Chip Kelly joined the Eagles two weeks ago and made the media rounds, worked the Senior Bowl and has gotten into the nitty gritty of business at the NovaCare Complex. We know the coaching staff has to be put in place and then announced, and we know that the NFL Scouting Combine follows in late February and then, boom, we're into free agency in March.
It just can't get here quickly enough ...
In the meantime, I've got a bunch of topics to discuss, so let's get to it ...
- The Eagles will add the best free agent on the market when left tackle Jason Peters steps back on the field in the spring. The expectation is that Peters will come all the way back from his Achilles tendon injury, and if that's the case, the Eagles get back a Pro Bowl left tackle and the offensive line is that much better. I say the Eagles are one very good right tackle -- I'm moving Todd Herremans back to guard -- away from having a great offensive line.
- One of the interesting players to watch is Danny Watkins, who ended 2012 inactive on game days. How does he project into what Chip Kelly wants from his offensive line? Watkins may or may not project as a starter right now, but he could be an extremely valuable player on this line if he gets his game back on track.
- If the Eagles move to a 3-4, as many out there believe will happen, it would appear that DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks would be penciled in as the inside linebackers. They could make for a dynamic pair inside. The key to the productivity of the interior, though, is the nose tackle. The Eagles would need a big body to take up space and occupy two offensive linemen, allowing for Ryans and Kendricks to run free and get to the football.
- Nothing new on the coaching staff. The Eagles aren't going to announce the staff until it is complete. How long will it be before it's complete? Could be a few days. Could be another week. Could be even longer. Kelly will put the right men in the right spots for his staff.
- Taking a peek at free agency ... The Eagles have only a handful of players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, a list that includes cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, defensive tackle Derek Landri, defensive end Darryl Tapp and long snapper Jon Dorenbos. Safety/special teams ace Colt Anderson is a restricted free agent. Who returns? You will see starting in, oh probably mid-February, talks starting with players the Eagles want to have on the roster in 2013. This offseason is going to heat up in the next couple of weeks.
- The sense of trying to understand how Kelly is going to run the football team is in the very early stages, and one of the more unique aspects of his operation at Oregon was the way he ran practice. The tempo is expected to be very high at Eagles practice and the mood up beat. Will Kelly change the practice schedule radically? Is he going to have music blaring? Many, many questions and a lot of excitement about what Kelly is going to do.
- Which players are at the NovaCare Complex on a daily basis? Just those who are taking treatment in the athletic training room. Center Jason Kelce has been around a lot, along with tight end Brent Celek and offensive guard/tackle Todd Herremans. There could be more that I haven't seen. Honestly, it's been quiet since Kelly was hired. I need some action! Don't you feel that way? ...
- We haven't had a lot of conversation about the draft and the opportunities that the Eagles have in April. Those first two rounds are going to be as exciting as we've seen in a long time. Come to think of it, though, the draft is always exciting. The Eagles have long been movers and shakers. How aggressive will the Howie Roseman/Kelly team be in comparison to what the Eagles did with Andy Reid here? We could always count on Reid to move up, down and all around the draft every year.