Huge Opportunity

Posted: August 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 62 Comments »

There are 2 groups that will have a big chance to help themselves on Friday night. First is the backup O-line. Those guys are fighting for roster spots and to try and establish some pecking order. But even if Matt Tobin or Andrew Gardner is lights out, they still aren’t guaranteed to see the field in 2014. They’ll only play on STs, due to injuries or in extreme blowouts.

The other group with a lot on the line is the WR corps. Jeremy Maclin will play 10 to 15 snaps, if that many. Riley Cooper is out. That means that Jordan Matthews, Brad Smith, Arrelious Benn, BJ Cunningham, Ifeanyi Momah and rookie Josh Huff will get a lot of playing time. I don’t know where Quron Pratt and Kadron Boone fall on the depth chart, but they could also get more reps.

These players have a chance to not only help their case of making the team, but they can show the coaches they are worthy of playing time. Obviously I don’t mean if you play well in the first preseason game that you suddenly get mixed into the gameplan. But you can get the coaches attention and lay the foundation for something like that.

Take Josh Huff for example. He’s been up and down in camp. One of his best qualities is being a good RAC receiver. That doesn’t show much in Training Camp where there is limited tackling. Huff could open some eyes with good RAC plays in Friday’s game. The coaches then feed him short passes in other preseason games and if Huff continues to impress, he could get mixed into the WR screen game during the regular season.

The WRs are trying to build trust with the coaches and QBs. WRs must show they will run the right routes, get open and catch the ball when it comes their way. They will get extra attention if they can make tough catches or if they can make plays after the catch. That is the kind of stuff that can separate one player from the next.

Coop and Mac are going to be the primary receivers this year. Matthews could be close to them. Smith will be more involved this year. After them, things are wide open. Players like Benn and Cunningham can’t afford bad games. One or two of them and they are potentially looking at the end of their careers. Both guys have been around the league a few years. They must show they are worthy of roster spots.

It sounds like Cunningham has had the better camp, but Benn has a better track record and is the bigger, more physical player. Each player can make a case for why he’s better than the other guy. Starting on Friday night, they’ll be able to put action behind those words. Everything they do well will help their case. That could be something on STs. It could be run blocking. Heck, the difference could be who runs better pass routes. WRs coach Bob Bicknell is going to keep 5 or 6 guys for the season. 4 of those spots are likely filled. That means some serious competition for the other spots and for practice squad spots.

Momah isn’t totally out of this, but I still see him as a major long shot. I’m sure he just wants to erase bad memories from last summer. He’s done that at camp, now is the time to do it in a game. Remember, the last game where he played and looked good was in September of 2011. That is so long ago that Casey Matthews still had a future at that point.

Huff is another player with a lot to gain. He will make the roster, but Huff needs to show if he can be a contributor in 2014 or if he’s a developmental prospect. Huff is ultra-competitive so I think games should bring out the best in him.

I’m also excited to see how Pratt plays. He has quietly had a good camp and could prove to be a better player than I anticipated.

* * * * *

There was a ton of talk on Wednesday about the kelly green uniforms. Les Bowen explains that the situation is more complex than you would imagine.

Go read the piece to get the insane details of why this is so complicated.  Ugh.

I’m not a big uniform guy. I don’t mind the current look of the Eagles. If I could choose a look, I’d go for the uniforms from the early 1990′s. I love that kind of kelly green with silver pants.

 

I just think that is a great look. The black shoes are also very cool.

It doesn’t seem like Jeffrey Lurie has any interest in those uniforms. I think that’s a shame, but I’m not going to get too fired up about it. Go win games and wear some shade of green and I’ll be a happy camper.

_


  • A_T_G

    Come on people, what is there to discuss? It is KELLY green. Obviously, if there was an AT Green, that would be the way to go.

  • GEAGLE

    Thinking Brad Smith is a lock, which would mean 5 WRs spots are already accounted for. Eagles will only keep 6′WR, if the 6th is a better player than the fringe guys at every other position.
    ..
    If a guy like Momah, isn’t going to make our roster this year, then I hope he doesn’t play well enough to get poached off our practice squad. I would like to see him spend a year getting coaches up, and practicing against NFL competition.

    Villanueva is another guy, I’m hoping makes the PS. Want to see what he can be with a year of coaching and NFL practices.

    Curious about Mathew Tucker… 4 RB on roster, or will we try to PS him?

    Very curious to see how our OL depth looks. The one thing I don’t like is that we are going to have to give Vandervelde or Molk. Roster spot. Someone needs to be able to back up Kelce. Don’t like being forced to keep on of those two….Draft Grasu from Oregon and we will be set at center with him and Kelce(he can also take over for Herremans eventually), and we are set at NT with bEau and Bennie
    ..
    Dissapointed that I haven’t heard anything about Bamiro. Wonder if we PRactice squad him, or give up on the Monster sized tackle?

    Excited to finally see Rejus in this offense

    • Dominik

      Dissapointed that I haven’t heard anything about Bamiro. Wonder if we
      PRactice squad him, or give up on the Monster sized tackle?

      Moneywise, we guaranteed Bamiro two years on the PS last year. Now of course, we’re talking money that Howie will cut if he’s so bad that they don’t think one year on the PS could help him enough. But at least he could have a chance because of his contract.

      • GEAGLE

        Nice,,,thanks. Don’t like giving up on high upside talent too soon

      • Sb2bowl

        Agreed– kid was extremely raw coming out of school (if his eligibility wouldn’t have been taken from him, another year of coaching would have made a world of difference); so in a way, last year was kind of like his “final” year of college. Take into account he was a tackle, now is being moved to guard (perhaps he’s playing out of position so that when other teams review our tape, they don’t see a “raw tackle”, they see a “raw guard”, which to me means other teams could be less likely to poach (also, you are correct on his contract–we also gave him a nice signing bonus just to sweeten the offer so to speak).

        I think they are getting him used to the guard position, but to me, his natural spot will be right tackle (don’t think he has the feet/football IQ for LT)– he’ll probably be on our PS again this year, and next year will be his make or break time. I’d love for him to show something in practice (not in games, though an occasional domination is fine by me!) so that the coaches know what they have, and best how to use him.

    • RobNE

      having tough decisions for the last few cuts seems like a good problem. A year or two ago it seemed a lot different. And I expect/hope it will keep getting harder to make the team.

      Now it looks like our whole draft including both 7th rounders make the team, so it’s not like we are so great (yet). In a year or two I hope 7th rounders have a really hard time making the team. 6th rounders too.

      • anon

        Lots of B and C receivers — no As but no Ds either. Think Kelly wants to put players in a position where every reciever can hurt the defense but there’s no “preferential” receiver.

        • A_T_G

          D is for Damarius?

      • GEAGLE

        Yes air…amazing how much more difficult it is to make this roster than it was last year…by next offseason, should be a real dog fight to make our roster

        • Sb2bowl

          Agreed (and nice “poke” at Vick)– on a side note, anyone else glad that Vick is no longer on the Eagles?

          Hear me out (this isn’t a love/hate Vick discussion, just my $.02)– Vick is the ultimate non-committal girl friend. The girl you want to marry, is amazing in so many ways, but in the end, she’s so freaking bi-polar there is now way the relationship will work, and if it lasts much longer, insanity will spread to you (me?) as well.

          Vick showed flashes of what it means to be UNSTOPPABLE during his time in Philly– when his legs and arm (mind?) was “on”, nothing could stop him. Picturing him in Kelly’s offense (added mobility) is a dream; but in the end, its all about decision making, studying, and preparation. Vick, for all of his good, had an alter ego (referred to as his “shadow” in psychology jargon), which showed us all of his bad. He was just good enough that really, could you pull him from the field? No, because the next play could be THAT play.

          I wish him the best of luck, many years of health, and lots of victories over Brady-Boy– however, I’m glad we have moved on. Foles, for all of his defficiences, seems to have already refined most of the infant and intermediate levels of being an NFL QB. Now we will have the pleasure (and/or pain) of figuring out if he can master the elite level as well. I’d rather watch him on the field as a boring, 22-27, 3td’s, 0 int’s, 44 yards rushing over Vick going 21-40, 2td’s, 1 int, 79 yards rushing but also one lost fumble.

          Not even close, welcome to the next era in Philadelphia Eagles FOOTBALL!!!!!!

  • CrackSammich

    I’ve got no issues with the Kelly Green colour itself, but I’m a young guy, and they’ve been in midnight green almost as long as I’ve been paying attention to sports. The problem I have is that those uniforms are just so dated looking… I know some people are into the traditional look, but it’s not for me.

    I could really go for some of the shoulder pad wings the Ducks wore, so I’ll prepare for the hateful messages now.

  • GEAGLE

    Those like me who wonders what the complication is for switching to new uniforms… The problem is there is a ridiculuos rule that says we can change our jerseys but we would have to wear the same helmets… Obviously can’t wear midnight green helmets with Kelly green jerseys… What a bunch of crap. NFL and it’s ridiculous rules… Can’t change helmets? Piss off!

    • Sean Stott

      yea the helmet issue does suck. Remember how awesome the redskins looked in their “leather” helmets? That was a great uniform they wore twice in 2012.

      http://i.imgur.com/fFHFHzG.jpg

  • RogerPodacter

    i would love to see those kelly green jerseys (the ones that tommy posted) with some slightly modernized pants/socks, and maybe white helmets with the updated wings on them. i think that would be the best of both worlds. who knows.

  • Dominik

    Tommy, I have to disagree with you on that one. Maybe you will cover them in another post before the game, but when we talk about the “2 groups that will have a big chance to help themselves on Friday night”, you have to say QBs, imho. Especially Barkley, but Kinne and Sanchez, too. Without injuries or blowouts (and those two chances basically only apply for the #2, which seems to be Sanchez), they won’t have anything besides those four PS games to show the NFL what they can do, to put tape of them out there. Barkley has to show something if he wants to have a career in the NFL, with us or with another team.

    Since I think Smith is a lock, there is maybe one, maybe no spot open for the other WRs. Of course PS is important for them, it’s important for every player besides the starters and the safe back-ups. But if you want to highlight position groups, QBs have to be a part, imo.

    I agree with the O-Line, since they have they same destiny. You don’t rotate O-Linemen or QBs like you rotate WR, TEs, RBs, D-Linemen, LBs or DBs. If you only play when there are a few injury, Preseason is even more important than it is already, because without tape, you won’t find another job.

    • Sean Stott

      It feels like they don’t want to give Kinne a shot, based on reps and the depth chart. I can’t imagine a scenario where the Depth Chart doesn’t end up as Foles,Sanchez,Barkley.

      • anon

        Chip made some comments that Kinne was a gunslinger, he was like no matter how many people were down the field in coverage kinne will try to slip it in there. I did not take that as a compliment.

        Hopefully he’ll get 4th quarter to do his thing in preseason. If MB weren’t a blue chip guy i don’t think he’d be ahead of kinne on the chart.

      • Dominik

        I asked Tommy a few days back if he thinks there is a possibility we’ll go with 2 QBs on the active roster, since Brad Smith could be the emergency QB. I don’t think it’s likely, I hope Tommy gives us his take on that when he writes a post about the QB battle – I think there will be one, “To QB or not to QB” was more about the former QBs on our roster – which plays a role in that, of course.

        Now, if we’ll go with 3, I agree, it will be Foles, Sanchez, Barkley, probably in that order. But, here’s the point: in 2012, Foles was the #3 going into the PS, afterwards the #2. Trent Edwards went from #4 into the roster in 2011 (? if I’m not mistaken the years here, I’m not sure about Edwards). Preseason plays a huge role for the career of a back-up QB. I’m sure Sanchez doesn’t want to be a career back-up from here on out. Barkley definitely doesn’t want to be a career #3. But if they want to change something – this year, next year maybe for another team – they need to put good tape out there.

        For instance, if Barkley doesn’t shine in PS, he will be the #3. He can only play a snap in the reg. season if Foles and Sanchez get hurt. It can happen (it happened last year), but it’s not likely. He would have to wait for the next PS to show the NFL something and he maybe won’t even get to this point. If Chip is disappointed with his development, he will cut him and draft a development QB, I’m pretty sure.

  • Mike Roman

    Nothing else in the world matters more to me right now than kelly green uniforms. I don’t care what it takes, they need to come back. I’m not sure if I’m more annoyed with the rules that will prevent an easy change or the fact that Lurie still doesn’t want them as the primary uniform. I get the initial change to midnight green. He was a new owner in a new era of the team so he changed things up. Now that era is over so it’s time to change it up again. Plus, what once was old is now new again.

    Take the green unis and silver pants and tweak the design a little to modernize it. I would actually say the midnight green look is a little outdated. The Eagles probably had the best new uniforms of the 90s but look at teams like Denver, Jacksonville, and Baltimore. Those uniforms are awful. The Patriots and Panthers are pretty yucky too. Anyway, whatever.

    There’s a game on Friday? Yawn. Wake me when we’re back in kelly green.

  • truehaynes

    Why do people think boykin can’t be physical? From what I’ve seen he’s pretty freaking jacked. I know he doesn’t have the longest reach but he’s easily stronger that CW if not fletcher. He’s my favorite player on this defense and if we lose him in 2015 because he’s not 5’11 I’ll be pissed. I wouldn’t be surprised if he could handle bigger receivers better than our outside corners with his rediculous vertical

    • Sean Stott

      I really don’t think we’ll lose him. Still though, it’s kind of hard to put someone who is 5’9 with short arms on somebody 6’3 and expect them to do well. Good vertical or not, he simply doesn’t occupy spacetime the way a larger frame does. If this were 1975, sure. But it’s not.

      • truehaynes

        I remember him playing dez pretty well in the week 17 matchup. And he picked off jordy nelson who is 6’3. I just think he’s a good enough talent to make up for the height differential.

        • Sean Stott

          He’s definitely yoked, can’t take that away from him.

        • anon

          Who was throwing to Jordy? Who was throwing to Dez? I’m sure Boykin could pick off a pass that I was throwing to Megatron.

          • jpate

            what difference does that make if thhe pass got to the target which obviously did on the pic above to bryant. Ball was there and Boykin made a play.

          • RogerPodacter

            looks like dez had the better position on the ball too.

  • Cafone

    I thought it was Lurie’s ex-wife that didn’t like the kelly green? Now that Lurie’s got a new gal maybe he can switch the colors.

  • jcwhy

    lets go with Guacamole Green… dip those CHIPS!

  • GEAGLE

    Let’s get this preseason started

    • truehaynes

      If you had your own blog I would read it almost as religiously as I read this one

      • Bert’s Bells

        Ugh. Don’t encourage him. He’s awful.

        • truehaynes

          Well I enjoy reading his opinion. Buzz off

          • Bert’s Bells

            Buzz buzz. You’re right though, he should get his own blog. His monopolizing the comments of Tommy’s is nasty.

          • P_P_K

            I can’t tell if you’re kidding, or not.

        • laeagle

          Well, him writing his own blog would allow others to actually use the comments on this one. There is that.

    • jcwhy

      just write for my blog?

      • GEAGLE

        What blog? The game of thrones one?

        • jcwhy

          haha no, i just read those.. another one about philly and the local area.. sports, business, health, local fun, beer, food, etc.

          • GEAGLE

            Oh ok

    • truehaynes

      Geagle what do you think of this idea? Imagine if you had a 4-2-5 nickel with Cole cox curry smith/graham as your down lineman and Kendricks and barwin as your coverage linebackers. That would be some serious pass rush and it would get barwin in coverage instead of meco which would do wonders for our third down defense. Especially if Kendricks can learn to make the pre snap calls

      • GEAGLE

        I’d be bout it bout it… .. Probably better than our 4-2-5 last year with Meco and Kemdricks as the two LBs

  • McNabbulousness

    tommy,

    agree the nfl are uniform nazis but i kind of like the idea. no doubt it screws over the eagles and a few other teams (buffalo’s Juice era throws comes to mind) but capping the helmets does one thing that I love:

    it prevents nike from forcing upon us it’s hot trash “progressive” uniform designs.

    do really want the nfl to look like half ass college programs with two uniforms for every game?

  • Baloophi

    Quick! Don’t think! NFL training camp, or casting call for Deliverance 2?

    • A_T_G

      As I read this I am wearing my “Paddle Faster, I hear banjo music.” shirt.

  • Tumtum

    Would sure like to see Huff contribute in some significant way this year. If he has an irrelevant season I will get flashes of Marsh and Bryan Smith. In an ideal world Mathews and Huff look better than Cooper and Huff takes slot while Mathews begins his dominance on the outside. Looks like we will probably have to settle for (hopefully) some good ST play.

    • Sean Stott

      Agree, especially considering how much of a reach he was in round 3.

    • GEAGLE

      Doubt you have to worry about a player Chip knows so well busting…

      Last year it could have been a concern, but Chip got to see what works and what doesn’t in the NFL, and there is no guess work involved with his former ducks…. Chip knows what it takes to be successful in the NFL after last seasons experience, and he knows what huff is capable of…

      Better chance of Jordan Mathews becoming a bust than Josh huff… Huff wouldn’t be here if Chip didn’t know he can weaponize him in the NFL

  • jay

    kelly green is definitely better than midnight, but the old eagle is WAY better than that 90′s “xtreme” eagle head

    • McNabbulousness

      woah, never thought about 1v1 about the logos, if pressed to make decision in 30 sec, i like them both equally

  • James Adair

    Just wanted to voice the vocal minority opinion. Hate the Celtic green (aka Kelly).

    • McNabbulousness

      don’t hate the kelly greens at all, but i do prefer midnight green

  • NinjaP

    I have a feeling that Josh Huff is one of those guys that doesn’t really do that great in practice but then balls out in live action.

    Well hopefully at least.

  • GEAGLE

    Yo wtf is going on?mniners vs. Ravens is supposed to be live on NFL network, why are they airing a replay of the hall of fame game?

    Is anyone able to watch Niners vs. ravens right now?

  • GEAGLE

    Help.
    ..
    Is anyone currently watching any preseason games?

    • SteveH

      I have niners ravens… but its very boring.

      • GEAGLE

        On nfl network in the philly area?
        ..
        Why a, I stuck watchng this replay?

        They better air Dallas sandiego at 10:30, I want to laugh at the fact that I can’t name more than 5 Dallas starters. Can’t wait to watch their defense

  • anon

    dallas d looks terrible. sd gashing them. i’ll call 2 w’s against the boys right now.

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