PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Last year, many believed the Eagles would struggle in Chip Kelly’s first season. What a difference a year makes.
The preseason prognosticators have a much different view of the Eagles heading into the 2014 campaign. Most believe the Eagles are the favorites to repeat as NFC East champions and some even think the Eagles can contend for a Super Bowl birth. However, Quarterback Nick Foles isn’t looking too far ahead, even though he understands the expectations.
“I already knew those expectations were here,” said Foles. “The second I stepped foot in Philadelphia, you can see it in the fans with their passion and what they want. That’s what everybody’s goal is when they play this game is to win a championship. The most important thing is to not think about it.”
The Eagles received an endorsement from one of the top television analysts in the NFL. During Sunday Night’s national football broadcast, Cris Collinsworth was asked to give his Super Bowl prediction. He said the team to keep an eye on was the Philadelphia Eagles. Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis was flattered to hear about Collinsworth’s prediction, but his only concern right now is the next day of training camp.
“I do like Cris Collinsworth,” Davis said. “I like his opinion. For the predictions and all of that stuff, Coach (Chip) Kelly does a great job of keeping us on the day, so right now, it’s about growing this team.”
Malcolm Jenkins was part of the New Orleans Saints squad which knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs last year. He also understands what lofty expectations are all about, but he doesn’t feel there is more pressure on the Eagles than other NFL contenders.
“The good thing about football is that it’s not boxing,” said Jenkins. We don’t have a belt that people are trying to take from us. We’re out trying to get it just like everybody else.”
The first step for the Eagles will be Friday’s preseason opener against the Bears in Chicago. The season opener is still a month away, so players like Foles will continue to try and tune out the like of Collinsworth and focus on the next day of work at training camp.
“Only one team can win the championship,” Foles said. “It’s very hard to do. The most important thing is that we don’t stress on that. We worry about today, do everything we can, and then we’ll see where we’re at the end of the year.”
Cornerback Cary Williams returned to practice after missing Sunday’s workout with tendinitis.
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