In late May, I wrote an article trying to predict the Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster for the 2014 season. Just a few days before the first Eagles’ preseason game, I feel pretty good about most of my picks. On the other hand, I already know a couple I’d change instantly.
Alex Henery has been the better kicker in training camp and Carey “Murderleg” Spear has a long way to go if he wants to beat the three-year veteran. Jeff McLane and Brandon Lee Gowton, two Eagles reporters have tweeted the following regarding this position battle:
#Eagles kicker competition: Alex Henery 5 of 5 from 38, 43, 48, 43, 53. Carey Spear 4 of 5. Wide right on 48 yarder.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 3, 2014
Henery has been all around better than Spear during training camp (and spring practices). Both kickoffs and field goals. — Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 28, 2014
The other pick I would change is the number of running backs the Birds will carry on their final roster. Three was the number I predicted in my story, but I strongly believe they are going to be four.
LeSean McCoy is the starter and Chris Polk will be his backup. Darren Sproles will be the third guy, but his main role is going to be much different from that of a more traditional running back. These three definitely look a very solid team, but there are some other things that have to be considered.
Chris Polk had a lingering problem with his shoulder last year. In 2012, it was his toe that kept him out four weeks and was a problem until the very end of the regular season. In other words, he has had health issues as a professional player.
Darren Sproles is 31 years old, He will be used a lot in the passing game and he could be returning kickoffs for the Eagles in 2014. He will be much more exposed to high-speed collisions and that carries a lot of risk. With all three running backs playing a unique, important role, the Eagles will probably need a fourth ball carrier as an insurance policy.
Chip Kelly spoke to reporters and said that Matthew Tucker is “firmly entrenched in that fourth spot” (from Philly.com). Does this fourth spot really exists or is just a ranking of the running backs? The way it looks right now, Tucker has a good chance to make the Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster.