Sunday Six Pack: Eagles vs. Colts

The preseason is set to kick off and with that, the Philadelphia Eagles return to the field.

A long but eventful offseason kept fans plenty busy during the down time without game action, but today, the games begin.

While it is just the preseason and wins and losses have very little meaning, there are many important factors that could play in.

Here are six things to watch in the first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.

First look at the secondary – The Eagles improved the secondary on paper with the addition of Byron Maxwell and drafting Eric Rowe, among others. This is the first chance to see how much the Eagles secondary has improved.

Rookies – Speaking of Rowe, this is also the first chance at seeing the rookie class from the 2015 Draft. All eyes are sure to be on Nelson Agholor and following the injury to 2015 draft pick JaCorey Shepherd, Randall Evans should garner some attention as well.

Marcus Smith – The preseason is not only an opportunity for new draft picks to be showcased, it is a chance for players lower on the depth chart to prove their value. In the wake of a season-ending injury to Travis Long, this could be a chance for 2014 first-round pick Marcus Smith, after limited playing time in 2014, to show he truly belongs

Quarterbacks – Since Sam Bradford is held off the field until next week against the Ravens, the first quarterback Eagles fans will get to see is Mark Sanchez. What might be more interesting than that is getting looks at Matt Barkley and new Eagle Tim Tebow.

Running backs – Since DeMarco Murray is also not expected to play, we won’t get a full idea of how the running backs will be used as a trio. However, Darren Sproles quickly won the hearts of Eagles fans last year and should get solid playing time. This will also be the first chance for fans to see Ryan Mathews suit up in the Eagles colors.

Chip Kelly’s early thought process – We all know Chip Kelly is a mind unlike any other in terms of football philosophy. We know he can change his mind at any time and often times can make changes on the fly. That should be no different in the preseason, but this first game will at least give us an idea of where the Eagles stand at this point of training camp. Seeing where certain players line up, what situations they are used and how much they play could give an idea to Chip Kelly’s thinking and evaluation.

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

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