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Eagles Roster Cut Discussion

Philadelphia-Eagles-2012-2013-Home-Jersey-Uniform

082813_Chip_kelly_600EAGLES CUTS- Now unlike that picture, I am not going to highlight @CutonDime25, LeSean McCoy’s, knee-cracking juke cuts.  However, it is time to talk about coach Kelly’s perspective roster cuts.

For the first time Chip Kelly is in charge of cutting an NFL roster down to 53 men-  he has 22 more to go.  

According to numerous reports, Kelly is one of 5 coaches (of 29 polled) that have final say on roster cut decisions.  In an interview with ESPN (click for story), Kelly gave some insight onto how he is thinking coming into the biggest round of cuts.

 

53 man roster

QB- Dennis Dixon got hosed when Matt Barkley fell to the fourth round of this past year’s draft- Dixon will likely be cut. However, G.J. Kinne has impressed and looks like a good fit for the Kelly system.  I have Kinne with an invite to the practice squad, and no fault of his own really, Dennis Dixon is on the outside looking in.

RB- It is clear that LeSean McCoy is the starter and Bryce Brown will see some serious playing time as his back-up .  Third stringer Chris Polk continues to impress and improve, but with Felix Jones gone, I have to say that all four Eagles rbs look like NFL players.  The odd man out definitely appears to be Matthew Tucker, however it is just a numbers game if that were the case.  If Kelly doesn’t keep four backs, which he mightthan Tucker will probably be invited to the scout team, but don’t be surprised if Tucker has already done enough to wiggle his way into a roster spot.

WR- Diamond in the rough, Greg Salas, has more-than-likely played his way into a spot on the WR corp.  He will join DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson, which makes five.  However, there will probably be a 6th on Kelly’s roster.  Front runner for the spot is Russell Shepard, who is even harder to cut after a great camp that culminated in a Mike Vick endorsement.  That leaves no room for Chip Kelly’s former player at Oregon, WR  Jeff Maehl, or the 6’7” Ifeanyi Momah.  Both could be extended practice squad invites.

TE-  The Eagles are strong and deep here.  Brent Celek and Zach Ertz will definitely be on the squad.  James Casey can likely say the same, especially if it is being based on his play in the preseason games.  Clay Harbor is the person folks are wondering about.  My guess is that Kelly finds a way to keep the talented TE around.  One train of thought being tossed around in Eagles story-mill is that Harbor could make the roster as a WR/TE.  If you’re reading the signs the way I am, then you’re looking at that story as proof that Kelly is looking for a way to keep Harbor on his roster.

O Line- The versatility of backups like Dennis Kelly and Allen Barbre may have former 1st round pick Danny Watkins on the outside looking in.  However, I don’t have him as part of my cuts but I could be wrong as Watkins has reportedly continued to slide down the depth chart.  Watkins or not, it’s just good to see the Eagles O-Line look good again.

D Line- Antonio Dixon has developed into a personal favorite, but some folks opinion of Dixon is that he won’t fit the 3-4 scheme.  I have Joe Kruger not making the cut mainly because I don’t think the Eagles’ 7th round selection and brother of OLB of the Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens Paul Kruger is a fit for the team’s new 3-4 scheme.  I think he should be a practice squad guy unless he shows  something big in the last preseason outing.

LB- Kelly wants four inside linebackers and right now there are five.  One of those five is Casey Matthews.  I think Matthews is gone in my version of a perfect world (never been a fan), but if he’s kept, it will likely be Jake Nott who gets the axe.  At OLB Adrian Robinson jumps out as someone I may be wrong about.  Eagle GM Howie Roseman just traded Felix Jones to acquire Robinson from the Steelers, and despite Kelly’s saying he will go 8 deep at linebacker barring special teams considerations, coach still hasn’t made it clear who will back up Trent Cole and Conner Barwin on the outside.  OLB is the hardest position to nail down for the Eagles because it is the position in the most flux. Since Kelly hasn’t likely made a decision yet either, I will end by saying that my decisions may change after seeing everyone one more time in the final preseason game.

Corner-  Brandon Hughes and Curtis Marsh’s camp injuries allowed Jordan Poyer to get a little more recognition this camp.  Poyer stood out in the Eagles last preseason outing. That being said, I don’t think Hughes or Poyer beat out Trevard Lindley for the last defensive back spot, but they will definitely have their shot in the last preseason game to lock down a job. Carry Williams, Brandon BoykinsBradley Fletcher, and Curtis Marsh already solidified spots with the club.

Saftey- Patrick Chung, Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen will all help rookie Earl Wolff learn the ropes out in center field.  The plan is to have Nate Allen hold the spot and keep it warm for Earl Wolff.  Let’s just hope whoever plays doesn’t get burnt like toast every weekend.

So there it is- my 53. If you only counted 50 guys on that sheet, don’t forget the P,K and LS.  By the way, that picture is a screenshot courtesy of Eagles.com- an “unofficial” depth chart.  And don’t worry- if you totally disagree with me, you can check out with Jeff Mclane from the inquirer has to say.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20130829_Predicting_the_Eagles__53-man_roster.html