The Eagles have added 8 players to the practice squad. There are 2 spots open. Since the Eagles made the first 8 signings officially known this afternoon, I’m guessing the final slots won’t be filled in the next few hours. Normally this is when the Eagles are talking to players who have multiple offers and who are trying to find the best situation, financially and otherwise.
Today’s additions to the practice squad
C/G Josh Andrews
G/T Kevin Graf
WR Quron Pratt
WR Will Murphy
RB Matthew Tucker
NT Wade Keliikipi
ILB Emmanuel Acho
S Ed Reynolds
No real surprises. Now for some thoughts on the players.
Andrews played mostly LG at Oregon State. He played a lot of C this summer and his value is in being able to handle both spots. Andrews needs to get bigger and stronger before he even thinks about going against staring competition. Solid athlete. Should be a good practice player.
Graf was a RT at USC, but played LT for the Eagles. Limited athlete, but a tough, competitive player who really battles on every snap. Smart player who uses angles to help him overcome his lack of quickness and agility. Graf played LG in the Jets game after the Tobin injury. I don’t know if he has an NFL future, but should be a good practice player.
Pratt had some good moments this summer. I’m not sure what his ceiling is. Good blocker and STs player, which the Eagles require from their WRs. Should be good practice player and might challenge for a reserve role in 2015.
Murphy. I get that Kelly likes the way Murphy practices. He must be the Jerry Rice of practice players. I don’t like seeing Murphy on the squad because I don’t think he’s got an NFL future and there seem to be lots of WRs out there with more talent. If this is Kelly’s one vice, I can deal with it. But I’m not a fan.
Why Tucker and not Josey? Tucker is a better blocker and STs player. He was here last year and knows the offense. I thought he had a real shot at the roster this year. Josey is a tough subject. I need to re-watch the Jets game before saying too much. There is no doubt that he lit up teams this preseason, but there are 2 key questions. First, how much of that was him vs the system and players around him? Second, could he have that kind of success against starting players? The Eagles obviously feel there are some issues with Josey and that is why he’s on the street.
Last year we all went nuts when the Eagles cut Emmanuel Acho and Chris McCoy. Those seemed like awful moves. The Eagles turned out to be right. You have to be very careful when judging preseason success.
I’m pretty sure the Eagles kept Kelikiipi just so I’d have to learn how to spell his name. Or maybe they just wanted to have another good 3-4 DL available. Kelikiipi can help in practice and he could become a good backup NT in the future.
Acho had a solid summer and was part of the Eagles last year. No brainer to keep him around.
Reynolds is a player that is tailor-made for the practice squad. He’s smart, tough and has the size/strength to play in the league. Reynolds isn’t special athletically. In order for him to succeed in the league, Reynolds has to anticipate plays. He needs to play fast based on his eyes rather than his legs. Practicing and going to meetings for a year will be a big help in him making the roster next year. Heck, he could be added at some point this year.
The Eagles like their starting Safeties, Malcolm Jenkins and Nate Allen. Earl Wolff had a good summer and should be a good #3 Safety. Chris Maragos played his best football in the preseason finale. He will be a good STer and can be effective on defense if needed. You don’t want Maragos starting, but that’s true of almost every team’s 4th Safety.
Reynolds is a 5th round pick. He’s not here to steal a starting job. The Eagles like him and think he can be a good player, but some people seem to have unrealistic expectations for him. Reynolds showed enough this summer to make you think he’s got an NFL future, but wasn’t so good you felt he had to be on the roster, let alone on the field. The practice squad is ideal for him. Let him develop.
Believe it or not, the Eagles like their Safeties. They might turn out to be wrong, but right now that’s not a position of concern for the team. I do think they were hoping that Reynolds, Keelan Johnson or another young player would play better this summer. Johnson was a major disappointment. As for Reynolds, I’m sure the team hoped he would play as well as Wolff did last summer, but that didn’t happen. Reynolds was okay, but nothing to write home about.
RB Kenjon Barner was put on IR.
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About some former Eagles…
Josey was signed to the Jags PS. You wonder if that has anything to do with playing the Eagles next week.
Damion Square was claimed by the Chiefs.
Former OL Donald Hawkins is now with Dallas. OG Karim Barton made the Browns roster. Good for them.
Alejandro Villanueva is on the PS in Pittsburgh…as an OL. That’s interesting. Good for him.
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Who will be the final 2 guys on the PS?
I hope they add a pass rusher for one spot. The other could be a DB or QB. Maybe a TE or WR. Lots of choices.