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Philadelphia Eagles: 2014 NFL season key additions

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Philadelphia Eagles introduced new head coach Chip Kelly and his up temp offense in 2013. It got off to a tough start early, but once quarterback Nick Foles took over for Michael Vick as the permanent starter the offense hit another gear. Foles threw 27 touchdown passes and only had two interceptions thrown in 13 games played. The other Co-MVP of the team running back LeSean McCoy was the other driving force that helped the Eagles make it to the playoffs. McCoy can do it all which was evident with him rushing for over 1,600 yards and catching for over 500 yards. The defense had its problems containing offenses especially the pass defense.

Philadelphia released receiver DeSean Jackson during the off season because of on and off the field incidents. He was perhaps their most explosive receiver and opened up teammates underneath with his ability to get deep. The Eagles will need to find someone to replace his big play capabilities for the offense to have continued success as they did in 2013. One thing that can aide a struggling secondary in coverage is a solid consistent pass rush. Philadelphia will need to address this to improve on defense. Look below at additions that could be key for Philadelphia returning to the post season.

Darren Sproles - running back
Darren Sproles - running back Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Darren Sproles - running back

Darren Sproles was signed as a free agent from New Orleans. He was a key component on offense for the Saints with his ability to be a jack of all trades type of athlete. He is great at running routes out of the back field and is exceptional in the screen game. He is not built to be an every down type of running back, but does well at the quick hitting running plays. Sproles also adds a much needed dimension as a excellent return man on special teams. His presence will help take some of the pounding off of starting tailback LeSean McCoy. 

Jordan Matthews - wide receiver
Jordan Matthews - wide receiver Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Jordan Matthews - wide receiver

Jordan Matthews will get plenty of opportunities to get playing time his rookie season. DeSean Jackson is no longer on the team and the Eagles are looking for a talented receiver such as Matthews to help fill the void. Matthews has good size and the playing speed to win anywhere on the field. He needs to be more consistent at getting separation from defenders. He gives the quarterback a big target with a wide catching radius due to his length. He is not a elite speedster like Jackson, but can get open and cause mismatches with his size. 

Marcus Smith - linebacker
Marcus Smith - linebacker Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Marcus Smith - linebacker

Marcus Smith was drafted in the first round to help Philadelphia's defensive front put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Smith is an above average athlete who was a defensive end in college, but will be moved to outside linebacker in the Eagles 3-4 defense. He will have time to adjust to the NFL game learning from veterans Trent Cole and Connor Barwin. Smith needs to get stronger at the point of attack with runs coming at him. Once he learns some counter pass rush moves he could be a force for sometime. 

Malcolm Jenkins - safety
Malcolm Jenkins - safety Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Malcolm Jenkins - safety

Malcom Jenkins was signed during free agency to help the Eagles secondary woes from last season. Jenkins is an upgrade at free safety and provides the range needed to cover the deep zones. He can also match up against slot receivers and tight ends providing scheme versatility for the Eagles. He needs to make more plays on the ball and use better instincts to reach the next level of his career as being one of the best playmaking safeties.

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