The Philadelphia Eagles report for 2016 Training Camp starting Monday, July 25. Bleeding Green Nation is already breaking down the Philadelphia Eagles roster in a position preview series, but we're also going to be running a countdown series that's more geared towards unique thematic angles. We continue the series by taking a look at the changes Philadelphia made this offseason. [The New Players] - [The Veterans]
Click here to read more about the 35 players the Eagles added this season. The biggest addition was obviously Carson Wentz. Though he may not play much in 2016, he projects to be the team's future franchise quarterback.
*RB DeMarco Murray - Traded to the Tennessee Titans.
*LB Kiko Alonso - Traded to the Miami Dolphins.
*CB Byron Maxwell - Traded to the Miami Dolphins.
*WR Riley Cooper - Released.
*LB DeMeco Ryans - Released.
DE Brandon Bair - Released.
S Jerome Couplin - Released.
*DT Cedric Thornton - Signed with the Dallas Cowboys in free agency.
QB Thad Lewis - Signed with the San Francisco 49ers in free agency.
CB E.J. Biggers - Signed with the New England Patriots in free agency.
WR Seyi Ajirotutu - Free agent.
*S Walter Thurmond - Retired.
C David Molk - Retired.
This list of 13 is slightly smaller than last year's total of 15. Nine starters from Philadelphia's 2014 roster were gone heading into 2015. This year, seven of the Eagles' starters from 2015 are now gone. Trading Murray and Maxwell away was about dumping salary. Alonso struggled in 2015 and ended up being a throw-in in the Eagles-Dolphins trade. Cooper was ineffective. The aging Ryans was a cap casualty. Fringe guys like Bair and Couplin were easily cut. Thurmond retired in order to start a softball career. Thornton was the only Eagles' 2015 starter to leave in free agency. He was a scheme change casualty.
There's obviously been a lot of coaching changes this offseason. The Eagles fired Chip Kelly and hired Doug Pederson to replace him. Pederson certainly wasn't the most exciting hire the Eagles could have made, but that won't mean much if he ends up being good. For now, he's a big unknown as a head coach. Pederson's experience with Andy Reid gives us an idea of what to expect, but certainly the protege is looking to make his own mark in Philadelphia.
Much to the excitement of Eagles fans, Jim Schwartz replaces Bill Davis as Eagles defensive coordinator. Schwartz has overseen some very good defenses during his NFL coaching career. The Eagles have some talent to work with on defense so it's up to Schwartz to maximize his unit's potential.
Pederson hired Frank Reich as offensive coordinator and John DeFilippo as quarterbacks coach. The Eagles have often touted the trio of their former-quarterbacks-turned-coaches. They figure to serve as key contributors in the development of No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz.
Despite the changes the Eagles made to the coaching staff, a number of Kelly assistants still remain. The seven names include: special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, running backs coach Duce Staley, tight ends coach Justin Peelle, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, offensive quality control coach and assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor, defensive backs coach Cory Undlin, and assistant special teams coach Matthew Harper.
The Eagles have made significant scheme changes following the arrival of the new coaching staff.
On offense, the Eagles are transitioning from Kelly's no-huddle, up-tempo attack to a more balanced West Coast approach. Pederson obviously learned from a good offensive mind in Reid. The Chiefs have had a successful offense since Big Red arrived in Kansas City.
The Eagles are switching from a two-gap 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense featuring use of the wide-nine under Schwartz. Philadelphia hopes to make better use of pass rushers such as Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham.
Three players from the Eagles' 2015 NFL Draft class have potential to be starters in 2015: Nelson Agholor, Eric Rowe, and Jordan Hicks. The Eagles desperately need Agholor to step up at receiver. He hasn't had the best offseason. He struggled with drops during spring practices. Agholor will not be charged despite facing a sexual assault investigation. Rowe has a chance to start at cornerback on the outside. He showed potential late last season. Hicks showed star ability in 2015. It'd be big if he can stay healthy and pick up where he left off.
As for the Eagles' class of 2014, well, it's not looking so great. It's do-or-die for them. Guys like Marcus Smith, Josh Huff, etc. will be fighting for their roster spots this offseason. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia's starting slot receiver, is really the only lock to make the team.
The Eagles made a lot of change this offseason. Howie Roseman is hoping for more continuity in the future.