2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Eagles ready to hit the ground running - literally

By ROB MAADDI - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-08-27 12:27

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ready, set, go.

The Philadelphia Eagles might as well be running a track meet under new coach Chip Kelly.

Everything they do is faster from the way they practice to their up-tempo offense. Kelly even speaks fast when talking to reporters, answering questions quickly and moving to the next one.

His ratio of words per minute certainly leaves Andy Reid in the dust. But the most important question in Philadelphia is whether Kelly can top Reid's success and win that elusive Super Bowl.

Kelly took over a 4-12 team after Reid was fired following 14 seasons. He's brought a unique approach that worked well at the University of Oregon. The players have been on board since the start. Now, we'll see if their enthusiasm translates into wins.

``They've embraced everything, and that's a real credit to them,'' Kelly said. ``Since Day 1, there was not a whole lot of salesmanship in terms of why we have to do all these things because their thought process is that if you can help me become a better football player, then I'm in, and everyone has been that way. That part, I think, was an unknown going in. You didn't know about that. And if you're a guy from the outside and haven't been a part of it, you hear it's tough to coach professional athletes, they've got their own mindset, they want to do things their own way. I've never encountered that with one player on this team, and that part as a coach has been refreshing.

``It makes you excited to come to work every day.''

Five things to know about the Eagles:

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EXPECT SOME GROWING PAINS: This isn't the Pac-10. The Eagles aren't going to dominate the way the Ducks did for four seasons under Kelly. His task is a tough one. The Eagles were bad in 2011 and downright awful last year. It's going to take some time for Kelly to turn them into a winner again. Kelly has some talented players, particularly on offense, and that should make the Eagles an exciting team to watch. But there are enough holes on this team that even a losing season - if they went 7-9 - would have to be considered a success and major step forward.

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MICHAEL VICK HAS TO PROTECT THE BALL: Vick was outstanding in the first two preseason games, winning the starting job over Nick Foles and showing a solid grasp of Kelly's system. But the old Vick showed up in the third preseason game. He made some dazzling plays, including several with his legs that proved he's still a weapon running the ball at age 33. But he also made questionable decisions similar to the ones that plagued him the last two years. Vick was indecisive at times in the pocket, forced one throw that resulted in an interception and nearly had another pick when he foolishly tossed the ball straight up in the air while going down on a sack. If Vick plays more like the Pro Bowl starter he was in 2010 rather than the turnover machine he was in 2011-12, he could shine in Kelly's offense. Otherwise, Foles looked sharp and he'll get his turn.

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OFFENSE IS THE TEAM'S STRENGTH: Whether it's Vick or Foles under center, the Eagles have potential to be a dynamic offense. Playmakers LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson seem poised to thrive in Kelly's high-octane system. Jason Avant appears ready to make up for the loss of Jeremy Maclin and tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz could post big numbers. Bryce Brown complements McCoy nicely, giving the Eagles two strong running backs. Brown, however, needs to solve his fumbling issues. The offensive line is healthy and boosted by the addition of first-round pick Lane Johnson. Overall, the Eagles should score plenty of points and they're going to need it with a suspect defense.

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OPPONENTS WILL TRY TO PASS OFTEN: A secondary that was one of the worst in NFL history last year underwent a major overhaul. Gone are cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, two former Pro Bowl guys who were part of a unit that allowed 33 touchdown passes and had only eight interceptions. Free-agent acquisitions Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are the starters and there's not much depth behind them. There hasn't been a playmaker at safety since Brian Dawkins left. Quarterbacks had a 99.6 passer rating against the Eagles last year, and it doesn't appear there's a reason for them to stop throwing against this secondary.

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DEFENSE IS WORK IN PROGRESS: Billy Davis is the team's fourth defensive coordinator in five years. Davis brings a new 3-4 alignment that requires several holdovers to make adjustments, including defensive ends Trent Cole and Brandon Graham moving to linebacker. There's depth on the line and strong potential among the front seven. End Fletcher Cox, a 2012 first-round pick, could be a breakout player.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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