With NFL training camp still over two weeks away and with very little NFL news to satisfy our insatiable appetite for football, there is ample time to sit and reflect forward, contemplating the many possibilities for the Eagles in 2015.
The roster has undertaken a radical transformation under Chip Kelly, but an air of confidence unlike that ofmost offseasons has the players who are on the roster expecting great things this season.
"I think we have definitely improved," Zach Ertz said during OTAs a few weeks ago,"especially on defense, we added Kiko[Alonso]and Byron [Maxwell] and some other guys, and on offense we have to keep doing what we do, playing fast and being relentless on every single play."
The Birds' schedule has been out for a while, and after missing the playoffs in 2014, the team was given a relatively easy docket of games.
Their opponents in 2015 had a winning percentage of.475 (121-134-1) last season, the 23thbest record of any accumulated schedule.
However it does not help the Eagles much in their trek to win the division, as the Redskinsand Giants have the 20th hardest schedule and the Cowboys the 24th hardest.
As far as Philly goes,aside from facing Dallastwice (early in the season) Philadelphia only sees four playoff teams from a year ago. And one of these teams, the Panthers, made the playoffs with a losing record.
The Birds also are not seeing a non-Dallas, non-Carolina playoff team until Week 12, their Thanksgiving date in Detroit. Much like last year, the schedule seems to be a little bit easier up front with the Lions, Patriots and Cardinals all slated between Weeks 12 and 15.
Of course, strength of schedule doesn't take into account teams improving year to year. The Giants (Week 6), Jets (Week 3) and Bills (Week 14) will likely be better than they were last year.
Regardless of improvement, the Birds have a favorable schedule, and according toErtza much improved roster.
"We expect each and every person in this building to come in and work hard for the team," the tight endsaid confidently."No one on this team is bigger than the team. We have a lot of guys who come in and work hard and that's what makes it fun each and every day."
In case you need a refresher, here is the Eagles schedule for the 2015 regular season:
Monday, Sept. 14: at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m.....ESPN
Sunday, Sept. 20: vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.....FOX
Sunday, Sept. 27: at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m.....CBS
Sunday, Oct. 4: at Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m.....FOX
Sunday, Oct. 11: at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m.....FOX
Monday, Oct. 18: vs. New York Giants, 8:30 p.m......ESPN
Sunday, Oct 25: at Carolina Panthers, 8:30 p.m.....ESPN
Sun, Nov. 1: BYE WEEK
Sunday, Nov 8: at Dallas Cowboys 8:30 pm....ESPN
Sunday, Nov. 15: vs. Miami Dolphins, 1:00 pm....CBS
Sunday, Nov. 22:vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m....FOX
Thursday, Nov. 26: at Detroit Lions, 12:30 pm.....FOX
Sunday, Dec. 6: at New England Patriots, 4:25 pm....FOX
Sunday, Dec. 13 Buffalo Bills, 1:00 pm....CBS
Sunday, Dec. 20 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:00 pm....FOX
Saturday, Dec. 26 at Washington Redskins, 8:25 pm.....NFLN
Sunday, Jan. 3 at New York Giants, 1:00 pm.....FOX