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Assessing The Eagles As They Stand Now

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.

The hardest part is waiting until the pads go on and we can see for ourselves just how this team stacks up for 2015. What we know now is that there has been significant change at key positions. A team that went 10-6 in each of the last two seasons has been rebuilt because, well, head coach Chip Kelly has loftier expectations than 10-6 and a playoff appearance.

"All we want at the end of the day is the same goal, is we want to win a championship," Kelly said after the draft. "This city deserves it, and that's what we're going to do, and we're going to leave no stone unturned until we get that done.  That's what this operation is all about.  We're not satisfied with 10 wins. I don't think anybody is satisfied with 10 wins. We'll continue to do what we have to do to make sure that we don't win just 10 games, we win 11, we win 12, we win 13 and hopefully bring this city what it deserves, and that's a championship."

Are the Eagles ready to contend for the Super Bowl? It's way too early to know. The Eagles have a lot of work to do here, what with developing chemistry in the locker room and trust on the field with so many new faces. There are some key players who continue to rehab serious injuries. There are rookies to teach the ways of the NFL. There are other new players to integrate into the system.

Some thoughts on what has transpired in the offseason ...

BIGGEST QUESTION: This is an easy one. How will Sam Bradford fare at quarterback? He's on the field in Phase 2 of the offseason program, per what Kelly said after the draft, and it is an important step back. Will Bradford be ready to go for Training Camp? Will he come all the way back after two ACL surgeries? Can he sustain that health and play at a high level? The Eagles have Mark Sanchez here for a reason, and that's to compete for playing time and to be ready to be a starting quarterback. Sanchez has the mindset that he's got a chance to win the job, and that's the right approach. But Bradford is here for a reason. The Eagles think he can be very productive in the offense. There is optimism that Bradford will be ready when camp starts.

SECONDARY CONCERNS: It's fair to wonder how things will look in the secondary come September. The Eagles have overhauled the deep part of the defense after allowing 72 passing plays of 20-plus yards last season, most in the NFL. Malcolm Jenkins will start at one safety spot, barring setbacks. The other starting job is open, and very much so. The candidates include Earl Wolff, Jaylen Watkins, rookie Eric Rowe (if the Eagles see him as a safety, initially) and others.

At cornerback, Byron Maxwell was signed to start on one side. Who is the starter on the other side? Who wins the nickel job? The idea was to create good competition and by signing Maxwell and Walter Thurmond and drafting three players who can play corner, the Eagles have done that.

You are going to see a different way of playing coverage this season. New secondary coach Cory Undlin will have his corners up in press coverage, jamming receivers. He wants his cornerbacks to be physical. No more "open-gate" play from the corners.

WHAT ABOUT THE OFFENSIVE LINE?: Somebody has to step up and win the job at right guard. Andrew Gardner was the starter down the stretch last season. Allen Barbre is healthy after missing 15 games because of a broken ankle in 2014. Matt Tobin is a young lineman the Eagles are very high on. The team developed some depth last season with the injuries they suffered. But, no doubt, the goal here is to be dominating. The Eagles like the players they signed after the draft, so we'll see if they develop quickly. It's a position worth thinking about, though. Can the Eagles get back to the level from 2013, when all five starters were on the field all season and the offense roared?

ARE THE WIDE RECEIVERS GOOD ENOUGH?: Why not? The Eagles believe that Jordan Matthews will build on a very good rookie season. They think Josh Huff is ready for a big step forward. They absolutely love first-round draft pick Nelson Agholor. They think Miles Austin played well in Cleveland last season. Riley Cooper is productive here, and his blocking and special teams ability help as well. There might not be a Pro Bowl "star" here, but the wide receiver corps has a lot of promise and the Eagles feel confident that the answer to the question is, "yes."

HOW DOES LINEBACKER LOOK?: Pretty crowded, actually. At inside linebacker, a position ravaged by injuries last season, the Eagles added Brad Jones, Kiko Alonso and Jordan Hicks. DeMeco Ryans is expected to be healthy for training camp. Mychal Kendricks is here as a key piece. On the outside, the Eagles plan on having Brandon Graham starting on the opposite side of Connor Barwin. Who is the third outside linebacker? Is it Marcus Smith, in his second NFL season? Do the Eagles give Alonso and/or Kendricks extra duties on the outside in pass-rushing situations? Nobody talks much about the outside linebacker position, but is there is enough depth here? Is Travis Long, who has missed two seasons with ACL injuries, a possibility?

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