The Philadelphia Eagles open training camp on Aug. 2 at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia. Here’s a closer look at the Eagles' camp, which wraps up on Aug. 21:
Top storyline: Coach Chip Kelly declared an open competition for the starting quarterback job, giving Mark Sanchez a legitimate opportunity to win the job. But Kelly also invested Nick Foles, a second-round pick and $13 million in salary for one year of Sam Bradford.
The No. 1 story of this training camp will be Bradford’s ability to put his knee injuries in the past -- to get on the field, stay on the field and perform well on the field. If Bradford lives up to Kelly’s hopes and looks like an elite quarterback in the Eagles’ offense, then Kelly’s bold move to acquire him will look like a stroke of genius.
But if Sanchez is behind center for the season opener in Atlanta, it will be fair to wonder if Kelly’s tenure in Philadelphia will be forever hampered by his inability to identify a true franchise quarterback. That is what’s at stake during this training camp.
Position battles to watch: There will be competition for the starting guard positions on the offensive line, but good luck following that without being able to watch game tape with the coaching staff.
As far as battles to watch, there is the Bradford/Sanchez show at quarterback. And there is the secondary, where two of the starting jobs are wide open. Nolan Carroll will try to fend off second-round pick Eric Rowe at cornerback, and Walter Thurmond will attempt to switch from nickel corner to safety with Earl Wolff nipping at his heels the whole time.
In making so many changes to his roster, Kelly was determined to create competition for starting spots. He succeeded.
Veterans to watch: There are two subsets of this category. There is the group of players trying to return from serious injuries: Bradford and linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Kiko Alonso among them. And there are the veterans who have started for the past two years under Kelly but will be challenged in this camp.
That second group includes tight end Brent Celek, a Kelly favorite who could be overtaken by hard-working Zach Ertz, and Riley Cooper, who remains at the top of the depth chart after a disappointing 2014 season but could be displaced by Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff or first-round pick Nelson Agholor.
On defense, the Eagles gave Brandon Graham a new contract to succeed Trent Cole at outside linebacker. But 2014 first-round pick Marcus Smith will be fighting to secure a job. And Graham’s job is the one he has his eyes on.
Rookies to watch: Kelly likes to bring rookies along slowly. Agholor could accelerate the process because of the need to replace Jeremy Maclin. Agholor has all the tools. It’s just a question of how quickly Kelly feels comfortable putting them to good use.
With the logjam at inside linebacker, third-round pick Jordan Hicks might have to make his initial mark on special teams. It will take a strong preseason for Hicks to move ahead of Alonso, Ryans and Mychal Kendricks.
Bubble watch: Most of the veterans who were in jeopardy -- Cole, Todd Herremans, Cary Williams, etc. -- are already gone because of Kelly’s aggressive offseason. The ones who survived this long are liked enough by Kelly to survive right through the season.
But there are some well-liked vets who could be casualties during camp. If Ryans or Kendricks falter because of injuries or performance, either could be cut to clear the way for Alonso or Hicks.
If Celek and Cooper aren’t at the top of their game, strong blocking might not be enough to secure their jobs. Not when Ertz and Matthews are working hard to improve their blocking while continuing to be threats in the passing game.
On defense, time is running short for Wolff. Kelly seemed annoyed that Wolff's knee was preventing him from full participation in organized team activities. Wolff needs to make a strong showing in camp and show that he is better than Walter Thurmond. If he doesn't, he could be gone before the season starts.
The Tebow Factor: Whatever else is going on with this team, there will be a separate spotlight focused on Tim Tebow. That’s just the way it is. Kelly knew that when he signed Tebow to compete for the No. 3 quarterback spot.
Matt Barkley looked pretty good during OTAs, but Tebow adds an element that Kelly might find intriguing. Can the coach find a way to make use of Tebow’s talents as a runner? Can Kelly figure out a way to dress Tebow for games despite limited roster spots? Will Tebow’s hard work with throwing mechanics guru Tom House pay dividends?
It will all be answered over the next month.
For daily updates at camp, check out the Philadelphia Eagles clubhouse page.