Favorite Underdog

Posted: July 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 71 Comments »

On paper, the Eagles have 90 players fighting for 53 roster spots. Reality says that’s not exactly true. 40 to 45 spots are pretty much already set. So you really have 45 to 50 guys fighting for about 10 spots. The odds aren’t good for those players.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t pull for the underdog. Last year we all got excited by Chris McCoy and his bid to make the roster. We were all shocked when he was cut.

The question for today is this…which underdog do you most want to make the team and why?

It would be easy to pull for Alejandro Villanueva, the former Army officer and football star. He’s got a compelling story and he’s also a huge guy.

Or maybe you prefer Henry Josey, the UDFA running back who had to overcome a devastating knee injury.

GJ Kinne is a favorite among some people (most notably Brandon Lee Gowton).

Davon Morgan has a compelling story and seems like a heck of a guy.

There are plenty of players to choose from. So which underdog do you want to make it?

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I previously wrote about some of these guys here.

* * * * *

Davon Morgan would be my choice. DB is still a weak spot for the Eagles and I’ll take any help we can get. Plus, after years of good resources not working out (Jarrett, Marsh, etc.), it would be cool to find a solid role player sitting on the street. That would be football karma, right?

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  • A_T_G

    I’ll take Josey. The sincerity and maturity in his video almost brought tears to my eyes. This is a kid that will never take his oppertunity for granted. He has seen how fragile his dream is and will put in the work.

    That said, if you had told me about Villianueva before the season and told me I would pick someone other than him as my long-shot favorite, I wouldn’t have believed you.

    • mtn_green

      I agree. I really like the way Josey plays. Hits the hole hard, looks like a bowling ball, no wiggle but uses blockers and angles. He has the attitude that every tackle can be broken and runs fast.

    • T_S_O_P

      Yeah, I’m on the Josey train too.

      • Maggie

        Love your avatar. I have been playing the Music since 1970. First CD I ever bought was “MFSB: Love Is The Message”. I had been playing the album since it was new in 1974. Go Trammps.

        • T_S_O_P

          Thanks Maggie, my first experience of the Philly Sound was Backstabbers and was listening/watching them and others last night when you responded.

  • kajomo

    Maybe Jarrett and Marsh was just the universe balancing out the years where we found solid to good players in Rod Hood, Mikell, and your favorite mmmBop.

    We used to be so good at finding those guys.

  • GermanEagle

    Tim Howard.

    • Ark87

      He’s no underdog, He earned an honorary spot on every American Football team, ironic that he got to make history because the rest of his team was so overmatched. Similar thing happened vs Germany, at one point I checked in, was 11 shots on goal to 2, yeesh.

      • SteveH

        The Belgians ended up taking 39 shots (most since the stat has been tracked) and Howard defended 16 of them (most since stat has been tracked).

        The fact that we made it to extra time is miraculous.

        • anon

          In the last 15 i think our fitness showed through. I think if we had another 5 minutes we could have taken it to PKs and we would have won.

          Kinsmann is a fitness fanatic, i’m sure he does a lot of the same things as Kelly and you could see that fitness shine through in the second extra period. I was super proud of how they played. All that said technically we need to get a lot better before we can get any real respect in soccer.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            but that’s ok, we don’t have the infrastructure of europe/south america to teach kids fundamentals through their early years. Remember, most of those countries have at least a century of experience more than us. Half our kids get hit or miss coaching from club and school teams. Amazing that we had a guy like Dempsey turn out so damn well.

  • GEAGLE

    Kolbb was arrested for Boating while intoxicated lol.. I can’t get over it
    ..
    Bill Polian says the most Aldon smith will get suspended for is 3′games, which means he would be back for week 4 against the Eagles while Lane is still suspended….no way that we should play without Lane but they get to play with that maniac who has been arrested 14 times. Aldon better be suspended for ATleast 4 games!!

    • Eric Carranza

      He(Kolb) was arrested in my home county lol Deep South Texas

  • Jim Blizzard

    I’m still rooting for Brandon Graham. Hopefully 2 years in the same system under the same coach will do him some good.

    • A_T_G

      Good answer, although it is sad that our top pick is now an underdog to make the roster.

  • GEAGLE

    Rooting for Villanueava all day!!! Not just because he is in the military, but because he is a physical/athletic FREAK.. If this kid can develop into a player, he can turn into a monster addition, two gapping with those long arms..dudes 300lbs and he jumped over something Barwin needed a few attempts to clear, and Barwin is really really athletic….if the coaches can turn this kid into a football player who knows, maybe he can be our Margus hunt… Margus was a big, physical athletic monster from Estonia that has only been playing football a few years……Wish Villanueva would have been in the combine., love to know how this athletic freak measures.

    Out of all the long shots, if you just look at raw ability, the guys with the highest ceilings are Alejandro and Momah…..so while I root for PEOPLE like Jose and burton…it would be in the best interest of the Eagles if Alejandro or Villanueva can grow into players who make the team….in terms of which of the long shots has the best chance I would say Jose. Kid isn’t just some feel good charity story, dude can play…..but if the eagles can develop Momah or Villanueva and teach them to harness their rare body/athleticism combo and put it to use with their football technique, they could become beastly football players..

    Really hoping Momah and Villanueva can make the practice squad. be great to see how much more they can grow with a year of working out with eagles coaches,,Momah allegedly improved a lot on his own last year, love to see how much more he can improve with a year of eagles practice…It would also be cool if Karim Burton steps up and wins an OL spot. Really rooting for that kid. Like kids who had to overcome alot

  • D3FB

    Keelan Johnson. I like him far more than Reynolds or Lowe. Johnson has good size and decent athleticism and could become a good pro.

    • D3Center

      I’m surprised your not going with Kruger. But I’m guessing you consider him a lock to make the roster?

      • D3FB

        Correct.

  • RobNE

    Saints’ Graham ruled to be a TE for tag purposes.

    • ACViking

      Next thing you know, some court will say a corporation has religious beliefs.

      • Mac

        It’s a sad day when a decision to allow freedom is mocked.

        • Average__Joseph

          Well said

        • Baloophi

          Well framed

      • Ark87

        Well they ARE people, so it makes total sense. Next will be the right to bear arms in the form of corporate armies. Now just let us put them in jail and execute them and we’ll call it a day!

        • Baloophi

          Oh I think a well regulated Hobby Lobby militia is very necessary to the security of a free state…

          • SteveH

            My word.

        • A_T_G

          The Wal*Mart militia would be tragic. Overwhelming numbers of soldiers who each only train part time, equipped with crappy versions of the latest gadgets, sent in waves to dig around the foundations of the garrisons of small Mom and Pop militias, undercutting their structures. All the while wearing smiley face targets over their hearts.

          And I don’t even want to get into the problems with the Target militia…

      • SteveH

        I always wondered (and you’re a lawyer and maybe you can answer this AC). If corporations are people, can they be arrested for murder or theft? Or really any other crime that a “person” can be arrested for? I mean since they are people.

        • Baloophi

          Yeah, but when was the last time a corporation committed a crime?

          • Maggie

            Every day, according to the Sierra Club et al.

    • ACViking

      Way back in 1906, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations do NOT have a 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

      Maybe that rule will change now . . . under the SCOTUS’s new doctrine of “size does matter.”

  • ACViking

    Villaneuva’s the closest thing the Birds have had to Vince Papale in almost 40 years.

    And if AJV makes the team, his story would outclass even the very classy Papale’s.

    • iceberg584

      I’ve heard from a couple of the players (both on defense) that Villanueva, even though he’s huge, is pretty far behind in a technical sense – and no real threat to make the 53-man roster, and that if he makes the practice squad, it’ll be to save face on a PR move.
      And I convey this as a West Point grad and Army officer, so I want him to make it as much as anyone.

      • ACViking

        Thanks . . . for the info and much, much more.

  • eagleyankfan

    A WR. I think we’re OK at WR but we’re also one injury away from saying “what are we going to do know”. Maybe not so much as an underdog stand point but from a “hopefully someone steps up to be a big contributor” stand point.

  • Insomniac

    Momah
    Reynolds
    Villanueva
    Josey

  • ICDogg
    • RobNE

      ha! been a long time since I saw him

    • A Roy

      At least we have no need to fear.

  • SteveH

    Murderleg. I will not let the dream die.

    • Baloophi

      I’m with you…

  • SteveH

    In other news, the story about the NFL Insiders poll ranking Foles the 15th best quarterback is awesome. Dude doesn’t seem to need it, but every bit of motivation helps. Never want someone thinking they’ve “arrived”.

  • Baloophi

    In years past I would abuse this space to promote “Trash Can” – a legendary practice figure who always seemed on the cusp of greatness. But I’m more mature now, so I’m pulling for…

    Armless Dummy
    In deference to the importance of our 2 gap defensive line scheme, I want a player who understands assignments, and from what I’ve seen of practice footage and photos, this guy is always in the right place. Here he is stopping McCoy…

    • Ark87

      Also Trashcan’s lawyers emailed and ordered a cease and desist of using trashcan’s likeness :-/

      • Baloophi

        I believe ACViking is representing Trash Can…

        • ACViking

          Trash Can — like a small corporation — has feelings, too.

          • Crus57

            I’m guessing they’re mostly ‘down in the dumps’?

          • mtn_green

            Trash can has religious freedom and can curtail employees health coverage based upon it.

          • anon

            you’re a member of the bar? As a lawyer, I never thought a lawyer could be so interesting.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            and I’m sure, his own PAC. all donations can be sent to “Congressional Rubbish PAC”, a non-partisan committee based on the premise of cleaning all the trash out of DC

    • A_T_G

      That is a shame. I hear they were giving him reps as a receiver.

      • RogerPodacter

        he’s a real longshot to make the team at WR after he lost his arms in a horrible sports “science” accident. the team is hoping to salvage something of their $89.99 investment by moving him to DL.

        • Baloophi

          I hear they tried to RoboCop him first but Goodell nixed it.

      • Baloophi

        He’s certainly “versatile.” As anyone who has ever needed to chill beer for a keg party and then needed to clean up after said party can attest to.

    • A_T_G

      I am glad you included a picture, I was afraid we resigned Ricky Watters for a moment.

    • Iskar36

      On one hand, to get this far, you know he isn’t making any arm tackles. On the other hand though, in every practice I’ve seen, he gets juked so bad that he dives the complete wrong direction.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-RF4S4MoSw

      • Baloophi

        Is he going the wrong direction, or simply making space for our ILB’s to make the play, by design?

  • Baloophi

    I don’t know if Emmanuel Acho should be considered an underdog, but he looks like a man amongst boys out there…

  • WEUer

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Blake Annen.
    Ifeanyi Momah
    Villanueva
    Henry Josey
    Murderleg

  • phillychuck

    Blake Annen (there, I mentioned him)

    Should have been drafted in round 4 or 5. Great athleticism, also can block.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a WR like Jeff Maehl or Brad Smith push the top guys.

    • Dominik

      Maehl has neither the athleticsm nor the game speed to push anyone. Maybe he’s a nice guy, he definitely shows effort, but he’s not an NFL WR, imho. I’m far from an D3FB from a football knowledge perspective, but I never saw anything besides effort from him. And effort alone only gets you so far. Like on the Eagles roster when your competition is BJ Cunningham, but not on the Eagles roster if your competition is Brad Smith and Benn (I hope).

      I just looked at his spider graph and found out that he seems to be pretty agile, but if you look at the more important measurables for WR (height, weight, speed, jump, strenght), he really is far away from impressive:

      http://mockdraftable.com/player/477/

      • deshawnbentley

        Not necessarily. He has the best 3 cone of all time (since the combine kept record). In the slot is where you use short area agility to get open. Since we’re not much of a deep vertical team Maehls talents shouldn’t be over looked. He has the athleticism to provide in the slot exactly what we look for

        • Dominik

          We have Matthews, Huff, Benn and Smith who are best used in the slot. We would have a problem outside if something happens to Mac or Coop (of course: Matthews could slide out), but slot WR is a position we invested in and have depth.

  • phillychuck

    Joe Kruger, too. If he made it we’d have to assume the stash him, train him, and feed him project worked.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    My vote is for KTBSL (Kicker-To-Be-Signed-Later), although he might actually be the leader at this point.

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  • Noah_Drau

    DL Joe Kruger
    Just gotta love that long body- type, and there’s a sense of payoff when you get a guy who declared for the draft a year too soon (see: Reynolds, Ed) for great value. It’s like hitting up Nordstrom Rack and getting a pair of $300 Italian pants for 30 bucks.
    Also, (supposing the DL stays healthy through the summer) Kruger making the roster would mean that Curry is gone. I really want Curry traded to a place where he can be of use. Watch out for Detroit, Buffalo, Seattle, and Jacksonville–all teams who will use Wide-9 on occasion.

    OLB Bryan Braman
    I had a roommate who was a Texans fan, and he adored Braman. There is something to be said of seeing an insane person on the field. And watching his cut-ups, he reminds me of my uncle, Ray “The Yak Attack” Yakovonis, who was a DE/OLB/Insane Special Teamer for the Vikings and Chiefs over his career in the late 80s/Early 90s. He is one of the craziest and most entertaining people I know.
    A lot of Texans fans wanted to see Braman get more snaps on defense , because his all-out style of play. Hopefully he’ll get that shot with the Eagles.

  • ChandlerMc

    1. Villanueva 2. Trey Burton 3. Henry Josey 4. GJ Kinne (over Barkley)

  • Noah_Drau

    Guys I hope the Eagles stash/redshirt/practice squad
    S Ed Reynolds, (see: Nordstrom Rack, infra)
    WR Quaron Pratt. Just a nice, hard working, balanced talent who will work his butt of on Special Teams.
    OLB Travis Long. If we keep Graham, it’ll be tough to keep Long on the practice squad and there’s no room for him on the roster, so we’ll have to wait and see.

    Guys to keep an eye on during roster cuts:
    TE Rob Housler, Cardinals
    ILB Josh Bynes, Ravens
    RB James Wilder Jr., Bengals
    ILB Sean Porter, Bengals
    ILB Emmanuel Lamur, Bengals
    ILB Tahir Whitehead, Lions
    WR/TE Chris Harper, Packers
    DL Joffrey Pagan, Texans
    ILB Miles Burris, Raiders
    RB/KR LaMichael James, 49ers