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By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) —Today is like Christmas in July. Eagles rookies are scheduled to report, officially ushering in the new Chip Kelly era. Under Kelly, the Eagles are supposed to be the panacea for everything that ails the current malaise of Philadelphia sports.
Can they? Will they?
We can only speculate on who the starting quarterback will be, and how Kelly will run his offense. We can guess what the defense may look like, but no one really knows for sure. What we do know, and what we only know, the facts bear out, is that the team that carries the face of the city has a bunch of new faces—starting with Kelly.
And much of what Kelly hopes to do this year is going to focus on the immediate production from some the new faces that will arrive at the NovaCare Complex today.
That’s what we know for certain.
We also know this is a 4-12 team recovering from its worst season since Ray Rhodes mailed in 1998′s campaign, when the Eagles went 3-13 under the three-headed quarterback of Bobby Hoying, Koy Detmer and Rodney Peete.
At least Kelly will have better pickings than that trio in Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Matt Barkley.
Another fact also seems certain: Kelly himself doesn’t seem sure what exactly he has. Sure, speculation makes for great belly-up-at-the-bar talk, and is great fodder for columnists. But other than the offensive line, nothing about the 2013 Eagles seems certain at all.
It’s why this season is so intriguing.
It’s why everything the Eagles do for this next month will fall not only under the glare of the local media, but droves of national media will be watching Kelly and his machinations very intently. They’re sure to add their own spin on who will be Kelly’s starting quarterback, based on practice reps.
The secondary is also sure to fall under scrutiny. It’s a revamped unit looking to plug holes. Can safeties Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips revive their careers here? Can corners Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher erase that dysfunctional area of the field in 2012? Can Trent Cole, at this stage of his career, make a position transition to linebacker? Can rookie safety Earl Wolff be an answer to safety if Chung and Phillips can’t cut it? Can rookie Benny Logan be the run-stuffing nose tackle the Eagles will need in their new 3-4 scheme?
The fact is none of us knows. Not even Chip Kelly. Not for a month.
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.