THE EAGLES are looking at breaking in 11 new members among their regular starting 22 from a year ago.

Some of the positions were expected to turn over, such as right guard and the cornerbacks. Others, like quarterback and running back, are the wondrous byproducts hatched in Chip Kelly's offseason laboratory. (Cue the evil scientist's ghoulish laughter.)

Here then is a look at Dr. Chip's experiments heading into his third training camp as Eagles coach, and first with him in sole control of the roster:



Gone: Nick Foles, traded to the Rams.

Here: Sam Bradford, acquired from the Rams for Foles.

Big question: Hey Sam, how's the knee? And you thought Joel Embiid's foot was scrutinized.

Running back

Gone: LeSean McCoy, the Eagles' all-time leading rusher still in his prime, was traded to Buffalo.

Here: DeMarco Murray from Dallas, Ryan Mathews from San Diego.

Big question: Assuming Murray and Mathews can stay healthy, how will Kelly divvy up the carries? Murray won the NFL rushing title last season with 1,845 yards and easily led all RBs with 392 carries. Mathews battled a right ankle problem last year and had just one 100-yard game.

Wide receiver

Gone: Jeremy Maclin was overpaid by Andy Reid in Kansas City where they haven't had a first-team All-Pro wide receiver in more than 40 years (Otis Taylor, 1971).

Here: Nelson Agholor, the 20th overall pick out of USC. Give the kid credit, one of the Eagles he's leaned on to help his transition to the NFL is safety Malcolm Jenkins.

Big question: Has the 2014 rookie class – including the Birds' Jordan Matthews - unfairly obliterated reasonable expectations for first-year wide receivers?

Left guard

Gone: Evan Mathis, released in June following a contract dispute. In battles of wills against disgruntled players, Kelly remains undefeated. His way better be right.

Here: Allen Barbre, who originally had been penciled in to replace longtime right guard Todd Herremans.

Big question: Can tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson block two guys apiece until the guards get comfortable?

Right guard

Gone: Todd Herremans, who missed the last eight games with ankle and biceps injuries, was waived after 10 seasons largely to free up salary cap space.

Here: Matt Tobin, who started two games for Herremans last year, and Andrew Gardner (six starts) are the early favorites to replace the popular and effective Herremans.

Big question: Who has more guard issues, the Sixers or the Eagles?

Offensive returnees

WR Jordan Matthews/Riley Cooper

TE Brent Celek/Zach Ertz

LT Jason Peters

C Jason Kelce

RT Lane Johnson


Outside linebacker

Gone: Trent Cole, who is second in team history in sacks behind only Reggie White, was released in March and subsequently signed with the Colts.

Here: Brandon Graham, who isn't new to the nest, but will surely be asked to do more than he ever has.

Big question: Can Graham consistently cover opposing running backs/tight ends?

Inside linebackers (2)

Gone: Casey Matthews, who started the last eight games after DeMeco Ryans got hurt.

Here: Kiko Alonso, acquired from Buffalo for LeSean McCoy.

Big question: With Ryans, Alonso and Mychal Kendricks all in the mix, who will be left without a seat when the Musical Chairs' song stops?


Gone: Cary Williams, arrived in town off Baltimore's Super Bowl win, left for Seattle grumbling about Chip Kelly's demanding practices.

Here: Byron Maxwell, from Seattle.

Big question: Did Maxwell merely benefit from the talent around him in the Seahawks ' secondary or is he the shutdown corner the Eagles are paying him to be?


Gone: Bradley Fletcher, who was burnt last year more than my wife's casserole, signed with New England.

Here: Nolan Carroll, who started in Week 17 when Fletcher was benched, is the early favorite. The Birds also have four rookies they like, including second-round pick Eric Rowe and sixth-rounder JaCorey Shepherd.

Big question: This upcoming season has to be better for the Cream Team secondary than 2014, doesn't it?

Strong safety

Gone: Nate Allen, signed with Oakland.

Here: Walter Thurmond (gulp) will get first crack because Earl Wolff did not participate much in spring practice because of an injured right knee.

Big questions: Can Thurmond make the transition to safety after playing five NFL seasons at corner? Can Wolff stay out of the trainer's room? Does Brian Dawkins want to make a comeback?

Defensive returnees

DE Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton

NT Bennie Logan

OLB Connor Barwin

FS Malcolm Jenkins.

On Twitter: @EdBarkowitz