PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Mike McDermott, played by Matt Damon in the poker movie Rounders, says this classic line before risking everything.
"You can't lose what you don't put it in the middle, but you can't win much either."
Chip Kelly, in his first offseason with personnel control, went all-in by trading the amiable Nick Foles for Sam Bradford and his two straight ACL injuries. Mike Mayock, one of the NFL's most respected analysts, loves the gamble.
"Last year, with pedestrian quarterback play they won ten games and they gave up a lot of points on defense," Mayock told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday. "They weren't as talented as they needed to be, yet they still won ten games with average quarterback play. Now, what I think the Eagles did, is they went out and took a little bit of a chance to get dramatically better at quarterback. Sam Bradford, and I watched just about everyone of his tapes coming out of Oklahoma---and remember Rhea [Hughes], he had shoulder problems coming out of Oklahoma. So he's always kind of had that durability stamp on him, that question.
Listen: Mike Mayock on the 94WIP Morning Show
"So I thought he was one of the most accurate quarterbacks I've ever seen on tape coming out of college," he continued. "There's no denying his arm strength and his accuracy. The only issue is durability, and it's a significant one. So I think the Eagles rolled the dice a little bit and said we can protect him better. We've got a better offensive line and we're gonna run the hell out of the ball, which is a quarterback's best friend. And by the way, if he does get hurt, we've got [Mark] Sanchez which is effectively what we had last year between Foles and Sanchez, that level of quarterback play. So I think they took a shot and said we're gonna get a little bit better with Bradford, and I applaud that."
Mayock, a Philly native and high school standout at The Haverford School, says he's "excited" to be the new TV analyst during Eagles preseason games on NBC10 this summer. Channeling his inner-Eagles fan, Mayock is certain the team will be better in 2015.
"Oh, I don't think there's any doubt they're better," Mayock said. "Again, they were 22nd in points allowed last year and they gave up all kinds of yards. They're gonna get better on defense and if they take care of the ball on offense, run the ball with DeMarco---we keep forgetting about DeMarco Murray and running the football again. Run the ball, take care of Sam Bradford. Yeah, I think they're a better football team."
Mayock isn't worried about replacing the production of former offensive stars like LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin.
"At the end of the day last year, they were still number three in points scored," Mayock explained. "When I look ahead, I think they're going to be in the top five regardless of who plays quarterback, in points scored. The key to winning the division, and ultimately the Super Bowl, is getting better at defense."
Finally, Mayock has two essential keys to the Eagles' 2015 success.
"If your Eagles are going to win the division they've got to do things," Mayock said. "One is offense, which is they've got to cut their turnovers in half. They were the worst offensive turnover team in the league. They had 36. And to give you a benchmark, the two Super Bowl teams---New England and Seattle---had 13 and 14. So they gotta cut 36 in half on offense.
"On defense, they were the worst team in the league on big plays, and we all know that. They're defense, on the back-end, they were awful. So on paper, their corner situation is a lot better."
In Rounders, the move paid of for Damon's character. In real-life, Eagles fans anxiously await to find out if Kelly's move for Bradford will pay off too.
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