5. Will winning leaders emerge?
With the offseason make-over, the Eagles became one of the youngest teams in the NFL. They also jettisoned three more leaders from the most prosperous era in team history with the departures of McNabb, Westbrook, and Sheldon Brown.
In the recent past, the club also lost other key leaders such as Dawkins, Jon Runyan, and Tra Thomas. That pretty much makes a clean sweep of the veteran leadership during that period.
Now, discussions center on Kolb, Brent Celek, Stewart Bradley, and DeSean Jackson stepping into leadership roles. It remains to be seen whether they can pull that off— and if they will model and elicit behavior that fosters a winning culture.
Kolb had been quiet and nondescript publicly in his clipboard toting days, but current players have praised his presence on the field.
Celek and Bradley seem to have the make-up and talent to gain followership.
Although Reid has given him a vote of confidence, Jackson appears more likely to become a T.O.-like diva than the next Brian Dawkins. Recent comments and actions seem to suggest that Jackson's current priorities might be finances, stats, and winning— in that order.
Leadership is critical for success in the tough and competitive NFL world. Only time will tell how this evolves with the current roster.