Move over Alex Henery and Carey Spear. There is a new guy in town and his name is Cody Parkey. The Eagles dealt RB David Fluellen to the Colts for Parkey, a rookie PK from Auburn.
We don’t know a lot about Parkey. PE.com did have some details.
Undrafted out of Auburn, Parkey signed with the Colts following this spring’s NFL Draft. He went 2-for-2 on field goals with the Colts during the preseason, including a 45-yarder. At Auburn, Parkey finished his senior season 14-of-19 on field goals while ranking first in the nation with 69 touchbacks.
That last bit of info is key. Parkey has a strong leg and is very good on kickoffs. Even if Parkey isn’t good enough to win a roster spot now, he could be a practice squad candidate. It will be interesting to see how much work Parkey gets in the next 2 games.
As for Fluellen, he was impressive in the preseason opener, going 6-25 on the ground. I didn’t think he had NFL athletic ability based on college tape, but he was better than expected that day. Still, those numbers don’t jump out the way that Henry Josey’s did (8-56). Chip Kelly loves big plays. He’s going to side with the more explosive RB over the bigger guy in a lot of situations. He certainly did in this case. Fluellen’s health is also a factor. He missed the last game and UDFAs can’t afford to be hurt at this time of the year.
Good luck to Fluellen in Indy.
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Is it fair for Chip (and other NFL coaches) to pressure players in the summer? Unfortunately, yes.
Football is a hard sport. Durability is generally the most underrated trait among players. We talk about guys being injury prone in regard to season-ending injuries (ACLs, shoulders, etc.), but we don’t always appreciate how hard it is for guys to make it through the daily grind and not have a sore back, hyperextended knee, sprained elbow, bum ankle, hamstring, etc.
Nolan Carroll was great in camp. But we have yet to see him in a preseason game. Curtis Marsh and Roc Carmichael haven’t exactly lit it up, but at least they’ve been on the field.
One of the key reasons David Fluellen was dealt is that he’s hurt. Chris Polk is under extreme pressure to get back on the field and show what he can do. The Eagles like him, but if he can’t go, he’s useless to the team. That’s the harsh, cruel reality of the NFL.
I really hope Polk and Tucker are able to go next week. Play well in the finale and a lot can be forgiven. Miss any more time and the Eagles might be looking for another RB.
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A few of you had some questions you wanted answered.
Why didn’t the Eagles address ILB in the draft? Let’s focus on a couple of points here. First, let’s not make a mountain out of a mole hill. The Eagles have good starting ILBs. The question comes with the backups. And even that isn’t some crisis. Najee Goode played well off the bench last year. He might be just fine as the #3 ILB this year.
The disappointment is that Jason Phillips couldn’t make the full comeback from his ACL injury, Jake Knott hasn’t been healthy this summer and Emmanuel Acho looks so-so, but not nearly as good as he did last year.
All that said, the Eagles did want an ILB in the draft. The right guy wasn’t available at the right spot. ILB will be more of a priority position this year since DeMeco Ryans isn’t getting any younger.
What is the point of cross-training LBs? Is that hard? Chip Kelly has done this kind of stuff since he got here. Remember Clay Harbor at LB and Jason Avant at DB? Kelly wants to get the most out his gameday roster that he absolutely can. That means backups often need to know multiple positions.
I think Long can play ILB. He lacks the ideal speed and range, but he is tough and relentless. He’s not afraid to battle blockers so he can stay clean on the inside and then get to the ball. And remember that we’re not looking for someone to be good at this. The only way one of these guys plays is due to lots of injuries. The player just has to be good enough.
Barner as a RS. Kenjon Barner isn’t Devin Hester or Brian Mitchell, but he does have experience. He posted solid stats at Oregon. He returned both punts and kickoffs. He had a TD in each category. No one is trying to make the guy out to be some star, but that’s a successful college track record as a RS. He’s not here in Philly to be The Guy, but rather to add depth and challenge for a spot.