Derrick Gunn's 5 position battles to watch
1. Starting Quarterback
Derrick Gunn believes Mike Vick will open the season under center, but because of either poor play or injury, he will be replaced with Nick Foles by the halfway point of the season. And Foles could be on a short leash with Matt Barkley in his shadow.
2. Tight End
Brent Celek won't go down without a fight, but when the dust settles, he could be the third tight-end option on this team or looking for a new NFL home. James Casey and Zach Ertz are the present and future.
3. Backup Running Back
Last year Bryce Brown showed flashes of brilliance toting the rock, but his tendency to cough up the ball overshadowed his positives. So enter Felix Jones, who was shunned by the Dallas Cowboys. If he stays healthy, Jones gets Gunner's nod to win the supporting role.
4. Outside Linebacker
Demeco Ryans and Connor Barwin will be an every-down backers, but who else will be on the field in Billy Davis' hybrid 3-4 scheme? Can Trent Cole and Brandon Graham make the transition to stand-up outside attackers? If not, is there still a place on the roster to utilize their pass-rushing skills?
The coaching staff is still high on Nate Allen. Two years ago, a knee injury slowed him down, and last year playing alongside Kurt Coleman, some believe Allen was trying to do to much took and ended up taking a hit to his confidence.
5. Safety (continued)
For as long as he stays healthy, Patrick Chung will be on the field. And if Kenny Phillips can stay on the field and out of the trainer's room, he could force Allen to take a seat.