It’s that time of year again, football season is officially back for the Philadelphia Eagles! That means it’s time to kick-off the season with a new installment here at Inside The Iggles, a weekly mailbag where I’ll answer your questions submitted on both Twitter and Facebook. This week, the Eagles will open up their preseason slate of four games against the Indianapolis Colts in Lincoln Financial Field.
Although some marquee players for the Eagles will be sitting out for the first game, there is still a ton to look forward too. Here are some of the questions that were submitted throughout the week for today’s mailbag. Let’s get to it!
It’s tough to say whether or not Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will regret any of the moves they have made this offseason. All in all, the signings the team made seem pretty reasonable thus far but it may be the moves the team didn’t make that could haunt them the most. Not re-signing wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was still a big loss, in my opinion.
Although there’s all this hype surrounding Josh Huff and Nelson Agholor, neither one has proven anything just yet. Of course there is Jordan Matthews, who’s an absolute stud, but he’s restricted to the slot. Using the franchise tag on Maclin to make sure he stuck around for at least another season would have been the option I personally would have went with.
I also believe the team failing to address their offensive line during the 2015 NFL Draft will hurt them as well. They had opportunities to draft starting caliber offensive linemen on day two and day three, yet they passed on them to address their depth at inside linebacker and in the secondary. All in all, I’d say Kelly may be “kicking himself” for the moves he passed on more than the moves he actually made this offseason.
I’m really excited to see all of the wide receivers on the team’s roster, especially Josh Huff and Nelson Agholor. Both of them have a huge amount of potential so it’ll be interesting to see if they could put it all together on the field. It’s one thing to get it done in practice but the real test is on game day.
Another name on offense I’ll be paying close attention to is guard John Moffitt. He’s in an interesting situation due to being away from the game for sometime due to personal reasons so it’ll be fun to see where he’s at both physically and mentally on the field.
In terms of sleepers, I’ve been on the tight end Eric Tomlinson band wagon for quite sometime now. I remember looking him up once I read the Eagles sent their tight end coach to UTEP to work him out, he immediately caught my interests. He’s huge at 6-6, 263 lbs. and is one hell of a blocker. I mentioned on Twitter he could eventually be veteran tight end Brent Celek‘s replacement and I stand by that claim today.
All three are very intriguing players but I believe Denzel Rice is the more interesting of the three because he likely has the best chance to make the final 53-man roster. Due to the injury to JaCorey Shepherd, that’s one more cornerback spot that opened up for the taking. Rice has stood out to many during training camp thus far but he’ll have to put it together on the field as well. Considering he’s from a small school, Coastal Carolina, it’ll be a big test for him to go up against NFL level competition.
Running back Raheem Mostert is the other name I’d watch because if the Eagles do keep a fourth running back, he’ll certainly be in that competition. Mostert’s speed is something the Eagles don’t really have on their roster and if he can show potential as a kick returner, that could really help him potentially make the roster. Considering Huff may serve a bigger role on offense this year, the team may look elsewhere for a kick returner and Mostert could prove to be the answer there.
Well this is a perfect follow-up question after #3, since the name to watch is Mostert once again. As a former track star, Mostert’s speed is unbelievable. At Purdue’s Pro Day, Mostert clocked in an insane 40-yard dash time at 4.32 seconds. Chip Kelly has already praised Mostert for his burst and speed with the ball, according to Daniel Spevak of CSNPhilly.com:
"“Raheem has some really good qualities himself,” Kelly said on Saturday. “He’s extremely fast, among other things. … You can kind of see him when he kind of sticks his foot in the ground and puts it into another gear.”"
Considering the Eagles’ running backs ahead of Mostert all have injury concerns, it would be smart of Kelly and the team to keep a fourth running back. Mostert would bring a different dimension in the backfield with his speed while also providing a dangerous kick returning option as well.
Darren Sproles certainly seems like the ideal replacement in the slot due to his quickness, route running ability and experience in the slot. But I believe Agholor or veteran Miles Austin would get most of the time in the slot if anything ever happened to Matthews. Huff and Riley Cooper seem to be locked in as the team’s outside receivers so they’re likely out of the running. But I believe the duties would be split up between Sproles and Agholor. Another option is shifting Huff into the slot and starting either Austin or Agholor on the outside, that would work as well.
That’s all for this week’s mailbag, be sure to send in any questions you may have to me on Twitter, @Anthony_DiBona. Thanks!
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