Aug 13, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight endZach Ertz
(86) running backDarren Sproles
(43) and running back Henry Josey (34) walk onto the field during a joint practice with the New England Patriots at the Patriots practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles Final 53 Roster
It’s Saturday, and as promised the Philadelphia Eagles have delivered the Final 53 man roster. While some cuts may make you scratch your head, I was not surprised at the final roster.
Some cuts will be obvious, some cuts will sting a little, and one or two cuts may actually make a few of the Eagles fans scratch their heads. But with this team, and the way the Eagles are currently set up, I’m going to jump right in. Be sure to add your thoughts to the comments section.
Three quarterbacks should surprise nobody. While some speculate that Barkley is on the block, I would not rule out the fact that an impressive Mark Sanchez will garner interest from other NFL teams. That being said, we have GJ Kinne as well as Thad Lewis should something develop along that front.
After much debate whether the Eagles would carry three, four, or five running backs, the front office played this one conservatively and went three. The names should come as no surprise, as despite the challenges of injuries and nice performances from Henry Josey and Matthew Tucker. Expect to see the Birds bring at least one running back to the practice squad if any survive being claimed off waivers.
Again, this was expected. Six receivers, with five fairly predictable. The sixth receiver spot fell to Jeff Maehl, whose special team play and versatility likely sealed his roster spot. Do not be surprised to see the Eagles bring two wide receivers back to the practice squad.
While Celek, Ertz and Casey were predictable, Burton’s addition may raise your eyebrow. However, the kid is a James Casey version of versatile and explosive, and can attack defenses from virtually any ball handling position. He’s a swiss army knife, and Chip Kelly loves swiss army knives.
Again, no surprise. The Eagles go with nine offensive linemen and will be faced with another decision here when Lane Johnson returns from his suspension. Molk, Kelly, Tobin, and Gardner all demonstrated they could handle the reserve work this off season, and Barbre was named to fill Johnson’s vacancy until he returns. Expect at least one (or two) offensive linemen to be added to the practice squad.
Some were surprised that the Eagles kept seven defensive linemen. However, Billy Davis will be using more of the dime package to rest DeMeco Ryans. Now that Kendricks and Jenkins can handle the defensive play calling, I could see the dime used 20% of the snaps. In that dime package, the Eagles will go with 4 pass rushers. Keep an eye on Beau Allen this year, he’s shown up in the film room.
The conversion to the 3-4 was to emphasize the linebacker, whose play gives them the perfect counter to Chip Kelly like offenses. And two (Matthews and Braman) are specialists on special teams. The group will have plenty of opportunities to grow in this defense as the season rolls on. I have written earlier that the Eagles needs sacks from this group to have a chance at post season success. Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, and Marcus Smith will need to deliver.
Again, not much surprise here. Curtis Marsh likely lost his opportunity to make the roster with the horrific game against the New England Patriots. That being said, this is a good group and appears the addition of Jenkins and Carroll have enhanced the chemistry. With the dime package, the Eagles will simply place Boykin and Carroll alongside Allen, Fletcher, Jenkins and Williams.
Keep an eye on Maragos, Watkins and Wolff, however. This group is far better than many expect.
And the only surprise is newcomer Cody Parkey supplanting former kicker Alex Henery. As long as Parkey demonstrates accuracy at 40+ range, this will be a good move. But kickers tend to go hot and cold. Hopefully Parkey will get and remain hot for the Eagles for several years.
So this is the team fans. I’ll look to write up a practice squad article soon as well as discuss players who were cut as they find their way onto the rosters of other teams.