As preseason begins, can Eagles rise to occasion amid hype

And so it begins for the new-look Eagles.

New quarterback. New running back. New wide receiver. New secondary.

There is a lot of new going around.

Change can sometimes be a good thing. We’re all about to find out.

The Eagles open the preseason on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, marking the beginning of the evaluations that this roster will face for the next four weeks.

For weeks, it’s been discussed about how Chip Kelly is continually making it his team. There is no question these are his Eagles.

But after all the speculation, all the hype, all the anticipation, can this team rise to the occasion and return to the playoffs with similar success to what Kelly had in his first season or will it become more deflating than the dream team that never took flight?

You would think so. You would hope so.

But that’s just the thing. There is so much discussion about the possible improvements and the things that could go wrong. Did the team upgrade here? Did they take a step back there? Will Player A make up for the loss of Player B? Can [insert player’s name here] stay healthy?

This is a football city. Philly fans are passionate about all sports, but the hunger for a Super Bowl ring is greater than anything else in Philadelphia sports. They crave it. They live and breathe it. They die with every deflating defeat.

Now take that city-wide hype and multiply it by a thousand. Add in a national media circus.

The stories just continue to form: Sam Bradford’s knee, why LeSean McCoy left, whatever is happening in the world of DeSean Jackson that people seem so set on telling Eagles nation, rookies in the secondary, rookies at wide receiver, the offensive line, Evan Mathis and how he left.

Check in with any national reporter, who in addition to continuing a Chip Kelly-race soap opera of sorts, are surrounding the Eagles with questions on health, questions on who left – not who was added, questions on what if…questions, questions, questions. And, oh yeah, throw in Tim Tebow for good measure.

If Tom Brady wasn’t suspended and under investigation by the NFL, Philadelphia would be the hottest football spot in the country. Even with Brady, it still might be.

But in Philadelphia, this is only the beginning of a season-long reality show. 16 games to see who can survive, who can lead the way and what kind of crazy story they can draw up next.

Philly fans are the type that get excited over talent. They like to watch good players do the right things on the field. But rarely has this city seen a team that fans are this excited about over the intangibles, over the possibilities, over the storylines.

It’s going to be a crazy roller coaster ride from now until January, and possibly beyond. You might want to hang on tight for this off-road, out-of-control ride.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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