Chip Kelly, Eagles look to make strides

Expectations were mixed for the Philadelphia Eagles before last season.

Following a maddening 4-12 season under coach Andy Reid in 2012, Chip Kelly was summoned from the University of Oregon to replace Reid.

Kelly put his stamp on the Eagles on their way to a 10-6 record and an NFC East title last season.

The Eagles lost a heartbreaking playoff game to the New Orleans Saints on a last-second field goal. Yet the progress was swift under Kelly.

In year two under Kelly, expectations are mixed again. But since the Eagles experienced success in 2013, the players are anxiously anticipating what will transpire this time around.

“Last year was a taste for this team of having some success and getting back to the playoffs,” tight end Brent Celek told Philadelphiaeagles.com. “It felt good after a couple of tough years. We know how much work it takes to get there. Now we want to do more once we get there.”

The Eagles have a difficult schedule looming and they made a number of roster changes -- both by addition and subtraction. The decision to release three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson was bold.

A number of key players were brought in through the draft, free agency and trades, most notably running back Darren Sproles and safety Malcolm Jenkins.

“Everybody feels it,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans told Philadelphiaeagles.com. “We’re building here, and it’s a matter of continuing to work toward that common goal and taking it one step at a time.”

Quarterback Nick Foles threw 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions on his way to a league-high 119.2 passer rating.

He’s excited to take the next step in the postseason.

“It was a great experience for me and for the entire football team and it hurt for a long time to lose in the playoffs because we wanted to keep playing,” Foles told Philadelphiaeagles.com. “But we have a great group of guys here and great coaching and we’re all excited about what’s ahead. We’re playing for each other and for our fans and it’s a fun time.”