark Sanchez as the No. 2 and continue to groom Barkley at No. 3. That's a good situation to have at quarterback.

Topic 2: How Will The Offense Improve, Then?

The Eagles need to improve the entire offense, the quarterback position included. Kelly is never satisfied, and even after scoring a franchise-record number of points in 2014 - including, I know, help form special teams and the defense - the Eagles want to upgrade where they can offensively. Maybe that means wide receiver - the crop in free agency, potentially, could be very strong, and the draft is said to have another extremely talented and deep group - and offensive line get some attention.

No doubt Kelly looks at his scheme and along with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur makes some tweaks. The Eagles are deep at tight end and at running back, and it would be a bit of a surprise if either position is addressed in the months ahead.

You know why Dallas is still playing? Because its offensive line is among the best in the league, and the Eagles know they need to stay healthy and even add to the equation up front. Wide receiver? Jeremy Maclin is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and both he and the Eagles are coming from a position that he is a good fit here, so that's encouraging. But never rule out Kelly adding another explosive piece to the offense, and if it's not running back, and it's not tight end, it's gotta, maybe be wide receiver to keep an eye on in the months ahead. Just a guess. Nobody really knows what's going to happen.

Topic 3: How Much Change Will The Defense See?

Could be quite a bit. The Eagles are well aware that they gave up far too many big plays in the passing game, and they have to tighten things up. It's not as easy as some think in today's NFL to simply GET RID OF EVERYONE AND START OVER IN THE SECONDARY!!!

It doesn't work that way, folks. Cornerback is a premium position. Safety is maybe the hardest position to find in the league. Both are areas the Eagles would upgrade if they are able to do so.

There are other defensive needs. DeMeco Ryans is working to come back from a torn Achilles tendon, a nasty injury, and he is no sure thing to return to full strength. Who plays inside linebacker if Ryans isn't a full go? What about outside linebacker? Is Trent Cole returning with a large ($11 million) salary-cap number? Can the Eagles and Cole work something out? Will Brandon Graham test the free-agent waters?

Potentially, yes, there is going to be significant change to the defense. The Eagles know they must be so much better, particularly against the deep passing game. The defense played pretty well against the run in 2014 and the quarterback sack total rose to 49, but the play against opposing quarterbacks just wasn't good enough. The Eagles ranked 21st in the league as opposing quarterbacks compiled a passer rating of 91.6.