The Eagles starting quarterback got hurt in the preseason finale. No, not the new “100 million” dollar man, the one who actually started the finale for the Eagles against the New Your Jets last night…Vince Young. He pulled up on a roll out last night and appeared to either pop or pull his hammy, details will proably surface at some point today. As i have mentioned before, you can not tell a whole lot about a team in the preaseason and what it it will mean for the regular season. But, the $225 million delved out by Jeffrey Lurie to his new team, certainly did not show anything to to really get excited about (most likely by design). In fact, the concerns going into the preseason were highlighted and even some signs of some new areas the birds may struggle were showcased. Again, come Week #1, they may all go away…but let’s look and see what areas the Eagles need to shore up based off the preseason and then we will, take a look at the roster.
Henery & Henry Gone are Sav Rocca and David Akers. In are Alex Henry (kicker) and Chas Henry (punter). 2 Rookies now in charge of late game heroics in the form either kicking a game winning field goal or nailing a punt deep inside the opponents 20 to ensure bad field position for a team trying to make a comeback. The kickoffs will be a major topic this year in the NFL due to moving them up 5 yards. An explosive offense may lessen the load for a field goal kicker this year but it will be interesting to see how Alex Henry handles the pressure in late game situations in a tight NFC East battle in the cold & wind.
Offensive Line Howard Mudd has his hands full in figuring a combo that will protect the $100 million dollar man Michael Vick. Injuries have not helped them get a good look. But rookie center Jason Kelce and rookie Danny Watkins will be under the microscope in the early going. Moving Todd Herremans over to help Watkins could become the most important move the Eagles have made in the preseason.
Linebackers Again, a rookie here in Casey Matthews will be in the spotlight. With the surrounding cast on the defense, he thankfully will NOT be asked to be a game changer…just not a game loser. That is all they want, make the smart play. Unfortunately…that usually comes with experience which he has zero. The middle of the field will be targeted by opposing teams until the Eagles show they can handle it, especially in the short passing game. The linebackers area is the most commonly used/exploited area to extend drives on broken plays, so the Birds linebackers will have to show they are able to help get the team off the field and force those fourth downs.
Look, i have a real good feeling about this team this year. But, with all the new faces (players and coaches alike) it will take time for everything to come together and gain some experience. The Eagles will have to be at 53 players on their roster by 4pm Saturday. You can bet, that even though the roster will be widdled to 53, with over 1200 players soon to hit waivers , the Birds roster at 4:01 will not be the same before game one against the Rams on 9/11. So, we will look at the roster by position and categorize by 3 classes: Lock, Bubble, Gone. Bubble will be those making the team but definitely watching the waiver wire over the next week and half.
QB (3) Lock: Vick, Young, Kafka That is it…
RB/FB (6) Lock: Lesean McCoy, Ronnie Brown, Dion Lewis, Owen Schmitt Bubble: Eldra Buckley Gone:Stanley Havili
TE (2) Lock:Brent Celek & Clay Harbour Gone:Donald Lee,Cornelius Ingram
WR (6) Lock: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Steve Smith, Riley Cooper Bubble: Chad Hall Gone:Johnnie Lee Higgins, Sinorice Moss
Offensive Line (10) Lock:Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis, Danny Watkins, Jason Kelce, Winston Justice, Ryan Harris, Jamaal Jackson Bubble: Justin Vandervelde Gone:King Dunlap, Reggie Wells, Mike Mcglynn
Defensive Line (7) Lock:Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Darryl Tapp, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon Bubble: Trevor Laws Gone:Daniel Teo’Nesheim, Juqua Parker, Derek Landri,Anthony Hargrove,Phillip Hunt, Note: Brandon Graham will be on PUP
Line Backers (6) Lock:Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Moise Foku, Brian Rolle, Bubble: Keenan Clayton, Akeem Jordan Gone:Greg Lloyd
Cornerbacks (5) Lock: Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha, DRC, Bubble:Brandon Hughes, Curtis Marsh Gone:Trevard Lindley, Joselio Hanson
Safety (5) Lock:Kurt Coleman, Jarrad Page, Nate Allen Bubble:Colt Anderson,Jaiquawn Jarret
Special Teams (3) Lock: Henery, Henry, and Jon Dorenbos
There is my take for the final 53. The practice squad will have 8 so there are few cuts that will appear there. The specials teams guys like Hall, Moss and Colt Anderson will be probably the most interchanged. Not sure Chad Hall can handle the return duties, but i am a Hall fan so that is why i chose him over Moss. And how can you not have a guy with name “Colt” on your squad! Thoughts??