All of the pieces are in place for the Eagles' offense.
Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and an assortment of other talented offensive players have been assembled within the Eagles' locker room, generating some high expectations from the fans.
Now, the task for offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and the rest of the staff is figuring out how all the pieces fit together to form one dynamic, cohesive, offensive machine.
The most integral piece to the Eagles' offensive puzzle is the starting quarterback position, a spot that the newly acquired Sam Bradford is looking to secure. It's well documented that Shurmur and Bradford worked together during the quarterback's rookie season of 2010 in St. Louis, and Shurmur still sees many of the same characteristics that made Bradford the top choice in that year's draft.
"He's the same player," Shurmur said. "He's a guy that takes great pride in his work, whether it's calling the play and making sure the guys get lined up to executing the cadence, to dropping back and throwing, his ball handling, his decision-making. So I saw the same player. Unfortunately, he just had some injuries and some of those things you just can't control."
As Bradford and the other new faces come to terms with how to operate within the Eagles' system, they'll have ample time to master the scheme thanks to the high volume of reps that they're able to get during each training session.
"It's not a big concern for us because we get a lot of reps and they get to do it over and over and over," Shurmur said of getting all the new players on the same page. "If we were in a different setting, like in a couple of my former lives, where you don't get as many reps, then that might be a bigger concern. But for us I think these guys have picked it up pretty well. It's a credit to them. They're very professional. I think we have a system that can be learned in a way where they can pick it up quickly."
While Bradford's chemistry with his teammates will be vital, the same can be said for the men working to keep the Eagles' quarterback upright. Guard John Moffitt is not only adjusting to a new team, he's also getting back into the groove of the NFL game after sitting out the majority of the last two seasons.
He's taken some reps with the first-team offense over the last couple of days, and while those reps offer a challenge, he's eager to get in there and work out the kinks.
"I haven't done that in a while," Moffit said of working with the first-team unit. "I think it's been close to two years now, and then obviously that's a different pace. I don't think I performed badly, but obviously there's some stuff to work on.
"It's coming back. Obviously, it's a process and a long camp and I still have to work on some things to get better at, but that's what camp is for ... I think the only way to get into football shape is by playing football, but it's not like I'm coming in and can't handle the intensity."
Lane Johnson has been a staple for the Eagles at right tackle since he was drafted in 2013, but right now it's still yet to be determined who is lining up next to him at right guard on September 14 in Atlanta for the regular season opener.
With that in mind, Johnson is cherishing each and every rep that he's able to take during camp, especially with a new teammate like Moffitt lined up on his left hip.
"I need (reps) right now, even in preseason games," Johnson said. "I need to get that bond with (Moffitt) and be on the same level because it takes two to tango and we've got to be on the same level, even in pass protection. He helps me and I help him, so it's vital.
"He's been out for two years so it's hard to just come into a camp and be physically dominant right away, so he's still learning and trying to get better."
And while the offensive line is experiencing a good amount of turnover at the guard positions, it's not the only spot with new faces. The Eagles generated a lot of buzz league-wide when they signed both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews in free agency, creating arguably the most potent running back group in the NFL.
According to Mathews, the players inside the running backs room each bring something unique to the table, and he's excited to see how things will play out.
"Everyone has their own techniques and their own abilities, and I think we're all working well together," Mathews said. "I think we complement each other well and we're going to keep trying to make each other better. We're just trying to reach for the best."
The Eagles continue to mix and match each day in camp, trying to find the right group of 11 players who will give them the best chance to win every week. It's a process that won't take place overnight, but it will certainly be fun to keep an eye on as Week 1 approaches. !
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