This is the day we’ve been waiting since before Chip Kelly was hired, when it was becoming apparent Andy Reid’s run was coming to an end. Some disgruntled followers have no doubt been waiting even longer.
But the time has finally come for this Chip fella to show us why he was one of the most coveted head coaching candidates on the market the past two offseasons. Is his offense as good as advertised? Will his philosophies translate in the win-loss column? Can he build a successful program at the pro level?
Frankly, we’ve exhausted all words on those topics and many more over the last eight months. There’s only one way to find out the answers to all of our pressing questions.
Time to play the game.
The Eagles are four-point underdogs tonight in Washington against a Redskins team that went 10-6 en route to an NFC East Championship last season. You can check out some of the prevalent storylines and predictions for those here. Also below are links to all our previews and relevant stories for tonight’s action. First, let’s pick tonight’s standout star.
Standout Star: DeSean Jackson
I’m going DeSean for two reasons. First, he had a great summer. DJacc was making big plays seemingly on a daily basis at training camp, and it carried over into the preseason. In three games, Jackson hauled in six receptions for 123 yards (20.5 AVG) and one 47-yard touchdown. He could also see some punt return duties tonight.
The past couple years have been rough at times for the two-time Pro Bowler, but DeSean is healthy and coming into this season with the right approach. Chip Kelly promises to utilize his skills in a variety of ways that will be new to him at this level, and with Jeremy Maclin sadly lost to an ACL injury, Jackson figures to shoulder much of the burden for the offense on the perimeter.
But perhaps the biggest reason this dangerous wide receiver is poised to get off to a fast start in his sixth NFL season has to do with the state of the Redskins’ secondary. Sixth-round rookie Bacarri Rambo will start at one of the safety positions, and if Brandon Meriweather can’t go tonight (listed as questionable), career backup Reed Doughty will line up opposite the kid.
Toss in cornerback DeAngelo Hall and his propensity to give up the big play, and you have a group that is ripe for the picking on. Expect to see DeSean with a higher volume of targets on short and intermediate routes, but at some point Michael Vick is going to test these defensive backs vertically, which means Jackson should have opportunities to make things happen.
And away we go.
Eagles-Redskins Storylines and Predictions: Can Birds’ D Keep RG3 and Alfred Morris from Spoiling Chip Kelly’s Debut?
Place Your Bets! Eagles at Redskins Betting Lines: Who Will Throw for More? Vick or RG3?
Is RG3 Ready for Week 1 Against the Eagles?
2013 Philadelphia Eagles: Predictions for All 16 Games
@FakeWIPCaller’s Essential 2013 Eagles Preview: 10 Things I Hate About the Eagles
ESPN Writers Hate the Eagles, Love Andy Reid
Vick: Eagles’ Offense ‘Something like you’ve never seen before’
The Evster: So We’re Really Goin’ with Riley Cooper as our #2 WR, Huh?
Riley Cooper Says Cary Williams Scuffle Had Nothing to Do with Racial Slur
Nate Allen to Start at Safety for Eagles, but Earl Wolff Will Play
Danny Watkins Headlines Cuts as Eagles Get Down to 53 Players
‘We Will Rise’: This Video Will Get You Pumped Up for the Eagles
More from Andrew Kulp:
Breaking Down the Eagles' Inability to Stop the Run
Breaking Down the Eagles' Game Plan vs. Washington
5 Bold Predictions Heading into 2013
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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier's criminal conviction means he is barred from pursuing defamation claims against former FBI director Louis Freeh, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
Spanier, who said Freeh made false statements about him in a scathing 2012 report on Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, was convicted in March of covering up a 2001 abuse allegation against the retired assistant football coach.
Citing Spanier's conviction, Freeh's lawyers argued the defamation suit should be dismissed. Senior Judge Robert Eby said in his ruling that lawyers for both sides agreed Spanier's conviction on a child endangerment count barred him from pursuing his civil claims.
Freeh, in a statement issued by his lawyer, said he was "not surprised that this frivolous and malicious claim has finally been dismissed."
Freeh concluded in his report for Penn State's board of trustees that Spanier, two other administrators and late football coach Joe Paterno concealed abuse allegations against Sandusky for more than a decade out of a desire to avoid bad publicity for the university.
Former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz pleaded guilty to child endangerment and were sentenced to jail.
Spanier faces two months in jail but is free on bail while he appeals. He said in a statement Wednesday that he's confident he will win his appeal and will be able to resume his defamation case against Freeh.
Sandusky was found guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving 30 to 60 years in prison. He has maintained his innocence.
Penn State has paid out nearly a quarter-billion dollars in fines, settlements and other costs associated with the sex abuse scandal, and the football program suffered heavy NCAA sanctions. More than 100 of Paterno's victories were briefly erased from the record books.
Paterno's family and supporters hotly dispute Freeh's findings.