Misc Roster Talk

Posted: May 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 56 Comments »

We’re getting to that part of the year where we really start to guess how the roster will shake out.  This leads to some tough questions.  What happens if all the young RBs play well?  What happens if Cedric Thornton outplays Antonio Dixon?  What if Chad Hall gets some magic speed beans on the way to the market?

Do we keep 6 WRs?  Could we keep 6 CBs?  How many DTs?  DEs?  And so on.

There are some roster generalities to keep in mind.  I normally count on 26 spots for defense, 24 for offense, and 3 for STs.  The breakdown would be:

QB – 3
RB/FB – 4
WR – 6
TE – 2
OL – 9

DE – 5
DT – 5
LB – 6
S – 5
CB – 5


These numbers are not set in stone.  You build the roster based on your systems and also on the players you have.  If Colt Anderson starts the year on the PUP list and only Phillip Thomas or Tom Nelson is solid, there is no reason to keep 5 Safeties.  Keep 4 and go heavy at another spot where someone has played his way on the roster.  If the TEs outplay the WRs this summer, keep 4 TEs and just 5 WRs.

The goal is to have the best 53 man roster possible.  Clearly there are some minimums you must have to function.  We’re a passing team.  We need 5 WRs.  We rotate DL so we need at least 4 DEs and 4 DTs.  A team built on the running game might go heavy at RB.

We can spend the summer talking about a lot of difference scenarios, but there is no reason to talk about things in a definitive fashion yet because there are so many variables.  Remember that the Eagles don’t want to have 50 good players and then to find 3 bodies to add on.  The Eagles want 56 or 58 good players, forcing them to cut and/or trade some guys to get down to 53.

You want to head into Training Camp with 60-70 players you really like, knowing that some guys will regress, some will flat line, some will get hurt, and whatever else might happen.  Football truly is a game of attrition.  You will lose players.  You build your roster to survive whatever happens.

* * * * *

Dave Spadaro has a column up taking a look at the veteran FAs that will be fighting for spots.  I’ve written about all of these guys, but for those who want a good refresher, check it out.

* * * * *

Fake WIP Caller has up a terrific column over at SB Nation Philly.  Funny stuff.  The only thing better than his columns are the people who get offended because they don’t know the columns are a joke.

* * * * *

How young are we at RB?

LeSean McCoy – 4th yr

Dion Lewis – 2nd
Stanley Havili – 1st
Graig Cooper – 1st
Bryce Brown – R
Chris Polk – R

Shady has as much experience as the rest of the group combined.  I wonder if they’ll call him Gramps or something like that.

* * * * *

The Eagles haven’t signed any draft picks yet, but Les Bowen mentioned on Twitter today that he expects the team to start signing guys soon.  Interestingly, the rookies we need to sign the quickest are Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin.  Kendricks could be the starting SAM.  Boykin could be the Nickel corner and primary KOR.

56 Comments on “Misc Roster Talk”

  1. 1 iLLWiLLTHEMiCK said at 11:48 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    wow.. such an interesting look at the RB situation.. smh..

  2. 2 GeorgeFleep said at 11:55 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    I thought 3 TEs were practically a given. Brett Bracket was given a small roster bonus. Mudd likes to do 2 TE sets. Wouldnt it make sense. I get if there isnt that skilled of players there you are forced to put the roster spot at a dif position but you gotta do what you gotsta do.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 12:16 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    I think the Eagles are strongly considering 3 TEs this year. The list I had above is generic.

  4. 4 Eric Weaver said at 8:35 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Could go with 2 QB and 3 TEs since Brackett originally went to Penn St. as a QB, right? 🙂 He could be the third stringer. I’m kidding, of course.

  5. 5 Joe Taylor said at 11:58 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    What do you think about Brett Brackett? What kind of TE is he? Receiving, or blocking? Does he have any shot of making the Eagles go with 3 TE’s this year?

  6. 6 GeorgeFleep said at 12:12 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    I definitely do think that he has a shot. He was a WR at PSU. But i guess was too slow for WR in the NFL. He was an above average blocking WR. I do not know what translates to TE. This says ( http://www.rookiedraft.com/?p=4526 ) he has consistantly good hands.

  7. 7 deg0ey said at 5:57 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    That looks pretty promising. When I read “Brackett has less than ideal speed, even for the tight end position” in the article you linked to, I was a little concerned, but I looked at the 40 time from his pro day (4.61) and realised that if he’d done that at the Combine, it would’ve put him in the top 10 TEs since 2009 in that category.

    His 3-Cone would’ve ranked 3rd of all TEs since the 09 Combine.

    Obviously those numbers aren’t necessarily going to be as accurately measured or obtained under exactly the same conditions as if he’d done them at Indy, but he’s got some pretty decent measureables regardless; I wouldn’t be describing him as ‘less than ideal’ in that respect.

    Having said all of this, I’ve never actually seen any tape of the guy, so maybe he doesn’t actually run well on the field, but I think he should have every chance to be successful with some good coaching and a chance to learn the nuances of the TE position.

  8. 8 Eric Weaver said at 8:36 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    I think he plays the ball well and has pretty sure hands.

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 12:17 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Brett is an athlete and a receiver. He played WR at Penn State.

  10. 10 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:26 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Does keeping an extra tight end make a difference to how the team sees Avant? we use him to block on alot of plays,

  11. 11 Joe Malone said at 11:59 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    Thats an aspect of McCoy I had never really thought about, but definitely valuable. With him as our true #1, it give us a great opportunity to go young there and take risks on talentssuchas Brown and Polk. Sure he’s only like what, 23? It just makes LeSean all the more valuable because I personally consider him a veteran now in his 4th year. Hopefully he can teach some of these young guys the value in practice and preparation off the field.

  12. 12 Joe Taylor said at 12:04 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Since we didn’t draft a red zone threat high in the draft, and the more and more time that passes it seems less likely we’ll go after Plax.

    So does that mean the Eagles are content with McNutt and Cooper to be the red zone targets?

  13. 13 GeorgeFleep said at 12:14 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    dont forget that you dont have to throw the ball into the endzone to get a TD. As everyone knows eagles are really good at screens.

  14. 14 Joe Taylor said at 12:17 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    How many screens/shovel passes led to a TD last season? Just wondering..

    No teams is afraid of a DJax/Maclin fade route…

  15. 15 GeorgeFleep said at 12:37 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    The point is not being afraid. It also doesnt have to be WRs it could be RB, FB, TE scrreen. Mudd blocking works good for screens. Instead of the player running out he turns inside. Might be a bad example of non red zone throw to the endzone but do you remember chad hall TD last game redskins?

  16. 16 Joe Taylor said at 12:41 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    No but I remember the other 15 games we played while still being in contention…

    Last years was our worst year for screens to any player, and for shovel passes….

    We had like 2 successful screens in 15 games…One against DAL when Jeremy Maclin got a 10 yard TD..Other was a 30 yarder to DeSean against BUF.

    Part of the reason for us being terrible in the RZ is because of lack of size. We need to have bigger players make plays inside the 20.

  17. 17 D3Keith said at 8:00 PM on May 9th, 2012:

    Maclin against ATL when Collinsworth nearly wet his shorts talking about Jason Peters.

    Outside the red zone maybe.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 12:19 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    The Eagles do think McNutt can be a RZ threat. We’ll have to see about Riley. He’s shown some flashes, but nothing enough to make us get too excited.

  19. 19 iskar36 said at 12:16 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    It’s amazing to me to even be thinking about rookies signing already. In years past, it would be at least a month before anyone but the first pick in the draft to sign. Now, Seattle has 7 of their picks already signed. I really hope that all means we will not see any holdouts this year from rookies.

  20. 20 Joe Taylor said at 12:23 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Who has more NFL potential? Brown or Polk?

    & has anyone heard about Jerome Harrison lately?

  21. 21 Westport_Johnny said at 7:37 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Presume Jerome Harrison will be out of the league. Since the failed trade / successful diagnosis and removal of brain tumor last October, the 29 yr old Harrison had his contract with the Lions expire, and is now a free agent.

    While Harrison had potential at one point, not sure if he has anything left (and would he be cleared to resume football… big difference between a prognosis for living a normal life vs. being cleared to resume football). I would think the Iggles would look for younger taent, such as Brown or Polk.

  22. 22 D3Keith said at 8:13 PM on May 9th, 2012:

    I thought he was asking just in reference to his health, not his availability

  23. 23 deg0ey said at 5:41 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    “Speed beans”? I think all that would achieve is getting Chad arrested on a possession charge.

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 8:28 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    There are no narcs in fairy tales so I didn’t think of that angle.

  25. 25 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:27 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    There has to be some Giants joke somewhere there…

  26. 26 NoDecaf said at 8:19 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Looks like a ton of camp bodies on the offensive line. Is that SOP?

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 8:37 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Actually, I think this group has more potential/experience than usual. Several of the guys have been in/around the league for years. That doesn’t make them anything special, but does show they are good enough to hang around. They also have some pro experience. Those types of guys can make good backups.

  28. 28 Eric Weaver said at 8:39 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Eagles almost always go with at least 9. You need at least 4 good backups and one swing position guy.

  29. 29 T_S_O_P said at 10:51 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    You’ll notice more Tackles than normal. I think that is to cover an injury to Bell.

  30. 30 Arby1 said at 9:12 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Your mention of Fake WIP Caller reminded me of something I thought of the other day when everyone was discussing your future employment opportunities. Have you ever sent a resume to WIP? I visit Philly often and inevitably switch on and tune in. For about 5 seconds. The guys who work there, not to mention the callers, are unintelligent and, for me, unlistenable. You would represent a sea change there. Since you already have done radio work and you have a bunch of recent podcasts to your credit, I would think you’d be ideal for that. Perhaps it could start as a 1 or 2 hour show per week and grow from there. Any thoughts? Philly desparately needs good sports talk.

  31. 31 D3FB said at 12:10 PM on May 8th, 2012:

    Its a hell of a commute from NC to South Philly

  32. 32 Arby1 said at 2:29 PM on May 8th, 2012:

    I was thinking he could do it via phone hook-up or something. But by the time they make him station manager, he will have snagged a condo overlooking Lincoln Financial..

  33. 33 D3Keith said at 8:32 PM on May 9th, 2012:

    “You would represent a sea change there.”

    Which is probably why he wouldn’t be hired — although I would never discourage anyone from trying. But my sense is they want gossip-mongers and people to stir up the dirt at the bottom of the river, not intelligence.

  34. 34 Arby1 said at 9:27 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    re: FakeWIPCaller – good line…

    “Here in Philadelphia, we will never apologize for being passionate. We’ll cheer and boo whoever we want to. This is America, and besides, last I checked freedom of speech was invented right here in Philadelphia.”

  35. 35 Kirk Belmont said at 9:28 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Didn’t both Lewis and Havili come out last year? that would give the backups one more year of experience than Shady. He’s not gramps any more!

  36. 36 Davesbeard said at 11:37 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Havili wasn’t on the roster though which I think is where the distinction between ‘2nd’ ‘1st’ and ‘R’ comes in.

  37. 37 D3FB said at 12:11 PM on May 8th, 2012:

    Yea thats why Cooper is also listed as a 1st

  38. 38 Michael Wolfe said at 9:50 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    I think Boykin is the final nail in the coffin for Chad Hall. Boykin played the same role on offense at UGA as Chad Hall does here. And Boykin doesn’t need any speed beans.

  39. 39 aceandson said at 9:59 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Related roster question: any news on the proposed IR rule changes?

    Last I heard it was still possible to be implemented, that was a couple weeks before the draft and after the owners meeting but find no word since.

  40. 40 Yuri said at 10:25 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    I just want to point out that here’s a good job by Tommy setting up discussion topics for the dead time in the off-season (where sadly not every day will be filled with Eagles news ). There are already 5 “time to deliver” 3d year players to discuss, then every other player then and position roster battles etc.

    Tommy, curious what you think about Sheil Kapadia’s column re: Vick injuries (4 injuries all happened not when he ran/non-slid but when he stood in the pocket and completed a pass). I guess my question is–are there any conclusions to draw from all of this or is it just random.

  41. 41 Razz_A_Matazz said at 12:23 PM on May 8th, 2012:

    Both good points, Yuri. I appreciate the way Tommy spoon feeds us this stuff, otherwise we’d all have a good ol fashion binge, burn through it all in one long, glorious, bleary eyed night and spend the rest of the offseason climbing the walls. You can’t give a 3 month supply to a crackhead and tell them to use a little now and then in their spare time…

    I read the Sheil story, too. It’s a great point, about last year. I’d be curious to see an account of his career injuries. I’m thinking of a few, right off the top of my head, where he was injured rushing…. … … … … … … … … … … … Apologies, lost in a BDawk daydream for a minute. I’m back.

    I think the biggest issue w/ Vick is he’s 6’0- 208lbs., which incidentally, leads to a few of his shortcomings as a QB. Mike is a tough guy, no doubt. He takes a beating, few men his size could handle and keeps coming back. Those hits are cumulative, though. Over the course of the year, they add up. Sometimes, the best thing he can do to avoid injury might be to get out of the pocket and take off. Surely, it wouldn’t hurt the teams effort if he were to slide, rather than fight for a yard or two, unless the situation dictated. eg. 3rd and 11, you don’t slide at 10 yrds. The other thing he could do, and hopefully with a full offseason this will finally be the year, (tired of hearing/fingers crossed) that he can start making quicker reads and subsequently, make quicker and better decisions with the ball. If I should dare to dream, maybe, he’ll even get us into a better play once in a while… Half joking, last year was the first in his career, where I actually saw that a couple of times. Anyway, that will address many of our issues, as a team. It should reduce Vick’s need to scramble, the hits he takes in the pocket and his number of sacks and fumbles. I feel his height and decision making are the teams biggest problems in the Red Zone, as well. Can’t coach him up to 6’3″, but you can get him to recognize a slot corner blitz and call for a slant right into to the area vacated. I expect big things from Mike this season. I’ve done a 180 on him, throughout his career and I guess it correlates directly to the 180 he’s done in his life. He has the physical gifts to play late into his thirties and still be one of the fastest QB’s in the league w/ one of the strongest arms. At long last, with the way he’s dedicated himself , he finally seems to be cultivating the head to match it. Can’t wait!

    P.S.- Hey, Tommy… you think I could get a little more of that good stuff? I know ya said you were out right now, but maybe just a little personal, rainy day stash? Maybe, a little bit of that crazy longsnapper battle about to shape up… Is Matt Camilli a magician, or anything??? C’mon man, just a taste? CMON MAN! I MEAN IT! I’M NOT F”N AROUND HERE! Whoa, sorry about that Tommy, my man. Heh, I don’t know what got into me, I was just.. We’re still cool right? Tommy?

  42. 42 D3Keith said at 8:33 PM on May 9th, 2012:

    Love the crackhead line.

  43. 43 Macsit said at 10:38 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    I wondering why Polk signed with the Eagles. We already have a stud young running back in Shady and a couple of young guys in Dion Lewis and Bryce Brown. We also don’t have good track numbers for backup RB… It’s strange to me, maybe he didn’t get a lot of interest as UDFA…

  44. 44 Arby1 said at 10:45 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Polk and Brown are similar sized backs that would compliment Shady and Lewis. Eagles probably told Polk that Brown was a longshot to make the team and I heard that our scouts had a good relationship with him.

  45. 45 Macsit said at 11:18 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    I mean good track “record”, sorry guys I’m an Italian fan and my English is not perfect. Anyway if I was Polk I would have chosen a different team; as an Eagles fan I’m happy with this choice 🙂

  46. 46 Davesbeard said at 11:38 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Waaaaay better than my Italian!

  47. 47 D3Keith said at 8:35 PM on May 9th, 2012:

    Polk signed because to be a No. 2 RB as an undrafted rookie, all he’d have to do is beat out a 5th round pick with 1 year experience and a 7th-round pick with character questions.

    I guarantee there weren’t many opportunities like that across the NFL, and certainly not from teams expected to be any good.

  48. 48 Donald Kalinowski said at 10:48 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    7 LBs and 4 S

  49. 49 Arby1 said at 10:48 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Here’s something that cracked me up from PE.com about Danny Watkins:

    “Give Watkins this much credit. He has spent virtually the entire offseason at the NovaCare Complex. Sure, he’s taken time to purchase a fire truck which he plans to drive to home games this season, but the firefighter-turned-offensive guard wants to build upon the success that he had as a rookie.”

    I think that’s hilarious that he’s driving a fire truck to games. I love that image.

  50. 50 Kevin_aka_RC said at 11:01 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Canadians know how to get to work 🙂

  51. 51 Davesbeard said at 11:39 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    There’s a twitter pic somewhere from Kelce I think of he and Watkins cruising along in the firetruck. We have some awesome dudes on our OL!

  52. 52 D3FB said at 12:15 PM on May 8th, 2012:

    Theres actually a video of them driving it w/ the sirens on both giggling like little school girls. It’s priceless.

  53. 53 Ben Hert said at 12:40 PM on May 8th, 2012:

    Even better, a video:


  54. 54 Arby1 said at 2:34 PM on May 8th, 2012:


  55. 55 Razz_A_Matazz said at 12:52 PM on May 8th, 2012:

    The Luries insisted it be a hybrid, or run on bio-diesel.

  56. 56 Donald Kalinowski said at 10:50 AM on May 8th, 2012:

    Usually players who play both offense and defense aren’t really good at their original position. Is that the case with Boykins or can he develop into a decent CB? Who was the better CB prospect coming out of the draft Boykins or Devin Hester?