Possible Roster Hints

Posted: June 10th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 80 Comments »

 

In about three months the Eagles will be cutting down to 53 players. We know the big names, but the bottom 10 to 15 spots are harder to figure. Injuries will play a major part in those decisions (think Aaron Grymes vs C.J. Smith last summer).

Dave Spadaro analyzed the Eagles 90-man roster recently and offered some possible hints.

In his section on DEs, Dave left out Alex McCalister, while praising Steven Means. Means sure sounds like he’s going to make the team. We figured Marcus Smith was headed out, but no mention of McCalister struck me as interesting. Maybe Dave overlooked him or maybe he’s heard from the coaches that McCalister is still a project and a year away from really pushing for a roster spot. We can’t make any definitive conclusions, but I thought that was interesting. The writers attending the OTAs all say McCalister doesn’t look like he added much muscle/weight and no one has singled him out for excelling in the practices.

Means has played well this year and had a strong showing last summer so he won’t get a job by default. He will have earned it.

The WR section had one interesting tidbit. Dave made mention of Marcus Johnson as a young veteran trying to continue to make an impression. No one is putting Johnson on the roster, but maybe he makes the practice squad again. I just find it interesting when we hear something about a player like Johnson who spends most of his time under the radar.

Dave noted that Joe Walker is making good progress on his way back from a torn ACL and hopes to be the backup MLB.  Walker was going to be the backup MLB last year, but tore his ACL. The Eagles would love to have him get well and win that job for this season. Walker could also help out on STs. He is a mystery man right now. Walker hasn’t practiced during the OTAs. The team is focused on getting him healthy. Training Camp is the key for him. If Walker isn’t ready, the Eagles will have to decide whether to add a veteran or come up with an internal solution for depth at MLB.

It does feel good to be focusing on the bottom of the roster and not trying to figure out who will be the QB or LT or key WR. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but the roster is headed in the right direction.

*****

2012 – Andy Reid – Michael Vick
2013 – Chip Kelly – Michael Vick
2014 – Chip Kelly – Nick Foles
2015 – Chip Kelly – Sam Bradford
2016 – Doug Pederson – Carson Wentz

That is pretty crazy. May not sound like a big deal, but think of all the Patriots success for the past 15 years. That came with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Think about a team like the Packers. In the past 25 years, they have had 4 coaches and 2 QBs.

The whole league is looking for that kind of stability. It isn’t easy to find great coaches or QBs. We don’t know if the Eagles have a great coach or great QB, but Wentz at least looks like someone you could build around and win with. The jury is still very much out on Pederson as a coach. The next couple of years will give us an idea if he can win big or not.

*****

Smart move. Training Camp can get stale when you go against your teammates over and over and over. Practicing against another team brings some life to the situation. There is a renewed sense of competition. It lets your players go against new faces and deal with different schemes.

And as Les Bowen pointed out.

Here is your chance to give Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso an extended, heartfelt welcome back to Philly.

 The Eagles will hold joint NovaCare practices with the Miami Dolphins leading up to their Aug. 24 preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field, the teams announced Thursday. Maxwell and Alonso were disastrous Chip Kelly additions to the 2015 Eagles, whom Howie Roseman traded away last year as part of the maneuvering to move up to draft Carson Wentz.

So now we’ll presumably see Maxwell, a cornerback, and Alonso, a middle linebacker, defending Wentz’s receivers, in more than just a cameo preseason game appearance.

Alonso and Maxwell got booed in Philly in 2015, but they were Eagles at the time. Always more fun to boo opponents than your own players.

_


  • Aran

    Means showing off even at the DT position, in OTAs, bodes well. Versatility helps find a roster spot.

    • wee2424

      Yeah, seems like a good depth guy that could possibly stick around for a few years if he continues to show versatility and progression.

    • Media Mike

      Especially considering we have 3 DTs (Destiny, Jimmy, and Beau) who don’t seem to want to contribute.

      • Aran

        ??

        • Media Mike

          They have multiple DTs not playing right now due to injury. So Means has an opportunity.

          • Aran

            That’s not the same thing as saying they don’t want to contribute

          • Media Mike

            We’ll see once the real games start. If that position group remains problematic due to man-games lost to injuries, it’ll be tough to stomach.

          • CrackSammich

            This is a losing battle with MM. In his mind, physically unable to play == not wanting to play.

      • Anders

        Timmy was playing at the last round of OTAs.

  • P_P_K

    I enjoy following the young guys who are fighting to make one of those last 10 or 15 roster spots. I imagine many of them have been dreaming about this since they were kids. The pressure must really be on. Succeed, and you’re a wealthy hero. Get cut, and you’re just a regular guy who has to go out and get a job.

    • wee2424

      It really must be hard for the guys that don’t make it. Knowing that you came so close to your dream. Your whole life you have pretty much been the best or one of the best, then suddenly you aren’t good enough.

      • Kelce’s Beard’s Rollerskates

        a good friend of mine is the perfect example of that — only ever made it onto 3 practice squads, his first chance being with our very own Eagles and Andy Reid late in the 2009 campaign.

        currently, he’s doing great work with Bmore kids year-round, including a big summer camp w/ a lot of other friends of his who were in similar situations (training camp, practice squad, or gameday inactive types). the half-dozen I’ve met have all have tremendous character and, for the most part, are doing ok for themselves

        http://thejoelgamblefoundation.org/

        • Rambler

          Great story, thanks for sharing that.

        • P_P_K

          Great stuff. Thanks.

        • Sb2bowl

          Nice to see you on this board, KBR

        • wee2424

          I believe this is your first time posting here correct? I know I have read hundreds of your comments on 24/7 (RIP) and Kempski’s site.

          I don’t know if you have been reading articles or comments often without posting, but if you haven’t and you are just coming on here for your first or one of your first times then welcome. Great arthur and founder of site and just as importantly a great community.

          • Kelce’s Beard’s Rollerskates

            Thanks wee. I’ve been peeping Tommy’s work for many years, commented more before Sheil/Tim got going. Now I mostly lurk 🙂

          • wee2424

            Ahhhh.. The Beard in the shadows….

    • Media Mike

      LOVE those guys. HATE when they get cut for dudes who don’t deserve to be on the roster over those guys.

      • P_P_K

        The coaches probably have to be merciless, but I guess there’s some consideration of personality and compatibility to forming a roster.

    • Stephen E.

      Or if you’re Julian Vandervelde, get cut, and you’ll be back two weeks from now.

  • 哈哈,这个好,认真拜读下!

  • wee2424

    DL versus OL will be entertaing to watch for both sides. We are going to get to see Kelce on skates all TC long courtesy of Suh.

    Sounds lile a musical. Kelce on Skates brought to you by Suh.

    • Sb2bowl

      Florida sucks in the summer- from mid June until early September. Otherwise, it’s lovely.

      • wee2424

        Later then September. Mid October. Beginning of September is for you guys. I miss Fall.

        • Sb2bowl

          No worries, Wee. It’s going to be 91 where I’m at today, with 90% humidity. I’ll just stay inside today.

      • wee2424

        Later. It sucks into mid October. For you guys and what used to be me it is early september.

        • Sb2bowl

          I don’t mind September as much because the humidity starts to disperse. But if I had a choice, I’d leave my home area for about 3 months (January, February, March) and live in Florida.

          • wee2424

            Florida, particularly South Florida is a great place to vacation whether it is for a few days or a few months. It is not an area where you want to raise a family. Lower paying jobs, one of the worst public education systems in the country, above average prices for private school, horrible traffic due to inefficient road systems and outdated untimed traffic lights. The crime and blatant drug use are extremely high per populace. Public transportation has to be one of the worst in the country. The buses are so bad that they are talking about placing full time cops on the buses.

            When I was forced to take busus to work for 2 weeks because I totalled my car the buses were boarded by police 3 times in 2 weeks while I was taking it. After the first time I started carrying a switch blade on the bus and had to pull it out twice because someone tried to rob me.

            75% of the county I am in is hood. That is not a joke. Florida has some type of law that requires a certain amount of low income houses to be in every area. So you could be walking next to a multi million house and then 10 feet later be in straight ghetto. I’ll take a picture and post it tommorow. It is actually very comical looking.

            The service industry down here is horrendous and filled with extremely rude people. The majority of people down here are very rude, ignorant, and uneducated.

            BTW this is all coming from a white kid that was born in K&A in 89 and didn’t move out until 2002. It is always crazy there, but the early to mid 90s were especially crazy.

            I still reside in Broward county down here in S. Florida but I got tired of the convenience store next to me getting robbed, and stepping on needles and crack pipes, and this was considered a goid neighborhood. I have since moved to another location in Broward County called Victoria Park. In the 5 years I have lived down here this is the only area that I would let my kids walk around at night besides the neighborhood Johny Depp lives in and Lauderdale By The Sea. Now I don’t have kids, I’m speaking hypothetically, but If I did that would be the case and I can promise you I would not be an over-bearing father.

            Lol, sorry, but you can probably tell that I needed to vent. I want to get out of here so bad that I am actively trying to figure out how to open up an office in PA, but the legalities are proving to be too big of a stumbling block.

        • meteorologist

          “For you guys and what used to be me”

          What a phrase!

          • wee2424

            Lol. Should I trademark it?

          • meteorologist

            Idk. But if I were you and I ever wrote a book or something, I’d definitely be shoehorning that one in somehow. So entertaining!

      • Kelce’s Beard’s Rollerskates

        Yep! I’m hiding til September

      • Media Mike

        Kelce sucks in the summer……..and fall and winter.

        • Sb2bowl

          Ahh, he’s not terrible. For what he is good at, he’s exceptional. But overall he is probably the weakest link on our offensive line.

          He’s never going to be a mauler- that’s not what his game is built upon. But there aren’t many OL that can get out in space and run like he can- his second level blocking ability is severely underrated.

          • wee2424

            The question with him is whether his strength benefits the team on a higher % of plays versus does his weakness hurt the team on a higher % of plays.

            If you were to keep track then I would feel safe in saying his weakness pops up more then his strength.

            With Shady it was ok because he could make the man miss that got through the line and then follow Kelce’s downfield or outside blocking.

            Besides Sproles and Pumphrey we do not have the RBs that can get by the defender breaking the LOS, and they are not as dynamic at it as Shady.

            We need a C that will hold up at the point of attack and then let Blount run through the next level.

            Despite Shady being great at making the initial man miss he still lead the league in TFL. Now some of that was due to his style of running, but I bet that a decent amount of that was also on Kelce. Before we make the excuse of horrible G play, he also lead the league in TFL during the 2013 season in which our line stayed improbably healthy and was considered the best in the NFL.

  • Tumtum

    Oh yeah Joe Walker.

  • FairOaks

    BGN posts about McAlister:

    http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/6/10/15775006/eagles-2016-draft-pick-alex-mccalister-weight-pounds-philadelphia-florida-defensive-end-pass-rusher

    Says he has gained some weight — was a (likely fictional) 239 last year, and is 251 now — but still doesn’t look like a DE in that photo.

    • DrGeniusPhD

      They can always invite him back to camp next year if he can put on another 20 pounds. It’s not like anyone else is going to pick him up.

      • wee2424

        I don’t think he can put on another 20 pounds and still possess the athleticism and burst that made us pick him.

        10-12 yes, but not 20. The low 260 range is fine for what we drafted him to be which is a situational pass rusher.

        • Stephen E.

          I was kind of thinking of Chris Clemons, who at about 235 was ridiculously undersized even for OLB in a 3-4 but managed to be a good pass rusher at DE in a 4-3.

          • wee2424

            Good one. I never knew he was so light. Forgot about him.

    • wee2424

      Someone ask Tra if he looks like a QB.

  • PacificPurl

    Interesting that Chip has been visiting with the Dolphins coaches for a couple of days.

    • ColorSgt

      Sports Science is the only thing I can come up with.

      • wee2424

        Considering it is OTAs Gase is probably picking his brain about practice ideas. Chip did have some unique practice concepts. Maybe some talk of the no-huddle and shotgun.

        • ColorSgt

          Could be. I just consider him an utter failure at the NFL level, which I think will carry over to his new analysis job as well. Call me a bitter Eagles fan, but I wouldn’t want him in the same state as my team. I can rest well at night knowing he can’t do anymore damage to the Eagles.

    • P_P_K

      Maybe they need advice on getting rid of talented players for little compensation.

      • ColorSgt

        Going down that road it could be any number of things they want advice about. How to speed up the tempo of the offense so the defense gets no rest. How to convince yourself you are smarter than everyone else when you aren’t. How to water down the offense because you don’t have talent anymore. How to reach in the draft. How to acquire players all from the same school. How to force your way into being the GM even though you don’t know how the NFL works. How to avoid handling different personalities in the locker room. How to get people to buy the snake oil you’re selling. Or maybe excuses for not going to the team Christmas party.

        • P_P_K

          You, sir, are a man who understands the situation clearly.

        • Sb2bowl

          Disagree on the “drafting players from the same school”—

          If you would have said, “drafting players from the same conference” I would have agreed with you.

          Otherwise, spot on.

          • ColorSgt

            I didn’t say drafting… I said aquire players from the same school. So that includes trading for Kiko etc. At one point they had at least 9, I think it might have been 10 former ducks on the roster. However, I agree he was narrow minded as far as drafting from the Pac 10.

          • Sb2bowl

            I stand corrected- you mentioned drafting in the sentence before, but it was in regards to the OL.

            They did- most of the players were end of roster type people, which makes sense as he had an inside track on their personalities and abilities.

            In the end, the experiment did not work. And for as much as I disagreed with Lurie’s decision to fire him with a game left in the season- he was correct in doing so.

          • ColorSgt

            Yep you are right about it being an experiment. Personally I learned a lot about what goes into building a team. Hopefully the Eagles learned through those mistakes too. Also, saw your post about your dad. Very sorry for your loss.

        • wee2424

          Did he skip the team xmas party?

          • ColorSgt

            I guess he ended up going but they had to reschedule it for him, which turned out to be a last straw for Lurie.

          • wee2424

            Lol really? I never heard of this. They actually rescheduled the xmas party for him?

      • Sean Stott

        ‘little’ would be a nice upgrade over ‘zero’

        • wee2424

          But we got the Legend of Ki… Oh yeah…..

    • wee2424

      Gase is probably picking his brain regarding practice ideas. Chip did have some unique concepts regarding practice.

      Possibly, specifically but not mainly how best to conduct a 2 team TC in the most effecient manner possible. CK does have experience in that department.

      • Jernst

        Yea not all of Chips ideas were bad. He didn’t appreciate the ability of NFL defenders to adjust to tempo and learn his tendencies enough to shut down his plays. And, he lost sight of the need for built in constraints in his offense. If there were going to be no presnap reads and audibles there HAD to be post snap reads and built in constraints to force over zealous defenders to always be wrong. If he hadn’t moved away from the packaged plays and post snap single defender reads that put defenses in insurmountable binds he might still have a job.

        His sports science, injury prevention, single word play calls, some of his practice efficiency ideas (minus the no on field instruction which I always hated) and even some of his tempo ideas (minus his blind adherence to them), I thought were all really good.

        I still think packaged plays with clearly defined post snaps reads where no matter what a defender chooses he’s wrong is still the future of NFL play design. But,it requires at least the threat to run from the QB (the notion that Chip could be successful without that, i.e. Sam Bradford at QB was always silly) and actually reading a defender on most plays which he shocking moved away from. Sadly, because of his failure I think it’ll be awhile till we see those concepts fully embraced outside of a few plays in specific offenses.

        • ColorSgt

          I’d say that’s fair. I still think a coach should be able to tailor the offense to the skills of the players rather than have to find players that match the offense. And that right there is the difference between college and the NFL. In college you can get whatever players you want. In the NFL its not that easy. I was willing to let him set his team up and see what he could do, but the wheels came off before that ever happened. Would Chip have to trade Tom Brady because he isn’t mobile?

          • Jernst

            Oh you’re absolutely right! Getting good players is hard enough and Chip made it even harder on himself by having such specific desires. I always wondered if he would have cut Darrell Green because he was too short to play CB in his eyes.

            Brady I think is good enough to thrive in any system, but yea you wouldn’t want him running the read option. I mean clearly Chip didn’t think he needed a mobile QB for his offense if he traded for Bradford coming off of two consecutive knee injuries.

            And, while every coach should design the scheme to his players strength, if you’re running a 2-gap 3-4 for instance you’re going to have a very different skill set and body type in mind for a DE than you are in a 1-gap 4-3. And, that’s fine. Coaches should know what they need and look for those types of players. The thing is a 350 pound NT or a 300 pound DE isn’t going to succeed in a wide 9 just like a 255 pound DE isn’t going to excel in a 2-gap 3-4 most of the times. But, you’re not hurting yourself by choosing to run one system over the other (unless you have a roster full of star 1-gap players and you force them to play a 2-gap just because you like that better) because theres plenty of good 300 pound run stuffing clogs and plenty of good 250-265 pound fastballs out there.

            Problem with Chip was that he didn’t seem to know what types of players made his offense work. Shady worked great in his zone blocking scheme, for some reason he thought he needed a downhill one cut runner like Murray that was a disaster. He thought he didn’t need a QB that was a threat to run and Bradford was a disaster in his system. And, he didn’t know how to change the scheme to fit their talents. Really baffling to see from such an apparently respected football mind.

          • ColorSgt

            I agree. I was baffled by a lot of things he did. It would be interesting to see him piece together a team on paper (keeping the salary cap in mind so its not pro-bowlers at every position and have a max number of rookie deals) and see what that team could do against the patriots. Getting completely hypothetical, but that would prove it for the excuse makers that say he didn’t get to assemble the team he wanted.

  • Ryan Rambo

    Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ Advance Media gave Carson Wentz a B- for his performance at OTAs.
    Shorr-Parks wrote an extensive report card for Wentz, grading him for accuracy, turnovers, long passes, mobility, red-zone performance and decision making. Wentz received high marks for mobility (A) and decision making (B) but struggled with turnovers (C-) and red-zone proficiency (D). Overall, he completed 53-of-86 passes with eight touchdowns and four picks in practices open to the media. Despite his imperfect play in the spring, Wentz’s arrow should still be pointing up with an improved supporting cast led by Alshon Jeffery.

    • BobSmith77

      Haha. Evaluating individual players based upon OTA performances.

      I agree with Didinger this morning who stated on WIP you can evaluate to a degree how well a coaching staff is organized and instructs players by scrutinizing OTAs. That is about it though.

      Evaluating any performances including some of the praise for Agholor or individual players got last week means very little.

      • ColorSgt

        Agreed. It’s interesting to see the numbers, but even if he had 100% completion percentage it would mean nothing. Most of the receivers are new so it takes time to get comfortable with them. Some of them won’t even be on the team during the season. So keep in mind that those numbers include poor route running, poor body positioning, and drops from guys that could end up on the practice squad of another team.

        • Jernst

          One other thing that people don’t seem to understand is that a lot of times in practice the defense knows what the offense is installing and running. A lot of times offenses run the same play a couple times in a row to get it right. I remember playing and during practice even if the coaches tried to keep the defense guessing you still had a much better idea what was coming than you would during a game.

          I always tried to remind myself not to put too much stock in practice and preseason, but I admit that in Chip’s last year I got caught up in it. I justified my excitement by saying I know it’s just preseason, and all the normal caveats apply, but I’ve never seen a team dominate so thoroughly in all 3 phases of the game from the starters to 5th stringers. Game planning or not I thought their performance was such an outlier that it had to mean something. They were certainly more talented than all the teams they played in the preseason from top to bottom of the roster. And, they were DEFINITELY well coached.

          As soon as the bullets were live we looked like an outmatched high school team going up against the ’85 Bears. After that…never again. I’m not going to let preseason hype in either direction lead me to any definitive conclusions.

    • Media Mike

      I give Eliot Shorr-Parks the following grades
      Humanity – F – who has a hyphenated name?
      Honesty – F minus – who really would publish that hit job on DeSean?
      Perseverance – A+ – who really sucks that much at their job, but still comes to work every day?

      • Jernst

        I was going to post an obligatory anti-ESP post but you did so better than I could have hoped. ESP the hackiest hack that ever hacked.

  • Media Mike

    “Here is your chance to give Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso an extended, heartfelt welcome back to Philly.”

    One would struggle to find two bigger simaltaneous scumbags and theives at the same time.

    • Jernst

      The Andrews bothers?

      • Media Mike

        Good call. A quitter and stiff.

        • Stephen E.

          Somewhere, seven three is still getting his Mike Phelps on.

  • Media Mike

    A few stray thoughts………….

    The Stanley Cup Finals SUCK. Big scumbag diving loser crybaby protected by the refs Crosby vs. big scumbag disrespectful doesn’t know his place Subban. Both guys need a few Taken style chops to their necks until they both admit they’re trash.

    Mexico, as a soccer team, can DIE. USA needs to pull out a win vs. those scumbags. The inability of USA soccer to properly humble a rival is sickening.

    • aron

      wow, you really suck tonight, I own you

    • Media Mike

      Glad US tied, but keeping the lead would have been better.

    • Anders

      How is Subban a disrespectful scumbag? Or are you still mad he didnt respect Richard in his rookie year almost a decade ago?

      • Media Mike

        Yes. Totally out of line for Subban not to respect a member of the Orange and Black. I just happened to be Richards, but there is a reason Subban is still booed every time he touches the puck when he plays in Philly.

    • A_T_G

      I missed USA/MEX soccer. When Mexico is awarded a direct kick, and the US team yells, “Wall!” does it end with everyone laughing uncontrollably?